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Friday, December 17, 2010

The Muslim Agenda

A book by Mike Ghouse.

It is diametrically opposite of what a typical Muslim is conditioned to think, 'we have to rule the World', 'we have to convert', 'we have to impose Sharia' or, 'we have to come together to defeat the enemy'. This quirky hallucinative rhetoric does not bode well.

A chapter in the book deals with an Agenda for Muslims that can achieved by the year 2030, a generation from now. It will set the tone for Muslims to understand the need to have a plan and define our purpose and work towards it.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who mitigates conflicts and nurtures goodwill for the whole humanity. A Muslim is one who works on contributing towards benefiting God's creation; life and matter. He also plants the saplings or seeds to benefit the future wayfarers with its shade or fruit, and a Muslim is one who cares for his neighbors.

In another chapter, the visionary Muslim walks in a group, any group and he or she is looked up as a peace maker, someone who brings goodness to others. Indeed, we have to consciously create a respectable space for us in affairs of the World. We have to earn the respect of the community as the trustworthy, the peace makers and the Amins.

"Serving humanity" should be our attitude and we must consciously serve in every possible way and get involved in the governance of nations where we are not and bring about justice and peace to the society at large.

This book is about my journey starting out as a Muslim to distancing myself from Islam as a Pluralist Youth, to staying out of religion for over half of my life and finding peace and comfort being a Muslim Pluralist a decade ago. It was a verse from the Bhagvad Gita that turned me around, "finding the truth is one's own responsibility," indeed it was, and it inspired me to seek the truth from the myths that surrounded Islam. I was on the Radio for about seven hours on September 11, 2001, getting every community leader from Atheist to Zoroastrian and every one in between to make sense out of the chaos on that day. Interfaith prayers were initiated that week and it was from that day I resumed being a Muslim.

Karen Armstrong's book on Muhammad helped me understand the Prophet's role in creating just societies, it was also for the first time, I understood Muhammad as an individual committed to peace and justice in the world, as opposed to a distant divine figure. Every year we talk about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King as the peace makers, now, I have added Muhammad as the peace maker in the conversation.

Finally, the conference on demystifying the myths about Qur'aan was a capstone to my journey and I have a lot more to go, nothing ever has been done like this before.

I believe the purpose of religion, any religion for that matter is to create a world of harmony amongst us. To be a Muslim is to be a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer.

I have two books schedule to be completed and released soon.
Continued at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2010/12/back-to-basics-book-by-mike-ghouse.html

Mike Ghouse runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and has dedicated his life to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress.

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, Peace & Justice at your school, work place, meeting, conference, seminar or your place of worship. He is a regular commentator on the national TV, Radio and Print media offering pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a peace activist.

Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

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