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SHATTERING STEREOTYPES WITH THE CALL TO PRAYER AT
GAY MEN’S CHORUS, WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

For the first time the Gay Men's Chorus included the "azan," Islam's call to prayer, recited by MPV's Ani Zonneveld.

For the first time the Gay Men's Chorus included the "azan," Islam's call to prayer, recited by MPV's Ani Zonneveld.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Los Angeles, July 10, 2017]—Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is proud to have been a community partner at the Gay Men’s Chorus, which took place July 8 at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall. Members of the MPV community participated in the chorus and its president Ani Zonneveld, a certified Grammy-Award songwriter, performed the Islamic call to prayer, or “azan” as an opening to Act II of the concert. Joining GMCLA were numerous other faith communities in this annual celebration.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) is one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ arts organizations in the country since 1979. More than 25 communities of faith participated during what was a powerful, first-of-its-kind choral concert, with nearly 500 members, including Mormons, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Catholics, as well as the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (the first of its kind trans chorus) and Vox Femina—an all women's chorus.

MPV's Ani Zonneveld with GMCLA’s music director, Dr. Joe Nadeau

MPV's Ani Zonneveld with GMCLA’s music director, Dr. Joe Nadeau

“It was in December of 2016 when GMCLA’s music director, Dr. Joe Nadeau, asked MPV to join as a community partner and it wasn’t until 10 days ago that he asked me to do the azan. I got teary-eyed. The love and support we received back from GMCLA was/is healing. And all of us singing together was transformative,” says Ani Zonneveld

Since 2007, MPV has been out in front of American Muslim organizations in the call for LGBTQ rights and equality. 10 years later, many American Muslims are endorsing gender equality and LGBTQ rights in Islam.. “We all must strive to help the oppressed as that is a central tenet of Islam,” Ani Zonneveld says. Quoting Quran 4:75, she notes: “‘And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?’”

MPV is a faith-based, grassroots, international human rights NGO that embodies and advocates for the traditional Qur’anic values of social justice and equality for all for the 21st century. As a progressive Muslim voice, MPV participates in civil discourse, engages with the media and government entities, and partners with both Muslim and non-Muslim progressive organizations.

Contact Jordan Elgrably, Communications Manager, jordan@mpvusa.org.