Muslims for Progressive Values Condemns Sentencing of Shezanne Cassim

LOS ANGELES - Jan. 4, 2014 - PRLog -- Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) calls on international leaders and Muslim organizations in particular, to stand up for human rights and for freedom of expression and demand the charges, conviction, and sentence of Shezanne Cassim be quashed and for him to be released to return to the United States unharmed.

We support freedom of expression and freedom of dissent, whether political, artistic, social or religious, even when that expression may be offensive and that dissent may be considered blasphemous. We believe no one should be legally prosecuted, imprisoned or detained for declaring or promoting unpopular opinions. (

We further condemn the government of the United Arab Emirates for failure to abide by its agreements including Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which provides that, “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

As a Muslim organization composed of international affiliates we declare that the failure on the part of the government of the UAE to abide by its agreements and the persecution of Shezanne Cassim and others for artistic expression of any type is both contrary to the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who permitted debate, discussion and dissent (ikhtilaf and ijtihad) and is against the teachings of the Holy Quran, including 42:41-43, which provides that, “And those who stand up for their rights and defend themselves when they have been wronged there is no blame. The blame is on those who oppress people and cause disorder on earth, resorting to aggression, unprovoked. They are the ones on whom there is an awful doom. Certainly whoever is patient and forgives, that is from strength of character.


Muslims for Progressive Values – USA – France – Chile –Australia - Canada.

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Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is a 501 (c) (3) founded in 2007.  MPV asserts that Islam is inherently progressive, inclusive and egalitarian which is an understanding that informs the ten principles by which the organization is guided. In the short years since its inception, MPV has expanded to include chapter and affiliates in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta and Philadelphia as well as in Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. More information can be found at

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