Things changed for me in 2008, and I switched to writing at or

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What is Thanksgiving?

What is Thanksgiving?
Mike Ghouse, November 21, 2007 .


For every good we receive, we have to offer our gratitude to the giver, absence of a simple thank you creates discomfort and an imbalance in any relationship. A simple thank you will tie the loose ends, saving each one of us from the sense of incompleteness.

For every hurt we hurl on others, an equal amount of burden gets dumped on us, and until we say sorry and repent genuinely, the burden makes us do weird things and deteriorates the peace within us. The transaction remains incomplete.

Just as the accountant recites his mantra, for every debit there is a credit; the physicist says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; and as a spiritualist I feel that for every wrong we do, an equal amount of serenity is drained from us.

In our quest to achieve the most peaceful state of mind, we may encounter eternal bliss from time to time but we may mess it up as well. We have to do our balance sheet.

To lead a comfortable life with fewer worries, we have to have more assets and or income than liabilities and payments. If we are in the hole (Red), we have to fill it immediately to survive, on the other hand if we are in the black (surplus) we don’t have to worry.

Let’s apply that to our spirituality again;

For everyone we hate, an equal amount of disturbance affects us within. When we hate, we are the losers not the ones we hate. This is the most important aspect of happiness, and every religion teaches us not to hate any one. The more hateful we are, the more problems we create for ourselves and the ones around us. It is in our interest to work on hate and it is in the interest of society to help each other to remove hate. Let's not do it because God wants it, or it is an act of nobility - let's do it because it makes sense, it gives us peace of mind and a sense of composure.

Life is a continual act of balancing between pain and pleasure, and to lead a normal life we have to maintain that equilibrium. We are constantly receiving and giving energy, intake and output must be equal to have a healthy mindset. Absence of this double entry book keeping will throw the books off balance.

Let me share a small story Where I grew up, it was a Sunday ritual for us to sit and take care of the poor. A line of deprived individuals (I do not like the word ‘beggar’) formed in front of my house. Being the oldest in the family, my Dad would assign me the task of doling out the cash and food items to the individuals as they pass our door. I have seen lepers, blind people, people who cannot hear or talk, and certainly people with missing body parts.

I was fascinated by one gentleman in particular; he did not have arms and limbs from the base of the body, he was made up of just the torso and the head. He wrapped his body with a car tube (those days car tires were inlaid with an air tight tube to hold the air) and would slide inch by inch... his shoulder and rear part would move in tandem, similar to a snake. He always made me think about life and hope. I was about 14 years old then and was hesitant in speaking with him.

One fine day, I asked him what made him want to live. He did not have relatives, could not do anything, could not have a family, could not have a place to live, and could not wear clothes....

Why did he want to live?

He took a deep breath and looked at me and said, “Son, I look forward to every morning to see the blue sky or see the rain and smell the earth, I smell and taste the good food people give me, and I enjoy the water that I get now and then... I am thankful to Bhagwan (God's generic name in Hinduism) who has given me the eyes to see his creation ..”.

Appaiah turned around as asked me, “Isn’t there so much to thank the lord?” I was rendered speechless. That is gratitude. Just that morning, I heard my Dad’s favorite verse from Qur’aan- 55:16 “Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? (- English (Arabic: Baset - Hussari - Minshawi .)” . To this day, if I am down, I to go to the scriptures, I have found solace in opening Bhagvad Gita, Bible, Dale Carnegie’s book, the book of Mormon or Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Baha'i) or Sura Rahman, chapter 55 in Qur’aan, to uplift my spirits. 55:13 Which, then, of your Sustainer’s powers can you disavow? Asad(55,4) Topics discussed in this Verse: [Allah's favours gratitude for:will you deny] Fabiayyi alai rabbikuma tukaththibani فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (55:13) Baset - Hussari - Minshawi

Happy Thanksgiving.

Do me a favor, carry a small piece of paper with you anywhere you go, and whenever you get a quiet moment, make a list of all the people you want to thank. Making a list is the least you can do, which in it self is peace giving and you will find a sense of relief with it. Even if you don’t call every one on the list, you have already said your thanks by thinking about the individual and reciting his or her name in your mind. When you express your gratitude to the persons who have made a difference in your life, it brings a ton of relief to you. The tension of the action (good done to you) to you is released with your re-action of thinking about them to writing their name down and possibly calling them.

Ponder over all the good things people have done to you, the good words they have said to you. Even if you don’t like some of them now, separate the good they have done and say thanks for it. Reign in on your ego and see the victory you feel within you.

Today, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Harbans Lal of Sheshadri Puram, Bangalore, my first boss, who encouraged me to write. That was in 1971 and since then I have written quite a lot. His voice still echoes “you will become a writer” and it's been music to me even since. Please become that voice to some one.

There are many more people to thank, and I will do my part. Nothing beats the joy of it my friends, I really care about you, even though my email to you is not addressed to you in person, I know you. If you are happy, that makes me happy.Each one of us can become a voice to others to encourage whatever talent we may have. We are a product of what others want us to be, most of the time. If you want a better society, invoke the best in others. It is indeed rewarding.

This year, my biggest gratitude goes to Mr. Everett Blauvelt, the man whom I call Dadsky. He has changed my whole life by inviting me to the United States and giving me a start. I express a deep sense of gratitude to him and dedicate this write up to him. Our friendship began 30 years ago in Shedgum-Uthmaniya-Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I am also adding Bernie Mayoff, my friend how has forwarded my name to CNN's Heroes list. Thank you Bernie and Thank you Everett. I am making another list for private use and hope to call each one of them to let them know that I appreciate their presence in my life.

I further express my gratitude to our men and women who are doing their duty to protect our freedom. Please watch the following video about honoring our soldiers.

Link for this article:

Happy thanksgiving

God bless America

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the 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 with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at
For a full bio:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Peace: Israel-Palestine I

Peace Series : Israel & Palestine 1

Efforts must be made on a human level, person to person level. The goodness of a majority is always silent, if they can speak up on both sides, peace is possible.

Palestinians need to understand and acknowledge the eternal security needs of Jews, not the military, but mental security where they can put their guards down for the first time in their history of Diaspora and live their life in peace.

Jews need to recognize that the Palestinians have suffered immeasurably as well, no human should be stripped of his/her hope; hope to have a family, work and own a house and call a place their homeland.

Neither side of the leadership has understood the human aspect of the issue, and simply believes in the might of the gun powder, that is the 1% minority in both sides that have simply failed. The majority on both sides need to push their minority leaders to consider the human choice where family to family relationship is encouraged. If you want peace, Mother Teresa says, you talk with your enemies and not friends.

From this piont forward, we will bring a series of thought provoking articles to help us understand all aspects of the issue.

A Moral Witness to the 'Intricate Machine' By Avishai Margalit
Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine by David Shulman

"I am an Israeli. I live in Jerusalem. I have a story, not yet
finished, to tell." This is the opening line of David Shulman's
powerful and memorable book, Dark Hope, a diary of four years of
political activity in Israel and the Palestinian territories. It is a
record of the author's intense involvement with a volunteer
organization composed of Israeli Palestinians and Israeli Jews, called
Ta'ayush, an Arabic term for "living together" or "life in common."
The group was founded in October 2000, soon after the start of the
second Palestinian intifada.

"This book aims," Shulman writes,

at showing something of the Israeli peace movement in action, on the
basis of one individual's very limited experience.... I want to give
you some sense of what it feels like to be part of this struggle and
of why we do it.
Struggle with whom? Shulman explains:

Israel, like any society, has violent, sociopathic elements. What is
unusual about the last four decades in Israel is that many destructive
individuals have found a haven, complete with ideological
legitimation, within the settlement enterprise. Here, in places like
Chavat Maon, Itamar, Tapuach, and Hebron, they have, in effect,
unfettered freedom to terrorize the local Palestinian population; to
attack, shoot, injure, sometimes kill—all in the name of the alleged
sanctity of the land and of the Jews' exclusive right to it.
His diary proceeds to show how this happens.

Shulman speaks of "the last four decades." It is forty years since the
Israeli victory of 1967 brought the West Bank under occupation. That
was also the year Shulman immigrated to Israel from the US, just after
graduation from high school. In the Israeli army he was trained as a
medic, which turned out to be a great asset for his later work in the
West Bank. His first aid skills, as well as the medical kit he always
carried with him, were equally in demand by Israeli comrades and
Palestinian villagers injured by settlers, soldiers, and police.

Shulman attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he
acquired, among many languages, a good mastery of Arabic. This, too,
proved to be useful in dealing with the Palestinians whom he and his
friends tried to help. He emerged as a formidable scholar: on Tamil,
Telugu, and Sanskrit poetry, Dravidian linguistics, Carnatic music,
and Tamil Islam. His linguistic and cultural interests were mainly
focused on South India. In 1987, when he was thirty-seven, he received
a MacArthur Fellowship. He has published many translations of Indian
poetry. Shulman's language in his diary is fresh and uncontaminated by
the lazy clichés often used to describe the conflict between Israeli
Jews and Palestinian Arabs. By temperament and calling, Shulman is a
scholar, not a politician. Recalling Auden's lines on Yeats, we may
say that mad Israel hurt him into politics.

