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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Friday, November 30, 2012

Building Bridges on Turkish TV with Mike Ghouse

BUILDING BRIDGES - MIKE GHOUSE ON TURKISH TV-A9

God wants us to live in peace, and harmony with each other.  If we follow the Sunnah (practice) of Prophet Muhammad and follow the Guidance of Quraan, we can seldom go wrong.   What does it take to build that momentum… to bring about a change in a society,   I am glad to see Muslims taking the initiatives to build a cohesive world. The Role of Muslims in building cohesive societies was broadly the topic, and Pluralism, co-existence, Islam, Israel and peace were part of the conversation.  Continued http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/11/building-bridges-on-turkish-tv-with.html



VIDEO http://www.harunyahya.com/en/works/154210/

 

Thanks to the Turkish Television A9 for their program building bridges with guests from around the world. If you get the time, check out some of the fascinating interviews.

I was called to talk about Role of Muslim in the world, and Pluralism, co-existence, Islam, Israel and peace. What can we do to bring about a change in a society, what does it take... I am glad to see Muslims taking the initiatives to build a cohesive world.

On my part, I have a lot more work to do, one of them is to get Jews, Christians and Muslim to start including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Baha’i, Wicca, Earth based and native traditions as a part of their casual conversation.

My message at the end was, God has intentionally created us to different races, religions, ethnicities and cultures, let’s honor gods wish for us to live cohesively.

God willing and media willing, I will be on a few more TV talk shows in 2013, but my dream is to be on Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow Shows, I will make the effort to communicate pluralism with humor.


Thank you.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace making, foreign policy, Islam, Israel, India, Pakistan, interfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

United Methodist Church Panel on Politics and Religion



UMC PANEL
Politics and Religion:
A Discussion on the Role Religion Played in the Recent Presidential Election

November 29, 2012 12:00-1:30 PM
Panelists: Sam Hodges, Jeff Weiss, Derek Jeter and Mike Ghouse
URL: http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=f39de1c5273648e9a4297c0e1&id=a99ed23aa9&e=5ea40fdbce
….

Note: due to time limitations; I am pleased to record just a few random notes from event, If I get the time, I will elaborate on each panelists take. 



A few highlights:

Jeff Weiss shared how the candidates Santorum, Bachman and Gingrich had defined themselves in sectarian terms, while Sam Hodges shared the movement of the society towards secularization, and Derek talked about the bubble Republicans lived in. My take was the trend towards pluralism, and that this election has firmly established the separation of church and state. 

Jeter spoke about the position of the evangelicals and we all discussed about the fears and phobias of each group, the fear of evangelicals to see the world move towards sinful societies, a violation of God’s covenant. He and I carried the discussion further about how the conservatives in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and others want to hang on the covenant. I can see the safety and clarity of that position. He was open to seeing it from a pluralistic point of view as well, meaning the same scripture is viewed differently by the liberals. 

It was a great honor for me to sit between Jeff and Sam, both of whom I have come to admire for years. Jeff was a recipient of the Pluralist Award for his equal opportunity criticism of faiths while Sam is also a recipient of the award in 2011 for this drive to present another point of view. The awards are bestowed at the annual Unity Day event. www.UnitydayUSA.com
 
My talking points (not sequences or written in sentence format) written earlier, but not shared as written, most of the conversation was in response to each other’s comments.

We think you should plan to have a short opening statement about who you are (2-3 minutes only please   and then be ready to answer questions from the group.

I was born and raised in India and chose to be an American some two decades ago. The most attractive thing about America is freedom, the personal, social, business, religious and cultural freedom. It’s near absolute freedom except where the public safety is concerned. Freedom is the most cherished value for me, it means questioning everything, including my own belief, and why I do or don’t do things.

I was raised in a Muslim family like millions of other Muslims, and when I was a teen, I chose to be ir-religious, however, there was not a religious place I did not visit or participate, and people’s faith amazes me. I remained an Atheist for nearly thirty years and about 15 years ago I chose Islam to be my religion, let me be clear, it could have been any religion, all of them provided the same value; to find peace within and peace with what surrounds.

