Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Interfaith Marriages - Lynslei weds Adam

January 1, 2018, Washington, DC – Dr. Mike Ghouse officiated the wedding ceremony today, and this is the first interfaith wedding of the year. Mike has been officiating the interfaith weddings for the last eight years and is a licensed interfaith wedding officiant in the United States.

When people find it difficult to listen to each other, let alone understand each other, Adam and Lynslei are setting a new standard – that of respecting the otherness of the other and accepting the God given uniqueness of each other. They will be showing us the way, in effect they are saying, “look we are different, but yet we are determined to create harmony.”
Lynslei’s faith of Islam brings the values of equality and dignity to the relationship, whereas Adam’s Christian tradition has taught him forgiveness, repentance and unconditional love in marriage.
How sweet it is, that these two traditions will bring fullness to their relationship, with values from Christian and Muslims traditions.

When two people fall in love with each other, Marriage is the most important milestone of that relationship, and it is the biggest event of their life and must be celebrated and cheered by one and all.
Indeed, the Holy Quran says, God has created all species in pairs and has made one for the other, and he puts love between two souls which brings them together. And as that union takes place, God is the happiest. God is about harmony and marriage is a step to bring harmony between two people. Indeed, they are very patriotic Americans; they are contributing the idea of one nation under God by coming together.
Mike has officiated a range of weddings between people of different faiths including Atheists in a secular marriage. Wedding Sermons are customized to reflect the faiths of the individuals. More about it at
Mike is a Community consultant actively engaged in research and activism and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He will continue to focus his energies on ensuring a safe and secure America for all, where no one has to worry about his race, faith, ethnicity or other God-given uniqueness and live his/her life without apprehensions.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018’s Message of Optimism - Happy New Year

We wish you, your family and friends the very best of 2018. Each New Year is a milestone in one’s life. Indeed, it is as much a day of reckoning as it is of celebrations. Reckoning involves reflecting on the reasons you did not get what you had wanted in 2017, and celebrating for what you got by cheering for the effort you made to be where you are today.

Let’s go forward, if I were to ask you on 12/31/2018, that is a year from now, how was your 2o18? You may respond in one of the following ways;
1. Nothing Changed, same o same.
2. Things have gotten worse
3. Celebrating the achievements
4. Lost or gained weight
5. Relationship entanglements and distanglements
6. Financial soundness or mess
7. Spent good time with family and friends
Let’s focus on two extremes; things that got worse and celebrating the achievements. The question is did you want it to be good or worse? Did you get what you want? Did you work for getting what you got? Did you at least plan?
Nothing happens by itself; things happen because someone causes them or drives them to happen. Did you let others drive your life or did you drive it yourselves? You cannot go on vacation unless your dream about it, think about it and plan on it. You cannot buy anything unless your start it with a want. Unlike the planets, stars and many other things in the universe which are programmed to function precisely, humans were given a free will to chart their own course. God does not do anything; He simply cannot do good things for you and not for others, God is not like that, God is an idea about justness, evenness and balance.
He has laid everything out for you to pursue your own happiness and peace; it is up to you to get it.
Here is a simple way of getting what you want! The first thing is to know what you want; you should know where you are driving to when you turn the ignition on.
Buy a dozen 5x3 Cards or fold three regular blank white papers and cut them out into 12 pieces. Write the following down on top of each piece and place them in your pocket or purse. As you start driving, making coffee, watching TV or whatever you are doing, take one piece at a time and start thinking about that item, until you have clarity of what you want keep thinking. Pull the car over or go to a coffee shop and sit down and write your thoughts in bullets. Did you know you can day dream while taking a shower? You can think better sitting on the crown? Here are your 12 or more cards to jot down the points as to what you want out of each item of life.

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Profession
4. Income
5. Health
6. Vacation
7. Volunteerism
8. Spirituality
9. Retirement
10. Self-improvement
11. A new image
12. …..
An on and on.....       Wake up to the day's most important news.
Bottom of Form
At the end of the day or two, take a picture of each card/paper and save it on your cell phone. One evening sit down for a few hours and put it all together. This would be your guideline to go by, and this would be your plan for 2018. The more you stare at it, the more it becomes a part of you.

