Jaweed Kaleem starts his post on Huffington Post with a Utopia like scene:
At first, the devout Muslims who gathered in a Washington, D.C., conference center seemed like they could have come from any mosque. There were women in headscarves and bearded men who quoted the Quran. But something was different. While mingling over hors d'oeuvres, they discussed how to change Islam's future. A woman spoke about fighting terrorism; she had married outside the Islamic faith, which is forbidden for a Muslim woman. A Pakistani man mentioned his plans to meet friends for drinks, despite the faith's ban on alcohol. In a corner of the room, an imam in a long gray tunic counseled a young Muslim with a vexing spiritual conflict: being gay and Muslim. The imam, also gay and in a relationship, could easily sympathize with the youth's difficulties.
Well, it is real and the result of the work done by the relatively new American organization “Muslims for Progressive Values”. I checked their website for more information and mission statement:
“Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is an inclusive community rooted in the traditional Qur’anic ideals of human dignity and social justice. We welcome all who are interested in discussing, promoting and working for the implementation of progressive values — human rights, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state — as well as inclusive and tolerant understandings of Islam.”
Ani Zonneveld, President of MPV and a Muslim born in Malaysia, has this quotation in Kaleem’s post:
"The vast majority of American Muslims believe in an Islam that is so different from the people that represent us. It's like if you had an Orthodox Jewish rabbi representing all American Jews."
I understand what Zonneveld is trying to say, but the problem with the Muslim world is that most Muslims are conservative and believe in an Islam that is yet to undergo the same reform process other religions went through. Ignoring this fact will not help progressive Muslims reform their religion.