Thursday, April 2, 2015

Celebrations of Easter, Mahavir Jayanti and Hanuman Jayanti

ELEBRATIONS | Easter, Mahavir Jayanthi, Hanuman Jayanti
Every human and every religious group celebrates some thing or the other in their own way, each one is different, but the essence is same; celebrations. Details in the links.
GOOD FRIDAY|  HAPPY EASTER | MUSLIM OBSERVANCE
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-made-me-go-to-catholic-church.html

MAHAVIR JAYANTHI - BIRTH CELEBRATIONS OF  MAHAVIR, FOUNDER OF JAINISM
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2012/04/mahavir-jayanthi-birthday-celebrations.html

HANUMAN JAYANTI - CELEBRATION OF LORD HANUMAN, HINDU ICON
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/04/happy-hanuman-jayanthi-hindu-festival.html




Thank you

Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

............................................................................................................................... 

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism,IslamIndiaIsrael-PalestinePolitics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links atwww.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Muslim Speaker Mike Ghouse profile

Mailing address: 2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206, Dallas, Tx 75234
Married – wife and 2 kids, one married and the other is engaged
Born – January 1, 1952 – Indian American

Contents:

  1. Summary
  2. Profiles
  3. Media presence
  4. Peace time initiatives to build cohesive societies
  5. Conflict time initiatives to mitigate the conflicts
  6. Sacred – A film in the making
  7. Americans Together – a documentary 
  8. Books
  9. Blogs
  10. Interfaith experience
  11. Initiatives
  12. Serving the communities
  13. Activism
  14. Organizer
  15. Educator
  16. Mike’s faith

....................................................................................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on
Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film ” Sacred” to be released on 9/11 and a documentary “Americans together” for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major newspapers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com – Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Summary

Mike is passionate about Pluralism and believes, “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.” Indeed, 20 years of research and studies has enabled him to crystallize the definition of pluralism as an attitude of “Respecting the otherness of others.”

He is a speaker, thinker, writer and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, human rights, diversity, Islam, Israel/Palestine and India. He will motivate, educate and entertain individuals and groups in creating a cohesive environment to work, socialize and function effectively. He offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Mike has a strong presence on National and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on The Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on syndicated radio networks.

He contributes bi-weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News (over 200 pieces), Huffington post (over 125), Op-Ed News (over 50) and several other periodicals across the world. The site www.MikeGhouse.net links to most of his work.

Mike has published over 2500 articles on a variety of subjects, including Pluralism in religion, politics, gender, society, Islam, Israel-Palestine, India, Pakistan and human rights issues.  A few books are in the works on Pluralism, Islam, community relationships and building cohesive societies.

Mike was a commissioner at City of Carrollton and president of many organizations including North Texas Cricket Association, Indian Creek Home owners Association, Dallas Fashions for Charity etc. He was on the board of Dallas Peace Center, Memnosyne Foundation, Dallas Home Builders Association and other organizations.

Concerned by the political, civil, religious, racial, 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 in anxiety, apprehension, 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’.

 He firmly believes in our immortal declaration of independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”








Media Presence  
  • 8.5 Million Views on Google Profile
  • 100 + TV  appearances on Fox News’ including Hannity Show
  • 2,500+ Articles published across the world
  • 200 + Articles published at Dallas Morning News  on pluralism
  • 125 + articles published at Huffington Post on Pluralism, Islam and politics
  • 100 + Radio appearances on Nationally syndicated show
  • 1000 + You Tube Videos of activism, speeches etc.,  
  • 15,000 + Facebook friends between 4 accounts.   
  • 1,200 + Twitter followers
  • 2,500 + Linked in followers
  • 25,000 + Yahoo group connections
  • 45,000 +  members list 


v  Google First page presence

o   Pluralism Speaker 
o   Interfaith Speaker 
o   Muslim Speaker   

v  Google Search

o   Muslim Speaker Mike Ghouse =11,100
o   Pluralism Speaker Mike Ghouse = 7,140
o   Interfaith Speaker Mike Ghouse = 7,040
o   Motivational Speaker = 6,910

v  Search by Religion

o   Atheist Mike Ghouse = 21,000  
o   Baha’i Mike Ghouse = 48,500
o   Buddhist Mike Ghouse = 19,000
o   Christian Mike Ghouse = 47,00  
o   Jain Mike Ghouse - 11,000
o   Jewish Mike Ghouse = 15,000
o   Hindu Mike Ghouse = 12,100
o   Muslim Mike Ghouse = 27,100
o   Pluralist Mike Ghouse – 10,300
o   Sikh Mike Ghouse = 18,000
o   Wicca Mike Ghouse - 29,400
o   Native American Mike Ghouse = 3,000
o   Zoroastrian Mike Ghouse = 30,300


Peace time initiative to build cohesive societies

When nothing is happening, it is time to make things happen. The following are some of the many initiatives taken to shape our future, not as a response to a situation, but as a proactive initiative.