Into what sort of politics, one may ask. Shulman's work on India and
its culture suggests that his politics—if this is the term—would draw
on Gandhi's example. He writes, "We follow the classical tradition of
civil disobedience, in the footsteps of Gandhi, Thoreau, and Martin
Luther King." This suggests a much larger question: Would the two
sides to the conflict have fared better if the Palestinian struggle
against the occupation had been carried out in a Gandhian spirit of
nonviolent resistance? This question can be raised as a matter of
moral principle, but it can also be raised on practical, tactical

It is by no means new. At the beginning of the first intifada, in
1988, Israel expelled Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American child
psychologist who advocated Gandhian tactics for resisting the
occupation. The Israeli government understood right away that
nonviolent tactics had the potential to embarrass Israel, and was
determined to stop him. In truth, however, the government had no
reason to be worried, since Awad made no headway among the
Palestinians. I once asked a Palestinian friend why in his opinion
Awad failed to convince the Palestinians of the validity of nonviolent
tactics. His answer was revealing: nonviolent struggle is perceived by
his fellow Palestinians as "unmanly." They are drawn to the slogan
"What was taken by force must be regained by force."

Since the second intifada, the Palestinian philosopher Sari Nusseibeh
has become the main advocate of Gandhian nonviolent tactics among the
Palestinians, both on moral and practical grounds. Nusseibeh does not
accept that nonviolent tactics have no chance with the Palestinians
because of cultural macho. He believes that nonviolent struggle—in the
form of strikes and other protests—was very much in use by the
Palestinians during the Ottoman rule of Palestine, and later against
the British and the pre-state Jewish settlement in Palestine.


Are Israelis more likely to support making concessions to the
Palestinians when they are violent or when they are nonviolent?

We seem to have an answer to this question from a surprising source.
When Ariel Sharon came to power, he commissioned the political analyst
Kalman Gaier to conduct a private poll for him. Gaier asked Israelis
whether they were ready to accept a solution to the conflict that
would relinquish 94 percent of the territories to the Palestinians in
exchange for peace, with 2 percent of the rest of the territory
exchanged in a land swap. Palestinian refugees would be settled in
Palestine, and East Jerusalem divided. (These terms are close to the
Clinton proposals of December 2001.)

Raviv Druker, an Israeli TV journalist, recently had access to polls
Sharon never published. They reveal that in March 2002, at a moment
when the second intifada was particularly violent, 70 percent of the
respondents were willing to accept such a settlement; but when the
poll was repeated in May 2005, a period of calm (just before Israel's
disengagement from Gaza), only 44 percent were willing to settle on
those terms.

Do these findings indicate that Israelis understand only the language
of force, and should they be seen as a decisive argument against
nonviolent resistance? I don't think so. In order to assess a
nonviolent strategy one should not compare a period of violence to a
period in which violent attacks were not taking place. One should
compare, if possible, a period of violent resistance to a period of
active nonviolent resistance. But more important than the question of
how Palestinian violence influences Israeli public opinion is the
question of how it influences Israeli leaders; and here my
impression—and it is no more than that—is that no prominent leader,
whether of the center-right or center-left, is willing to make serious
concessions to the Palestinians in times of violence, lest he or she
be perceived as weak. (Sharon, the exception, could withdraw from Gaza
while maintaining his popularity.) The factual question—how
Palestinian violence affects Israel's policies toward a peaceful
settlement—remains in my opinion an open question. The effect of
Palestinian violence on Israel's war policy is clear. During the
second intifada, Palestinian violence elicited an intense military
response from the Israeli side, resulting in devastation of the
Palestinian community in the West Bank.

Regarding the moral issue of violent struggle, Shulman cites Mordechai
Kremnitzer, a law professor at the Hebrew University, whom we both
regard as a moral force in Israel:

Even if you accept the Palestinian reading of what happened at Camp
David and assume that the Israeli proposals were inadequate, still it
is impossible to accept the violence they have adopted as their weapon
while still faced with an Israeli partner who wanted to reach a
solution. It is not clear what the Palestinians want—for us not to be
there [i.e., not to exist at all], in the territories, or for us not
to be. They have the right to end the occupation, but not at any cost.
But the Israeli Right uses Palestinian violence to its own advantage.
Thus, worst of all, we may well find ourselves in a paradoxical,
soul-destroying situation of having to serve in an army that is bent
on illegal acts.
Shulman advocates a Gandhian approach on moral grounds and perhaps
also on practical grounds, and a large number of his activities would
have pleased the Mahatma. But in my opinion he is trying to do
something that can be accurately seen as part of the nonviolent
struggle to alleviate the burdens of the occupation but is also
different from it. Shulman is a moral witness[1] —he makes an effort
to observe and report on suffering arising from evil conduct. He may
take risks in doing so, but he has a moral purpose: to expose the evil
done by a regime that tries to cover up its immoral deeds. A moral
witness acts with a sense of hope: that there is, or will be, a moral
community for which his or her testimony matters.

About such hopes, Shulman can be ambivalent. The original Hebrew title
of his book is not Dark Hope but Bitter Hope. Abraham, the great
believer, is praised by Saint Paul as he who "against hope, believed
in hope." The Russian writer Nadezhda ("hope" in Russian) Mandelstam
admired Paul's account and called her first book about persecution in
Stalin's Russia Hope Against Hope; yet the title of her second book,
Hope Abandoned, is drawn not from Paul but from Dante's Inferno.
Shulman's account seems to me to vacillate between the two: between
hoping against hope and abandoning hope.


Shulman starts with an impersonal account describing what happened on
April 2, 2005, near a settlement south of the Hebron Hills where the
Palestinians lived in caves and kept flocks of sheep and goats:

It began some two weeks ago when Palestinians from [the village of]
Twaneh noticed a settler —almost certainly from Chavat Maon, the most
virulent of the settlements in the area—walking deliberately through
their fields in the early morning. Shortly afterward the animals got
sick and the first sheep died. Then the shepherds found the poison
scattered over the hills, tiny blue-green pellets of barley coated
with... deadly rat poison from the fluoroacetate family.... The aim
was clear: to kill the herds of goats and sheep, the backbone of the
cave dwellers' subsistence economy in this harsh terrain, and thus to
force them off the land.
Visiting the Arab settlement, Shulman writes:

After half an hour I start to wonder if we have come here for nothing.
I stare hard at the rocky ground, the purple wildflowers, the thorns,
the fresh sheep droppings. Still no poison. Then a surprise: bending
low, with my face nearly touching the soil, I see two —no, three—of
the blue-green grains of poisoned barley....
Five minutes later Judy [his companion] strikes gold—a huge cache of
them.... The real art of this grotesque treasure hunt is to retrace
the vanished footsteps of the poisoner; one pile of pellets should, in
theory, lead to another. And so, indeed, it goes.
Shulman then observed that all the while, on the hill opposite,
directly under the settlement,

one of these settlers, with his gun, is watching us, we
move; he is dressed in black, an ominous presence, an Israeli Darth
Vader. Farther up, a set of army jeeps is also in place. Maybe this
time, at least, they'll keep the settlers from attacking us.
Shulman seldom makes general comments: he sticks to the concrete and
shies away from the symbolic. Not this time, though. Here is his

I have always hated the symbolic. It is the cheapest, most
meretricious act of the mind, and the furthest away from anything
real. But today, as I sift through the brown, moist soil under the
eyes of the settlers, even I cannot resist the sense of something
horribly symbolic. [The settlers] claim to feel something for this
land, yet they treat it—her—with contempt. It, she, interests them
mostly as an object to be raped, despoiled, and above all stolen by
brute force from its rightful owners. It belongs, in this wild,
ravished, ravishing landscape, to the people of the caves.
This is not merely a matter of injustice, though flagrant injustice
screams out, unmistakably, at every point. Nor is it a matter of
madness, though the settlers here are truly demented. It is, in the
most serious, most atrocious sense of the word, a crime—a crime
against the land the settlers glibly call holy, against life itself.
Who, what human individual, would deliberately poison a wild deer?
What kind of man would poison a whole herd, and through this, the
community of human beings who live off this herd?


Shulman's account needs some background, which can be found in the
reports of the Israeli human rights group B'tselem for July 2005. As
it happens, Assaf Sharon, a former student of mine and currently a
graduate student at Stanford, also took part in many of the activities
that Shulman describes. He is mentioned in the book, like all other
"comrades," by his first name only. Assaf, who studied in his youth in
a yeshiva not far from Hebron, is a particularly shrewd observer who,
unlike Shulman, has intimate knowledge of the settlers, including the
younger generation.

In the southern West Bank, Assaf tells us, southeast of Yata, the main
township in the area, more than a thousand Palestinians dwell in
caves, in an area of some 7,500 acres. Some of the cave dwellers live
in this area only during the seasons for planting and harvesting; some
live there throughout the year. Water is scarce and the cave dwellers
are dependent to a large degree on local cisterns.

In the 1970s, Israel declared part of the Yata region a "closed
military area." In 1980, next to the closed area, Israel established
four settlements, which now have about two thousand settlers. Between
1996 and 2001, these settlers erected four additional outposts—small,
armed encampments, said to be needed to protect the larger
settlements. A fifth outpost, Maon Farm, was set up inside the area
that the occupation forces had said was closed to settlement, and the
settlers at Maon Farm were evacuated by the army for a few months; but
they soon returned. Before they did so, the army had already expelled
the Palestinian cave dwellers by force from the closed area,
destroying their wells, blocking their caves, and confiscating their
meager property of blankets and food. The army justified the expulsion
on grounds of "a necessary military need," specifically, its need for
a training ground that would use live ammunition, endangering anyone
who lived there. But the settlers of Maon Farm returned to the closed
area unopposed by the Israeli authorities, and there was no mention of
live ammunition endangering them.

