Saturday, February 2, 2013

Remembering the Holocaust and All Genocides

There is a shameless cruelty in our societies when it comes to acknowledging other people's suffering. Either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own and/or it amounts to infidelity to our own cause. I submit to you, that the human atrocities are pent up frustrations and unresolved issues that reach a boiling point and explode into massacres and genocides. As civilized societies, we need to bring a closure to the issues through forgiveness, apology and restoration of justice. The least we can do in the process of healing is to know and acknowledge every one's pain. 

MikeGhouse
www.HolocaustandGenocides.com


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Remembering the Holocaust and All Genocides  
Published in Huffington post on 01/25/2013 11:31 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-remembrance-and-recognizing-all-genocides_b_2547164.html
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There is a shameless cruelty in our societies when it comes to acknowledging other people's suffering. Either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own and/or it amounts to infidelity to our own cause.
Unless we reload our hearts with empathy, and feel the pain and suffering of others, each one of us will continue to dwell in silos and the genocides will continue to happen. As Martin Niemoller wrote in his eternal poem, the essence of which is; first they came for communists, I did not do a thing because I was not one of them; then they came for Jews, and I wasn't one, and finally when all were wiped out, they came for me, and there was no one to defend me.

One of the most popular dialogues from a 1958 Bollywood movie "Yahudi" was, Tumhara khoon, khoon aur mera Khoon pani? -- "Your blood is blood and my blood is water? An immortal dialogue uttered by a Jew in the film, Yehudi as it is called, when the Roman emperor freezes when he learns that his son Marcus cheated Yehudi's daughter. In plain English, the inhumanity in us does not value other people as we value ourselves.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DcloW-WF7l0


By nature many of us are disgustingly selfish, nothing but our own interest matters to us. Do you recall standing in a food buffet line at a friend's wedding, a family or a community gathering? Someone said that the food may be short, but yet, the guy in front of you piled up his plate, or may be the one, knowing well that there a lot of people behind you, and some may not get the food. 

It's Not Easy
Those who build bridges understand the experiences we have encountering in organizing the sixth annual reflections on the Holocaust and genocides in Dallas on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Unity Church of Dallas on Forest Lane. There are nearly 50 genocides in the last century, and it is humanly impossible to talk about all of them in one sitting, the selfish attitudes displayed by each group of people is amazing, each one thinks his blood is blood and others blood is water that can be ignored. 

 
Muslims
Way back in 2006, a Muslim shouts at me in a public meeting, "Why are you commemorating Holocaust of Jews? Why don't you commemorate the Holocaust of Palestinians?" I countered, all of this should be done, why don't you do it? He was belligerent; he was one of the loose mouths and not a doer. Indeed, we plan to attend to every one of the atrocity in the next few years. 

Another Muslim knocked God out of his throne, and chose to declare, "If you don't talk about Palestinians, you are not a Muslim." They don't care to read the work that is being done for both Israelis and Palestinians. The Huffington Post has published many articles on the topic and the other work is at www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com 

Another one writes, "You are writing about the holocaust of Jews, you forgot what Stalin did?" My instant response was, "Did you forget the genocides of gays?" And you also forgot about the genocides of Native Americans, African Americans over the Atlantic... the list is a long one. Can I accuse you, that did you did not care about others?

Jews

We were criticized and asked to remove the phrase "A Muslim initiative" from the publicity material. Instead of recognizing the effort to build bridges, they were bent on not giving credit to Muslims for extending the hand of understanding. Please remember, it was not the Jews, it is the few individuals who wore the label Jews. I have known the community closely through strong interactions and conflicts, rather than superficial salaams and shaloms. Indeed, I have a whole book to write about how to improve Jewish Muslim relationships for a better society.

A few years ago a Jewish speaker canceled his speech at the event in the last minute because we were addressing the Gaza massacre as one of the seven items; he considered it anti-Israel and did not participate. However, my Jewish friends attended the event, and called him back to let him know that it was not about Israel, but about the human suffering and the brutal inhumanity in all of us. Most people don't want to face the truth, that someone from their own tradition is capable of murdering and massacring people. 

No one should be ashamed of what fellow humans from your group do, what you should be ashamed of is your own attitude toward another human.

Hindus

Several of my Hindu friends have jumped on me for not including the plight of Kashmiri Pundits, they are so obsessed with their own that others don't matter to them. We have mentioned about the plight of Kashmiri Pundits at least three times in five years, those who criticize don't come to the event, unless it is "about them." We need to stand up for everyone, and certainly stand up for others before we do for our own.

Indian Muslims

A friend writes another friend's quote, "The question was why Mike forgot 2002 Gujarat Holocaust & Genocide that was lot bigger and wider than 1984 Sikh Holocaust & Genocide." I did not forget, nor will I ever forget any genocide. In April 2002, rallies were held for Gujarat in down town Dallas, when Shabnam Hashmi came to Dallas, she was hosted to show the documentaries of that genocide. If the event is dear to the people, they should express their love and commemorate it. We will do our share; each event will take its turn. 

Indians and Pakistanis

A few Pakistanis think that talking about 1971 Bangladesh genocide is an Indian conspiracy to defame Pakistan, and they resort to attacks on India instead of understanding the suffering of the people. 

The Indians on the other hand think that talking about Sikh genocides amounts to defaming India. "Why the hell do you want to bring this up; it's done with." It is not done with, the wounds are still open.


Please remember, there is a fraction of a percent of people in each group, whether religious, ethnic, nationalistic or racial, who tend to ignore facts.


Standing Up For Others

Let's learn to understand the selfishness embedded in us, if we can stand up for others, particularly for strangers, then there is a greater self nurtured within us, making us a better human to live with peace and tranquility. We have to stand up for women's right and the rights of minorities and voiceless as a part of securing the future. Each one of us has to do our share of good to the world around us, for our own good at the end. We have to stand up for others, that is the right thing to do. 

Standing in line (food or anything) to wait for your turn is one of the most human things to do. It is a sign of acceptance of equal rights of others, and others needs as much as yours. We have a list of about 50 genocides, and each year we will focus on a few. More than likely, you will find yourselves guilty of not listening or paying attention to other's tragedy but your own. Slap yourselves, if you do not think other's plight is not as important as your own.

Every year we have reflected on our failings, massacres, genocides and the Holocaust. This year, we will focus on the Sikh genocide of 1984. Dr. Amarjit Singh, will deliver the key note address on the topic. Mr. Hasan Mahmud will share about the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971, Dr. Petra Weldes will talk about the effects of stereotyping on the societies, and Kelly Obazee will reflect on current massacres around the world. I will speak about the Holocaust, our anchor event, and the need to take a stand against oppression of others. 

Please visit www.HolocaustandGenocides.com for details, the event is an initiative of the Sikh Gurdwaras of North Texas, Foundation for Pluralism and World Muslim Congress. 

I submit to you, that the human atrocities are pent up frustrations and unresolved issues that reach a boiling point and explode into massacres and genocides. As civilized societies, we need to bring a closure to the issues through forgiveness, apology and restoration of justice. The least we can do in the process of healing is to know and acknowledge every one's pain

Follow Mike Ghouse on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MikeGhouse 
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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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