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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Did the King James Version of the Bible change the world?

Did the King James Version of the Bible change the world?  Bill McKenzie of Dallas Morning News asks this question, here is my take:

Even if Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Moses and the others had the opportunity to print the holy books when they began their missions, the Bible and the Qur'aan would have remained the most influential books in changing the world.

Both the books inspire the followers to believe that the word of God must be spread to all corners of the world. Even though Buddhism was taken up by Asoka, one of the greatest kings of his time who sent emissaries around the world to preach the word of enlightenment, it did not add adherents as fast as the other two perhaps because it addressed the enlightenment within an individual whereas community building was the focus of Christianity and Islam. Since Hinduism does not have the conversion component, it still remains in the top slot mainly because it is one of the oldest religions.

As a pluralist who believes in the divinity of all religions as the pathways to becoming part of the larger energy called God, I believe Qur'aan seems to be the book that leads the pack in changing the world, while the Bible runs toe to toe for many reasons; the biggest of all the reasons was reliance on the book.

Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his last sermon, to paraphrase him, "O People, I am leaving this book and my practices to you, that is all you need to know to lead a moral life, and you cannot go wrong with it if you follow them." The responsibility to be a good human being was placed directly on shoulders of the individuals and hence reliance on the book.

Neither Jesus nor Muhammad encouraged the establishment of clergy; it was between the individual and the creator. Indeed, many Christians and Muslims refer to the book more frequently than the followers of other religions. The profession of clergy was bound to happen with a need for getting the word of God out.

The Muslim prayers require one to recite at least a few chapters during the prayers and without an exception every one of the 1.6 billion Muslims can recite at least five chapters, and about 5% of the Muslims have memorized the whole Qur'aan; word for word.

The phrase "People of the book" was indeed coined by Prophet Muhammad, meaning those who follow a book to live a moral life. The emphasis was on the book. The King James Version of the Bible certainly became available to the masses bolstered by the printing press and it will continue to be number one book in hands of the people.

A majority of Muslims, if not all, start every activity of their day by invoking the blessing of God and place themselves under the trust of God. As a result I place Qur'aan as the book that has changed most people.

Mike Ghouse
12 Opinions including mine are included in this piece at Dallas Morning News;


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Muslims condemn today’s attack on the Bus in Jerusalem.

March 23, 2011, Dallas, Texas

Muslims condemn today’s attack on the Bus in Jerusalem.

The world Muslim Congress strongly condemns the attack on the bus in Jerusalem as well as the resumption of the rocket attacks on the civilian population. We pray for God’s blessing for the victims and their families.

“It is the responsibility of the Palestinians to speak out and stand up against the few who are tarnishing the peace process” Mike Ghouse, President of the World Muslim Congress and the Foundation for Pluralism adds; “please find the individuals who are responsible for this horrendous crime and bring justice to the victims and their families. They are your real enemies and are bent on destroying the future of your children by their irresponsible malicious acts”.

Killing one human being is like killing the whole humanity, says the Torah and Quraan and its corollary, and saving one life is like saving the whole humanity. And both Muslims and Jews have to listen to God, there is wisdom in it.

I ask the Israelis to arrest the temptation to take revenge, only the one with power can stop the cycle, and let terrorism not force you out the path of peace.”

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim congress
Foundation for Pluralism
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206, Dallas, TX 75234
(214) 325-1916

Monday, March 21, 2011

Congratulations to Brussels for hosting the Parliament of Worlds Religions event in 2014

Congratulations to Brussels 
March 21, 2011, Dallas, Texas

We congratulate the Brussels team headed by Miguel Mesquita da Cunha, Chairman of the 2014 Bid Steering Committee for the tireless work they have put in behalf of Belgians and the Europeans to secure the 2014 bid to host the Parliament of the Worlds Religions.

In behalf of the Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim congress, two of the many supporters of the bid for hosting the 2014 event in Dallas, Mike Ghouse, president of the organizations announced,

“We the people of Dallas gracefully acknowledge and honor the decision of the board of trustees of the Parliament of World’s religion for their choice of Brussels to host the 2014 event. Indeed, Brussels will significantly contribute towards the goals of the Parliament; to facilitate an open dialogue among religions, nurture values of co-existence, and encourage cohesion and seek pluralism for people of the world. “

Now, it is our turn to join the Brussels team in making this event successful for the people of world aspiring to create the kingdom of heaven on this beautiful planet, where we can hope and pray that the next seven generations and beyond can live without the apprehension of the other and freely practice their faith and culture.   

You can count on our support any way we can.

Mike Ghouse, President
Foundation for Pluralism
World Muslim Congress
Dallas, Texas
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Articles and pictures by the Foundation for Pluralism, World Muslim Congress and Memnosyne Foundation.  I am pleased to share a few of the many references.  

1.      The Theme of Parliament 2014

2.      Defending the need for Parliament in Dallas Morning News – Mike aggressively defends criticism.

3.      Religious Discourse and the Parliament

4.      2014 Dallas bid to seek the Parliament in Dallas

5.      Mike Ghouse to speak at the Parliament of World’s Religions

6.      Angie Buchanan and Mike Ghouse on NPR

7.      Dalai Lama and worlds religions 

9.      Summary of the Parliament visit

10. Pictures: Parliament’s Chicago visit

11. June 5, 2010 Meeting

12. Parliament event in Melbourne

13. Dinner event at Fun Asia – sponsored by Fun Asia

14. Meeting at Madeleine Restaurant in May 2010

15. Official announcement by the Parliament

We have had a few more dinner meetings held in Dallas and few more pictures, which I may publish later on due to specific requests from our friends not to publish their pictures for the public.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer and is committed to building a cohesive America through the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other, and World Muslim Congress committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam.

