SHORT MESSAGES

More articles at www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com about the Gaza conflict.

I will be out in DC on Tuesday and Wednesday

Mike Ghouse
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Texas Faith: How should Huntsman and Romney handle their Mormonism?

Texas Faith: How should Huntsman and Romney handle their Mormonism?
By William McKenzie/ Editorial Columnist
2:01 PM on Tue., Jun. 28, 2011 | Permalink

Last week, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman got into the GOP presidential race, joining Mitt Romney as the second Mormon candidate in this year's Republican field.

Since Americans often prize our nation's belief in religious diversity, one might think their Mormonism would not be an issue. But polls have consistently shown that high percentages of both Republicans and Democrats are uncomfortable with a Mormon serving as president.

That reality creates a quandary for Huntsman and Romney. If they don't explain their religion, voters may remain uncomfortable with it and reject them. But if they explain it too much, they risk making their faith too large an issue.

So, here's this week's question:

How would you suggest they handle their Mormonism during their campaigns?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

The Mormonism of Romney and Huntsman may not be a major issue in their campaigns. Precedents have been set and America is moving forward.

We have come a long way in giving full value to our declaration that all men are created equal. The essence of this immortal phrase is yet to be realized; indeed it will remain hollow in part until the day we look to each other as American and nothing but American.


It took nearly a century for women to believe in that phrase until a woman's right to vote was passed in 1893. Native Americans were not even considered citizens in their own land until a 1924 congressional act. African-Americans, who built this nation, had to wait for nearly two centuries to believe in those words, until the Civil Rights Act of 1965 was passed.

Romney and Huntsman can borrow and expand on the speech of John F. Kennedy: "So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again, not what kind of church I believe in -- for that should be important only to me -- but what kind of America I believe in, " and "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act ... where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."

The freedom to speak, assemble, eat, wear or believe is a birthright of each one of us. Indeed, civil societies and religions call for creating heaven on the earth where no one is apprehensive of the other. Thanks to the founding fathers for giving America an eternal vision.

In 1960, the nation witnessed a sea change in electing a Catholic, John F. Kennedy to the presidency. In 1984 Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman to run for vice president. And in 2008 Hilary Clinton was a major contender for the presidency. Finally an African-American, Barack Obama, was elected president of the United States.

I wrote an emotional piece on that day, it is a realization of American vision, "all men are created equal." It is a model for the world to emulate.

With the exception of the United States and India, is there a country out there on the earth where the qualification of the candidate matters most rather than his or her religion, ethnicity or race?
 
All that Romney and Huntsman have to do is to understand the depth and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance and show this understanding to Americans in their words and actions to earn their vote. Americans are willing to reward those who are inclusive and dump those who pit one American against the other for political gains.

Dallas Morning News published 12 opinions including mine at: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/06/texas-faith-how-should-huntsma.html

# # #

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print Media. He presides America Together Foundation and is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, India and cohesive societies. Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. He is available to speak at your place of worship, work, school, college, seminars or conferences. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bigotry of Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Right wing Republicans

I am starting a series to take on the the Right wing Republicans... There are many things in this article that will become talking points to moderate Americans who want to fight back the right wingers attacking Muslims, Hindus, Jews and others, there is short poem written as an example tomake Texans, New Yorkers and Californians angry, it is to make the point about false accusations against Muslims.

There are four clear points communicated in this article and God willing more to come through 2012 Elections. I am going on a Drive America Tour this fall talking about building a cohesive America. If you can arrange with your local Democrats and Republicans party to speak, I will be happy to do that.

As a disclosure, I am a moderate Republican and there are plenty of us, but most of them are gutless like most Muslims are and are afraid to speak up. I will fight with them to bring moderates to the front, you are right, I may not succeed but will make  the points is crucial to activate the sleeping Moderate Americans to counter the right wing propaganda.   



I am writing a series and will be talking on American Politics, if you wish to add your comment to my articles to be published in Huffington Post, Washington Post, OpEd News, New York Times and other papers. I will be happy to include, please let me know if you wish to contribute a sentence or a paragraph to it, you must be willing to stand up for the attacks from right wing Muslims and right wing Christians. It is time now. Let’s us be the catalysts for a safe, secure America.

Let us act now as participants, rather than known protestors.

Please feel free to write your comment at the article to create momentum and not allow me to stand alone.


TAKING ON BIGOTRY OF NEWT GIINGRICH, HERMAN CAIN AND REPUBLICANS http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Bigotry-of-Newt-Gingrich--by-Mike-Ghouse-110622-717.html


Is there a Republican out there running for the presidency who has the guts to say one word against Jews, Israel or African Americans and get away with it? Name one who got away, not one! Muslims can learn from this.
It is pathetic that the right wingers have to resort to hate in pursuit of power, and it is a greater shame on those few who are buying into their agenda. We need jobs and not hateful propaganda. Hating Muslims as group does not fill one's belly or prevent my small business from going down the tube. Wake up America.


