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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dr. Abdus Salam's 85th birthday, the Pakistani Muslim Nobel Laureate

Dr. Abdus Salam, the only Muslim Nobel Laureate of Pakistan.
Published at Huffington Post.


It is a shame that many of the Pakistani people I have been interacting have bought the government fed idea that Ahmadiyya Muslims are not Muslims.

Shame on them, they have not only lost political freedom, they have lost their minds as well.  As a Muslim, I am disappointed that Pakistan has deprived the Muslim world of a Nobel Laureate, indeed the late Dr. Abdus Salam is the only Nobel Laureate of Pakistan and they don't list him as a Muslim, and have gone one to erase the word Muslim from his headstone, what a shame! He was pride of Pakistan and yet no minister or high government official attended his funeral. I wish he lived in America; he would have gotten all the due respect he deserved.

Yet the same Muslims daily recite that God alone is the Master of the Day of Judgment, and he alone is judge of our faith 17 to 51 times a day, what for? Sir Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the great poet scholar philosopher probably wrote this poem to these folks, “tujhe-kya-milega-namaz-mein” what is there for you in that prayer if you don’t mean it.

We simply cannot stereo type the whole population based on a few intolerant judgmental men out there. Just like the good for nothing silent majority of Jews, Christians, Muslims or Hindus; and Americans, Indians or Chinese, the Pakistani Muslims Majority is another good for nothing lot, don't have the balls to speak up. We must encourage the good people to start speaking up and bring about a positive change where no Pakistani has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other Pakistani.

 They did not have the freedom to sign the Asia Bibi Petition; did not have the guts to step forward to do the funeral prayers for Governor Taseer who wanted to end the misapplied blasphemy laws...or don't have the nerve to speak up on most issues and put up with the Zardari government.

What's happened to this Umma that is suppose to value Justice above all else. They listen to the stories of the Prophet and the Caliphs, how they stood up for the rights of Jews, Christians and others even against their own kith and kin. A Muslim cannot be prejudiced and judgmental, how many of us qualify to be a Muslim?

This week witnesses Dr. Salam's 85th birthday. May Allah bless him for his pioneering research in “theoretical elementary particle physics”  benefiting the humanity; May Allah give courage to the Pakistani people to stand up for justice for every Pakistani in the footsteps of the Prophet and the rightly guided caliphs, and treat every Pakistani on an equal footing regardless of his or her religion, belief or denomination.

Asia Bibi Petition - Appeal for Justice

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/ 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ghouse speaks at Red River Unitarian Church Feb. 5

Mike Ghouse to speak at Red River Unitarian Universalist Church Feb. 5

By Red River Unitarian Universalist Church
Jan 30, 2012
Red River Unitarian Universalist Church will hear Mike Ghouse speak on the topic “Welcome to My World: The World of Pluralism” at 11:15 a.m. on February 5. 

Mr. Ghouse was a speaker and moderator at the 2009 Parliament of World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia, and spoke at the Universal Peace Federation’s peace initiative in Jerusalem in August 2010.  He often speaks at UU churches about pluralism, a worldview that advocates inclusivism, tolerance, ecumenism, and diversity among the world’s religions. 

At 10:00 that morning, Adult Forum will discuss plans for increasing RRUU’s effectiveness in its community, presented by the church’s “Let’s Grow Group.” 
RRUU meets at 515 N. Burnett Ave. in Denison, and all are welcome to attend its services and forums.  Nursery care is provided. 

More information about the church is at www.rruu.org.

. . . .

February 5, 2012, Unitarian Universalist Church

The questions about what is religion, why are they so many and what is the purpose of religion will always linger. If we were to step back from each one of our faiths and see the purpose it serves, we may discover that the essence of the religion is to bring peace to oneself and peace with others. In essence, religion is about building cohesive individuals and societies.

Religion is about humility and not arrogance, humility builds relationships and arrogance kills it. Indeed the spirituality and arrogance are inversely proportional to each other.

Mike’s sermon today revolves around the topic and we hope you walk out with the feeling that truth is same in different manifestations and that your tradition is as beautiful as every tradition out there.

The Unitarian Universalists have understood the essence of religion; they live it.

The Unitarian Church is located in Sherman Texas, if you wish to attend as my guest, please let me know.


Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, and an activist committed to building cohesive societies, and offers pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on current issues.

Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, “The Hannity Show”, and on nationally syndicated radio shows along with Dallas TV, print and radio networks, and occasional interviews on NPR.

He has spoken at international forums including the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia; the Middle East Peace Initiative in Jerusalem; and the International Leadership Conference in Hawaii, Chicago and Washington.

He 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 the Washington Post and other daily newspapers and magazines around the world. In 2011 Mike published over 300 articles on a variety of subjects. Two books are poised to be released this year on Pluralism and Islam in America.

