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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Netanyahu is bad for Israel, Obama is following a sound US-IRAN policy

Lessons in Foreign policy: Mr. Netanyahu and his ilk can fool us in America once, but not twice, and we are not the guinea pigs of his erratic genocidal behavior.

Netanyahu is bad for Israel's long term security

He is coming to Washington to convince the nincompoops who had plunged us into destructive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to go at Iran now. We lost over 5000 men and women, millions of Americans lost their jobs, and their homes were foreclosed besides sinking us into budget deficit running in $Trillions of Dollars. He wants us to be completely liquidated, to hell with him. We put America first!



Mike Ghouse committed to build cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. www.MikeGhouse.net 


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Five timely pieces on Obama, Netanyahu, Austrian Sharia, Sacred Film and Muslim Integration initiative

5 Timely Pieces for this week
 
1. Back off Mr. Netanyahu, don't mess with America.
2. Is Obama's Wisdom good for America, did he say the right words?
3. Austria passes reform to Islamic Laws - We welcome it
4. Film Sacred to address conflicts with other
5. Muslim Integration initiatives to be launched
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BACK OFF MR. NETANYAHULessons in Foreign policy: Mr. Netanyahu and his ilk can fool us in America once, but not twice, and we are not the guinea pigs of his erratic genocidal behavior.

He is coming to Washington to convince the nincompoops who had plunged us into destructive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to go at Iran now. We lost over 5000 men and women, millions of Americans lost their jobs, and their homes were foreclosed besides sinking us into budget deficit running in $Trillions of Dollars. He wants us to be completely liquidated, to hell with him. We put America first!
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pdrpsXdbChI/VO_n-6zbVTI/AAAAAAAAetU/7MfdoIEwwp0/s1600/Backoff.mr.netanyahu.no.wmd.in.iran.jpg
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DID OBAMA USE THE RIGHT WORDS ABOUT ISLAM?
 
Let's put our biases aside, and review if President Obama's words and actions represent what is a moral and astute policy, and also if it is good for the United States of America. Let us examine his choice of words at the "Summit on Countering Violent Extremism" and his reminder at the National Prayer Breakfast to be humble and cognizant of our own historical record. 
 
 
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AUSTRIA REFORMS MUSLIM LAWS   

Given the global anti-Muslim hysteria, the new Austrian law generates two responses;   No and Welcome, and I will go with the welcome response for it serves the greater good of Muslims and the world around them.
 
This following points may anger a few Muslims initially, but when we think of the society a large, and shine the light of Quran on it, we will eventually see the value in the law enacted by the Austrian Government, which is initially resisted by a few.
 
If Muslims cannot stop the rogue Imams from spreading hate and disturb the peace in a given society, it becomes the responsibility of the society at large to do that. “The law seeks to prevent the growth of a parallel Islamic society in Austria by regulating mosques and the training of imams, who will now be required to be proficient in German.” In America, we face this, many a imported Imams cannot connect with our kids. Let the Imams be local and trained to be contributors towards a better society, it does not require any giving-up of their faith or compromise on their part. 

 
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SACRED FILM - HOW DO DEAL WITH CONFLICTS
The film skillfully manages conflicting issues of freedom of speech v what is sacred; safety of Americans v violent reactions; and radicalism v. pluralism. It is an embodiment of conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturence based on teachings of Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad. It is a model for building cohesive societies.  Indeed, the concept is encouraged by major institutions.

Through “Sacred”, the world will witness positive changes taking shape; it encourages what Muslims ought to be – the Amins, and how they will be perceived by the society at large. What is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice-versa to restore sustainable harmony.

Sacred is an exemplary story of ordinary Muslim Americans working with fellow Americans of different faiths in forging a new paradigm; a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, apprehension or fear of the other.

http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/04/reestablishing-right-muslim-attitudes.html
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MUSLIM INTEGRATION INITIATIVES TO BE LAUNCHED 
Insha Allah, we will make an effort to pull ISNA, ICNA, MPAC, CAIR and other organizations together and launch America Together Foundation, a main stream organization to build a cohesive America and work on integration of all Americans. We will begin with Muslims and add on all others as we get funded and go forward.

