Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Muslims discuss on GAY/LESBIAN Issues

The announcement to attend the << Faith and LGBT Equality event in Denton on Jan 13, 2013>>. It was sent to WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com as an invitation (appended below). The group is open to people of all faiths, so together we can learn about each other in a moderated environment. We have about 1800 Members from around the world including but not limited to Imams, Muslim Scholars, Students and ordinary religious and secular folks.

A discussion follows the posting and is now posted at our website www.WorldMuslimCongress.com as well. An article is in the works for publication at a major news paper based on the input and quotes from the panelists from yesterday’s event.
We are committed to building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.




Panelists: Jeff Hood, Scottie McIntyre Johnson, Mike Ghouse and Peter Johnson
The following information is in a discussion format, it is carried with the title <<Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues>>


Javed

This is a long response to make the point. It is always good to exchange thoughts and ideas without judgments to enrich ourselves to deal with the issue.

I realize the traditionalist will not like my take on the issue, and they are welcome to go behind my back and malign me, as if that is the Muslim thing to do. As a Muslim, it is my duty to speak out the truth as I see as an individual; we may not be ready for it now. Right now we are at a stage to ignore the issue, next time, we will remain silent, a stage of “don’t ask don’t tell” will come upon us, and then finally we will have a heart to accept fellow beings, as they are. Mahmood o Ayaz ( rich or poor) will be on par then.

The American Muslims and Christians are grappling with the issue; the majority is still swayed to think negatively, probably because of the propagated mis-understanding of homosexuality.

Let me share another perspective on some of your comments.

You wrote, …the first step will have to be in the form of recognition of homosexuality as a problem that needs to be eradicated rather than legalised, institutionalised and commercialized....

I am concerned about your statement of eradication, << a problem that needs to be eradicated>>.

God did not do it himself, but you want to do it then? Even if we went with your interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah that God destroyed them because of homosexuality, then why did he not destroy them for Good? That is the fallacy of interpretation.

Diversity is God’s formula for sustaining his creation, God did not make a mistake, neither did he goof up. Everything is created in balance and proportion, including sexual orientations, promiscuity, hyper and lower to no sexual drives. Had God willed, all of us would have been exactly alike (Quran).

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah serves to acknowledge the diversity of mankind. The story also is understood in two different ways; one that God destroyed the Qarya (township) because the population was homosexual, the other part is God destroyed the township because of the lewdness displayed by those men who forcibly raped other men.

Our traditions, both Christian and Muslim, have been interpreted by men, to suit their whims rather than what is right, and we need to fix some of the errors from the past. I can give a lot of examples, but here are a few for you to ponder.

In case of Delhi Rape, thank God it was not Sharia, had it been the Sharia law, the Rapists would have gone scot free because the girl could not produce 4 men witnessing penetration of the rapists. So much for the mangled up Sharia! Thank God, India chose to be a pluralistic nation. You know the flaws of the Sharia as practiced, I cannot call that Sharia <<Islamic>> when injustice is rampant in that system, a man can put a woman with children on the street in a hurry if the asshole is angry by saying Talaq (divorce) three times, that is not Islamic, are you ready to challenge the tradition of practicing Muslims? The Islamic Sharia is about justice, but where is it practiced?

It is time to think and give room to our intelligence to function.

First of all, I have nothing to gain from this, but standing up for others people’s right is the right thing to do.

Humans are born with a free will and there should not be any compulsion on any one to believe otherwise, did our wise prophet not say that? Sharing knowledge, yes, but compulsion, No.

Javed, here you go again, “The best form of compassion towards gays will be to keep them away from their addiction, even if by force. Institutionalisation of homsexuality accompanied with their rights to marry and adopt children will only ensure a big growth in the percentage of gays. Isnt it a big crime to expose children to gay parents rather than normals? Children exposed to gay relationships will obviously have much greater chances to grow as gays.”

I am not debating with you to win or lose, nor am I expecting a person to clap for you or me… it is a serious issue for discussion and we cannot be judgmental.

Are you denying the parenting rights to men and women who are gays and lesbians? You think children will not feel the need to have a father and a mother, regardless of what the parents are? You think the children are going to drop their parents because of their sexual orientation, promiscuity or no sex drive? You think your declaration will turn the switch off for the longing of the children? My friends, you have not understood the human need for longing, loving and caring.

God may have a real problem with your statement, “If mankind is to be saved from the menace, homosexuality has to confronted and at a certain time, severe punishments may be required to first punish those who commercialise and institutionalise homosexuality and then the gays and lesbians themselves.”

You call it a menace? Are you saying God screwed up?

No, not at all. God did not mess it up.

As a society, we need to punish rape, or any act that violates the rights of others. Indeed, God did punish the people in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the punishment was for the lewd behavior; raping men and not for homosexuality.

Have empathy my friend, and ignore what people would say. They did not even spare the prophet, and they will not spare you or I. We might as well do the right thing then; to speak for the rights of all humanity.

Every human has a right to express his thoughts and sex without taking away things from others. There is a grave mistake on the part of hetrosexuals and bisexuals, marriage simply implies intercourse to them, ignoring all the other good and important things that come with it. They imagine lust as the driving factor in gay and lesbian relationships, and completely dismiss the overwhelming need to be oneself in a relationship, it is companionship over sex.

“I will request you to not become a pawn in the hands of the forces that have interests in the institutionalisation of homosexuality. Think of the larger mankind rather than a few perverted people. “

And my friend Javed, I request you not to pander to the men who would clap for you. The truth is neither you nor I are motivated by any such non-sense, we are speaking our hearts and minds out, period. We are being truthful in expressing our understanding. What we should not do, is to deny other individual her or his right to the pursuit of his or her happiness.

Insha Allah, I am writing a full piece for publication - amazingly in the conference yesterday, we referenced Quraan and Bible with the exact same six verses, that seem to have been interpreted by men who were biased.
Quraan, Al-'Ankabut (The Spider) chapter 29: 26-39; Nour (Light) Chapter 24: 30-32 and The Romans, Chapter 30: 20-23
I beg our friends to not clap for either one of us, we all need to learn the truth and not go by what is dished out to us, even if it were by the greatest Imams of the time, only Allah’s word is final, and the still to be authenticated Hadiths would be final - all else is simply guidance and not law. Sharia should be guidance and not the law, because it is not the word of God.


Mike Ghouse is committed to work for building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in fear of the other.


Mike,

If Quran has prescribed death sentence for certain practices, do you think it is against the Wisdom? The biggest farce being imposed on the world by vested and institutionalised interests is that homosexuality is inborn, and God has chosen to give birth to gays.

First, pure gays can in no way reproduce, which is the essential condition for genes to pass through to next generation. Second, even the people born with congenital anomalies are treated as required. Schizophrenia is often linked with genes but schizophrenics are actively and aggresssively treated, and if they become a threat to others, they are imprisoned in assylums.

Homosexuality is an addiction and gays should be given an opportunity to get treated. This is necessary in the first stage of what should be a phased campaign to eradicate homosexuality from society. But for this campaign to begin, the first step will have to be in the form of recognition of homosexuality as a problem that needs to be eradicated rather than legalised, institutionalised and commercialised.

Furthermore, it has to be recognised that homosexuality is the biggest threat to homosexuals themselves, with the life expetancy of homosexuals being 20-30 years less than the straight. They pose serious threats to others also as they are more likely to catch and spread STDS and AIDS.

The best form of compassion towards gays will be to keep them away from their addiction, even if by force. Institutionalisation of homsexuality accompanied with their rights to marry and adopt children will only ensure a big growth in the percentage of gays. Isnt it a big crime to expose children to gay parents rather than normals? Children exposed to gay relationships will obviously have much greater chances to grow as gays.

If mankind is to be saved from the menace, homosexuality has to confronted and at a certain time, severe punishments may be required to first punish those who commercialise and institutionalise homosexuality and then the gays and lesbians themselves.

I will request you to not become a pawn in the hands of the forces that have interests in the institutionalisation of homosexuality. Think of the larger mankind rather than a few perverted people.

Javed Jmail


Mike Ghouse
Subject: Re: MuslimsTogether :: Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues
To: WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, January 14, 2013, 8:05 AM

Javed

Quraan is the basis for our conversation, whether one is conservative or liberal.

Even though conservative religious rhetoric has dominated the american religious landscape, it has not permeated in the society. The people of two states have approved same sex marriage, and the trend will continue.

A majority of American Muslims are grappling with the issue. If the conservative Christians and Muslims have the dictatorial powers, they will kill all Gays and lesbians, thank God, the power to judge one's faith still rest with God, it's his call. He created us all, and he could have created us all alike, like the angels, but he chose to create us to be different, each one with his or own unique DNA, thumb print, taste buds etc.., shouldn't we honor God's choice?

Javed it's not easy, Allah has given us the freedom to look at the masalah, and find answers thru what works in the society, and as Muslims particularly, we cannot judge ones practices, as long as they are not robbing others, hurting, killing or breaking the civil covenants.

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike


--- In WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com, javed jamil wrote:

Mike and MAW

If speaking or campaigning against homosexuality is bigotry, God save the mankind!

Should I repeat the figures that tell how big a threat homosexuality is to human existence? Surely, thousands of times bigger than "Terrorism". Homosexuality is an addiction much more dangerous than cocain. It needs to be eradicated at the earliest. Compassion for gays and lesbians is understandable only if it is aimed at weaning them away from their addiction rather than preserving it. Severest measures need to be taken against those who commerialise homosexuality or promote/institutionalise it.

Mike, it will be better if you do not try to gain support from Quran for everyting that you do. If you want to support gay rights, better do it withut invoking Quran, which does not accept homosexuality at all.

Yes, you have the right to post or not post this letter of mine. You both also have the right to call me a bigot if it suits you.

Mianwaheed likes my Ghazals more than my prose. But here he will have to bear with my prose.

Regards
Javed Jamil


From: mianwaheed
Subject: Re: MuslimsTogether :: Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues
To: "WorldMuslimCongress@yahoogroups.com"
Date: Sunday, January 13, 2013, 2:28 PM

Mike,
You have guts to stand up against the bigotry.

respectfully,
maw


From: "MIKEGHOUSE@..."
To:
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 2:12 PM
Subject: MuslimsTogether :: Future Muslim Leaders and Gay and Lesbian Issues
FUTURE MUSLIM LEADERS and GAY/LESBIAN ISSUES
 
 
.... As Muslims we need to be a part of the society, if any one of you is thinking of leading the communities in your city, county, state or national politics, don't be a Todd Akin or a Murdoch, or a bigot like Bachman, Cain, Gingrich, West and a host of others... please join us today to learn about dealing with the issues of Gays and Lesbians, there is someone in your family that needs your compassion. 
 
 
We have to believe and be like Rahman and Raheem and a rahmat to fellow beings...... remember 49:23, the best among you is one is who knows and learns about others... but if you believe you want to shape the future of America, want to be in public office... you cannot be on the side lines or be an ignorant about the issues. Most of our Imams do not want to touch the topic, but there are a lots of Gay and Lesbian Muslims and we have to learn about the issues. 
 
 
I am one of the speakers, come and learn different perspective and develop your own.
Faith & LGBT Equality event in Denton on Jan 13, 2013
 
Members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Denton will conduct a forum on faith and equality featuring area religious leaders at 3 p.m. Sunday.
 
 
The event is free and open to the public and will be at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1111 Cordell St. Denton.
 
Scheduled to participate are:
 
 
• Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis of congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound and adjunct professor in the Jewish Studies program at the University of North Texas;
• Mike Ghouse, president of the Foundation for Pluralism, founder of America Together Foundation and speaker and writer on intercultural issues;
• the Rev. Jeff Hood, Baptist minister and peace activist who works as a chaplain at John Peter Smith Hospital and as moderator of the Denton Fellowship of Reconciliation;
• the Rev. Peter Johnson, longtime civil rights activist and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and
• Scottie McIntyre Johnson, ministerial intern at Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
For more information, visit www.pflagdenton.org


PFLAG Denton
www.pflagdenton.org
PFLAG Denton is a local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians. Our mission is to support, educate and advocate for the LGBT community and their families and friends.

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

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About Me

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Mike has a dream, a dream that one day in our life time; we all will wake up to a cohesive world, where no human lives in tension, apprehension or fear of the other. Indeed, that was the dream of all the spiritual masters of the world, and that is what the creator wants; all pieces of his creation to function coherently.   

Nothing in the universe will happen by itself, all of us have to do our share of the work to restore the harmony within our self, with our bodies and with people around us. Don’t you think God knows this? Yet through every religion, we are told to ask for it.

Our founding fathers believed, “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” And that dream was refreshed by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Mike is available to speak to your groups, conduct workshops on building cohesive work places and living a meaningful life, and move towards living in harmony, one person at a time.

Thanks to Sean Hannity, Fox News, Syndicated Radio shows, Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, and a variety of News Papers here and abroad for giving him a strong National and local presence. Mike has appeared in over 100 shows on Fox News and over 50 times on nationally syndicated radio shows.

He has  written nearly 3000 articles, and bulk of them are published in Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, New Age Islam, Op-ed News , Arab Daily News, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, and several other News papers and periodicals around the world. Of the 2800, 1000+ were on Islam, 1000+ on Pluralism and the rest were on politics, India, Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Motivational and other topics.

Currently Mike is working on  making a film based on a compelling true story of building a cohesive America, and writing a book on human rights - "Standing up for others"- standing up from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between.  

Please watch the 10 Minutes trailer of the documentary in  making https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXsTo4VYh8

God has blessed him with an aptitude for mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill in everything he does,  that is think, talk and act, and he has been a life time volunteer, and it is a joy to maintain a healthy balance between earning a living and serving the public. 

 
He has spoken at international forums including the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, in Melbourne, Australia, Middle East Peace Initiative, in Jerusalem, the International Leadership conference, in Hawaii, and in Washington, Many Universities including SMU, Rice and others, World's Philanthropy organization's annual conference in Washington and elsewhere.

He is a member of the Texas Faith panel at Dallas Morning News and writes on issues facing the nation every week and offers pluralistic solutions. He writes regularly at Huffington post, Op-ed News, Arab Daily News and several other papers worldwide.  

Mike was a commissioner at City of Carrollton,  and president of many a organizations including North Texas Cricket Association, Indian Creek Home owners Association,  and Dallas Fashions for Charity etc. A founding member of the board at Memnosyne Foundation, and board of director at Dallas Peace Center, Dallas Home Builders Association and several other organizations.

God has made him an instrument in establishing several annual public events to bring Americans of different religions, ethnicities and races together on common grounds of building a safe, secure and a cohesive America, among them are Unity Day USA, Holocaust and Genocides, Thanksgiving Celebrations. We have and plan to hold workshops and conferences on issues like religion, racism, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, LGBT, gender pluralism and other issues. 

Concerned by the political, civil, religious, racial, sexual orientation and economic divisiveness, Mike has initiated and formed the America Together Foundation (ATF), a non-profit entity committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to live with anxiety, apprehension, or fear of the other. The focus of the foundation is that ‘one must be free to live his or her life to the fullest’.

He firmly believes in our immortal declaration of independence.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

He believes in Conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) chose in dealing with issues of the day, and he has successfully employed that ideal in dealing with Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas who denigrated Quran, which led to a Quran conference in creating goodwill among non-Muslim clergy. The conference details are at www.QuraanConference.com 

When Pastor Terry Jones announced burning 3000 copies of Quran, Mike was out there in Florida and gathered up the civil, political and religious leaders to peacefully offer prayer as an alternative instead of burning Qurans to avenge the 9/11 Victims. A message was sent to the world that freedom of speech is an important American value and respecting what is sacred to others is an important value as well. A movie is being considered that will change the perceptions about Muslims and change within Muslims in dealing with the conflicts. Full story is at:http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/04/reestablishing-right-muslim-attitudes.html 

Mike was further involved with the conflicts at the Ground Zero Mosque, Peter King Hearings and other conflicts, and had offered pluralistic solutions. There is a blog for each one of these conflicts.

As much work as he has done with interfaith communities, he has a strong presence in the intra-faith dialogue as well. Having  moderated two major intra-faith conferences at Rice University and in Dallas, and  two Sharia conferences were held to allay the Sharia Phobia.  He has prayed in all mosques, and wrote a blog on Ramadan sharing the practices in each tradition. There is a blog for it – www.RamadanExclusive.com 

Mike started the Radio for Desi community in Dallas in 1996 with three hours on Saturdays,   and passed it on to others, and now we have three 24/7 Radio Stations in Dallas. It was always loaded with interfaith programs. Mike ran a program called wisdom of religion, all religions for two years – where 520 Hours of Radio talk was done – 100 hours + for Islam, Hinduism and Christianity each, and 50 hours each for Baha’i, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Atheism, interfaith and other traditions.  The idea was to education and to learn about others, as God has willed in Quran 49:13 and other verses.  Similarly 26 workshops were also conducted.