 I have made some outrageous statements to the orthodox folks - that my religion is not superior or inferior to any. If it is superior, it amounts to arrogance and arrogance is the mother of all evil and conflicts. Religion is about humility.

My mission is pluralism - that learning to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given or genetic uniqueness of each one of us, if we do that, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Much of my work is linked to some 5 sites, and 30 blogs on each topic at
www.MikeGhouse.net  Thanks to Dallas Morning News, Huff post, Washington post, Hannity and sanity… for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts.

I am committed to building cohesive societies, where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. My book will be out by Christmas and movie will be done next Christmas.
  

Where do we draw that fine line between church and state in the election process….for instance, if a church paid for billboards with political messages, or endorsing a specific candidate, should they lose their non-profit status?

Church is about faith, governance is about living with each other
First amendment
Non profits political orgs.. Where you don't even disclose the giver
Are we assuming all members of the church vote the same way?
Why should a pastor coerce an individual to hide his political identity to majority?
Big donors to sway? Isn't that a loss of freedom and democracy?

Where's the freedom?
Shouldn't that be an individual decision!

The purpose of nonprofit status was to give a break to smaller churches so they can attract donations… I kind of liken it to the Sherman anti-trust act which It prohibits certain business activities that reduce competition in the marketplace

How does the rise in social media change the dynamics of religion and politics? How should churches react to political messages posted on their Facebook pages by church members?

Social media had taken over religion...
Posting should be with disclosure... That it was a pr firm, no way to monitor...
I have personally crossed my own lines a few times... I was the only one, at times, and felt it was unfair to Romney...even though I was not voting for him..

How successful were religious groups during this election cycle (nationally and/or locally) …. are there any measurable statistics?

Very successful, all were driven by fear
-83% Jews, 95 Muslims, African 96, Latino 73%

The glbt was not an issue at all... The ones opposing are ones giving votes
There is a Trend towards pluralism... Separation of church and state in practice

What can we (as church communicators) do in the next four years to prepare for 2016? Will religion be more of an issue or less?

Keep state out of church
Same sex marriage, contraceptives, Sharia, question the politicians if they know the stuff to oppose or support an issue

Religion will not be an issue in 2016, the ones who bring, stand to lose, 2010 was an Anomaly...
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We have a great panel that will discuss the role religion played in this latest political cycle.
How did the various groups use religion as a positive marketing piece for a candidate? Or was it used as a negative weapon against a candidate? Did religion really play a role or was it just used to deflect attention?

Bring your questions about politics and religion and challenge our panel of experts in this arena!

Event Details
When: Thursday, November 29
Time: 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Christ United Methodist Church, 2801 Valwood Parkway, Farmers Branch
Cost: $15 and includes lunch.
RSVP: Email or call Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org,  214.630.6495  x147

About our Panel:

 Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, initiator, organizer and mediator committed to building cohesive societies, and offering pluralistic solutions on current issues. Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, “The Hannity Show”, and on nationally syndicated Radio shows including Dallas TV, print and radio networks, and occasional interviews on NPR. Mike is a member of the Texas Faith Panel at The Dallas Morning News and writes about issues facing the nation every week. He writes for The Huffington Post regularly, and occasionally for Washington Post and other daily newspapers and magazines around the world. Mike has published over 1000 articles on a variety of subjects.

Derrick Jeter has dedicated his professional life to challenging honest skeptics and seekers to wrestle with the most pressing questions regarding the life of faith and the preservation of liberty. After his undergraduate work at UT and receiving a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, Derrick began a public speaking consultancy, working with business professionals and politicians. Derrick is also the author of two books published by The Jeter Press: A 911 for 9/11: Finding Answers to the Evil of September 11, 2001 and O America! A Manifesto on Liberty.

Sam Hodges, a managing editor at the United Methodist Reporter, has had a long career in newspapers, including reporting on religion for the Dallas Morning News. While at the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register, he won a George Polk Award for a series on scarcity of dental care for poor children. He has won several other awards, and was a journalism fellow at the University of Michigan. He’s the author of a published novel and co-editor of a published book of his great-great-grandfather’s Civil War letters.

