Sunday, September 30, 2007

9/11 is over – NY Times

9/11 is over – NY Times
Letter to the Editor NY Times
Mike Ghouse

Indeed, 9/11 is over, it is time to turn things around. The American Muslims have taken the initiative to turn 9/11 tragedy into a day of Unity called “Unity day USA."

On this Unity Day USA, we, the people of the United States of America; of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background, gather to pray for peace, prosperity, unity and security of our nation.

As Americans we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our constitution. All our faiths reinforce the creed of "One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Thomas Friedman is right on the money for a change when he says "...We are about 9/12; we are about the Fourth of July — ". Let me add, we are about leading the world through example of our democracy, of our respect for peace and our respect for human dignity and certainly not alienating and creating enemies around the globe".

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress
Foundation for Pluralism
(214) 325-1916

NYTimes ,September 30, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
9/11 Is Over

Not long ago, the satirical newspaper The Onion ran a fake news story that began like this:

“At a well-attended rally in front of his new ground zero headquarters Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially announced his plan to run for president of 9/11. ‘My fellow citizens of 9/11, today I will make you a promise,’ said Giuliani during his 18-minute announcement speech in front of a charred and torn American flag. ‘As president of 9/11, I will usher in a bold new 9/11 for all.’ If elected, Giuliani would inherit the duties of current 9/11 President George W. Bush, including making grim facial expressions, seeing the world’s conflicts in terms of good and evil, and carrying a bullhorn at all state functions.”

Like all good satire, the story made me both laugh and cry, because it reflected something so true — how much, since 9/11, we’ve become “The United States of Fighting Terrorism.” Times columnists are not allowed to endorse candidates, but there’s no rule against saying who will not get my vote: I will not vote for any candidate running on 9/11. We don’t need another president of 9/11. We need a president for 9/12. I will only vote for the 9/12 candidate.

What does that mean? This: 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again.

It is not that I thought we had new enemies that day and now I don’t. Yes, in the wake of 9/11, we need new precautions, new barriers. But we also need our old habits and sense of openness. For me, the candidate of 9/12 is the one who will not only understand who our enemies are, but who we are.

Before 9/11, the world thought America’s slogan was: “Where anything is possible for anybody.” But that is not our global brand anymore. Our government has been exporting fear, not hope: “Give me your tired, your poor and your fingerprints.”

You may think Guantánamo Bay is a prison camp in Cuba for Al Qaeda terrorists. A lot of the world thinks it’s a place we send visitors who don’t give the right answers at immigration. I will not vote for any candidate who is not committed to dismantling Guantánamo Bay and replacing it with a free field hospital for poor Cubans. Guantánamo Bay is the anti-Statue of Liberty.

Roger Dow, president of the Travel Industry Association, told me that the United States has lost millions of overseas visitors since 9/11 — even though the dollar is weak and America is on sale. “Only the U.S. is losing traveler volume among major countries, which is unheard of in today’s world,” Mr. Dow said.

Total business arrivals to the United States fell by 10 percent over the 2004-5 period alone, while the number of business visitors to Europe grew by 8 percent in that time. The travel industry’s recent Discover America Partnership study concluded that “the U.S. entry process has created a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers and hurting America’s image abroad.” Those who don’t visit us, don’t know us.

I’d love to see us salvage something decent in Iraq that might help tilt the Middle East onto a more progressive pathway. That was and is necessary to improve our security. But sometimes the necessary is impossible — and we just can’t keep chasing that rainbow this way.

Look at our infrastructure. It’s not just the bridge that fell in my hometown, Minneapolis. Fly from Zurich’s ultramodern airport to La Guardia’s dump. It is like flying from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. I still can’t get uninterrupted cellphone service between my home in Bethesda and my office in D.C. But I recently bought a pocket cellphone at the Beijing airport and immediately called my wife in Bethesda — crystal clear.

I just attended the China clean car conference, where Chinese automakers were boasting that their 2008 cars will meet “Euro 4” — European Union — emissions standards. We used to be the gold standard. We aren’t anymore. Last July, Microsoft, fed up with American restrictions on importing brain talent, opened its newest software development center in Vancouver. That’s in Canada, folks. If Disney World can remain an open, welcoming place, with increased but invisible security, why can’t America?

