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Monday, May 21, 2012

Interfaith symposium on Economic Justice

Symposium organized by Ahmadiyya Muslims, Allen, Texas
Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Speakers: Suhail Kauser, Rabbi Yogi Robkin, Rev. Judi Arkow, Rev. Bill Matthews, Minister Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Pluralist Mike Ghouse, Editor Rick Mann and Imam Mohammad Zafrullah Hanjra.

Each one of the speakers shared their perspective on the issue, it was humorous and a lively discussion.

 I lost my card where I scribbled my points, but off memory, I am writing the following notes, they are not exactly the same.

Everything about nature is balance; matter has a built-in balance mechanism, whereas humans have to build it.

The idea of economic justice began, when man figured out a way to live with his enemies or perceived enemies, and live with the available food without worrying about the food being stolen or safety of his family.
What did the subsequent religious leaders do? They reconstituted precisely what the hunters and gatherers had learned. They created societies where no one had to live in discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other. If one violated the norms, there was punishment accorded to the one.

Part of the economic justice is based on – taking care of the ones in the pit. It is not giving the fish, but helping them catch the fish. It makes economic sense to uplift the downtrodden on to a level playing field – imagine in terms of adding a whole slew of customers, service people and producers to your economic system. It multiplies and grows.

Responsible capitalism is the way to go. It is about the individual incentive to achieve his or her peak performance. Indeed, it begins with God. He, she or it offers the first incentive, the more good you do to the fellow being, the more harmony you add to his creation – and earn the brownie points.

Similarly, when an individual’s puts in time, effort, ideas and energy to work, he should be compensated to the full and rewarded… he can uplift a whole lot of people with him or her, rather than punishing him for creating wealth for him, which creates wealth for others.

American capitalistic system is great and can become the best, if corporations keep economic justice in mind. People can be taken advantage of to a point, beyond that it will be destructive. They rebel and destroy everything giving birth to either communism or socialism in varying degrees.

When Moses came down from Sinai with the tablets, his unstated goal was to restore trust in the society through orderly conduct. Krishna emerged to reinstate dharma (righteousness). Jesus wanted to redeem the lost souls. And Muhammad revived the message of Abraham, of one common creator and accountability for our Karma.

Buddha taught that one can achieve freedom through self-regulating. Guru Nanak saw the commonalities between Hindus and Muslims on the basis of Seva (service). And Bahaullah taught the oneness of humanity. Of course, the Native Americans had set a fine example of sharing knowledge among various tribes for the common good.

Economic Justice is the key for the success of a nation, where everyone benefits from the prosperity, if there is an imbalance, it will start falling apart for wealth accumulators, consumers and producers alike.

Economic justice can be compared to a smooth running reliable car, if all the parts are greased, well oiled and well kept you can count on it go anywhere. One part can hamper the functioning of the entire car, a loss of air in one tire can hold back. Who is responsible? The tire or the rider of the car?

Religions have created systems for it, the tithe, Zakat and charitable giving is to ensure that no one is in the ditch and pulled back on level playing field. Medicare, health care are part of that system, we need to look at as an investment for higher overall returns.

I need to write a full blown article to teach economic justice and its benefits to my fellow Republicans. Doing good does well to all. Rich people will get richer, if they have a healthy work force. I hope to get this to them before they turn things upside down.

MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily.    


  1. Thank you mike for attending the event. It was wonderful afternoon at bait-ul-Ikram mosque in Allen.

  2. Thank you mike for attending the event. It was wonderful afternoon at bait-ul-Ikram mosque in Allen.