Sunday, February 28, 2010

Indian American for Texas State legislature Massarat
Mike Ghouse
Masarrat Ali Runs as Texas Democrat

 Son of a poor tailor is Democratic candidate in Texas elections

An Indian-American is standing in American state-level elections. No big deal, it's happened before. The elections are in Texas. Not much of a big deal either. Texas has politicians from immigrant families.

Now consider this: The Indian-American is Masarrat Ali, a biotechnologist-entrepreneur and a first-generation immigrant, son of a tailor from the village of Jhansi, UP, the eldest of nine siblings, all who got their first schooling in a run-down establishment that used to be part of Rani of Jhanshi's kotwali. When you add to this the fact that Ali is the first Indian-American and the first Muslim to get a party ticket in Texan elections, then his case becomes special.

Masarrat Ali is the Democratic candidate for District No. 122 (in San Antonio) for the Texan House of Representatives (the lower house). San Antonio is no backwater—the second largest city in Texas and the seventh largest in the US. Ali's rival for the Democratic ticket for District No. 122 was Art A. Hall. But on January 15, Hall dropped out and endorsed Ali's candidature. The elections are in November and Ali has a tough job. District 122 in San Antonio, Texas has been held by Republicans for 18 years. Texas is a Republican-leaning state and Ali is a newcomer to politics. But, as Ali says, "If Obama could happen, why not Massarat? His (Obama's) victory has given hope to all minorities."

Win or lose, though, Ali's is already a remarkable story.

It started in Jhansi, in the Bundelkhand region of UP, then as now, a place development has passed by. Ali was born to a tailor, Haji Maqbool Ali. Ali Senior says he used to stitch suits for "commissioners, collectors and ministers". But the money wasn't enough for his large family of nine children, of whom Masarrat was the eldest. They lived in a narrow lane crowded with old houses. The neighbourhood is called Gandhigarh Tapra. "It was a typical mohalla with little sense of education. It was full of eighth-class fails. The highest qualification there was high-school-fail," Masarrat said.

The lane is still the same. But Ali's house has changed — a well-constructed, three-storey building, marble floors, modular kitchen and modern furniture. "The house got renovated just a couple of months back," said Ali's mother Rasheedan Ali.

The school Masarrat attended—the Urdu-medium Wakf Board-run Islamia primary school —is just a stone's throw from his house. "During my days, it had no chairs, no electricity, no bathrooms and just two-three teachers who never cared," Ali recollects.

Today, it's almost the same — a decrepit building whose plaster is peeling off and whose wall has 'I love you' scribbled on it at many places and posters of local politicians pasted on it. The school is on a single floor and the building that houses it was a kotwali during the time of Rani Laxmi Bai, according to Ali's younger brother Zaheer , a local businessman. "When Masarrat was a kid, there was no power supply for homes in Jhansi," the father recalled. "He would study with a lantern. Though he loved studying, he had no career ambition. When you are busy just trying to survive, there's little time to think about lofty things such as ambition," Ali recollects.

But the father—who also attended the Islamia school and didn't study further —made sure that his children at least aspired to get an education that would make them fit for white-collar jobs. So, he didn't let them mingle with other children in the neighbourhood; they had enough siblings to play with at home. "Without his efforts, I would have been lost in the galis of Jhansi today," says Masarrat. But the father takes no credit. "Sab Allah Miyan ka diya hua hai. It's god's gift," he said.

Ali's education progressed from the Islamia school to the Hindi-medium Government Intermediate College and then Aligarh Muslim University. Everything Masarrat did after graduation, Masters in Biochemistry from Aligarh in 1977, PhD from the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, in 1981, post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Paris, France (where he was research assistant professor till 1984), the Louisiana State Medical University in New Orleans and Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, (together, he spent 10 years there) was on scholarship.

The tailor's eldest son set the example for his younger sons — one is an MBA, the other is an IT professional and a couple others are graduates and running local businesses in Jhansi such as a pharmaceutical distributorship and a ladies' clothes store. His daughters are either high-schoolers or intermediate-pass, which according to Ali, is "a great achievement" as women in his family had previously never attended school.

Masarrat Ali traded academics for entrepreneurship after he moved to his current residence, San Antonio, in 1993. That year, while he was doing his research on breast cancer at the University of Texas Health Science Center, his thesis supervisor, also an Indian, told him that research published only in papers or journals was "meaninglss". That prompted Ali to do a "crazy" thing. He quit his comfortable job as an assistant professor, and started the Alpha Diagnostics International (ADI). ADI sells biotechnology laboratory equipment. Ali says it's a success. ADI has a centre in San Antonio and one in Shanghai. How much is he worth? Ali won't get into specifics.

And how did politics happen? Always a Democrat voter, in 2004, Ali was among those who founded the Texas Muslim Democrat Caucus, a body that, Ali says, voices Muslim political concerns within the Democrat party and also works to get Texan Muslims to register as voters. Masarrat is currently the Caucus's vice-president. His ambition is to convert the caucus into a national affair and it has now been rechristened as American Muslim Democrat Caucus. San Antonio has 30,000 Muslims and Texas, about 5 lakhs.

