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Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 10, 2010 -
Representing the organizations, Mike Ghouse adds, "As members of diverse family of faiths, we seek to demystify the myths and falsification of our respective faiths. It is time for all of us to gather and understand the Qur'aan, the holy book of Muslims, which has been the subject of attack by a few among us. Indeed, the conference is a positive response to negative sermons delivered from a few pulpits of
The uniqueness of the event is highlighted by facing the "terrifying passages" of Quraan. For the first time in history, the actual verses from Quraan will be read directly and explained by non-Muslim panelists made up of Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, Clergy, lay persons and elected officials who have a deep interest in bringing Americans together on common grounds. The Muslim scholars either affirm their reading or refer to the Quraan for further understanding. It would be indeed a first hand educational experience.
It is time now to replace the ill-will with goodwill; no American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. The purpose of this conference is to remove such myths in an open forum in the public and restore the cohesiveness of our society and work towards building a safe and secure
Bring your children to experience the multi-cultural costumes in a designated room for them.
Refreshments will be served after the event.
THE EVENT IS FREE
Please R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct your inquiries to QuraanConference@gmail.com .
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam and Civil Societies. He heads the Foundation for Pluralism and World Muslim Congress and offers Pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
Monday, October 4, 2010
This is one of the most beautiful things about America, radical right can sit with the moderates and both can give and receive crap. It was heartfelt and heart full of conversation.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, September 19, 2010
Over and over you hear it said: If Muslims oppose terrorism, why don't they stand up and say it?
If that has been you, Mike Ghouse ought to be your hero.
It is hard to imagine that anyone has worked harder than the Carrollton resident to demonstrate the peaceful and moderate side of Islam.
And that effort includes personally visiting Dallas' First Baptist Church last Sunday just to put a friendly face on the "evil, evil religion" that the Rev. Robert Jeffress denounced a few weeks before.
"It was wonderful," Ghouse said of the visit. "We were so warmly received."
He hopes a quick chat with Jeffress will be the start of deeper discussion about Islam and the importance of respect between religions.
"I want to have a dialogue with him, not to say he is wrong but to share another point of view," Ghouse said.
The 57-year-old Muslim was born in India and has lived in the United States for 30 years. He owns a small property management firm. But most of his day is devoted to building bridges between people of different faiths.
"It is my passion," he said in his distinctive raspy voice.
He has been a guest a dozen times on Sean Hannity's TV and radio talk shows. "I don't like the way Sean cuts me off, but I have to honor him for giving the American public a semblance of another point of view."
Ghouse said he can understand fear and criticism of Islam because he went through a time of similar feelings. As a teen, he was troubled by passages of the Quran. He called himself an atheist for a while.
But he said deeper study led him to realize the Quran had been purposely mistranslated down through history.
In the Middle Ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders.
Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews.
"It was all for politics," he said.
Ghouse said he hopes to present Jeffress with a modern, faithful translation and challenge him to find evil verses.
"If he can, I will convert. I will join his church," Ghouse said. "If he can't, I will call on him to retract his statements and become a peacemaker."
Ghouse acknowledges that deep problems persist within Islam. "Three steps forward, two steps back," he said with a sigh.
And he agrees that mainstream Muslims have not done enough to counter violent images of their faith.
"That is very true," he said. "But part of it is that many Muslims have given up hope that we will ever be heard."
He said repeated denunciations of terrorism seem to fall on deaf ears.
And some efforts have backfired – like the proposed Islamic information center in New York. He said it should be hailed for furthering the moderate Muslim cause.
Instead, it has deepened hostility toward Muslims.
I have been astounded by the amount of anti-Islam propaganda that circulates via e-mail. Tons of it has come my way in the last few weeks.
One theme is that people like Mike Ghouse can't be trusted, that Islam encourages deception.
But Ghouse says actions speak louder than words. And he points to elections in Muslim nations.
More than half of Muslims live in countries with some degree of democracy. And time and time again, Islamist parties are overwhelmingly rejected in favor of secular, mainstream parties.