Mike was a commissioner for the City of Carrollton and president of many organizations including Home Owners Association, North Texas Cricket Association, and a board member of several non-profits such as the Dallas Peace Center.

Mike is a collaborator and much of his work revolves around the subjects of pluralism, interfaith movement, politics, justice, cohesive societies, Islam, India, hope and world peace. Mike’s work is reflected in four websites and 30 blogs indexed at www.mikeghouse.net, and he writes daily at www.TheGhousediary.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Republic Day Message to Indians, happy Republic Day India!

January 26, 2012. Today is India’s Republic day; the day India adopted its constitution on January 26, 1950.

Indeed, we are one of the few stable pluralistic democracies in the world where the rule of law is honored, where we have learned to respect the otherness of other and accepted the uniqueness of each individual and his faith. We are not there fully, but we will make it while other nations are struggling with the idea of co-existence, we have demonstrated it for thousands of years. Democracy and liberty runs through our veins and I am pleased to submit a proposal for consideration. 

We are proud of our heritage - a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-regional and multi-linguistic society, where we have come to accept and respect every which way people have lived their lives. For over 5000 years, India has been a beacon of pluralism - it has embraced Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism to include in the array of the indigenous religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. 

We are Adivasis, Atheists, Baha’is, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Sikhs, Tribals, Zoroastrians and every possible grouping. We are Brown, Black, White, Yellow and green with envy and phir bhi dil hai Hindustani (our heart remains Indian).

We see God as one, none and many; and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names.

We may want to consciously start thinking and acting as one people, one people within a nation and a community and one people globally. It’s like home when we are conflict free.  I do hope each one of us purges any bias towards the other, there is joy in being free from ill-will. Try to be free from it this day forward… free from anything that prevents you from being a part of the whole. 

Our combined philosophies believe in one world ; Hinduism describes the world as Vasudaiva Kutumbukum, the whole world is one family, the idea of Ek Onkar(one) in Sikhism, you are all created from the same couple as Quraan puts it and Jesus embraced every one regardless of who any one is... similar philosophies are grounded in all our religions. 

A few don't follow their own heritage and resort to thievery, loot, murder, terrorism, rioting, rapes, infanticide and other evils that destroy the fabric of the society,  but a majority of every group goes about their own way, living their life with struggles and ease and don't even bother others. We should build upon the 99% of population and not on the less than 1% that does not follow any principles.

On this day, and every day from here forward, make a pledge to yourselves to talk about in terms of us Indians - and not Malyalee, Gujarati, Bengali.... or Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaee. Don't expect others to jump and say the same, give them the time and if you are consistent for at least a year, you will see others emulating you.

Through the years we have expressed the highest degree of maturity on handling extreme situations; the more divergent opinions we hear, the larger our heart grows, the bigger our embrace would be and we can cushion more differences. Let’s continue to honor the concept that there is always another side to the story, as finding the truth is our own responsibility. I am proud of my heritage and am proud to be an Indian-American.

I hope you take time to ponder on the following;

I propose that the parliament of India introduce a bill for every political, cultural and religious organization in India to register with the Home Ministry, state their purpose, list their assets for public scrutiny, and list the membership roster to be updated annually. Include a modified version of the 7 items into Indian Penal Code, and make it in to the law to punish the violators of the law.

Patriotism should be defined in terms of what you do to uplift the hopes of people, in terms of education to all, jobs to as many as we can in each successive year, home for every human, and a better life style to every Indian.

Every public office holder from the Peon to the President of India, and every one in between must take this pledge and live by it. Violation should disqualify him or her from holding the public office. Let it be monitored publicly.

1. I pledge allegiance to India, indivisible nation that stands for liberty and justice for all.

2. I pledge that I honor and treat every Indian with "full" dignity.

3. I pledge that all individuals would be treated on par.

4. I pledge that I will treat all religions with equal respect, equal access and equal treatment.

5. I pledge that I will oppose any act that treats any Indian less than me.

6. I Pledge that I will work for an India, where every individual can live with security and aspire for prosperity.

7. I pledge that I will protect, preserve and value every inch of India and every human soul in India

This would be the first step towards ensuring a Just, peaceful and prosperous India, that can sustain its progress and peace.

Link to this article: http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com  

Jai Hind


Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/ 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fanatic Muslims?

It is my responsibility as an individual to respond to a question about Fanatic Muslims and I have done this to the best of my ability. 

As a civilized society, the first thing we need to come to grips with is avoid stereotyping any one.  Baptists are intolerant, Muslims are fanatics, Evangelicals are bullies, Jews control America, Atheists do not have morals… and someone said, don’t trust Texans, they are war mongers; Johnsons and Bush were, so will be Perry! So, as a Texan, I am slapped with a label of war monger too.

