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Mike Ghouse

Sunday, August 31, 2014

You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

This is a powerful article in the sense, it makes us think. Two things will emerge from studying Islam; a mangled and the pristine one. Insha Allah, the article will be ready in a few days.

Thank you
Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 - text/talk
World Muslim Congress

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker  thinker and a writer.
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You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia
Courtesy of Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Become a fan Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, 'Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution' 

BEIRUT -- The dramatic arrival of Da'ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed -- and horrified -- by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia's ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, "Don't the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?"

It appears -- even now -- that Saudi Arabia's ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite "fire" with Sunni "fire"; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da'ish's strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan -- please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da'ish (ISIS) -- and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia's direction and discourse.

Saudi Arabia's internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom's doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.
One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader -- amongst many -- of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz's subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse -- and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export -- by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

But this "cultural revolution" was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab's Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him -- hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.


The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised "the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca."
In Abd al-Wahhab's view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their "superstition" (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).

All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida -- forbidden by God.
Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad's stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the "best of times"), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).

Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi'ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that "any doubt or hesitation" on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should "deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life."
One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab's doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.

"Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. "

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity -- a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab's doctrine of "One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque" -- these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of "the word" (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift -- the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests -- makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

Abd al-Wahhab's advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town -- and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab's novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

"Their strategy -- like that of ISIS today -- was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. "

Ibn Saud's clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab's doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.

Their strategy -- like that of ISIS today -- was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: "They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein... slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants ..."

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, "we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: 'And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.'"

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab's followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).

In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman's behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.


It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.

The Al Saud -- in this 20th century renaissance -- were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi "Ikhwan" in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab's and Ibn Saud's earlier fighting proselytisers.

The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist "moralists" who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary "Jacobinism" exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted -- leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.

For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.

So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da'wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King's absolute power.


With the advent of the oil bonanza -- as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to "reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world ... to "Wahhabise" Islam, thereby reducing the "multitude of voices within the religion" to a "single creed" -- a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were -- and continue to be -- invested in this manifestation of soft power.

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection -- and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America's interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam -- that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz's meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life -- and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

"On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism."

But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system -- hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.
On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

ISIS is a "post-Medina" movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis' claim of authority to rule.
As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal's modernization campaign). The "Ikhwan approach" enjoyed -- and still enjoys -- the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.

Today, ISIS' undermining of the legitimacy of the King's legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.

In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba'athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.

After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan -- and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.

Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar's Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised -- knowing a little about Wahhabism -- that "moderate" insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of "One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed" could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?
Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

Fighting in Iraq

HAIDAR HAMDANI via Getty Images

An Iraqi Shiite fighter, loyal to Muslim Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, takes part in military and first aid training on Aug. 19, 2014 in Najaf, central Iraq. (HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

David Cohen's half truths : Let’s Stop Saying That Islamists Are Fighting The ‘West’


These rogues have killed more Muslims than they have killed others, and David has deliberately excluded that fact, to rile up prejudice against Muslims. What is his bloody gain?

Virtually every Muslim organization on the earth has condemned these thugs. We should not be dumb enough to give them a religious cover, they are bad guys and that is it. I have called for giving them a warning to surrender, retreat or face the drones. There are two big articles at Huffington post one by me and other one highlighting the Muslim take.

David, when you gain support to propagate hate towards a group of people, you are giving approval to all kinds of prejudices and biases. I pray you get some sense in building cohesive societies.

Mike Ghouse

Let’s Stop Saying That Islamists Are Fighting The ‘West’

We’ve all heard this refrain ad nauseam since 9/11: “Islamists are at war with the West. They hate us for who we are.” The fact is, though, that they don’t hate us for who we are. They hate us for who we’re not: we’re not Muslim, and that’s a characteristic we share with billions of people outside the West. If we could only get over our Western self-absorption, we could do a much better job of uniting with our natural allies to combat the global Islamist threat.

When I say that “we” in the West are “not Muslim,” I am of course referring to the overall character of our societies. I have no intention of denigrating or alienating the millions of Muslims who are very much a part of Western societies, most of whom are, like me, Westerners with roots outside of the West. When I refer to “Islamists,” I am not referring to practitioners of the Islamic faith generally, but rather to proponents of the political ideology followed by radical Muslims who are intolerant of other faiths.