"The religious parties don't get more than 3 percent of the vote," Ghouse said.
Polls show deep mistrust of Muslims. "But the most important question in those surveys is: 'Do you know anything about Islam?' " Ghouse said. "Most people say no."
What keeps him going is faith in Americans, he said.
"The majority of Americans, if they know the truth, they will change their minds."
Posted by Mike Ghouse at 7:50 PM
I understand the reservations, but I trust the Indian majority who has always followed the dharma of being just and righteous. Should the RSS and BJP continue to harass Muslims, and if they pick on another issues, then the majority of Hindu population will speak up, as they have always done. I trust our ethos, and our heritage of goodness.
The court is clear in its verdict, but nebulous in its dubious reasoning. That is its weakness, but it may be its strength as well. It can be seen as a reverse Solomon-like judgment, or a cowardly cop out – part of a loaf for all sides or defeat for all. Perhaps both are correct.
If one believes in the pristine ideal of justice being blind to all except the evidence, the judgment is terrible. But if one calculates the cost of the thousands of innocent lives already lost over the years that never got justice and is also aware of the possibility of many more lives being lost in the ensuing mayhem, one has to think, justice for whom?
They know that narrow views of history cast long shadows in many countries and societies, inciting violence and impeding development of civil societies. No place on Earth is occupied by its original inhabitants. Invasion and occupation by successive invaders has been the norm. It has given rise to contested histories by ethnic and religious groups that adhere to a subjective narrative of the beginning of the history to their advantage.
Mahatma Gandhi's non-Violence movement is a model that will last for centuries to come. Every great teacher listed above has taught the same message over and over again. The idea is that there is a balance of energy in every human, doing bad things deflates that energy and doing good things recoups it. You may have experienced the elated feeling of having a great day, when you helped someone in dire need. Non-Violence is a belief that the tyrant is blessed with the same energy, but is not aware of it and we have to help him realize it after enduring the suffering. Fighting out may bear the result for short run, but in the long run, the fighting and the avenging continues. Whereas the non-violence method of achieving the objective is sustainable, justice ultimately brings lasting peace, and non-violence sustains it, violence disturbs the balance.
I have a special connection with the Mahatma, and am making this disclosure. I have met the Mahatma twice in my dreams; first time was way back in 1971 when the Mahatma, the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University Dr. Narsimaiah and I were talking over a meal and he gave a pat on my back and told me that I have a lot of work to do. Then again in 2005, I saw him smiling at me encouraging me to continue with the work of Pluralism.
My message on this day is watching what you say; does it conflagrate the dialogue, does it make the opposing parties dig in? or does it propel people to work towards solutions. You can apply this formula at your work, home or any situation and see the difference. Be a winner, by making the others a winner too.
Mahatma Gandhi probably would have endorsed my view that, if we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness to each one of seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. That is the mission of the foundation for pluralism.
Today, October 2nd is Mahatma's birthday, may this day make our leaders think, and believe that there is a greater joy in creating peace. Today, also happens to be my late wife Najma's birthday. May she rest in peace.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Islam and Pluralism offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net
Pictures from Gandhi Walk 2009 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157625074293900/
From Last year’s Gandhi Walk in Dallas
Add a caption
Gandhi Peace Walk-2009 in Dallas. Mahatma Gandhi is one of my mentors; I look up to him for guidance when a conflict surfaces, I ponder over his solutions. He was a Pluralist, a man who believed every human has the same rights as the other; he respected the otherness of other and accepted different manifestations of religion. Not that it matters to any, but he has been in dream twice, way back in early 70’s and in about 2003. He just pats on my shoulder and says, son you have work to do. I am blessed to receive his blessings. (Next Para)
THIS PHOTO: Suri (Secretary, Niranjan (President elect), Dr. Sharma (India consulate General), Akram (President), Mike, Taiyab (former President) India Association of North Texas
The India Association of North Texas (Dallas) took the initiative and has begun the first of the peace walks and will continue for generations to come. (Next Para)
Here is a press release prior to the event. (Next Para)