If you were to receive my note on 12/31/18, and without any doubt you will. If you’ve received this note, you will get that one too unless you block me. You can proudly say that your life was as planned on 12/31/2017. Why do I do this? It is simply because my mission in life is to build cohesive work places, communities and nations and open people’s hearts minds and souls to fellow beings. Everyone has a purpose in life, find yours now. Mine is to make life meaningful to as many people as I can.
I am pleased to share what I do.
Center for Pluralism is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 (as Foundation for Pluralism). It is based on a simple principle; the more we know about each other, fewer the misunderstandings would be.
CFP is committed to vigorously promoting and advancing pluralism in the realm of religion, politics, social and cultural aspects of life. We have published over 3500 articles on promoting harmony and reconciliation, appeared on 300 national TV shows, addressed in 700 national Radio talk shows and produced hundreds of programs. We need your wisdom, wealth and work to continue this work.
CFP will continue to focus its energies on ensuring a safe and secure America for all, where no one has to worry about his race, faith, ethnicity or other God-given uniqueness and live her life without apprehensions.
Our programs are designed to prevent chaos and maintain coherence and stability with the ongoing changes. We need to prepare the next generation to cope with these changes and minimize potential conflicts with ease. No American needs to worry about losing his or her way of life. As Americans we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our Constitution.
The Center for Pluralism has established over 20 annual programs to bring Americans together on religious, social, political and cultural aspects of life. The more we know each other, the less conflicts we would have. Please review our programs and except the Religious workshops and Unity Day all other programs can be run as your sponsorship for $5,000/year, but you can contribute any sum that is in your budget. Please review them in this mini-Brochure at -
CFP will be an antidote to Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racism, Homophobia, Hindu phobia, Xenophobia, Misogyny and other phobias. Through research and activism we are establishing a respectful space for Pluralism with the policy makers, interfaith groups, both Republicans and Democrats and of course the media and you!
The Center for Pluralism will become the energy to give a solid cohesive social structure to our nation. By the year 2025, there will not be an office, school, playground, college, restaurant, theater, train, bus or a work place where people of different faiths, races, ethnicities and national origins do not work, interact, play, live and marry together. This is bound to create conflicts in airports, public spaces, board rooms, and in bedrooms as well as places of worship, work places, politics, eateries, and schools.
We have a responsibility to shape the future of our society so our kids, grandkids and us can retire in peace and live without apprehensions.
Should Muslims Celebrate New Year? It is about building an integrated America
Let’s stay focused on peace and prosperity and not conflicts and confusion. In 2018, you will see me a lot more of me on National TV and Radio shows, and lot more activism and research. Of course I will jump with both my feet in political campaigns to work to ensure checks and balances in our system. The House and Senate must be given a simple majority to two different parties and not the same, most of the evil decisions were made by our government when all the three; President, Senate and House were from the same party. We have to break this to make sure America remains the America we all want and dream. An America that is good for every one with no exceptions.

# # #
A short Bio

Mike Ghouse is committed to his life mission of building cohesive work places, communities and nations. He works for an America where every one of the 322 million Americans should feel secure without apprehension or fear of the other.

He is one of the 5 people in the world who is actively pursuing research, activism and teaching Pluralism.  Just Google and find a tremendous amount of work on pluralism in religion, politics, society and culture.  Mike defines Pluralism as an attitude of “respecting the otherness of other” and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each one of us.

He is a pluralist, thinker, writer, activist and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, politics, Islam, human rights and foreign policy including India and Israel-Palestine. He is a news maker, interfaith wedding officiant and a community consultant and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Happy New Year ya’ll. God bless you and God bless America.

Mike Ghouse, President Center for Pluralism Washington

Monday, December 11, 2017

Roy Moore or Doug Jones?

Full article may appear at "the hill" later tonight or Huffpost in the morning and will appear hear as well. 