1.  Unity Day USA (12th year) | Bringing Americans together as one people www.UnityDayUSA.com
2.  Thanksgiving Celebrations (17th year) | Celebrating Cultural diversity for 17 years
www.ThanksgivingCelebrations.org
3.  Holocaust and Genocides (9th year) | Developing empathy for fellow humans
www.HolocuastandGenocides.com
4.  The Amin Model— A model of good citizenship
5. The power of Engagement - Fox News, shaping the future
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2014/06/youre-dangerous-sparks-fly-between.html
6. Standing up for others, if you don’t stand up for others, why should anyone stand up for you? www.Standingupforothers.com  
7.  Intrafaith Conference—Shia, Sunni, Ahmadiyya and others
http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/02/muslims-talk-with-muslims-at-boniuk.html

8.  Remove barriers for women to be fully contributing members of the society. http://genderpluralismcenter.blogspot.com/

9.  Ramadan Intra faith and Interfaith Iftaars
http://ramadanexclusive.blogspot.com/

10.  Interfaith Dialogue events | Youth Participation
Ideal responses to conflicts (Muslim responses) Presented to Muslim visitors from around the world – a Six year old program

Follow Prophet’s formula—conflict mitigation & goodwill nurturance

When a conflict erupts, you don’t make it worse by wrong choice of words and actions, instead you follow Prophet’s formula—conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance which was graciously applied in the following;
 
      Quran Burning Pastor Terry Jones
Quran Cursing Pastor Robert Jeffress— www.QuraanConference.com  

Investigating Muslims:  Congressman Peter King
http://peterkinghearings.blogspot.com/

The power of engagement with the Media

 ISIS Responses

Responding and or interacting with America’s most virulent Islamophobes like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Brigitte Gabriel, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Derwish, Peter Kings, Walid Shoebet,  Bill Maher, Pat Robertson, David Horowitz and several others.

       Sharia Conferences — www.ShariaLaws.com  



Film: Sacred – Scheduled for release on 9/11/2015
What is Sacred, Flag, Holy Books, Mother, and Freedom of Speech?

Sacred Film is about a successful real life event set in Mulberry, Florida coupled with a compelling romantic story built around the Quran burning incident. It is filled with human aspirations, fears, suspense and actions of a typical Hollywood Film.

The film skillfully manages conflicting issues of freedom of speech v what is sacred; safety of Americans v violent reactions; and radicalism v. pluralism. It is an embodiment of conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance based on teachings of Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad. It is a model for building cohesive societies.  Indeed, the concept is encouraged by major institutions.

Through “Sacred”, the world will witness positive changes taking shape; it encourages what Muslims ought to be – the Amins, and how they will be perceived by the society at large. What is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice-versa to restore sustainable harmony.

Sacred is an exemplary story of ordinary Muslim Americans working with fellow Americans of different faiths in forging a new paradigm; a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, apprehension or fear of the other.

Shooting will begin in March for a September 11 release.  I will be happy to give a presentation to your group.
Based on this. 

A New paradigm for the Muslim World  




Americans Together, a documentary for 7/4/2016 release
Trailer -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXsTo4VYh8

A majority of Americans want is a just society where everyone feels safe, secure and without the fear of other. What exactly do we want? How will we make the change?  How do we convince those cashing in on hate and fear mongering? Can we find a way to make peace lucrative and redirect energy towards creating a cohesive America?

Every American must feel a sense of security, safety and freedom. If we can learn to accept te otherness of others and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Collectively, we are represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. America Together Foundation is committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.
Chief Seattle, a Native American said this perfectly, “All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the webs, he does it to himself.”

Books

Standing up for others by May 2015
 Quran and Pluralism – December 2015
Pluralism for you – March 2016


Studies in Religious, Political and Cultural Pluralism
 
People of different faiths, races and  backgrounds come together

click on picture to see larger version

We have to build a cohesive America, where no American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other.  

It is our individual and collective responsibility to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate, prejudice and stereotyping are some of the many root causes of disrupting the peace in a society. It is our duty to track down the source of such ill-will and work on mitigating it.

We believe humans are open to choices, and will make best choices if the path is paved for them. We have provided many paths, through our annual events, like Unity Day, Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides, Thanksgiving and other conferences. It has been our experience that our participants walk out with a commitment to be less biased, less prejudiced and willing to stand up for the others for the sake of  common good.

click on picture to see larger version




Annual Holocaust and Genocides Since 2006
www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

Due to sensibility of the event, we want to assure you that it is an all inclusive event, over the last several years, we have focused on Holocaust and several Genocides across the world, and we hope to commemorate every one of them.  This is a symbolic event to represent all Genocides and the Jewish Holocaust.