Convincing Muslims in Texas to be politically active is tough, Ali says. Muslims from India are more willing, he says. Those from the Middle-East are the most reluctant. Two years ago, Ali was elected Precinct Chair for District 122, which required grassroots working like getting in touch with the voters and organizing them. The candidacy followed from that. Ali's father, who visits his son in Texas every year, doesn't have any particular views about his son's political goals. But Ali Senior says, he "likes the Americans he met". "My beard, my kurta-pajama, my topi don't seem to be a problem when I am there," he says.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Smearing of Rashad Hussain

The world is crying out loud for Muslims to take initiatives to bring about a positive change, and when they do, the right wingers start pouncing. They sound like cranky men, damn if you do and damn if you don't.

To be critical is part of our democracy and am glad if some one is critical with the intent of finding the truth and not to act out their crankiness. Well, in the case of Rashad, it's a blessing that the right wingers pounced on him, as we have found Rashad's admirable position in the following write up by Marc Lynch.

My response to Cal Thomas at his blog was, " It is always good to be critical, and I appreciate the note. However, you have not taken the time to learn about Rashad Hussain and simply going by Robert Spencer, who is in the busines of making money by maligning others or frightening the Cxxp out of others." more at his link.

Mike Ghouse for America

The Smearing of Rashad Hussain

Posted By Marc Lynch Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 9:15 PM Share
Rashad Hussain's appointment as the Obama administration's envoy to the Organization of Islamic Countries, part of the broader strategy of outreach to the Muslim world, was as welcome as it was overdue. Hussain, a lawyer who had been working in the White House counsel's office and also working with the NSC on Muslim engagement, seemed an excellent pick. The announcement in Doha showed a renewed sense of urgency about delivering on the promise of Obama's Cairo speech to the Muslim world. It is good to see a Muslim appointed to such a position. After the failed Christmas bombing most would agree that the task of combatting violent extremism is as urgent a national security priority as ever.

But then, an all-too-familiar script began to play out. A paper-thin but insinuation-heavy hit piece laid out the template for a rapidly unfolding smear campaign: damning him by association for appearances at various events sponsored by Muslim organizations, for being on the "wrong" side of a number of controversial trials of Muslims (as if there were only one legitimate perspective on those hotly contested issues), and of allegedly doctoring the record of comments about Sami al-Arian (see Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's detailed, rigorous analysis of the textual evidence which decisively debunks the charge). The hit piece was quickly picked up by the noise machine and disseminated through a range of right wing blogs and websites, migrating seamlessly to Fox News and Politico, and becoming the fodder for another manufactured scandal of the day. Within days, it has become standard to describe Hussain as a "terrorist sympathizer"... and the hate is flowing. It is no less despicable for being so commonplace.

One irony is that Hussain is actually one of those Muslims who has been speaking out against extremism, forcefully and eloquently, and whose role in Muslim engagement was explicitly focused on building alliances with Muslims around the world to marginalize al-Qaeda. In a Brookings paper published in 2008, Hussain wrote that "[T]he terrorist ideology is advocated by small, fringe groups and rejected by a vast majority of Muslims . . . as American policymakers and leaders have recognized, Islam rejects terrorism." He argued that "there exists a near-unanimous, overwhelmingly accepted view among Islamic scholars rejecting terrorism and the practice of takfir to justify terrorism." He went on to argue that "If the global coalition to stop Al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups is to succeed, it must convince potential terrorists that Islam requires them to reject terrorism." Indeed, he argued, "The most paramount task for the global counterterrorism coalition is to emphasize that engaging in terrorism is antithetical to the shari’ah, or Islamic law." This is not a close call.

That a Muslim who has written so powerfully against extremism and terrorism is nevertheless so casually tarred as a terrorist sympathizer is shameful. It is also strategically dangerous. Those serious about counter-terrorism and combatting violent extremism now mostly understand that such campaigns also have the potential to deal a sharp blow against U.S. efforts to combat violent extremism and to counter al-Qaeda's narrative. It threatens to offer ammunition to al-Qaeda's claim that the U.S. is at war with Islam, not with "extremism", and to sabotage Obama's efforts to establish a new narrative. Hussain's critics know perfectly well that he's not a terrorist and doesn't support terrorism, and probably understand that their campaign against him will have a negative impact on the Muslim community in America and beyond. Evidently they don't care.

Fortunately, the story doesn't end there. The bright spot in this sordid affair has been the willingness of a few national security experts on the hawkish side of the spectrum to stand up in public and denounce the railroading of Hussain. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wrote a powerful personal defense of Hussein as primarily motivated by civil liberties concerns, not by Islamism. He took that defense on TV, where he had to face the wild-eyed insanity of Frank Gaffney (apparently, memorizing the Quran is evidence of extremism) and to confont head-on the madness of the anti-Islamic post-9/11 fringe. Some other conservative national security experts rose to Gartenstein-Ross's defense -- I'll single out Max Boot and Eli Lake, though they certainly aren't the only ones. For others, well, welcome to the Islamofascist stealth jihad, ya Daveed.

The response of these national security conservatives has been heartening. There's more and more understanding of the importance of disaggregating the challenge, placing al-Qaeda and the jihadist movement as a dangerous but tiny fringe movement rather than lumping together all Islamists or Muslims. Pushing back against this campaign is important just as it was essential to not over-react after Fort Hood or the Christmas bombing. So is the response of the White House, which has stood fast against the smears rather than folding at the first sign of an attack. Hopefully both national-security conservatives and the White House will continue to do so. If sensible people stand up against these contemptible smears, it could send a powerful message that the days of such intimidation and smear campaigns are past. Let's hope.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Program at SMU to explore Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

I am glad to see the comments from Mr. Kaul, and thank God, we were able to include all human failures and tragedies in our program on January 24th. I invite every one to join to nights program at SMU and learn a different perspective.