We believe that the best governance happens when we have checks and balances in place and the best thing that Americans can do at this time is to keep the house majority with the Republicans and give the Senate majority to the Democrats. That will prevent slam dunking the bills through the Congress and the Senate and due discussions will take place for the benefit of Americans. If you look back, you will find that all the bad decisions were made when the President, Senate and Congress are from the same party. For the sake of America and integrity of our government, we hope the Alabamians do the right thing. 

Mike Ghouse, America first and not Republicans or Democrats

# # #

Friday, November 20, 2015

Muslims against ISIS rally on the steps of Lincoln Memorial


Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916

American Muslims against ISIS gather up on the steps of Lincoln Memorial

Washington, DC, November 19, 2015 – Muslims around the world and particularly Americans Muslims have been sick of the terrorists, particularly the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda guys ever since they started terrorizing the lives of innocent people. We mourn the loss of lives in France, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere in the world and firmly stand against the terrorists.

Given the short notice prior to the Thanksgiving weekend, the Muslims of Washington, DC have organized a gathering of Americans of different faiths to come together on the steps of Lincoln Memorial and make the statements of condemnations.
We hope this event effectively conveys a message to the terrorists that the world is against them, and that we are all in this together; opposing terrorism and condemning ISIS.  

You are all invited to join us on the steps of Lincoln Memorial:

The purpose of this gathering is to send a clear message to the ISIS and their ilk, that American Muslims are angry about their actions. They are to be charged for the violations of human rights, forcing women into slavery, conversions at gun point, harassment of Christians, Yazidis, Shias, Jews, Sunnis and other minorities, and most certainly creating chaos and abusing the name of Islam. 

We cannot tolerate any of these acts and we urge our president to speak out in behalf of fellow humans,  and give them three days notice to back off, surrender, and repent for their actions or face the consequences.

We invite Americans of all faiths and no faiths to join us in standing up against ISIS.  Yes, we the Muslims are as angry as average American. Indeed, we are all in this together.

We pledge that we are one nation under the flag, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Please join us on the steps of Lincoln Memorial.

# # #


We will be listing as many participating organizations as we can. Please send an email with the name of your organization, website and your phone number,  and we will add to the list below.

01. ADAMS Center, All Dulles Area Muslim Society
02. American Muslim Institution, Washington, DC
03. Washington Area Jews for Jewish Muslim Understanding
04. Geotrees, An Intercultural Crossroads for the History of the Future
05. Islamic Community Center of Potomac
06. Foundation for Pluralism
07. The world Organization for Resources development and Education.
08. Muslims for Peace, Justice and Progress 
09. United Maryland Muslim Council
10. Howard County Muslim Council
11. UMA Interfaith Alliance
12. Muslim Community Center of Maryland
13. Montgomery County Muslim Foundation
14. Islamic Center of Greater Toledo 
15. Islamic Center of Long Island
16. IMANA International Collaboration
17. UMMAA Broadcasting
18. Hillside Islamic Center New Hyde Park NY

We appreciate the PSA announcements from Stuart Varney and Jennie Lubart of Fox News and we invite them to cover this event. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th - Muslims are an integral part of American Heritage

Happy 4th - Muslims are an integral part of American Heritage

Upon declaration of our independence on July 4, 1776, two of the first three heads of states who recognized the sovereignty of the United States were Muslims and one of them was a Muslim from India.

Americans, Indians and Muslims have a connection since the very beginning of our independence. We were all opposed to colonial rule, and fought them and chased the British out of America, but they continued to rule India through divide and conquer for another 150 years.

Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States of America, signing the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship, the first of its kind. Friesland, one of the seven United Provinces of the Dutch Republic, was the next to recognize American independence (February 26, 1782) and Tippu Sultan, the King of Mysore State (India) was the third. According to Dr. Range Gowda, Tippu Sultan's historiographer, the congratulatory letter to America is preserved in a French Library. Tippu celebrated America's independence by bursting fire crackers in Srirangapatna.

What does July 4th mean to Muslims and Indians?

It means everything and the biggest thing is freedom. Islam is indeed about freedom of conscience, justice and liberty.