The purpose of this event is education, we hope to learn to acknowledge our failings, and our mission is to create awareness of the inhumanity within each one of us to find the solutions.

Are we willing to see other’s pain, or are we focused on just ours? We hope to learn about every human tragedy in the given time we have, and our character is determined by how patiently we resist the temptation to reduce other people’s suffering.

Please mark your calendar, invite your friends and invite sponsors for the event and share about this among your friends. We also would like to list all the organizations who commit to be present at the event. All donors over $100 will be listed on this website.

The event is on 1/26/2014—for details, please visit the site. Volunteer if you could, you’d feel you have done your share of work to better the world
.................

It is time we bring fruition to the change we want, here is the first step towardbuilding an America that is good for every one of us. Our focus will be overall prosperity rather than pitting one against the other.

Every American must feel a sense of security, safety and freedom. If we can learn to accept te otherness of others and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Collectively, we are represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. America Together Foundation is committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.

Americans Together is an educational and pragmatic initiative to weed out myths from reality, which are hurting the social cohesiveness of America. The myths are vigorously propagated by a few to disrupt the delicate balance in our society by pitting one American against the other for their own perceived gains. We need to counter it with love, caring and affection. We have the systems in place to rectify.

The trailer is at www.AmericaTogetherFoundation.com





To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Just about every activity of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) included  those two elements. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter.

We are driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is aware

Our Mission is to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, for the goodness to sustain.

Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator.

Our short term goal is to understand different faiths and let the values of Islam be understood as well. We know very little about other faiths just as others know almost nothing about Islam. The idea is to know each other, so we can be good to each other.   

Our Long term goal is simply to bring a realization that the purpose of religion is to bring peace and tranquility to an individual and further create balanced relationships between the individual, society and the environment. Learning about other faiths need not imply infidelity, but rather the search will enrich one's own faith, it reaffirms the idea that the intent of every faith is to "fix" the individual as an active working and participating spoke in the wheel of life. Most people get it and a few don't. www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

  
It is a purposeful positive event for Americans of different faiths, races, ethnicities and other uniqueness to come together to rededicate ourselves to our pledge; One nation under God with liberty and Justice for all. We will pray for peace, prosperity and security of our nation.

Last year the event focused on the positive response of Sikh community to the Wisconsin Shooting and this year, we will focus on the positive prayerful response of Muslim community to the planned Qur'an Burning by Pastor Terry Jones in Mulberry, Florida.

You will be a part of history in creating a model behavior in dealing with conflicts and building a cohesive America, where no American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.  The 10th Annual event is moved to Mulberry, Florida - for a singular purpose - to mitigate possible apprehensions generated by the planned burning of 2998 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013. We hope the event restores our faith in the cohesiveness of America, and we the people will go on about our business of living our daily lives.The full press release: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/planned-muslim-response-to-quran_18.html

We will gather:

to be together as Americans
To express our gratitude to our men and women in uniform
to honor individuals who have contributed to the well being of Mulberry
to emphasize and appreciate diversity represented by America.
to cherish the otherness of others.
to commit to be good neighbors
to rededicate our pledge to the peace, prosperity and security of America

As Americans, and as American of all hues, we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our constitution. All our faiths reinforce the creed of "One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all”.


Our mission is to encourage individuals to develop an open mind and an open heart toward their fellow beings. If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the genetic uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

What is Pluralism? In cultural terms, it is recognizing your culture as a beautiful expression of life to you, as my own is to me. When it comes to food, it is appreciating the well done steak you enjoy over the medium rare I delight, or vice-versa. Religiously, it is learning to honor the way your worship or bow to the creator in gratitude, is as divine as my own.

By the end of 2020, there will not be a major city in America, and perhaps in the world, where you will not find people of different faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races, nationalities and social backgrounds working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together.

We need to prepare ourselves for those eventualities to prevent possible conflicts and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill and effective functioning of the societies. Exclusive communities will become a thing of the past.

Pluralism is our future, and as a futurist, based on the trends, I foresee, that two generations from now, we would be comfortable in saying, my religion, culture or life style is one of the many choices, and further down the road, a significant number will proclaim that my way of life is not superior or inferior to any.

Claiming superiority would be sheer arrogance and religion (a major part of life to many) is believed to imbue humility that builds societies, communities and nations in creating that elusive kingdom of heaven where all live their lives without apprehension or fear of the other.

Every Wednesday, you can read my column in Dallas Morning News offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.  www.FoundationforPluralism.com
                                                                                                                                          



It’s all my writings including writings by others about my work. www.TheGhouseDiary.com
I started writing about social issues in 1970, mostly in Urdu Language. Then through 1977 I wrote 42 some poems and 24 articles.