Fanaticism is not a healthy thing in any society Muslims or otherwise, countering fanaticism with equal fanaticism makes it worse for all, makes both sides guilty of thoughtlessness. They dig in their heels with no solutions on the horizons.

This January (2012), the Rabbis in Israel are spitting on women who are not covering their hair and forcing women to sit in the back of the bus and don’t want women to pray with them… the report was predicting they will make up about 10% of Israeli population by 2025. This ironically is the spitting image of Muslims.  Are all Jews fanatic? Are all Muslims fanatic? Are all Baptists fanatics (Two of the thousands of Baptist ministers have called Jews, Muslims, Mormons and Hindus cults – are they?)

A few fanatics (not Muslims) wanted to ban circumcision in San Francisco and Santa Monica – it was on their ballet to criminalize the act to make the Jewish life difficult.  Check this out - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/circumcision-satire_b_872270.html

Herman Cain would not hire a Muslim; Gingrich will want Muslims to go through checks… Jews and Catholics have been there.

We cannot stereotype any one.  

You may not like this, and I hope you do. I am committed to do my share of work in mitigating stereotyping people, any people anywhere.

Chicago reported 34, 195 crimes; and
1,349 incidents of criminal sexual assaults in 2010. Dallas Killed 148 Persons. Is it fair to say to single women heading to Chicago that don’t go there, the Chicagoans are rapists, they raped 1349 women just the last year… or don’t go to bloody Dallas, they are murderers, they killed 148 people, you will be the next… Isn’t this stereotyping? Same thing is thrown about Muslims as fanatics. Indeed they are as fanatic as Christians, Jews, Hindus and others. Thanks to Google, check the stats out there.

Can you talk to the Rabbis spitting on a 9 year old, a Hindu priest raping a girl, a Catholic Bishop abusing a boy,  a Muslim thrashing his 9 year old girl for not wearing Hijab… ? 

It behooves for all of us together to find solutions and not bury people in their positions. For every 1% of fanatic Muslims, there is 1% of fanatic Jews, Christians, Hindus and others. It is our problem not Jews’ Muslim’s or Christians.  I will write a full piece on this and I beg the readers to resist the temptation to stereotype any one.

www.AmericaTogetherFoundation.com is being created to find solutions.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Obama or Sundry who?

The public wants to see a formidable challenge to Obama, sadly there is none at this time.

Newt is not a man of his own, he lives under the shadow of Reagan, the name Reagan is his security blanket, and he can’t live without it. He hides under the label conservative; he ain't any conservative with his record.

Romney has a chance but the Evangelical leadership will exhibit their bigotry towards him, he ain’t Christian enough, as if they are following the teachings of Jesus.

Santorum will do anything to get elected; he is making every effort to wean out the clapping crowds from Gingrich to his war drums.  Santorum will ruin us completely, just as Bush did.  

Ron Paul is by far the best among Republicans, who can beat Obama, but his ideas need to be tested out and we don’t have the time for it. He does not have a support system to implement his ideas even if he gathers enough people, it will take time for them to distinguish between pragmatism and idealism, and their trials and errors will drown America.

 I lost him when he says to the dying patient; you are on your own. He assumes that every American is healthy and can survive on his or her own without any one’s help. Being a gynecologist he should know that a baby cannot walk out on his own from a mother’s womb or no one can jump into a grave and cover himself or herself up with the dirt.

So the game is wide open. If Obama can muster up courage and push the congress to present the job bill, extend payroll tax cuts and energize manufacturing sector and re-train Americans instead of assigning the jobs overseas. He will make it. He has got to speak to the America public and ask them to demand the “Republicans” to listen to their needs.

I am a moderate Republican and I cannot relate with any of the war mongers in the top echelon of my party.  None of them is capable of talking jobs, peace and prosperity to “all” Americans.

As an America I would like to see the majority in house and the senate rest in two different parties, let them fight and argue but not make unilateral decisions. Have we not made the most egregious and disastrous unilateral decisions when it was Democratic or Republican majority in both the houses?

The debates are good and Obama needs to be challenged to become a doer or the Republicans must learn that we are all in this together as one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Newt, you can run but you can't hide

Mitt Romney, Brian Williams and John King wanted simple answers, what did Newt do? Instead of answering, he attacks them and let them spin and fend themselves; King almost felt like it was a crime to do the follow up, Romney recovered at least once but Williams moved on. So, Newt goes Scot free and the supporters laud him. They will keep lauding and keep building Newt to be a farce, fake thing and deliver it to the Tiger.

Tiger will not let this goat frighten him, he would say, Newt first answer the question, answer it now! I am not going to let you get away...with your pranks, baby cranks.

If Newt acts like a baby and responds, "I am not going to answer that", then Obama will "tell" him, I need an answer now, even if you don’t want to answer me, you owe it to the American public, and you can’t do the same to them as you did to two of your wives.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Shared by Readers:

Three volumes of the Ethics Committee Investigation. All public records. Nancy keeps saying that. I am a slow reader. There are some Secret Records, and Nancy keeps saying they will remain secret, but the answers are all in the Public Record.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Texas Faith: What do you think about Tebowing?

Tebow told Fox Sports last fall that he knows about the criticism, but he's more focused on those who draw inspiration from his public prayers. Said Tebow: "It's not my job to see people's reasons behind it, but I know [of a kid] with cancer that tweeted me, 'Tebowing while I'm chemoing' -- how cool is that?" Tebow said. "That's worth it right now. If that gives him any encouragement or puts a smile on his face, or gives him encouragement to pray, that's completely awesome."

With this phenomenon swirling around us, and the Super Bowl approaching, here is this week's question: What is your view about his public praying and the Tebowing phenomenon that has built up around it?

Eleven Texas Faith panelists respond, please visit Dallas Morning News at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/texas-faith-what-do-you-think.html

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Tebowing phenomenon has several parallels in our society.

When things are not going well, hope is the only thing that drives the average person to live-on, and look forward to the light at the end of a tunnel. We are in a tunnel now with the highest unemployment a generation has witnessed in a long time; someone we know closely does not have a job, lost his or her house, and is struggling to take care of the family to keep a roof above the head.

God is the last resort for those who believe in divine intervention, we expect miracles, and we day-dream about a positive change in our lives. When someone like Tim Tebow expresses that call to God in public, we feel it in our guts and we relate with it.

We are an untapped reservoir of kindness, and were looking to release that energy.  When Tebow rested his knee on the ground with millions of us watching, he instantly became a catalyst and has released that energy in us, and emotionally, we connected with him. This is something we wanted to do, but did not know how.

The last such phenomenon was witnessed on the evening of Tuesday November 4, 2008 by most Americans regardless of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation.  I choked and felt the tears in my eyes, the tears of Joy.  I was happy to think of the prospect of America becoming a great nation once again, in those few bare seconds I was imagining prosperity knocking on every American door fulfilling the dream of millions of Americans with a Job, health and education for their children. A sense of safety permeated through my body, getting the chills to know that in a few hours the Obama presidency would be a reality. America once again will be a strong, healthy and a prosperous nation. I was still trying to understand my feelings of joy when someone on NPR said it was like "birthing", birthing it was.

Birthing it is. Tebowing has unleashed hope in us,  and I hope and pray that our economy recovers and absorbs the unemployed among us to take care of our families. I have interacted with several of my friends from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between; most of them see it as a positive change. Tebow has made us conscious of the need for humility and need for prayers.

Let's pray that all our presidential candidates including the incumbent, to make an effort to visit every place of worship across the width and breadth of our land and kneel in humility towards the creator and sincerely beg to remove the ill-will towards each other. Can we do that? Yes we can, we are in this together and no American should feel apprehensive, discomfort or fear of the other. May God open our hearts and minds towards each other to look with kindness and goodwill, and give hope to each other,   Amen!
. . . . . .
 Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stand up for a Hindu family in Norway, sign the petition

Norway is one of the nations looked up for best the civil conduct; however, they have failed to even study the culture of their inhabitants. Here Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharaya fed their child with hands as is the custom in their home land, India, and had the kids sleep on their bed. The Norway government found that to be offensive and abusive and took the child away from the family. 

It has happened in Dallas with an Albanian Muslim family, where the father had her little girl sit in his lap and watch the basketball game in school, and it was reported as an abuse.  The tragedy in both places would be if the child is passed on to a foster family who would raise the child in a different faith than what the child was shown in his or her formative years.

We have to stand with all those to whom injustice is met. Please do it now.

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse committed to cohesive societies.
# # #

Ahmadiyya Muslims Interfaith Symposium in Houston

Please note: If you believe that yours is the only way, this is not for you.

Houston, Saturday, January 21, 2012. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community held an interfaith symposium, as they do frequently and do a great job at it in selecting the right topics. The following was my talk including sharing the essence of  the talks of speakers before me.

Dr. Sulekh Jain explored on the idea of Anekantavad, different views must be valued, and indeed part of the definition of Pluralism has origins in it.

Dr. Asha Sharma summed up the essence of Hinduism in the phrase Vasudaiva Kutumbukum, meaning the whole world is one family.