The Pledge of Allegiance is one of the most cherished statements for Muslims, "One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." There are several verses in the Quran that assert those values, so it's like coming home for Muslims.

The concept of equality is etched and nurtured in the Muslim psyche in every ritual and spiritual practice of Islam. Prophet Muhammad delivered the following words in his last sermon, "All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action." Muslims hold this declaration close to their hearts and as American Muslims, "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

The raging battle among Americans to keep the state and church apart resonates with Muslims living in America as the Quran speaks out to them, 49:13- "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in the sight of God, is the best in conduct. God Knows and is Aware." Indeed, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance of the otherness of others and appreciate a different point of view without having to agree with it.

Honoring merit appeals to Muslims: you can be who you want to be and Muslims bpast about their ability to rise on the basis of their merit. The Prophet tells his own daughter that she will not get a free pass to paradise because she is a daughter of the prophet; she has to earn it on her own through good deeds to fellow beings, such is the emphasis placed on merit and individual responsibility. That is what capitalism, democracy and America are all about.

Every immigrant in general and a Muslim in particular loves the idea that you are innocent until proven guilty. They see the wholesomeness of justice in America and they love America for it. An observant Muslim recites at least 17 times a day that God alone is the judge and we must refrain from judging others.

On July 4, 2015 we will be celebrating the 239th birthday of America. It is time to reflect upon our journey from the historic declaration of independence on July 4th, 1776 to July 4th, 2015.
Our Founding Fathers had a vision and laid the ground work for a sustainable cohesive America for centuries to come, " 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."

We have come a long way, and still have miles to go to realize the above truths, and to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. Indeed, the last two months have packed an incredible amount of events in our history. The pulling down of the confederate Flag in several states after the tragic events in Charleston, South Carolina gives us a lot of hope, the Supreme court's landmark decision to make same sex marriage legal brings freedom to the GLBT community; yet another decision by the Supreme Court brought freedom to those who were vulnerable, the sick and the poor Americans. Thanks to President Obama for making health care a reality for all Americans. The affordable care Act is the law of the land now.

First, I pray for the spirit of that freedom to be born again, again and again every year, for eternity. Indeed, we are the land of the free and the brave. The whole world looks up to America with admiration, although we still have a few more milestones to achieve.

Donald Sterling, the basketball billionaire and Don Imus, the popular American Radio host and several others faced severe retribution for racial slurs. Rick Sanchez and countless Senators and Congress persons were taken to task for making Anti-Semitic comments. Now thank God for the Supreme Court, no one will dare abuse the freedom of these three communities: African Americans, Jews and the LGBT community.
Two more communities, among many need such freedom; women are still not getting equal pay, and I hope the Republicans will join the Democrats and pass that bill.
Who is left behind? Hispanic Immigrants and Muslims!

In 1986, President Reagan brought relief to 3 million undocumented aliens through his amnesty program. Now President Obama is working on freeing 11 million aliens from the tension of separation with their family members. As a nation we need to collectively reflect on the issue and do the right thing; legalize those here with agreed upon conditions.

In recent years, American Muslims have become an easy target for abuse without any consequence. Some US presidential candidates top the list for bigotry, having said that they would not hire a Muslim in their cabinet.

The problem is two-sided: we the Muslims are not connected enough with mainstream society for a vast majority of Americans to stand up for us, empathize with us, or even understand the truth about us that we are no different than them in our endeavors and aspirations of life. We need to get out of our shells and be part of American society.

We must however express our gratitude to the millions of Americans who have stood up for us, compelled by their sense of justness and fair play after 9/11 and as recently as the Phoenix and Garland rallies.

As Muslims we are making serious efforts to be fully participating and contributing members of American society for the security, peace and prosperity of our homeland. We have unequivocally stood up for free speech.

As American Muslims we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in the U.S. constitution. Our faith reinforces the creed of "One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

We at America Together Foundation, will take bold congenial steps on behalf of Muslims to get ourselves on a par with the other communities who had previously endured abuse, and with the support of all Americans, we will shame them for their bigotry.

