A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Despite controversy and threats, Muslim singer/songwriter turned spiritual leader Ani Zonneveld takes a stand for justice through activism and a progressive practice of Islam. As one of the world’s only female imams (Muslim religious leader) and founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Values, Zonneveld advocates for universal human rights and interfaith initiatives within Islam. She endures death threats, excommunication from close family members, and vocal opposition from many fellow Muslims. Still, she insists that the Qur’an is a progressive text and believes in an egalitarian view of Islam, working tirelessly at her faith-based activism and music to counter both Islamic extremism and Islamophobia.
Whether leading a coed, inclusive prayer for a small community of like-minded Muslims, singing Islamic prayers in a Jewish temple, encouraging her daughter to think independently, officiating an interfaith marriage, or going head-to-head with opposing views in the media, Zonneveld is committed to reform within Islam. A timely and lyrical portrait, this film gives voice to a Muslim perspective not often heard by the mainstream. With unprecedented access to Zonneveld’s daily life, al imam presents a personal view of her work and beliefs, examining what it means to stand up for what you believe in the face of great resistance.