I am proud of the Jewish and African American contributions in building a pluralistic America. As a Muslim I stand with the Jews and urge Muslims and others to follow their model. I stood with them at the Holocaust Museum, Texas Jewish Post, Akiba Academy and other places when Fred Phelps was demonstrating hate in those places; I am pleased to have commenced a program to reflect on Holocaust and Genocides to bring education to non-Jewish Americans, I have condemned Ahmedinejad of Iran for denying Holocaust, there is a good history of building cohesive societies.
I have stood up for Hindus, Christians, Baha'is, Wicca, Native Americans, Shia, Sunni, Ahmadiyya, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Buddhist, Gays and Lesbians and others. I am not standing up for them; I am standing up for every American's right to be American. Who the hell is anyone to question any one's right?


Being free from prejudice gives me the strength and the audacity to stand up for others. I have equally condemned the bad acts of those among Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians and others.
Now, I ask you to stand up with me to bring a positive change in America. Ultimately if we stand up for each other, everyone will be safe and we can focus on prosperity.
First they came for Native Americans,


thank God, though late enough Americans stood up for them;


Then they came for Jews,
thank God, enough Americans stood up for them;

Then they came for Catholics,
thank God, enough Americans stood up for them;

They were after the African Americans,
thank God, enough Americans stood up for them;

Then they came for Mormons,
thank God enough Americans stood up for them;

They have been after GLBT,
thank God, support momentum is gathering for them;

Now they are coming for Muslims,
lets pray that enough Americans will stand up for them;

Who is coming after Muslims?


Unfortunately some of them are from those who have suffered in the past, the office seekers include a Catholic or a former Catholic, African American, Mormon and others. What a betrayal to their heritage!


It reminds me of Holocaust; when Jewish men and women were sent to the ovens, the world looked on and their friends did not do a thing either. How difficult it must have been for them to see the whole humanity betray them and how lonely they must have felt? I have always admired those souls, they were the real heroes to walk to it so the world can be a better place, so people can wake up and say never again.


The following statements may make you angry;


"I don't trust anyone from Dallas, they are Murderers!
They murdered 226 people in 2009.

"No one should take their daughter or wife to New York.
The New Yorkers raped 2586 women in 2009.

"The Californians are reckless drivers,
the maniacs had16 million tickets in 2007"
You get the point about Muslims.


This is the favorite method of bigots to take a few factoids and malign the whole community.
I do not think Gingrich, Cain and the Right wing Republican would feel ashamed for their reckless speeches in demeaning and criticizing fellow Americans.


It is up to decent Americans to shame them in realizing that the jig is up and we refuse to be duped by their bigotry. We would like to know what they would do to create jobs and fix the economy for all Americans including Muslims.


I urge Muslims to follow the Jewish Model, where their vote counts and the politicians rightfully care about them for their votes. It is embarrassing that Muslims stay out of the election process. I have not seen any one from the self proclaimed main stream Sunni Muslims in Carrollton election process. Why should any politician give a damn about them? Stop being cry babies and start participating in electing the right candidates.


Whether Muslims participate or not, we have to build a cohesive America where our Children and Grand Children can live without apprehension of the other.


Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print Media. Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, India and cohesive societies. Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. He is available to speak at your place of worship, work, school, college, seminars or conferences. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
www.MikeGhouse.net

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TEXAS FAITH: Should churches be able to hold services in a public school?

10 PANELISTS RESPOND

William McKenzie/ Editorial Columnist  Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 | Permalink

This week's question comes courtesy of Texas Faith panelist Cindy Rigby, after she read this New York Times article.

The story deals with an evangelical church using a New York public school for its services. According to the article, the church does not pay rent. It instead pays the fee for the custodians.

As the story indicates, this is not the only church to use a New York public school for its services. Churches, mostly evangelical ones, use at least 60 of them.

The Supreme Court, as well as various equal access laws, have held that schools must give religious groups the same access to their facilities that they do all other clubs. But then, as this story indicates, an appellate court ruled in June that New York City could prohibit churches from holding worship services at a public school. As author Katherine Stewart put it, "Using the school system to subsidize houses of worship...risks violating the constitutional ban on the establishment of religion."

But does it? Does the holding of a church service in a public school imply an endorsement of a particular religion?

As you consider this week's question, I would ask you to think about how you would feel if a church group that you support or like wanted to do the same. How would that affect your views? And what separates a church from holding a service there versus, say, an AA group?

We have not dealt with a church/state question, so thanks to Cindy for bringing up the issue.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Katherine Stewart's comment in the op-ed piece at the NY Times is wise. As she writes, "In a city blessed with an uncountable number of faiths, it's foolish to get schools tangled up in religion."

Indeed, holding of a church service in a public school implies a tacit endorsement of a particular religion. The group may or may not be affixing their version of the religion on the school building, but it will eventually monopolize zoning and steer (chase) others away.