We can’t afford to keep being this stupid! We have got to get our groove back. We need a president who will unite us around a common purpose, not a common enemy. Al Qaeda is about 9/11. We are about 9/12, we are about the Fourth of July — which is why I hope that anyone who runs on the 9/11 platform gets trounced.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nostalgia : The Old Phone


This is not my write up, but it touched me so much, that I want to share - Mike Ghouse

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighbourhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbour. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

I said I could.

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."
"Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, "Information Please."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.


I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."

I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered "Information." I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?" "Yes." I answered.

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you."

The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in.
He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today?

Why not pass this on? I just did....

Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for?

Life is a journey ... NOT a guided tour. So don't miss the ride and have a great time going around you don't get a second shot at it.

I loved this story and just had to pass it on. I hope you enjoy it and get a blessing from it just as I did.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Israel Lobby & democracy

Israel Lobby & Democracy

The neocons, the lobby, the Islamists and the Hindutva brigade have figured out that the good for nothing majority can be pushed around endlessly. They are also equipped with the mechanism to crucify the persons who speak out. They know how to defame and disown all those who speak out. The true peace makers like Naom Chomsky in America and several in Israel are discounted and disowned by the Lobby propoganda.

Watch the movie, the life of the bees.

As people of the world, we have to seriously give a thought about peace. What brings about peace, and what is that we have to do to build lasting peace for the humankind, what does it take. The policy of the extremism has failed and we are still letting them carry on with more destruction. Bush will go down in the history in less than polite terms, "Bush, the killer of a Million Iraqis" as I remember the title "Eichman, killer of 6 Million Jews". It is time for the silent majority of Jews to speak up, just as Muslims, Christians or Hindus majorities need to speak up against the few who run over our lives. Shamelessly in our names, they are endangering the world peace. When will we wake up?

Here is a letter to Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that is worth the read:
“Smear campaign stifles U.S. debate”

From: Robert B. Colgin
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sunday, September 16, 2007.Letters Page C5 -Responses to Richard Cohen's column, "Why Israel matters to America: A Question for the Heart," Sept. 12 issue.

“Smear campaign stifles U.S. debate”

The study of the Israeli lobby by professors Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer destroys the doctrinal orthodoxy that American and Israeli interests are identical and inseparable.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful and feared lobby in U.S. politics, has perpetuated this odious myth. AIPAC controls the discussion of Middle Eastern affairs in many ways, notably brandishing the threat of being tarred as an anti-Semite. That is the most toxic charge in American politics. Fear of this smear is used as an intellectual blackjack to stifle discourse concerning the issue of Israel and its value to America. Nothing is more damaging to U.S. interests than to not have an honest and informed debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Mr. Robert Boston Colgin

You can also refer to:

Mike Ghouse

Congressman Under Fire for Mentioning AIPAC
U.S. House Democrat Said Pro-Israel Lobby Promoted War

By Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 15, 2007; B05

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) has again come under fire from local Jewish organizations for remarking in a magazine interview that the "extraordinarily powerful" pro-Israel lobby played a strong role promoting the war in Iraq.

In an interview with Tikkun, a California-based Jewish magazine, Moran said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is "the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don't think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized, and their members are extraordinarily powerful -- most of them are quite wealthy -- they have been able to exert power."

Moran's remarks were criticized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the National Jewish Democratic Council. Ronald Halber, executive director of the first group, said Moran's remarks are anti-Semitic and draw on ugly stereotypes about Jewish wealth, power and influence.

"He uses several age-old canards that have been used throughout history that have brought violence upon Jews," Halber said this week. "He uses clearly anti-Semitic images such as Jewish control of the media and wealthy Jews using their wealth to control policy."

Ira N. Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said in a published statement that there is nothing wrong with criticizing the pro-Israel lobby but that Moran's statements go beyond that to defamation by making a "phony" connection between AIPAC and the Iraq war.

"Rep. Moran's comments are not only incorrect and irresponsible," Forman said. "They are downright dangerous."
In an interview last night, Moran said he was dismayed at the reaction to his remarks, which he stands by. The pro-Israel lobby has not represented mainstream U.S. Jewish opinion in recent years, he said -- most notably with its Middle East policies, which he characterized as directly aligned with those of the Bush administration.

"The problem with addressing the groups who have argued strongly in favor of a long-term American military presence in the Middle East is that they raise arguments that are not related to the point," Moran said. "I would like to have a reasonable, objective discussion about AIPAC's foreign policy agenda. But it's difficult to do that because any time you question their motives, you are accused of being anti-Semitic."

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun also defended Moran's position in the article, which appear in the magazine's September-October issue .