There was a gap of 17 years between 1978 and 1993, I did not write much, neither did I socialize. Just work, family and home.  Whatever I wrote was in commentary format here and there.

In 1993 I published a news paper called Asian News and started writing again, however, I lost all the pieces I had written till 1999 - when I opened my blog at Sulekha.Com. Since then most of my writing has been preserved. Still there is a lot I did not save, I regret that. Then through 2005 - much of my writing is saved at Yahoogroups. I have over 40 blogs on just about every topic I have dealt with.

But this Blog is full time blog since 2008 and all my writing go here first.  One of the most amusing thing I discovered in the last month was that I have not changed any since 1971. The pieces I wrote about God, Society, Religion is identical to what I am writing now. I wonder why did I not improve? www.TheGhouseDiary.com 



Peace is attainable and we should not give up on it. The Jews deserve security and the Palestinians the hope. Both deserve peace and security.

"Peace hinges on hopes for the Palestinians and security for the Israelis, anything short of justice will not produce sustainable peace" - If Jews and Muslims can take the position that we cannot have peace when others around us don't and work on first removing bias and stereotyping from their own minds, conflicts will fade and solutions emerge. (more on left panel) 
   www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com



"We provide all people the ability to celebrate marriage and other religious functions according to their beliefs. We believe that this is an innate human right and is also protected by the 1st Amendment. Our values come from the understanding that all people, whether religious or not, have deep personal values and should be treated with respect, acceptance, and understanding."

Marriage is a celebration that brings people together, and we want to extend that ethos further by being a church comprised of a wide cross-section of people that have found common ground in the service of bringing people together.

To begin, the legal dimension to officiating a wedding simply involves completing a piece of paper, the marriage license. The marriage license is the legal document of marriage. It is filed for by the couple from their local government prior to the wedding.


The role of the minister is to conduct the wedding, have the couple present their marriage license, make sure that the information is correct, and complete the license. The couple then returns the completed license back to its office of issuance.http://interfaithmarriages.blogspot.com/





We are proud of our heritage - a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-regional and multi-linguistic society, where we have come to accept and respect every which way people have lived their lives. For over 5000 years, India has been a beacon of pluralism - it has embraced Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism to include in the array of the indigenous religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Indian democracy is a shining example to the world, where the people have peacefully transferred the powers. Indians are inherently secular and economically capitalistic. They believe in "live-and-let-live" life style, which is the essence of capitalism.Through the years we have expressed the highest degree of maturity on handling extreme situations; the more divergent opinions we hear, the larger our heart grows, the bigger our embrace would be and we can cushion more differences.

Let’s continue to honor the concept that there is always another side to the story, as finding the truth is our own responsibility.I am proud of my heritage and am proud to be an Indian-American. Please join me in the discovery of India on a daily basis, as time permits and share the wealth of knowledge you have on this forum. 
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/






It is time for us to begin addressing the unity within the Muslim community and with the communities of the world for building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.

To have the power to effect a positive change in a given society one must be just. It is not justice when one gains at the wrongful expense of the others. Many a Muslims have lost the gut in their voice because they have failed to stand up for others.

Three things are required to earn the grace of God: belief in God, belief in the Messengers and accountability of our actions towards creating peaceful societies. Anyone who submits to these ideals is broadly defined as a Muslim – someone who subscribes to the idea of oneness of humanity, to talk, act and feel like one family who lives cohesively with the given differences for the good of the family. Every Muslim that I know of, and that is a lot of Muslims in every denomination is driven by the Shahada- the pledge; That God is one and Prophet Muhammad is his last messenger.  www.RamadanDaily.com





Sharia in its simplest form is a "HOW-TO MANUAL" based on Quraan and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad's sayings). It it is a human effort to understand the concept of Justice enshrined in Qur'aan for living a day to day life.

The private domain of the manual is about the relationship between an individual and the creator, whereas the public domain of the Sharia law is about the relationship between the individual and the society.

The contentious issues stem from treatment of; divorce, women's rights, inheritance, theft, adultery and apostasy. Our focus is in understanding and bringing forth various opinions and thoughts to get a grasp of the system.

The core value of Islam is Justice. The violations of justice and the rule of law are found in every faith, culture and political traditions at varying degrees. No community can cast the first stone.

Sharia industry has been built with strong fortifications to the point that many a Muslims are caused into believing that Sharia is divine. Justice is one of the core values of Islam and Sharia should be looked from that lens and not vice-versa.

It is like the defense industy, tax preparers industry or the Holocaust industry - where they make it so complicated that they are needed. It is their business protection plan.

Islam is a simple religion for one to follow and be accountable for his or her actions. We don't need an industry and Islam does not have clergy built into it.