A conservative value would be what is good for the goose has got to be good for the gander. To build cohesive societies where trust is the norm, and where commitment to the idea of a society where no one is apprehensive of the other becomes customary, we have to treat everyone justly. Fairness ought to be valued by all including the conservatives.

When I and my interest become subservient to the interest of the society at large, no one will lose. In business, one has to be aggressive and selfish to succeed. However, when it is at the cost of other, both will lose at the end.

As a pluralist and a Muslim, I have no problem with "a church that runs a Gender Affirming Ministry Endeavor associated with the movement to "cure" gay men and lesbians," or if the, "movement that instructs its members to pray for a Christian "reformation" of American education and for the election of like-minded political leaders," or a religious group that teaches evolution. All of them should have the access and freedom to preach what they want.

The real problem is why would I want to subsidize a group to use taxpayer's funding?
Muslims have great examples to offer. The mosque in Richardson does not lend its cultural hall to any activity that is ascribable to a particular denomination, including a few groups who celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad. A few years ago, Turkey, a Muslim majority democracy, had banned reciting verses from Quran in a city event where people of other faiths were participants.

Indeed, I would urge the ministries using the school for church to hang on to the conservative values of peace and safety for every American, and volunteer to ease out of the situation and not create an entanglement for the school. Let this not be an entitlement.

Even if the school has one child who is an Atheist, Zoroastrian, Native American or a Wicca, he or his parents must have equal access to the facilities to preach his take on the issues. We are a leading civilization of the free world, and we ought to be worth emulating by other nations to create a better world for the benefit of all of God's creation. The best thing for the school is to untangle itself from any religious affiliation.

 Ten Panelists have responded to the question and continue for the other 9 at -http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/06/this-weeks-question-comes-cour.html

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print Media. Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, India and cohesive societies. Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blaming the west, no one can cast the first stone.

http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/06/blaming-west-no-one-can-cast-first.html

The below referenced items was published in one of my groups. It is an open forum and we have members of several different religious tradition in it including Jews, Hindus, Christians and others from across the world. Anyone can become a member by sending an email to WorldMusilmCongress-subscribe@yahoogroups.com All are welcome. My policy is to publish all opinions relating to the topics from extreme right to left, so we can understand all points of view. When I don’t agree with an opinion here and there, I do express my disagreement on an equal basis with the others.

A few individuals blame the west for the ills of the society, as one puts it “the westernism ideology or “economic imperialism”. I have time and again expressed that “evil” does not have a monopoly of any one, east or west, Muslims, Christians or any one. His opinion is his own as mine is my own.  Evil is an inherent part of every society and has always existed and will continue to be a part of every group, be it religions, nationalistic, ethnic or any other formation.  If evil was not crated none of the religions were needed. The religions have come into being to minimize the evil, a majority of people get the message a few don’t;  The piece “
World's Most Dangerous Place for Women Published by Aljazeera English 6/15/11”  throws the “holier than thou” attitudes under the bus. Jesus was absolutely right; no one can cast the first stone.

The individual mirrors Pat Robertson, John Hagee, late Jerry Falwell and several others who have blamed Katrina and 9/11 on America for allowing Gays and Lesbian unions, pornography, abortion and other “evils” per them. They even said Arial Sharon’s illness was God’s punishment to him for agreeing to give Gaza back to Palestinians. If these guys have the freedom they will act God and repeat Sodom and Gomorrah to our population that supports GLBT and Abortions.

Even though Pat Robertson has a huge audience, not all of his membership agrees with him, so was with Falwell, although many a presidents listened to these men. Heck, a majority of Christians do not subscribe to their view and hence their views are not Christian views. The individual on our forum no different. He has his own following but that is not the opinion of all Muslims – I for one differ on his take on this issue, however, our group is democratic, we allow all opinions and that is the right thing to do.
Men have stood up against oppression of women in a variety of forms; female feticides, female genital mutilation, trafficking, prostitution, job discrimination and gender biases. I am not only condemning it, but speaking up as well. I am a member of many a women groups as a support and to stand with them.  
It is a shame what is happening with women all around the world, and particularly in Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Congo, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. As man I condemn it and share that condemnation with my groups. Many a members of the group, both male and female are actively working to mitigate this menace. Blessed are the peace makers and I urge for us to realize that we cannot single out any group for the bad acts, all of us are responsible to uplift the society, let’s do our share.
Mike Ghouse, speaker, thinker and a writer on Pluralism, Islam, India and social cohesiveness. All his work is indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
This letter will also be published at www.TheGhousediary.com and www.worldMuslimCongress.org

Hello everyone!  I've sent this to every man listed in our email address book..  All men, Baha'i men in particular, must step up to the plate - LOUDLY - about this issue.  We know from the Writings that God has always recognized and wanted equality, and when considered for a moment, recognize that men cannot, repeat CANNOT raise to the peak of their spiritual best until this issue is resolved. 

There are spiritual solutions to all of this world's problems - find them, grab them, act on them, teach them, and do not let go.

