2 Million Views in 5 days

It surprised the heck out of me, when I checked my Google profile for statistics at:https://plus.google.com/108969690090944956820/about

Much of it is owed to this piece - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2014/09/911-my-personal-journey-from-2001.html

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Religious Communication Awards

http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/04/religious-communication-awards.html

April 28, 2010, Dallas, Texas -The fourteenth annual Norvell Slater communications awards luncheon was hosted by Dallas-Fort worth Chapter of Religion Communicators Council at Holiday Inn Express on Harry Hines Blvd in Dallas.

The Master of Ceremonies was Rev. Bill Mathews; the invocation was given by Mike Ghouse while Cherie Graham presented the awards to the following:

Commercial Communicator of the year
North Texas Food Bank

Religion Communicator of the year
Museum of Biblical Art

Life time Communicator Award
Deb K. Christian

A brief profile is included for each one of the recipients is included in the pictures. Mike Ghouse was the recipient of the Religion Communicator of the years in 2009.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157626480184545
# # #
The following is an inclusive prayer called the prayer of Pluralism. We are indeed committed to building a cohesive Carrollton.

Greetings and prayers
Greetings are made of three components;

i) an acknowledgment of the other,
ii) wishing to connect and
 iii) develop friendship.

All religious greetings have those components in addition to wishing each other peace so each can be drenched in peace, talk peace, walk peace and act peace. All greetings are synonyms of the same essence are a sample to represent all other religious and cultural greetings.  

AllaAbho (Baha’i)
Buddha Namo (Buddhist)
Peace to you (Christian)
Namaste (Hindu)
Jai Jinendra (Jain)
Shalom (Jewish)
Salaam (Muslim)
Satsri Akaal (Sikh)
Hamazor Hama Ashobed (Zoroastrian)

Let’s reflect, wish and pray:

Creator of the universe
Please accept our gratitude in every name we call upon you; Manito, Yahweh, Elahi, Ishwar, Allah, Mahavira, Buddha, Wahe Guru, Ahura Mazda, mother earth and Jesus Christ.  

In your name we want to create a cohesive Carrollton, with care kindness and dignity to every one of the 122,000 residents of this beautiful City. 

Dear God,

  • Guide us to serve us with integrity and honesty;
  • Guide us to serve our communities with the spirit of volunteerism;
  • Guide us to do the right thing every moment of our life;
  • Guide us to open our hearts and minds toward our fellow beings;
  • Guide us to shed the arrogance in us, and enrich us with humility
  • Guide us to become conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers.
  • Protect our men and women in uniforms committed to our safety and well being;

Help us learn to respect the uniqueness you have blessed to each one of us here today;

And help us learn to respect everywhich way one worships you.

In your name, we bow to you.
Amen.

Mike Ghouse

Sri Satya Sai Baba passed away

Sri Satya Sai Baba passed away near Bangalore. Millions of people from across the world visited him. Indeed, I have mentioned him in my profile; my English teacher A.Ramchandra was a big Sai Baba devotee, he and I used to have interfaith dialogue way back in 1970.

For as long as I know the Sai Baba at White Field, Bangalore attracted millions of people from around the world.

In the last two days a lot has been written including a purported documentary about trickery - The bottom line; the man has not robbed any, done anything to any one against their will; has offered dreams and hopes to many; and a lot of good... has come out in terms of educational institutions. Even if it were tricks, the good is too good to ignore, he has given hopes to the hopeless. Whether one agrees or not, look at the good that has been produced by the Baba

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

interfaith experiment; standing in others shoes

Given the growing apprehensiveness through politicizing religion, it makes a lot of sense for one to step in other’s shoes and experience the wisdom of every beautiful religion first hand, rather than live in phobias generated by hearsay.

Finding the truth is our own responsibility, as truth relieves one’s anxieties. The Quraan Conference took the wind out of the sails of the misrepresented verses like “Kill the infidels”, “beat your wife” or  “Don’t make friends with Jews and Christians and seven other verses”, mind you the verses were read in public by the clergy of different religions and not Muslims. (Quraanconference.com)

Mike Ghouse, a speaker on Interfaith, Pluralism, Islam and Cohesive Societies adds, “ I am delighted to share the successful interfaith experiments we have been conducting since 1996 through my Radio show and the Unity Day USA since 2005”


CLICK ON THE PIC TO SEE A LARGER VERSION
     The following experiment was conducted in 1997 at the Unity Day USA event.