We have to shape our destiny by planning and getting things done. God willing, we are looking forward to having a huge presence in the media.  I do need volunteers and sponsors and our programs will be cost effective and results producing.  If you are  a sincere doer, and willing to put in at least 5 serious hours a week to bring the change, please call me, but if you are not serious and not willing to burn the ships. We don't need to waste time. 
 
Please donate generously, its a non-profit and tax deductible 501 (c) (3) organization. We need at least $6000/month to produce serious results. Please donate at:http://americatogetherfoundation.com/donate/
 
 
Thank you
mike

Mike Ghouse

(214) 325-1916 text/talk
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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is a staunch defender of human rights and his book standing up for others will be out soon, and a movie "Americans together" is in the making.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Austria Passes Reforms to 1912 Islam Law

Mike Ghouse comments at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com   
Austria Passes Reforms to 1912 Islam Law

Given the global anti-Muslim hysteria, the new Austrian law generates two responses;
  No and Welcome, and I will go with the welcome response for it serves the greater good of Muslims and the world around them.

Here are the reasons that may anger a few Muslims initially, but when we think of the society a large, and shine the light of Quran on it, we will eventually see the value in the law enacted by the Austrian Government, which is initially resisted by a few.

First thing first, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) took the larger view of the society and became a model of what it takes to be an exemplary citizen. The first requirement of any civil society is to trust each other in living their daily life safely and without fear of the other. He earned the trust of the society for being truthful, honest in his dealings, trustworthy and just. The Jews, Christians, pagans and others called him Amin, the trust worthy. That was indeed the first foundational Sunnah (prophet's example) of Islam.  Given that, Muslims have a responsibility to earn the trust of the society to function cohesively with all, for the common good and without compromising on their faith.

Secondly, no matter who it is, when you receive money from others, you develop a sense of obligation towards the giver, and you cannot receive it under the table, that would be dishonest. The Austrian Muslims should thank the Law that prevents them from taking Saudi, Qatari or Turkish Money, and in the long run it gives them complete freedom to define themselves and not dictated and influenced by others.

Thirdly, Mehmet
Görmez (left), head of the Turkish government's Religious Affairs Directorate, denounced Austria's new law and said that Austria should instead "make an effort to remove anti-Islamic sentiments and Islamophobia."  In an earlier statement, he said, "Countries cannot have their own version of Islam. Islam is universal and its sources are clear. Therefore, religion is not a matter of engineering. I would like to restate that efforts taken by state leaders to create a version of Islam that is particular to their own countries are futile."

Indeed, Islam is universal and same thing should be taught anywhere and everywhere, but that is not what happens.  Turkish and Saudi’s ship their culture mixed with religion, which may not be a good fit in Austrian society and some of it is anti-Islamic. Does Mehmet Gomez realize that there are several versions of Islam - broadly; Mangled up and Pristine. Do we want the ISIS, Salafi or Taliban version of Islam? Hell no!

For example: When Islam spread outside Arabia, thank God they did not dump their culture onto Turkish culture; the Turks retained their names and culture but accepted the faith, same goes with Iran and beyond.  As recently as 15 years ago, The Turkish culture “compelled” women not to wear Hijab, that was wrong, and Saudi compels women to wear it.  A Saudi guy can arbitrarily tell divorce three times and the woman is put on the street? Is that the Islam you want in Austria? Is that the culture you want to ship to Austria?  Isn’t DNA test good enough to nail the rapist or do you want three coward men who witnessed the ugly rape and did nothing to stop, to be the witness – is that the culture you need in Austria? Hell no. 

The New law requires criminal and background check on the Imams, don’t we want our kids protected from rapist and molesting Imams? No need to be embarrassed, it is not Islamic.  Shamefully, the molesters and rapists are in every faith and every group of people. 

Fourthly, if Muslims cannot stop the rogue Imams from spreading hate and disturb the peace, it becomes the responsibility of the society at large to do that. “The law seeks to prevent the growth of a parallel Islamic society in Austria by regulating mosques and the training of imams, who will now be required to be proficient in German.” In America, we face this, the imported Imams cannot connect with our kids, let the Imams be local and trained to be contributors towards a better society, it does not require any giving-up of their faith or compromise on their part.

This effort by Austrian Government, indeed removes Islamophobia. Per Quran 49:13 the best ones among us are those who learn about each other, indeed knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of others, which is reaffirmed by Quran in 109.6


God willing, I will be releasing a 40 Minutes video on Islam and Pluralism this week.
I will also be writing a full report on this and welcome the Austrian effort.

Mike Ghouse, a Muslim speaker committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Milaad Speech by Maulan Irtaza Naqvi and Mike Ghouse

Speech at Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) birth celebrations

It was a great honor to speak along with Maulana Irtaza Naqvi at Milaad- Prophet Muhammad’s birth celebrations organized by the Pakistan Club of Dallas at Sherrill Park in Richardson, Texas.  It was also a poetry session (naatia mehfil) in praise of the Prophet shared by our respected poets Syed Younus Ijaz, Syeed Qureshi and several others. I have written three pieces on Maulana Naqvi.
I was buoyed to learn a few key points in his speech that were fairly supportive of the pluralistic approach to religion. He emphasized the idea of “respecting the otherness of others” without having to agree. I narrated the story of Suleh (peace treaty) Hudabiya with precisely the same line.

Continued at:http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2015/02/milaad-speech-by-maulan-irtaza-naqvi.html






I was buoyed to learn a few key points in his speech that were fairly supportive of the pluralistic approach to religion. He emphasized the idea of “respecting the otherness of others” without having to agree. I narrated the story of Suleh (peace treaty) Hudabiya with precisely the same line. 


We both talked about first thing first, that is to be the Ameen; a model of sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthy, and a person around whom other people felt secure.

His point about Hazrat Bilal was powerful – it had three points; knocking the arrogance out, forging the idea that all men are equal, and respecting the otherness of other.

The Arabs like all other people in the world have the arrogance that they are the chosen people, and that their language is superior to others. So when Prophet asked Hazrat Bilal (a freed slave) to give the first public prayer call (Adhan), it must have hurt the knowledgeable literate nobility that they did not get the chance to have that honor, as the prophet said, in the presence of God we are all equal, no matter what faith or race we belong to.

Secondly, Hazrat Bilal could not pronounce the “sh” as in “she” sound in the Adhan part of “Ash-hadu-an La ilaha ilal la”. A few laughed at the mispronunciation but the prophet stopped them, and said, you may not have understood the call, but God did.

Whether you are a former slave or the king, we have to learn to respect the otherness of others.   

Then we spoke the same thought – I mentioned that Quran is not for Muslims alone, but for the entire humanity. The first sentence of the first chapter and the last chapter both address the entire humanity, and not Muslims. He emphasized that, and thoroughly explained the meaning of prophet’s title – Rahmatul Aalameen- Mercy to mankind and not just Muslims.

He also added, that Quran is a book from God as God has made it inclusive of all faiths, Quran acknowledges Judaism and Christianity and others to denote other faiths. Even though in principle there were differences, God still chose to call the people of the book to instill a sense of cohesiveness with people of different faiths. I had emphasized what I had posted on facebook a day ago. “Quran says it clearly and repeatedly - if you take care of fellow beings you need not worry, and also reasserts, whether you are a Jew, Christian, pagan or other... you need not worry as long as you take care of fellow beings.”

Of course as blunt as I am, his narration of miracles of the Prophet that he purified the water in a well and splitting the moon were not needed, but I have no problem with it as others believe in it endearingly. It is the same with Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Hanuman and others – shaft becoming a snake, walking on the water, Immaculate Conception, carrying a mountain on his hands respectively. There was a time in history, external fantastic miracles were needed, but now, their message is good enough.

I asked the audience, who is the first person to initiate interfaith dialogue in the world? I was completely taken back, no one knew it, and there was someone in the front, who called out my name. I quietly moved on.  I had asked the same question in a conference attended by majority of African American Muslims, nearly a third of them said it aloud “America’s Imam Warith Deen Muhammad.” While that is true for America, but not true for the world.

Prophet Muhammad was the first man on the earth to initiate interfaith dialogue. Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Mahavir or Jesus did not have many faiths to deal when they were preaching, where as prophet Muhammad dealt with Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Pagans and others.  I need to speak in Milaad more often; usually they sing Naats/ Nasheeds (in praise of the prophet) or poetry in his honor.

I emphasized on Freedom of speech and gave the example of Adam. It is because of freedom of speech we have been able to pray, preach and propagate Islam, and we have to honor and defend that freedom of speech, we cannot bite the hand that feeds us.  Indeed, we are addressing this issue in our film “Sacred”. The film also exemplifies Prophets Amin Model, Taif-Jesus-Turning the other check Model, and conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance model. Information for sacred is at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

I share the meaning of the stories that are never told in the Mosques – of Hijre-Aswad, Suleh Hudabiya, Najran Christians visit and similarities of our immortal declaration of independence and his last sermon – all of them have the prophet’s formula for humanity; conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance.

I asked people to be merciful to others, if you ask Asiya Bibi, a Christian lady in Pakistan and Pastor NadirKhani in Iran both charged for Blasphemy and Apostasy, if they think Prophet was a mercy to mankind? I don’t think they will, then whose fault is that? Didn’t we push them to say things they really would not have said?  We need to rid of Blasphemy and Apostasy laws, both practices are contrary to the personality of the prophet – i.e., mercy to mankind.


The above points in speech came straight from the following writings:





Thank you

mike

Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

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

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dr. Aslam Abdullah with Bill OReilly about condemning terrorism

It is a good interview and Dr. Abdullah said the right things. we need more of this.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4073586688001/will-american-imams-denounce-the-jihad-in-a-public-way/?playlist_id=86923#sp=show-clips

Mike Ghouse

www.WorldMuslimCongress.com 

Do you need a religion?



Thank you

mike

Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

...............................................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 
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Friday, February 20, 2015

What are holy books for? Quran on conducting a civil dialogue


By Mike Ghouse at: www.WorldMuslimCongress.com  and www.TheGhouseDiary.com

What are the holy books for?




Of course, Quran, Bible, Torah, Vedas, Gita, Tipitaka, Kalapa Sutras, Granth Saheb, Kitab Al Aqdas, Gathas (random order) or other holy books and oral traditions are designed to build peaceful societies, where people can get along and not live in fear of each other. 99+% of people in any group get that right and few don’t. Those who don’t get it right keep finding faults with others.

Religion is really for those who have stinky attitudes towards other’s be it in the form or race, religion, culture, tradition or ethnicity.  By the way if you can function with others cohesively and peacefully, religion is not needed. Religion is merely a vehicle to make you a good human to live and let live.

Indeed, these books and their message was to restore trust in the society, create safety for every member be it invincible or vulnerable, so everyone can go on about their pursuit of their life, liberty and happiness. 

Years ago, I did a radio talk show where we read the entire Bible, Bhagwad Gita, Quran, and Parts of other books in a period of two years, one hour a day for a lay person on the street to understand each religion and remove his or her bias towards others.

Now, on a random basis, I will be writing and speaking about the essence of every religion  and I would invite everyone from every faith to propose an aspect from their tradition (Wicca, Pagans, Native or other) or a chapter from their holy book.


First lesson:

Sura Kafirun - "Un-believers"
QURANIC GUIDANCE ON HOW TO CONDUCT CIVIL DIALOGUE 


The following understanding of Sura Kafirun was written on July 5, 2008, almost five years ago and now, on this day February 09, 2013, it is being dedicated to Pastor Bob Roberts for his bold take on respecting the otherness of others,  URL- The link http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/07/sura-kafirun-un-believers.html 


The following Chapter (Sura) from Qur’an addresses the believers (of other faiths) in the most dignified way, putting every one on par without denigrating any. It is an exceptional example of civil conduct for one to follow. No where in this chapter a claim is made that the faith of Muslims is superior to others, or others' faith to be inferior.

Kafirun is an exemplary Surah teaching civil dialogue, throughout the Sura, the other is treated respectfully and as an equal, “I do not worship what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship” – it does not say your worship is inferior to mine. The element of arrogance was not given a room in this chapter. Because you hold a different belief, your belief is not belittled.

This chapter is about consciously nurturing civility in societies. It is not about overlooking the differences and focusing on commonalities, it is simply about accepting the otherness of other. You are who you are and I am who I am and let's figure out how we can co-exist with the least tensions. This is the basis of pluralism - i.e., respecting the otherness of others.

I believe all religions are beautiful and none is graded to be superior or inferior. I am a Muslim by choice, and pleased to be one, I may not believe what others believe, as others may not believe what I believe. I will accept them for who they are, as they would accept me for who I am. I will not disrespect any faith, as it amounts to arrogance, and God simply does not like any one who is arrogant, indeed, arrogance is the root cause of all conflicts.


Arrogance kills the very spirit of Islam – Justice, peace and equality. Islam is about live and let live. Learning to accept and respect others' right to exist and figure out the best way to co-exist. A majority of Muslims get this right, and few don't, indeed that is the case with every religion.

As the saying goes "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", I would add " faith is in the heart of the believer". As a Muslim, your and my role is to to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill among peoples and nations. That brings peace, and that is the other word for Islam.

In another chapter, God essentially says, I have created ya'll from a single couple, and made you into many tribes, communities and nations. Each one of you is different and unique with your own thumb print, DNA, taste bud and behavior bud. He also said, had I willed, I would have punched you all out from a factory template to exact specifications, all males to be precisely same height, weight, color and same with the females. But I chose to make you unique and gave you complete free will to create harmony and cohesiveness within and with what surrounds you. Then he concludes, the best one among is you is the one who learns about each other. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of the other resulting in harmony and peace (Islam).

What does submitting to God's will mean? Just as we love the food we cook, enjoy the results of the work we do, God loves his creation and likes every one to get along. God's will is that we care for the life and environment and lead a just life that leads to a state of peace and harmony for his creation. That's is the bottom line; that is what Jesus meant when he said " follow me" or Krishna said " "surrender to me".

The following chapter in Qur'aan does not say, that others' belief is inferior, in fact it says, as your belief is dear to you, as my belief is dear to me. So much respect is given to the other faith.

God willing, I have embarked on compiling the translations of Qur'aan as people of other faiths can relate with it, in a language that would be familiar to them. At this time, one of the best Qur'an translations available is by Mohammad Asad and I recommend you to use it as a reference, rather than some of the mistranslations on the market. Even this translation has a few flaws in dealing with women, but the translations is better than most other translations.

I would recommend you to check out a few columns to understand the wrong doing and deliberate mistranslations of the Qur'aan, both by the early European Kings to paint Islam in the bad light for their own gains and by the Muslims after the fall of Ottoman empire to egg on Muslims to support their cause, you also see a piece on origins of Islamophobia.

There was a movie made by Geert Wilders and he continues to dupe the Neocons (Literalist or sticklers in every faith) by quoting 14 verses from Qur'an as hateful, indeed they are, but they are not in Qur'aan. This blog is dedicated to clarify false statements recycled every day about Qur'aan. Finding the truth is your own responsibility -when you remove the ill-will from your heart, it brings freedom, salvation, nirvana, mukti, moksha, nijaat and true liberation.


Now here are the 6 beautiful verses of Quran... Indeed, I am blessed to use this language in dealing with differences.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
109:1 SAY: "O you who deny the truth!
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Unbelievers]Qul ya ayyuha alkafiroona
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ (109:1)
Baset Hussari Minshawi 
My understanding: Addressing those individuals who denied the truth spoken by the Prophet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
109:2 "I do not worship that which you worship,
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Unbelievers]
La aAAbudu ma taAAbudoonaلَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
109:2 Baset Hussari Minshawi 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
109:3 and neither do you worship that which I worship!
[1]وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ (
109:3)
Baset Hussari Minshawi 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
109:4 "And I will not worship ~hat which you have [ever] worshipped,
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Unbelievers]
Wala ana AAabidun ma AAabadtum
وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ (109:4)
Baset Hussari Minshawi 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
109:5 and neither will you [ever] worship that which I worship. [2]Topics discussed in this Verse:
[Unbelievers]Wala antum AAabidoona ma aAAbuduوَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ (109:5)
Baset Hussari Minshawi 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
109:6 Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine !"
[3]Topics discussed in this Verse:
[Islam] [Muhammad:faith of] [Unbelievers]
Lakum deenukum waliya deeniلَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ (109:6) Baset Hussari Minshawi 

Islam is about free will and accountability to keep the harmony of creation intact. If someone compels you to believe, pray, eat or wear, then it is not Islam. Quran is clear many many times - no one bears the burden of others. For societal equilibrium we all agree to do certain things and give up certain things as a part of living and culture.

Please note, this good material for teaching pluralism and civil dialogue.

# # #

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim committed to understand, explore and share the idea of Rabbul Aalameen, the creator, nourisher and sustainer of the Universe, taught to us by the Mercy to mankind who was respectful of others, and whom people trusted for his integrity, honesty, civility and truthfulness. He believes if you follow God's guidance and Prophet's examples, you ought to be Mukhlooqul Aalameen - human being for the goodness of mankind.  More about Mike at www.MikeGhouse.net and www.TheGhouseDiary.com.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Organize and mobilize for social change

Well Said Dr. Nyla Ali Khan, "“The youth with no means to prosper tend to glorify reactionary movements!” she said."
Mike Ghouse

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 3:15 pm
In the wake of destruction caused by the Taliban and ISIL, it is even more important that disputed territories such as the state of Jammu and Kashmir obtain stability. History teaches some bitter lessons including the slaughter of six million people in Germany. We need to prevent such atrocities from happening again by drawing attention and recognizing the genuine political and democratic aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
She stressed in her presentation that women can play an important role in building and sustaining peace. She advocated democracy, equal human rights, separation of state and religion, protecting rights of minorities, building bridges and the development of a civil society as opposed to belligerent military establishment and incoherent state policies.
Known as “Heaven on earth” for its beauty, Jammu and Kashmir is surrounded by the Himalayas in the South and the Karakoram Range of the Pamir’s in the North. The state of Jammu and Kashmir depends on India and Pakistan for its economic growth. Kashmiri arts and crafts and tourism industry have greatly suffered by the ongoing conflict that has plagued the lives of every day Kashmiri people since the bloodied partition of 1947. The welfare of the people of the state deserves responsible use of political and military powers by both countries.
The former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is presently divided into three areas that are administered by India, Pakistan and China. It is time to question, what the militarization and militancy have done for the region. People are poorer on both sides with the resources going into senseless killing and fighting. Investing into hospitals, schools and justice system for the welfare of their citizens should be the primary focus of the governments of both countries. There is a need to move beyond the troubled past as Hiroshima and Nagasaki have; green and beautiful, a proof that life is possible after destruction. It takes mothers to see it!
She mentioned concerns of the quality of the education in nationalized academic institutions in Kashmir and suggested privatization to promote healthy competition. She expressed the ideas of creating jobs in traditional tourism and advancement in science and technology. “The youth with no means to prosper tend to glorify reactionary movements!” she said. The other ideas presented by Dr. Nyla Ali Khan included the importance of pluralism, interfaith dialogue and the search for humanism in one’s own religious tradition. She writes, “People must learn to work together across ethnic and ideological divides and insist that everyone be included in democratic decision-making and be given full access to basic social services.”
Conscientious citizens in the United States, India, Pakistan, Kashmir and the rest of the world need to organize and mobilize for social change. There is need to bridge the divide between the civil societies of the world in order to improve lives for the coming generations. She said, “The identity of a state or a nation cannot be built on unquenchable hate and certainly not on cashing in on the pain and grief of other people”. Dr. Khan concluded her talk by a thought provoking statement, “Perhaps it is time to seriously consider a new regional order which would be capable of producing cross-economic, political, and cultural interests among the people of the region”.

President Obama: Our fight against violent extremism


As always, I am aligned with President's thoughts, however, when I seen him blunder, I will point that out.  It is a good speech

We appreciate the following, "
In the face of this challenge, we must stand united internationally and here at home. We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so." and "The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam."

However, 
I am surprised at your goofy statement, was it a mistake?  "Here in the United States, Americans have been killed at Ft. Hood and during the Boston Marathon." What is the connection, if it is generic where is Denver, Wisconsin, New town, and Norway shootings?

Mike Ghouse
www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

# # #
President Obama: Our fight against violent extremism
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-obama-terrorism-conference-20150218-story.html



Commentary OpinionMiddle East Africa Terrorism Al-Qaeda Islamic State


The United States has made significant gains against terrorism. We've decimated the core al Qaeda leadership, strengthened homeland security and worked to prevent another large-scale attack like 9/11.


At the same time, the threat has evolved. The al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen actively plots against us. Since 9/11, terrorists have murdered U.S. citizens overseas, including in the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Here in the United States, Americans have been killed at Ft. Hood and during the Boston Marathon. 

In Syria and Iraq, the terrorist group we call ISIL has slaughtered innocent civilians and murdered hostages, including Americans, and has spread its barbarism to Libya with the murder of Egyptian Christians. In recent months, we've seen deadly attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Paris and Copenhagen.

Elsewhere, the Pakistan Taliban massacred more than 100 schoolchildren and their teachers. From Somalia, al-Shabaab has launched attacks across East Africa. In Nigeria and neighboring countries, Boko Haram kills and kidnaps men, women and children.

In the face of this challenge, we must stand united internationally and here at home. We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so.

This week, we'll take an important step forward as governments, civil society groups and community leaders from more than 60 nations gather in Washington for a global summit on countering violent extremism. Our focus will be on empowering local communities.

Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world's Muslims. The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam. We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet.

Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds.

We know from experience that the best way to protect people, especially young people, from falling into the grip of violent extremists is the support of their family, friends, teachers and faith leaders. At this week's summit, community leaders from Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Boston will highlight innovative partnerships in their cities that are helping empower communities to protect their loved ones from extremist ideologies.


More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today's youth something better.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

Finally — with al Qaeda and ISIL peddling the lie that the United States is at war with Islam — all of us have a role to play by upholding the pluralistic values that define us as Americans. This week, we'll be joined by people of many faiths, including Muslim Americans who make extraordinary contributions to our country every day. It's a reminder that America is successful because we welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds.

That pluralism has at times been threatened by hateful ideologies and individuals from various religions. We've seen tragic killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012 and at a Jewish community center in Kansas last year.

We do not yet know why three young people, who were Muslim Americans, were brutally killed in Chapel Hill, N.C. But we know that many Muslim Americans across our country are worried and afraid. Americans of all faiths and backgrounds must continue to stand united with a community in mourning and insist that no one should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.


Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds. With this week's summit, we'll show once more that — unlike terrorists who only offer misery and death — it is our free societies and diverse communities that offer the true path to opportunity, justice and dignity.

Barack Obama is the president of the United States.
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