Lovingly, Mindy & Charles

P.S. Please research the ad, don't ignore it.  "If you're not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem".

----- Forwarded Message ----

Subject: Re: MuslimsTogether :: Muslims are happy in the West

The below is an email I sent to an international Muslim Group (meant to send you a BC- but failed to do so).  We are continually bombared with negative images of the West for its morals -- some of these men are completely oblivious (or don't give a damn) about the women.  Please pray, and take whatever action you can to help women worldwide.  Blessings, Marylou

In a message dated 6/18/11 10:12:09 AM, Unity writes:

Has anyone polled women for happiness?  I have yet to see even one male address this abuse of women.  See below  -- I have cut for brevity --  research the entire article on line if you have the stomach for it.    The statistics on India are interesting - 40% of prostitutes are children.  Attacking the West does not solve the problem.  If anyone thinks it diverts our attention, you are mistaken.  Marylou

Source:  World's Most Dangerous Place for Women
Published by Aljazeera English 6/15/11


Afghanistan has been ranked as the world's most dangerous country for women, with Congo taking a close second position, a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll has said.

Violence, dismal healthcare and brutal poverty afflicts women in Afghanistan, while in Congo there are horrific levels of rape, the survey conducted by Trust Law, an arm of Thomson Reuters, said on Wednesday.

Pakistan, India and Somalia ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively in the global survey of perceptions of threats ranging from domestic abuse and economic discrimination to female foeticide, genital mutilation and acid attacks.

"Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women," Antonella Notari, head of women change makers, a group that supports women social entrepreneurs around the world, said.

The survey asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions of danger as well as by six risks. The risks were health threats, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, cultural or religious factors, lack of access to resources and trafficking.

Some experts said the poll showed that subtle dangers such as discrimination that don't grab headlines are sometimes just as significant risks for women as bombs, bullets, stonings and systematic rape in conflict zones.

"I think you have to look at all the dangers to women, all the risks women and girls face," Elisabeth Roesch, who works on gender-based violence for the International Rescue Committee in Washington, said.

"If a woman can't access healthcare because her healthcare isn't prioritized, that can be a very dangerous situation as well."

Afghan women have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth, according to UNICEF.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), still reeling from a 1998-2003 war and accompanying humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4m people, came second mainly due to staggering levels of sexual violence in the lawless east.

More than 400,000 women are raped in the country each year, according to a recent study by US researchers. The United Nations has called Congo the rape capital of the world.

"The fact that the government is corrupt and that female rights are very low on the agenda means that there is little or no recourse to justice."

Pakistan ranked third largely on the basis of cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women. These include acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse.

"Pakistan has some of the highest rates of dowry murder, so-called honour killings and early marriage," Divya Bajpai, reproductive health advisor at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, said.

Some 1,000 women and girls die in honour killings annually, according to Pakistan's Human Rights Commission.

Trafficking of women

India ranked fourth primarily due to female foeticide, infanticide and human trafficking.
In 2009, India's then-Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta estimated that 100m people, mostly women and girls, were involved in trafficking in India that year.

"The practice is common but lucrative so it goes untouched by government and police," Cristi Hegranes, founder of the Global Press institute, which trains women in developing countries to be journalists, said.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation estimated that in 2009 about 90 per cent of trafficking took place within the country and that there were some 3m prostitutes, of which about 40 per cent were children.
In addition to sex slavery, other forms of trafficking include forced labour and forced marriage, according to a US state department report on trafficking in 2010. The report also found slow progress in criminal prosecutions of traffickers.

Up to 50m girls are thought to be "missing" over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide, the UN Population Fund said.

Somalia ranked fifth due to a catalogue of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape and female genital mutilation, along with limited access to education, healthcare and economic resources ...

"The most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia can do is to become pregnant. When a woman becomes pregnant her life is 50-50 because there is no antenatal care at all. There are no hospitals, no healthcare, no nothing.

"Add to that the rape cases that happen on a daily basis, the female genital mutilation that is being done to every single girl in Somalia. Add to that the famine and the drought. Add to that the fighting (which means) you can die any minute, any day."

Poll respondents included aid professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, journalists and development specialists"   (read the rest on line at site above listed)  END.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Carrollton City Council candidates asked about race, civil unions, immigration changes

(NOTE: THIS BLOG IS EXCLUSIVELY MY WRITINGS, THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCEPTION)
By DIANNE SOLÍS
Staff Writer
dsolis@dallasnews.com
Published 13 June 2011 10:36 PM


CARROLLTON - The runoffs for two City Council seats feature both the expected and the unexpected. There's debate on the budget and the effects of the recession, but in this diverse city of 130,000, there are also questions rising on civil unions and immigration.

In Place 2, former council member and attorney Bonnie Kaplan faces software developer Anthony Wilder. Kaplan won 37 percent of the vote and Wilder 32 percent in the May 14 election.

