Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Texas Faith, Is the religious left too nice and without influence?

The future of our society will be shaped by the moderate majority, for the first time in our long history, the moderates have discovered that they don't need to bang their fist on the table, or scream bloody murder to be heard, they have done it effectively at the ballot box, they waited for the left or the right to move towards moderation, and the left jumped on it and got the ride in 2012, and now the right is scrambling for the ride. Continued at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-is-religious-left-too-nice.html
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Texas Faith, Is the religious left too nice and without influence?

By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist, Dallas Morning News, January, 29, 2103

The Washington Post's Lisa Miller wrote earlier this month about how "nice isn't going to win the battle for the religious left."

Miller noted how the religious left once made the case for issues of great consequence, such as women's suffrage and civil rights. But she contends the religious left needs to greatly improve how it makes its priorities and activities more compelling and newsworthy.

Wrote Miller: "Kumbaya is not a story. Why can't we all just get along is not a story. Since the rise of the religious right in the 1970s in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, the religious left has failed to gain any comparable visibility, traction or voice on major issues in the political sphere.

"News releases from the precincts of the religious left continue to emphasize niceness over moral authority….There's nothing wrong with being polite, of course. But a great, galvanizing, undeniable moral argument is better. 'Civility is a great friend of the status quo,' says Jim Naughton, partner at Canticle Communications, which advises faith-based groups. 'People aren't going to change because you're nice to them.'"

What do you think of her point? Is the religious left indeed without the same influence and profile as the religious right? If so, is it because the religious left has tried more to be civil and nice than to make a compelling moral argument?


MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas


We are conditioned to seeing everything from a binary perspective; left or right.  We lose sight of the critical third dimension; the deadbeat moderate majority. This is the group that is meek, civil and polite, but does act decisively while casting the ballot.

Indeed, the religious left is more influential than the right in pulling the moderate votes.

Obama is reelected with a greater margin over his rival on the right.  The public support for legal abortion is accumulating despite the religious right. Same sex marriage is gaining greater acceptability. Obama care is in, Immigration reforms are underway, and gun safety regulation is gathering momentum. Heck, the wars will end with no desire to engage in another senseless war.

On the other hand, the religious right is losing, not because of inadequacy in their principles, but because of their belligerent, unintelligent pounding on the airwaves, and turning the moderate majority off.

Jim Naughton makes a powerful point that Civility is a great friend of the status quo; he is talking about the moderates, and not the ones on the left. Whether it is the city council meeting, church gathering or in informal gatherings, it is always the people on left or the right who drive the conversation, they have no qualms in speaking out passionately, even though they get shot at alternatively by the other, they don’t lose the enthusiasm for their point of view. Whereas the moderates, keep raising their hand politely, hoping to get their turn, but never get a chance to get their point across, they don’t know how to bang their fist on the table, such an act is rude and stupid to them.

Years ago, a Nun made a remarkable point on Tim Russert’s Meet the press. The right will frighten the public and attempts to win by guaranteeing to take care of them, the left will match their tall claims, while the moderates have difficulty in embellishing and giving false hopes, they lack passion.

America is moving towards the center, the moderate majority is realizing its power to keep things at an even keel; they want an America that is good for every one of her citizens, in fact they made that difference in 2012 through the ballot, as they do not have the passion to speak out. Indeed, Americas’ future will be shaped by the moderates.
. . . .
Eleven panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit -  http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-is-the-religious-left-too-nice-and-without-influence.html/  
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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 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.

Saudis and Pluralism

The State Department has listed me as one of the stops for people visiting America to learn about our Religious landscape, interfaith trends, future of religion and pluralism.  Over the last six years, I have had conversations with over 100 visitors from about 30 some nations including China, central Asian, Middle East, Balkans, and North African religious leaders and scholars.  

It is exciting to meet with them; they are a match with our trends. This group is from Saudi Arabia, Imams, Scholars and heads of religious affairs. It is embarrassing that we Americans stereotype the Saudis; indeed they have their percent of fanatics as we have ours.  The first interfaith meeting ever for Saudis was organized here in Dallas in 2003; indeed,  it is a pleasure for me to see them take this further.

Please remember nearly 4 Million Americans are incarcerated, they are indeed Americans, them and the 208 Million of us are judged by the same law books, yet, they broke the law and we, the 99% did not. And no one on the earth can call us criminals for that 1% among us, and that is what bloody stereotyping is; to irrationally judge a people based on the examples of a few. The story is no different for Saudis.