On the face of it, the story of the cave people may seem to present a
relatively small issue in comparison, for example, with what Shulman
tells us about how the separation wall has disastrously affected the
lives of Palestinians in the more populated parts of the West Bank or
in Jerusalem, places where the main drama of the conflict unfolds. The
South Hebron Hills, where the poisoning scene took place, is a
sparsely populated area, remote from the main action.

But what takes place in the South Hebron Hills shows in stark form
what is so bad about the occupation. The actions of some other Israeli
settlers may be more ambiguous morally; but what Shulman saw in the
South Hebron Hills causes him to use the word "evil" unsparingly:

What we are fighting in the South Hebron Hills is pure, rarefied,
unadulterated, unreasoning, uncontainable human evil. Nothing but
malice drives this campaign to uproot the few thousand cave dwellers
with their babies and lambs. They have hurt nobody. They were never a
security threat. They led peaceful, if somewhat impoverished lives
until the settlers came. Since then, there has been no peace. They are
tormented, terrified, incredulous. As am I.


Shulman shows that the settlers are supported by what he calls the
"intricate machine," a term he uses to describe various Israeli
government agencies, including the army, the police, and the civil
authorities that administer the West Bank. But the relations among the
various agencies can be so intricate that it is no longer clear who is
in charge of a particular policy or action. Hagai Allon, an Israeli
official appointed by the former defense minister to be in charge of
"the social fabric" in the territories, stated that the army does not
comply with the defense minister's orders. Referring specifically to
the Hebron Hills area, Allon said the army acts "in the service" of
the settlers. It carries out, he said, "an apartheid policy,"
establishing facts on the ground that are meant to make evacuation of
settlers of the West Bank impossible.

Shulman's book is not an analysis of how the intricate machinery of
the occupation works or, for that matter, of what the settlers do in
their daily lives. It mainly describes the face-to-face clashes
between human rights activists like himself and the settlers, the
soldiers, and the police.

He makes it clear, however, that the settlers in the South Hebron
Hills are almost all religious people. The established leaders in most
of the older settlements often belong to the Gush Emunim or reflect
its mentality: religious, intensely nationalistic, idealistic. They
are not just seeking agreeable suburbs from which to commute to
Israeli cities. They were born and raised in Israel and are still
attached to Israeli society.

By contrast, the members of the second generation of settlers—roughly,
those under thirty-five years of age— were born and raised in the
closed communities of the territories. They were shocked by the Oslo
peace accord of 1992, fearing they were going to be betrayed by
Israel's leaders and forced to move back to the Israel defined by the
pre-1967 Green Line. Another formative experience was the
assassination in 1995 of Yitzhak Rabin by a fanatical young man who
had social and ideological connections with the settlements. Many
settlers felt that they were unfairly and collectively blamed for
Rabin's murder. In my own experience, I have found among the second
generation a lethal combination of attitudes: a conviction that they
have the right to dominate Palestinians and a sense that they are
themselves victims. They share the historic megalomania of their
parents, seeing themselves, with no small degree of
self-righteousness, as a misunderstood avant-garde of a messianic
vision. But they have not benefited from the civilizing effect of
rabbinic learning as some of their parents did.

In short, Shulman shows that a wild generation was born in the
territories, a generation whose members are far bolder than their
parents, far more ready to defy the law, and far more capable of utter
lawlessness with regard to Palestinians. It is a generation saturated
with intense hostility toward the Arabs, and ferociously tribalistic.
Shulman describes his encounters with tribalistic young settlers who
scorned him:

By now the settlers are upon us, all in their twenties or so, with
long embroidered skullcaps and tzitzit fringes and guns. "You should
be ashamed," they scream at us. "What kind of Jews are you?" Helpless,
angry, I yell back: "I am a Jew. That's why I am here."
There seems no chance that these young people will understand what
Shulman is trying to do. On a cold, wet, and muddy January day,
Shulman and his friends are on their way to bring blankets to the cave
people. The settlers try to stop them. "One of the men shouts that we
are on the side of Bin Laden.... They are determined to keep the
blankets away from the cave dwellers." The man who shouted "You are on
the side of Bin Laden" was not making a political remark of the kind
we expect from Dick Cheney but was expressing a tribalistic view. For
these people and especially the young among them, providing the cave
dwellers with blankets is giving aid and comfort to mortal enemies of
their tribe—to people on the side of bin Laden.

Most of what is written on the ideologically motivated settlers deals
with the founding generation. They were more articulate and produced
texts that can be quoted. But the older generation in the settlements
is by now irrelevant to the day-to-day reality in the occupied
territories. After the evacuation of the settlements in Gaza in 2005,
which was blamed by the young generation of settlers on the timidity
both of the older generation of settlers and of Israelis generally,
the older leaders of the settlements lost their grip. For the young
generation, Israel itself is a remote reality, an entity to be
confronted when it does not go the settlers' way. The young generation
in the South Hebron Hills is a particularly strong manifestation of
the second generation of settlers. They have, in fact, succeeded in
radicalizing their parents, who are now willing to confront the army
and the police in ways that for ideological reasons they would not
have dared to do before.

The fantasy of the young generation is "biblical," and owes something
to movies about the American West: you can see them riding horses in
"biblical" gowns. They are inspired by charismatic, Sergio Leone types
such as Yehoshafat Tor and Dov Driben, the founders of Maon Farm.
Driben, who incessantly threatened the Palestinian neighboring cave
dwellers, was murdered. The villager accused of killing him was
released for lack of evidence after serving four years in jail. Dov
Driben's admirers regarded his death as a license to go wild. In the
South Hebron Hills, there is now a place aptly called "Lucifer's
Farm." Its "owner," Yaakov Talia, is an Afrikaner who converted to
Judaism at the end of apartheid in South Africa. He is another wild,
charismatic tough guy who attracts many religious young people. They
spend time on his farm helping to take over more and more land.


The second intifada, beginning in 2000, brought about a radical change
not only in the young settlers but also in many of the young peace
activists, who became highly skeptical about any grand scheme to bring
peace. They want to do something concrete, even if it is very limited
in scope, not because it will have a large impact, but because it is
the morally right thing to do. From my own experience, they know the
Palestinians in the West Bank better than the activists of my own
generation who advocated the "peace process" ever did.

They have their heroes too, among them Ezra Nawi, a plumber of Iraqi
Jewish extraction from Jerusalem, who was greatly admired by the cave
dwellers. He organized a summer camp for their children and took them
for the first time in their lives to a swimming pool in Jericho. He is
constantly subjected to derisive, homophobic shouting by the settlers.
To those who know him and those who saw the recent documentary film
about him,[2] his warm, humorous character is unmistakable. Now in his
fifties, he exemplifies the desire of young Israeli activists to act
concretely, even if it means working locally and avoiding involvement
in large-scale proposals for peace.

Shulman uses as a motto for his book a phrase by the
Australian-British human rights activist James Mawdsley: "Hell is
realizing that one did not help when one could have." He does not feel
at ease with ambitious plans for peace. He made this view clear when
we met a few years ago in Jerusalem with some members of Peace Now to
support Sari Nusseibeh, the president of al-Quds University in
Abu-Dis, near Jerusalem, in protesting the separation wall that was
being built across the soccer field of the al-Quds campus. Shulman
asked himself whether the wall across the soccer field was worth the
effort to oppose it. "The loss of a few dunams belonging to a
university is trivial," he writes, relative to the other acts that
have devastated Palestinian life. He decided, "Yes, it is worth it.
Every small victory counts." Nusseibeh and his supporters were "our
colleagues and friends. We cannot just stand by." In fact, the
protesters had a small victory at al-Quds University. The wall was
removed from the university grounds after Nusseibeh got some Israelis
to appeal to Condoleezza Rice, who asked the government to stop
building the wall.

Returning from al-Quds with Israeli protesters from Peace Now, Shulman writes:

My mind wanders away from the relatively minor distress of our
colleagues and friends in Al-Quds, away from the intense political
discussions going on in the car. There is talk of a new initiative, a
document signed by leading public figures on both sides that sets out
the basis for an agreed settlement to the conflict—the Geneva
initiative.... I listen, halfhearted, my attention wandering.
I was one of those in the car who talked of possible peace plans and
of working for a political solution through party politics, winning
votes, forming coalitions, and compromising on the way.

Now a new grand scheme is being discussed: a conference of Middle East
nations and others is to take place in November, at Annapolis,
Maryland. Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President
Abu Mazen, or so it is hoped, may agree on principles for a settlement
of the conflict. But Abu Mazen, according to reports, wants an
agreement to be specific and Olmert wants it to be vague, and the
question is whether they can arrive at a compromise. The conference
would deal with the core issues between the two sides: Jerusalem,
refugees, and territories. The two men are desperately in need of an
agreement, even if only to show that they are still politically
relevant. Many believe that any such deal would fall apart even if it
were signed: the two leaders are so politically weak that it does not
matter what they agree on.

