Taking Back the Faith – Muslim Reform Movement

The Orthodox Christian Network features the important work of organizations that promote religious freedom, defend Christian Rights and stand against Christian persecution.  You have our resound commitment to be a resource of compassion, a voice of help, and active participant to helping all in need.


On Friday December 4, 2015 a brave group stood before the world and provided a declaration of reform called the Muslim Reform Movement. Opposing an interpretation of Islam that includes violence, social injustice and political Islam. This movement takes back the Muslim faith with principals of peace, social justice, human rights, women rights and secular government.

This declaration was nailed to the front door of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC on Friday December 4, 2015.

Muslim Reform Movement by M. Zuhdi Jasser and Raheel Raza

  • We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam. We invite our fellow Muslims and neighbors to join us.
  • We reject bigotry, oppression and violence against all people based on any prejudice, including ethnicity, gender, language, belief, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression.
  • We are for secular governance, democracy and liberty.
  • Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights.
  • We stand for peace, human rights and secular governance. Please stand with us!

Preamble

We are Muslims who live in the 21st century. We stand for a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam. We are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or politicized Islam, which seeks to create Islamic states, as well as an Islamic caliphate. We seek to reclaim the progressive spirit with which Islam was born in the 7th century to fast forward it into the 21st century. We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 1948.

We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam. Facing the threat of terrorism, intolerance, and social injustice in the name of Islam, we have reflected on how we can transform our communities based on three principles: peace, human rights and secular governance. We are announcing today the formation of an international initiative: the Muslim Reform Movement.

We have courageous reformers from around the world who will outline our Declaration for Muslim Reform, a living document that we will continue to enhance as our journey continues. We invite our fellow Muslims and neighbors to join us.

Declaration

Peace: National Security, Counterterrorism and Foreign Policy

We stand for universal peace, love and compassion. We reject violent jihad. We believe we must target the ideology of violent Islamist extremism in order to liberate individuals from the scourge of oppression and terrorism both in Muslim-majority societies and the West.

We stand for the protection of all people of all faiths and non-faith who seek freedom from dictatorships, theocracies and Islamist extremists.

We reject bigotry, oppression and violence against all people based on any prejudice, including ethnicity, gender, language, belief, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression.

Human Rights: Women’s Rights and Minority Rights

We stand for human rights and justice. We support equal rights and dignity for all people, including minorities. We support the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

We reject tribalism, castes, monarchies and patriarchies and consider all people equal with no birth rights other than human rights. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Muslims don’t have an exclusive right to “heaven.”

We support equal rights for women, including equal rights to inheritance, witness, work, mobility, personal law, education, and employment. Men and women have equal rights in mosques, boards, leadership and all spheres of society. We reject sexism and misogyny.

Secular Governance: Freedom of Speech and Religion

We are for secular governance, democracy and liberty. We are against political movements in the name of religion. We separate mosque and state. We are loyal to the nations in which we live. We reject the idea of the Islamic state. There is no need for an Islamic caliphate. We oppose institutionalized sharia. Sharia is manmade.

We believe in life, joy, free speech and the beauty all around us. Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights. We reject blasphemy laws. They are a cover for the restriction of freedom of speech and religion. We affirm every individual’s right to participate equally in ijtihad, or critical thinking, and we seek a revival of ijtihad.

We believe in freedom of religion and the right of all people to express and practice their faith, or non-faith, without threat of intimidation, persecution, discrimination or violence. Apostasy is not a crime. Our ummah–our community–is not just Muslims, but all of humanity.

We stand for peace, human rights and secular governance. Please stand with us!

Affirmed this Fourth Day of December, Two-Thousand and Fifteen By the founding authors who are signatories below.

Founding Signatories

Tahir Gora,
Author, Journalist, Activist, Toronto, Canada

Tawfik Hamid
Islamic Thinker and Reformer, Oakton, VA, USA

Usama Hasan
Imam, Quilliam Foundation, London, UK

Arif Humayun
Senior Fellow, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Portland, OR, USA

Farahnaz Ispahani
Author, Former Member of Parliament, Pakistan, Washington, D.C., USA

Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.
President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Phoenix, AZ USA

Mohamad Jebara
Imam, Cordova Center, Ottawa, Canada

Naser Khader
Member, Danish Parliament, Muslim democracy activist
Copenhagen, Denmark

Courtney Lonergan
Community Outreach Director, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Professional facilitator

Hasan Mahmud
Resident expert in sharia, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada

Asra Nomani
Journalist, Author, Morgantown, WV, USA

Raheel Raza
Founder, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada

Sohail Raza
Vice President, Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations

Salma Siddiqui
President, Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations, Toronto, Canada

 

Twitter: @TheMuslimReform

Facebook: Muslim Reform Movement

Email: MuslimReformMovement@gmail.com

Website: www.MuslimReformMovement.org

Please sign our declaration on Change.org!

 

Watch a recent episode of Meet the Press with Dalia Mogahed and Asra Nomani, both signers of The Declaration: http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/the-role-of-islam-in-the-isis-fight-580904515945


 

ABOUT THE ANNUAL NATIONAL CHRISTIAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOM SYMPOSIUM

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples, Florida and the South Florida Archons hosted their first annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium – ‘Uplifting Christ and Witnessing for our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism.’ The Second Annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium will be held on March 12, 2016 featuring Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) as the Keynote Speaker. To learn more about the Christian Rights and Freedom Institute, visit http://stkatherine.net.

ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK

The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.  OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life.   We also report on news events in the Orthodox Church and produce This Week in Orthodoxy, a weekly news video with stories and issues of interest to Orthodox Christians around the world.

$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners.  Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.

Your gift during our annual End of the Year Appeal will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media. 

Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.

written by
avatar
Harry Dimopoulos is Chairman of the Christian Rights and Freedom…
Related Posts