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam and building cohesive societies at your work, place of worship, school, seminars or conferences.  He is a media commentator offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/

Mike Ghouse,
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206, Dallas, TX 75234

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Texas Faith: What to make of Rep. Peter King's hearings

Texas Faith - What to make of Rep. Peter King's hearings into Muslim American radicalization?
Sam Hodges, Dallas Morning News

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, last week held the first of a series of hearings into what he describes as Muslim American radicalization. He says he wants to do everything he can to prevent a recurrence of the 9-11 attacks. He has faced criticism from Muslims and others for singling out Islam. But at least one Muslim commentator welcomed the hearings as a chance for educating about the faith and addressing head on the fears many Americans have about it.
We asked our Texas Faith panelists for their reaction to the whole idea of King's hearings. Then we asked: Whether or not you support them, what advice would you give to make such hearings as responsible and constructive as possible?

Here's what they said
Ten panelists have shared their opinion, here is mine and all of them are at:


MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
We should be concerned about the hearings and pray that Mr. King would be honest, sincere and fair. We hope he will not destroy the fabric of our nation and pit one American against the other.

King's hearings are reflective of sheer political desperation. The right-wing Republicans rode in with a thumping majority in mid-term elections, and now their goal is to win the Senate and the White House. These hearing are to augment that process.

They do not have an honest reason to win in 2012, so they manufacture "Sharia", "Caliphate" and other devils. They frighten the crap out of constipated men and women and guarantee them that they will defend their rights and keep the bogeymen out. In reality nothing really will change; no one gets hired or sees the prosperity. We hope that Americans will not be duped into believing there has been a win against the imaginary enemy.

I trust our systems and the moral goodness of our nation. If Mr. King takes the wrong step, the American people will not put up with it. They have turned around Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars; supported Roe V. Wade, civil rights, gender equality and laws against discrimination, including anti-Semitism. We will continue to guard America from anyone tearing its fabric.

Acknowledging that "some of our own" are a security threat to our nation is the right thing to do. Muslims have nothing to fear and nothing to worry about; let the man fall flat on his face if he resorts to untruths. What if he turns out to be honest and finds guys like Shehzad? Then we owe him gratitude - not just Muslims, but the whole nation.

Rightfully, Muslims do not want to legitimize this kind of singling out; neither should anyone. But given the ride the right wingers are cherishing in Oklahoma, Tennessee and elsewhere, Muslim must welcome this and take this as a God-sent opportunity for America in general and Muslims in particular to clear the mine fields.

It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting peace in a society, and it is our responsibility to seek the source of such hate and work to mitigate and find lasting solutions.

If nothing else comes from the hearings, one thing is for sure. Muslims are not a monolithic lot. Four Muslims in America have welcomed the hearings: Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Dr. Akbar Ahmed, Ms. Asra Nomani and me. It is not an easy thing, but thank God Muslims have made it easy for us. The American values of democracy flow through their veins; they appreciate the freedom and value the differences, and have learned to respect the otherness of others. We thank God for this opportunity to put the doubts and nagging behind for good so we can continue to participate in and contribute towards the well-being of America, our homeland.
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Mike Ghouse is president of Americans Together and Muslims Together Foundations and is committed to building cohesive societies offering pluralistic solution on issues of the day. He will speak at your work place, place of worship or seminars and conferences on the subjects of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace; he is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics.  His work is indexed in 4 websites and 27 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Monday, March 14, 2011

Muslims condemn the Murders of Fogel Family in Israel

In behalf of Muslims and the World Muslim Congress, I condemn the malicious rejoice by some Palestinians over the cold blooded murder of the Fogel family in Israel.

A few exchanges on the net prompted me to add the following;

Bad people are among all of us without exception, acknowledging bad Muslims, bad Indians,  bad Israelis, bad Palestinians, bad Jews or bad Americans is the right thing to do, denying takes away the credibility of information.

The shameless score keeping must be understood to break they cycle of violence.  The shameless rejoice by a few Palestinians is not acceptable, and I sincerely hope, Netanyahu will not bomb the entire Gaza strip to avenge this and then they will fire the rockets... it is to the advantage of the powerful to break the cycle of revenge.   

A friend wrote, "Jewish Israelis do not do that too Muslims" and I wish that were the case. I asked him to look up Jerusalem post, Haaretz and the writings of Jewish humanitarians to find a different story.

I humbly request the right wing Jewish Americans and the right wing Muslim Americans not to start a campaign of hate and counter hate, but instead break this cycle.  Both sides can dig up trash and throw at each other, for what? So they can do more of it?

I ask the shameless Media vultures not to feed on these hateful incidents and talk for a whole week until they find another corpse; their food.  

Mike Ghouse is the founder of America Together foundation and Islam Together Foundation and is committed to building cohesive societies offering pluralistic solution on the issues of the day.  His work is indexed in 4 websites and 21 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/