For all the talk of Islamists being at war with the West, almost all of the suffering caused by Islamists has been outside the West. This is certainly true in Muslim-majority countries, where Islamists have brutally persecuted Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Baha’is and — a religion that few Westerners had ever heard of until this summer — Yazidis. Christians, for example, have been brutalized throughout the Muslim world, from the Pacific Islanders of West Papua and (now independent) Timor-Leste in Indonesia, to the Arab Christians throughout the Middle East and North Africa, to the West African Christians in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire.

Hindus in Bangladesh were the victims of one of the worst genocides in recent history at the hands of Pakistani Islamists; an estimated 2.5 million were slaughtered in 1971. The murderous persecution of Yazidis by ISIS is a genocide in progress — and as a Jew, I don’t use the term “genocide” lightly. Indian politician and economist Dr. Subramanian Swamy noted recently that Islamists, when in power in Muslim-majority nations, “do not practice what they demand when they are minorities.”

Islamists are involved in armed conflicts in many Muslim-minority countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, China, and Russia. And Islamists also fight other Muslims: Sunnis and Shias have battled for centuries; Ahmadis and Balochi Zikris are repressed in Pakistan, as are Sufis throughout the Muslim world. In Iraq and elsewhere, Sunni Arabs fight Sunni Kurds.

To say that the global Islamist movement is at war with the “West” is thus restrictive to the point of mischaracterization. The “Islam against the West” construct improperly casts the conflict as a brown versus white affair, with all the colonial baggage that comes with that. That fosters the sense of victimhood that Islamists doggedly cling to in every conflict, even when they are clearly the oppressors. And it might partially explain why the international left acts as apologists for the Islamists, even though Islamists absolutely reject almost every value leftists claim to stand for — tolerance, diversity, multiculturalism, feminism, gay rights, respect for minorities, etc.

Islamists should not be cast as underdogs in the struggle against Western colonialism, but rather as bigots whose supremacist ideology is every bit as noxious as that of the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. And their victims are overwhelmingly brown and black. Of course, white leftists have a certain narcissism which only enables them to be offended by white bigotry. People functioning without such ideological blinders, however, should be able to see the situation with greater moral clarity.

Appreciating the truly global threat of Islamism, rather than viewing it through a West-centric prism, will enable us to form a much broader and effective coalition to counter it. India, for example, has been on the front lines against Islamism for over a millennium. As the world’s largest democracy, it is a natural and valuable ally.

The shock value of ISIS’s barbarism has gotten the world’s attention. Many have been slow to appreciate, however, that ISIS’s ideology is indistinguishable from that of other Islamists — Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jemaah Islamiah, and many others. Several governments, including that of Iran, also espouse the same ideology. That is not to say that all of these groups get along, but they all share a violent intolerance for people of other faiths. The democracies of the world must unite against this type of intolerance — not against Islam, but against the radical political ideology that promotes the subjugation or destruction of everyone, including Muslims, who does not believe what the extremists believe.

David Cohen, Former Deputy Assistant Sec. of the Interior


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Muslims Stand Against ISIS, Too

Junaid Jahangir, thanks for this comprehensive piece.

Indeed, except a handful of nuts, almost all Muslims have condemned this, the other night, a fellow Muslim was demanding, where are the Muslim protests? I asked him to learn to Google - yes Muslims have condemned it.

If a certifications were to be given to a Muslim organization to be called an Islamic or a Muslim organization, ISIS app will not even be considered. I have asked the media not to call the Calip, Caliphate or Islamic State... why give legitimacy to illegitimate thiefs? I have asked Sean Hannity on his show not call them Muslims or Islamic groups...and will follow up with him.

Yes, Prophet would stand up against these crazies in support of Christians, Yazidis and others who are their target.

Full article is at Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/muslims-to-dedicate-frida_b_5679118.html

Mike Ghouse
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Muslims Stand Against ISIS, Too
By Junaid Jahangir

Posted: Updated:

A friend told me recently that the horrific conduct of ISIS -- Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -- has left many people with the impression that all Muslims are like ISIS. However, a simple Google search reveals the Muslim response to ISIS. 

Muslim volunteers from the humanitarian group Islamic Relief provided food parcels, 2,000 hygiene kits and about 32,000 articles of clothing to over 3,000 Christian and other families who fled the ISIS persecution.
More than 17,000 displaced people have been sheltered in the Hussainiyat -- Shii congregation halls, mosques and other religious buildings. The Holy Shrines of Imam Ali and Imam Hussain and the city of Basra opened their doors to host displaced Christian and other families and serve their needs.