We can retain the private Sharia and let go of the public sharia, the civil laws of the nation provide ample justice and we don't need a duplicate system. It is not divine to begin with to hang on to it.



Experience in Interfaith and Pluralism
v  Texas Faith Panel, Dallas Morning News. Mr. Ghouse is a member of the Panel and writes about interfaith issues facing the nation every week. He has written close to 150 pieces over the last four years and almost every column he writes, weaves through the essence of many religions.

v  The Huffington Post; Mike has written nearly 100 articles in the last two years.  Occasionally his articles have been published at Washington Post and several national and international periodicals including Arab News, Tehran Times, Jakarta post, Times of India, Daily Times and several others.

v  TV/Radio - Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, “The Hannity Show”, and on nationally syndicated radio shows including Dallas TV, print and radio networks.  He also had his own Half hour show in 1996 on TV52.

v  Google: Mike has consistently remained on the first page when you search for Pluralism Speaker, Interfaith speaker and Muslim Speaker, whether it is the search or the images.

v  Blogs: Mike has written an average of 175 articles a year over a dozen years.  Most of the columns were on interfaith/pluralism, in a given set of 10 articles, almost every religion would have been mentioned including Atheism, paganism and Native traditions. 

v  Interfaith workshops: 26 live workshops were conducted between 2005 and 2007;  Understanding Atheism to Zoroastrianism and every religion in between

v  Radio shows: Mike hosted 520 Hours of radio talk shows on “Understanding the essence of religions, each beautiful religion” with a representative of the respective faith 5 days a week on AM Radio 1150 in Dallas between 2003 and 2005.

v  Festivals of the World – The essence of major festivals of all religions were written up since 1993 in Asian American Journal, followed by Asian News Radio and the blogs, websites and the newspapers. 

v  Pluralism flows in Mike’s veins. Even the tribute he wrote about his late wife, father, and mother were soaked with the essence of many religions.

v  The book “Americans together, building a cohesive America” will be out this years, and the next book, Muslims in America is poised to make it this year as well. 





v  A documentary “Americans Together” is in the making; and it will present the full spectrum of American diversity, laden with programs and ideas on building a cohesive America, where no American has to live in discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other.  It is expected to be out in 2016 prior to the General Elections.       

v  Blogger: Mike passionately writes on topics including but not limited to; Pluralism, Holocaust and Genocides, International conflicts, Israel-Palestine, India, Sharia Laws, Quraan, Blasphemy, Apostasy, Hijab,  Ground Zero Mosque, Peter King Hearings, Quraan, Terrorism , Ramadan, Islam, Media, local affairs etc.

v  International speaker: Mike 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.



Major Initiatives in Pluralism and Interfaith

Mike has initiated, organized and established the following events. In each one of the events, we the people of the United States of America of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background come together to express our commitment to co-existence, unity, safety and well being of our nation. 
¨       Annual Unity Day USA is a main stream event commemorating 9/11 for ten years.  The UNITY DAY USA has become a symbol of unity among Americans. It is an initiative to come together to stand up for the safety, security and cohesiveness of America. Every year we recognize five individuals who have made a difference in their communities, the trophy calls them pluralists in their field.
Website:
www.UnityDayUSA.com

¨       9/11 – Mike was on Radio from 10:00 AM till 4:30 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 trying to make sense out of the chaos, he reached out to Mayors and community leaders to forge a common voice. Mike was a catalyst in commencing interfaith prayers, fund raising and blood donations that day. He pledged to serve the nation every year on that day, and Unity Day USA is the product of that commitment.  http://911unitydayusa.blogspot.com/2011/09/911-story-interfaith-moments.html

¨       Annual Holocaust and Genocides event has continued for the last seven years.  Education is the purpose, we have learn to acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things we have inflicted upon each other and have committed ourselves to resist the temptations to be prejudiced and stereotype others. We cannot demand peace unless we are peaceful ourselves. Our safety hinges on the safety of others around us, and it behooves us to work for the safety and security of others on this little planet. We have to be continuously aware of the Holocaust and Genocides and prepare to say never again. Website: www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

¨       Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards night was carried out for over ten years and due to overlapping of Unity Day, it is done on a small scale now. The purpose of celebrating this event is to thank God for helping us learn to accept, respect and appreciate each other’s cultural uniqueness.
Website:
www.Thanksgivingcelebrations.org

¨       Qur’an Conference was held on December 5, 2010 in Dallas to demystify the myths about “troubled passages” from Qur’an with 10 Non-Muslim clergy panelists and 5 Muslim Imams. It was one of the most powerful educational programs to read Quraan first hand and share that understanding with the audience.  Website: www.Quraanconference.com

