Thursday, October 8, 2015

Muslim Response to anti-Muslim Protests


Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916 text/talk

Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 7, 2015 --  A phone conference was held in by American Muslim and Interfaith leaders from across the country to discuss handling the anti-Muslim protests in front 
20 mosques, community centers and government offices on October 9th and 10th.
Recommended suggestions:

·         Masjid (Mosque) to operate normally, no need to stay home.

·         Masjid to fly one or more American Flags.

·         Masjid to serve water for the visitors in front of the building through vendors, and, if funds are available, serve kosher hot dogs.

·         Display placards, which are especially designed and are on the website  as samples

·         Let every demonstrator be treated with utmost respect, and let them see for themselves a real image of Muslims as caring hospitable people, hopefully
that will change their negative perceptions about Muslims. 

·         Let the law enforcement officials handle the safety matters, and obeying them is the right thing to do. You can video tape if something is wrong, but no arguments. 

·         Police should be informed and present if your Mosque is on the city targeted list in an open carry arm state.

·         Refrains from the temptations to argue or shout back that is not the moment and a place for dialogue.

·         Send a press release, a very short to local TV, Radio and other News outlets, better yet, fax them in the morning. (A sample press release is attached) 

No one is our enemy, and no one is out to get us. They have questions, and we need to address them to allay their fears. We have to come together as Americans and solve our problems together.

 # # #

(To be faxed or emailed to your local media outlet by the Masjid – Customize to your own needs)


Muslims of _______ City have chosen to respond to anti-Muslim demonstrations with an open mind and constructively.

We believe in freedom of speech and freedom to protest and have collectively decided to treat the protestors as our honored guests and would welcome them.
We sincerely believe when they meet the average day to day Muslims, they will find a kindred spirit in them, similar to their own aspirations of taking care of the families, living in peace and harmony. 

We have designated Mr. _____________ and Ms. _____________ to be our spokespersons, please feel free to contact them or stop by the mosque.

Mr. ___________________ Phone: __________________ Email: ________________

Ms. ___________________ Phone: __________________ Email: ________________

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Anti-Muslim protests on October 9th and 10th and Muslim Response


Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916 text/talk

On Oct. 9 and 10, a group of loosely connected protesters plan to host anti-Muslim demonstrations in front of at least 
20 mosques, community centers and government offices. While some organizers have urged participants to leave their weapons at home, others are urging protesters to exercise “ALL of your Constitutional Rights.”

While this group has the right to stage lawful demonstrations, all places of worship are legally protected. So, please work with your law enforcement officials to provide officers to protect the Masjid during the demonstrations. 

No one is our enemy, and no one is out to get us. They have questions, and we need to boldly address them to allay their fears. We have to come together as Americans and solve our problems together. 
Inaction, isolation, retraction, silo-ing ourselves or hiding behind presumably safe walls is not an option; it simply prolongs the integration process and intensifies the distrust.

  • Let every Masjid that our friends want to demonstrate around operate normally, no need to stay home.
  • Every Masjid should fly the American Flag.
  • Let every Masjid provide water for the visitors in front of the building through vendors, and, if funds are available, serve kosher hot dogs.
  • Muslim women and youth to hold Placards or Banners to say

  1.  We welcome our friends, fellow Americans to 
  2. Join us in an interfaith prayer led by a Pastor, Rabbi, Imam or a Priest
  3.  We are Americans, this is our home
  4. We abide by our American Laws
  5. We believe in U.S. Constitution
  6.  Safety of All Americans is our prime goal
  7. We are all Americans, let’s join hands
E.  We are designing the placards and will make them available on our website .

 # # # #

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Qawwali Lessons (Washington DC) - the beautiful language of inclusion.

Qawwali in Washington | 

Saturday, October 3, 2015 - Washington, D.C. – The Qawwali* program at Turkish Community Center Auditorium in Lanham, MD was out of the world. Here are some of the notes I have made, and hope it resonates with you.   

First thing first, I am pleased to share the emotional side of the equation. Being a pluralist and a human aspirations observer, whenever and wherever people include each other in their normal conversation it brings happiness to both the includer and the included.

When they sang, “Bhar do Jholi meri ya Muhammad… and came to the line, “O Muhammad ka pyara Nawasa”… every one rejoiced it, but particularly men and women from the Shia tradition, by going to the stage and honoring the Qawwal (singers) in the traditional way by doing money aarti (honor) and placing it on their harmonium, lap or even their head, a beautiful tradition of telling, we like you.

I was in a different world, the world of harmony and inclusion, my eyes soaked and I felt tender with joy. I was happy!  I was happy to see the Shia community feel included.