Still, it is too early to dismiss the possibilities that something
useful might emerge from such a conference. To put the matter crudely,
Jews and Arabs have to deal with three situations: war, peace, and the
"peace process"—which is not a process that leads to peace, but an
intermediate stage of neither war nor peace. A realistic way to view
the negotiations between Olmert and Abu Mazen is that they could make
a move from open hostility ("war") to the intermediate situation of
"peace process."


Shulman's diary, however, gives an acute sense of the gap between
peace schemes in their "peace process" phase and the relentless and
dreadful reality on the ground. The reality is shaped not by
agreements but mainly by the violent workings of Israel's intricate
machine and by the violence of Palestinian forces.

The diary gives us only a glimpse of some of the visible workings of
the intricate machine. But I believe that understanding what is going
on in the South Hebron Hills, a tiny part of the conflict, can free us
from misconceptions about how the intricate machine works. There are
relatively few settlers around Hebron and far fewer in the outposts
that have been set up there. Their number is not about to get
dramatically larger. Nonetheless, the official Israeli machinery is
inexorably having its effect—it controls the land and gets rid of the
Palestinians living on it by making their lives intolerable. The
intricate machine does not depend on the number of settlers. It
depends far more on the ways the roads to the settlements and the
outposts are planned, built, and protected by the Israeli forces.

In fact, many of the outposts in the West Bank are little more than
Potemkin villages, but this, too, is almost irrelevant, since the
roads leading to them are roads that, according to official doctrine,
need to be protected constantly, in order to ensure the safety of the
inhabitants even if they consist of only one or two families. The
fewer the number of settlers, the more vulnerable they are, and so
they need heavier protection. Protecting a road means preventing the
Palestinians from getting near both sides of it and regulating their
movement by means of barriers on the roads they are allowed to use.
There are 539 barriers to movement in the West Bank, eighty-six of
which are manned checkpoints.

So the roads are the method by which the West Bank is fragmented, with
almost no mobility for the Arabs locked in their enclaves. In addition
to this, every settlement and every outpost is surrounded by a safety
zone called a "special security area." So the expansion of Israeli
control of the West Bank is not determined by the number of settlers
but by the extent of the zone of protection, from which Palestinians
are excluded.

Here is how it works. First, a settlement is established with a
designated area for future development and a wide zone of protection.
Then satellite outposts are erected in the hills on the outskirts of
the settlement. The outposts enlarge the area to be protected and
especially the roads leading to the outposts. The commentators who
emphasize the growth of the number of settlers in the West Bank miss
the intricacy of the machine. Population growth is not the main
factor. In fact, the main growth in population in recent years has
been in four ultra-orthodox towns that are not far from the Green
Line. The population in these four towns now amounts to nearly one
third of the settlers in the West Bank. Clearly more important than
the increase of settlers is the increase in the number of outposts and
their interconnecting roads.

The intricate machine works relentlessly—it hardly matters which group
is in power. Center- and Labor-based governments believe that it is
too much of a political and military hassle to dismantle the
settlements one by one. They say that one day these settlements will
be dealt with on a wholesale basis—the way Sharon dealt with the Gaza
Strip settlements, which were all evacuated at the same time.
Likud-based governments, by contrast, are against removing the
settlements in any case. All governments of Israel have also shared
the view that all the settlers—authorized as well as
unauthorized—should be protected by the army. Benefiting from these
shared views, the intricate machine works no matter who is in power.

No one among the Palestinians is going to believe in a grand scheme
for a final settlement as long as their lives are so degraded. Hamas
has declared itself, as a matter of principle, against a large-scale
scheme for a peaceful settlement with Israel; but the issue that must
be faced is the utter mistrust of large-scale schemes on the part of
Palestinians who are not followers of Hamas and want to lead peaceful
lives. To narrow the gap between the grand schemes and the reality on
the ground, the intricate machine must be halted. Daily life has to be
seriously improved if any grand scheme is to be trusted. To believe
that this is going to happen, however, calls for a leap of faith—the
sort of faith, perhaps, that keeps a man like David Shulman trying to
help Palestinians, even while he distrusts grand schemes.

—November 7, 2007

[1] For an extensive discussion of the idea of moral witness, see
Avishai Margalit, The Ethics of Memory (Harvard University Press,
2002), Chapter 5.

[2] Citizen Nawi, Israel 2007, Nissim Mossek, director, Sharon
Schaveet, producer.

Foundationless Castles

Foundationless Castles of Neocons

It is fascinating to read Anand Patwardhan's comments on the article in the Frontpage Magazine. Both the pieces are appended here below with a few comments from Rohit Chopra and myself. It is a long reading, it is worth it but if you have an interest.

From Mike Ghouse

There is no shortage of experts, they are manufactured by dozens. In April this year, I have had a dialogue with the folks at Front Page Magazine, run by Jamie Glazov and Robert Spencer that resulted in a symposium called one Islam . It is also available at:{63467012-3FCB-43B6-B384-B94C8F0C985F} The one thing good about them is their integrity in presenting your point of view, word for word.

Much of the knowledge of experts on Islam comes from a baseless foundation laid by the European Kings to malign the invaders from Arabia, thus Islam. There was seldom a king in the history of mankind who had no other business than expanding territories. The only way they could check the Arabs from conquering their lands was to use the poor subjects of their empires in defending their kingdom.

So they get the Pope (who compromised Christianity for political purposes) to go along with them in issuing a Fatwa that those Moslems are attacking the Christians and fan fanaticism to march on a holy war and slaughter those infidel Muslims (and Jews) who control the land Jesus walked on. How did the Pope authorize such a ridiculous thing to do? It goes against the very grain of Christianity that Jesus taught. I pray that Pope Benedict adopts the language of Jesus, that mitigates conflict and not agitate the world anymore. President Bush and his cohorts similarly use the Neocons to do their dirty work in establishing a baseless foundation (WMD's) and butchering over a million people. Their knowledge is based on lies as well. Are these anti-Christ?

The European kings had a plan, to build hatred against the Arab armies and blatantly went after their religion. Paid the idiot scholars or perhaps scared the devil out of them to mistranslate Qur'aan. Just like miserable Collin Powell declared the WMD's in the United Nations knowing well that it was a lie. Here is a small sample of their WMD lies about Qur'aan: Qur'aan Translations -

The Arab kings (read Muslim) were not far behind either, they paid the translators to mistranslate Qur'aan as well to get the poor Muslims to go get killed and kill to save their King's tail in the guise of protecting Islam. However, Qur'aan itself has remained a safe document through the tradition of memorizing.

The Questions are unending, but the answers seem to take away the finger pointing at Religion, and move towards the individuals. I am yet to see a conclusionary statement that blames the religion for the crimes of humanity. It is always the powers to be, who use the poor suckers to do their bidding and religion is always available to be used, rather abused.

One of my personal missions is to shake the world up, and strip criminals from using religion for anything they do. We should feel the discomfort in labeling religion for the wrongs of the men, just as we feel odd driving without the seat belt on (for those who are used to seat belt). Religion is the most beautiful gift to mankind, every religion brings answers and peace to oneself and how to live with what is around; life and matter.

From Rohit Chopra:

One more Neocons 'expert' on political Islam crawls out of the woodwork. Here is Anand Patwardhan's review, on Chowk, of an interview with with Bill Warner, the Director – Center for the Study of Political Islam, conducted by Jamie Glazov on 7th February 2007 for Front Page magazine -- a conservative mouthpiece. As Patwardhan notes, the interview is full of dubious, not to mention prejudiced, claims, such as:

"The practice of suttee, the widow throwing herself on the husband's funeral pyre, came about as a response to the rape and brutality of the Islamic jihad as it sweep over ancient Hindustan." The first recorded instance of Sati belongs to 6th century C.E."

Artifice of Scholarship : CSPI on FrontPage
Anand Patwardhan, November 15, 2007

An interview of Bill Warner, The Director – Center for the Study of Political Islam, conducted by Jamie Glazov on 7th February 2007 for the Front Page magazine arrived in my email today. The tone set by Warner is exceedingly soothing right from the start – “reasonable” and “scholarly”. He describes the aim of CSPI as ‘the scientific study of the foundational texts of Islam—Koran, Sira (life of Mohammed) and Hadith (traditions of Mohammed).’ Glazov turns out to be a highly accommodating and agreeable interviewer. Warner takes much pride in the fact that his group was first to use statistics to study the Doctrine and History, or Theory and Practice, of Islam. He gives what he obviously considers compelling statistics about the true nature of Islam – a “war mongering doctrine”.

“Let’s turn to Bukhari (the Hadith) for the answer, as he repeatedly speaks of jihad. In Bukhari 97% of the jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. So the statistical answer is that jihad is 97% war and 3% inner struggle. Is jihad war? Yes—97%. Is jihad inner struggle? Yes—3%.”

Is Warner right? Yes – 100%. Is Warner wrong? Yes – 100%. It is difficult to take a call unless one is an Islamic scholar or had Warner sighted the original sources for us to verify. He throws figures at us and hopes they stick. Usually they do. But only if they enhance the conventional wisdom, validate the embedded stereotypes. Here are some curious figures.