One of the toughest discussions we had was about conversions, they were taken back to hear me say, that I don’t ask anyone to become a Muslim, as I respect the other religions equally. I do not consider any faith to be less than adequate. The pluralism /interfaith workshops we conduct, is to bring people together to know each other, so we have least conflicts in the society.  There is no intent to convert any one, and no one will get away, claiming his or religion is superior to the others, and I will take the stand and many like me will speak up. Indeed it is a cardinal sin to have such intent in interfaith dialogue. The purpose of dialogue is to learn about each other and not bent on converting the other, or score keeping.



It took them time, but they were open to the idea. I said, if people like to become Muslims because they like my attitudes, even then I ask them to spend the time in learning their own faith than Islam, despite that about a dozen chose to become Muslims, that was their choice. They asked me a lot of questions about Islam, and as an Individual, I am required to learn about my faith, that was the call from the prophet in his last sermon. They appreciated the bluntness, and said a lot of people, say otherwise to appease them.


This is not the first time, the Imams from Egypt, Chad, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, China…some 30 nations have concurred their belief in Prophet’s mission of respecting the otherness of others, and almost every one quoted Prophet’s last sermon and the Madinah treaty, first of its kind that endorsed pluralistic governance, the kind that India, UK and Indonesia follow, where the follower of every faith has an option to seek justice by his or her own religious cannons.


There is a lot of goodness out there; we just have to make an effort to invoke it. The purpose of religion is to bring humility to an individual, to know himself and get along with others with least conflicts, ultimately, each one of us is responsible for a cohesive society, where no one has to live in fear of the other. 
url - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/saudis-and-pluralism.html
............ 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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Genocides, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs

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.
 
   One of the immortal dialogue clips from a 1958 Bollywood movie "Yahudi" is included in the article, where the Jew challenges the roman emperor,  "Tumhara khoon, khoon, aur mera Khoon pani?"

    A Muslim shouts, "Why are you commemorating Holocaust of Jews?
    A Jewish speaker did not want to hear about Gaza massacre
    A Muslim initiative was asked to be removed from the publicity material
    A Hindu friend jumps for not including the Kashmiri pundit while it was
    A Pakistani says Bangladesh genocide talk equals defaming Pakistan
    A Sikh Genocide talk, amounts to shaming the mother land

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. 

Full article at Huffington post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-remembrance-and-recognizing-all-genocides_b_2547164.html

.................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. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Texas Faith: What is America’s common creed and how do we forge it together?

President Obama is one of the best communicators that there is. I am writing a full blown article on how I felt through the inauguration and I am sure some of you can relate with it. However, in this piece at Dallas Morning News, it is about his masterful skills in building bridges between the entrepreneurial individualism of Republicans and Communalism of Democrats. This is our moment in history, and we have to leave a legacy of peace, prosperity and harmony to the next generation.

Published at Dallas Morning News, Monday, January 21, 2013.
Continued at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-what-is-americas-common.html





Texas Faith is a weekly column at Dallas Morning News moderated by Bill McKenzie and Wayne Slater. At least ten panelists contribute each week including Mike Ghouse.

Throughout his inaugural address today, President Barack Obama emphasized our common creed, we the people and taking action together. In short, his speech was heavy on the communal aspects of our work as Americans. His address contrasts with the individualism you often hear from Republicans. They regularly emphasize enterprenurialism, personal initiative and the power of local communities. So, here is the question I would like you to consider: What is America’s common creed and how do we forge it together?


MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

President Obama is one of the greatest communicators in our modern history. Perhaps he is the first president to have articulated America’s common creed profoundly, clearly and comprehensively as envisioned in the immortal declaration by our Founding Fathers: “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.”

The success of an individual hinges on the success of others around him or her. You cannot build a successful business without the support system and consumers for your goods and services. The president said, “We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.”

Indeed, the entrepreneurialism of Republicans will bear fruit and multiply when there is an environment for it. It is not a charity, welfare or a noble thing. Instead, it is a genuine investment in human capital that pulls up men and women from the ditches onto a level playing field. That effort allows more people to compete in the marketplace for resources and become “synergists” to each others’ success.

He also articulated the need to be free and to be regulated: “Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

The president turned the light on a bridge between individualism and the communal aspect of our life. The bridge was always there but had remained in the dark due to the chasm developed through arrogance of bigger majority in the house by each party in the last eight years. Instead of serving the purpose they were elected for their purpose became defeating the other for some.

The message of the president was for all Americans. I hope the elected ones will heed his wisdom and continue to be a catalyst in the pursuit of our happiness.

And here comes the ultimate wisdom from the president: We have always understood that when times change, so must we, that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges, that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”..... ..