In Place 4, Bob Garza, a retired telecommunications manager, faces Cathy Henesey, a hospital human resources manager. Garza had 37 percent of the vote and Henesey 30 percent last month.

Early voting for Saturday's runoffs ends Tuesday.

At a candidates' forum last week organized by resident Mike Ghouse, questions were asked about social issues. Ghouse is Muslim, an immigrant from India and an organizer of events centered on religious tolerance and cultural understanding.

Wilder missed the forum, citing scheduling conflicts.

Ghouse asked what the candidates thought of civil unions of gay or lesbian couples. Six years ago, the mayor at the time, Becky Miller, was criticized for participating in a gay pride parade. Gay groups moved quickly to defend her.

The city doesn't offer domestic partner benefits. Kaplan said couples "have the right to be in the kind of relationship they want." The day will come when civil unions are recognized more broadly, she said.

Garza noted that the issue is unresolved at the federal level. "One of my top goals is that I will represent everyone fairly and equally," he said.

Henesey noted that many companies offer domestic partner benefits. After the forum, she said she supports domestic partner benefits for city employees and added that civil unions can involve any two people who are committed but not married.

Issues of racial profiling and opposition to Islam merged into questions on immigration laws.

In 2010, the city was sued by a black businessman beaten by a Carrollton police officer as he prepared to sell a used vehicle to a customer and took off the license plate. The businessman had a concealed weapon, and a police video of the beating included his statement that he had a concealed weapons permit.

"Racial profiling is something that may be happening. . It certainly is something I won't tolerate," Garza said.

Kaplan said her home was painted with a swastika years ago when she moved to Carrollton.

"I am really Irish Catholic," Kaplan said. "My husband is Jewish."

But the incident deepened her sensitivity to discrimination, she said.

Asked if immigration law is a federal or state issue, the three candidates said it is a federal issue.

Henesey, though, said the city should adopt the federal government's volunteer program called E-Verify for its contractors to make sure only legal residents are hired.

Under the E-Verify program, Social Security numbers are checked to see if they are valid. In 2007, the state of Arizona  passed an immigration law that included mandatory use of E-Verify, and that 2007 law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court three weeks ago. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce fought against E-Verify in the Supreme Court case.
# # #

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Fathers day, a tribute to my pluralist father Abdul Rahman

Published at Huffngton Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/pluralist-father_b_879528.html
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Life is all about expressions and completing transactions. Every emotion, thought, action or a change creates a new debt or a favor that needs to be re-balanced. Obviously we cannot reciprocate the favors in full, but we have been able to do that with a thank you in the most simplistic way or ratcheting up with complications.
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One of the incomplete transactions of my life was not being able to do the things I wanted to do for my father. As a kid I would step in and take over the work from him so he can take rest, an Indian tradition that I cherish. When I moved to Saudi Arabia on an assignment, I sent my first check to him with which he started paying off my loan. With the next check I asked him to buy clothes for the family and wanted him to replace his old black Jacket he wore forever with a new one. He said no, first things first. In the first week of December 1977 my check paid off all my loans, and with the next check I asked him to oblige me. Man, I am feeling a deluge of emotions as I am writing this, darn, my eyes are welled up.
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He did not get the check, he just had to live his words, "Until my last breath, I will be earning my living and take care of my family." Darn it, he did it. I was angry for my helplessness, and was happy that the man kept his word. But that created a huge gap in my life and I continue to recover my balance by serving the senior friends in whatever little way I can. You can always count on me to drop everything off to attend to a senior's request.
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Talking about keeping one's word; in the late sixties he decided to go back to till his father's land abandoned some forty years ago, when the whole family died in the influenza that had killed millions around the world. He sold a thriving property we had and sunk the money in the farm and I was on it for six months. He gave his word to someone to sell for quick cash and told us about it in the evening, three of his friends descended at our house with three times the money, my father refused; he said no, I have given my word to that man. My mother and I were angry; he said he would rather lose the money than his word. I did not value it then, but when I left home, it all meant so much to me and yes, I have lost quite a lot for that, then I realized no one will take the wealth with them either.
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My father is my hero and opened the doors of wisdom to us. Pluralism indeed runs in my family. He taught one of the biggest lessons of my life in social cohesiveness and dealing with extremism that I continue to reflect in my talks, acts and write ups.
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During the communal riots in Jabalpur (India) in the early sixties, both Muslims and Hindus were killed in the mayhem. I wish every father in India, America and elsewhere teaches this lesson to his kids. He was crystal clear on his take; He told us the "individuals" are responsible for the bloodshed and not the religions; he would emphasize that you cannot blame the intangible religion and expect justice, we must blame the individuals who caused it and punish them accordingly for disturbing the peace and thus bring a resolution to the conflict by serving justice. He said you cannot annihilate, kill, hang or beat the religion, then why bark at it?
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My father was a Mayor of the Town of Yelahanka (The town gave birth to Bangalore in 1537) and served the council for many years. He was also the president of the Islamic Association of the town. We grew up with no barriers between us and another soul. He broke all traditions of the society; during the early sixties India was pretty much like the US in the way she treated her "Harijan - God's chosen people as Mahatma Gandhi termed the "untouchables". The African Americans endured such treatment here. My father would invite them in our home and my mother would serve tea and food in the same glasses and plates that we drank and ate. It was a big no no at that time, some boycotted coming to our house and many people opposed him with unsavory words, but my father stood his ground. I see that streak in me playing it out all the times. Thank you Dad for inculcating the value of treating every human with full dignity, that is just one of the thousands of things you blessed me with. I love to see all of God's creation treated fairly and justly.
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He treated all of us kids with dignity and I am pleased I got to be disciplined at least once. I guess I replicated that with my children to the point my kids would actually say, Dad, you should have disciplined us. I did not see the need for it. I am fine and they are fine too. I gave them the cold shoulder that my father had given me to straigthen me out, and it worked both ways, athough my daughter was a tough cookie, she would not budge.
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I was about ten years old and watched a man fall off his bicycle with his big bag of rice and was struggling to get back on it, and I wasn't going to help the man. I saw my father about 100 feet away and the way he sped towards me got me frightened for the first time, I dashed inside the home and a few minutes later after helping the guy he was in… I climbed on top of the paddy bags in a corner of the house, I thought he could not get me there, so he goes outside and plucks a long branch off the mulberry tree and gives me a few good ones. "My son will never do that" after that conditioning, I have developed the habit of stopping for everyone who needs help. I dare not watch and not do something about it.
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On this day, I thank Dadsky Everett Blauvelt who was the reason for me to be here in Dallas, he and I worked together in Saudi Arabia some 35 years ago. Also want to express my gratitude to my friend Davendra Dev Maini who is a fatherly figure to me as well and my two senior friends whom I admire; Dr. Harbans Lal and Rev. Bill Matthews, all of them have great attitudes and affection for humanity and I love them.
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To those who have not had a father or had a negative experience, God has offered guidance through the instrument of forgiveness to release you from the pain. Just do it. I will be happy to be a big brother or even a father for the moment of your need. It's an open offer to call me at (214) 325-1916.
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God bless us all, Amen!
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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print Media. Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, India and cohesive societies. Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/.