Parameter Doctrine - I Doctrine - II

War 451 65

Battle 264 4

Fighting 10 28

Total 725 97

Firstly, the figures are clickable links where everyone is encouraged to visit the webpage to ascertain the details. Later, we calculate the ratio of “violent” phrases in both the doctrines to arrive at the conclusion : Doctrine-I is about 750% more violent than Doctrine-II. Isn’t it a reasonable conclusion Mr. Warner? Isn’t it better than even what you have done?; since it sights independent sources that readers can verify. Warner would agree, unless he had felt encouraged beforehand to ‘click’ the figures in the above table to see what the templates I & II really stand for. Many readers too may stare at this revealed ‘Template reality’ in disbelief. Yet, these figures don’t prove or disprove anything. The lessons to be learnt here are : statistics is a tool, not a proof and when facts contradict “Theory”, Fiction-Peddlers like Warner ignore facts, whereas Fact-Seekers would either verify facts to disprove their authenticity or failing which would abandon the theory. Incidentally, fact-seekers will never or should never base the edifice of such a grandiose theory that condemns 1400 years of a sizable part of human civilization on such a wafer thin base.

Next major intellectual breakthrough Warner marshals in his approach to Islam is the recognition of dualism as its foundation. He posits thus,

“Endless ink has been wasted on trying to answer the question of what is Islam? Is Islam the religion of peace? Or is the true Islam a radical ideology?...... Is light a particle or is light a wave? The arguments went back and forth. Quantum mechanics gave us the answer. Light is dualistic; it is both a particle and a wave. It depends upon the circumstances as to which quality manifests. Islam functions in the same manner.”

Then he comes to the tactic of ‘abrogation’ relied upon by some clerics to resolve the contradictions in Quran. His shine of originality wears out too quickly when one realizes that some Islamic scholars had recognized both the dualism – a.k.a. contradictions and the need for their resolution – a.k.a. abrogation as early as 10th century C.E. The abrogating and abrogated verses were called by them Al Nasekh and Al Mansoukh respectively. Contradictions do get narrowed down when the chosen verses are set out in their context. The Sura 73, Spoils of War, and Sura 8, the Enshrouded, deal with the differing contexts of temporal and transcendent issues. However, it is true that contradictions themselves do not evaporate. Such conundrums exist even in Bible.

“...thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. -- Exodus 21:23-25 resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. -- Matthew 5:39”

Where will Mr. Warner hide now when faced with the ignobility of logic deserting his beloved Christianity? What will he do when the devil of duality is discovered in his own sacred texts? Isn’t his punditry a foolery of pot calling the kettle black?

Quran was revealed to Mohammed over several years and was memorized or scribed on variety of materials like cloth, bone, leather, and stones by some among those followers who were present at the moment. Early verses and Suras of Quran are briefer, inward looking and peace seeking – in one word, transcendent. This was commensurate with the situation at Mecca where prophet was at the mercy of Quraish – an ‘idol worshipping’ and ‘offerings extracting’ clan to which prophet belonged. Fortune changed in Medina where accretion of temporal power made Mohammed confident of the success of his mission. Naturally, this is reflected in the later verses and Suras that deal at great length with material life, both private (of an individual) and public (as a member society). Mohammed had the good fortune of enjoying transcendent and temporal powers in his lifetime unlike Jesus Christ, but like many other prophets of the Old Testament. Jews were already subjugated by the Roman Empire when they faced the dissenting voice of Jesus in their religious affairs. The result is well known – crucifixion, instigated by Jews and perpetrated by Romans. If Jesus had succeeded in getting temporal authority during his lifetime, may be he would have left a much different ministry behind. Although that did not matter in practice as the quest for survival drove a temporal power to seek out Christianity, which had by now assembled a large body of faithful, when Roman Emperor Constantine converted in 327 C.E.

All the 3 Semitic religions uncompromisingly believe in one god and no other (Allah is an Arabic word for God), the dualism of conflict between god (good) and devil (evil), the judgment day (Qay_mat), and the hereafter in heaven or hell. The similarity between Judaism and Islam goes even further; both strictly treat creation and creator as distinct–i.e. dualism in life (Jesus termed as son of God is unacceptable), despise idolatry, have to follow stricter observances to qualify as followers, practice circumcision, and classify foods in to acceptable (Kosher/Halal) or unacceptable (Treif/Haram) – the last with a significant overlap. Significantly, Torah (first 5 chapters of Old Testament) confers special status on its followers – the chosen tribes of Israelites as does Quran for its followers. Old Testament is full of the trials and tribulations, often very violent and bloody, of the chosen people over millennia. There conflicts with tribes from Mesopotamia in North-East to Pharaohs in South-West mirror miseries and triumphs encountered while searching the Promised Land. Quran too, in later verses, much like Torah, records contemporary conflicts and political and social changes, and enunciates Islamic laws albeit on a much smaller canvas of time. Moreover, Quran accepts and mentions specifically Biblical prophets like Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Yakub (Jacob), Ismail (Ishmael) etc., recognizes Jews as the people of the book and models its philosophy after Torah. If Quran accepts the earlier Hebrew Prophets, it is obvious to anyone that their god is same as the Hebrew god. In fact, Jews at Medina initially took Mohammed to be the prophet whose arrival was predicted in their texts. But when their attempts to take him under their wings and make him do their bidding failed, they turned antagonistic. When Warner overlooks or fails to mention this, his “scholarship” becomes suspect. Quran distinguishes between Believers and Unbelievers – ‘not acceptable’ to Warner’s thesis. Torah distinguishes between Chosen People and Others – meets with ‘silence’ from Warner. He dangles before us what he calls the shining precept of “his civilization” – “Treat others as you would be treated.” Probably, he meant to say “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, during the crusades, Christians behaved - abandoning Christ - exactly like the Muslims, proving themselves remarkably prescient about what Warner was to say in Front Page interview several centuries later.

Another oft repeated ruse our interlocutor fails to disguise is to take a much abused word or phrase and to paint the whole canvas with it. He mourns,

“When Islam burst out of Arabia into a decaying Byzantine world, the unbelievers recorded it as an Arabic invasion. Similarly, the invasion of Eastern Europe was by Turks; the invasion of Spain was by Moors.”

Leave alone Turks or Moors, even Arabs were not or are not a monolith. Among Palestinians Fatah and Hamas are at loggerheads. In Iraq, many more Sunnis and Shias are dying in sectarian violence and suicide bombings than they ever did under Saddam. Syrians are jostling with Lebanon. These are real people with real identities and have real differences, difficulties and problems. Some of them originally created or fueled in the last 100 years by the policies and actions of the ‘British, US and some European’ governments. Calling them all Muslims diabolically seeks to obliterate their significant distinctions and obfuscate real issues. In all these conflict zones there are ‘bread and butter’ problems of control of resources, access to growth and development, yearnings of economic independence, desire for political freedom etc.

Iraq was invaded because it had links with Al Qaeda and possessed WMDs. Both were blatant lies and were proved to be so. It was then conveniently discovered that Saddam was a brutal dictator who used nerve gas against his own people. Saddam was a brutal dictator even in 1981-88, when Reagan found him to be a valuable ally against Iran that had dispatched Shah in 1979 into exile. He fielded Donald Rumsfeld in 1983 to meet Saddam and assure him of all help. The nerve gas supplied by the US regime was used by Saddam on Kurds during this period. Did anyone hear even a whimper from Reagan? The brutal and corrupt regime of Shah was installed and maintained after CIA overthrew the first democratically elected government of Mosadeh. Its crime was the nationalization of Iranian oil industry for the benefit of Iranian people by ending the cozy colonial arrangements of British and US oil companies.

What about that fountainhead of terrorism – Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda? When the then evil Soviet Empire was to be dislodged from Afghanistan – around the same period as Iraq’s Iran war – US connived with Zia Ul Haq, an army dictator who sponsored terrorist networks against India too, to create Taliban. Zia provided the software of indoctrination through bigoted madrassah and military training and US gave the hardware of money, arms and ammunitions. Osama Bin Laden was encouraged too to participate with a group of foreign scouts. Christians and Muslims collaborated in a grand strategy to defeat the atheist infidels of USSR. Nobody foresaw that both Taliban and Osama will be jobless once the Soviets withdrew. Here is a potent force of ideologically committed, well equipped and battle hardened “Jihadis”; and it is jobless. Only job they knew is to fight, fight the infidel.

Israel-Palestine conflict has been festering since 1949. It was created by Britain and US governments when they chose to plant Israel on the north western strip of Arabia. US controls huge territory in North America and could have easily given enough fertile land to Jews to establish their state. Jews would have had their promised land of peace and tranquility after being haunted in Middle East and Europe all through Millennia. With fertile land, favourable climate, water resources and their legendary ingenuity Jews would have forced Biblical rivers of milk and honey flow once again. But then the control over the oil in the Middle East would have been lost. Planting Israel where it stands today has provided the much needed strategic toehold to intervene in that region. Ever since then US always sides and is seen to side with Israel, one has to only read the often unanimous UN Security Council and general body resolutions on this conflict that were opposed and vetoed by it, to agree. Sooner rather than later these jobless ‘Mujahiddins’ were going to find jobs. Jobs they loved thanks to the training by US and Pakistan. They found their jobs in targeting US.

911 provided the perfect cover to attack Afghanistan and later Iraq. However, in case of Iraq the invasion was planned in February 2001, just a little over month into Bush presidency. Texas guys were hungry for Iraqi oil. ‘Preemptive’ war doctrine has become now accepted wisdom. Designer wars are next. US is constructing an embassy in Iraq to house 5,500 personnel. It would be the biggest embassy built by any country anywhere. Is it a sign of occupier planning to or wanting to leave in a hurry?

Rest of Warner’s interview is utterly churlish and full of hyperboles to deserve a lengthy treatment, but a few selected verbiages have been shown the trash bin where they belong.

1. “The practice of suttee, the widow throwing herself on the husband’s funeral pyre, came about as a response to the rape and brutality of the Islamic jihad as it sweep over ancient Hindustan.” The first recorded instance of Sati belongs to 6th century C.E.
2. “Blacks can’t accept the common bond they share with whites: that both Europeans and Africans were slaves under Islam.” The greatest democracy on earth failed to abolish slavery through out US until 1798 and granted adult franchise regardless of race only in 1870. De facto segregation was the norm until Martin Luther King and the 1960s civil rights movement happened.
3. “The history of political Islam starts with Mohammed’s immigration to Medina. From that point on, Islam’s appeal to the world has always had the dualistic option of joining a glorious religion or being the subject of political pressure and violence. After the immigration to Medina, Islam became violent when persuasion failed. Jihad entered the world.”

Christianity behaved no differently as will be seen from the following excerpts

“The Catholic Church brought uniformity to the faith and established it as a public institution rather than small communities of individual followers. The Church not only established strict laws and religious doctrine but it wiped out 'heretic' and divergent thoughts. Sometimes through violence as severe as the persecutions against the early Christians and other times through subtle adoption of pre-existing religious concepts, the Catholic Church virtually destroyed these other sects and Paganism along with it…… The Church too, as it began to become an institution of considerable power in the later 3rd century, used tactics as brutal as anti-Christian Emperors……. By the fall of the western Empire (476 AD), Christianity was not only the official religion of the Roman world, but it had supreme authority in matters of morality and human behavior. Censorship played a large role as well. Historical documents of an incalculable number were destroyed or edited in order to prevent anti-Christian, or perceived anti-Christian thought. It is hard to imagine how much written history, and evidence of the ancient world, was lost forever due to this manipulation…….. His mother, Helena, after Constantine executed his own son (Crispus) and wife (Fausta) in a very un-Christian manner, embarked on a pilgrimage to the eastern provinces…. In 390 AD, a massacre ordered by the Emperor of 7,000 people who revolted in Thessalonica resulted in his own 8 month penance. By the beginning of the 5th century, after just 400 years, the Church grew from a fledgling mystery cult into a power on nearly equal terms with the Roman Emperor himself.”

The temporal role of Mohammed was played by Emperor and Church in the case of Christianity.

4. “Around 60 million Christians were slaughtered during the jihadic conquest…. Half of the glorious Hindu civilization was annihilated and 80 million Hindus killed…. About 10 million Buddhists died….. In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400 years of jihad….. Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the glory of political Islam.”

Warner spouts figures like a CEO at an AGM, and mercifully gets his addition right. But his figure-work is as spurious as the cooking of accounting books by Enron and WorldCom.

A fine interpretative essay presented in a book form called ‘The Arabs in History’ is strongly recommended to those who want to recover quickly from the hangover of vitriol poured from Front Page.

“The introduction of paper, and the rapid spread of its use and then its manufacture, affected Middle eastern society in many ways. By making possible the cheap and rapid production of books, it brought about an intellectual and cultural impact comparable, albeit on a smaller scale, with that of the later introduction of printing press the West.” (Page 94).

In the ninth century, Sarraf, or money changer, developed in to a banker on a large scale, no doubt supported by wealthy traders with money to invest. We hear of banks with a head office in Baghdad and branches in the other cities of the empire and of an elaborate system of cheques, letter of credit, etc., so developed that it was possible to draw a cheque in Baghdad and cash it in Morocco. (Page 98).

“Dhimmis were well content with less. They were indeed second-class citizens, subject to both social and fiscal disabilities, and on a few rare occasions open to persecution. But by and large their position was infinitely superior to that of those communities who differed from the established church in Western Europe in the same period (9th Century). (Page 101).

“The Arabs brought to Sicily oranges, mulberries, sugar-cane, date-palms and cotton. They extended cultivation by careful irrigation, and to this day many fountains in Sicily, and especially in Palermo, still have easily recognizable Arab names.”

“Roger II (1130-54), known as ‘the pagan’ because of his favouring of Muslims, used Arab troops and siege engineers in his campaigns in Southern Italy and Arab architects for his buildings, who created the new and distinctive Saracenic-Norman style. His magnificent coronation mantle, woven in the royal Tiraz workshop of Palermo, bears an Arabic inscription in Kufic style and Hijara date 528.”

“It was at Roger’s court that the Moroccan-born al-Idrisi, the greatest of the Arab geographers, wrote his monumental compendium of geography, which he dedicated to the Norman king and which is known as Kitab Rujjar-the Book of Roger.” (Page 129-130).

“The new regime was relatively tolerant, and even some Spanish chronicles describe it as preferable to the Frankish rule in the north. The greatest benefit that it brought to the country was the elimination of the old ruling class nobility and clergy and the distribution of their lands, creating a new class of smallholders who were largely responsible for the agricultural prosperity of Muslim Spain. The serfs were better off, while many of the townspeople found a new life as converts to Islam.” (Page 132).

Does this sound like the description of ‘dualistic’, unreliable, bloodthirsty brutes that Warner would like us believe Muslims were and are? Before you conclude that the quotes above are rants from another Warner albeit from opposite side, it is revealed that the writer is Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near eastern studies Emeritus, Princeton University.

The target audience of Front Page and CSPI are, of course, Americans. Though Warner has attempted to denigrate Islam and may be has succeeded with many common Americans, it is not his real agenda. The Bush-Cheney cabal has already achieved that goal as a stepping stone to Middle East oil control. There have always been sane, cogent and objective voices that have seen through the façade of this Bush administration and they are now growing in numbers after seeing through the lies endlessly cycled in mainstream media. These voices are represented by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon, John Pilger, Michael Moore, Seymour Hersh, Rees Elrich, Michel Chosudovsky, etc. just to name a few. They are fine US, Canadian, British individuals. But they are providing evidence that runs against “conventional wisdom”. It requires efforts and time to weigh and understand their case. Slowly they are being heard. Their credibility is on the rise. That is the real threat Bush-Cheney regime faces. The regime change in US can only come from within when US citizens vote and vote decisively. It is to obviate this threat that a systematic campaign is on to discredit the messengers. That is why Warner repeatedly laments the ignorance and slavery of Western intellectuals.

“The victims find ways to blame themselves.”

“The victim is humiliated.”

“The victim feels helpless.”

“The victim turns the anger inward.”

“We hate ourselves because we are mentally molested and abused. Our intellectuals and artists have responded to the abuse of jihad just as a sexually abused child or a rape victim would respond. We are quite intellectually ill and are failing at our job of clear thinking. We can’t look at our denial.”

‘Discredit the messenger and the message will stand discredited.’ The US regime uses fear to make citizens and congress fall in line. NeoCon think tanks use scorn to shame the intellectuals and artists. This is not happening for the first time. In the 1950s, McCarthyism achieved the same purpose by discrediting opponents by derisively and hatefully calling them “commies” or “lefties”. To this day these remain pejorative terms.

‘All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims’. Many must have heard this smart “aphorism”. It sounds very agreeable and factual. It isn’t. Irish Republican Army, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, Tamil Tigers, ULFA, etc. are held to be terrorist outfits but are not Muslim. Yet, Taliban, Al Qaeda, Chechens, and sundry others groups in Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia are considered terrorists and are Muslim. But it hides a subtle and more invidious implication. It is a Statistical implication. Regression analysis can tell us if two or more variables are correlated or not and what is the direction of their correlation. It also calculates the correlation coefficient that measures the degree of bonding. But it alone cannot determine causality – the cause and the effect. For example Rains and Floods are correlated. They are positively correlated – more rains may mean more floods and less rains less floods. This proposition also implies causality. Last year’s floods that inundated Surat-city were blamed on heavy rains. No one questioned. It sounds so obvious. It must be true. But someone decided to take a closer look. Floods turned out to be manmade. Rainy season water management or regulating water discharge in a controlled manner of an upstream dam on river Tapi was botched up. Obvious was not true after all. Similarly, one may find positive correlation between terrorists and Muslims. But that does not prove Muslims are the cause and terrorism is the effect, at least statistically. There could be other causes driving both terrorism and Muslims in tandem.

Everyone should look for and address these causes in earnest, Muslims more so than the rest. Muslims need to be proactive in this search and its proper articulation. Presence of religious fundamentalists among their ranks undermines their cause. They should avoid defending Islam from the position of worn out perspectives. It won’t help. Muslims need to think innovatively. First, they should consciously and vigorously resist their portrayal as only or decisively Muslims, both by others or by those among themselves, and describe themselves as Americans, Bulgarians, Kosovians, Turks, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Indians, etc. In fact they already do this. Ummah has at best been an ideal throughout history otherwise one would not find conflicts among Muslims. Muslims have many allegiances like in any other community and religion is not the only one. Ways should be found to project this pluralism and heterodoxy effectively, both within the community and without. Secondly, they need to firmly make Muslim personal law contemporary, especially regarding the rights of women, as Turkey did long ago. In the dialogue with others too a paradigm shift is needed. They should focus on real contentious issues rather than falling prey to using old clichés of “Zionist conspiracy” or “Attack of Kaffirs”. Learning the language of modern age and preferably using English in their discourse will avoid being misreported, deliberately or otherwise. Confident and forward looking communities of Muslims, living in different countries, whether in majority or not, will be a real antidote to all the virulent NeoCon propaganda against them.

