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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

British Muslims on a Pluralism tour of America

When a group of people from overseas visits the United States to understand religious landscape of America, I am blessed to receive them and conduct half a day workshop to familiarize them, and address their concerns and issues.

I see three groups of people in a given year and generally they are Muslims from Albania to Zaire and every one in between. I have met with the Muftis of China and Russia to religious ministers from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Chad.... and the like.  

Today, I met the British Muslim youth and for the first time in a decade, the conversation was without translators! It was funny, in the beginning I was speaking with a slow Rick Perry speed as though a translator was going to translate, then I realized my conditioning! It was funny, they probably thought I had speech impediment. 

Shan Bhagat and Rizwan Ali - Thank you for the facility.

My expertise is studies in religious, social, political and cultural pluralism and have been researching, watching and shaping the trends and writing and speaking for the last 22 years.  There are over 800 articles written up on Pluralism - 200 of them are published in Dallas Morning News, and over 100 at Huffington post and other places. There are another 1700 articles, and about 900 are on Islam, the rest are motivational, inspirational, sports, movies, festivals, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine and human rights including standing up for others, add to this 520 hours of Radio talk on "Understanding Religion, each beautiful religion" and 26 workshops to learn the wisdom of every tradition including Atheism.
Our conversation ranged from dealing with social and political issues during peace times as well as conflicting times starting with the film clip about building a cohesive America. Dealing with the right wing Americans, and civic engagement to bring positive outcomes.

It was a joy to have the conversation with this group, they were thoughtful, critical and above all inclusive! Most of them were open to the idea of reaching out to people of other faiths to build cohesive societies, it was an extended topic. They said, I was speaking to the choir and I liked that very much and gives me hopes that we are doing things to make our lives better.

The British Muslims have similar issues as we do; dealing with right wingers.  The non-sense falsities spread by Gov. Bobby Jindal and Fox News this week about "no go zones" for non-Muslims in UK, France and Europe is a myth.

When I was talking about Prophet Muhammad's examples of being Amin, and the post-story thoughts about Najran Christians and Hudaibiyah treaty - I thought there might be some resistance, but it was a joy, and they clarified it that it was not a radical thought.

I loved this group for being so interactive and open to newer expressions in Islam. I hope to be available to them in the future. They can turn British society around to be more inclusive through their initiatives we discussed today.

When I get the time, I will write the details of this productive constructive conversation.

We have to accept that every society is composed of right wing, left wing, intolerant, ultra liberal and moderates. We have to chart a course with the give situation.
Here is the outline:


Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the ultimate peace maker, indeed he was called Rahmatul Aalameen, that is mercy to the whole humanity. He believed in building a cohesive society, where no human had to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.

Towards this goal, the first Sunnah or the tradition he established was the Amin Model, a peace building citizen.  Indeed, to be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker who mitigates conflicts and nurtures goodwill.

1. Unity Day USA—www.UnityDayUSA.com

2. Thanksgiving Celebrations—www.ThanksgivingCelebrations.org

3. Holocaust and Genocides—www.HolocuastandGenocides.com

6. Standing up for others, if you don’t stand up for others, why should any one stand up for you?  Www.Standingupforothers.com

7. Intra-faith Conference—Shia, Sunni, Ahmadiyya and others

9. Ramadan Intra faith and Interfaith Iftaars

10. Sharia Conference— www.ShariaLaws.com

11. Quran Conference - www.QuraanConference.com 

11. Interfaith Dialogue events.

12. Youth participation


2. Quran Cursing Pastor Robert Jeffress—www.QuraanConference.com

3. Investigating Muslims:  Congressman Peter King

4. Ground Zero Mosque

8. Conflicts and issue for discussion

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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