Of course most of the Qawwali lines have the name Ali included in it as a reverence to Hazrat Ali (RA), but when the lines include the “Nawasa” that is grandson of the Prophet, it has special significance to all, but particularly the Shia tradition.  Video at Facebook -

You know what I wished? I am sure you are wishing the same; i.e., to have our language routinely include each other’s revered figures with utmost respect. Karbala or Kurukshetra, our language should be inclusive, it builds a society of harmony.

We may consider sprinkling some of the inclusive poetry amidst all other poetry recitation or singing. Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite Bhajan “Allah Tero Naam, Eshwar tero Naam” or many a Sahir Ludhianavi or Shakeel Badayuni numbers like “Yoshadha Ki Humjins, a hawwa Ki beti” need more circulation.  I have been asking every visiting poet to recite or write at least one inclusive poem in the evening.  God willing, I will continue to write a poem an event to reflect that inclusiveness.

When President of the United States says Happy Diwali, Eid or Baisakhi, we gloat and share it with everyone we know. If a congressman or a woman says Satsri Akaal, Jai Jinendra, Yali Madad, Namaste or Salaam, we gloat.  The idea is inclusion, to be treated respectfully and to be acknowledged. 

Reverse this to India and Pakistan, and see how deprived the minorities of each nation are. The Prime Ministers of both India and Pakistan do not have the courtesy to greet their minorities on their happy occasion. May God give them guidance to believe at least in their own respective religions, both are inclusive and consider the world as one family.

Minorities (religious, ethnic, social, cultural, linguistic and other uniqueness) make sincere efforts, and at times go out of their way to be a part of the larger society, they want to be included and do everything to achieve it. The smart leaders acknowledge it, and let the public focus on being constructive rather than get stuck in denials.

I hope most of us Desi Americans have learned and enriched ourselves with the rich American Culture where all humanity is respected institutionally. 

We have a choice to be inclusive and let our “Zindagi Shama’ ki soorat ho khudaya meri” and “ her jaga mere chamak ney say ujala hojaye” rather than rot with exclusion.

The consistent rhythmic beat of the Tabla, and the special voices, the inflections in singing is entirely different and gets you become a part of it.

The second item of beauty of this program was the Qawwals themselves, the Qawwals and their humnawa were a great combination, the acoustic of the auditorium ne to chaar chand lagagiye unki gayeki mein.  They were Christians, and my friend sitting next to me was a Hindu enjoying the Qawwalis. He was singing along Bhardo Jholi meri ya Muhammad. This is a (or was it?) a common tradition in India. The Qawwals can be Muslims, Hindus or Sikhs and they can sing devotional songs of any religion. I hope more of this happens now.

In the short few minutes we had between the program and break I had wonderful conversations with Fazal Khan, Razi Raziuddin and Zafar Iqbal.  They have rich stories of uthna, baithna, khana peena with their Hindu friends. I request each one of you to  start writing those stories… let our youth understand the beauty of enjoying life and hope people in India, Pakistan and elsewhere can rework inclusion in their lives.  

I hope and pray, some day we all can see the message of Jesus, Krishna, Muhammad, Guru Nanak as our own message, when we do that each one of our faiths will reach the higher level of spirituality. Amen!

·      Qawwali is a special format of singing, usually in praise of revered figures for their good work.

Pictures: Link

Please note: 

Are you concerned about Muslim bashing in America? Find out what the newly formed American Muslim Institution (AMI) is doing about it on Sunday, October 11, 2015 - details at 

Thank you

Mike Ghouse, Consultant
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on IslamPluralismInterfaithpolitics, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at and his writings are at  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Lessons from Mahatma Gandhi | Gandhi Jayanthi

LESSONS FROM GANDHI | Today is his birthday  

Mahatma Gandhi is one of the 7 humans I look up to and admire whole heartedly, it does not mean there are only seven, but these magnificent seven are always on my mind, if not every other day, definitely once a week- Chronologically they are; Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Pope Francis and Barack Obama. These men and women are true pluralists, no one falls out of the ambit of their love. They are a blessing to mankind.   

More about Gandhi at:

Oregon College shooting rampage; what should we do?


Washington, D.C., October 2, 2015 –  “This is our collective problem, an American problem, and we have to find a solution as a national priority. We have seen these shootings in Columbine, New town, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Denver, and Oak Creek and now in Oregon, what does it take to change the mindset of these individuals who come from different cultural and religious backgrounds?”   Mike Ghouse, President of America Together Foundation expressed his frustration with domestic terrorism.  

The shooter Chris Harper Mercer was allegedly asking the religion of the person before shooting, we severely condemn this attitude and seek further evaluations for sources of such attitudes and hope to find solutions.

President Barack Obama pushed for a change in gun laws when he spoke to reporters about the shooting Thursday.
"Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We've become numb to this," he said.
The President continued: "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It's not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America -- next week, or a couple months from now."

Indeed, this should not become a routine incident, we have to seriously consider the structure of our society.  There is a possibility that the shooter is a loner. As a society, we have to make a sincere effort to include loners in one group or the other and have them have normal relations with others.  We might be able to mitigate some of these heart wrenching incidents.

# # #

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Is Hinduism a religion of violence?

Where are the moderate Hindus? If the moderate Hindus don’t speak up, shamefully Hinduism will be slapped with the label of religion of violence.  In the last year and half, India has witnessed relentless harassment of the Dalits, Muslims and Christians. This week a man is mercilessly beaten to death by a mob with bricks for supposedly eating beef, which he did not per the police.

India had a glorious civilization and the extremist among Hindus cannot mess with it, unless we let them.  Our past was made up of respecting the otherness of others, but today, we are going in the opposite direction.

Was our civilization bad? 

Eating beef has been made a crime in India now. If unchecked, India will regress and the glorious past will be equated with stupidity for forcing and harassing people to obedience as the ISIS brutes do.   Our civilization was a great civilization and we cannot let a few misguided ones ruin India's pluralistic ethos. 

I like to see an India where one has the freedom to eat, drink, breath, wear or believe whatever the hell he or she wants.

I do expect Americans of Indian origin to speak up, hoping that they have learned the value of freedom in America, where we mind our own business and eat whatever we want to. 

Mike Ghouse

Thank you

Mike Ghouse, Consultant
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on IslamPluralismInterfaithpolitics, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at and his writings are at 

Monday, September 28, 2015

I am ready to take on the world
If you find any derogatory statements made by any one about fellow Americans over the weekend, please let me know, I will respond to it.Unless we speak out, those few may not realize that they are wrong. Let's also praise someone who has said good things about America and all Americans, one American group or the other.

Dr. Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
(214) 325-1916

Mike is social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, human rights, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. He offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and more about him is in 63 links at and his writings are at 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Mania – Random Notes

Pope Francis |
Pope Francis has become one of the most influential individuals in my life since March 2013. He is a genuine pluralist, and no one falls outside the ambit of his love and caring.

I was watching CNN this morning addressing the prisoners in Philadelphia and randomly made a few notes.

Jesus restored dignity to the prisoners, indeed when a man like Pope takes the time to be with the socially condemned, and in the past he has washed their feet – a symbolic gesture of humility… what should go thru the minds of those prisoners?

As a society our systems condemns the wrong doer, and rarely do we make an effort to give him or her their dignity for the sake of giving a normal life, instead we are focused on punishing him or her, which we should, but we should also consider redeeming them.  After all we should listen to Jesus and condemn the sin and not the sinner.

Thank God, and I thank my parents, I have zero prejudice, and limit my dislike to the actions of the individuals but never ‘them’ or those who are related to them.  It pains me to see bias and prejudices against fellow beings. Of course, I am guilty of occasional fractions myself.

I've bashed Ben Carson for his wrong statements but not him, and I am guilty of being excessive at times.  However, the other day I met a Christian academic whom I have put on pedestal for his pluralistic approach to religions, but was sorely disappointed when he put down Carson’s faith – he said, I don’t understand why an intelligent man like Carson would join a cult (Carson’s religion, I believe it is the 7th day Adventist) and that, I have not been able to digest it.

Listening to Pope is reassuring to me and encourages me that I'm ok... sometime I feel I have no place in the society when people around me are loaded with subtle to blatant Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Hinduphobia, Misogyny, Homophobia, Xenophobia and other ills of the society. When will be free, I ask myself with no answers.

You will be redeemed must have a profound effect on the prisoners; it gives them the hope to consider living their lives like all other humans.  Quran invokes regularly not to judge other people’s faith, and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says, one has the opportunity to seek forgiveness till his last breath, it’s between him and God. Quran adds that the person whom God loves most is the one who forgives.  I pray, we all understand the wisdom and make a habit to forgive and seek forgiveness.

Pope Francis is a genuine follower of Jesus, Muhammad and all the great prophets and spiritual leaders who wanted to build cohesive societies.

While this was going on, I said to my wife, if you want to understand me, study this man Pope, I am driven by similar guidance. Then I made the comment, the only thing left for me to find out if he is against death penalty, which I am, of course that is whole another discussion.  Like a miracle, within two minutes the anchor on CNN announced that Pope is against death penalty. That bonded me firmly and I told her that I have to go on a pilgrimage to visit the pope and do my share of work in reconciliation between different faiths.
I have written over 25 pieces about the pope, a few are listed here and in the links within.