The Study of Political Islam By Jamie Glazov Monday, February 05, 2007

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Bill Warner, the director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI). CSPI’s goal is to teach the doctrine of political Islam through its books and it has produced a series on its focus. Mr. Warner did not write the CSPI series, but he acts as the agent for a group of scholars who are the authors.

FP: Bill Warner, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Warner: Thank you Jamie for this opportunity.

FP: Tell us a bit about the Center for the Study of Political Islam.

Warner: The Center for the Study of Political Islam is a group of scholars who are devoted to the scientific study of the foundational texts of Islam—Koran, Sira (life of Mohammed) and Hadith (traditions of Mohammed). There are two areas to study in Islam, its doctrine and history, or as CSPI sees it—the theory and its results. We study the history to see the practical or experimental results of the doctrine.

CSPI seems to be the first group to use statistics to study the doctrine. Previous scientific studies of the Koran are primarily devoted to Arabic language studies.

Our first principle is that Koran, Sira and Hadith must be taken as a whole. We call them the Islamic Trilogy to emphasize the unity of the texts.

Our major intellectual breakthrough is to see that dualism is the foundation and key to understanding Islam. Everything about Islam comes in twos starting with its foundational declaration: (1) there is no god but Allah and (2) Mohammed is His prophet. Therefore, Islam is Allah (Koran) and the Sunna (words and deeds of Mohammed found in the Sira and Hadith).

Endless ink has been wasted on trying to answer the question of what is Islam? Is Islam the religion of peace? Or is the true Islam a radical ideology? Is a moderate Muslim the real Muslim?

This reminds a scientist of the old arguments about light. Is light a particle or is light a wave? The arguments went back and forth. Quantum mechanics gave us the answer. Light is dualistic; it is both a particle and a wave. It depends upon the circumstances as to which quality manifests. Islam functions in the same manner.

Our first clue about the dualism is in the Koran, which is actually two books, the Koran of Mecca (early) and the Koran of Medina (later). The insight into the logic of the Koran comes from the large numbers of contradictions in it. On the surface, Islam resolves these contradictions by resorting to “abrogation”. This means that the verse written later supersedes the earlier verse. But in fact, since the Koran is considered by Muslims to be the perfect word of Allah, both verses are sacred and true. The later verse is “better,” but the earlier verse cannot be wrong since Allah is perfect. This is the foundation of dualism. Both verses are “right.” Both sides of the contradiction are true in dualistic logic. The circumstances govern which verse is used.

For example:

(Koran of Mecca) 73:10: Listen to what they [unbelievers] say with patience, and leave them with dignity.

From tolerance we move to the ultimate intolerance, not even the Lord of the Universe can stand the unbelievers:

(Koran of Medina) 8:12: Then your Lord spoke to His angels and said, “I will be with you. Give strength to the believers. I will send terror into the unbelievers’ hearts, cut off their heads and even the tips of their fingers!”

All of Western logic is based upon the law of contradiction—if two things contradict, then at least one of them is false. But Islamic logic is dualistic; two things can contradict each other and both are true.

No dualistic system may be measured by one answer. This is the reason that the arguments about what constitutes the “real” Islam go on and on and are never resolved. A single right answer does not exist.

Dualistic systems can only be measured by statistics. It is futile to argue one side of the dualism is true. As an analogy, quantum mechanics always gives a statistical answer to all questions.

For an example of using statistics, look at the question: what is the real jihad, the jihad of inner, spiritual struggle or the jihad of war? Let’s turn to Bukhari (the Hadith) for the answer, as he repeatedly speaks of jihad. In Bukhari 97% of the jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. So the statistical answer is that jihad is 97% war and 3% inner struggle. Is jihad war? Yes—97%. Is jihad inner struggle? Yes—3%. So if you are writing an article, you can make a case for either. But in truth, almost every argument about Islam can be answered by: all of the above. Both sides of the duality are right.

FP: Why, in your view, is there so much ignorance about the history and doctrine of political Islam in the West?

Warner: First, let’s see how ignorant we are about the history of political Islam. How many Christians can tell you how Turkey or Egypt became Islamic? What happened to the Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in Paul’s letters? Find a Jew who can tell you the Jewish history of dhimmitude (second class citizens who serve Islam). What European knows that white women were the highest priced slaves in Mecca? Everyone knows how many Jews Hitler killed, but find an unbeliever who can tell you how many died in jihad over the last 1400 years.

We are just as ignorant about the doctrine of Islam. An FBI agent gets two hours of training on Islam and most of that is how not to offend the imam. We are fighting in Iraq. Who utilizes the political, military doctrine of Islam to plan strategy? Who can find a single rabbi or minister who has read the Koran, Sira and Hadith? What governor, senator, congressmen or military leader displays a knowledge of the political doctrine of Islam? Try to find a course available in a college about Islamic political doctrine and ethics. Graduates are schooled in Islamic art, architecture, poetry, Sufism, and a glorious history that ignores the suffering of the innocent unbelievers. Graduates read comments about the Koran and Hadith, but do not read the actual doctrine.

FP: So why this ignorance?

Warner: Let’s start at the beginning. When Islam burst out of Arabia into a decaying Byzantine world, the unbelievers recorded it as an Arabic invasion. Similarly, the invasion of Eastern Europe was by Turks; the invasion of Spain was by Moors. Our scholars were incapable of even naming the invaders.

Mohammed killed every single intellectual or artist who opposed him. It was fear that drove the vast majority of the media not to reprint the Mohammed cartoons, not some imagined sensitivity. Fear is a fabulous basis for ignorance, but that is not enough to explain it all. What accounts for the almost psychotic aversion to knowledge about Islam? Beyond fear is the realization that political Islam is profoundly foreign to us.

Let’s examine the ethical basis of our civilization. All of our politics and ethics are based upon a unitary ethic that is best formulated in the Golden Rule:

Treat others as you would be treated.

The basis of this rule is the recognition that at one level, we are all the same. We are not all equal. Any game of sports will show that we do not have equal abilities. But everyone wants to be treated as a human being. In particular, we all want to be equal under the law and be treated as social equals. On the basis of the Golden Rule—the equality of human beings—we have created democracy, ended slavery and treat women and men as political equals. So the Golden Rule is a unitary ethic. All people are to be treated the same. All religions have some version of the Golden Rule except Islam.

FP: So how is Islam different in this context?

Warner: The term “human being” has no meaning inside of Islam. There is no such thing as humanity, only the duality of the believer and unbeliever. Look at the ethical statements found in the Hadith. A Muslim should not lie, cheat, kill or steal from other Muslims. But a Muslim may lie, deceive or kill an unbeliever if it advances Islam.

There is no such thing as a universal statement of ethics in Islam. Muslims are to be treated one way and unbelievers another way. The closest Islam comes to a universal statement of ethics is that the entire world must submit to Islam. After Mohammed became a prophet, he never treated an unbeliever the same as a Muslim. Islam denies the truth of the Golden Rule.

By the way, this dualistic ethic is the basis for jihad. The ethical system sets up the unbeliever as less than human and therefore, it is easy to kill, harm or deceive the unbeliever.

Now mind you, unbelievers have frequently failed at applying the Golden Rule, but we can be judged and condemned on its basis. We do fall short, but it is our ideal.

There have been other dualistic cultures. The KKK comes to mind. But the KKK is a simplistic dualism. The KKK member hates all black people at all times; there is only one choice. This is very straightforward and easy to see.

The dualism of Islam is more deceitful and offers two choices on how to treat the unbeliever. The unbeliever can be treated nicely, in the same way a farmer treats his cattle well. So Islam can be “nice”, but in no case is the unbeliever a “brother” or a friend. In fact, there are some 14 verses of the Koran that are emphatic—a Muslim is never a friend to the unbeliever. A Muslim may be “friendly,” but he is never an actual friend. And the degree to which a Muslim is actually a true friend is the degree to which he is not a Muslim, but a hypocrite.

FP: You mentioned earlier how logic is another point of profound difference. Can you touch on that?

Warner: To reiterate, all of science is based upon the law of contradiction. If two things contradict each other, then at least one of them has to be false. But inside of Islamic logic, two contradictory statements can both be true. Islam uses dualistic logic and we use unitary scientific logic.

Since Islam has a dualistic logic and dualistic ethics, it is completely foreign to us. Muslims think differently from us and feel differently from us. So our aversion is based upon fear and a rejection of Islamic ethics and logic. This aversion causes us to avoid learning about Islam so we are ignorant and stay ignorant.

Another part of the aversion is the realization that there is no compromise with dualistic ethics. There is no halfway place between unitary ethics and dualistic ethics. If you are in a business deal with someone who is a liar and a cheat, there is no way to avoid getting cheated. No matter how nice you are to a con man, he will take advantage of you. There is no compromise with dualistic ethics. In short, Islamic politics, ethics and logic cannot be part of our civilization. Islam does not assimilate, it dominates. There is never any “getting along” with Islam. Its demands never cease and the demands must be met on Islam’s terms: submission.