Jeffrey Weiss is a weekly columnist for Real Clear Religion, and a longtime reporter and blogger for The Dallas Morning News. He was previously general assignment reporter, and social services reporter for The Dallas Morning News, and a regular contributor to the late Politics Daily. He has also reported for The Miami Herald. Weiss was awarded second place in the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year award, and Schachern Award for Best Religion Section by The Religion Newswriters Association, as well as a contributor to the piece that won the Wilbur Award for Best Religion Section by The Religion Communicators Council, in addition to many other nominations and honorable mentions.

We are extremely thankful to Christ UM
C in Farmers Branch for being such a gracious host to our organization, but we would love the opportunity to visit other organizations throughout the DFW area. If your organization would be interested in hosting RCC for a luncheon in 2013, please contact Andra Dunn at programs@dfw-rcc.org for more details.

Our goal for the upcoming year is to grow our organization and inspire religious communicators in the metroplex in their ministry of telling the story of their organization, engaging their audience, and shining their light even brighter in a world that is hungry for positive and uplifting messages.
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Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not good for Israel - Netanyahu, Obama and Clinton

URL - http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2012/11/not-good-for-israel-obama-netanyahu-and.html

They and Netanyahu are not good for Israel's long term security. They are messing with Israel's long term security, faking to secure it. The sane and wise but silent majority of Jews will not agree with them and I wish they speak up. I wish I can make the time to write about it. 



This was written on 11/22/12 - Unintended consequences and source for anti-Semitism.
http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-achieve-security-for-israel-and.html
If the United Nations were to place “Cease fire” for vote today, more than likely, 178 nations will vote yes, and five will go against it including the United States, Israel and a few dependent nations. Do you think the people of the 178 nations feel resentment and bitterness toward the powerful? This is not good for Jews or Israel and the world in the long haul.

The retaliatory actions taken by Netanyahu, and endorsed by Obama are detrimental to Israel’s security in the long run. Their actions do not mitigate conflicts, but flare up and prolong the eternal dream of Jews to live in peace and security. Not only that, they massively contribute to the growing  Antisemitism which has been the very reason for the suffering of Jews for over 3000 years. 


Injustice against the weak will not go un-reacted to, the only thing the people around the world will feel is build resentment towards the United States and certainly events like this will contribute to  Antisemitism.
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Mike Ghouse

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sean Hannity and Mike Ghouse on Egypt

Sean Hannity and Mike Ghouse on Egypt
URL -
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/11/sean-hannity-and-mike-ghouse-on-egypt.html


Tonight on Hannity show, Mike Ghouse about Brotherhood

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6bd3cxnemcc

Talking points

1.    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi declares himself above the law, neither the Judiciary nor the parliament can question his authority


2.    This is a dangerous situation, the wolf in sheep’s clothing unravels himself, this is where Sean Hannity and I see things differently


a.    Sean is right in his concerns about the brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt.

b.    I believe in the power of people, the people who dared the tyrant Mubarak and got the freedom will not allow another tyrants to take over. It will take time for democracy to take root in Egypt.


3.    The Judiciary has declared it illegal and has challenged Morsi. Morsi is downright stupid.


4.    The protestors are out again, nearly 200 are wounded, but they will not let Morsi, the wolf in sheep’s clothing crush their hard earned freedom.

When the Egyptians got the freedom in January of this year, they wanted democracy and not another tyrant.

5.    The Military establishment was not happy that their candidate did not make it, and the internal strife between Morsi and the establishment is on… Morsi tried to fire Mahmud, the military man. Who knows there is a pattern out there in Muslim run nations like Pakistan where the Military takes it over…?


However, I believe in the power of freedom movement, once it is started, it cannot be stopped. People will get their freedom and democracy one way of the other


6.    Gaza Truce – I hope it stays, it was good to see a religious cleric in Suleman AlDaya, Gaza gave a fatwa that it is a sin to break the truce…and I hope it multiplies, if I were the US Ambassador, I would seek more of those opinions and have discussions on it to firm up respecting the truce. If the Ambassador cannot do this, what is he or she doing there?