"It's the kind of statement I would have made to any religious community, or to any labor movement audience, citing their own failures to act as a critical factor in why we had gotten involved," Lerner wrote in the article.

Halber said he welcomes criticism of AIPAC's policies, but he said Moran is wrong that the advocacy group supports the war in Iraq. Most American Jews oppose U.S. involvement in Iraq, he said, and AIPAC has remained neutral.
According to the organization's Web site, AIPEC supports U.S. military aid to Israel but does not openly support U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

"I think Mr. Halber's being disingenuous in suggesting that the AIPAC board has not been strongly supportive of military involvement in Iraq and now in Iran," Moran said yesterday.
Although hailed for forging ties with the region's Muslim community, Moran has gotten into trouble with the local Jewish community before. In 2001, he angered groups by saying in an appearance before the American Muslim Council that then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was coming to Washington "probably seeking a warrant from President Bush to kill at will with weapons we have paid for."

The next year, Moran returned $2,000 in political contributions from a Muslim activist with ties to the anti-Israeli groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

And in 2003, at an antiwar forum in Reston, Moran said: "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."

Said Halber this week: "There are only so many mistakes he can make before it's fair to call him an anti-Semite."

© 2007 The Washington Post Company

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Festivals of September


Janmashtami, Paryushan, Enkutatash, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Ganesh Chaturathi, Mabon/AutumnEquinox/Freyfaxi, Dussehra/Durga/ Gowri Puja, Yom Kippur, Sukkot

Greetings ( )

This is essentially a month of reflection in general, and the three festivals stand out to expresses our innate desire to reflect, measure and fine tune our own spirituality, they are; Paryushan, Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan. Every festival indeed is a reflection.

I have some good articles on each one of the festivals, God willing, time permitting, I shall post these on the websites : and and by this weekend.

May you all be blessed and refresh yourselves in your mind and body and be a good human being to one and all.

Mike Ghouse.

Janmashtami - September 3
Celebration of the birthday of Krishna; features a day-long fast broken at midnight, the time of Krishna's birth.


Paryushan - September 2-9
A week of reflection on the past year and starting the new year with new goals


Enkutatash - September 11
Coptic, Ethiopian Christians
Ethiopian New Year; traditions include a family meal, singing, and visiting friends


Ramadan - September 13 - October 12
y month in which the Qur'an was revealed; a time of worship, Qur'an reading, charitable acts, and individual reflection and purification.

Rosh Hashanah - September 13 - 14
Jewish New Year, anniversary of the creation of the world; a 2-day observance (begins at sundown on the 13th).

Ganesh Chaturathi - September 15
Celebrates Ganesha, the elephant-headed god and destroyer of obstacles.

Pagan/ Wiccan/ HeathenSeptember 21
Mabon/Autumn Equinox/Freyfaxi
Pagan observance of the second harvest festival; a time to give thanks and look inward. To mark the Fall Harvest, Heathens celebrate a festival for the God Freyr and the Goddess Freya.

Dussehra/Durga Puja - September 15
Festival celebrating the victory of good over evil; honors the ten-armed goddess of fertility and the third embodiment of the Devi, Durga

Yom Kippur - September 22
Day of Atonement; humans' fates for the coming year are sealed by God (begins at sundown the night before).


Sukkot - September 27 - October 3
Feast of Booths; harvest festival commemorating the divine protection of Israelites during their 40-year wandering in the desert (begins at sundown September 26).


Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916
Foundation For Pluralism

If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each
one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.


1) We shall not ridicule anyone that God has created.
It amounts to ridiculing their Creator.

2) We shall not attempt to undermine the divinity of other faiths.
It amounts to arrogance, a quality to get rid of, and become a righteous person.

3) We shall not commit another sin in attempting to enforce that one religion is better
than another by claiming that we have the best solutions, or hinting any superiority.

4) We shall not blame any religion or a group for the acts of the individuals
just because they belong to that faith or group.

5) Let’s learn to differentiate the wrong doers from the religion,
while appreciating the goodness of each religion.

6) We shall strive to rid ourselves of greed, anger, hate, haughtiness,
ill-will, pettiness, malice, and ignorance to achieve spirituality.

Our salvation, our peace of mind, our nirvana, our Moksha, our mukti, our freedom
and our joining the kingdom of God is directly dependent on living a prejudice free life and a life as described in the 6th commandment. Every religion frees us from the negative engagements. When we truly believe in the ultimate oneness of God and the ultimateoneness of mankind, we have accepted God’s greatness and parity of human beings.