I urge every Muslim to reach out to their fellow Americans to share the joy of July 4th God willing, Muslims will be celebrating July 4th2016 en masse all over the nation. We are going to be unfurling big plans soon. The more integrated we are, the safer it is for every one of the 318 million plus Americans.

What does July 4th mean to me?

The very first step on American soil puts a smile on an immigrant's face; if not you, it has happened to your parents, grand or great grandparents. It's the exuberance you witness on a baby's face when she stands up for the first time, it is the exhilaration you see when a toddler eats the food on his own for the first time, or the relief written all over the face of a student when he or she graduates. Indeed, it is an expression of freedom I felt upon arrival in New York some thirty five years ago. My journey continues as I get ready to celebrate another July 4th.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info is in 63 links at -- Mike is also president of America Together Foundation.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bikers draw Muhammad Cartoons in Arizona


Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
Dallas, TX | Washington DC
(214) 325-1916

Let the Bikers draw Muhammad Cartoons in Arizona

Mike Ghouse of America Together Foundation, has released
 the following statements.

Let this be clear to my fellow Americans, w
e all have a collective responsibility to communicate and understand different values and learn to respect the otherness of others. ( An appeal to add to Friday Sermons is also made at the bottom).  

Let the Bikers draw cartoons of the Prophet, look to this as an opportunity to follow the practice of the prophet, he was a mercy to mankind and it is time for Muslims to demonstrate that.  What did he do when he was harassed on his way to Taif? He prayed in the tradition of Jesus, "forgive them God, for they know not".  God's will was to show a way to build better societies by mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill and not aggravating it.  Thus he turned the other check as Jesus had and prayed for the well being of all.

This Friday, I urge Muslims around American Mosques to open up their hearts an minds of understanding, instead of sulking, retrieving to a corner, getting angry or harboring ill-will, I ask them to pray for the well being of Biker Americans in their Friday Sermons across the land and hopefully across the globe. Let them make an effort to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.  Let’s do our part right and seek God’s help in repairing our relationships.

I request the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix to welcome the guests with abundant supply of bottled water, leave it on the tables outside. If I can make it, I would like to be there and meet with our biker brothers and sisters.  I am one of them in free spirit, and one of you in practicing Prophet’s kindness.  More details at:

The free speech is an enduring value and the hallmark of civilizations, and we simply cannot compromise on it, however much a few may abuse it.  Indeed, Free speech is one strong element that will bind Americans together. 

Criticism can fade away or rain on us depending on how we respond to it. Lack of conviction in one's faith breeds intolerance towards criticism, whereas firmness in faith can lead us to learn from criticism, explore the infinite wisdom and realize the strength of our faith (Imaan); a worthy feeling to have, instead of living in doubt and shooing criticism away.

We need to handle criticism of Quran, Islam and the Prophet with grace, and respond to it gracefully. At least it increases the chances of mitigating the conflict and restoring harmony. The other way around is fighting back, which guarantees further aggravation of the conflict and isolation. Let freedom of speech remain the corner stone of Islam.

I urge fellow Muslims to be open to all the criticism with confidence, let the doors of communications be open.  Islam stands on its own; it does not need our defense, and it is silly to protect God or the Prophet, they are not weaklings or our property to protect, they belong to the whole universe, don't they?


I hope and pray that we will let the world know that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to mankind, through our acts.   God willing,  over a period of time, we will replace the wrong perceptions accumulated about us in the last 30 years,  and go back to good times of respecting each other. Ask your Imam to pray for the well being, safety and security of every American whether we agree with him or not. Prophet Muhammad was all about mitigating conflicts and nurturing good will, and let's consciously do that, so once again the world can believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to mankind.  

As Muslims we seriously appreciate the gains we have had, that far outweigh the tensions given by a few who know not.
# # #



Mike Ghouse, Speaker
Motivation | Pluralism | Human Rights | Religion.
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

.................................................................................................................. . 