Thirty Nine (39) Individuals were called in from the audience to form thirteen (13) groups of four (4) each. The groups were given a statement, verse or the wisdom (atheism) of each faith they represented randomly. No person was assigned his or her own religion but religions were assigned by a drawing. Every group was asked to read and share their understanding of that religion, the idea was to stand in others shoes, and it was one of the most successful experiments in religion.

Each one of the participant loved being a Jew, Zoroastrian, a Hindu, a Christian, Muslim or the other. When we read the book for real and not go by hearsay, our hearts and minds will open up to the wisdom of every religion, thus learning about each other first hand mitigates the conflicts and paves the way for solutions.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, futurist and a writer on the topics of Pluralism, Coexistence, interfaith, Islam and cohesive societies. He is committed to building cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, no matter what the issue is, he is a frequent guest at Hannity Show and other national syndicated shows. His work is indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/  

Defending the Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech must be cherished, admired and defended at any cost. The most important test of freedom is when you are willing to stand up for other’s freedom.  Why should any one stand up for you, if you are not willing to do the same?

All the great things are born out of freedom; if the great reformers in Religious, Social, Medical, Mathematical, and Engineering did not have the freedom to do the right thing, none of us would have witnessed the good things we are relishing today.

If Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha or others did not have the freedom, we would not have seen those religions today. They were radicals to the majorities at that time and they were chased, persecuted and harassed, yet they had the freedom to preach and left enduring legacies. 

Freedom also produces rascals. We should not make laws for the acts of the few; those few will violate the rules any way with or without the laws. There are 3 Million Americans in Jails today, the law did not matter to them, and passing another law is redundant. Same goes with the Terrorists, the more you go against them, and the more exciting it is for them to be scheming. We can spend half the money we spend on Security apparatus on education and mitigate terrorism; we are fighting them rather than finding a solution, a ridiculous duel.

The world has experienced the difficulties in dealing with the Cartoon issue. The radicals went ballistic in the very name of the prophet who would have opposed any violence and instead, would have prayed for goodwill to prevail, not only that he would have stood up and prevented any one from hurting the miscreants, then the cartoonist would have become bewildered and perhaps become the Ambassador of reconciliation. The reaction of the handful of Muslims was uncalled for and thanks to the majority of Muslims who spoke up against it.

Before the Cartoon was released years ago, I sent an appeal to Muslims to do what the Prophet had done as an example; to pray and ask God to guide the cartoonist with goodwill and offer protection should some one harm the man. Many a Mosques had done that and wrote to me about it. This was an opportunity lost for those who are bent on conversions. Of course the cartoons were distasteful, so were the reactions.

When MF Hussain drew the paintings of Hindu Icons in naked including Mother Sita, all hell broke loose. Of course the paintings were distasteful but the reactions were similar.

When Passion of the Christ was released; Muslims, Jews and Christians together opposed the movie and in many a Cities in India it was banned from showing in the theaters.

Clergies from Jewish, Christian and Hindu traditions have burnt the Quraan, Jewish and Hindu clergies have burnt the Bible, a Muslim and a Jew was disrespectful to Christmas tree. You will find these in every tradition. What we need to do it to treat this as an isolated incidence by individual and not the whole body of a people. Let’s not become the multipliers of cancerous cells.

The nation of Jordan is having a trail in absentia against the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, the outcome is obvious; he will be declared an apostate and death would be his penalty. We can clearly see the duping going on here; there are protests from the public to gain freedom and the Government of Jordan is playing this game as if that will solve the problem of the people of Jordan.

Asia Bibi in Pakistan is rotting in the Jail for Blaspheming Prophet Muhammad, and the fanatic core is out to get her in the name of the Prophet, who would have in turn prayed for her instead of revenging. I have written appeals and solutions on it and will continue to do my share of the work.

The Arab Nations sent a proposal to the United Nations asking to pass a resolution to ban any incitement against religious figures or religious books and I have opposed it.