In solidarity with their Christian neighbours, Muslim social activists launched the "I am Nazrene (Christian)" campaigns. An Iraqi TV host broke down in tears and referred to Christians as our "own flesh and blood." Law Professor Mahmoud Al Asali gave up his life by standing in solidarity with his Christian brothers and sisters. 

Sunni and Shii clerics in Iraq jointly drafted and distributed a religious edict to over 50,000 mosques declaring ISIS as an un-Islamic terrorist organization. Sheikh Taha al Karkhi, grand preacher in Baghdad, declared that resisting and standing up against ISIS is a religious duty. 

Over 80 Muslim intellectuals, activists and religious leaders in India jointly urged the United Nations to hold ISIS accountable for its brutality, which they termed as a "crime against humanity" and "religious cleansing."
Over 100 British Sunni and Shii Imams released a powerful video to urge Muslim youth to stay away from ISIS, which they branded as an illegitimate and vicious group. About 5000 Norwegian Muslims rallied in Oslo against ISIS. 

The Caliph of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim community and the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a group representing 57 countries and 1.4-billion Muslims, also forcefully condemned ISIS. The Indonesian President urged Muslim leaders to unite their efforts, prohibited Indonesians from joining ISIS and blocked the ISIS Internet sites. 

In North America, the two largest Muslim umbrella groups -- Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) -- issued statements condemning ISIS. CAIR strongly urged American Imams and other community leaders to speak out against American Muslims traveling abroad to join extremist groups like ISIS. 

Conservative and progressive Muslims are united in their condemnation of ISIS. 

Yasir Qadhi, a conservative Muslim leader, stated that the Prophet warned us about groups who would spread bloodshed and yet think of themselves as the best of worshipers. He further mentioned that, "no amount of the evils of American foreign policy can justify the murderous rampage of ISIS and its ilk."
On the progressive side, Mike Ghouse of the World Islamic Congress went so far as to call for drone attacks against ISIS. From Switzerland academic Elham Manea urged Muslim communities and nations to look inward and vanquish intolerant dogma and regressive politics to remove ISIS.

Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) USA President, Ani Zonneveld, tweeted that IS does not stand for Islamic State but "International Scum." The eighth annual MPV retreat will also focus on countering supremacist ideologies espoused by groups like ISIS. 

Shahla Khan Salter, Director of Universalist Muslims in Canada has stated, "if we become aware of any individual or group, specifically promoting ISIS, their activities shall be reported to the RCMP, for inciting hatred, as ISIS is clearly committing genocide."

In Canada, Muslim leaders in Manitoba unconditionally condemned the ISIS persecution of Christians and Yazidis as an affront to Islam. 

About 200 Sunni and Shia Muslims gathered outside Calgary City Hall to condemn ISIS. The President of the Shii group stated that he and other community leaders were working hard to wean youth away from radicalization and that the Government of Canada should be vigilant about the influx of radical elements.
About 200 members of the Kurdish community, many of whom are Sunni Muslims, also gathered in Calgary and asserted that the international community should support the Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS to protect global stability and security. 

Imam Soharwardy, who founded the first anti-terrorism NGO -- Muslims Against Terrorism -- in Calgary, went on a 48 hour fast to draw attention to the issue of radicalized Canadian youth. He wants Muslim youth considering going overseas to join ISIS to instead reach out to him.

He claimed receiving death threats from both radical Muslims and Islam bashers. Yet, he is firm in asserting that Muslims must unite to isolate deviant groups like ISIS and that the government should be more vigilant.
ISIS has no theological base to stand on. Media sources indicate how two British men who pleaded guilty to terrorism offenses had bought 'Islam for Dummies' and "The Koran for Dummies."

Far from being devout adherents of faith, who are guided by humility and service to humanity, those drawn towards groups like ISIS are motivated by a hunger for power and thrills. 

Muslim religious rulings are quite clear against targeting of civilians and collateral damage. According to Oxford based Malaysian jurist, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al Akiti, Islamic law specialists are appalled by the legal style of "jihadi fatwas" and reject them as anomalies and misguided innovations. 

There is no legal precedent in Islamic jurisprudence on circumventing the prohibition of targeting civilians. Perpetrators of such acts are treated as major sinners meriting punishment in this life and the hereafter.
However, despite all these condemnations, the conflation of Muslims with fringe groups has become normative. The Internet is rife with comments like there are "too many Muslims in Canada", "they need to completely renounce Islam," "they need to be sent back to their country" and "those in the Middle East should all be nuked."

Perhaps such sentiments arise out of a concern that, notwithstanding the umpteen condemnations, change is not happening. People are also aghast that hundreds of ISIS fighters have emerged from those living in Western countries that offer relative economic stability and human rights. 

