This week as part of our 7 Questions Before C21 (that’s Christianity 21 for those of you who are just tuning in), we’re talking with Ani Zonneveld, singer, speaker, activist and co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values.
Zonneveld is one of the 21 provocative thought-leaders coming to Denver January 9-11, 2014 to share their “big ideas” on the future of faith. (See the special C21 conference $50 discount for Patheos readers here.)
I first met Ani at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina last summer, where she spoke about progressive Islam (and sang) to a standing-room only crowd. A subsequent inter-faith conversation she participated in with Brian McLaren on progressive faith was also to a capacity crowd.
What do you do in the world?
In a nutshell, I am a cultural innovator. I write spiritual Islamic songs in English in a new genre “Islamic Hymns” and I advocate for an egalitarian and just expression of Islam. My work is framed under the Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) umbrella, a grassroots organization I founded which has now gone international.
What are you most excited about in your work right now?
I am excited by the interest and support MPV gets from many Muslims of the world seeking for an Islam that is inclusive and loving, one that is for freedom of expression as well as from religion.
What is one word you’d choose to describe the future of Christianity?
Who are you looking forward to meeting at C21?
This is going to be a creative out-of-the box thinking bunch so I am looking forward to hearing everyone’s voices, whether presenting or in the audience.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?
This is not a recent movie but I love this movie: “Seven Pounds” with Will Smith.
What are you reading right now?
The Rose Hotel by Rahimeh Andalibian
What’s one of your most meaningful spiritual practices?
I find the vocal expression to be spiritual whether it be singing or reciting the Quran in Arabic.
More 7 Questions Before C21 Interviews: