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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day - it will morph into a universal affection day

Valentine's Day, will morph into universal affection day!


Love has no bounds; it is between two people in love, husband and wife, mother and son, father daughter, brother sister, brothers, sisters, friends, uncles, aunties, Grand Pa and Grand Ma and any one you care about. From an exclusive meaningful rendezvous between two lovers, the Valentine's Day will morph into an all inclusive romantic day. It will become a universal affection day within a decade.  


Throughout the history of language, words have taken on new and expanded meanings; Valentine's Day is no exception.
From an exclusive meaningful rendezvous between two lovers, the Valentine's Day will morph into an all inclusive romantic day. It will become a universal affection day within a decade.
Valentines Day is a universal expression of affection between two individuals. Love has no bounds; it is between two people in love, husband and wife, mother and son, father daughter, brother sister, brothers, sisters, friends, uncles, aunties, Grandpa and Grandma and any one you care about.
Please feel free to say happy valentine to your sister, mother, brother, daughter, dad, uncle or a friend. It is a much bigger word now than it started out to be. Take them out for dinner and send them flowers to let them know that you care if you are the only one for them at this point in life.
Sadly, some of you are going to feel lonely, if you miss the love in your life; you have an opportunity to fulfill it. There is plenty in you that you can give by feeding the homeless, visiting lonely patients in the hospitals or nursing homes, disadvantaged women and children, and our veterans... share whatever little you have with them including the time and just listening to them. When a homeless person asks, give whatever you can, that is the most affectionate thing to do, you will enrich yourselves far greater by sharing.
Whenever the word affection comes to mind, I picture my dad and recall the way he called out my Mother's name Khairun, it was romantic and filled with affection and I have always enjoyed the sound of it, it was simply soothing to hear.
Well, I am wishing a Happy Valentine's Day to my loved ones and friends and the same to your loved ones and friends. 

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Mike Ghouse on Capitol forum TV by Frank Islam in Washington


February 12, 2016 – Washington, D.C.,  The Capitol Forum TV show in Washington has released a video of my interview.

YouTube VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swl2_zYCoi8


Frank Islam asks questions about my passion, work and what will I  be doing in Washington D.C. What is interfaith movement, Who are my mentors and what is Pluralism and what is that I want to achieve for the Muslim community?

Frank is a philanthropists in Washington DC and has generously contributed $2 Million to his Alma Mater AMU setting an example of contributing back to the place that made him who he is today.

Your feedback is requested.

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics,terrorismhuman rightsIndiaIsrael-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Interfaith picture of the month - a Monk and a Hijabi

Interfaith Pictures Monk and Hijabi | InterfaithSpeaker.com 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., --
As I was walking from the Jefferson Library of Congress towards my office on Maryland Avenue, I saw a unique activity happening on the road in front of Capitol Hill.

A Muslim Hijabi (scarf over head) girl was taking picture of a Buddhist monk; I thought that was unique, as the Monks usually refrain from taking pictures. I guess America does it to everyone; Supreme Court was behind in the picture.  I grabbed my cell phone, and took a quick shot of it. 

As I walked closer to them, the role was reversed, and now the Monk is taking the picture of the woman in scarf. 




It is common for tourists to stop the person walking by to ask him/her to take the picture.  A monk and a Hijabi girl together?

I walked up to them and told them how unique it was to see those taking pictures of each other. She was from Indonesia and he was from Burma.

Burma?  The image that comes up is the extremist violent Buddhist Monks who are raping and pillaging the local Rohingya Muslims, and the other image is the Protest they held some ten years ago, tens of thousands of them walking in peace to protest against dictatorship. These are two contrasting images and I have written about both the incidents at TheGhousediary.com

This has been my fight all my life – not to stereotype people. In every community, every neighborhood, you will find the good, bad and ugly behaviors. 
Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics,terrorismhuman rightsIndiaIsrael-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Don't Judge me because I am friends with ......

Don’t judge me because I am friends with | TheGhouseDiary.com

You may be anxious to express the same sentiments that I have expressed here, and I hope this note assures you and I for who we are. A majority of us are moderates, meaning individuals who want to get along with others, mind our own business, not judge others until we have the first hand knowledge, respect the otherness of others and wish the very best for others. The moderates believe in the Golden rule, treat others as you want to be treated. Moderates is not a group of people, it is the attitude of individuals, you and I can be a moderate most of the times, all the times and a few times.

You will find me in the company of people who are on the extreme right, left and the center, liberals and conservatives,  progressives and regressives,  religious and atheists, gays and straight, republicans and democrats, communists and capitalists, and enemies and friends.

Mother Teresa is one of my ten mentors, and she had said something to the effect that, "If you want to make peace with those who differ, go talk with them, talking with friends will not change the equation." I strongly believe in it and am driven by it.

Please don’t fall in to the trap of judging me because who I am with, God has blessed me with the wisdom to have strong convictions, but be open to knowledge.  I remain who I am, and you are who you are,  and I will always make an effort to know the other. The more we know about the others, the fewer the conflicts we will have. We have to take the time to understand other’s fears and aspirations to find solutions.

A few people I knew did not want to invite me to speak in their gatherings,  because I was on Sean Hannity show, they did not even hear what I say on the show,  but drew their own conclusions. The other day I posted a picture with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and got some nasty e-mails for being with her. I was surprised even Katrina Lantos of US Human Rights agency is perceived negatively.  Once I defended Pamela Geller's right to speak in London that produced a lot of hate mail. On the other hand, I have vigorously defended CAIR on Hannity and other shows, and the right did not like that either.

A month ago, I was standing with a man who wore a hateful T-shirt against LGBT community, a few people chewed me out for merely standing with him, and of course, I speak out.  A few months ago, I was with a Bicyclist who made from San Francisco to Washington defending the rights of the Unificationist church members who are being persecuted, I was called names for associating with the ministry of Rev. Sung Myung Moon, what do they know about him?   Just a week ago, some one wrote 'ugly' emails for standing up for the rights of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.  One of these day, if I live on, I will chronicle these incidents. Don't laugh, every groups has men and women who are sadly misinformed. There is one from every faith group from Atheist to Zoroastrians and every one in between, and there is from every race and ethnicity as well.  No one can cast the first stone, Jesus was right!

Some of us will always be searching (consciously and subconsciously) and working to free ourselves from malice and prejudice, indeed,  it is liberating and brings genuine peace of mind.

We held symposiums about the Genocides around the world, as many as we can, the Indians were ticked off because we talked about Sikh Genocide and the Gujarat Massacre which happened in India, but the Pakistanis were happy about it.  When we talked about the Bangladesh Genocides, the Indians were happy as it reflected badly on Pakistan, and when we talked about the harassment of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh, a few Muslims were ticked off, and when we talked about the plight of Kashmiri Pundits, there was no appreciation from a few Hindu friends.  Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said, standing up for Justice is one of the most important values and the right thing to do,  if you cannot stop it, the least you can do is speak up, the Prophet was right! 

I have stood up with the Jewish community at three Synagogues, Jewish Post, Jewish Schools and Holocaust Museum when Pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church held his hateful rallies in Dallas, and within a few months I stood up with the people of Gaza in a rally in downtown Dallas. Was I against Jews or in support of Jews?  Neither, I was there for the human rights of individuals regardless of who they were.  (Google search for articles and pictures).  Can I stop people from misunderstanding me?  Check out www.HolocaustandGenocides.com  and www.Standingupforothers.com

Do all Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others act that way? Hell no! Only those who have not understood the value the human rights of others act like that.  They have also not outgrown out of the selfishness they are obsessed with. While we talk about the Genocides of one, they scream out loud, what about me without even taking the time to see if they were included or not. Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh Guru encouraged his men and women to treat the wounded enemies in a war, and if you recall Dr. Sanjay Gupta had treated an Iraqi combatant in the conflict.  

We did a skit in one of the programs where the (actor) son screams 'what about me and my problems?' He continues to whine about being ignored…. Then the father (actor) walks up and slaps him and tells him, I did not teach you to be that selfish to the point of not seeing others difficulties and quit screaming about your own, quit the me-me-and-the-me attitude.  Lord Krishna had said in Bhagvad Gita, finding the truth is your own responsibility, and truth shall set you free. Krishna was right!

I played the son, and it was difficult for me to find anyone to play father or mother and slap the son on the stage. Americans just don't do that, it is our culture. I talked to Rev. Petra Weldes, my sister in spirituality, she said, she would have loved to slap me. Petra, you will get that opportunity, LOL!
   
Our communities and the world would be a better place to live if we value our rights as humans first. Let’s look at each other as fellow beings, which we are, and not look down upon what they eat, drink, wear and believe or how they appear.  

We have crystallized the definition of pluralism to mean, “Respecting the otherness of the others and accepting the uniqueness of each one of us”. Pluralism is nothing but an attitude of live and let live, and it is applicable in every aspect of life including culture, society, religion, politics, gender, food, ethnicity, race and other uniqueness’s.

You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don't mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

Every religion is beautiful and is committed to teach us all to learn to live with each other with least conflicts. A majority of the followers of each religion get that right, a few don't. It is our responsibility to reach them out, the allay their fears about others. The Torah says, don't look down on strangers, for once we were strangers too, indeed Torah is right! 

Pluralism is not a set of rules, it is simply the attitude of live and let live religiously, politically, culturally and socially.  We are committed to building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of a fellow being.

I am blessed to be a pluralist with zero bias towards my fellow humans, and
 urge you to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You do your part and let others do theirs. 
http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Please don't judge me for who I am with, as I plan to be with every one of God's creation.


Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

President Obama's visit to Mosque is questioned

The polarized minds are attacking his visit to the Mosque.

This piece is published  in several news papers.

  1. First it appeared in Baltimore Sun and has been published in different news papers in full or as a quote. 
  2. Baltimore Sun - http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/obama-s-mosque-visit-makes-us-all-feel-at-home-1.1506780
  3. New Jersey News - http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/obama-s-mosque-visit-makes-us-all-feel-at-home-1.1506780
  4. Gulf Today - http://gulftoday.ae/portal/db0a7edc-42dd-4f59-adad-7b8840db8b73.aspx
  5. Free Republic - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3394390/posts?page=1
  6. Too many to keep track of. 

President Barack Obama's visit to the mosque in Baltimore County today will help build a strong cohesive America and send a signal to the Muslim majorities elsewhere in the world — in roughly 50 Muslim managed nations — to treat Christians and other minorities with dignity, and encourage them to retain U.S. business relations and sustain our economic base of exports. 

Full Story at Baltimore Sun, you may find this op-ed resonate with his speech.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-mosque-visit-20160203-story.html

Please write a comment and multiply the good news. When the bad news is up, thousands multiply it by sharing it on facebook, twitter and other social media… we need to do the same when there is a good news.

Please share.  


You may find the op-ed above resonate with Obama's speech. 


Full speech at YouTube
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRRVdVqAjdw 

I was on Stuart Varney show on Fox News, and I will post the link later today. 

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorismhuman rightsIndiaIsrael-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 



Fox News about President Obama's visit to Mosque - Ghouse with Varney

MIKE GHOUSE OF FOX NEWS ABOUT OBAMA'S VISIT TO MOSQUE
Watch it at 11:45

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 

Safe Spaces and safe conversations

Safe Conversations
Panel discussion on safe spaces at Brookings Institution. 

That was a part of the conversations we had about countering violent extremism organized by Muslim Public Affairs Council.  When our youth cannot find answers to their questions from the ‘right sources’ they turn to any source to gobble up the answers, and bad guys are always waiting to pounce on them, they know how to lure them.


Safe conversations in a nutshell are providing safe space to everyone to have a conversation, particularly youth who are vulnerable. Most of the time, merely expressing a thought and someone listening to them brings a relief.

Take a toddler for example, he or she screams for things, parents can train him to “ask and wait” or not respond and let the toddler scream greater, and if no one pays attention, he throws fits, and then throws things and becomes destructive.

Every human wants to express something, if no one wants to see or hear him or her, or if the expression gets suppressed, it can take many forms. We have to consciously watch the vulnerable, whoever can get to them first, can shape what they become. 

Don’t wait for others, if we do our share, things will start improving. 
The best thing you can do for others is listen.
My safety hinges on safety of the people around me, that is, if others are not safe, I won’t be safe. Each one of us has to take the responsibility to encourage goodness in others. 

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in.




Muslim Radicals in America Mike Ghouse on Bryan Blue's Radio Show

It was a good one hour Radio talk show : Mike Ghouse with Danny Blue, Danny Coulson and Kinky Friedman.
  

December 18, 2015, Fort Worth, Texas -- 

http://bryanblue.com/2015/12/18/muslim-radicals-in-america/

Listen tot he Audio at this link - http://bryanblue.com/2015/12/18/muslim-radicals-in-america/


Air Date: 12/18/2015
Taped On: 12/14/2015

Summary:

When unthinkable tragedies occur, everyone tries to make sense of them. With recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the extremist ties of the San Bernadino shooters, what makes the most sense to people ranges dramatically. From halting all Muslims traveling into the US to allowing Syrian refugees fleeing civil war to take refuge in America, no one truly knows what’s the right thing to do. Bryan, Jason and Jamie bring on some heavy-hitting guests to explore the morality behind a potential ban on Muslims and discuss alternate ways for the United States to protect itself in troubling times. Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director, Danny Coulson and Founder of The American Muslim Institute, Dr. Mike Ghouse bring decades of knowledge and first-hand experience to this conversation, listen up, you’ll definitely learn something from these powerhouse commentators.

In-Studio Guests

Danny Coulson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Coulson Danny Coulson is the former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI. In his thirty-year tenure at the FBI, Coulson created and commanded the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and commanded four field divisions. As of Spring 2009, Danny Coulson is a successful security consultant, author, and guest speaker. When serving as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI with responsibility for worldwide terrorism investigations, Coulson commanded four FBI Field Divisions and created and commanded the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. He has commanded operations that led to the recovery of over 275 hostages. Mr. Coulson has conducted Security Facility Assessments of some of the United States’ most sensitive institutions. He was selected by the Director of the FBI as a commander of the Oklahoma City Bombing matter. Mr. Coulson regularly appears on Network Television as an expert in Terrorism and Violent Crime and handles security matters for a major sports organization and major corporations throughout the United States and abroad. He is president of Coulson, Jackson and Associates in Fort Worth, Texas. Danny Coulson has a BA in Government from Texas Christian University, a law degree from Southern Methodist University and graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has additionally trained with Counter Terrorist Teams from around the world.

Call-in Guests

Dr. Mike Ghouse http://www.mikeghouse.net/ Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, initiator, organizer and mediator committed to building cohesive societies, and offering pluralistic solutions on current issues. He is available to speak at places of worship, workplaces, schools, seminars, workshops, conferences and public events. Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, “The Hannity Show”, and on nationally syndicated Radio shows including Dallas TV, print and radio networks, and occasional interviews on NPR. He has spoken at international forums including the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia; the Middle East Peace Initiative in Jerusalem; and the International Leadership Conference in Hawaii, Chicago and Washington. Mr. Ghouse is a member of the Texas Faith Panel at The Dallas Morning News and writes about issues facing the nation every week. He writes for The Huffington Post regularly, and occasionally for Washington Post and other daily newspapers and magazines around the world. Mike has published over 1000 articles on a variety of subjects. Two books are poised to be released this year on Pluralism and Islam in America. Mike was a commissioner for the City of Carrollton and president of many organizations including Home Owners Association, North Texas Cricket Association, and a board member of several non-profits such as the Dallas Peace Center. Mike is a collaborator and much of his work revolves around the subjects of pluralism, interfaith movement, politics, justice, cohesive societies, Islam, India, hope and world peace. Mike’s work is reflected in four websites and 30 blogs indexed at www.mikeghouse.net. He also writes daily at www.TheGhouseDiary.com He has been managing the Foundation for Pluralism for over a decade and will continue championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of others. On a personal level, he is committed to nurturing pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam. Mike has established several annual public events to bring Americans of different religions, ethnicities, and races together on common ground to build a safe and secure America. Concerned by the political, civil and economic divisiveness, Mike has initiated and formed the America Together Foundation (ATF), a non-profit entity committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to live with anxiety, apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. The focus of the foundation is that one must be free to live his or her life to the fullest in pursuit of happiness. The ATF is in the developmental stage now and invites participants, sponsors and volunteers. Mike believes that if we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike starts each day with a commitment to build a cohesive America and pluralistic societies with a strong faith in one Creator God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Paul Salfen Interview

Kinky Friedman http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/ Richard Samet “Kinky” Friedman is an American Texas Country singer, songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician and former columnist for Texas Monthly who styles himself in the mold of popular American satirists Will Rogers and Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

‪Why does terrorism dominate ‬ ‪the headlines?‬ Saudi Gazette

This site is strictly about my writings or writings about me. Thanks to Tariq Al-Maeena for mentioning me in his write up. I really appreciate that.

Mike Ghouse
www.TheGhouseDiary.com


# # #
Courtesy - Saudi Gazette
Why does terrorism dominate ‬ ‪the headlines?‬



 
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Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Yet another despicable act occurred a few days ago when the Rida Mosque in Mahasen neighborhood of Al-Ahsa in the Eastern Province was bombed by those following a takfiri ideology.  Four people who had been there offering prayers lost their lives to yet another act of terrorism, while another 18 were badly injured. The mosque is frequented by those following the Shia branch of Islam.
The media in the following days was full of condemnation of the latest series of attacks based on sectarian lines, and news of other terrorists who had been captured or are on the run.  But it is not just our own homegrown terrorists who dominate the news.  There are marauding bands such as Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS), Al-Qaeda and other fringe groups who have been thrust onto the front pages or the airwaves with their brutality, all the while chanting religious verses. All that this has succeeded in doing has been to promote a very violent image of Islam to those who are not Muslims.
So is this what Islam and Muslims are all about? The mayhem, murders, and bombings of the innocent?  Is there no other face of Islam?  You would have to dig deep between the pages to read of the other face of Muslims, a people who have dedicated their life to the proper teachings of this great religion and who by virtue of their piety are not seeking headlines.
There are Muslim individuals such as Dr. Mike Ghouse from the US who is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on a wide range of issues concerning Islam and the Western world. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and building bridges between the faiths.
There is also Akbar Ahmed, the world renowned Muslim anthropologist whose various projects have contributed to and shaped contemporary thinking on the relations between the Muslim and the Western worlds. Professor Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. He has served as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and was the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
The list of such distinguished individuals and their positive contributions to society is long but inevitably obscured by the dastardly deeds of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the Daesh leader, and his kind.  And yet there are other relatively unknown Muslims who are shunted to the sidelines and deserve to have their story told.  They do not carry impressive credentials, but through their selfless acts they can indeed be a proud beacon to Muslims everywhere.
One such individual is Ali Banat, a Sydney born and bred Muslim who very recently discovered that he had cancer and only seven months to live.  A successful entrepreneur, Ali had everything he wanted, a fleet of high performance cars including a Ferrari Spider, luxury watches, mansions and just about everything else.  Facing his inevitable fate, Ali began disposing of all his assets and made a determination to make a difference in the lives of many who needed a helping hand.
For one of his projects, Ali travelled to Togo, Africa where he felt he could help without too much red tape.  He founded the MATW Africa Project which aims to build a village which will be home to over 200 widows, a school, and a residential dorm to house 600 orphans. A mini hospital/medical center and businesses to support the local community are also going to be established.  Half of the money required has been collected through goodwill donors. Ali explains: “After someone tells you, or you find out that you are sick or haven’t got much time in this life, wealth is the last thing you want to chase and this is how we should be living our life every day.  These people are going for the wrong goals; you will realize that when you get sick when someone tells you, you haven’t got long to live. You will realize all this stuff doesn’t benefit you in any way.
“It all started when I went to the cemetery to attend a funeral and I was thinking to myself after you go there’s nothing, there’s no one there for you, no mother, no father, no brother, and no sister except for your good deeds.  At this point in my life, Alhamdulillah I have been gifted by Allah with cancer throughout my body and I have changed my whole life to helping people.  It is a gift because Allah has given me a chance and some time to change.”
Ali’s days on the earth have decreased as the cancer has begun tearing through his body.  Yet it is his dream to make things happen, and the project in Togo is one of them.  He is a Muslim and he is not a terrorist.  Perhaps that doesn’t command him headline space but his deeds toward humanity should.
 — The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter@talmaeena

Obama's opportunity in Charm City


Doug Burton wrote this piece at the Philo's project. The writings in the blog are all mine, except when some one write about me, it will be included here.  I don't have to agree with Mr. Burton, but he has quoted me and I agree with some of the material.

Mike Ghouse
Courtesy of Philo's project. 

Obama's opportunity in Charm City 

Doug Burton


The president’s upcoming visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore will give him the opportunity to tell us all to take a breath before sounding the alarm about new waves of non-vetted Muslim masses crashing our gates. Expect a legacy statement to showcase American religious freedom, tolerance, pluralism and inclusiveness to audiences overseas.
Hopefully this visit will be more than a photo-op guaranteed to underscore the politically correct myth that Islamism isn’t Islam and that the religion of Islam has no causal link to terrorism. Americans know this plank is a nonsequiter: the Obama Administration says that no terrorists are Muslims, whereas virtually all Jihadi terrorists say they are Muslims.
Perhaps conservatives can give Muslim believers a break here. True, many American imams will not acknowledge that the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda or any form of violent Jihadism is Islam. But anguish could be hear in one imam’s voice as he spoke up during an interview to say, “Let me stop you right there. ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, which is a religion of peace – only peace. That’s like saying the crusaders who raped, murdered or tortured Muslims for centuries were really Christians.” While his constraint on language is his hapless dilemma, it reminds us that in the hearts of the vast majority of devout practitioners, Islam is a divine encounter, leading to a higher plane of compassion, self-transformation, lawfulness and justice.
More importantly, on Feb. 3, President Barack Obama has an opportunity to educate Americans about the great potential of American Muslims in the war of ideas within the Islamic world. As many an analyst has pointed out, Islam as a civilization has had neither a renaissance nor enlightenment, and is due. Fundamentalist Islam rooted in the Arabian Peninsula is actually at war with modernity. We aren’t dealing with “a clash of civilizations” as much as a crisis within one civilization – Islam.
American Muslims could make a big difference because they are different. The fact is, Islam has contextualized in North America’s democratic environment. Just as Christianity adapted to new cultures and ethical traditions as it moved from ancient Israel to Greece, to Rome to the heart of German Europe, and finally to North America, so has Islam.
The Muslims who murdered their colleagues in San Bernardino were in America, but notof it. American Muslims are inured to modernity: well educated and rooted in America. By one count, 5 percent of America’s doctors are Muslims, and many have served in the armed forces. Muslims are voters and public servants. At least two American Muslims serve in Congress. A week after the Paris attacks, the American Muslim Institution held an anti-ISIS protest on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. After the San Bernardino massacre, several Islamic societies held a candlelight vigil and memorial service at the Islamic Center of Silver Springs.
American Muslims who are passionate about Islam flourishing under the protection of a secular government have champions such as Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser M.D., the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” Jasser currently serves as a commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
As Dr. Michael Ghouse, executive director of American Muslim Institution, said, “America is unquestionably the land of the free and the brave. The American Muslims love it, and once here, have unmoored Islam from its cultural chains. Yet American Muslims have retained the true spirit of Islam; a beautiful system devised to restore sanity and common sense in a given society through simple basics like being truthful, trustworthy, standing up for justice, humility and kindness as their life style.”
Dr. Walid Phares, an advisor to members of Congress and the author of “The War of Ideas,” said, “The problem in President Obama’s approach to diffuse the so-called Islamophobia is that his administration marginalizes the groups within the Muslim community that promote liberal views and anti-jihadi activities, while the more Islamist factions close to the Muslim Brotherhood have been elevated by the White House to the status of sole representatives of the community.
“Like any other community, the Muslim American community is not monolithic,” Phares argued. “American Muslims include the more fundamentalist and the more secular. To fight the ideology of the Jihadi terrorists, you need NGOs who would respond to the latter’s ideology not cover up for it.”
He went on to point out that, as seen in both Egypt and Tunisia, for example, the silent majority is strongly opposed to the Islamists. “But the advisors of the Obama Administration may have convinced the president of the opposite. Hence the repetitive failures of Washington in the campaign against the extremists. For the Islamists won’t challenge the jihadists – only secular Muslims will. Obama should have asked Zuhdi Jasser and his reformers to walk with him to that mosque. That would have created balance and neutralized Islamophobia among Americans.”
Muslim American patriots will be sitting in the pews Wednesday, yet it’s not clear yet if a president looking for opportunity will see America’s best assets looking back at him.