Muslims for Progressive Values Appoint Five New Board Members

LOS ANGELES - Feb. 27, 2017 - PRLog -- Muslims for Progressive Values, a faith-based, grassroots, international human rights organization that embodies and advocates for the traditional Qur'anic values of social justice and equality for all, is bolstering itself with a new Board, which reflects the true scope of our work - fulfilling the many demands, expected, requested and needed, from our grassroots to policy makers and to the U.N. MPV is very fortunate and honored to welcome Michael Alexander, Ali Parsa, Nahil Sharkasi, and Misbah Tahir to this board. And, joining the MPV Advisory Board is Ambassador of Roderick van Schreven, (retired). Please visit our website for the full biography of these esteemed members.

Michael Alexander brings 30 years of distinguished professional experience with the arts. His passion is finding ways for the arts to play leading roles in breaking down the barriers that divide communities and raising issues of concern to the community at large.  "I am very proud to be an MPV board member knowing that my skill set has less to do with religion and more to do with my decades of diverse arts presenting and cross-community communications," Mr. Alexander said. "MPV's desire to make a major impact on the communities it serves and help clarify Islam to believers and non-believers is important to me, as my work has been to break down the walls that divide people worldwide." His experience and passion will be valued additions to MPV's work, especially given its emphasis on freedom of expression and the arts.

Misbah Tahir comes from a business background as a biotechnology finance executive, who has spent most of his career advancing important new therapies for patients. A first-generation American Muslim, Mr Tahir began his career as a management consultant, where he developed growth strategies for clients in the U.S., China, Indonesia, and South Korea. His business acumen and experience will undoubtedly enrich MPV with tremendous international vision. Indeed, he is "excited to join such an outstanding organization and look forward to working with Ani and the rest of the MPV board and leadership team."

Similar to Mr Tahir, Nahil Sharkasi comes from a business background. As a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, Nahil has developed devices like Kinect and Hololens that seek to bridge the gap between humans and the digital world. A mentor and facilitator at Young Women Empowered, Ms. Sharkasi always felt "that the Islamic values [she] grew up with and the liberal, feminists values I practice every day are deeply aligned." "These values are equality, tolerance and compassion," she added,  "and MPV was the first place I ever felt like I could be a Muslim and be myself." She feels "called to contribute to MPV's mission in a more active way" because she believes Muslims have a responsibility to "show up" in their everyday lives and "practice the values that make positive contributions to our communities and the world."

Ali Parsa is similarly passionate about working with MPV to represent Islam as a source of love and compassion. A professor of history, Dr. Parsa seeks ways for people to appreciate different points of view that go beyond political correctness.  "With the backdrop of radicalism," he said, "I am honored to have a small part in MPV and their continuous promotion of Islam which is based on love, knowledge, tolerance, and human rights."

One of the most hardened supporters of MPV at the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Roderick van Schreven, retired, carries immense experience as a career diplomat, having served as Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Before that, among many other distinguished positions, His Excellency served as the Netherlands Ambassador in Damascus (Syria) between 2002 and 2006. Ambassador van Schreven's business and diplomatic expertise makes him an invaluable addition to the Advisory Board.

The insights and experiences of all these new members will be invaluable to MPV's work as a global Muslim human rights organizations. Ani Zonneveld, president and founder of MPV, explained that "MPV's role has grown exponentially since our inception in 2007 from a local grassroots entity to a global Muslim human rights organization with chapters and affiliates in U.S., Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Burundi and Tunisia. MPV's work in the U.S. is unique in that we defend basic rights of all peoples regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation." At the United Nations, MPV challenges human rights abuses in the name of Sharia law by Muslim-majority countries, while countering the extremist theological narratives that dominate at the grassroots."Our advocacy on women's reproductive rights, non-discrimination of LGBTQI peoples, Fair Sentencing of Youth, freedom of conscience to name a few, is from an Islamic social justice context making us the go-to Muslim organization that is truly progressive", Ani added.

For more information about MPV and its International Board, please visit:

Kelly Wentworth
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