Each member of Southern California-based Muslims for Progressive Values has a story of faith almost lost and then found again.

For Ani Zonneveld, 51, a Los Angeles singer-songwriter who founded the left-leaning religious organization eight years ago, the story began when Muslim music store owners refused to stock a CD of Islamic pop music she had recorded – just because she is a woman.

For Erica Bashaw, 25, a Chapman University law student who grew up in Mission Viejo and converted to Islam after college, the moment of clarity came when she visited her boyfriend's hometown mosque and was told she could not pray with the men.

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