Can Muslims be good Americans?

You many have received an email with the heading, “Can Muslims be good Americans?” I have received this at least a dozen times. Do you need to respond to it? The choice is yours; no one has the time to hammer away hatred. 

There is a lot out there in circulation and I am pleased to have worked on responses, if you get that again, send them this or create your own. Indeed some of the Islamophobes like Robert Spencer, Nonie Darwish, Geert Wilders, MA Khan, Ali Sina, Walid Shoebet, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Newt Gingrich, Brigitte Gabriele, David Horowitz, Steven Shamrock, Wafa Sultan and others are consistently showing their dumbness in attacking Islam. These men with hate cannot speak love, the lust for power has made them abandon common good things about civility, just like some of the radicals among Muslims.

Let me ask yout this, if there are 200 murders a year in New York City, can we say, all the New Yorkers are murderers? Can we deduce that if Dallas gives 1000 traffic tickets a month, all the Dallasites are reckless drivers? If there are a few bad Muslims, how does it it make Muslims bad guys?
 
By the way, I am a Republican and like a majority of us, I am a moderate one who cares for every American and stand up for the rights of every American, to me that is a conservative value.

The men and women waving the flag of conservatism like Gingrich and the folks are abusing the usage of the word conservative. I am am saddened that my affiliations with the Republican party, a darn good party is flooded with extremists at the helm. As Americans we can handle the extremists, but difficult to deal with the monkies. I need to build my Republican base to make our Party a truly conservative party and purge the extremism from the extremists.

In the following, dialogues, some dude responded to it in a dozen ways to the question, can Muslim be good Americans? To distinguish who is who, the line starts with his name.

# # #
Can a good Muslim be a good American? 

Apparentely, this question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following was his reply:   

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Theologically - no... Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon god of Arabia. 

Mike Ghouse: There is no moon God for Muslims, no Muslim has ever heard of it. You can call any Muslim and find the truth for yourselves.  There is only one God, It, he or she is kind, merciful and just. Every one of the 114 chapters in Quraan start with those attributes except one, where it is mentioned in the text. The allegiance is to the invisible creator of the universe who belongs to all of us, and all of us are his creation.  
  
Dude:   Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Religiously - no... Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam. (Quran, 2:256)(Koran) 
  
Mike Ghouse: This man could have at least read the quote. How many of you believed him when he said, “Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam.”  The quote reads differently.

Well, here is 2:256 "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error ..." This is Islam's unambiguous affirmation of freedom of faith, which also applies to changing of faith. The Qur'an illuminates before the humanity the two highways [90:10], one of which leads to salvation. Islam is an invitation to the highway toward salvation, but it is based on FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

However many a Muslims believe that “No other religion is acceptable to Allah except Islam” based on verse: 3:85 (Asad) “For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.” They take it verb Islam as noun Islam.