Program at SMU to explore Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

4:05 PM Thu, Feb 18, 2010
Sam Hodges/Reporter

The release below gives details on a fast-approaching program at Southern Methodist University:

On Tuesday evening (Feb. 23) at 7 p.m. at SMU's Hughes-Trigg Theater in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center ( , the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance ( is hosting a special program exploring the role of the newly-established Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.

The program is free and open to the public, and complimentary valet parking is provided.

The Commission was established during the last session of the Legislature and signed into law last summer. State Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) and State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) co-sponsored the bill creating the commission, which was passed unanimously.

Texas is the nation's 13th state to establish a commission or council devoted to Holocaust and genocide education. By law, the commission--considered the most important development in Holocaust education in Texas in years--is to help preserve information and experiences of the Holocaust and other genocide events. The commission will also work with organizations, agencies, museums, survivors and liberators to provide information and experiences and to coordinate memorial events in the state.

The SMU program will explore the commission's purpose in a Q&A format moderated by Texas Tribune Editor Evan Smith, formerly president and editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly. The panelists include Senator Shapiro; Peter Berkowitz, a Houston business executive who chairs the commission; Amy Fisher-Smith, an associate professor of psychology at University of Dallas, and a Holocaust educator; and Elliott Dlin, Museum Director of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.

Texas is home to several hundred Holocaust survivors, and a few are expected to attend the event, co-sponsored by the Memnosyne Foundation ( and the SMU Human Rights Program (


I am glad to see our state passed the bill to recognize Holocaust and Genocides. I hope Dallasites will take the time to attend the program and learn and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other.

The Jewish community has borne the suffering of the Holocaust for over sixty years; it is time for us to share it. No community should bear the suffering alone; we all have to stand up, and be there for each other.

Thank God the awareness is increasing; from one event in 2006 by the American Muslims, it has grown to three events this year; the III Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides on 24th, the Gay and Lesbian commeration on 27th and now this event by the Holocaust Museusm in collobration with the Memnosyne Foundation.
Holocaust was a major human tragedy and a failure of humanity.

And perhaps the first time in our history that we acknowledged the genocides of the indigenous Americans and Native peoples of Americas in a public forum along with other tragedies.

I want to applaud the people of Dallas for attending the event. They were Atheists, Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Wicca, Zoroastrians and from sevral ethnicities and nationalities.

It was an educational program, where 7 speakers reflected on 7 topics for 7 minutes each. Then 7 commentators made comments about 7 different situations. The topics ranged from the Holocaust to Genocides, massacres and tragedies.

Among Genocides, Massacres and other tragedies we reflected upon the Indigenous American people such as the Mayans, the Toltecs and the massacres of the Native people right here in Dallas, we touched upon Darfur, Polpot, Congo, Armenia, Rwanda, Falun Dafa, Burma, Tibet, Bosnia, India, Gaza and the transatlantic slave trade. Through these representative events, our goal was to reflect upon every human tragedy. The words do not describe the sufferings of people in full, we have to work with the limited choice of words, but have a big heart to feel the pain and suffering of every human being, not just my people or my tribe, but every one. Let there be one negative energy of suffering that we are part of, together we can work on getting out of it.

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how it amounts to infidelity to our own cause, and shame on us for justifying massacres that the victims deserved it or they asked for it.

We learned a few simple things that we can do to prevent such tragedies. It was a purposeful event to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other. We also learned that our safety hinges on the safety of all others around us.

We learned to see each other with dignity, and honor the otherness of other. Gatherings such as this offer hope and opportunity for a secure and a safer world.

Of the several acknowledgements, a few notable ones are;

1. other peoples suffering is as legitimate as ours;
2. some one related to us through faith, ethnicity, land mass or race has been a butcher too,
3. it takes courage to see ourselves as perpetrators, while it is easy to ourselves as victims;
4. we can see the light at the end of the tunnel when politics is stripped;
5. we can value others suffering without lessening our own;
6. the overriding desire to highlight my own gets softened, when we value others pain;
7. the sense of responsibility for creating a better world was present in us.

It is an initiative of American Muslims striving to build responsible civic societies. The event was organized by the Foundation for Pluralism, where co-existence is our value. We appreciate the sponsorship by the Center for Spiritual Living, all the three are Dallas based Organizations.

And to every community that has endured holocaust, genocides, massacres, bombs, annihilation, land mines, hunger, rape, torture, occupation and inhuman brutality, the least we can do in the process of healing is to acknowledge every one's pain in one room, as one people. We have to teach tolerance and acceptance.

We have begun the process of coming together as one people, to stand with you, we are indeed one world and one humanity, and caring for each other brings safety and peace to all of us. I cannot be safe if the people around me are not, and I will not have peace if people around me don't. It is in my interest to seek a peaceful world for one and all.

A full day conference is planned for Wednesday, January 26, 2011 to discuss every human tragedy, please submit a thoroughly researched 500 word abstract about the event you'd like to discuss to

Mike Ghouse, Chair
Holocaust and Genocides

Good to hear about this fantastic initiative!

