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Celebration of Life - DC

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We know theocracy doesn't work. Look at Saudi Arabia and Iran as an example. So why then is America creeping toward it despite our constitutional separation of religion and state? Join Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) in DC at our first Celebration of Life Awards Gala where we will honor activists, journalists, and other defenders of human rights.

This will be a transformative event highlighting the achievements of human rights defenders in the U.S. and around the world. There will be music, poetry, and appearances by prominent human rights advocates focused on drawing attention to the pervasive threats to human rights, which can only be thwarted through education and the freedom to think critically. We promise you will leave this event with a heart full of love and hope. We are excited to have Nayyara Haq serve as MC for the evening. Nayyara is an American culture and policy commentator. She served as a Senior Director in the White House under President Obama, implementing the President's agenda on national security and economic policy.



HONOREE

Madam Bochra Bel Haj Hmida, from Tunisia with the Fatima al-Fihri Visionary Award

Bochra is being honored for her tremendous human rights work, specifically her work on the Commission on Individual Freedoms and Equality (COLIBE).  She was appointed as chairwoman of COLIBE by the President of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi, and played a major role in pushing the Tunisian government towards reforms in legislation which included equal inheritance between women and men, decriminalization of homosexuality and abolishment of capital punishment. Given Bochra’s long history of defending human rights, we are proud to honor her with the Fatima al-Fihri Award.

*Fatima al-Fihri was an Arab woman who is credited with founding the oldest existing, continually operating and first degree-awarding educational institution in the world, The University of Al Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco in 859 CE. Al-Fihri was born around 800 AD in the town of Kairouan, in present-day Tunisia.

Saudi Women Activists: At least 10 feminist activists have been jailed in Saudi Arabia for their women’s rights advocacy including the right to drive. We will be honoring all of these women as they currently sit in jail, one even awaiting the death penalty, while the Saudi government is praised for recently allowing women to drive.

Mahmoud Mohammed Taha: Sudanese engineer, author, and reformer, Taha advocated for an egalitarian practice of Islam  including women’s rights, freedom of and from religion, and secular governmentHe founded the Republican Brotherhood, a small but influential political party which openly opposed Sharia law. He was executed by the Sudanese government in 1985 under charges of apostasy.

Anja Niedringhaus: a German photojournalist who worked for the Associated Press (AP). She has won many awards for her work which included covering Afghanistan for several years before she was killed on Friday, April 4 2014, while covering the presidential election.


Numerous journalists who have sacrificed their lives fighting for a free and fair society.


Special Guests:

Rushan AbbasMs. Abbas started her activism work while she was a student, participating in the pro-democracy demonstrations at Xinjiang University in 1985 and 1988. Since her arrival in the United States in 1989, Ms. Abbas has been an ardent campaigner for the human rights of the Uyghur people and has worked closely with members of Congress since the 1990s. In 2017, Rushan Abbas founded Campaign for Uyghurs to advocate and promote human rights and democratic freedoms for Uyghurs, and mobilize the international community to act to stop the human rights atrocities in East Turkistan. Under her organization, Ms. Abbas introduced and led the “One Voice One Step” movement and successfully organized a demonstration on March 15th, 2018, in 14 countries and 18 cities on the same day to protest China’s detention of millions of Uyghurs in concentration camps.

Ani Zonneveld: President and founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, founding member of Alliance of Inclusive Muslims.


Nayyera HaqEvent MC is Ms. Nayyera Haq, the dynamic American culture and policy commentator who spent years in the trenches of the nation’s most competitive campaigns and in the halls of government working to resolve global challenges.  A seasoned communications strategist who has advised global leaders, Nayyera is the rare politico with a nuanced understanding of both domestic and international current affairs.

For more information please email us at events@mpvusa.org

Attire: Business/Cocktail

To request a media pass, please email events@mpvusa.org and include your credentials.



Sponsors: Human Rights Campaign & Sakina Halal Grill


PROGRAM

6:30pm: Doors Open

7:00pm - 8:30pm: Dinner and Program

8:30pm - 9:00pm: Coffee/Dessert Reception

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