Muslims For Muslims

Mission Statement

Full Mission Summary
Muslims for Muslims International (M4M)

Muslims for Muslims International (M4M) seeks to advance the mission and key strategies the 2004 Amman Message envisages by: reconvening the Amman Conference, operationalizing the Amman Message, and responsibly advocating on behalf of the Muslim community. Key to this effort is M4M’s encouraging the ancient Islamic tradition of open public discourse free of consequence, backlash, and fear.

M4M's methodology is unique: it currently does not exist anywhere across the world. Our methodology and plan of action is based on three goals that will be carried out within the context and structure of the Amman Message:

M4M


1. Reconvening the Amman Conference annually and establishing forums and holding quarterly meetings across the Muslim world and elsewhere. During these forums and meetings, participants will develop strategic plans on how to implement the key strategies of the Amman Message worldwide. Key strategies include:

  • Supporting all peaceful Muslim communities and their specific religious beliefs and/or practices if they do not violate the maxims of Islam and align with the consensus contained in the Amman Message.
  • Forbidding declarations of Apostasy directed toward Muslims who change their faith so that they can do so without fear of consequences.
  • Properly issuing fatwas which reflect responsible Imamship and stand in contrast to the illegitimate edicts of radical fundamentalists issued in the name of Islam.
  • Taking responsibility for the course of Islam by dynamically integrating the Amman Message into each community and coordinating efforts to establish programming and civil society initiatives contextualized to each community.
  • Engaging the leadership and community members of other religions to facilitate dialogue, debate, and activities on issues that divide and unite diverse religious groups worldwide.
2. Encouraging an exchange of ideas by establishing a pluralistic community of Muslim students, scholars, academics, and religious practitioners across different sects of Islam to explore and celebrate religious similarities and differences within Islam and engage in civil and public discourse to debate the nature of Islam. Innovative technologies will be utilized to conduct trainings, encourage engagement, and disseminate information.

3. Awarding fellowships to members of this pluralistic community, including students, academics, scholars, and religious practitioners. M4M will encourage the study of progressive policies within Islam and fund projects that challenge radical ideologies that violate the maxims in Islam.

Background
The Amman Message is a universal and unanimous religious and political consensus of the Ummah (community) of Islam, and a consolidation of traditional, orthodox Islam. It represented the first time in over 1,000 years that the Ummah formally and specifically came to such a pluralistic mutual inter-recognition, and such recognition is religiously legally binding on religiously observant Muslims. These leaders and scholars unanimously issued a ruling on the Three Points of the Amman Message. The Three Points were then unanimously adopted by the Islamic World’s political and temporal leaderships at the Organization of the Islamic Conference Summit at Mecca in December 2005 and by six other international Islamic scholarly assemblies. 200 religious leaders from 50 countries, representing each stream of Islam, came together to acknowledge every school of jurisprudence and to denounce the rejection of any believer as an apostate based on their observation of faith. The Amman Message also contained a Declaration on Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue aimed at promoting harmony across all faiths.

The Amman Message expressed a new era of cooperation and tolerance within the Muslim world. It set the stage for a dramatic shift, indicating that transformation in the Middle East was moving toward a more deepening, pervasive pluralism and populism. When the demonstrations and protests collectively known as the Arab Spring erupted across the region, international focus shifted away from the Amman Message. The demonstrations and protests have given way to regressive social orders, even in countries that previously endorsed the Amman Message. The aftermath of the Arab Spring has left many power vacuums across the Middle East that have been strategically exploited by terrorist groups and autocrats. There is a widespread stagnation of governance across the Middle East, with many governments failing, or reverting to authoritarian models. This is making it increasingly difficult to secure fundamental rights and freedoms for all people in the region.

The resultant situation has allowed terrorist groups to gain territory and encroach upon public spaces to enforce violent policies based on specious religious interpretations, victimizing entire communities and threatening stability within the greater geographic region. Their violent ideologies have twisted the religion of Islam into a vehicle for furthering an agenda fueled by bloodshed, primarily against other Muslims whom they opportunistically deem apostates or nonbelievers. Regional instability has the added impact of negatively impacting economies, reducing tourism, and encouraging the flight of legitimate businesses, further reducing the quality of life for regular citizens, and effectively generating a ripe field of disenfranchised, marginalized individuals for terrorist recruitment.

M4M is led by John Thomas Pinna, who has a proven track record in civil society engagement, training and curriculum development, and execution in Muslim countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Bahrain, and Afghanistan. John Thomas Pinna is RNF’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development. Over his 20-year career, Pinna has personally secured and managed $600 million dollars and $12.7 billion dollars as a leader of a team across 43 projects, with engagement in 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa and Asia.

After leaving an international career in industry in 2009 to focus on positioning the Muslim community positively with other faiths, Pinna joined the American Islamic Congress (AIC) as their Director of Government and International Relations. After AIC, he continued for three years to develop multi-faith events while executing international programming as the executive director at the Development Organization for Societies in Transition (DOST), culminating in events with Muslim leaders and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

In 2016, Pinna was named the Vice President of Development for the USAID-funded American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) where he managed the non-academic departments and established several functional departments. Pinna also managed two USG funded projects: the Business Innovation Hub and the International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development, and USG and non-USG funded projects. Pinna also drafted parts of the U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) and supported the logistics of the first DOS Ministerial. He advises the National Security Council Directorates on Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and international religious freedom (IRF), as well as DOS bureaus on Afghanistan, Libya, Tunisia, and Ukraine, and on countering radical ideology.

Goals
M4M is dedicated to helping combat radical ideology in Islam and advance Islam’s dynamic values by uniting intra-faith Muslims across the globe. M4M seeks to accomplish this mission by reconvening the Amman Conference, operationalizing the Amman Message and responsibly advocating on behalf of the Muslim community. Key to this effort is M4M’s encouraging the ancient Islamic tradition of open public discourse free of consequence, backlash, and fear. M4M’s methodology and plan of action is based on three goals:

  • Goal 1: Reaffirming the progressive nature of the policies addressed in the Amman Message by establishing forums and holding quarterly meetings across the Muslim world and in other locations. Key strategies include: Supporting all peaceful Muslim communities and their specific religious beliefs and/or practices if they do not violate the maxims of Islam and align with the consensus contained in the Amman Message; and Engaging the leadership and community members of other religions to facilitate dialogue, debate, and activities on issues that divide and unite diverse religious groups worldwide.
  • Goal 2: Encouraging an exchange of ideas by establishing regular inter and intrafaith dialogue among the communities of Muslim students, scholars, academics, and religious practitioners across different sects of Islam to explore and celebrate religious similarities and differences within Islam and engage in civil and public discourse to debate the nature of Islam.
  • Goal 3: Awarding members of this pluralistic community, including students, academics, scholars, and religious practitioners, with scholarships and fellowships. M4M will encourage the study of progressive policies within Islam and fund projects that challenge radical ideologies that violate the maxims in Islam.