Indeed, more education and information about these tragedies is of utmost importance. Without such, the possibility that these horrific events can occur again is real. I hope that along with the history, a great deal of attention is placed on what allowed these events to occur, mainly, that people watched and did nothing. When we see people being persecuted, when we see people denied basic human rights, we must raise our voices and say "no!" The mantra associated with The Holocaust is "Never Again", yet to be true to the to the call, requires first that we even know about what happened, and second, that each of us take responsibility for our role.
I applaud these educational and participatory events, I encourage all to attend, and to speak out and speak up, for these atrocities still occur in our world today.
Len Ellis
Dallas Peace Center

Yes, we will attend. Sikhs are those who suffered because of religious and ethnic hatred. They like to join all to make it sure that the hatred is transformed into understanding of the human suffering all over the world. The idea of sharing the suffering of the world is a powerful one to move the world where such atrocities are never inflicted on any human being, and if and when it ever happens again, it may be shared by all.
Harbans Lal,
DFW Sikhs for Interfaith Understanding

As a Kashmiri Hindu, I applaud the mention of our plight at the reflection program on January 24, no one cares about our issue, it was a relief to see them mention it.

It is our duty, a moral obligation to acknolwedge the pain and suffering of all people. There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how it amounts to infidelity to our own cause.

We all have to learn to see eye to eye, face to face, some one related to us via land mass, faith or race was a butcher, it does not mean, you and I are. We have to bring about a change by simply being human - feeling the pain of other no matter who it is, that is what makes us human.

We are looking forward to All day conference in January 2011 to acknowlege every human suffering, whether they are technically genocide or not. LIfe is precious and must be valued.

Mike Ghouse, Chair
Holocaust and Genocides
Dallas, Texas

Monday, February 22, 2010

Goofy Clinton avoided nuke question

Clinton avoided nuke question
From correspondents in Riyadh,
Herald Sun, Australia

This note is in reference to statement in the article below, "Ms Clinton had been on a three-day trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, how to confront Iran's alleged programme to develop nuclear weapons."

Why do we go about the negative way? Aren't we causing Iran to take the challenge and dig in their heels, is that what we want? We should spend similar energy on friendship rather than placing a wedge between other nations, such a measure is based on a short-term need but creating eternal enemies, forget about them, it puts us on guard all the time, do we want that? There is a famous Chinese saying, the only way to remove the enemy for good is to friend him.

Hilary, your approach is goofy. When we create space, room and respect for others, we have won their hearts and at the end both of us benefit.

Mike Ghouse

Here is the article:

A SAUDI student blasted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for skirting her question on Israel's nuclear arsenal during a "town hall'' meeting at a Jeddah college. "I did not get a straight answer,'' Mariyam Alavi said in a letter published in Arab News on her question to the top US diplomat last Tuesday.

"My question was simple and direct enough,'' she wrote, but Ms Clinton's response "was very unsatisfying.'' Alavi, a 12th grader at the International Indian School in Jeddah, attended the meeting at the elite Dar al-Hekma College with six classmates.

She had asked Ms Clinton about Washington's stance on the existence of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. If the Americans "so vehemently oppose Iran's nuclear programme,'' she had asked, "then why isn't the US asking Israel to give up their nuclear weapons?''

Ms Clinton gave a lengthy answer detailing the US case against Iran, but did not mention Israel.
She did, however, say that "we want not only a world free of nuclear weapons, we want a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, including everyone.''

Alavi's Arab News letter assailed US "hypocrisy'' over the issue, reflecting a widely held sentiment in in the region. "Clinton said that the United States, under the able leadership of President Barack Obama, was trying to repair and strengthen its ties with the Muslim world.

"It is high time she realised it couldn't be done without answering the questions uppermost in the minds of the Middle East people.'' Alavi said she had been nervous about asking such a "politically provocative question'' but was then encouraged by strong applause from the audience when she addressed Ms Clinton.

Ms Clinton had been on a three-day trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, how to confront Iran's alleged programme to develop nuclear weapons.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A tribute to Bishop Larry McGriff

My friend Bishop Larry McGriff passed away yesterday, Thursday, February 18, 2010.

I mourn his loss; he was a friend and a true interfaith leader. I have known him for about six years and have attended his church, the Church of Living God in Oak Cliff several times. Larry asked me to do the Pluralism greetings every time I have been to his church; in short they are religious greetings from Bahai to Zoroastrian traditions and every one in between.

I will miss his graceful presence at our events; he attended every one of the Unity day USA programs, the Holocaust and Genocide event, the Thanksgiving Celebrations event and the commemoration event to pay tribute to my late wife’s life of exemplary service. He sang ”the Change is coming, hold on" song, and indeed it was uplifting.

Right after one of the Unity Day events, Dallas Morning News captured him on the camera and published his picture, which he had framed and made a point to show it to me every time I visited his church.

On December 27, 2009 he married Dr. Karen Hollie, another interfaith leader; as a groom on the stage, he sung the song "change is coming, hold on" again. Their wedding was the interfaith wedding of the year, where several religious leaders blessed the couple.

Together the couple has served their community well through their programs "walk to the destiny" where they served the children with new shoes, clothing and school bags in collaboration with the interfaith network service of Memnosyne Foundation.

Bishop Larry McGriff’s and I have been associated through the Universal Peace Federation, where he was bestowed upon the recognition as an Ambassadors of Peace; he has been a part of my organizations the Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress; and we have collaborated service projects through Memnosyne's center for interfaith.

Selected Pictures, slide show:
Facebook: Wedding pictures!/album.php?aid=368523&id=851280248&op=6

Walk to destiny pictures

Selected pictures

Meanwhile, I found another song to honor him, he uplifted interfaith in his community as the following song "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke traces the African-American history, from the struggle of black Americans from the early days up to the present.
Link to this tribute:

Bishop Larry McGriff, a fixture in southern Dallas church and politics, is dead at 58
04:57 PM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010
By SAM HODGES and RUDOLPH BUSH / The Dallas Morning News
Bishop Larry McGriff, a well-known clergyman from East Oak Cliff, died this morning at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.
McGriff, 58, was pastor of the Church of the Living God on Overton Road near Lancaster Road. He was active in local politics and interfaith work and was known for helping the poor.

Dallas pastors marry in interfaith ceremony
Get Oak Cliff news and resources
Blog: Oak Cliff

“He had a heart not only for his congregation but for the entire community,” said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, a friend of McGriff's. The mayor said he admired McGriff's charitable work, particularly a program to provide Christmas toys for needy children.

Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins, another friend, said the pastor suffered an aneurysm Wednesday night and was rushed to the hospital. He died about 11:30 a.m. today
"He gave people food, clothes. Every day he was helping people," Atkins said.
"I could call him at four in the morning. He wouldn't ask why. He'd just show up."

McGriff's wedding last December to Karen Hollie, pastor of Lifeway Church in the Red Bird area, drew various dignitaries, including Leppert. The pastor's interfaith commitment was demonstrated by having a rabbi and an imam participate in the service.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pictorial Report - Holocaust and Genocides

Pictorial Report - Holocaust and Genocides
The III Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides.
Sunday, January 24, 2010

This was an educational program, where 7 speakers reflected on 7 topics for 7 minutes each. Then 7 commentators made comments about 7 different situations. The topics ranged from the Holocaust to Genocides, massacres and tragedies.

This is perhaps the first time in our history that we have acknowledged the genocides of the indigenous Americans and Native peoples of Americas in a public forum along with other tragedies.

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how it amounts to infidelity to our own cause, and shame on us for justifying massacres that the victims deserved it or they asked for it.

Continued at:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

American Left and right united

The issse us poweful enough to bring nearly 3/4th of Americans together; from Left to Right, and Rebublicans and Democrats are clapping together. I wish we could carry this sense on War and ravages it brings to us, and every one else. - Mike Ghouse

Left and right united in opposition to controversial SCOTUS decision

Much has been made of late about the hyper-partisan political environment in America. On Tuesday, Sen. Evan Bayh explained his surprising recent decision to leave the senate by lamenting a "dysfunctional" political system riddled with "brain-dead partisanship." It seems you'd be hard-pressed to get Republicans and Democrats inside and outside of Washington to agree on anything these days, that if one party publicly stated its intention to add a "puppies are adorable" declaration to its platform, that the other party would immediately launch a series of anti-puppy advertisements.

But it appears that one issue does unite Americans across the political spectrum.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that the vast majority of Americans are vehemently opposed to a recent Supreme Court ruling that opens the door for foreign and domestic corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to spend money directly from their general funds to influence campaigns.

As noted by the Post's Dan Eggen, the poll's findings show "remarkably strong agreement" across the board, with roughly 80% of Americans saying that they're against the Court's 5-4 decision. Even more remarkable may be that opposition by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents were all near the same 80% opposition range. Specifically, 85% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans opposed it. In short, "everyone hates" the ruling.

The poll's findings could enhance the possibility of getting a broad range of support behind a movement in Congress to pass legislation that would offset the Court's decision. Of those polled, 72% said they supported congressional action to reverse its effects. Sen. Charles Schumer, who's leading the reform effort in the Senate, told the Post that he hoped to get "strong and quick bi-partisan support" behind a bill that "passes constitutional muster but will still effectively limit the influence of special interests."

The findings of the poll are a bit surprising considering the fact that the case split the Supreme Court, with the five conservative justices in favor and the four more liberal justices against it. The decision was almost universally hailed by Republicans in Washington, who saw it as a victory for the free speech provided for under the Constitution, while President Obama and prominent Democrats in Washington almost universally derided it as a dark day for American democracy.

However, Sen. John McCain, one of the original sponsors of the campaign finance law struck down by Court's decision and one of its few prominent Republican opponents, may have been prophetic when he predicted Americans would turn against the Court. McCain told CBS's "Face the Nation" that there would be a "backlash" once awareness grew about "the amounts of union and corporate money that's going to go into political campaigns."

Perhaps the new poll numbers show that McCain might have been onto something.

ABC News -


~ ~ ~

Carrollton Quilt 2010 representing Carrolltonians

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - Bonnie Kaplan, president of A.W. Perry Museum Society of Carrollton, worked on presenting a Quilt to the City, an inclusive mosaic of what Carrollton represents, of different races, ethnicities, faiths, nationalities and other uniqueness. Mayor Ron Branson, the City Council members, commissioners and citizens attended the event.

Mike Ghouse was pleased to be a part of the event and the quilt, he was a former Neighborhood Commissioner at the City of Carrollton, it was like home coming.

Please note that the actual date is 2/16/2010 while my camera shows 2007.



The quilt is an “Album Quilt” or “Signature Quilt” made up of signatures from individuals, families and groups who signed on blocks and strips of muslin, that were then incorporated into the quilt’s design. Historically, Album Quilts were used to commemorate special occasions or show appreciation. They were even used to raise funds for the needs of soldiers during the Civil War.

Centennial Quilt Display

The Carrollton Centennial Quilt will be on display at various City facilities through August. Commissioned by the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum Society, the Museum’s support organization, the Centennial Quilt commemorates the Perry home and the community spirit of Carrollton.

Before its official display at the A.W. Perry Homestead 100 Celebration, the Society hosted a Quilt Signing event and had squares available at various times for Carrollton residents to purchase and sign as a type of time capsule honoring the last 100 years. The Perry home’s Centennial Quilt links the past, present and future of the City of Carrollton. The diversity represented in the names that appear link the community together with each and every stitch. Signers ranged in age from 8 to 93.

The Quilt stitches together Carrollton's rich history and vibrant future with signatures incorporated from descendants of some of its earliest settlers as well as some of its newest citizens. The funds raised by the Society were then put to use to support the Museum and its programs.

The Quilt is currently on display at City Hall (1945 E. Jackson Road), where it will remain through Monday, March 1. At that time, the Quilt will move to the Josey Ranch Lake Library.

Quilt Display Schedule:
City Hall: January 19- March 1
JLR Library: March 1-April 19
Senior Center: April 19- June 7
H&J Library: June 7-August 2

The A.W. Perry Museum Society was formed in 2008 by a group of caring citizens interested in preserving the history of Carrollton and the Perry Homestead. The Perry Society received a grant from the Civic League to help fund the project. Fabrication of the quilt was completed by Melba Hamrick of the Old Craft Store located downtown Carrollton.

Visit to learn how you can be a part of the Museum support group.

Built in 1909, the home has served as the A. W. Perry Homestead Museum since 1976 and received state historic landmark status in 1977. The Museum is open to the public and offers a glimpse of what Carrollton was like 100 years ago. Visit for more information.

Members of the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum Society, the Civic League, and the Carrollton City Council posed in front of the completed quilt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Obama names Indian-American Muslim as special envoy to Muslim world

Articles from Times of India, Washington Post and other News agencies with several links follow my comments;

Rashad Hussain is an activist par-excellence from my home town Dallas and is greatly influenced by the Indian ethos of Pluralism and inclusiveness. He would fit right in with President's Obama’s idea of one world, where we respect every nation and their sovereignty.

He will strengthen the pluralistic values of America, and President’s desire to encourage the community of nations to review our values of Liberty, Justice and co-existence as catalysts for prosperity. As a Special envoy to the OIC, Rashad will initiate a positive relationship between America and the Muslim nations, I am proud of his heritage; an Indian, a Muslim and an American.

We have to maintain a healthy balance within our communities and with all nations, what is good for America has got to be good for the world and vice versa to sustain the equilibrium, he is the right man for the job. May God bless him in uplifting America’s role in creating a better world for the good of all.

Mike Ghouse
# # #

Obama names Indian-American Muslim as Special Envoy to Islamic world

" Hussain’s appointment delighted Indian-Americans, including one fellow Indian-American who was also in line for the job. ''Rashad is greatly influenced by the Indian ethos of pluralism and inclusiveness. As a Special envoy to the OIC, he will initiate a positive relationship between America and the Muslim nations, I am proud of his heritage; an Indian, Muslim and an American,'' said Mike Ghouse, a Dallas-based inter-faith activist from India who has known the Hussain family and who was also under consideration for the post." Times of India.


# # #

Obama names Rashad Hussain special envoy to Muslim world
By William Wan

President Obama said today he is naming Rashad Hussain as his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference as part of his effort to build up relationships with the Muslim world.

The announcement came in a video message by Obama to the seventh annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum meeting in the Qatari capital. More on his announcement here.

Some background on the position from AFP:

George W. Bush formally named the first U.S. envoy to the OIC in February 2008, appointing Texas entrepreneur Sada Cumber. The OIC, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah, with its 57 members is the world's largest Islamic assembly."

Some background on Hussain from ABC's story:

A former trial attorney at the Justice Department and clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Hussain is a devout Muslim and helped inform the speech President Obama gave in Cairo -- particularly with the speech's references to the history of Islam and the Koran, and its general tone.

Here's Hussain's credentials from the official White House press release:

Rashad Hussain is presently Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama. His work at the White House focuses on national security, new media, and science and technology issues. Mr. Hussain has also worked with the National Security Staff in pursuing the New Beginning that President Obama outlined in his June 2009 address in Cairo, Egypt.

Mr. Hussain previously served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hussain was a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he focused on national security-related issues. Mr. Hussain received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, he served as a Law Clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Mr. Hussain also earned his Master's degrees in Public Administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. He attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

# # #

Indian-origin lawyer is Barack Obama's new pointman for OIC
PTI, 15 February 2010, 08:18pm IST

WASHINGTON: Indian-origin lawyer Rashad Hussain, a hafiz of the holy Quran, will be America's new special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Countries, a post vital to President Barack Obama's bid to repair the US' strained relations with the Islamic world.

A White House lawyer, Hussain was nominated to the key post as he had played an important role in developing partnerships with the Muslim world, Obama said. Hussain is entrusted with deepening and expanding the partnerships with Muslims across the world, an important element of Obama's foreign policy made evident in his speech in Cairo last June.

Hussain, 31, whose parents are naturalised citizens from India and live in Plano, Texas, is presently the Deputy Associate Counsel to the President.

As a 'hafiz' (someone who has memorised the holy Islamic text) of the Qur'an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, Obama said about Hussain, announcing his appointment last week as his envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Countries, a 57-nation grouping.

Hussain's work at the US administration focuses on national security, new media, science and technology issues. He has also worked with the National Security Staff as Obama sought to rebuild ties with Muslims worldwide after eight turbulent years of his predecessor George W Bush's tenure.

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Links to the story:

# ##

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day taking on universal meaning

Valentine’s Day is a designated day to celebrate love, where two people choose to express their affection for each other. Through out the history, words have taken on new and expanded meanings, so is Valentine's Day.

Valentine Day is a universal expression of affection between any two individuals. Between husband and wife, between two people in love, be it mother and son, father daughter, brother sister, friends, uncles, aunties, Grand Pa and Grand Ma.

This expression of affection can range between any family members and any friends. Love does not have any bounds. The Sadhus and Sufis also can say happy Valentine to God with a clear meaning that I love you.

Please feel free to say happy valentine to your sister, mother, brother, daughter, dad, uncle or a friend. It is a much bigger word now than it started out to be. Take them out for dinner send them a flower to let them know that you care.

Every time we have a cultural festival which may have been a religious festival once, a few of our brothers and sisters will start applying morality to it.

While we Americans express it by presenting Red Roses to our loved ones, the Filipinos will break another record; the number of people kissing at the same time, Brazil will have another major festival on her beaches celebrating love.

On the other side of the world, the news papers in India will carry articles of how individuals were harassed, stores were vandalized, valentine cards were trashed, or people eating dinner in a restaurant were mauled, the intolerants will vandalise. Who authorizes these goons to go and harass the people for expressing their affection for each other? Sadly these frustrated, usually unemployed youth are paid by a few dirty politicians, and fortunately they are no more than 1/10th of 1% of each group. I do hope we can change this by offering free Valentines day lunches to all the needy and frustrated youth, to show them that we care about them and they don't need to earn their Rupee by vandalizing.

Globalizing is happening - from a narrow romantic meaning, the Valentine's Day becoming an all inclusive day. It will become a universal affection day within a decade.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Mike Ghouse

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs listed at

Link to this article:

Your comments -


Bad Fatwa by Muslim-American body against airport body scanners

New Note: The media has shamefully mis-represented the statement by the American Muslim organizations, a new press release is in the making. - Mike Ghouse

Bad Fatwa by Muslim-American body against airport body scanners

Speak up Muslims

The word "Fatwa" is wrongfully associated with "death threats", it may be wise for us, until we educate the public that it is merely an opinion, and instead use the word "Opinion". The word Fatwa carries a negative perception and until it is removed, it is not wise to use the word in this context. After all, we are using the English language to communicate and let the language be in English.

Furthermore, this "Fatwa" will be wrongfully propagated as Anti-American... continued:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Native American Heritage Day - corrospondence

I'm pleased to join in the efforts of the Native Americans for a special day to honor their heritage.


Info at:

comments at:




Sent: 2/11/2010 7:59:53 A.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Ruth.... Native Indian Heritage Day

Did you see the comments on facebook, and am glad, all my friends are signing up one by one, on the petition
On the sites - , and  I have provided the link for people to post their thoughts and notes as well. I am collecting all of this to pass on to you.
In a message dated 2/9/2010 9:58:49 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:
Thank you for putting my petition on your website means a great deal to me. I do not have a committee. I have started this on my own. I have Cherokee heritage in my family and I am tired of the Native Americans still getting passed over. There are now teenage Native Americans committing suicide on the reservations now.  Some thing must be done. I have sent a letter through my congressman's website. If I have to I will start sending letters to all 50 state's senators just to be heard. I am sure if every one started to write to them and to the President of the US then hopefully we will be heard and this will pass on through; and also have enough people who have signed the petition. I am trying to get a web page going soon.  Thank you once again and thank you for signing my petition. 
Ms. Ruth Bryan




Sent: 2/10/2010 12:10:45 P.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Re: Petition Initiative for Native American Heritage Day

Dear Ruthie

To do good work you don't need to prove your heritage. I am an Indian and a Muslim, and feel I have to stand up for the under privileged

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916

On Feb 10, 2010, at 11:31 AM, Ruthie <> wrote:

Thank You Mike I believe right now we need just be heard and get all the signatures we can. Native Americans are still being treated as a low class citizens even though some have made it to Hollywood and some to do good.  November is suppose to be Native American Heritage month but we hear of nothing of any good that has come with in; like they do with Black Heritage Month.  I do agree with some Columbus Day needs to be replace with the Native American Heritage Day.  I do however can use some ideas I do not have a masters in anything. Just a diploma in Business Administration and a diploma from Stratford in Creative Writing. So, far I am the only one on my mother side to graduate from some type of college. I am just a single mom (widow) trying to make it a better world for my kids and my heritage. I wrote to some one on facebook; and told them it's my Cherokee heritage that comes out in me the most. I was thinking on doing DNA but comes to find out some those are just scams. So, I am going by what my grandmother told me. It was either my 3rd or 4th great grandfather that was full blood Cherokee. If she was still alive I could ask.

I am not sure who all is trying to get something like this done but I feel we could find one another and start combine together we can get this done sooner.  I will keep in touch and thank you I appreciate the help. Right now I am looking on finding a t-shirt printing place to have some t-shirts done. I had 3 air brushed at the mall this pass weekend. Loved how they turned out.  I am giving one away on facebook to the one who has the most recruits to my cause.   I had them to put a ribbon in the colors of the medicine wheel with a feather hanging next to it as my logo. Then it just says "Support to have a Native American Heritage Day".  
Sorry for being so long; thank you; I appreciate your help. I will keep in touch.

Ms. Ruth Bryan



From: "

Sent: Wed, February 10, 2010 10:00:35 AM
Subject: Ruth Bryan: the new write up..... hope you like it

I have written this to appeal to my face book friends to sign up.... hope you can comment on it and take us forward, are you on the face book?!/notes/mike-ghouse/petition-for-native-american-heritage-day/323732092773
Mike Ghouse


Letter sent to Ruth Bryan and copies to Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk and the members of the Memnosyne Board and Staff.


To:  Names removed for privacy
CC:  Removed for privacy
Sent: 2/10/2010 12:41:25 A.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Petition Initiative for Native American Heritage Day


Dear Ruth,


My heart bleeds for the Native people and what they have endured over the centuries, it is time to acknowledge their tragedy and honor their tradition with the Native American Heritage Day.


I am glad you have taken this initiative and we are here to assist you in whatever little ways we can. It is your plan, and your drive, we will do whatever work you assign us to do, the way you want it.


My organization; the Memnosyne Foundation seeks to create a healthy, sustainable future for mankind, and has established seven centers to achieve that, two of them are dedicated to the preservation of native cultures and native medicine. My other organization, the Foundation for Pluralism is all about Co-existence and Harmony of different values systems.


In collaboration with the University of North Texas, Memnosyne foundation is organizing a conference for  


The World Muslim congress and the Foundation for Pluralism in collaboration with the Center for Spiritual living organized the III Annual reflections on Holocaust and Genocides, and I believe, it is for the first time, the  Genocides of the Native Americans was expressed in a public forum along with other Genocides and Holocaust. Peggy Larney and Ricardo Cervantes represented Native Americans and spoke at the event. Peggy Larney has compiled a report on the topic and the full report will be published in the Journal of Pluralism located on the Foundation for Pluralism website within a week and I will share the same with you. A full day conference on Holocaust and Genocides is planned for Wednesday, January 26, 2011. Short documentaries and discussions of every possible human brutality will be discussed in several panels.

I am copying the information to my board members; Co-Chairs Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, Joshua Frenk, Phillip Collins, Coke Buchanan, Gregory Gomez and other members of the Board.
The petition is at and is ready to go online at and  and will send it to my list of people to sign up.
You may also want to read about an: Ancient Tribe Goes extinct as last member dies
Please let Mary Ann, Coke or myself know what we can do.
Thank you for taking the initiative for the Native American Heritage Day.
Mike Ghouse
(214) 235-1916
In a message dated 2/9/2010 9:58:49 P.M. Central Standard Time, Ruthie ____writes:
Thank you for putting my petition on your website means a great deal to me. I do not have a committee. I have started this on my own. I have Cherokee heritage in my family and I am tired of the Native Americans still getting passed over. There are now teenage Native Americans committing suicide on the reservations now.  Some thing must be done. I have sent a letter through my congressman's website. If I have to I will start sending letters to all 50 state's senators just to be heard. I am sure if every one started to write to them and to the President of the US then hopefully we will be heard and this will pass on through; and also have enough people who have signed the petition. I am trying to get a web page going soon.  Thank you once again and thank you for signing my petition. 
Ms. Ruth Bryan 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Petition for Native American Heritage Day

Please sign the Petition for Native American Heritage Day

My heart is in tune with the Native Americans, and sensitive to what they have endured over the centuries, it is time for all of us Americans to come together and acknowledge their contributions and honor their tradition with the Native American Heritage Day.

The article is at:

Monday, February 8, 2010

An appeal to Muslims about Dr. Afia Siddiqi

An appeal to Muslims about Dr. Afia Siddiqui

Today a Manhattan jury found Afia Siddiqui guilty of all charges. Siddique is the Pakistani scientist accused of shooting at her US captors while in custody in Afghanistan. The defense team was counting on the lack of physical evidence against Siddiqui to lead to an acquittal.

My concern is what is floating on the net, “that she fought for Islam” that amounts to twisting the issue from Justice to “religious” one; I believe it is short-sighted and wrong. The issue is about justice, and it has been painful to read and watch the trial, rather the mis-trial and the apparent denial of justice to Dr. Afia Siddiqi.

I appeal to Muslim hallucinaters around the world to keep the issue to Justice otherwise, we will invoke the Neocons to cook up imaginary enemies and change the nature of the issue. It may cause further harm to Dr. Siddiqui’s appeal.

Our system of Justice and our Jury is fair, but we do make mistakes and the system is amenable to that and we need to have patience and honor it.

If you demonstrate, please do it peacefully and make an appeal to justice. Kindly avoid religious slogans, condemnations or other unproductive methods; you may harm the appeal for justice to Dr. Siddiqi by your demonstrations.

As Muslims please follow what the Prophet would have done; pray for the well being of Afia and appeal to the sense of Justice.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs listed at


The Terror-Industrial Complex -

Wikipedia :
Please be aware that all that you see in Wiki is not truthful, finding the truth is your own responsibility.

Jury convicts Afia Siddiqui for attempted murder

LHCBA condemns verdict against Aafia

New Yorker goes on a hunger strike to protest MIT trained Neuroscientist's guilty conviction -

The Curious Case Of Dr. Afia Siddiqui –

Pakistan request US to release neurologist on humanitarian ground -