Muslims for Progressive Values, an organization “guided by ten principles rooted in Islam, including social equality, separation of religion and state, freedom of speech, women’s rights, gay rights, and critical analysis and interpretation,” has endorsed the December 11 protest at United Nations Headquarters, voicing the demand that the act of stoning be criminalized worldwide, and that gender-apartheidist and other regimes dependent on violence against women be expelled from the UN’s women’s organizations.
In addition to organizing a simultaneous protest action in Ottawa on December 11, Muslims for Progressive Values has sent a statement for the New York City action. It is reproduced here in full.
Statement from Muslims for Progressive Values – for December 11 Protest at UN Headquarters
From Muslims for Progressive Values, we greet you – our sisters in humanity – with the words used by our Prophet Muhammad when he greeted anyone of any faith – Asalaam u alaikum – may the peace and blessings of God be upon you all.
As you gather together December 11th we understand that your hearts and minds are fiercely united to speak out against grave injustices, committed by tyrannts, who hide their atrocities under the guise of religion and are able to escape responsibility because of power, greed and apathy.
Please know – that you are not alone and that we are everywhere – your Muslim sisters and brothers – who believe that God loves us all, is kind and merciful and share with you a common understanding of the words justice and righteousness.
We may not all be there today, but we stand in solidarity with you, in our hearts and in our minds.
We stand as well by Sakineh Ashtiani and all the women and girls in countries where our enlightened faith has been twisted by so called schools and scholars to oppress our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our aunts, our grandmothers, our nieces, our wives, our partners and our friends.
There was once a man who walked on this earth – many centuries ago. He had been orphaned when he was young and was not well educated – so he understood what uncertainty meant. He worked as a driver, transporting goods from place to place, befriending many people of many backgrounds – so he understood what we all had in common. He worked for his wife, a woman much older than him, whom he loved dearly and never harmed – so he understood that women and men were equals.
His name was Muhammad.
During his era, at the start of his prophecy, the people of his town, worshipped greed, treated women, minorities, the ill and the poor with disdain and cared only for those of their own tribe.
But Muhammad, for a time, changed things. And during his life, women were free. Women were his advisers. Women ran businesses, owned property and taught religion. And women prayed and led the community together with men.
Women were not stoned for adultery during the life of Muhammad. Nowhere is stoning mentioned in the Quran.
Fourteen hundred years have passed.
And we, Muslims, 1.6 billion of us – all over the world, must ask – what would Muhammad say if he saw what was happening today – to the message of the Quran he worked so hard to send – that rulers must judge with justice and in consultation with the people; that people must be kind and forgiving?
What would he say if he saw what was happening to the people he worked so hard to free from oppression?
Women and girls being mutilated, stoned, hanged, flogged, jailed – for what? For leaving their homes without a guardian, for failing to observe a modesty code, for being raped, for speaking out against unjust leaders, for crimes they did not commit, for crimes that should not be crimes?
Anyone who says what is happening today to women and girls in some Muslim countries is simply Islam – is either a liar or does not know.
It did not happen during his time. It should not be happening in ours.
Let us hope we can all make a difference. We thank you for taking a stand on December 11th.