Islam in its general meaning is submission to the will of God; which is caring for life and environment and maintaining the balance within oneself and with others. The key word is “self-surrender unto the creator”. Anyone who follows the laws of goodness (surrender) to keep peace in the society is following the Den, the dharma, the righteous path to sustain peace. As the verses are quoted earlier, if you do the right karma, God will shower his grace regardless of whether you are a Muslim or not.

Dude:   Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Scripturally - no... Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Mike Ghouse: Muslim Allegiance is to God, the day of accounting and righteous deeds, the five Pillars of Islam are the ritual practices to achieve piety. They are 1) Witness that there is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet, 2) Prayers, 3) Fasting, 4) Zakat (tithe) and 5) Pilgrimage. Jihad is not the pillar of Islam.

I was on a bus in Israel, the tourist guide started out the history of Islam saying the first pillar of Islam was Jihad, killing the infidels… I spoke up and an Imam on the bus joined me in addressing the five pillars of Islam. The guide at least agreed to tell the right thing from here on, we gave her a printed copy of it at the Hotel.  Hell, some Muslims also believe Jihad is the 6th pillar of Islam.

By the way, a Muslims faith is incomplete without a belief in all the prophets and the name of Jesus is often referenced in Quraan.  Muslims believe that Jesus will come back as the messiah and restore the kingdom of heaven where no one has to live in the fear of the other. It is Jesus who is coming back and not Muhammad.
Quraan 2;62 - “VERILY, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians -- all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds -- shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.”
Quraan 22:34 – “For each congregation we have decreed rites whereby they commemorate the name of GOD for providing them with the livestock. Your god is one and the same god; you shall all submit to Him. Give good news to the obedient.”
 
Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Geographically - no... Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
 
Mike Ghouse: Mecca is the focal point to build uniformity and harmony. A system was created so all worshippers can face in one direction instead of multiple directions. There is no other value than that; it is a sanctuary where people walk in putting aside their conflicts, malice, ill-will and evilness.   It is as simple as 500 people sitting in a church facing the pulpit instead of each one facing in different direction. There is no allegiance to Mecca

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Socially - no... Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Mike Ghouse: That is sheer non-sense, a Muslim can marry a Jew or a Christian woman without even converting her, the only requirement to marry is that she believes in one God, meaning oneness of God, commitment to one God, one creator….  We dealt with the issue in the Quraan conference, the verse was read by a Catholic bishop, among the ten other denominations. Just read it in the Quraan. Check it out at http://www.quraanconference.com/

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Politically - no.... Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.

Mike Ghouse:  Muslims do not submit to any Mullah, they submit to God alone. I am really laughing at this.  For a majority of Muslims there is no Mullah, there is no central authority in Islam. They put up with them at times in the Friday sermons, but few will support idiotic Mullahs... they are in every group, Mullah Pastor Hagee spews out hate, Obama’s pastor did… Mullah Pat Robertson is hateful, but does he represent the views of all Christians? Muslim clergy are no exception; there are a few bad ones.

However about 15% of Muslim who follow Shia, have some central authority, but they are divided as well and their allegiance to their leaders is for civic leadership.

Islam has nothing to do with destruction of Israel, the Hamas charter calls for it, it was written in 1988, where as the Israeli leaders have said the opposite since 1948 – to treat Palestinians as roaches and push them in to the desert holes. Islam does not even approve killing another human, unless it is in self defense.  Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians mean it, they want peace.

Let’s assume, Russians arm the native Americans and create a land for them in Texas, and they become militant and as powerful as Israel and go on rampaging others,  boot the people out of their homes and take over…because it was their land before… what do you do, just lay down? While you pillage, bomb and steal their houses?  That is what the Palestinians are doing, fighting for their rights.  

Shame on us Americans to have listened to the right wing Christians; go by what the Israelis want. They want peace, the right wing Christians and Jews in the US want to mess it up.  The right wing among Muslims or no angels either; they mess up other people’s lives.

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Domestically - no... Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Quran 4:34)

Mike Ghouse: Read 4:32- 4:37 yourselves. An American Christian woman told me in the Quraan conference.  She would rather be a Muslim woman who gets hit with a feather like stick upon infidelity, than an American Christian man who will violently kill her if he finds her sleeping with another man, or a Hindu man who would douse her in Kerosene and burn her alive. The instruction was not to kill but beat her with a feather like stick as a discipline… the new and correct understanding is “if you find your woman sleeping with another man, go for separation. “ She said to Google the stats, More American men kill their spouse/partners violently than all men combined in the world.  