¨       Quran Burning event on 9/11/2013. When Pastor Jones announced burning 2998 copies of Qur'an on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, one for each American life lost on September 11, 2001, we decided to bring a closure to the sacrifice of our men and women in the most honored way and not by burning the Qurans. We wanted to assert to Muslims around the world, that our God given right to freedom of speech is a value we treasure and hold it dear to us, ultimately it is the freedom that uplifts the whole humanity. On the other hand, offered an alternate Muslim behavior model to become the standard, indeed we can call it a genuine Islamic response based on Quran and examples of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Website:
http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-new-paradigm-in-muslim-world.html



Serving the Community

Mike has earned the goodwill from among different faiths, races and ethnicities across America by serving and contributing towards the overall good of America. He makes a conscious effort to reach out to every representation of America.
¨       Commissioner, City of Carrollton (2007-2010) He has close relations with the civic leadership, local community and politicians. He not only served the city at large but also hosted candidates’ forum shaping the politics of Carrollton. The Mayors and Council members have participated in Annual events.
¨       Founding Director, Memnosyne Foundation, Dallas, TX (2007-2010) reaching out to Native Americans across the continent.
¨       Director, Dallas Peace Center, Dallas, TX (2006 – 2010), the oldest peace organization in Dallas.
¨       Organizer, Zindagi Trust of USA. Fund raising for Children’s education in Pakistan in the years 2006, 2008 and Founding Director of Pratham USA (2005), an education trust in India with a goal to remove illiteracy.
¨       Ambassador for Peace, Universal Peace Federation, Dallas, TX since 2005 he has reached to the African American clergy and has been a part of the Middle East Peace Initiative and has spoken at a peace conference in Jerusalem.
¨       Community – Mike was elected President of the Indian Creek HOA (2004-2006), and his leadership skills pulled diverse people together to serve on, one of the largest HOA’s in Dallas area for two terms.
¨       Registrar, Women’s III International Conference in Dallas 2005, handling 3000 Global registrations.
¨       Sports – Mike was a President of North Texas Cricket Association (2002-2004). Under his leadership the outlook for Cricket in the USA brightened, leaving behind 16 Cricket grounds, raising from 6 teams to 32, and winning an international award for the best overall Cricket development in the western hemisphere.
¨       Director, Home Builders Association, Sales & Marketing Council (1999-2001) and member, Government Relations Committee (2001-2005)
¨       Media: Producer and host of Talk Show Radio (1996-2006) / Producer, editor and anchor of weekly 30 minutes TV Show on community affairs in 1996
¨       Publisher of weekly Asian American Journal. (1993-2001).
¨       Publisher of several handbooks on Pluralism, Islam and India.
¨       35 Major public events related with Pluralism and interfaith.
¨       26 Workshops on Understanding religion, 13 religions including Atheism
700 Hours of Radio show on Religions
Organizer
Mike is an organizer of events, conferences, workshops and lectures to impart the values of pluralism at work, places of worship and the society at large, He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer and believes that by learning to respect the otherness of others and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
He has dedicated his time to work with the leadership in offering insights and solutions to effectively managing the multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multicultural societies. 

Pluralistic solutions have the power to sustain and take us into the next century with relative security, peace and prosperity. We cannot have peace and security when we do injustice to others.

Mike Presides the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other; he is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress; a board member of the Dallas Peace Center and an Ambassador for peace with the Universal Peace FederationMike was also one of the founding board members of the Memnosyne Foundation, as well as former commissioner at the City of Carrollton.
Activism

Mike just cannot sit quietly when he feels he can raise his voice. He was inspired by many a spiritual masters. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of Mike's mentors, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice, whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly".

The Native American Chief Seattle said we are merely a strand in this World Wide Web; if we mess one, we mess the others. Prophet Muhammad’s said when you see injustice, the least you can do is to speak up. Mike's Grandfather and his father also inspired him to be an activist. 

¨       Anti-Semitism – Mr. Fred Phelps is one of the famous Anti-Semitic Pastors from Kansas, he was protesting in front of the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Texas Jewish Post, Akiba Academy, Synagogues, St. Mary's Guadalupe and the GLBT church. Mike was there standing with the Jews, immigrants and Catholics, believing that we need to stand up together. He pulled the Holocaust Survivors together in the Museum and prayed for the well being of all. 

¨       Immigration Reforms Rally - Mike joined the Lulac to March in downtown with the community and Spanish leaders to demand immigration reforms, where he gave one of his famous speeches “Standing up for others” at Dallas City Hall to a gathering of 8000.

¨       Immigration protest at Farmers Branch: When the City undertook to undermine the Federal Government on undocumented aliens, Mike was there walking with the group to Mayor's office. Dallas Morning News printed Mike's picture on the top front page, which was repeated in 200 dailies across Latin America producing a barrage of hate mail.

