Declaration of newly formed Muslim Reform Movement

There is a buzz on social media today about a new Muslim Reform Movement, and any of you are wondering what this is all about. Here is some background:

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser at the press conference for the Muslim Reform Movement

Dr Zuhdi Jasser, ex US naval officer,  at the press conference
The Paris terrorism attacks seemed to be the last straw for many Muslims like us who abhor violence in the name of our faith. So we Raheel RazaRaheel Razadecided to do something about radical Islamist extremism growing by the day and threatening the future of our next generations.

A group of reform-minded Muslims gathered in Washington, D.C. for a brainstorming session. While we were there, the San Bernardino terror attacks took place, and we quickly realized that we have reached the tipping point. This made our work even more urgent.

This initiative was started by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, an ex-naval officer of the US Navy and now a physician. He invited thinkers, academics, activists and two imams from Copenhagen, London, Ottawa, Toronto, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Portland to gather for a 24-hour summit.

We discussed and  We discussed and debated what we could do to go beyond words and start taking some action. After intense talks for two days, in which we debated terminology, ideas and theology, we came up with a declaration and a course of action.

On Dec. 4, we jointly presented the declaration at a press conference hosted at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.:

Following the press conference, some of us went to a place founded by the most diabolical country in the world which funds terrorism and is the root of our problems: the Saudi-funded mosque in Washington DC. Here, we posted the first declaration on the door – despite threats and intimidation from the administration.

A few brave men from our group led the way for us as we reclaimed our first space – three women prayed in the main section of the mosque. This is ground breaking not just for all mosques but particularly for this one. We were nearly arrested, but we persevered and left the stamp of the Muslim Reform Movement on their grounds.

The declaration is noted below with names of the signatories. This is a work in progress and our aim is to invite all our friends and neighbors – people of faith and those of no faith – to join our movement, because we can’t do this alone.

The time has come that when people ask, “Where are the Muslim voices?” everyone should be able to say “here they are!”

 

MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT

Declaration

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 UN 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: 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.

A. Peace: National Security, Counterterrorism and Foreign Policy

1. 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 both in Muslim-majority societies and the West from the scourge of oppression and terrorism.

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

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

B. Human Rights: Women’s Rights and Minority Rights

1. 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.

2. 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.”

3. 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.

C. Secular Governance: Freedom of Speech and Religion

1. 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.
2. We believe in life, joy, free speech and the beauty all around us. Every individual has the right to publically express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights. We reject blasphemy laws, which are a mask to restrict freedom of speech and religion. We affirm every individual’s right to critical thinking, and seek a revival of ijtihad[independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah].
3. We believe in the freedom of religion, and the right of all people to express and practice their faith, or non-faith, without threat of intimidation, persecution, or discrimination or violence. Apostasy is not a crime. Our ummah–our community–is all of humanity, and not just Muslims.

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

December 3, 2015

#MuslimReform

Facebook: Muslim Reform Movement
Twitter: @TheMuslimReform
Instagram: @TheMuslimReform
Gmail: MuslimReformMovement@gmail.com
Please find us on Change.org

Tahir Gora, goratahir@yahoo.ca (Canada, Toronto, author, journalist, activist)

Tawfik Hamid, tawfikhamid@gmail.com (US, Islamic thinker and reformer)

Usama Hasan, usama.hasan@Quilliamfoundation.org (UK, Imam, Quilliam Foundation)

Arif Humayun, arifhumayun@comcast.net (US, American Islamic Forum for Democracy Senior Fellow)

Farahnaz Ispahani, ispahani.haqqani@gmail.com (Author and Former Member of Parliament, Pakistan)

M. Zuhdi Jasser, Zuhdi@ZLiberty.com (US, President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy)

Mohamad Jebara, imam@cordovacenter.org (Canada, Ottawa Imam, Cordova Center)

Naser Khader, naser@khader.dk (Denmark, Member, Danish Parliament, Muslim democracy activist)

Courtney Lonergan, courtney@aifdemocracy.org (US, American Islamic Foundation for Democracy, Community Outreach Director, Professional facilitator)

Hasan Mahmud, hasan@hasanmahmud.com (Canada, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, expertise in Shariah)

Asra Nomani, asra@asranomani.com (US, Journalist, Author)

Raheel Raza, raheel@raheelraza.com (Canada, Founder, Muslims Facing Tomorrow)

Sohail Raza, Razzazz55@gmail.com (Canada, Director in Forum for Learning, Vice President of CPCMO-Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations)

Salma Siddiqui, salma@magma.ca (Canada, President, Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations)

Categories: Canada, The Muslim Times, US

3 replies

  1. LET US SUPPORT THE MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT

    Please obey Human Right and the second commandment of God.
    Love your neighbor as you love your self regardless his belief, race,gender and religion.Love all people as God love us unconditionally.

    I strongly disagree if Muslim Scholars say that Extremist Muslim like Isis, Al Qaida and Taliban are not Islam.

    Actually they are devoting the ancient Islamic teaching or Shariah such as; the system of Caliphat QS 2;30, Slavery, women can be traded QS,23;4-6, Women have to cover whole her body with cloth. QS.33:59.,A wife do not have a right to reject if her husband want to have sex QS.4:34, be heading, be crucified, or their hands and legs be cut off from different sides,QS 5:33,who commits theft, cut off the hands of both QS 5;38,The fornicating woman and the fornicating man, flog each one of them with one hundred stripes.QS 24;2-3.
    All execution have to be conducted at from of public.

    Old interpretation of Al Quran encourage Muslim to commit the violence under the name of Islam. Muslim really need a reformation now.

    The book of hadith encourage young Muslim to hate toward infidel, to kill apostate, blasphemy, gay and lesbian etc.

    ALLAHU AKBAR FOR KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.
    If anyone sincerely supplicates to Allaah for martyrdom, Allaah will elevate him to the rank of martyrs even if he died on his bed.[Sahih Muslim (4695) ].

    CALIPHATE
    Rasulullah SAW in the unity of this issue said: “He came to you – being business ( life ) you are under the leadership of one person ( Imam / Caliph ) – and he wanted to divide the unity of you and your congregation scatters , then kill he ! ” [ HR . Muslim ] .
    Rasulullah SAW said : ” If two people inducted Caliph , then kill the last of the leader, HR Muslim .

    Those Hadith above are against the teaching of God or Al Quran and Bible.So Muslim scholars have to denounce the false, violent Hadith from the book of Hadith.

    Muslim really need a reformation, otherwise the world can not stop the act of terror. The root of violence come from the book of Hadith.

    Denounce the false or violent Hadith from the book of Hadith, if we want to see Islam is peaceful religion. Otherwise there is no peace.

    May Allah guide and give strength to all Muslim scholars around the world to reformed the book of Hadith as second resource of Islamic teaching. Amen
    Wassalamu’alaikum wrwb
    With my love

    • Whats wrong with the Ahmadiyya reform movement in Islam? we don’t need another movement when there is already a movement 126+ years old, worldwide, organized, and spreading the true teachings and interpretation of Quran and Hadith without shedding a single drop of blood, growing against all odds, and have a Khalifa.

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