: | SPECIAL NOTE : Please feel free to share and publish any of my articles, and kindly credit the author, thank you.

PROFILES - Google-12 Million | Personal | Interfaith Speaker : OldNew | Muslim Speaker : OldNew | Motivational Speaker | CV

Monday, January 31, 2011

Teens to have non-penetrative sex?


I was taken back for a moment when I saw the Bill to seek 12 year olds to have non-penetrative sex. It is probably shocking to most, indeed to almost all Indians as the society is conservative.  But it is really about grading punitive levels, however, it is not reflective of the society at large, but it is making room for an eventuality.

On the other end of the spectrum, we will read stories of the few right wingers vandalizing the stores for selling flowers and Valentine cards and harassing the youth just for being together and having a dinner. The Indian News Papers will carry a lot of stories on that. Extremism is represented by probably less than 1/100th of 1% of the population that perhaps is a universal percentage of the right wing radical extremists in all nations, religions, ethnicities and races that seems to be the composition of any demographics.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker on pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public and it is expressed in 22 blogs and 3 websites listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

# # #

India Bill seeks to let 12-yr-olds have non-penetrative sex

CHENNAI: The draft Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Bill, 2010 by the ministry of women and child development will introduce a gradation in the age of consensual non-penetrative sex.

Section 3 of the draft lists under exceptions of unlawful sexual act with a child:

(i) Any consensual non-penetrative sexual act penalised by this chapter is not an offence when engaged in between two children who are both over 12 years of age and are either of the same age or whose ages are within two years of each other.

(ii) when engaged in between two persons who are both over 14 years and are either of same age or whose ages are within three years of each other.

The bill will soon be sent to the cabinet, after which a parliamentary standing committee will scrutinise it.

Suggestions and objections from the states will be considered then, said a senior official at the ministry of women and child development.

The law ministry too has been working on a similar bill with an identical name, in which the age of consent is mentioned as 16 years, with no gradation. The circulation of two bills with the same title has created confusion.

Opinion on the minimum age are divided. Aparna Bhat, an SC lawyer who was part of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights group that drafted the latest bill said the gradation of age down to 12 years was to decriminalize sexual exploration by two children.

Under the existing law, if two 12-year-olds get physical and if one childs parent complains, the other can be pulled up by the Juvenile Justice Board.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Islam Talk at United Methodist Church, University Park

It was a different audience for me this time; almost all of them were in their mid thirties to forties and perhaps lawyers. The concerns were legitimate and the desire to bring peace to humanity was common, it was almost like speaking to the choir.

The purpose of my talk was not to glorify Islam or Quraan but to remove falsities spread about the faith, so we all can work on creating cohesive societies.
Submitting to God’s will amounts to creating a harmonious peaceful world of co-existence through free will, where we learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us.

Place: University Park United Methodist Church,
Room: Genesis

Here is the outline of my talk:

Greetings; The essence of and different religious greeetings
Creation - Regardless of Evolution or Creation or Big Bang, Life and matter came into being and we exist, don’t we?

Two products of such beginning, life and matter.  Life is about finding the balance, where as Matter has a built-in balance mechanism.

Origins of Religion - All
Religion defined - God has indeed reached every one of us and has offered that formula – Religion

Religion is a divine guidance to every human to find his or her own balance within oneself and with what surrounds;
_ _ _ _ _
Islam Defined - In one word it is Justice
Submission to God (goodness ).
When there is justice, there will be a sense of safety and peace. If no one takes advantage of other, one feels safe and secure… that generates peace and goodwill.

If there is justice between spouses, family members, communities and nations, the peace is certain. God does not want any thing more; he wants his creation to live in peace and harmony. 

Essence of Islam

Islam teaches one to be non-judgmental, and consistently encourages individuals to do good. It emphasizes about individual responsibility towards the peace and security of society at large.

Islam is not a new religion

Universality of Islam
The Qur'aan starts with the word الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ  Sura Al-Fatiha 1:2 All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds, "God of Universe" (not an exclusive)   

and ends with قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ (114:1)
An-Nas (The Mankind) 114:1 SAY: "I seek refuge with the Sustainer of men, "Humankind" (and again not Muslims).

No humans to judge one’s faith
Almost all Muslims are cognizant and repeat the verse مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (1:4)           
 Al-Fatiha -  Lord of the Day of Judgment! مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (1:4)  
“God is the master of the Day of Judgment, and he alone we worship”. A fully observant Muslim recites this verse from 17 to 51 times a day.  

There is no compulsion in the matters of faith, says the Qur'aan. 

Accountability -Individual responsibility - Islam emphasizes on Individual responsibility for one’s words and actions.  

Prophet’s comment to his daughter about responsibility.

Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164: All people will reap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another’s burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he will resolve your disputes. Al-An'am لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (6:163)

Pluralism embedded in Islam - PLURALISM
Prophet Muhammad, a Pluralist and an interfaith dialoguer

Prophet Muhammad is perhaps the first religious person to initiate interfaith dialogue, he not only invited people of other faiths to dialogue, but he also offered them to pray, their own prayers in his mosque. 

Prophet Muhammad was not only a Pluralist religiously, but he believed in co-existence and living in harmony with life and environment.

Free will


Rituals are the path markers to spirituality, whether you do Yoga, Meditation or any other activity… the ultimate goal is well being of the person.

1. Faith – everything starts with a belief
2. Prayer – piety, humility, arrogance
3. Fasting – self discipline
4. Zakat – playing the role of trustee
5. Haj – Large scale community equalizer

Key Values
1.      Justice
2.      Equality
3.      Peace
4.      Accountability
5.      Belief in Oneness of God, humanity and the world for peaceful existence

            1. Sunni and Shia branches
            2. Sharia Law
            3. Ground Zero Mosque
            4. Apostasy
            5. Blasphemy
            6. Cartoons
            7. Jihad
            8. Conversions
            9. Quraan Translations 

Finding the truth is your own responsibility… what you see on TV or hear on Radio… is propaganda to malign the other… you may have witnessed that even against your church.  

Religion was given to each one of the 7 billion of us to make ourselves a better being, most of us get it, and a few don’t.

A few Residents of your city violate the traffic rules; do evil things, murder people.... people wearing faith badges violate their faith as well. 

That does not make the city a bad City or a religion a bad religion. Individuals commit crimes and we need to make them accountable and not their faith or their City. Blaming the City or the Religion does not do a thing, blaming the individual allow bringing justice to the society?

Thanks to Rev. Bill Matthews for facilitating this.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer. He runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress.

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your place of worship, school, work place, 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/

GOD and Miracles

I watched the following video and I am glad I did. I had a lot of questions and I hope you do too.  http://www.cbn.com/media/player/index.aspx?s=/vod/SAF13v5_WS
After the video, please resume reading the following observations from a pluralistic point of view and kindly share your thoughts.
Those who do not believe in miracles may have to find some scientific explanation for this and resist ruling out the possibility of a Pause in one’s life. We are yet to understand the mysteries of life; someday we might be able to harness the full power of the God given intelligence to understand this phenomenon.
There may be reluctance from those who are not Christian in this instance, and may have difficulty in believing in miracles. Even the Hindus, who witness miracles more frequently than the others may want to, hold on to the temptations to deny miracles because Jesus was invoked in this.  Same goes to Muslims and Jews who may not accept this because Jesus is not God to them and some of them may even label it as “their God”, falling into the trap that there are different Gods.
Whether one calls the creator, Allah, Krishna, Yahweh, Jesus, Ahura Mazda or what not, God remains the same. God does not change with our perceptions and invocations. If we can see this miracle as a miracle of God, the God that is common to all of us, (or the creator of energy for those who do dot subscribe to the religious version) then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
If one can create the same film with a Hindu doctor invoking Shiva, Krishna or one of the Avatars, would the Christians and Muslim accept that as a miracle?
If you reject these miracles, reject it for impossibility, but do not reject because it has a labeling of one religion or the other.  Personally, I do not believe God needs to perform miracles on a daily basis, every life is indeed a miracle, the birth of child is a miracle, the way our body works is a miracle... a whole human being is programmed out of a drop of semen is a miracle.
Pluralistic attitude will cause you to reflect on it as a Miracle of God, it was the common God that is the focus and not “someone else’s God.” A pluralist will feel comfortable with the scene whether you invoke Allah, Krishna, Jesus or any other name.
Have the peace of mind knowing that God has not signed a deal with any one behind other people’s back, he is just, kind, merciful and loving and treats us the same. It is up to us to do good or not, and feel at peace if we do, and disturbed if we don’t.
Mike Ghouse, speaker, thinker and a writer offering pluralistic solution on issues of the day. Details at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Article at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/01/god-and-miracles.html


Saturday, January 29, 2011

A page from Hannity on Fox


Ghouse on Hannity show - FOX TV

Ghouse on Hannity show

Mahatma Gandhi Today

Today is the sixty third Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's martyrdom; he brought freedom to the people of India. He is affectionately called Bapu and the father of the nation. I have always admired the title some one bestowed on him – “Mahatma”, the great soul. Indeed, he was one of the greatest souls of the last century along with Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr,  my inspirers.

He is my mentor and I think of him quite frequently. I have a special bonding with him, he was in my dream twice patting on my back and telling, “son you have work to do” and that has been an inspiration to me. Yes, much of my work on Pluralism is inspired by him. He was indeed an absolute pluralist.

I have found myself in gratitude when I discover that the Mahatma also has said the things that I write. One of the things I wrote was " a good Hindu is a good Muslim, is a good Jews, is a good Christian and is a good Muslim" years later I found that Mahatma had written very similar to it. He was the pluralist of the last century. Pluralist is one who accepts the otherness of other and respects the God given uniqueness of each one of the fellow beings.

Its time for me to reflect on the life of Mahatma, MLK, my father and a father of my friend Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk who passed away 8 years ago today. May God inspire us to serve the humanity; there is peace and blessing in it.

My son Jeff and daughter in law Fern have paid their visit to Raj Ghat, marking Gandhi's presence in India,  and I am yet to do that, on my next trip, God willing.

The item is also published in my diary, my facebook companion - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/01/mahatma-gandhi-today.html

Mike Ghouse, speaker, thinker and a writer offering pluralistic solution on issues of the day. Details at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Thank you Sean Hannity and Fox TV

I am pleased to see the Hannity to present another point of view. I was further surprise to see I was with him two times more than Brigit Gabriel.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt: Making a Lemonade out of Lemon

Just finished the Radio show, it was a 15 minute segement with Hannity and Shoebet. You can find your radio station at  http://www.hannity.com/stations

For a change Hannity, Shoebet and I were on the same page with a few differences.

 I believe the US has taken the right approach in not alienating the Egyptian people while cautioning Mubarak to back off from violence and crushing the uprising.

The fear of the Brotherhood taking the situation in their stride is legitimate and it is critical that we (US) play it right. We need to take the initiative to allay the fears of people and remove the anti-US sentiment, and it will give us the room to shape democracy there. A democracy that is sustainable and good for the people of Egypt, Israel, US and others.
Obama understands that equity is sustainable than inequities we have been wrong many times, and I hope this time we will get it right and I trust Obama will do the right thing.

Israel has to play it right as well. The peace deal was with the people of Egypt and people of Israel and not with their governments – and Israel needs to make sure that it is with the people and not Mubarak. Mubarak will wither away and anything we (U.S.) can do to show support for the aspiration of people will do two things: firm up the people to people peace agreement and prevent the opportunity for brotherhood to take advantage of this.

CIA has goofed up on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and else where. Why could they not foresee the uprising? We blew it with Iran by sticking with the Shah and I am Glad Clinton and Obama are clear on being with the people.

We really can make lemonade out of lemon in this situation.

I will upload the link to the radio show later on this week

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on Pluralism and Islam. He is with the newly formed America Together Foundation, building cohesive societies and offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public. His work is expressed in 3 website's and 21 blogs listed at www.MikeGhouse.net  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An appeal to Muslims about Holocaust and Genocides event


Holocaust and Genocides is a Muslim initiative to build bridges among Americans, particularly among Muslims and Jews, small efforts go a long way in building goodwill and goodwill paves the way to building relations locally and perhaps globally.

I appeal to a few (1/100th of 1%) among us to do what Muslims are supposed to do; to verify before judging and instead have a vision.  We need to be participating and contributing members of the society; goodwill has its own benefits.

You can be assured that for every Muslim bigot, there is a Christian, Jewish and a Hindu bigot and they are too eager to draw conclusions. A handful of Muslim bigots jumped all over me for doing the holocaust event and as Muslims they even spread falsities about the event, where as a few Jewish bigots harassed me for including the Gaza Massacre and spread the falsities.  I will not be alarmed as long as their numbers remain under 1/100th of 1% of their respective populations.  

You are welcome to write your comments at Dallas Morning News. I urge you to take a few minutes to write in the comments section of Dallas Morning News to let the world know that Muslims are committed to building cohesive societies for the good of all.


Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/ -   You can find details at www.holocaustandgenocides.com

Ques and lines

Cofee Line at McDonald
I have started coffee, and every day I am 6th or 7th car at the McDonald's drive drive-thru, even though I have changed the timings, am still 6th or 7th. What bugs me is when I don't see any one behind me in the line. Does that happen to you?

I do not drink coffe or tea regularly, but as I have been travelling a lot, I found myself catching up with McDonald's coffee on the road, at least it is consistent no matter where you go, you can count on it to be warm and fresh

TEXAS FAITH: What can religious groups do to help along the Mexican border?

What is the U.S. responsibility, if any, in helping to curtail drug-related violence in Mexico? And how can religious groups make a positive difference along the border if it's too dangerous to send volunteers there?

My weekly response to Dallas Morning News 's call on issues though the Texas Faith Panel. The other 7 opinions are at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/01/texas-faith-what-can-religious.html 
Bob Epstein, commander of North Texas drug enforcement agency scared the devil out of Rotarians in a meeting in December last year when he shared about the terror of drug cartels, he thinks it is the biggest threat America faces in this decade.  Most people walked out shaking their heads in disbelief about meth seizures in Plano, Mesquite and else where in North Texas.

Nearly 35,000 people have fallen victim to the drug related killings in Mexico and the US in the last four years and the violence continues in border towns and has reached here in the heartland. Part of the delays on I-35 corridor is caused by monitoring for drug and gun smugglers.

What is our responsibility?  

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was precise when she spoke about American responsibility for the drug problem. "Stubbornly high U.S. demand drives the trade, and firearms smuggled from the United States are involved in much of the violence."

"The U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support and will deliver another half-billion in equipment and training this year. It has helped train thousands of policemen and sent helicopters and other crime-fighting technology." Clinton adds.

Indeed, the Mexican elite force was trained by the United States, ranked next only to the seals, and now they work for the drug cartels for higher wages. 
Our responsibility falls in curtailing drug consumption and accounting for Gun sales. As long we are a haven for drug sales, the cartels will fight to retain their sales and the violence will continue.

It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen, and our safety invariably hinges on safety of the neighbors who surround us; Mexico

We should never give up spiritual solutions to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill.

Mother Teresa gave sane advice, "if you want peace, go talk with your enemies, you don't talk peace amongst your friends." In the early seventies smaller towns in India were terrorized by the dacoits and J.P. Narayan, a spiritual statesman offered amnesty to those who laid their guns down and India witnessed amazing piles of surrendered guns. Are the drug lords in Mexico tired of fighting? Can we lure some with amnesty? Can we embrace one lord at a time?  Would that be less expensive than going on an all out war?

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/

Monday, January 24, 2011

Religious conversions are outdated


Your religion is dear to you as mine is to me. Neither should I denigrate your religion nor should you consider mine less than yours.

Every religion works for the "believer", it brings a balance within and builds an orderly society. Neither Muslims nor Christians are obligated to convert any one to their faith,

Once upon a time, conversions were sought to uniformize people, to have support for their personal (ill) intentions to dominate and control and fight their manufactured enemies. Today that will not work and should be out of our system. No two Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews.... agree on the issues, and then what is the need to convert?

People should have the free will to choose what they wear, eat, look, and believe. Let it be their personal choice a choice that gives them spiritual atonement.

Jesus said to go to every corner of the world and spread the good word and that word was for people to treat others as they wanted to be treated and some Christians took it in literal sense, just as some Muslim do.  God sent a revelation to the Prophet, your role is to convey the messages of goodness and it is up to people to follow it, perhaps to concretize the free will, God chose to have Prophet's own uncle die without accepting the message of the prophet. There is a great wisdom in it.

Both Christians and Muslims agree that their religion makes a better human out of them, and precisely that is the goal of a religion, any religion, whether it they follow the book or the oral tradition.  It is the insecurity in people that generates 'trickery" in them to protect their interests to have people tune into the same music, it was once, not any more. God has made us diverse with a unique thumb print, DNA, eye print and what not... Let's learn to respect and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

There is no one version of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism. Even the smaller numbered religions like Judaism, Jainism, Sikhism or others do not agree on certain basics. In America, the Christians fight over Abortion rights.

Religion will not serve politics in the long haul, although the right wing in America and elsewhere have demonstrated that it can, but it will be temporary and will not last. People will return to the roots of goodness as Religion is about bringing humility and creating orderly societies and not ganging up on others. By the way no one can cast the first stone. 
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer. He runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress.  Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your place of worship, school, work place, 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/

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Islam do you subscribe to?

Evil exists in a given society because good people do nothing about it.

Obviously everyone is scared of speaking up and as long as you are scared, those few will establish that Islam is their religion and a religion of punishment, oppression and coercion.  Sadly, that is their understanding, one of the many ways to change that perception is to speak up, they need to know that there is a different view and most Muslims do not subscribe to their view.

The least you can do, particularly the Pakistani Americans is to speak up and show the support to those gutsy men and women like Sherry Rahman and Prof. Hoodbhoy who are not scared. As he alludes, Zardari has a choice to leave a legacy of goodness for his country and live in peace or run for his life.

Please visit the site www.BlasphemyLaws.com a variety of articles are being posted to increase our own understanding of it. 

To Save Pakistan, what Miracles need to happen?

Pakistan’s defiant leader

Arab News
Qadri and Muslim Majority. 

What is right with Muslims?


What is right with Muslims is that a majority of them breathe and feel freedom, democracy and respect for life runs in their veins. Nearly 2/3rds of Muslims live in democracies, while the other 3rd is still to taste that God given freedom. They live in “Islamic labeled nations” where oppression and enslaving others is in practice by abusing and misusing religion to frighten the day lights out of ordinary people.

The most subtle example of democracy can be witnessed in most places. The Muslims who are raised in democracies have a structure for their organizations. The founders set the goals to take the organization to a certain level and then pass it on to the next duly elected office bearers. Where as in the organizations of Muslims from non-democracies, it is a mighty struggle, and the words like taking over, dethroning others are used in their language. In the former group there is continuity of policies and in the later, they start all over again.

I am saddened by the happenings in Tunisia, there was optimism then comes the shattering of freedom.  A girl was electrocuted in Pakistan for falling in love with a boy; killing is simply not acceptable in Islam. You kill only in self defense and not for any other reason. Have they followed their Quraan? Killing one individual is like killing the whole humanity.

What is wrong with Muslims is that they fear the Fatwa and what their friends say, and not speak up.  When is it going to stop?

Mike Ghouse is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress. His work is reflected in three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/

# # #

January 23, 2011

Government of Tunisia Shuts Down TV Channel

TUNIS — Tunisia’s interim government abruptly shut down the country’s oldest and most popular private television network on Sunday evening, in an apparent violation of its pledges to respect freedom of expression after the ouster of the authoritarian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
The state news agency said the government had arrested the network’s owner and stopped its broadcast for “grand treason,” charging that the network was trying “to abort the youth’s revolution, spread confusion, incite strife and broadcast false information likely to create a constitutional vacuum and destabilize the country in order to take it into a spiral of violence that aims to restore the dictatorship of the former president,” according to a government statement.
But Lotfi Sallemi, a spokesman for the network, Hannibal TV, said the government shut down its signal without warning or explanation.
“The owner was with the revolution, giving voice to all the people,” he said, speaking to a small gaggle of reporters in a dimly lighted doorway outside the darkened studio. Mr. Sallemi called the shutdown a flagrant violation of freedom of the press, arguing that any charges against the owner could be adjudicated without suddenly taking a major network off the air.
Reacting to the news on Sunday night, several Tunisians said the move seriously damaged the credibility of the interim government, which is facing mounting protests against its continued dominance by former members of the old ruling party, including a prime minister who was Mr. Ben Ali’s right-hand man. The fate of the network is widely seen here as a crucial test of the new government’s commitment to civil liberties.
A week after the protests began, convoys of Tunisians from the impoverished south arrived in Tunis, the capital, on Sunday to join hundreds of others in the square of the old city, where the crowd jeered and chanted for a breakup of the government for more than eight hours. “Today, today, the government should go,” they chanted.
The state news agency said that the owner of Hannibal TV was a relative of the former president’s second wife, Leila Trabelsi, a widely reviled figure here whose family grew conspicuously rich after her marriage.
But the Hannibal network, founded about five years ago, was better known for conflict than coziness with the former government, losing certain soccer broadcast rights to state television or the right to broadcast a talk show too similar to one on state television. And since Mr. Ben Ali’s ouster, its news and political program has hardly celebrated the former president, but rather echoed the widespread calls to eradicate the old ruling party from the interim government.
Defenders of the new government have argued that decades of one-party rule have left few outsiders qualified, on a moment’s notice, to steer the state to free elections six months from now.
The shutdown of the network occurred as it was preparing to show an interview with Hamma Hammami, a leader of the banned Communist Party here. Among the boldest critics of Mr. Ben Ali before he fled, Mr. Hammami has since been a vocal critic of the old ruling party’s role in the interim government, including in a statement broadcast Saturday night on Hannibal TV. He also has close ties to the Tunisian trade union, which is backing the protests against the new government.
The interim government, meanwhile, took other steps to repudiate the ousted president.
The state news agency reported that two officials close to Mr. Ben Ali were put under house arrest: Abdelaziz bin Dhia, Mr. Ben Ali’s spokesman and chief adviser, and Abdallah Qallal, the speaker of Parliament’s upper house.
Brahmi Fakhredine contributed reporting.

Mother Teresa my Mentor

Mother Teresa represents "service to God through serving his humanity" she is one of my mentors and I think about her frequently. I was intrigued by her statement, "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus."

I have wanted to say, “I am an Indian by birth, an American by citizenship, Muslim in spirit (meaning not a separate entity in relation to other faiths, but a miniscule part of the universal energy that dissolves in creation). As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the whole humanity " Kaifi Azmi the Urdu/Hindi poet wrote about Pundit Jawaharlal Lal Nehru that has lingered in me forever... "My koi jism nahin jo jalado ge mujhe... (From the song Meri Awaaz suno, pyaar ka raaz suno) I am not a physical being, a body that can be cremated and be done with it; my soul is amidst you wishing the very best for you.

I am still struggling to say the same thing that can be as clear as crystal as Mother Teresa... one of these days....

I posted the above in face book, within an hour, 20 likes and over 15 comments poured in… As usual, my Muslim friends bring their point of view and I share the larger point as well.

Mike Ghouse
# # #

John Dayal she changed so many lives
the world view of so many
made me pro life

Khalid Ahmed I wonder on the Day of Judgment if God will look at ""service to God through serving his humanity" or at associating partners with him, i.e. saying he was the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? According to Islamic belief, the first question asked of us in the grave is not what you did on earth, it will be who is your Lord and do you attribute partners to him.

Muhammad Ismail Arif she served the cause of humanity irrespective of caste, color & creed...deserved to be respected by all of us :-)

Pushkar Sinha As a young TV reporter, I had covered her last journey in Calcutta. It seemed entire Calcutta had lost someone close. Even the phoolwalas, thliwalas were crying.

Mike Ghouse  we have a choice to be between literal to essence... all of us fall somewhere in between, and it works for whateverver you believe. God does not change with our beliefs be it Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish or a Buddhist beliief. ...

For a Christian who believes in the trinity, that belief aligns his soul to the submission of that idea and it works perfectly for him or her, as Islam works for Muslims or Hinduism works for Hindus. My belief in Islam is not based on negating other people's beliefs or not valuing other people's faith. All faiths are designed to bring peace and balance to an individual and what surrounds one; life and matter.

Your opinion is dear to you as mine is dear to me, together we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given uniqueness of each other - for creating peaceful existence; some thing the creator wants.

Khalid Ahmed - Mike, do you ever speak as a Muslim or do you always try to wear a multi-religious hat? Damn !!

Mike Ghouse, I am a Muslim, to be a Muslim is to be a part of God's creation and NOT stand out and away from other beliefs, but be a part of the whole. Yes, I do speak as a Muslim, as a part of the universe and part of creation.

Khalid Ahmed I don’t doubt that you are a Muslim , nor do I have a right to question it. You views are always on the border, perhaps you are just not well studied in Islam and that's cool.

Mike Ghouse ?- Khalid, I don't claim that I am well versed in Islam, however, I am pleased to be a consistent and dedicated student of Islam. I do believe that I have understood the essences of Islam to the point of full comfort and Islam is about subscribing to and creating cohesive societies for the well being all humanity. Islam is subscribing to an orderly, just and peaceful society. That is my belief.

Khalid Ahmed May we all be blessed with better understanding.

Mike Ghouse Mother Teresa's work is what God wants us to do, that is what Jesus, Moses, Mohammad, Krishna, Buddha, Zarathustra, Abraham, Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Bahaullah, Confucius and 124,000 0ther peace makers wanted us to do.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deoband Chief's love for Modi fails to get Muslim approval

We must be proud of our community to have diverse views on the subject of Narendra Modi; it is democracy flowing in our veins. Indeed,   it is the healthiest thing do in working towards building cohesive and sustainable societies.

We may want to see facts on the ground, massacre and the merciless treatment of fellow Indians who were Muslims, what they are reduced to and what is the hope for them?

Any concession to Modi amounts strengthening his tyranny and legitimizing his crimes. Those of us living outside Gujarat have to remember that they have to live and work amidst hostility, what are their choices? As Muslims should we dig in our heels and cause the Modies to dig in too?

Do we want the status quo to continue or change? How do we improve? Those who have lost their loved ones have a very difficult position than those of us who are remotely affected.

This is one of the most difficult of all issues and we have to work on mitigating the conflicts and nurturing goodwill.  We need to value the statement of Dr. Zafrul Islam instead of jumping on him.

We cannot afford to remain confrontational; we need to continue to debate the statements without negating any opinion. Insha Allah, we will find a consensus through debates.

* Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/
# # #

Wednesday January 19, 2011 05:15:48 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporters
Malegaon: Rubbish, uncalled for, misleading and far from reality is what Muslim scholars and elites have termed Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi's statement praising Narendra Modi and the present situation in Gujarat.
Maulana Vastanvi's reported statement about Narendra Modi and the present situation for minorities in Gujarat appeared in the media today few days after he won the elections and became the Vice Chancellor of renowned Islamic Seminary Darul Deoband.
"Narendra Modi's hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of Muslims. Moreover, he never showed any remorse for his failure as Chief Minister during the Gujarat riots. Maulana Vastanvi's comments that appeared in today's newspaper are far from reality and lack credibility", Maulana Syed Mohammad Wali Rehmani said while speaking to ummid.com on phone from Patna.
Maulana Syed Mohammad Wali Rehmani, head of Khankahe Rehmania, Munger and Vice President of All India Majlise Mushawerat was reacting to the Maulana Vastanvi's statement praising Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi that appeared in a leading Indian English daily today morning.
In the statement that the daily termed as 'the most significant endorsement of Modi', Maulana Vastanvi has said all communities are prospering in Narendra Modi's Gujarat, and there is no discrimination against the minorities in the state as far as development is concerned.
Advising Maulana Vastanvi to clarify his stand, Maulana Rehmani said, "At the time when evidences after evidences are coming out to prove the involvement of Hindu right wing organizations in terrorism, one should think twice before opening the mouth".

Deoband alumnus and Director of Markazul Maarif, Mumbai Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi while denouncing Maulana Vastanvi's statement said, "What Maulana Vastanvi has reportedly said about Narendra Modi and the present situation in Gujarat is absolutely rubbish and far from reality."
Stating that Maulana Vastanvi should have avoided giving such statement as the VC of Darul Uloom Deoband, he said, "He is from Gujarat and might be needing 'support from the government' to run his institutions in the state. He is free to do that in his personal capacity. But as the VC of Darul Uloom, his responsibilities are much more. He should refrain from issuing such absurd statements."
Gen Secretary of All India Milli Council, Mumbai Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi while expressing shock over the statement said, "Darul Uloom Deoband is an Islamic and religious seminary and it has never involved itself in politics. Maulana Vastanvi's statements are uncalled for and by issuing such statement, he has degraded his post."
Questioning the motive behind Maulana Vastanvi's statement National Integration Council NC) member Naved Hamid said, "Of late, every businessman and those who have 'resources' and 'money' are coming out in support of Narendra Modi. They are doing so perhaps to safeguard their interests."
"If Narendra Modi is providing equal opportunities to every one", he asked, "Why he is not interested in minority development schemes for minorities in Gujarat? Why instead of pushing the justice to those who suffered during the riots and killed in dubious encounters, his government is taking all efforts to bail out the culprits?"
Meanwhile, ummid.com's repeated attempts to contact Maulana Ghulam Vastanvi failed. However, he found a supporter in Editor of New Delhi based The Milli Gazette Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan.
"One may disagree with what Maulana Vastanvi said about Narendra Modi and Gujarat. But I think the situation has improved for the minorities in Gujarat and Maulana Vastanvi's observation is appropriate and good for the community in the present scenario", he said while speaking to ummid.com on phone from New Delhi.