¨       Gaza Protest: In December 2009, during Gaza Siege, Mike represented Dallas Peace Center as a director at the Grassy Knoll, Downtown Dallas where JFK was shot. There was a Jewish man having arguments with a few Palestinians, the police was chasing him for causing distress, Mike stood up for him against the police demand to leave, and when they decided to arrest him, the other guy walked away and they backed off.

¨       Gujarat Massacre: Nearly 1000 Indian Muslims were massacred in the mayhem in Gujarat; Mike organized a Rally in protest held in downtown at the court house.

¨       Anti-War Rally: Participated in Anti-War rallies down town Dallas several times.

¨       Gay March - World War II witnessed the massacre of Gays and the march was organized in Oak Lawn which Mike participated. He also participated in the South Dallas aids walk.

¨       Gandhi Walk and the Partnership Walk, an Annual event since 2009 and 2000 respectively.

¨       Mike has also written petitions, called on people and wrote about the mistreatment of Atheists, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Pagans, Sikhs, Wicca, Native Americans, Zoroastrians and of course Muslims around the world.

Guest Visitation Programs – Every year civil and religious leadership from Middle East and North Africa visits the United States, and invariably, I have the pleasure of meeting with them to talk about interfaith movements and Pluralism in America.

Initiator

The following events were initiated, organized and established with the theme of bringing diverse people together to learn and to know about each other. 

Annual reflections on 
Holocaust and Genocides since 2007; 
The mission is to create awareness of the inhumanity in us and find solutions for peaceful co-existence.Mike believes that, "we cannot be safe, unless others around us are not" ( 
TJP - DMN 2009 - DMN 2006 -Survivors-Jewish Post - Fox TV )
The annual Unity Day USA took root in 2005, on this Unity Day USA, we the people of the United States of America of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background will gather to express our commitment to co-existence, Unity, safety, prosperity and well being of our nation with liberty and justice for all. 
The Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations began in 1993 to bring immigrant, indigenous and born Americans together. The purpose of celebrating this event is to give thanks to the creator for the blessings of precious life while enjoying the cultural heritage of each ethnic group. 

Talk Show Radio (196-20001) on AM 1150

Cricket (in Cricket section below)
Educator
"Wisdom of Religion" - all the beautiful religions of the world was an hourly Radio talk show broadcasted daily.  Over 700 hours of educational programming was relayed learning about religious, humanistic and the pluralistic traditions. 
"Festivals of the World" was a weekly Radio program on Saturdays, where the essence of every festival was shared, so we all can have an idea of how other people celebrate or commemorate their holidays. (more on right panel)  
Workshops titled “Understanding Religion – every beautiful religion” were conducted for two years.  
Mike's purposeful presence in the media is to foster critical thinking.  He is blessed to have been given the time on national and local TV, Radio and Print medium to share pluralistic solutions on the issues of the day.
Media Relations
Mike has appeared on Public Television, Fox News, CNN, ABC, NBC and other channels and has been on NPR, KERA, KRLD, WBAP, Progressive Radio and several other Radio talk shows. The theme is for people to see and value a moderate point of view.
Mike is a frequent guest on Fox TV's Sean Hannity Show as well as the nationally syndicated Radio shows.  In December he was on the on Australian TV and in January he was National Public Radio between 3-4 pm on Monday. Link
 "Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful religions" was a Radio program from 2004-2006, where he explored the essence of every faith as well as Atheism and the natured based traditions like Wicca. Over 100 hours of learning was presented with experts, pastors, Rabbis, Imams and Pundits from every tradition. A total of 520 Hours of Radio programming on Religions of the world.
As a hobby Mike initiated the Radio Programs for the Asian Americans in 1993 which has blossomed into two Desi Radio Stations in Dallas; Fun Asia Radio and  the Salaam Namaste Radio. Mike is perhaps the first Asian American Radio talk show host in Texas and the microphones was open to all points of view. He believed if a nation has to make a decision on any issue, all points of view must be heard, no matter how liberal or conservative they may be.  

Mike produced and anchored had a Sunday Morning TV show on channel 52 in Dallas in 1996 for 25 weeks.
Mike also published a News paper called Asian News, which was renamed as Asian American Journal from 1993- 2000, it was a journal of the Subcontinentians, i.e., the people of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Moderator
Mike moderates several discussion groups numbering nearly 6,000 members, among them are the Foundation for Pluralism, World Muslim Congress, Dallas Indians and other groups. 





Standing up for others - Link
Serving blindly was a clarion call by his Grand father and regularly reinforced by spiritual leaders from across the spectrum of religions and traditions. Mike feels blessed that God has created a speck of a space for him to fulfill that mission. 

