Mike Ghouse, Dallas , Texas – August 15, 2007
On the occasion of India ’s 60th Independence Day, as an Indian American and a Muslim, I wholeheartedly welcome the Indian Muslims delegation in Israel. We cannot achieve peace without facing each other, talking with each other, shaking hands with each other and breaking the bread together. Another Indian legend Mother Teresa had said “if you want peace, talk with your enemies and not your friends” a good advice to Jews and Muslims alike.
We have to break the stereo types that we unintelligently ascribe to each other, in this particular situation “Muslims are out to get Israel and Jews are merciless “. It is as wrong as the flatness of the earth. The first step towards peace is cleaning up our minds towards each other.
The world’s dynamic equilibrium was going out of synch when fascism was taking root in the early nineties, the governments cradled in democracies were losing the essence of the idea of government of the people by the people, it was rather becoming “government of the oligarchs.” Thanks God, the changes are on the horizon, the unilateralists are fading and the silent majority is taking the steps to speak up.
The world peace is not someone else’s responsibility; no one can live safely if the world around him/her isn’t. It is each one’s responsibility to strive for a better world and a world of co-existence. We are encouraged with the bold steps by Hazrat Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi, who has led the delegation of Indian Muslims to Israel .
"We are coming with the message of peace and goodwill from Indian Muslims who believe in the Indian tradition of resolving issues through dialogue and peaceful means,” said Hazrat Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi and continued “Our visit to Israel will be historical in terms of developing a dialogue between Judaism and Islam in the Indian subcontinent, where more than 40 percent of the world Muslim population lives. Interaction with both Palestinian and Jewish sisters and brothers and their religious leadership will lay a solid foundation for future engagement," Maulana llyasi said .
The American Jewish Committee reported that when the Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger visited India and met with the Muslim leaders, a joint declaration was made by the parties “that while relations between Muslims and Jews have deteriorated in the course of the last century as a result of political factors, “It is high time for the religious leaders of both sides to engage in dialogue and use their collective influence to stop the bloodshed of innocent civilians. Rather, we need to condemn killings, reject extremism, and the misuse of religion for acts of violence. Suicide is a forbidden act in Islam and therefore suicidal attacks can not find sanction.”
True leadership is recognition of what will work, and leading the people, despite the hurdles, to the right end goal. Truth ultimately triumphs, as we call it Satyameva Jayate in Sanskrit, Gandhi believed in it and led the nation to freedom from the greatest empire on the earth, despite every possible hurdle you can imagine. His commitment was un-wavering and many finally saw the light, at the end.
It is all about good will and a genuine desire for peace. We hope this step encourages other groups to take similar steps and Israel to reciprocate the goodwill with a firm commitment like Gandhi’s.
Each day, we have to wrap up with a question "What have I contributed to peace in me and around me?". If the answer is positive, then you'd sleep well.
Mike Ghouseis a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of theFoundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is www.MikeGhouse.net and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: http://MikeGhouseforAmerica.Blogspot.com and http://MikeGhouse.Sulekha.com . He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town