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Monday, November 25, 2013

Banning Islam in Angola and banning Holocaust education in United Kingdom are lies.

Mike Ghouse
www.WisdomofReligion.com

November 25, 2013. Dallas, Texas – In behalf of the World Muslim Congress and the Foundation for Pluralism, Mike Ghouse released the following note today. Both the organizations are committed to building cohesive societies where no human has to live in fear of the other.

 
 
A mosque and a minaret were shown torn down in Angola, they
were pictures from 2008 Palestine and elsewhere, but not Angola
Muslim students in UK falsely ascribed as offended with Holocaust teaching.
 
Eight years ago, there was a rumor that Iran was making the lives of Bahá’ís, Zoroastrians and Jews miserable, a bunch of us interfaith guys in Dallas, wrote a petition and send off the letters. One of our friends from San Francisco called his friend, a Jewish Member of the Parliament in Iran,  and found out that it was a hoax. Of course, Iran has made life difficult for people of other faiths including the harassment and pending death penalty for Pastor Naderkhani on the count of Apostasy, an un-Islamic practice in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. This goes against the God given freedom in Quran 2:256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error."

Five years ago Fox News’ Maria Arita in Dallas called me up to inquire about the Muslim push to ban Holocaust education in France – thank God, for authenticity, I called my Jewish friends Bernie Mayoff and Dallas Holocaust Museum director, late Elliott Dlin, who verified that it was indeed a hoax.  Thanks to Maria for killing that rumor. I wish all Fox News reporters followed that example, imagine the damage it would have done to the fragile Jewish-Muslim relationship.

A few months ago, and again now, the rumor has it that the “Islamists” want to drop the teaching of Holocaust in UK, with an emphasis that it offends Muslim students.  In fact the examiner headlines, “
British schools drop Holocaust from history lessons so as not to offend Muslims.”  http://www.examiner.com/article/british-schools-drop-holocaust-from-history-lessons-so-as-not-to-offend-muslims That is a lie again, http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/holocaust.asp#tx5BaFtASgSJ3qWD.99

Now yesterday, the big bad news made headlines – that Angola has banned Islam and dismantling Mosques (http://www.africanglobe.net/africa/african-state-angola-bans-islam-mosques-destroyed/). Then I read another item where a Moroccan Muslim insurance tycoon has invested in Angola, those two contradictory news items did not make any sense. Now comes the news, after someone verified with the Angolan Embassy – that the news is not true (http://www.ibtimes.com/angola-denies-it-banned-islam-destroyed-mosques-1484898). I have not been unable to log on to a few websites, nor am I able to reach the Embassy. I will pursue it until I know the absolute facts.  I have called on Russian Embassy when they attempted to Ban Bhagvad Gita or Italian Embassy when a nutty Italian Mayor attempted to ban celebrations of Ganesh (Hindu) Festival. 


A few brutes are happy that Islam was banned in Angola, and some of the thrill seekers will be happier if Muslims in Angola are massacred. Of course, there are an equal number of creeps among Muslims who might be thinking of hurting Angola. We pray that God gives us a heart to feel the pain of others, an eye for an eye will makes us all blind, as Mahatma Gandhi had said. No Muslim is supposed to take his own or others life, yet we have loonies who do that. Of course there are equal number of Hindus, Jews and Christians violate the teachings of their faith.  

To de-stereotype ourselves, consider these numbers. New York had 1,092 Rapes in 2011, and 515 Murders. Is it fair to proclaim that the New Yorkers are rapists and murderers? That is exactly what these dummies are telling by calling Muslims are terrorists, and all the terrorists are Muslims. Indeed, all the 515 Murderers were New Yorkers.  This non-sense defies common sense.
These lies do a lot of damage, some of the right wingers continue with with mal-intent to make villains out of Muslims. Remember, “Injustice to one is injustice to all” (MLK). For you to live without apprehension, the people around you need must be free from your ill-will as well.

I expected Sean Hannity to call me and debate with Pamela Geller or Brigitte Gabriel, who are probably happy to see Muslims getting stripped from their fundamental human rights.  A true human rights activist would stand up for the rights of all humanity, no matter who it is.  I know Hannity would speak up against it as he has spoken against the stupidity of Pastor Terry Jones.  

When I heard the news, my first response was to take a deep breath and meditate.  Is this the kind of world we want, where no human feels safe to eat, drink, wear and believe whatever he or she wants to believe? It comes in the heels of another event that does the opposite, gives a sense of security to a people who lived in perpetual anxiety for over three millenniums; the Jews with the Iranian deal.  What needs to be done about it? How would Pope Francis, Aga Khan, Bishop Tutu and true to God religious leaders would deal with this. What is the guidance from Jesus, Muhammad, Gandhi, MLK and others? I will be writing the full report in a few days.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism
, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pope Francis - This is my Pope, and I am a Muslim.

This is my Pope, and I am a Muslim.

URL-http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/11/pope-francis-this-is-my-pope-and-i-am.html




There was a paucity of moral leadership in the world, a leader who can confidently bring about a balance and not let the equilibrium of the society be run down. Thank God for this angel; Pope Francis.

I have studied him for over six months, and have written articles including two in Dallas Morning News. Now, I have chosen him to be my moral guide. I have come to believe that he has what it takes to lead the world and build that elusive kingdom of heaven where no human has to live in fear of the other.  That is the end goal of all religions.

As a Muslim, I significantly differ with the Christian theology and rituals, but I would like to believe that the Pope and I understand that they are merely means to achieving spirituality, piety or Taqwa as it is called in Islam. Taqwa becomes your moral compass in doing things ethically. It is becoming God-conscious, or becoming Brahma as Hinduism calls it. It is a state of mind where you become a fully integrated part of what God is all about; just, kind, loving and caring with zero discrimination towards any.

When you achieve piety, you will not look down on any individual, they become an equal part of God, as you are, then arrogance fades, insecurities start disappearing and humility sets in connecting you with the universe. You and the Universe would be in union, or yoga and that is the state of mind that Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mahavira, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Nanak, the Bab, and several spiritual masters in the native traditions had achieved. You feel the universe and you are one and the same with no apprehension that is indeed the true freedom.

My other living mentors include HH Aga Khan, Barack Obama, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and Bishop Tutu and few others in the making. I am learning about others, but these men and women (soon) respect the God given life and the life hereafter as a guide to living a moral, but fuller life.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had once said that he wished his people had a book of guidance like Jews and Christians, and today, I wish that we the Muslims have a guide like Pope Francis, that the Catholics have. These words came to me after reading this statement from the pope. This is exactly what Muslims need, and I am pleased to take him as my moral guide.

To paraphrase Pope Francis, as a Muslim I would say, ““We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the Islam is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Quran.  The Muslim Clergy have locked themselves up in small things, in small-minded rules.  The most important thing is the core value of Quran "Mercy" followed by Justice, equality, humility and truthfulness.  And the Imams must be Imams of mercy above all.”

This is what Pope Francis said, “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.  The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.  The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.  And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

I am proud to have written 8 articles about the pope from the minute he was ordained to now. Insha Allah, I will make a pilgrimage to visit him to pay my respects and offer to be his ambassador. As a Muslim and a Pluralist, I will make myself available to jump at his call for creating peace in the world, where no human has to live in fear of the others, let the world be the new kingdom of heaven where we all feel safe and secure with each other. Amen!

  

I wrote the following pieces:


 
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.