The Muslim Reform Movement: Even More Necessary A Year In

By M. Zuhdi Jasser
On December 4, 2015, Muslim leaders from the United States, Canada and Europe convened in Washington, DC to embark on an urgently needed mission: to demand, as a collective, bold and deep reforms within the Muslim community.
We stood before the press and the global community declaring that we stand for universal human rights; including gender equality, freedom of conscience, LGBTQ rights and more; that we stand for secular governance and the rejection of governance by “Sharia” or any other set of religious rules, and more. We stood together as Muslims who reject any form of an ‘Islamic state’ or ‘caliphate’. We happened to have convened during the very week two Islamist terrorists, a couple, Syed Farouk and his wife Tashfeen Malik shot and killed our fellow Americans in San Bernardino, California, in a passion for “martyrdom” fuelling their murderous rampage.
That day’s convening garnered significant media attention. Our members include men and women, Muslims at varying levels of practice, liberals and conservatives. Some have been activists for decades; others were just starting out, compelled to make a difference after yet another year of violent attacks by Islamists the world over made it clear that change simply will not happen without more Muslims putting ourselves on the front lines for reform.
Our December 4, 2015 press conference releasing the Declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement to the world can be seen in the image above.
Since that day, the enemy – Islamism both violent and non-violent – has continued to advance across the globe. Islamist terror in Florida and Ohio, attacks in France, Iraq, Pakistan, India and beyond continue to take innocent lives and create an understandable culture of fear. Meanwhile, many Muslims still find themselves marginalized within their own community spaces: women, Black Muslims, sexual minorities and scores of other vulnerable communities continue to feel ostracized and even persecuted for who they are and what they believe.