1. Muslims welcome Pope Francis |

3. More about the Pope:

Thank you,

Mike Ghouse

Mike is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, human rights, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is blessed with a presence on National TV, Radio Media and Press regularly.  More about him in 63 links at and his writings are at

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Are Muslims a part of the American society?

Yes, we are. Indeed, one of the most exemplary American Muslim stories of the post 9/11 era happened in Louisville, Kentucky just this month.

On September 16, 2015, a few miscreants painted hate symbols on the River Road mosque in Louisville. When the local community at large found out about this, nearly 1000 people from main stream and disparate ethnic communities came to the mosque to show their solidarity with Muslims, and they joined in the community cleanup and re-painting the mosque. 

This act of support was not just out of a sense of justice, compassion or help for the underdog, but clearly out of enduring friendship, which is the most reliable relationship, not bound by time or situation.  The America Together Foundation congratulates Dr. Babar Cheema and the Louisville Muslim leadership, which has nurtured a relationship of friendship and trust with the local community over many years.

As time permits, we will write more about this, and we hope it becomes a model for other American Muslim communities, just as different communities have successfully dealt with Rev. Terry Jones in Mulberry, Florida who wanted to burn 2998 copies of Quran, and Rev. Robert Jeffress of Dallas, Texas who called uncivil names about Quran and the Prophet.  Indeed, we need to keep a record of our contributions to the well being of America, there is so much to be proud of our work.

With love and caring for our neighbors, no American can go wrong. The America Together Foundation has assigned me with responsibility to work on building a cohesive America.
There are so many Muslims out there who have contributed and are contributing richly towards building a cohesive America, where no American has to feel alienated or fearful of fellow Americans.

 In the end, this freedom from fear will bring peace and prosperity to our nation. Indeed, that is the essence of Quranic guidance in verse 49:13 which says God has created us into different tribes and nations and says, the best ones among you are those who learn and care about each other.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Please tell us your story, where your acts have changes the minds of others, bringing us all towards a more cohesive America. Send us the details to us, and will help share it with the widest audience. Join us in our mission.

Please visit   for connecting to the links
  1. The Louisville Story
  2. Are Muslims a part of the American Story?
  3. Terry Jones and changing perceptions of Muslims
  4. Robert Jeffress attacking Quran (
  5. Sean Hannity and Fox News– Positive engagement produces positive outcomes.
  6. Amins of the Society
Mike Ghouse,
(214) 325-1916

Mike is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and more about him is in 63 links at and his writings are at  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Have Faith in America, Carson and Trump are losers


Relax and be assured, we have never elected extremist presidential candidates ever, Carson and Trump will fall by the wayside, if Trump makes it in the primaries, he will lose it in general election. The Math does not support these two.

Democracies in general and two party systems in particular have the voters divided into approximately 45/45 each party with about 10% independents or a variation there of. Then there is thing called Reagan Democrats or Obama Republicans, those who choose the sensible candidate regardless of their party affiliation. 

In the general election, the silent but moderate Republicans will not vote for Trump or Carson and most of the Democrats will puke at them. Even the African American votes will not go to Carson for the negative comments he has made about the African Americans. The right wing Republicans who hate Obama, will support Carson just enough to delude themselves that they are not prejudiced.  

Even the Republicans on the right have condemned Carson for his remarks, Senator Lindsey Graham has made the strongest case against Carson's opportunist rhetoric. Even Ted Cruz has not spared Carson. Bernie Sanders gave it to him.

Carson will fall off the radar, when it gets down to serious business. 
Trump will not make it in the general Election.

Each one of them is exceptionally good in their field of specialty,  what they can do as Surgeons or businessmen, they cannot do as politicians, they are not well rounded. 

I was on Fox News today the 23rd of September with Stuart Varney and made these points:

Dr. BEN CARSON  has made 5 mistakes
When I get chance, I will expand on these bullets, and will also post the video interview. 

1. Did not have faith in constitution. "That all humans are created equal."

2. Did not respect Americans. They will not elect anyone who holds extreme views about fellow Americans. Just because some one runs.

3. Does not believe that one is innocent until proven guilty - he assumes all Muslims are guilty.

4. Rev Martin Luther King, Jr would rebuke him for judging people for their character based on faith

5. Opportunist - when he saw trump gaining a few points by his uncouth rhetoric, he jumped in too to get his piece. 

God Save us all, and God bless America!

Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at and writings at