Thank God, many have seen the wisdom in the freedom. The greater evil would be to shut some one out.  We should not make laws for the acts of the few; those few will violate the rules any way with or without the laws.

It is a learning experience for all of us to find solutions where no one feels that outraged, rightfully or wrongfully to express in such a manner. As a society, all of us need to do our share of goodwill nurturing.

Let freedom of expression be the rule to follow, we cannot go wrong.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and a thinker committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His works is listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter


http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/04/happy-easter.html

Easter is a celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, it is Christianity's most important holiday. Many a Christians don white clothing symbolizing purification. It was what Jesus donned once and to this day the tradition is followed at Yardent, where Jesus was baptized.

I was blessed to be baptized in River Jordan last year in the same spot where Jesus was baptized. It was an enriching experience to me in particular feeling the symbolic transformation.

Jesus is my mentor, a true pluralist who had no barriers between him and humanity, as a Muslim I felt the affirmation of that thought; of being boundless. 

Some of you may not be aware that Jesus is revered by Muslims, belief in him as a prophet is a requisition. He is considered as the bright star in the morning that brought the day light and predicted the arrival of Muhammad. Muslims further believe that Jesus is coming back as the Messiah around the end times and restore peace on earth and create the kingdom on earth where no human will be apprehensive of the other.

There is a full Chapter on Mary in the Quraan and Prophet Muhammad said there are three women who need to be looked up to as role models; Mary, Asia (the one who raised Moses) and Fatima (prophet’s daughter) and none of the women were traditional, they stood up against odds and changed the course of history.  The Hijab many Muslim women wear has origins in Mother Mary’s Hijab.

It was a trip called “MEPI” Middle East Peace Initiative organized by Universal Peace Federation. I was blessed to visit the holy sites of Bahais in Haifa, Druze near Golan Heights, and of course the Wailing Walls (Jews), Masjid Al-Aqsa (Muslims) and Holy Sepulcher and every Place where Jesus had been, via del Rosa where he walked with the cross, his burial place where he was risen, it was just an incredible experience and will write about it for Christmas.

Look me up in Google as “interfaith speaker”.

Happy Easter

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Moin Akhtar, an honorary citizen of Dallas

http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/04/moin-akhtar-honorary-citizen-of-dallas.html

Moin Akhtar is a rare individual, great entertainer, actor and a communicator. He is a legend of the Subcontinent and touched the hearts of millions across the world with his ability to communicate messages of harmony with humor. He was a perfect deliverer.

Shiraz Mithani, Syed Talib and I had sponsored his show in Dallas in 1996 and it was the first Pakistani Show that was houseful and thanks to my fellow Indians who joined us to pack the house. Mayor Ron Kirk and my Indian friend (who looks like me to the White Americans) at City of Dallas produced a proclamation honoring Moin Akhtar as an honorary Citizen of Dallas, and a formal key to the City Hall was presented to him. Moin was thrilled.

I have watched episodes after episodes of loose talk.
There is not going to be another Moin Akhtar.

An era ends with him,
a great loss to the Subcontinent
May God bless his soul.
In a short time, I was able to pull this picture where I was introducing Moin Akhtar to the audience prior to honoring him with the Key to our City while Shiraz was able to put the Video together on you tube ( link below)

Mike Ghouse, Dallas
# # #
From Shiraz Mithani

I had a privileged to interview Moin Akhtar during his visit to Dallas, TX  I was one of the organizers of the First Pakistani SOLD OUT show Moin Akhtar Nite 96 at McFarlin Auditorium. Moin Akhtar was honored with "Honorary Citizen of Dallas" award by former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk on this visit.

Moin Akhtar Interviewed by Shiraz Mithani on April 4th 1996 in Dallas, TX. Moin Akhtar was awarded with "Dallas Honorary Citizen" honor by Former Mayor of Dallas Ron Kirk on April 5th 1996. He was the First Pakistani Artist ever received this honor. Moin Akhtar nite 1996 was the first Sold Out Pakistani show in Dallas. Organized by Shiraz Mithani, (TV NAZARANA) Mike Ghouse (ASIAN NEWS) and Syed Talib (RADIO JHANKAR)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqYCE0BhY-w

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Speaking tour on building a cohesive America

PRESS RELEASE
Americans together have to put an end to the divisiveness and work towards building a cohesive, safe and secure America. No American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other.