The wrong interpretation has been in circulation that goes against the very grain of Prophet’s teaching – fair and equitable and to treat your spouse with utmost dignity. Check this out. http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2009/05/wife-beating-quraan-434.html

Polygamy has been around; while go through a legal process many a Men abuse women any way. Muslims are no exception.  The instruction was limit to 4 for social justice purpose and not for lust.  It was not an ordinance, but exception in cases where the woman needed protection … for example after WWII and Vietnam war thousands of women were put on the street… men abused them and took advantage of them, spreading STD’s.. and other stuff… instead of treating a woman as a whore and dehumanize her, marry her and give her the dignity of life she deserves...  it was to be approved by his first wife to ensure it was justice and not lust. Abuses happen every where… look in our own backyard… Look at Wiener, Clinton, Newt Gingrich… and some of your friends.

I stand opposed to polygamy, but I have no problem if men marry more than one woman in Iraq, where Bush bombing has put over 250,000 women on street; what do you do with them? Men take advantage of women, they want to use for the favors whether they are American or Arabian.  The make them dependent?  Give the food for sex? That is a shameless men trait no matter where that man is from. I rather see dignity given to a woman than make her dependent and use her as a sex object. Only in that situation and to give her dignity and not for lust.

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Intellectually - no... Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Mike Ghouse:  American constitution and Islam have a lot in common- Justice, Equality, dignity and respect for all. Don’t give me that it is not the case, indeed it is, we in America did not treat the women and African men equally until 50 years ago... Because we misread our own constitution, thanks God all of us are growing ….. Muslims also know that Averroes the Muslim influenced the two other wise men Aquinas and Maimonides, who are influential in our constitution drafting. Indeed, the US Supreme court has the frieze that shows Quraan. 

 
Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Philosophically - no... Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic. 

Mike Ghouse:  " ... Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error ..." [2:256] this is Islam's unambiguous affirmation of freedom of faith, which also applies to changing of faith. The Qur'an illuminates before the humanity the two highways [90:10], one of which leads to salvation. Islam is an invitation to the highway toward salvation, but it is based on FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

5:8 (Asad) O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one [19] lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Spiritually - no... Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' The Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names. 

Mike Ghouse:  It’s a pledge every Muslim takes. One nation under God indivisible … looks like this dude who wrote is divisive.
 [4:59] O you who believe, you shall obey GOD, and you shall obey the messenger, and those in charge among you. If you dispute in any matter, you shall refer it to GOD and the messenger, if you do believe in GOD and the Last Day. This is better for you, and provides you with the best solution.

Dude:  Can a good Muslim be a good American?  Therefore, after much study and deliberation... Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. - - - They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and 'good' Americans.  Call it what you wish it's still the truth... You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.
Quraan 49:6 O YOU who have attained to faith! If any iniquitous person comes to you with a [slanderous] tale, use your discernment, lest you hurt people unwittingly and afterwards be filled with remorse for what you have done.”
 “i.e., verify the truth before giving credence to any such report or rumor. The tale-bearer is characterized as "iniquitous" because the very act of spreading unsubstantiated rumors affecting the reputation of other persons constitutes a spiritual offence.”
President Reagan had echoed the same sentiments with the phrase, Trust, but verify and Bhagvad Gita guides, finding the truth is one’s own responsibility. 
"O you who believe, you shall be equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice. You shall be equitable, for it is more righteous. You shall observe GOD. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do" (Quran 5:8)

Mike Ghouse:  I hope you can see the BS this guy has given and I pray that you circulate this to the same sources you got this from. And I ask you to check it out:

Read this, there is an item about Quraan Mistranslations in this:


To check Quraan Translations go to: http://www.islamicity.com/QuranSearch/    


By the way, there were similar articles by many:

All these men and women are about making money, frightening the crap out of you and ask for money, every time.

Geert Wilders – check out his questions and my response:http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/01/muslim-response-to-wilders.html





Robert Spencer


A Good Muslims is a good American is a good Canadian,
A Good Christians is a …..
A Good Jew is a …
A Good _____ is a good ______________

Mike Ghouse is a speaker thinker and a writer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Here are my speaking topics - Islam, Pluralism and Inspiration.

Here are my profiles:


I am available to speak on any topic

Mike Ghouse


THIS FOLLOWING NON-SENSE IS IN CIRCULATION

This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish.  And send it on to everyone.  Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities. 
 
Can a good Muslim be a good American? 
 
This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:
 
Theologically - no... Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon god of Arabia. 
  
Religiously - no... Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam. (Quran, 2:256)(Koran) 
  
 Scripturally - no... Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.
 
Geographically - no... Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
 
Socially - no... Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
 
Politically - no.... Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
 
Domestically - no... Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Quran 4:34 )
 
Intellectually - no... Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
 
Philosophically - no... Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic. 
  
Spiritually - no... Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' The Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names. 
  
Therefore, after much study and deliberation... Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. - - - They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and 'good' Americans.  Call it what you wish it's still the truth.. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.
The religious war is bigger than we know or understand!
 
Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.
SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE U.S.
 
Please don't delete this until you send it on.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer. He is committed to building a cohesive America.

The Foundation for Pluralism champions the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other, and World Muslim Congress is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam. Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your work place, place of worship, school,  seminars or conferences.  He is a media commentator offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.  Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at
http://www.MikeGhouse.net/