Rabbi Jonathan Siger shared a story on Humility, the reason we all originated from one couple was to bring humility to mankind, so we do not claim that our tribe is a superior one. That was a great thought. Indeed, Quraan is clear on the topic as well, consider no prophet over the other, all are God’s messengers including Prophet Muhammad, had God said, Muhammad is the elevated one among the prophets, Muslims would have become arrogant. Thank God for that. Humility builds bridges and arrogance kills it.

Rev Butch Green - Jesus was boundless he reached out to every segment of the society, indeed that is being God like, to have no barrier between him and his creation, the same idea is called Brahman in Hinduism. He mentioned that the word peace is mentioned over 100 times in the bible. Indeed Quraan also has the word peace about the same number of times.

Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon was about equality between races, ethnicities and sexes.  Love thy neighbor is matched by know each other.

Gyani Gurmit Singh Bhatia – He spoke about speaking out against injustice and live the life that Baba Nanak taught, he shared the ideals and one of them was if you don't see god in all, you don't see god at all.

Indeed, Sikhism started out as an interfaith movement and its holy book, the Guru Granth Saheb is composed by three different religious people.

Imam Naseem Mahdi shared the story of supplication that Muslims recite, Allahumma Rubbi Astaghfirli… He said a Rabbi, turned around and said that was the supplication recited by Prophet Solomon….. Open my heart to learning and knowing others.  Imam Mahdi reiterated from Quraan- make no distinction between prophets of god.  I am always amazed with the Ahmadiyya and Ismaili communities for their extra focus on essence of Quraan; it seems that they have understood it beyond the ritual part of the religion.

This paragraph was not a part of my talk: Amazingly the average Ahmadi and Ismaili knows about the essence of his/her version of the faith much more than an average Muslim of other denominations knows about his or her version of the faith.  The fact that the communities are smaller makes it easy for everyone to study their tradition compared to the larger communities. I wrote an article in Dallas Morning News backed with Pew Survey which said, the people of majoritarian religion know less about their faith, let alone others than people who belong to minority faiths. The highest knowledgeable ones about religions were among Atheist, Agnostics and others. That is an understandable fact.

This particular paragraph was not a part of my talk either. Imam Mahdi rightfully talked about Mullah Exploitation. However, I need to take it up with him about his statement that the other Muslim Mullahs believe that all Jews and Christians will go to hell and they (Ahmadiyya) instead believe in Quraan which says, whether you are a Jew, Christian or a Sabean (others), if you do the right thing like taking care of your neighbors, God will reward you and you need not worry. This is the belief of all Muslims, it is from Quraan. His statement is not completely in line with what is out there, and amounts to stereotyping other Muslims. We are all Muslims to the general public regardless of our denomination.

Indeed every speaker talked about the need for intra-faith dialogue, the Rabbi shared that no two Jews agree, the orthodox don’t consider reformed Jews to be Jews as they allow women Rabbis, the Christians do not consider Mormons to be Christians… and the issue is similar among Muslims, a substantial number of Muslims consider Ahmadiyya as non-Muslims. It is a sheer arrogance on the part of majorities in all religions and societies. This has got to be deliberated; it is more of politics of division than religion.

Diversity is intentional each one of us is made different with our own thumb print, dna, taste bud and hope, some day in the future, we nurture the religion bud and learn to accept the differences. Taking this idea further, God did not want Jesus to convert the whole world into Christianity, it will not happen, he did not want Muhammad to convert the whole world to become Muslims either, it will never happen, he would not allow Krishna to have monopoly on the 7 billion of us, neither any religion will ever win every living human on the earth. Diversity is natural and certain.

No religion is superior and no prophet is superior either. God has not signed a deal with any one of them behind others back. In the eyes of God, we are all his creation; he gives preferential treatment to those who have done the best in keeping his creation in harmony and peace, but God will never treat any one any less than the other. If he did, who wants a God like that? Religion is about humility and not arrogance.

Interfaith Scriptures: There is a beautiful book in the market to review different scriptures on a given topic, its called World Scripture, a comparative anthology of sacred texts by inter religious foundation, an initiative of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

To be a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. God wants all of us to get along and the best among us is one who knows each other and who does the most to keep his creation intact and in harmony. 

Mike Ghouse  is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net   

5th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides in Dallas

 The 5th Annual reflection on Holocaust and Genocides was held on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at Unity Church of Dallas in Texas.

Education was the purpose; we have to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other, and to we have to understand that our safety hinges on the safety of all others around us.

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or somehow it amounts to infidelity to our own cause. Shame on us that we justifying massacres by believing and propagating that the victims deserved it or asked for it.

We sincerely hope, the following understanding continues to develop in our hearts;

Other people's suffering is as legitimate as mine; it is easy to see ourselves as Victims, but we must also see the perpetrator in us; when we strip the politics out of a conflict, we see hope; we can value others suffering without lessening our own; the overriding desire to highlight our own blinds us from other's suffering. A sense of responsibility for creating a better world is awakened ultimately co-existence and every one's safety and peace should be the driving thought.

To all those, who have endured holocaust, genocides, massacres, bombs, annihilation, land mines, hunger, rape, torture, occupation and inhuman brutality, we say you are not alone. The least we can do in the process of healing is to acknowledge every one's pain in one voice. We have begun the process of coming together as one people, to stand with you, we are indeed one world and a single humanity, and caring for each other brings safety and peace to all of us. I cannot be safe if the people around me are not, and I will not have peace if people around me don't. It is in my interest to seek a peaceful world for one and all.

We are working on initiating a course on tolerance education, so one day; we all can learn to have a heart that opens to the pain of every human, yes, we can do that.

Mike Ghouse is the founder of this event and is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net   

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pat Buchanan's fear :: End of White Christian America


The phobias stem from the fact that religions have moved away from being spiritual to political entities, simply meaning each religious group is living in its own silos and in conflict with the other.

An article in the New York Times, "Patrick Buchanan's Future at MSNBC Is Murky," says, "Mr. Buchanan argues in his book, Suicide of a Superpower -- which has the subtitle Will America Survive to 2025? -- that the 'European and Christian core of our country is shrinking,' which is damaging the nation 'ethnically, culturally, morally, politically.' The book also contains a chapter titled, 'The End of White America.'"

The xenophobia seems to be gripping a few of the white folks like Buchanan. If you recall South Africa, there was a similar phobia when the ruling whites had to relinquish power to the black majority, their expectation was that they may have to flee, but when the surrender actually happened, fears dissipated and the democracy in a black majority became a way of life guarding the safety and rights of every citizen.
There is phobia that the Mexican immigrants will change our way of life, and there is a fear that other religions will dilute the monopoly of white Christianity.

We have some choices to consider: We can choose to become a self reliant recluse nation, and we will not buy products or services from other nations or sell anything to them either, as there is no such thing as one way trade. It might shrink our economy and lower the comforts of our life as it would become expensive for a majority of us to afford most things produced in America.

We will do all our work ourselves without the help of immigrant workers be them Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Somalis or the others. We may as well close the doors of immigration; even most of the European white Christians are secular and want to keep God in the closet.

In the long haul, we cannot survive as a nation with a zero or a negative population growth, we need to get busy in producing children.

People come to America for its openness and freedom; we need to entrench and enrich them with our values, it will ensure continuance of our culture and our societal norms.
We need to work on integrating different parts of the society to act as a whole and to sustain the systems we love and cherish. Each one of us has to become a part of the system and not live in silos and blame others, or else the nation will fall apart.

Personally I grew up in homes with fancy orange, teal and other colors in India. Now, I have learned to love the modest colors of America. I was a home builder responsible for several subdivisions in Dallas Metroplex and I have learned the value of consistency and external appearances. I was also a president of the home owners association, where we set the rules in the neighborhoods to preserve the values of homes through managing external appearances. This is an example of integration to sustain our way of life despite the fact that I was blatantly turned down by employers for my accent.
The last, but resentful, choice is to go buy an Island to live on our own terms, and live as freely as we want.

To feel secure about continuance of our life styles and white Christianity and all others, we have to nurture the values and systems to ensure a comfortable living, instead of griping about it. Americans Together can build a cohesive America, where no one will live in apprehension, discomfort or fears of the other and sustain their way of life.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

John King, tear Gingrich down.

John King of CNN asked (it was asked) Newt, if he would like to share his thoughts on what his ex-wife Marianne Gingrich had to say.

Instead of answering the question, Newt attacks the press belligerently and gets away with it and John King backs down, damn his gutlessness and irresponsibility for not following it up with tougher questions. Newt was billing himself as a conservative candidate and in wake of the flip flops and seeking an open marriage, he would not qualify to be a conservative.

John King should have pursued it, the role of a Journalist is to get the candidates to speak and tell the truth to the Americans. In light of the swindled crowd who were applauding the man instead of demanding the truth, Gingrich fails to qualify as a conservative candidate.

John,  tear Mr. Gingrich down, its time you do. Had you torn Bush down, we would not have gone to war, we would not have had sunk our monies in the wars, we would not have lost jobs; we would not have been in the economic ruin we are now. Our Journalists failed miserably then, but now don’t let America go down with bullying men link Gingrich. Bullying is not conservatism.

He owes an apology to American women for discounting the testimony of another woman, he owes an apology to the African Americans for thinking that they don’t want to work, damn it, there is no work and you cannot call them to live on food stamps. Can we allow him these flip flops? We should allow him the chance to repent but not give him the chance to mess up America. 

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

Surya Namaskar and Muslim Response

Mike Ghouse

The Surya Namaskar is a Hindu religious tradition, a beautiful act of bowing to the Sun and welcoming the first rays of dawn as an expression of gratitude to the energy it breathes in to life and everything about life.

India is a pluralistic society, where we have come to respect every which way one worships one, none or many representations of God. Even among Hinduism we have an amazing diversity of people who express their gratitude from no to an iconic to an abstract manifestation of that elusive creator.

The Chief Minister of the State of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan called on the schools and the public to join him in the Surya Namaskar to beat the Guinness world record set by the Kazakhs who currently hold the world record in mass prayers. The intent of performing this act with a million people was not for spiritual need, but to get on the Guinness Book of World Records; a crazy passion of Indians.

At least Shivraj Singh Chouhan did better than Rick Perry, the governor of Texas who invited the evangelist exclusively to pray for the nation’s well being in a certain way to exclude all other Americans including Christians of different denominations. Indeed he duped the evangelicals in buying their support for his bid to the Presidency.

The Times of India reported that the city’s Chief Muslim cleric Qazi Abul Kalam Qasmi said, "Parents should take a call on sending kids to school, if there is apprehension that the child may be forced." The newly appointed Qazi maintained that Suryanamaskar, which involved 'bowing before the sun', was against Islamic tenets. "If a Muslim performs the 'suryanamaskar' the child and his parents would both be accountable in the act of felony." Qasmi maintained.

Indeed, the Qazi is right; it is not an Islamic practice to bow to any manifestation of God, but the God himself the non-visible energy. Everyone should have the freedom to pray or not pray in certain way and no one should compel or look down for not participating. That is our pluralistic ethos for over 5000 years and we need to be loyal to that heritage.

An alternate way to look at the opinion of the Qazi would have been to participate in the group act, but do it in a way that works from an Islamic point of view. This would have meant that we are all in this together for a better India and better place to live cohesively. However, no one should expect everyone to jump and do what they do. It would have been a good example of working together without compromising our faith.

Prophet Muhammad had led mass Prayers for rain and famine and for other goodness of the society. Two years ago, I was planning on going to Florida and witness a pastor burn the Quraan, if he was indeed burning, I was going to pray my two Rakat (unit) Nafeel Muslim prayers next door to his Church in an open space with prior permission from the City. We all would have prayed for his well being along with several fellow Muslims. Burning Quraan was not an act of bravery but stupidity and countering it with anger would have been greater stupidity. Unfortunately he postponed his act and I had a 9/11 Unity Day event the next day in Dallas as well.

There are examples set by Prophet Muhammad for situations like this. While he was travelling to Taif, a few miscreants pelted rocks at him causing him to bleed, his associates wanted to go get the boys, but Prophet stopped them and instead asked them and the Angel Gabriel to join him in prayers and pray for their well being. This is what Jesus meant when he said, turn the other cheek.

Prophet Muhammad was the ultimate peace maker, every act of his is a model for us to learn from, and he was the consummate conflict mitigater and goodwill nurturer.

When we attend weddings, some of us are strictly vegetarian and some eat variations of meat products from fish and poultry to beef. We wear different clothing’s and drink a variety of sodas to coffee with cream or black and same goes with the tea. Do we have a problem with that? Then we should not have the problem with this either as long as the Chief Minister is not getting his wish at the cost of public funds.

The right wingers among us need to honor Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs and Hindus for their choices and each minority should not take this as an imposition in a free society. Nor any one should be negative if one does not participate.

May Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s dreams to solidify his political stand come true and those who are opposed to him politically can also hold a Chandra Namaskar to get what they want, but together, let Madhya Pradesh go on the Guinness book of world records. Bengal or any other state has a choice to out do it as well.

[Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies where no Indian has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net and his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike Ghouse is now associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Foreign Editor. He can be contacted at MikeGhouse@aol.com]

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Standing with Christians

Jesus Christ’ ultimate dream was to create a kingdom of heaven on the earth; it is the idea where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other under one God. It is the same idea repeated and revived by several great reformers of the world including but not limited to Zarathustra, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, Nanak, Bahaullah, Gandhi, MLK and others.

Then the best among us would be someone who works towards this goal and believes in the Golden rule,  "treat  others as you would want to be treated."
I am greatful to God for the blessing and encouragement to stand for others.  As an example I am setting a site to list some of my work from an Atheist to Zoroastrian and every one in between.

The following lists a few items of standing up with Christians, as usual the right wingers in other faiths have harassed me for doing this or even demanding why I did not do it for them, by God, given my little life, as a volunteer, I have done as much as I can.

