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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Religious discourse and the Parliament of Religions; a new paradigm

The work of the Parliament of world's religions is a reflection of what most people in the world want regardless of their religious, spritual, humanistic or societal background; to get along with others and focus on creating goods and services rather than negating the otherness of other.

The world is changing quite rapidly, while conflicts continue to rage, a new dimension is emerging vividly and growing strongly every day.

My visit with the visionaries at the Parliament of World’s religions in Chicago this week reaffirmed and encouraged my belief that the world is moving towards a new paradigm “Co-existence” also known as “Pluralism”. Pluralism is nothing more than an adjustment in one’s attitude towards others; it is indeed respecting the otherness of other and accepting the Genetic ( ~ God given) uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us. If we accept 7 billion unique thumb prints and understand the existence of 7 billion DNA compositions, then why not accept 7 billion beliefs? If we can learn to accept that, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

The folks at the Paraliament of world's religions are a model of humillity; they are committed to serve humanity with blinders on them and I admire them for the their committment. It was an overwhelming joy to know that there are people out there who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place. Please visit their site and find out more about each one of these Mahatamas; the great souls.

Those of us who feel insecure about the interfaith movement and fear losing our identity or diluting it, please be assured that the goal of the Parliament is NOT to UNITE religions, but to facilitate a platform to learn about the others first hand and work together for the common good of mankind. 90% of religion is about doing common good, only 10% of it is rituals that give it its own uniqueness.

This learning process will restore integrity within us when we do not allow our heart to hate or harbor ill-will towards others; it restores the truth in us when we shed the myths about others; it will make us feel pure and clean when we do not allow falsities about others even if our Rabbi, Imam, Pastor, Pundit, Shaman or Clergy tells us otherwise, none of them is responsible for our anguish in our solititudenal moments of our life. Finding the truth is our own responsiblity and the truth frees us from fears and myths.

There is no proselytization element in any of the events the Parliament facilitates. You may love the theme in Melbourne, “hearing each other and healing the earth”. Indeed, that is the need of the day; hearing each other first hand.

The work of the Parliament is a reflection of what most people in the world want regardless of their religious, ethnic or societal background; to get along with others and focus on creating goods and services rather than negating the otherness of other.

The need for social cohesion for societies to operate smoothly without giving up an ounce of any one’s identity has strongly emerged now, this is a new paradigm in the history of mankind. No one has to be like me, act like me, believe like me for us to get along. Australia is greasing all its wheels (communities) and working towards creating a smooth functionable society with all its components working towards a common goal; be yourselves. Here is an article I wrote on Social cohesion address to Muslims,m "Are Muslims a part of the American story?" it is applicable to all groups - http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2009/04/are-muslims-part-of-american-story.html

We were skyped with Barcelona, Melbourne and Cape Town; sites of the previous three Parliament events. It was a delight to hear the work that is going on in creating societies where the diverse elements of society have come together to live and work in harmony.

The Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

If you are encumbered with bias about other faiths, if it pains you to see the wrongs ascribed to other religions, you have a chance to free yourselves from such burden. Learning about other faiths need not mean infidelity to your own, indeed it enhances one's own faith knwoing that every religion comes from the creator as his, her love for its creation. When my daughter was five, she jumped in excitement, gee Dad God can be worshipped in so many different ways. Indeed, that excitment has enveloped me. My faith is beutiful to me as yours is to you; and I will not claim my faith is superior to yours, as it amounts to arrogance, faith is about humility and not arrogance. Other faiths don't have to be less than good for mine to be good. Think about the freedom you find when you beleive in it.

Deep down we crave for this world, here is an opportunity to be in tune with that self; please visit the website http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/ and http://www.peacenext.org/ and witness the positive change that is gaining ground.


At this time, we are down to three Cities qualified to host the 2014 Parliament of World’s religions.; Guadalajara, Brussels and Dallas. Each city has a compelling reason to host the event and we hope the winning site will bring a positive change for the city and its suroundings and becomes a model for other cities to emulate social cohesion and harmonius co-existence with all our differences and diversity. Afterall, security and peace of each one of us is dependent on peace and security of others that surround us.

We are blessed with our visioinary religious, indigenous, humanistic and civic leadership to come together to form a Interfaith Coalition to take this movement further and build a model society of co-existence in Dallas. We hope to humbly become emulatable and contagious.

Please take the time and tell us how we can bring the most good to the world by hosting the event in Gudalajara, Brussels or Dallas. Let’s find the avenue that will have a ripple effect. My personal conviction is that Dallas will create the wave and momentum to embrace the world and work its way in creating cohesive societies that will bring about harmony and peace.

Dallas, Texas, May 20, 2010

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day. His work is reflected at 3 websites & 22 Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/


  1. Asslamualikum Author
    You are doing great job about Islam.
    Please keep it up.

  2. the broblem with islam as i read and understand it all those who will not believe and follow islam r quran must die that is not the love that jesus told us to have