April 22, 2011 -- The right wingers have been successful in pitting one American against the other for their own political and financial gains, it is time for us to come together as Americans and find solutions to the divisive issues and focus on becoming a catalyst to each others prosperity. I cannot be secure if those around me are not.

Mike Ghouse, President of America Together Foundation announced his plans to go on a speaking tour across America in an effort to build cohesive societies. “It is a three in one opportunity to hear out on Pluralism, Islam and Interfaith”. He will address what it takes to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions to media and to the public on important and complex issues of the day and is available to speak in a variety of settings such as schools, seminars, conferences, and places of worship, or the work place.

Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, (The Hannity Show), and has been interviewed on nationally syndicated Radio shows along with Dallas TV, Print and Radio networks and occasional interviews on NPR. He is a member of the Texas Faith panel of Dallas Morning News and writes on issues facing the nation every week. He has spoken at international forums including the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, in Melbourne, Australia, Middle East Peace Initiative, in Jerusalem, the International Leadership conference, in Hawaii, in Washington, and elsewhere.

The Foundation for Pluralism champions the idea of co-existence by respecting and accepting the otherness of those different from ourselves. The World Muslim Congress is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam. Heavily involved in both, Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and has produced outstanding public events to bring Americans together of different religions, ethnicities and races on common grounds of building a safe and secure America.

Mike is a speaker, thinker, collaborator and a writer on the subjects of Pluralism, the Interfaith Movement, Cohesive Societies, Islam, India, Hope and World Peace. Over 1000 of his articles have been published worldwide and two books are poised to be released this summer. His work is reflected in 4 websites and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/


Interfaith Speaker:
http://interfaithspeaker.com/

Muslim Speaker
http://www.mikeghouse.net/MuslimSpeaker.MikeGhouse.asp

Pluralism Speakerhttp://pluralismspeaker.blogspot.com/

If you wish to host "Building a Cohesive America" event in your town you can reach; Mike Ghouse at (214) 325-1916 or email to: GhouseSpeaks@Gmail.com

Is Hell Dead?

http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/04/is-hell-dead.html

Hell is not dead, nor will it die but dying it is.

Texas Faith is a weekly column at Dallas Morning News where a dozen religious panelists opine on issues facing the nation. I am blessed to be one sharing a pluralistic perspective on issues of the day. No group has a monopoly on good, bad and ugly things of life, we are equally responsible for creating a cohesive society where you and I can live without apprehension of the other and live the life and let others live theirs.  This weeks question is responded by 14 Panelists in the following link: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/04/texas-faith-is-hell-dead.html

Here is my take

Hell is not dead, nor will it die but dying it is.

Hell is different things to different people; to some it is a real thing where one burns on renewable embers for eternity. At the other end of the spectrum it is pure anguish to some, and yet to some it ain’t there.

But one thing is certain, an increasing number of people believe hell is a thing of the past used as a deterrent to prevent wrong doing.  The latest research from Barna Associates shows that only 32 percent of adults see hell as, "an actual place of torment and suffering where people's souls go after death.”

"I don't think fear, as a tactic, really moves people toward faith these days," Pastor Bill Hybels said. "So, tactically, I think there are better ways to interest the uninterested in the claims of Jesus Christ."  Pope Benedict reiterates, "Jesus came to tell us everyone is wanted in paradise, and that hell, about which little gets said today, exists and is eternal for those who shut their hearts to His love."

People simply don't want to hear about Hell any more, they have enough of it in their own lives to listen to another one.

They are searching for a door to escape momentarily and prefer attending a Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Temple or other place of worship to hear about peace and hope, where no one is apprehensive of the other under the big tent. This phenomenon is part of the people regardless of their religion, some Muslims go to a Mosque at the tail end of a sermon to catch up with the prayers and avoid hearing about hell.

Author Theologian RC Sproul writes, "Many evangelical pastors have bristled at the thought of being labeled a "fire and brimstone" preacher and turned to a kinder, gentler approach.

Joel Osteen has captured that market well; he understands their needs and consistently delivers a message of hope to over 30,000 a week including me.  People are also turning to silent mediation centers to get away from the hell pounding in the sanctuaries.

An empirical research is warranted to determine a correlation between decline in church attendance and the sermons of hell, hate and fear.

The hell is indeed dying, and the individuals are discovering the myths of Santa Claus and the myths of Hell.

Bottom Line:

Here is a possibility you may want to ponder. Every item of the universe, life or matter is created to seek its own balance for survival. Matter is programmed to seek its own balance, where as humans are not, they have the free will to find that elusive balance through a variety of religious, psychological, social or common sense guidance.

In life when someone wrongs you, you cry out loud seeking justice in a variety of formats; it is indeed a balance seeking mechanism. Religions offer the scenario of hell or reincarnations in lower forms as a punishment; it gives hope to the victims of oppression that no one will go scot free and yet God offers an alternative plan; forgiveness. It is Central to the teachings of Jesus and found in every religious and spiritual tradition. In Islam, Quraan Guides one with this thought; the one God loves most is the one who forgives.
# #
Mike Ghouse, President of America Together foundation is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is available to speak at your place of worship, campus, work, seminars and conferences. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Mike's work is reflected in 4 websites and 27 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Monday, April 18, 2011

List of Websites and Blogs

LIST OF WEBSITES & BLOGS
CONNECTED TO MIKE GHOUSE

Mike Ghouse, President of America Together foundation and Islam Together foundation is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, and is available to speak at your place of worship, work, school, seminars and conferences. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. His work is reflected in 4 websites and 27 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

INDEX

Websites
Personal
Pluralism Sites
Civic Sites
Islam Sites s

WEBSITES



PERSONAL

Ghouse Diary
Everything that I write goes here first since Jan 2011
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com

Ghouse Tweets
250 Word Statements on issues of the day
 http://Ghousetweets.blogspot.com
 
Ghouse on Google Search - Click

Ghouse on YouTube - Click

Dallas Mega Rally - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrjU0KULv-Y



Standing up for others.
Why should you stand up for others, almost every one. I have done to back up what I preach. http://www.mikeghouse.net/Standing.up.for.others.asp



PLURALISM SITES

Our mission is to encourage individuals to develop an open mind and an open heart toward their fellow beings.

Wisdom of Religion 
Master site on Pluralism, it is all about co-existence. No religion is above the other.   http://wisdomofReligion.blogspot.com
 
Americans together, building cohesive societies
www.AmericaTogetherFoundation.com


Holocaust and Genocides  
http://holocaustandgenocides.blogspot.com/
 


Quraan Conference
The holy book is about living in harmony with free will, there are mis-translations and mis-interpretations that are addressed, and it will done by non-Muslim clergy from all faiths.  http://www.quraanconference.com/




Ground Zero Mosque
The full story of the mosque with 60 plus articles and videos exploring the politics of it.  http://groundzeromosque.blogspot.com/

Peter King Hearings
We welcomed it, let's put all the things on the table and once for all clear it up.  http://www.peterkinghearings.blogspot.com/


Terrorism counter  
http://terrorismcounter.blogspot.com/
 


Dallas Interfaith Center  
http://dallasinterfaithcenter.blogspot.com/
 

CIVIC SITES


Carrollton Diary
 http://carrolltondiary.blogspot.com/

Mike Ghouse for America 

Mike Ghouse for India
 http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/

Israel Palestine dialogue

# # #

ISLAM

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence.



World Muslim Congress
This site chronicles events that affect co-existence and offers solutions to build cohesive societies. http://WorldMuslimCongress.blogspot.org

World Muslim Congress – www.worldMuslimCongress.com

World Muslim Congress – www.WorldMuslimCongress.net

Quraan Today -
Offers information that nurtures the values of pluralism in Quraan. http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/


Muslim Women
Without any reserve men and women have equal rights in Quraan and Islam, even a few Muslims have misunderstood the value Islam places on justness and fairness.
http://muslimwomenandmen.blogspot.com/


Sharia Laws
Defined in lay persons language and easy to understand the personal path of living a righteous life and the public Sharia that governs relationships between individuals and the society like the civil laws.  http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/

Blasphemy Laws
Quraan prohibits judgment, prejudice is discouraged and there is no punishment for the ones who maligns God or his prophet. It is a political tool of oppression by right wingers among Muslims. http://blasphemylaws.blogspot.com/

Ramadan Exclusive
What is Ramadan? Visiting different Mosques and cherishing different practices of all denominations of Muslims.   http://ramadanexclusive.blogspot.com/



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Naming a Political Satire site

The amount of stupidity displayed by the politicians is amazing; either they are  idiots, nincompoops, dumbos, morons or downright stupid. They are every where; usually the right wingers make an ass of themselves and the media rightfully highlights the extremes, so we can manage the old fashion way; management by exception.