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on PluralismIslam,IndiaIsrael-PalestinePolitics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News with Sean Hannity and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at and his writings are at - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Native American Genocide, Gujarat Massacre and Holocaust event in Dallas

Holocaust and the Muslim Guy
Frequently, I am introduced in the following manner, "He is the first Muslim guy to commemorate Holocaust, and perhaps the first non-Jewish person to commemorate the Holocaust as well."  Of all the people on the earth, my mother would be pleased to know that I am doing what it takes to be a "good Muslim," to respect, honor and protect the sanctity of life.
As a Muslim committed to building cohesive societies, it was an honor to step up to the plate. Quran 3:133, "And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness and to a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which has been readied for the God-conscious." I am not driven by paradise, nor do I seek rewards. But it does mean building a cohesive world where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. God-conscious simply means being caring and sensitive to all of God's creation; life and matter.

Of all the people on the earth, my mother would be pleased to know I am doing what it takes to be a "good Muslim," to respect, honor and protect the sanctity of life. 

I have always believed, and I read the assessments of some of the best brains that if we can resolve the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, i.e., security to Jews and justice to the Palestinians, most of the world issues will collapse and a period of peace on earth will begin. 

Commemorating Holocaust and Genocides for seven years is a fulfillment of a lifelong desire. 

Continued at Huffington post -

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Quran Burning Video Message to Muslims and Pastor Terry Jones

The following Video at You Tube is about how Muslims will respond to Pastor Jones buring of 2998 copies of Quran – Koran

We are concerned about the violent reactions to Quran burning by some of the fringe elements among Muslims elsewhere in the world, the perceptions that get slapped on to Muslims for the actions of a few, and safety of fellow Americans and American Embassies.

As American Muslims, we plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 with grace and dignity.  We honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution for every American and have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones expression.  Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for the goodness to prevail.

We hope, our mercy based message will remind Muslims to follow the examples of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), a mercy to mankind to contribute towards a better world.  We believe it may also bring a change in the attitudes of followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety.

Our response would be to show unity and solidarity with fellow Americans and the fellow humanity – we will establish a system to respond to conflicts.  Americans of all traditions and religions will come together and express our goodness through fellowship and prayer, and rededicate our pledge to the safety, security and unity of our nation.

What exactly will Muslims do?
Details at: 

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 text/talk
. . . . . 

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. 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 indexes all his work through many links.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

From Muslims in America, a novel protest against quran burning

Courtesy: Times of IndiaWASHINGTON: In an effort to overturn the image of Muslims as fire-breathing, sword-slashing conquerors and avengers, a Muslim group in America will resort to a pacific response to the provocative burning of the Quran by a fundamentalist Christian evangelist. 

Pastor Terry Jones, the notorious Christian extremist who riled Muslims across the world with his inflammatory burning of the quran in 2011, has upped the ante by threatening to burn 3000 copies of the Quran on September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attack on America that killed nearly 3,000 people. But instead of getting provoked, the so-called " World Muslim Congress" in the US said it will "reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the prophet concerning scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Quran." 

It cited a quranic verse that says, "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil," and said it is also strongly enjoined in the Quran in the same verse 41:34 that "Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend."

The Texas-based outfit said many Muslim organizations across America will go on a "blood drive" to save lives and serve humanity with kindness on the same day pastor Jones has said he will burn the copes of the Quran. 

"As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society," said Mike Ghouse, an Indian-American Muslim community leader who has been promoting inter-faith harmony in the US for several years. 

Ghouse said the organization hoped that the blood drive event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world that violence is not the way. "Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few," a statement from the organization said. 

Jones's Quran burning capers have caused universal revulsion, including in the United States, and also led to sporadic episodes of reactive violence in some countries. US government officials, from the federal, state, and local levels, have repeatedly condemned his antics. 

"It's regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida with a church of no more than fifty people can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan and get, you know, the world's attention," former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said when Jones first announced his provocative move in 2010. 

But Jones has kept at it despite universal condemnation, including promoting a movie called the "Innocence of Muslims" that vilified Islam and conjuring up September 11 as "International Judge Muhammed Day." Although dismissed as a wingnut in the US, he still gets enough attention to rile up some Islamic extremists.