On the other hand, even Tarek Fatah, Canadian media personality whose views are construed as opposed to most Muslims, wrote in his book "The Jew is not my Enemy":
"The task of these Muslim reformers is obstructed not just by the Islamists and the jihadis but also by non-Muslims who would rather these reformers fail so that Muslims continue to be seen as a people devoid of reason and consumed by hate."
Given the vicious cycle of hate, fuelled by Islamists and Islamophobes, Muslim comedian and writer, Dean Obeidallah, has said we should build stronger interfaith communities. 

We have to stand united against fear mongering and hate, otherwise groups like ISIS will have won. Instead of giving into complaints and negativity, we need to offer positive solutions to eliminate the ISIS menace that affects Muslims and non-Muslims alike. 

Progressive Muslim leader, Dr. Amina Wadud writes, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into a cataclysmic way of thinking by "just nuke em"-type comments. Etty Hillesum, who was murdered in Auschwitz during the Holocaust, taught us that we have to destroy within ourselves things that make us destroy others.
Notwithstanding their differences, Muslims of all stripes -- Sunni, Shii, Ismaili, Ahmadi, LGBTQ -- must unite to amplify their efforts to isolate groups like ISIS and not allow Islamophobia to dishearten them.
A wide array of Islamic texts, including the Prophet's covenant at St. Catherine's monastery, compels Muslims to stand against groups like ISIS. The admonition of the Prophet (upon whom be peace) is clear, "Whosoever wrongs a Jew or Christian will have myself as his prosecutor on the Day of Judgment."
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That


Conservative media figures have wrongly accused Muslim groups and leaders of failing to denounce the violent acts of the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), despite the fact that numerous Muslim religious authorities, advocacy groups, and Imams have come together to denounce the Islamic State's un-Islamic crimes against humanity.

Conservative Media Figures Complain That Few Muslim Voices Are Denouncing The Islamic State  

Fox & Friends: "We Aren't Hearing Much" Condemnation Of ISIS From Muslim Groups Like The Organization Of Islamic Cooperation Or Al-Azhar. On the August 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Anna Kooiman claimed that "we aren't hearing much" from Muslim countries and groups in response to the brutal acts of violence committed by the Islamic State, while the network's Middle East and terrorism expert Whalid Phares called on Islamic organizations Al-Azhar and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to condemn the terrorist group:
ANNA KOOIMAN: But what should other countries be doing? Specifically Muslim countries and what about Muslim groups? We aren't hearing much from them this morning.
Why do you think it's so important for Muslims across the country and all over the globe to speak out against ISIS?
WALID PHARES: The first institution should be Al-Azhar University, the equivalent of the Vatican in Egypt. They could do a lot by delegitimizing the work of ISIS. And second, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, it represents 57 Muslim governments. Some of these governments have criticized ISIS, but they need to coordinate at the international level. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/21/14]
Sean Hannity: "Where Are The Muslim Leaders" Speaking Out Against The Islamic State Terrorist Group? During the August 12 edition of Sean Hannity's Fox News program, in a segment titled "The Silence of Muslims," Hannity claimed that Muslims leaders have not been proactive in denouncing the "rise of radical Islam" and acts of terror committed by the Islamic State:
SEAN HANNITY: As we witness the rise of radical Islam all across the globe, and thousands of innocent non-Muslims are being terrorized for their faith, I can't help but wonder, where are the Muslim leaders? Now, since September 11, 2001, radical Islamists have attacked all the places that you see there highlighted on the map on your screen, including, let's see, New York, Madrid, Moscow, London, Washington, D.C.
So the question is, will prominent Muslims denounce and take on groups like ISIS, Hamas, and condemn and also fight against their unthinkable acts of terrorism?
We see this group ISIS - 'convert or die.' Why do I sense there's not enough outspoken Muslims saying, you know, 'We condemn this. This is not our religion. Stop doing acts of terror in the name of our religion.'I don't hear those voices that loudly. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/12/14]
ABC News' Laura Ingraham: We're Not Hearing Enough, "If Any," Condemnation Of The Islamic State From The Muslim Community. Laura Ingraham, host of syndicated radio show The Laura Ingraham Show and contributor for both Fox News and ABC News, argued on August 11 that few, "if any," in the Muslim community have condemned the Islamic State, asking, "Where are those people":
LAURA INGRAHAM: And it would be nice if more in the Muslim world coming out and condemning what the Islamic State is doing. You're not hearing enough of those voices, if any. I mean, where are those people? [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 8/11/14]