The last reason for our aversion to the history of political Islam is our shame. Islam put over a million Europeans into slavery. Since Muslims can’t be enslaved, it was a white Christian who was the Turkish sultan’s sex slave. These are things that we do not want to face.

Jews don’t want to acknowledge the history of political Islam, because they were dhimmis, second class citizens or semi-slaves, just like the Christians. Jews like to recall how they were advisors and physicians to powerful Muslims, but no matter what the Jew did or what position he held, he was still a dhimmi. There is no compromise between being equal and being a dhimmi

Why should a Hindu want to recall the shame of slavery and the destruction of their temples and cities? After Hindu craftsmen built the Taj Mahal, the Muslim ruler had their right hands cut off so that they could not build anything as beautiful for anyone else. The practice of suttee, the widow throwing herself on the husband’s funeral pyre, came about as a response to the rape and brutality of the Islamic jihad as it sweep over ancient Hindustan.

Blacks don’t want to face the fact that it was a Muslim who rounded up their ancestors in Africa to wholesale to the white slave trader. The Arab is the true master of the African. Blacks can’t accept the common bond they share with whites: that both Europeans and Africans were slaves under Islam. Blacks like to imagine Islam is their counterweight to white power, not that Islam has ruled them for 1400 years.

Dualistic logic. Dualistic ethics. Fear. Shame. There is no compromise. These are the reasons we don’t want to know about Islam’s political history, doctrine or ethics.

FP So is there such a thing as non-political Islam?

Warner: Non-political Islam is religious Islam. Religious Islam is what a Muslim does to avoid Hell and go to Paradise. These are the Five Pillars—prayer, charity to Muslims, pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting and declaring Mohammed to be the final prophet.

But the Trilogy is clear about the doctrine. At least 75% of the Sira (life of Mohammed) is about jihad. About 67% of the Koran written in Mecca is about the unbelievers, or politics. Of the Koran of Medina, 51% is devoted to the unbelievers. About 20% of Bukhari’s Hadith is about jihad and politics. Religion is the smallest part of Islamic foundational texts.

Political Islam’s most famous duality is the division of the world into believers, dar al Islam, and unbelievers, dar al harb. The largest part of the Trilogy relates to treatment of the unbelievers, kafirs. Even Hell is political. There are 146 references to Hell in the Koran. Only 6% of those in Hell are there for moral failings—murder, theft, etc. The other 94% of the reasons for being in Hell are for the intellectual sin of disagreeing with Mohammed, a political crime. Hence, Islamic Hell is a political prison for those who speak against Islam.

Mohammed preached his religion for 13 years and garnered only 150 followers. But when he turned to politics and war, in 10 years time he became the first ruler of Arabia by averaging an event of violence every 7 weeks for 9 years. His success did not come as a religious leader, but as a political leader.

In short, political Islam defines how the unbelievers are to be dealt with and treated.

FP: Can you touch briefly on the history of political Islam?

Warner: The history of political Islam starts with Mohammed’s immigration to Medina. From that point on, Islam’s appeal to the world has always had the dualistic option of joining a glorious religion or being the subject of political pressure and violence. After the immigration to Medina, Islam became violent when persuasion failed. Jihad entered the world.

After Mohammed’s death, Abu Bakr, the second caliph, settled the theological arguments of those who wished to leave Islam with the political action of death by the sword. The jihad of Umar (the second caliph, a pope-king) exploded into the world of the unbelievers. Jihad destroyed a Christian Middle East and a Christian North Africa. Soon it was the fate of the Persian Zoroastrian and the Hindu to be the victims of jihad. The history of political Islam is the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey and North Africa. Half of Christianity was lost. Before Islam, North Africa was the southern part of Europe (part of the Roman Empire). Around 60 million Christians were slaughtered during the jihadic conquest.

Half of the glorious Hindu civilization was annihilated and 80 million Hindus killed.

The first Western Buddhists were the Greeks descended from Alexander the Great’s army in what is now Afghanistan. Jihad destroyed all of Buddhism along the silk route. About 10 million Buddhists died. The conquest of Buddhism is the practical result of pacifism.

Zoarasterianism was eliminated from Persia.

The Jews became permanent dhimmis throughout Islam.

In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400 years of jihad.

Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the glory of political Islam. These are the Tears of Jihad which are not taught in any school.

FP: How have our intellectuals responded to Islam?

Warner: The basis of all the unbeliever’s thought has collapsed in the face of Islamic political thought, ethics and logic. We have already mentioned how our first intellectuals could not even name the invaders as Muslims. We have no method of analysis of Islam. We can’t agree on what Islam is and have no knowledge about our suffering as the victims of a 1400-year jihad.

Look at how Christians, Jews, blacks, intellectuals and artists have dealt with Islamic doctrine and history. In every case their primary ideas fail.

Christians believe that “love conquers all.” Well, love does not conquer Islam. Christians have a difficult time seeing Islam as a political doctrine, not a religion. The sectarian nature of Christian thought means that the average non-Orthodox Christian has no knowledge or sympathy about the Orthodox Christian’s suffering.

Jews have a theology that posits a unique relationship between Jews and the creator-god of the universe. But Islam sees the Jews as apes who corrupted the Old Testament. Jews see no connection between Islam’s political doctrine and Israel.

Black intellectuals have based their ideas on the slave/victim status and how wrong it was for white Christians to make them slaves. Islam has never acknowledged any of the pain and suffering it has caused in Africa with its 1400-year-old slave trade. But blacks make no attempt to get an apology from Muslims and are silent in the presence of Islam. Why? Is it because Arabs are their masters?

Multiculturalism is bankrupt against Islam’s demand for every civilization to submit. The culture of tolerance collapses in the face of the sacred intolerance of dualistic ethics. Intellectuals respond by ignoring the failure.

Our intellectuals and artists have been abused for 1400 years. Indeed, the psychology of our intellectuals is exactly like the psychology of the abused wife, the sexually abused child or rape victim. Look at the parallels between the response of abuse victims and our intellectuals. See how violence has caused denial.

The victims deny that the abuse took place: Our media never reports the majority of jihad around the world. Our intellectuals don’t talk about how all of the violence is connected to a political doctrine.

The abuser uses fear to control the victim: What was the reason that newspapers would not publish the Mohammed cartoon? Salman Rushdie still has a death sentence for his novel. What “cutting edge” artist creates any artistic statement about Islam? Fear rules our intellectuals and artists.

The victims find ways to blame themselves: We are to blame for the attacks on September 11, 2001. If we try harder Muslims will act nicer. We have to accommodate their needs.

The victim is humiliated: White people will not talk about how their ancestors were enslaved by Islam. No one wants to claim the victims of jihad. Why won’t we claim the suffering of our ancestors? Why don’t we cry about the loss of cultures and peoples? We are too ashamed to care.

The victim feels helpless: “What are we going to do?” “We can’t kill 1.3 billion people.” No one has any understanding or optimism. No one has an idea of what to try. The only plan is to “be nicer.”

The victim turns the anger inward: What is the most divisive issue in today’s politics? Iraq. And what is Iraq really about? Political Islam. The Web has a video about how the CIA and Bush planned and executed September 11. Cultural self-loathing is the watchword of our intellectuals and artists.

We hate ourselves because we are mentally molested and abused. Our intellectuals and artists have responded to the abuse of jihad just as a sexually abused child or a rape victim would respond. We are quite intellectually ill and are failing at our job of clear thinking. We can’t look at our denial.

FP: So summarize for us why it is so crucial for us to learn the doctrine of political Islam.

Warner: Political Islam has annihilated every culture it has invaded or immigrated to. The total time for annihilation takes centuries, but once Islam is ascendant it never fails. The host culture disappears and becomes extinct.

We must learn the doctrine of political Islam to survive. The doctrine is very clear that all forms of force and persuasion may and must be used to conquer us. Islam is a self-declared enemy of all unbelievers. The brilliant Chinese philosopher of war, Sun Tsu, had the dictum—know the enemy. We must know the doctrine of our enemy or be annihilated.

Or put another way: if we do not learn the doctrine of political Islam, our civilization will be annihilated just as Egypt’s Coptic civilization was annihilated.

Since unbelievers must know the doctrine of political Islam to survive, CSPI has written all of its books in simple English. Our books are scholarly, but easy to read. As an example, anyone who can read a newspaper can pick up A Simple Koran and read and understand it. It is not “dumbed down” and contains every single word of the original.

Not only is the language simple, but logic has been used to sort and categorize. Context and chronology have been restored. The result is a Koran that is an epic story ending in triumph over all enemies of Allah. All of our books and philosophy may be found at our center's website.

Islam declares that we are the enemies of Allah. If we do not learn the political doctrine of Islam we will end up just like the first victims of Islam—the tolerant, polytheist Arabs of Saudi Arabia who became the Wahabbis (a very strict branch of Islam) of today, the most intolerant culture on the face of the earth.

FP: Bill Warner, thank you for joining us today.

Warner: Jamie, thank you for your kindness and efforts.

If you wish to become a member of the World Muslim Congress forum, a membership of about 1500 people from across the world comprising Muslim scholars, Imams, average Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, Zoroastrians, Bahai, Sikhs a few Wicca, Jains and Buddhists. The membership is open to all. If we live in the world, let's live openly so we know each other. Send an email to:

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Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the 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 with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at
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