7.    The Hamas spokesperson Taher Nunu  said he is committed to the truce


8.    Hamas demands that Israel lift the restrictions of movement of goods and people. Israel currently has restrictions; Gaza is like a high security prison…. They cannot even get the constructions and medical supplies… and those who want to supply them, like the civilian boats, have been hit by Israel. Has anyone thought of the cause of the frustrations of Gazans? Didn’t George Washington Rebel against the tyrant Brits then?


9.    Though Obama has been successful in diplomacy, he is a dismal failure in bringing peace to Israel and Palestine. He has made many mistakes that I have listed on the blog www.IsraelPalestineDialouge.com


10. Israel needs security and Palestinians justice, nothing short of it will work. Hamas needs to reign in on those rockets and Israel needs to lift the restrictions around Gaza and stop the illegal settlements in west bank.


11. Israel is our ally, and we have every right to guide them to peace. Netanyahu will make the bloodthirsty among us feel good, but not the peace makers.  It is a shame on the leadership for their failure to bring solutions to this issue. No one can crush the will of the people to be free.

|Netanyahu will cause more damage to the peace process and generate resentment towards Israel in the community of nations by disregarding the UN resolutions and practicing discriminatory practices against a people. It is in Israel’s interest to work, and our right wing friends are blinded not to see that.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace making, foreign policy, Islam, Israel, India, Pakistan, interfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to achieve Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians

How to achieve Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians
Link: http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-achieve-security-for-israel-and.html 


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The long term security of Israelis hinge on justice to the Palestinians, and peace to the Palestinians depends on the safety of Israelis. One will not happen without the other. In view of accomplishing the twin goal, both parties have failed the respective populations. The following essay may not be comfortable to a segment of Jews and Muslims, but the recommendations must be factored in to finding a sustainable solution.   

Security may be broadly defined as living without fear and apprehension, the state of security exists when the Israelis can go about shopping in the malls without caution, drop their guard when their children and family members ride a bus, and when they visit the pyramids, they can do so without second thoughts.

Justice to the Palestinians exists when they can live without worries of getting kicked out of their own homes, when have their own identity in the world as people of Palestine, have their own passport without the apartheidic restrictions, rights to the land they can call their own, and move about freely without check posts or the walls.


The Palestinians and Israelis are indeed endowed by “their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
 

Now let’s acknowledge the actions of the parties in the light of accomplishing that twin goal and put them back on the track. 
 

When a child or a spouse is pushed around, placed on a curfew,  threatened, and his or her liberties stripped, he or she is left with few options than cursing, hurling dishes, and  quietly or blatantly destroying the belongings of the oppressive man of the house.  In your work place, when you are pushed around, and cannot do much against the tyrant boss, what do you do? Regardless of where this happens, be it in the United States, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia or Mexico, the response would be similar.
 

It is shameful to justify the behavior of the oppressor, “They did not listen to him, they were disobedient and destructive, and the man of the house did the right thing; beat the crap out of them and teach them a lesson.”
 

The woman who is raped is blamed for going to the bar, or wearing a mini skirt or getting drunk while shooting the pool with the boys. This stinky attitude is even prevalent among women.    
 

The Hutus justified the massacre of Tutsis, as the oppressors always do.  When President Habyarimana of Rwanda was assassinated in 1994, the Hutu majority went on a killing spree and we witnessed the Rwandan Genocide of the Tutsis. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India was assassinated in 1984, the Hindu mobs went on a killing spree of the Sikhs. The Muslim mobs have gone on torturing the minorities in Pakistan, Indonesia and elsewhere. The words used and justifications made were similar.  The oppressors, rapists, murderers and tyrants always justify their behavior.
 

Hamas Terror
 

We unequivocally condemn Hamas for their random shelling of the rockets into Israel; and the shameful acts of terrorizing the civilian population in Israel.  As a Muslim I protest their acts, and request the Organization of Islamic Countries to join the Muslims worldwide in condemning these acts, and demand Hamas to give up terrorizing the innocent and seek solutions through civil process.

