Ani Zonneveld is founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), a grass-roots faith-based human rights organization. Since its inception in 2007, Ani has presided over MPV’s expansion to include chapters and affiliates in 12 countries and 19 cities, and to securing consultative status at the United Nations. At the grass-roots level she is an educator and a community organizer while at the international level she is a strategist and an unapologetic human rights defender. She is a strong supporter of women and LGBTQ rights, for freedom of expression and for freedom of and from belief. Ani is the brainchild of Literary Zikr – a project that counters radical Islam on-line. In 2011 she co-edited an anthology “Progressive Muslim Identities – Personal Stories from the U.S. and Canada”; she has contributed to many forewords and numerous anthologies too many to list; is a contributor for HuffingtonPost, OpenDemocracy and al-Jazeera, and is the executive producer of the lecture series “LGBTQ Rights in Islam”.  Ani performs Islamic wedding services for mixed faith and gay couples and as a singer/songwriter, utilizes the power of music and the arts in countering radicalism.

 Islam: As American As Apple Pie

 For some Muslims the idea of Islam as being as American as apple pie is blasphemous, and for the anti-Islam/Muslim camp, who want to see Muslims deported, they too will vehemently take issue with such an idea. I will go through a laundry list, intertwining American and Islamic values, illustrating how Muslims for Progressive Values advocate and live out both those values, in stark contrast to traditional practices, starting with a song.