In Reality, Top Muslim Leaders And Groups -- Like The Organization of Islamic Cooperation -- Have Condemned The Islamic State  

The Organization Of Islamic Cooperation: The Islamic State Has "Nothing To Do With Islam," Has Committed Crimes "That Cannot Be Tolerated." As the Vatican's internal news source reported, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 1.4 billion Muslims in 57 countries around the world, condemned the Islamic State's persecution of of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq, saying the "forced deportation under the threat of execution" is a "crime that cannot be tolerated." According to the Vatican:
The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they 'have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.' [Vatican Radio, 7/25/14]
Al-Azhar: Islamic State Is Corrupt And "A Danger To Islam." Lebanese paper The Daily Star reported that Al-Azhar's Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's highest religious authority, denounced the Islamic State as a threat to Islam and said that the group both violates Sharia law and humanitarian law: "[They] give an opportunity for those who seek to harm us, to destroy us and interfere in our affairs with the [pretext of a] call to fight terrorism." [The Daily Star, 8/13/14]

Arab League: "Strongly Denounced" The "Crimes Against Humanity" Carried Out By The Islamic State. On August 11, Nabil al-Arabi, the Arab League Chief, denounced acts committed by the Islamic State in Iraq as "crimes against humanity," demanding that they be brought to justice. According to Al Arabiya News, he said in a statement that he "strongly denounced the crimes, killings, dispossession carried out by the terrorist (ISIS) against civilians and minorities in Iraq that have affected Christians in Mosul and Yazidis." [Al Arabiya News, 8/11/14]

Turkey's Top Cleric: Islamic State's Threats Are "Hugely Damaging," "Truly Awful." Turkey's highest ranking cleric, Mehmet Gormez, decried the Islamic State's declaration of a "caliphate" and argued that the statements were damaging to the Muslim community, according to Reuters:
"Such declarations have no legitimacy whatsoever," Mehmet Gormez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, the highest religious authority in Turkey, which, although a majority Muslim country, has been a secular state since the 1920s.
"Since the caliphate was abolished ... there have been movements that think they can pull together the Muslim world by re-establishing a caliphate, but they have nothing to do with reality, whether from a political or legal perspective."
Gormez said death threats against non-Muslims made by the group, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), were hugely damaging.
"The statement made against Christians is truly awful. Islamic scholars need to focus on this (because) an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization," he told Reuters in an interview. [Reuters, 7/22/14]
CAIR Repeatedly Condemned The Islamic State As "Un-Islamic And Morally Repugnant." In a July 7 statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the terrorist group "un-Islamic and morally repugnant," noted that the Islamic State's "human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented," and called on other Muslim community leaders to speak out against the violence. CAIR reiterated the condemnation of the Islamic State as "both un-Islamic and morally repugnant" on August 11, and on August 21, CAIR once again condemned the group, calling the killing of American journalist James Foley "gruesome and barbaric":
We strongly condemn this gruesome and barbaric killing as a violation of Islamic beliefs and of universally-accepted international norms mandating the protection of prisoners and journalists during conflicts.

The Geneva Conventions, the Quran - Islam's revealed text - and the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad all require that prisoners not be harmed in any way. There can be no excuse or justification for such criminal and bloodthirsty actions.
We also call on those holding Steven Sotloff and other prisoners to immediately release them unharmed so they may return to their loved ones. [Council on American-Islamic Relations, 7/7/14; Council on American-Islamic Relations, 8/11/14; Council on American-Islamic Relations, 8/20/14]
The Muslim Council Of Great Britain: "Violence Has No Place In Religion." The Muslim Council of Great Britain condemned the Islamic State's actions and expressed that they do not represent Sunni Muslims, according to The Independent. Shuja Shafi, a member of the council also said: "Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion. It is prohibited for people to present themselves for destruction." [The Independent, 7/11/14]

The Islamic Society of North America: The Islamic State's Actions "Are To Be Denounced And Are In No Way Representative Of What Islam Actually Teaches. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) released a statement denouncing the Islamic State "for its attacks on Iraq's religious minorities and the destruction of their places of worship." ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid said, "ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching, 'Let there be no compulsion in religion' (Surat al-Baqara 2:256)," adding, "Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches." [The Islamic Society of North America, 8/9/14]