Paul Goldstein, my Jewish American friend living in Norway writes, “These (acts) have instilled fear into the daily lives of innocent Israeli civilians throughout the country, and have hit major cities, causing injuries, damage, and fatalities. Many hundreds of rockets are hitting Israel daily.” And he adds, “No country in the world can or should tolerate being subjected to continuous rocket attacks against its major population centers. With sadness, I concede that Israeli military action is necessary in this emergency situation to protect its citizens in safety, Jews and Arabs alike.” 

President Obama also defended Israel, “Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory, “and, "If that can be accomplished without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that's preferable...”

The actions of Hamas are unforgivable, and I appeal to the thoughtful among you, did we give them choices to act differently?  

 “When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.” -  Former Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir.

Israeli Reaction
 

In every ugly massacre or genocide, whether it was the Hutsies, Hitler, Saddam, Assad, Gaddaffi or others; they rulers wanted to teach a lesson to the entire population for the acts of the few.   
 

Can we justify these acts to keep the urchins, spouses or irritants in their place? I am severely disappointed at the short-sightedness of President Obama and his administration.  We should have paid attention to the missiles long time ago and found solutions then, instead of waking up one day and justifying brutal retaliation. 
 

What was Prime Minister Netanyahu doing all these months, instead of initiating a dialogue he chose to pound Gaza, did the think that the missiles will stop reigning on their own? 
 

The illegal settlements and lawlessness has to stop; it brings despair to the Palestinians who want peace. The brutal retaliation needs to stop, it is a burden that the Prime Minister may escape but the Israelis will have to carry it on their psyche for generations to come. Is that the kind of Nation Israelis want?  Does violence solve the problems, has it ever? 
 

Unintended consequences 
 

If the United Nations were to place “Cease fire” for vote today, more than likely, 178 nations will vote yes, and five will go against it including the United States, Israel and a few dependent nations. Do you think the people of the 178 nations feel resentment and bitterness toward the powerful? This is not good for Jews or Israel and the world in the long haul. 

The retaliatory actions taken by Netanyahu, and endorsed by Obama are detrimental to Israel’s security in the long run.  Their actions do not mitigate conflicts, but flare up and prolong the eternal dream of Jews to live in peace and security. Not only that, they massively contribute to the growing anti-Semitism which has been the very reason for the suffering of Jews for over 3000 years. 
 

 Injustice against the weak will not go un-reacted to, the only thing the people around the world will feel is build resentment towards the United States and certainly events like this will contribute to Anti-Semitism. Take a look at the Anti-Israel rage across globe as violence in Gaza goes on http://rt.com/news/protest-israel-gaza-war-984/
Call for action.
 

The United Nations need to call for an immediate cease-fire; both parties need to hold the fire. Goldstein, “Israel cannot cease hostile action on its own side while Hamas continues to terrorize with impunity the citizens of major cities with long-range rocket attacks.” 

In the interest of Security for Israelis and Justice for the Palestinians, President Obama has to play an honest broker of peace, which will be tough on our ally Israel. Demand the Israeli Parliament to invite Hamas leadership to join the talk immediately on our grounds at the Rose Garden. If Saudi Arabia and Egypt are convinced about our sincerity, they will bring Hamas aboard.
Our support to Israel or Palestine should be based on results. We have caused the conflict to prolong, and we bear the responsibility to find solutions. We need to be just and honest.

The Jewish people want sincerity as much as the Palestinians, they don't want duplicity from our leadership, and they had plenty of that in since 1948. They need sincerity and security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians.

The two state solutions is the way to go forward and one of the most fundamental items to be included in the transaction is to develop a school curriculum without malice towards each other.  A new generation must be raised with hope and goodwill, so they can live in peace and prosperity. This should be an uncompromising goal. 

This is a life time opportunity for President Obama to forge peace between these two people, who have endured a lot of pain and both deserve relief. It’s time for him to earn that Nobel Prize that was dished out to him.
 

It is in the interest of the world to build cohesive societies, where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.  The people of Israel have more options and power to change things, than the Palestinians. May God give sanity to the aggrieved parties to find peace. Amen!

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# # #
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace making, foreign policy, Islam, Israel, India, Pakistan, interfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.