The world is a better place today because of the spirituality, without which there would be chaos.All the religions are on the same side; that of goodness for mankind.

If you wish to join the discussion group:
Please send an email

Does God have a religion?


You can clearly substitute your beliefs and your scriptures with that the one's I have quoted, as I am familiar with them.

Qur'aan - Sura Ikhlas

112:1 SAY: "He is the One God:
112:2 God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being.
112:3 He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
112:4 and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.

The Vedas and Bhagvad Gita have identical words, they will be added over this weekend.

Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Bahai's are trained to know that GOD is not a physical being, he or she is genderless, it is not an object nor is it definable. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) experienced the presence of God during Meraaj and was described as Noor or the light. Is that the experience of being nothing and being everything as the Hindu Philosophy puts it. Nidi Nidi. Sarmad went nuts with the idea as well and Moses saw the light too.

God has consistently asked in Qur'aan not to define him in human terms, it is an abstract energy that gives life and that is the cause of all existence. It is just one single source. The Jews go even further and resist containing G_d in words.

Whereas, the Christian and Hindu theology trains one to believe that God created humans in his own image, and they have come to understand God in human terms, God is personal and God has appeared in human form for them and that is how they relate with the creator.

The Buddhist, Jain, Zoroastrian, Shinto and Tao are trained to be Karma centered rather than God centered. Everything has to have a balance, when one loses that balance through bad actions, a trade off for regaining that energy becomes necessary. Which the other religions explain in terms of repentence, forgiveness or doing lot of good to offset the bad karma.

All the belief systems are legitimate to the believers. The above are not crystal clear boundaries, there is a lot of overlapping in all the ideas above. I hope you can see the essence in all these beliefs; Accountability, Justice and Equilibrium.

Equilibrium is the key, every thing is created to have its own balance including humans with themselves and with others. When the balance is disturbed, Law of Karma becomes operative squaring out the negative and positive energies, and those items that are not squared out, has to be squared out, if not in this world, it will be in the mysterious next world either through the concept of re-birth or eternal life after death.

The idea of re-incarnation or continuation of life after death in different theologies has the same essence; when the rest of the issues are squared out in our life time, the unsolved justice will be accounted for in the continuum after this life. This gives hope to the mankind that Justice prevails and inturn brings about an equilibrium to the human psyche. Whether we watch a movie or bad things happen to us in our real life, we yearn for that elusive justice and it is there.

Does God have a religion?

Well, he created us, each one of us with our own fixtures. Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."

God continuously acknowledges the existence of the human kind in all its glorious forms, indeed Qur'aan begins with the idea of the world(s) 1:2 "All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds," and ends with,114:6 "from all [temptation to evil by] invisible forces as well as men.". Men meaning the human kind.

One may see the clarity and acknowledgement of different pathways laid out by the creator and he tests us 109:6 "Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine!" Contrast this with the verse from Al- Hujurat, Surah 49:13 above

Religion is a manual to understand oneself and one's relationship with the creator (creation).

I do not think God has or needs a religion, we have and we need it. I am open to learning through your comments. It is an open field, let's enhance each other with knowledge.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and . He can be reached at Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Unity Day USA A 9/11 Event


We are pleased to invite your kind presence at the 3rd Annual Unity Day USA event. On this Unity Day USA, we, the people of the United States of America; of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background, gather to pray for peace, unity and security of our nation.

Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison
When: Sunday, September 9th between 4:15 PM to 7:00 PM

Our theme this year is One Nation under creation. Our religious prayer leaders will seek guidance and wisdom from their respective faiths. Our Civil servants and community leaders will echo the same sentiment and suggest ways in which we as individuals can work toward cohesive and thriving local communities.

The Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress have taken the initiative to remember one of the greatest tragedies in the history of our nation by bringing about a positive response to the 9/11 event. We honor thousands of fellow Americans who sacrificed their lives by committing to make this day, in their honor, the Sunday before 9/11, a day of Unity of Americans to pledge to the peace, prosperity, unity and security of our nation

As Americans we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our constitution. All our faiths reinforce the creed of "One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Mike Ghouse
Chairperson, Unity Day USA, (214) 325-1916

Power Point:

90 Organizations,

Religious leaders -

Civic Leaders -


Different Religious Greetings -

Understanding religion, all religions monthly workshops :