100 Sunni And Shiite U.K. Imams: The Islamic State Is An "Illegitimate, Vicious Group." As the Huffington Post reported, 100 Sunni and Shiite Imams from the U.K. came together to produce a video denouncing the Islamic State, releasing a statement that they wanted to "come together to emphasise the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way."
[Huffington Post, 7/12/14; YouTube, 7/11/14]

Saudi Arabia's Highest Religious Authority: Terrorists Like The Islamic State Is The "Number One Enemy Of Islam." On August 19, Al Jazeera reported that Saudi Arabia's grand mufti, Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, the country's top religious authority, said that terrorism is anti-Islamic and said that groups like the Islamic State which practice violence are the "number one enemy of Islam":
Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims. [Al Jazeera, 8/19/14]
Muslim Public Affairs Council: Condemned The Islamic State And Called For "Stand Against Extremism." On August 20, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) released a statement condemning "the barbaric execution of American Journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)." MPAC urged "all people of conscience to take a stand against extremism" and offered condolences to Foley's family. MPAC also noted the importance of countering ISIS and other extremist groups by working "to empower the mainstream and relegate extremists to the irrelevance they deserve." [Muslim Public Affairs Council, 8/20/14]

Get that SOB Al-Baghdadi

Get that SOB Al-Baghdadi now:: An appeal to President Obama and Sean Hannity about terrorist Al-Baghdadi by Mike Ghouse, World Muslim Congress

Our attitude towards Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his thugs should be, "You SOB, you are the murderer and not your religion, don’t give me the crap about your religion, your religion does not teach you to kill a single soul, don’t you slap your evilness onto your religion, we are not dumb to buy it.  You are going to pay a price for it, either back off and repent, surrender or face the drones".

Mr. Al-Baghdadi, don’t give me the bullshit to believe that your acts are Islamic.  No one believes you except your thugs. We cannot let you make Islam look bad with a rogue like you, you acts are not Muslim, period.  You are a criminal and we will figure out a way to punish you. “

Dear President please surround  Al-Baghdadi Gang,  cut off supplies, spray  the sleeping  gas to knock them out of conscious for a few hours and capture them all and bring them to Guantanamo Bay for a trial, it is probably efficient and in the process we will save the innocent civilians.   

I urge Sean Hannity, my friend and the entire Fox team and other media to call the terrorists anything under the sun but Islamic State, Caliphate, or ISIS.  There is no need to give a semblance of legitimacy to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang.  Please do not buy their illegitimate claim to be called an Islamic State, call them Terrorist State.  
If there were a certificate given to an organization to operate as an Islamic entity, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang's application will be rejected for the gross violations of Islam, a few are addressed here at Huffington post -  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/muslims-to-dedicate-frida_b_5679118.html

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916


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. All about him is listed in several 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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Muslim, Buddhist and Government perspectives of ISIS in Iraq

With Permission from Boothe Global Perspective.
Thank you Ben for sharing the message with your world wide audience, we appreciate that.

by Boothe Global Perspectives, Special | ‎Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 8:44 AM (CDT)



 This article outlines three unique and powerful global perspectives all from sources with voice and influence on millions, to terrorism and the absolute horribly evil actions taking place around the world.  Of course, the terror, (bombings of civilians, kidnapping of children, raping of wives, beheading of children, execution of civilian men while they watch their wives and children being herded off to rape and execution),  are in the playbook of immoral people from time immortal. The terror they conduct is supposed to frighten people into submission. 

But, more and more people around the world have learned that these acts of violence have lost their ability to frighten…because to be intimidated is to fall within the power of immoral terrorists.  More and more people just see these acts for what they are, disgusting, pathetic, evil tools by ambitious men, who would use their religion, their guns, their knives, even their bodies to desecrate and demean humanity and themselves, in the goal of power, greed, ego and politics.  We see it in the Ukraine (Russia, a Christian nation fighting Ukrainians),  Israel (A Jewish nation bombing Gaza), Gaza (Muslims sending rockets to blast Israel), Iraq (the self proclaimed Islamic State attacking religious minorities, and other Muslims), Nigeria (thugs posing as Muslims kidnapping children, murdering their parents).   These are people doing evil things. 