My mentors in pluralism are Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa and I dedicate this collection to them:
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An appeal to Indonesian Muslims
Friday, December 18, 2009 will be noted as a sad day in the history of Indonesia. On this day, a group of people on their way out from attending an Islamic New Year parade attacked the Santo Albertus Church under construction in Bekasi. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/12/appeal-to-indonesian-muslims.html
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Religious conflict in India
Eleven Churches have been razed to ground following a reported attack on Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a political party leader. Shamefully this is a normal thing in India and it needs to be stopped before it escalates.
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As peace makers, we cannot cause people to dig in their heels and take positions, we have to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for the ultimate good of all. I hope, you understand the avoidance of such language in the petition. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2011/01/appeal-for-justice-to-pakistani-asia.html
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A Muslim’s Christmas, Huffington PostAs a Muslim I will be celebrating Christmas, recommitting myself to listen to Jesus and follow his path. And in my Islamic tradition, I will reflect on chapter 19 of Quraan, dedicated to Maryam, Mother Mary, and pray on his birthday. I will pray that we all honor his message of creating peace and building cohesive societies where no one has to be apprehensive of the other. Amen!Continued: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/a-muslims-christmas_b_1167258.html

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A tribute to JesusThis column is dedicated to Rev. Petra Weldes of the Center for Spiritual Living in Dallas. Some of my conversation with her inspired me to write this tribute to Jesus and what it means to be religious.http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/12/tribute-to-jesus.html

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Iran’s death penalty for Christian pastor violates treaties, KoranIndeed there is absolutely no punishment for apostasy in Quraan; one is free to become a Muslim and free to leave the faith. After all no one is to bear the burden of the other, he alone is responsible for his belief. 

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Muslims condemn Blasphemy attack in Kerala
Evil continues to thrive, when good people do nothing about it. Our role as Muslims is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill and work towards building social cohesion, so all the humanity can co-exist in harmony. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/07/muslims-condemn-blasphemy-attack-in.html

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Where is the Muslim outrage?
Mike Ghouse, November 30, 2007
As a Muslim I am outraged at this nonsense going on in Sudan and Saudi Arabia.When Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons were published, few Muslims around the world were outraged to the point of becoming destructive. They burned the embassy in Syria and destroyed property elsewhere. http://www.mikeghouse.net/Articles/Where-is-the-Muslim-Outrage.asp

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Afghan blasphemy caseSpokesman says Karzai has last word in Afghan blasphemy case Mike Ghouse Note: It takes conviction to do the right thing and one must subscribe to the idea of nothing but truth. Karzai needs to pardon, rather, apologize for his governments infringement of individual liberty. There is no compulsion in Islam and one needs to be free to practice what one believes. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/02/afghan-blasphemy-case.html

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Building Respect for Christmas
A handful of Jews, Muslims and others show belligerence towards the celebration of Christmas and have vandalized Christmas trees, shame on them. 

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Citizenship, Islam and AmericaLaw is one thing and practice is the other. As an American and as a Muslim, I have to be critical of both groupings and work toward creating cohesive societies where no citizen has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. Here is a summary of 2011 and what we can aspire for 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/citizenship-islam-and-ame_b_1174834.html 

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Religious Freedom, international coalition

Religions help us sustain peace and balance in the society in the times of our spiritual, physical and societal ups and downs. Living for the sake of others is not a charity or even a noble thing to brag about; it is indeed the pragmatic thing to do.
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Japanese Unificationists Believed to Be Resisting Confinement
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Top Muslim Declares All Christians 'Infidels'

It is quite possible, the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar university Ali Gomaa did not say anything like the alleged words listed below. These guys at Middle East Forum may have cooked it up. They have done it before and that is their business. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2011/11/top-muslim-declares-all-christians.html
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Ninth Church Vandalized in MalaysiaWe appeal the Malaysian Government to reign in this immediately.http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/01/ninth-church-vandalized-in-malaysia.html

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Muslims, Christians and The Lost Tomb
One question that concerns me is the depth of the faith, rather paucity of the faith of the believers. One’s faith must be really weak to be frightened by a movie, and I often wonder, how will it offend the faith of millions? It is not just Christians, Muslims will be offended too. That is nearly 3.4 billion people of the world comprising 2.1 Billion Christians and 1.3 billion Muslims. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/03/faith-and-lost-tomb.html
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Spitting on Christians in JerusalemJudging from the title, I hope you did not jump to the conclusion, that Muslims are the ones spitting on Christians. In this case the culprits are extremists from a different tradition. 

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A Church in Saudi Arabiahttp://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2008/03/church-in-saudi-arabia.html

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 Mike Ghouse committed to building cohesive Societies and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues.  His work is all listed at www.MikeGhouse.net
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