Mike has stood up and spoke for Immigration reforms at Farmers Branch andDowntown Dallas. He has participated in the Gaza Rally  and moderated the Interfaith Prayers for Goodwill in Gaza and has deplored the rockets into Israel. Joined in the organizations for Darfur and speaks up against the and persecution of minorities, He will stand up with Jews, Gays & Lesbian and the Mexican immigrants in a rally against them in Dallas.

He was involved in the cause of 
persecuted in Japan, spoke out against the destruction of a Church in Jakarta; a ban on Hindu festival in Italy; desecration of a Hindu temple in Malaysia, Moscow, Trinidad, Lahore and other places. Spoke out against the suffrage of the Kashmiri Pundits, the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, the burning of Hindus in Godhra, burning of Godhra and rape of Nuns in India. The forced conversions of Hindu in Pakistan and the harassment of Dalits and Christians in India. Please note these are the representative items and by all means not all. Mike also joins with Native Americans in their quest for a Heritage day to celebrate their contribution to America.  

Mike has condemned the 
vandalism at Holocaust Museum, spoke out against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and consistently fights the anti-Ahmadiyya prejudices, He made a painful acknowledgement of the atrocities we commit in different names. 

He feels blessed to have the ability to touch every one of the human beings and partnering with each of the religious traditions, He has done a Radio Program on each on every one, each one at least 25 times and few over 100 times and has presented workshops on each one of them. In six Unity day events, three Holocaust and Genocide event and over ten thanksgiving celebrations and host of other events, he has painstakingly brought every one together.   

Links will be added at 
Standing up for others
Festivals of the world

As a part of education Mike continues to write about the essence of festivals from several religions and traditions, so we can connect with the other people.

From 1993 - 2000 Asian News Magazine published a short summary on essence of a given festival from Bahai to Zoroastrians and every one in between. The same was repeated on the Radio on Saturday Mornings from 1996-2001.
Since 2001 it has continued on the Yahoogroups and Mike's large mailing list, several blogs including the Foundation for Pluralism and Facebook continue. 

Mike’s faith

"I believe each one of us is created by the same creative process, with a singular source [GOD] for such creation, and respecting each one of his creations is the best form of praising, worshiping and honoring the creator.


I believe knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of people with a different point of view.  If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge."

"I have freed my God from religious confinement and believe that the divine's presence belongs to everyone, and he/she/it is everywhere. I see God's greatness in every which way and in every place of worship. I don't like to lock up God in any singular spot or limit him into a form.

No one owns Jesus, Krishna, Muhammad or others: "Ram is not the property of Hindus, he belongs to all, Christians don't own Jesus, and Mohammed and his message belongs to all". I feel that none of us should bottle up the great teachers into small cells, their teachings are universal and they belong to all.

"If you don’t understand other’s teaching is one thing, but if you look down upon others wisdom, it amounts to prejudice that puts a noose around your freedom and it also stops you from learning all the good you can learn from all religious teachers”. I believe Learning about other faiths simply enhances one’s search for the truth." The truth is the same, manifestations are different, knowing that brings spirituality.

"I am a Muslim and blessed to be one and I pray every one feels the same about his or her individual faith. My faith connects me with my Creator and answers the purpose of life, death, accountability and results. The Islam I know is what the majority of Muslims practice around the world; it is universal, all embracing and pluralistic. I relate with every faith and see the same essence and beauty in them as I see in Islam. I am comfortable with every beautiful way people have come to worship the divine.  We do not have to undermine other faiths to make our faith better, faith is beyond comparisons. Faith brings humility to oneself and not arrogance."

Let me also make an announcement about my faith. I do not claim my faith to be superior or inferior to any, and if I do that, then my faith in God is incomplete. Faith in  puts all of us on par to respect each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance. Religion brings humility and builds bridges between people and the nations, whereas arrogance kills relationships and generates conflicts.  I am looking forward to a day when all of us can comfortably believe that religion is an instrument to forge co-existence with genuine humility.

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. That is all God wants us to do, to preserve the balance with which he has created the universe.

"I believe that the connection with the Creator is inversely proportional to the ego. Greater the ego, (arrogance) lesser the connection, on the other hand, greater the humility, greater the spirituality. I am grateful that the creator has helped me learn to respect and honor all faiths, and my faith teaches me never to denigrate other beliefs.  Islam is my path and blessed to travel on it."

As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, "religion is in the heart of the believer." Each faith is beautiful to the believer and we should honor that.

"I honor cherish and respect every which way people have come to praise and worship the almighty, including but not limited to the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Judaism, Sikh, Wicca, Zoroastrian and several indigenous systems of belief. I am committed to defend the divinity of every faith with no exception and it is in no conflict with my faith, which is Islam."


To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. A Muslims is someone who submits to the idea of peace and harmony, and works to sustain it. That is indeed the purpose of religion, any religion.