 More and more people around the world are adding their voices and energy condemning the evil acts done by men under a pretense of religion. Most of the time it is politics, power, greed and control...not spirituality, and certainly not what any major religion would espouse. 
1. Mike Ghouse, Islamic leader, has an audience of 6,000,000 people and he has called for good Islamic people to pray for an end to the violence and call for an end to the leaders of ISIS (ISIL) for their wicked acts. His study of Islam, says what ISIS is doing, has no justification to call their evil acts “religious”, indeed what they do is evil by their own holy book.   
2. HH the Dalai Lama, Buddhist leader, who speaks to millions throughout the world, has met with Islamic leaders in India and they have also condemned the acts of ISIS (ISIL) and restated that the Koran speaks against such evil violent acts (thus, showing that ISIL cannot in truth call what they do religious).  
3. Finally we see a response from a government. This photograph, of a bombed and destroyed Toyota Pick Up.  ISIS had a host of brand new Toyota Pickups, all equipped with powerful weaponry in the bed of the truck that they proudly drove from Syria into Iraq to conduct their lightning fast shock raids.  The photo shows their ultimate destination, one must wonder if these sad burned Toyota tombs represent trips to heaven, or just a fiery end to evil adventurism…it is the voice of justice and power, with no pretense of religion or terrorism. Simply a message of the ultimate destiny of men, who died hiding under a tree, after doing wicked things.


Muslims to dedicate Friday Sermons for the safety of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other Minorities, and condemn Terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to prevent the Genocide Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is on a killing spree of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other Minorities in Iraq and Syria. We urge Muslims to pray for Sanity to prevail, and urge the World powers to give a final warning to Al-Baghdadi to surrender or face the drones. 

In behalf of Muslims, I strongly condemn the evil acts of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi for terrorizing Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other minorities in Iraq. He is an evil man and must be caught and processed for his crimes against humanity, there is Genocide in making, and I recommend a bounty be posted to get him dead or alive.
Key suggestions:

1. We urge Muslims around the world to dedicate their congregational Sermon on Friday, August 15, 2014 and or August 22, 2014 for the safety of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and others in Iraq and Syria, and restore law and order, and safety to the victims of oppression. 
2. Christians are fleeing Iraq, and their population is dwindling from a Million down to 400,000, it needs to be stopped at once. No human should be thrown and forced out of his or her home, and thanks to the US initiative to rescue the Yazidis. 
3. The Gang leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has given a despicable ultimatum to the Christians, "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jiziyah; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword."
4. No one should have the right to chase any one out of their own homes. Quran recommends severe punishment to the oppressors and suggests hunting them down where ever they can be found and punish them accordingly, unless they sincerely repent and back off. It's time to apply the Quranic rule to these criminals. 
5. We urge the European Union to drone the terrorists individually without hurting the innocent civilians to prevent Genocide. The United States does not have a moral ground to stand on, as we have justified bombing civilians in the Gaza crisis, shame on us, our Senators and Congresspersons. 
6. The terrorists who call themselves religious and carry the labels of Islam, (ISIL or ISIS) have beheaded hundreds of innocent people, crucified former Muslims who freely chose to follow Jesus Christ, destroyed dozens of Christian churches, burned sacred manuscripts and sacred art, and sent hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities fleeing for their lives in a reign of bloodshed and terror (Catholic.org)
7. We urge the media to call them anything under the sun but caliph, Caliphate, or Islamic State. There is no need to give a semblance of legitimacy to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang. We have to reject his evil claims of his acts as Islamic. Our attitude should be, "You are the murderer and not your religion, and you are going to pay a price for it, either surrender or face the drones".
8. If there were a certificate given to an organization to operate as an Islamic entity, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang's application will be rejected for the gross violations of Islam, a few are addressed here;
a. There is no compulsion in Islam -- no one can be forced to believe against his or her will (2:256) -- how dare they make the despicable statement to the Christians of Iraq to convert or run.
b. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s covenant states, "It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric or a Christian from his Christianity, a monk from his monastic life or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage or a hermit monk from his tower. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims. Whoever does such a thing will have violated the pact of Allah, disobeyed his Messenger, and betrayed the Divine Alliance."
c. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s covenant states, "No Christian will be made Muslim by force: And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better [29:46].
d. In another Hadith (Prophet's sayings) quoted by Abu Dawud, Prophet in essence says, if you are unjust to a Christian or a Jew, by God, on the Day of Judgment, I will stand up against you. Here is the quote, "Be aware, that whoever oppressed one who has a treaty with us, or belittled him, or burdened him with more than he is capable of, or took something from him forcibly with him being displeased, then I will be his plaintiff (will argue against him) on the Day of Judgment."

9. Please feel free to visit www.WorldMuslimCongress.com for updates and related reports on the subject.
To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work at is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker thinker and a writer.
  Mike is a thoughtful, brave man, a powerful communicator and an outstanding organizer.  We at  Boothe Global Perspectives recommend that you follow Mike Ghouse and encourage his work. 