Eleven panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-what-is-americas-common-creed-and-how-do-we-forge-it-together.html/

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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 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.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama’s ideal Inaugural interfaith Benediction

We are yet to be truthful to our own pledge that we take, that we are, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Our benediction should strongly reflect the sentiment of oneness of our nation under God, and shed our hypocrisies of excluding fellow Americans even in our national prayers.

One of the many roles of a president is to shape and nurture the direction of the nation, and president Obama has been a good shepherd. Indeed, he is committed to building an America, where each one of us becomes a nurturer to the other, and eventually, each strand in the web of our society will coalesce in building our nation to function cohesively. The president’s wisdom is crystal clear, “We rise and fall together as one nation.”

I hope this benediction paves the way for us to be inclusive without having to agree. 

Please review this, and if you like it, kindly click like, tweet, share and send to your friends from Huffngton post... and above all, if you could comment in the Huffington post, I would appreciate it.

Continued at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/president-obamas-ideal-inaugural-benediction_b_2481579.html#es_share_ended

REQUEST your likes, tweets, shares and comments at the Huffpost:

 

Thanks

Mike

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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.

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.

Texas Faith: President Obama’s Inaugural benediction and Pastor Giglio

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S INAUGURAL BENEDICTION AND PASTOR GIGLIOShould the pastor who once gave anti-gay marriage sermon been removed from Obama’s inaugural? Published in Dallas Morning News on 01/15/2013

Although the inaugural benediction may be a small ritual, it has the power to set the inclusive tone for the nation. One of the many roles of a president is to shape and nurture the direction of the nation, and president Obama has been a good shepherd. Indeed, he is committed to building an America, where each one of us becomes a catalyst to the other, and eventually, each strand in the web of our society will coalesce in building our nation to function cohesively. The president’s wisdom is crystal clear, “We rise and fall together as one nation.”Continue - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-president-obamas-inaugural.html




Texas Faith is a weekly column at Dallas Morning News moderated by Bill McKenzie and Wayne Slater. At least ten panelists contribute each week including Mike Ghouse.

By inviting religious conservatives to be part of a broad faith-based community, Obama seemed to be saying that while we don’t agree on everything, there are areas of common ground that Americans can share. Giglio was picked because of his work against human trafficking. Obama can have whomever he wants at his inauguration – but what if he had kept Giglio on the program and showcased the broad diversity of our faith? Would that have been a strong message about bridging the religious divide in our politics?


Which invites this question: In removing Giglio from the program, did the Obama inaugural do the right thing? What good comes from his absence? And what good — or bad– would have come had Giglio stayed on to deliver the benediction?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
One of the many roles of a president is to shape and nurture the direction of the nation, and president Obama has been a good shepherd. Indeed, he is committed to building an America, where each one of us becomes a catalyst to the other, and eventually, each strand in the web of our society will coalesce in building our nation to function cohesively. The president’s wisdom is crystal clear, “We rise and fall together as one nation.”

Reverend Giglio’s withdrawal from delivering the benediction was the right thing to do, although it may be a small ritual, it has the power to set the inclusive tone for the nation.

We are yet to be truthful to our own pledge that we take, that we are, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Our benediction should strongly reflect the sentiment of oneness of our nation under God, and shed our hypocrisies of excluding fellow Americans even in our prayers.

Our nation has come a long way in fulfilling our immortal declaration, “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.”

Indeed, it was the consent of an overwhelming majority of Gays and Lesbians, Native and African Americans, women and men, Hindus and Muslims, Atheists and Wicca, Hispanics and Pagans, and others that the president derives his powers from, and he has the mandate to shape an inclusive America. Rev. Giglio’s comment about Gays and Lesbians was anathema to such a mandate, and his withdrawal bodes well in nurturing the inclusiveness.

However, had Giglio stayed on to deliver his benediction, representing his exclusive tradition, it would have sent negative vibes of betrayal to the very people who gave their overwhelming supported to bring the change.

On the positive note, we would have learned to live with our differences; that is our tradition. As long as it did not mean to impose our religious views on others, it would have done some good to the nation, including an exclusive individual to deliver the benediction would have added another feather in Obama’s hat of pluralism.

I am composing an ideal benediction for President Obama’s second term, and would be available at the WWW.FoundationforPluralism.com by Friday.


Ten panelists contributed to this forum, to read the full intro and the contributions from the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-should-the-pastor-who-once-gave-anti-gay-marriage-sermon-been-removed-from-obamas-inaugural.html/
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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 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.

About Me

My photo

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 

Followers