Mike is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon. He is also producing a feature film “Sacred" to be released and a documentary "Americans together" to be released in the next few years.

All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.  

About Mike

1. Google Profile - over 10 Million views – https://plus.google.com/108969690090944956820/about

2. Personal Curriculum vitae: http://www.mikeghouse.net/MikeGhouse-CV-03.12.14.pdf

3. Comprehensive Profile - http://mikeghouse.net/Profile.asp

4. Muslim Speaker  http://mikeghouse.net/MuslimSpeaker.MikeGhouse.asp

5. Pluralism Speaker  http://www.mikeghouse.net/InterfaithSpeaker_MikeGhouse.asp

6. Motivational Speaker: http://www.mikeghouse.net/Motivational.speeches.Speaker.MikeGhouse.asp

7. Speaker on Israel - http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2014/12/speaker-on-israel-mike-ghouse.html

8. Speaker on India - http://MikeGhouseforindia.blogspot.com

9. Disclosures – Almost everything about me is at: http://mikeghouse.net/Discolosure.asp

10. Michami Dukadam - Starting life all over again - 
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/11/michami-dukadam-starting-life-over-with.html


Human Rights | Standing up for Humanity

Standing up for Jews, Hindus, Christians, Atheists, Sikhs, Gays and Lesbians,
Coming up for Jains, Zoroastrians, Native Americans, Pagans and Muslims

Other write ups

Dallas Morning News - Defending Islam 
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20100919-In-defense-of-Islam-pursuing-9397.ece

Times of India 
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/From-Muslims-in-America-a-novel-protest-against-quran-burning/articleshow/21982162.cms

Saudi Gazette about Mike
http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2015/07/united-voices-for-america-saudi-gazette.html

Washington Post
http://www.religionnews.com/2013/09/09/commentary-pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-burning-qurans/#comment-353607

Dallas Observer on my Radio Show - front page big piece
http://mikeghouse.net/Aboutus/Dallas-Observer-on-MikeGhouse.htm

Dallas Morning News - Wisdom of Religion Radio Show
http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/Religious-tolerance-in-action-DallasNews-December2004.asp

9/11 and My personal story ( over 2 Million Reads)
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2014/09/911-my-personal-journey-from-2001.html

My Name is Mike Ghouse
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-name-is-mike-ghouse.html

Holocaust and the Muslim guy
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-and-the-muslim-_b_4629509.html#es_share_ended

Indian American Pluralist
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2012/12/mike-ghouse-indian-american-pluralist.html

 
Significant achievements:

Unity Day USA - a major annual event that brings Americans together for 13 years
www.UnitydayUSA.com

Holocaust and Genocides - annual event to reflect on Holocaust and Genocides for the last 12 years www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

 Thanksgiving Celebrations - annual event of cultural expression for the last 18 years www.ThanksgivingCelebrations.org

Quran Burning Situation in Florida and a film in the making
A new paradigm in changing perceptions about Muslims, a movie is being made on the actual story - http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/04/reestablishing-right-muslim-attitudes.html

Quran Conference - A completely new successful system created to clarify the challenged verses http://quraanconference.com/

Sharia Conference - A seminal Article on Sharia and conferences
https://www.ShariaLaws.com

Quran Today - A successful Blog demystifying myths about Quranic verses
http://www.QuraanToday.com

Ramadan Cohesion - Never before in the history of Muslims, a Muslim has visited all the mosques of all different denominations to build understanding between different traditions. http://ramadanexclusive.blogspot.com/

Ground Zero Mosque involvement from day 1 
http://Groundzeromosque.blogspot.com

Involvement with Peter King Hearings 
http://peterkinghearings.blogspot.com/

Israel Palestine Blog - to see both sides of the issue and a commitment to find solutions
www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com

Blasphemy Laws - Tackling the laws that have creeped into Islam, and are unislamic http://blasphemylaws.blogspot.com

More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net 

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