I am creating a fun website to list statements and comments made by Politicians from across the world, but preferably here in America.  What is ironic is their refusal to see or at least hear another point of view

Dictionary: An idiot  is an Adult stupid person with a mental age below three years, while a moron  is also an Adult stupid person with a mental age of between seven to twelve years. Stupid refers to lack of ability while ignorant refers to lack of knowledge

What name would you Vote in for a website?

Stupid Politicians
Moron Politicians
Idiot Politicians
Dumb Politicians
Nincompoop Politicians
  
So I ask you to suggest the name for the website to assemble all political stupidities in one single place that you can be a contributor.

Name the Site you would prefer to describe them
Share a link with the title to line up posting on the website
If you know sites that already do this, share it too.

REFERENCES

2.       A dumb politician Criticizing pluralism payer in Carrollton - http://carrolltondiary.blogspot.com/2011/04/prayers-at-carrollton-city-council.html you can also watch on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Git_8Grd3A&feature=player_embedded

Mike Ghouse

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Muslim Speaker Mike Ghouse

NURTURING PLURALISTIC VALUES EMBEDDED IN ISLAM 

A Muslim Speaker, thinker, organizer and an activist committed to building cohesive societies with a belief that what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice versa to sustain peace, harmony and prosperity.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter. Over 1000 articles have been published on a range of topics in Islam and Pluralism. Insha Allah, a book outlining the Muslim vision is on the horizon.



In defense of Islam, pursuing a civil dialogue

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20100919-In-defense-of-Islam-pursuing-9397.ece  
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."
 
# # #

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer, thinker, futurist and an activist of Pluralism, Islam, India and Civil Societies passionately offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

He is a commentator at Fox News on the Hannity show, nationally syndicated Radio shows along with Dallas TV, Print and Radio networks and occasional interviews on NPR.  He has spoken at international forums including the Parliament of Worlds Religions in Melbourne, Middle East Peace initiative in Jerusalem, International Leadership conference in Hawaii, Washington and elsewhere.

Concerned by the divisiveness, he saw the need to bring Americans together and founded America Together Foundation committed to building a cohesive America, indeed it is in response to ACT America which is bent on pitching one American against the other.  We will be holding series of educational programs, conferences and workshops to address the issues that divide us such as Civil Right, GLBT, Quraan, Abortion, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racial Profiling and Stereotyping.

The Annual Unity Day USA is in its 7th year now, it is a purposeful event to bring Americans together, on this Unity Day, 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, prosperity and wellbeing of our nation.  

Thanksgiving Celebration is in its 15th year showcasing cultural diversity.

The 5th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides is to learn and to acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things we have inflicted upon each other and commit to avert such tragedies.  Through this event non-Jewish people have consciously learned about Holocaust for the first time, it was also for the first time that people of 14 faiths came together to join in to commemorate the Holocaust that commemorated within the Jewish Community for years. They are not alone anymore in their anguish, we are all in it together with them, and it is a Muslim initiative to effect a positive change.

The programs, seminars and workshops conducted by the Foundation for Pluralism have become a part of the America Together Foundation. While the Foundation for Pluralism continues championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other, the commitment to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress continues.

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Mike is working on two books scheduled to be released this year; The American Muslim Agenda and My Journey to Pluralism.

Mike has written over 1000 Articles on Pluralism, Islam, India, Peace & Justice and civil societies published in a wide spectrum of Newspapers and Magazines around the world.

Locally, he is a panelist at Dallas Morning News's and writes weekly on a range of issues facing the nation. Washington Post, Huffington Post and other news papers and sites regularly publish his work.  

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your place of worship, school, work place, seminars, workshops or conferences. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/