  2. HH the Dalia Lama, PERSPECTIVE (admired and followed by Buddhists throughout the World) 

Meeting Hosted with HH the Dalia Lama and by the Muslim Co-ordination Committee, Leh
 July 16th 2014
 Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 16 July 2014 -

The Muslim Co-ordination Committee, Leh had invited His Holiness to lunch. In welcoming remarks Saeed Naqvi praised His Holiness for his efforts to promote mutual understanding and for being a symbol of peace and harmony for the whole world. Saif ud din took up the theme saying:
“Today is a great day for us as we are honored by His Holiness’s presence. We admire your work for peace and assure you that Islam denounces violence and bloodshed. Like many in the international community we support your Middle Way Approach to resolving the difficulties in Tibet. We Muslims and Buddhists of Ladakh have long lived in harmony and will continue to do so. We pray for His Holiness’s long life and the fulfilment of his wishes.”
 “My Muslim spiritual brothers and sisters,” His Holiness replied, “you organized this meeting and invited me to it, which I greatly appreciate. In the small village where I was born near Kumbum Monastery there were Muslim families so I have long been familiar with people of Islam. When I reached Lhasa at the age of five, about 1000 Muslims lived there and whenever there were government functions Muslim representatives took part. Many of them wore a red hat with a tassle on it.”

 At mention of this the one man in the audience wearing such a hat got to his feet and His Holiness teased him saying:

 “Yes, just like that, with a tassle that matches you beard.

 “You may have heard me tell this story before, but the 13th Dalai Lama had had a pocket watch that I began to use. Then one day it stopped and we invited an expert Muslim watchmaker to come and have a look at it. He fixed it, but solemnly told me that a person who carries a watch in his pocket should behave as if he was carrying an egg! A gentle rebuke that I should be more careful.”

 His Holiness mentioned that after 1959 many Tibetan Muslims left Tibet and settled in Srinagar. For many years, he said he had been unable to visit them, but renewed his acquaintance two years ago. He spoke of being surprised and touched to discover that their young children spoke good Tibetan with a Lhasa dialect, an indication that they still use Tibetan within their families.

 In addition to describing his practice since 1975 of making pilgrimage to other people’s places of worship, which has seen him visit several mosques, making many Muslim friends, he referred to events since September 11th 2001. He recalled attending the first anniversary memorial service in Washington and expressing his conviction that just because the terrorists involved had a Muslim background was no reason for generalizing about a whole community. He pointed out that there are mischievous individuals amongst Hindus, Jews, Christians and Buddhists, not only among Muslims, and that to generalize about any of these communities on such a basis would be wrong and unfair. 

He said:
“I’m a Buddhist, but now I often step forward to defend Islam. I often repeat what my friend Farooq Abdhullah the former Chief Minister, explained to me about jihad, that it is not about attacking other people, but about making combat with your own disturbing emotions. If you are about to do someone harm, but you restrain yourself, that’s an instance of jihad, which also has a lot to do with self-discipline.”

His Holiness went on to praise India as a living example of tolerant pluralism, a place where all the world’s major religions live together peacefully side by side. He cited the small Parsee community in Mumbai who have long flourished there without fear. He reiterated that India’s example is a model for the world to follow.
 Commenting on the sadness he has felt to hear reports of Buddhists in Burma and Sri Lanka attacking Muslims, he recounted the appeal he had made to them when moved to attack to remember the face of the Buddha. His Holiness is convinced that if the Buddha were present there he would offer the victims protection. In a similar context, considering the conflicts between Sunnis and Shias in various parts of the Middle East and between Christians and Muslims in parts of Africa, he appealed to his listeners to consider ways in which they might influence their Muslim brothers to exercise restraint. He acknowledged that Ladakhi Muslims by themselves might not achieve much, but as part of a larger Indian Muslim community their voice would be heard.

 Finally, His Holiness noted that although they had invited him to lunch, on this occasion his hosts would not be joining him because they are observing the Ramadan daytime fast. They parted in good will with much affection and intentions to communicate messages of compassion and reconciliation to the world.  


View as ISIS entered Iraq. They drove across the country, coming into towns, waving flags, cheering, firing their weapons into the air. It appeared like a sports event. Then they hit poorly guarded towns and villages, shooting their way in, then kidnapping women and children, raping, and stealing. Beheading children, wives and husbands. With their new pick ups, they were relentless, filled with bravado.

View of their new pickup after ISIS entered Iraq. These "brave" soldiers died, trying to hide under a tree. Their black flag and guns destroyed.  "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword".