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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Church turned into 'temple' after 72 Valmikis reconvert to Hinduism

Let people wear whatever religion suits them. The problem erupts when religion becomes political - and the self appointed guardians want to control others. The business of conversion is based on selling a 'superior' product against what they have. That is sheer arrogance indeed, there is nothing wrong with any religion.
Conversion is a good business - some make money or its equivalent (sawab), and some feel good...however, people should have the freedom to believe whatever they want to believe, as long as they don't rob my space, food and loved ones.

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net
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Church turned into 'temple' after 72 Valmikis reconvert to Hinduism
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Church-turned-into-temple-after-72-Valmikis-reconvert-to-Hinduism/articleshow/41029431.cms?intenttarget=no



Church turned into 'temple' after 72 Valmikis reconvert to Hinduism
ALIGARH: A church with a cross in it that belonged to the 7th Day Adventists overnight turned into a temple adorned with a portrait of Shiva after what some Hindu groups in Aligarh termed the "successful ghar wapasi" (reconversion) of 72 Valmikis who had become Christians in 1995.

There was an elaborate shuddhi karan (purification) ceremony on Tuesday inside the church in Asroi, 30km from Aligarh. Children from the village soon took over the premises and were seen playing in it by afternoon on Wednesday. A cross was allegedly remove from the church and placed outside the gate and a portrait of Shiva installed.

Khem Chandra, Sangh pracharak and pramukh of Dharam Jagran Vivad in Aligarh, said, "This is called ghar wapasi, not conversion. They left by choice and today they have realized their mistake and want to come back. We welcome them. We can't let our samaj scatter, we have to hold it tight. I have told them that honour comes from within the community and not from outside." Chandra added that in the years that followed their adoption of Christianity, he met heads of the eight Valmiki families numerous times to convince them to reconsider their decision.

However, as news of the reconversion spread, tension started building up, with sleuths of the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) converging on the spot. Some villagers told TOI, on condition of anonymity, that the Shiva portrait had been removed and kept inside the house of a local resident. Anil Gaur, one of those who returned to the Hindu fold, said it was because they were unhappy with the caste system that they changed their religion. "But we found ourselves in no better position among Christians," he said. "As Hindus we had no status and were restricted to doing menial jobs, but even after remaining a Christian for 19 years, we saw that no one came to us from their community. There was no celebration of Bada Din (Christmas). The missionaries just built a church for us in the vicinity where some of the villagers got married. That was all."



Seventy-year-old Rajendra Singh said he, too, was happy to reconvert. "While sleeping outside the church one day I suffered a paralytic attack. I found myself unable to move. It happened last year and since then I have been thinking that it may have been Mata Devi's punishment for abandoning my faith," he claimed.

Osmond Charles, a lawyer and community leader in Aligarh, isn't convinced though. "Ghar wapasi sounds like a conspiracy," he said. "Sometimes we hear 'love jihad' and now we have 'ghar wapasi'. Is this the sign of a Hindu Rashtra in the making?"

Father Jonanthan Lal, pastor at City Methodist Church, said, "The 'purification' pooja took place inside the church which belongs to 7th Day Adventists. Such an activity shouldn't have taken place there. Faith is a personal matter but havan inside a church is not."

Meanwhile, there is a sudden, eerie quiet in Asroi. Villagers hurry inside their houses if they are asked about the reconversion and most say they know nothing about it. The presence of cops has added to their anxiety. "Don't ask anything. I don't know what happened," a young man said, turning away swiftly from a TOI team.

Civility of individuals and nations

Civility of an individual or a nation is an outcome of how it treats it’s weak, women, children, seniors, the minorities and the governed. Is there a nation on the earth, where the majority or the rulers have not oppressed and harassed the minorities, and consistently attempt to keep them in their place? 

No faith majority, racial or other majorities can claim a clean record. It's human and is called evil majoritarian attitudes, religions emerged, all religions emerged to mitigate those attitudes and build cohesive societies.... Most people get it, some don't.

There are exceptions no doubt, where certain minorities within the group of minorities pander to the majority (the powerful, and the rulers), and that is part of the self-balancing acts of preservation of one’s identity. These acts are detrimental to long term cohesiveness and peace of the society.

The civility of a nation is determined by how it treats its weak and its minorities and the weak.

The silence of majority contributes greatly to such evil, unless they speak up, bad guys will continue to be evil. I am glad to see the ‘majority’ speaking up against the treatment of minorities in Ferguson that is the only hope we have, that majority will stand up against injustice, if not it will create more chaos and all of us will suffer.

Genuine love is an antidote to bias, and genuine love of God removes the evil of bias from one’s heart. If Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions do not remove the bias from you…. It’s not their problem, it is yours.

Mike Ghouse
www.TheGhouseDiary.com

Prime Minister Narendra Modi insists on Non-Vegetarian menu.

Firstly, congratulations to Prime Minister Modi for choosing the vegetarian menu, one should eat and drink what one is comfortable with and making that known is good.

Secondly, I question the integrity of the the statement made in behalf of Mr. Modi,  "
PMO respects the individual freedom to have a non-vegetarian menu.." Could the same individual have said this, "The instructions are extended to banquets hosted in the PM’s honour on foreign soil as well. (to have only vegetarian menu)"



Modi-eating

Prime Minister should not eat what he does not want to, but should he ask others in foreign nations not to eat what they normally eat?
 


Pork is prohibited for Jews and Muslims and they should not eat it,  but should they ban the sale of pork to others, who eat it routinely? The answer is no.

India should never follow lower standards of civility like the Taliban Nation or ISIS, instead it should look up to the US Standards where one can eat, drink, wear or believe whatever the hell one wants to believe.

This sounds like the Prime Minister, "The note discreetly suggests that the PMO respects the individual freedom to have a non-vegetarian menu," but the following addition is the work of self appointed supporters of the Prime Minister, also known as chamchas, "but this new protocol may please be adopted while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the government."


The civil laws of all nations, be it a rogue or free  have one thing in common - the bad guy goes to prison or gets the chair or beheading, and not his spouse, parents, siblings or kids, he bears the punishment alone. The religions have also laid similar emphasis, that God will punish the bad guy, and not his spouse, parents, siblings or kids.  No one bears others' burden. Hence, no one should impose their beliefs on others. 


During the month of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia, a host to workers of many faiths, shuts down all the eateries in the nation making it difficult for others to eat. Should any one be responsible for your Karma? Or should the individual be responsible for his own karma?  What concerns me is the fanatic fringe in India, and their  battle cry to ban the slaughter and sale of beef to others, the infringement of the rights of others starts here, those are not the signs of civility of nations. 

What you eat should be "your" choice, and no human should have the right to ban what others eat or not eat, drink or not drink, wear or not wear, and believe or not believe. India should not become like the ISIS or Taliban guys, we should take pride in our freedom, and religious people in particular should promote and encourage freedom and not imposition. 

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net

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No non-veg menu at PM's functions
http://www.indiatomorrow.co/nation/1669-now-no-non-veg-menu-at-pm-s-functions

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pakistan’s Hindu Temples

www.Foundation for Pluralism.com
URL - http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com/2014/08/pakistans-hindu-temples.html


It is always a joy for me to see when people learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, when we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.  Here at this site, foundation for pluralism, y0u will find articles that give  hope.

O
ver  20 years of Pluralism studies has allowed me to confidently assert that Pluralism is respecting the otherness of others and is the basis of every religious teaching, and without a doubt, a majority of people get their religion right but the insecure one's don't, they live in the arrogance that theirs is superior -religion is meant to make you humble and not arrogant, arrogance kills relationships and is the source of conflicts, where as humility is the cure.  The way to build better societies is to stand up for the rights of each other,  (http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/04/standing-with-hindus.html ) and at the end, every one is better off.

If we work on making everyone's  lives better we will achieve a lot more than accusing, blaming and cursing the others. Of course, law and order is the first requirement of any society to function effectively,  and it is the responsibility for safe societies falls squarely on the majority population of the state, any state. Safety of minorities is directly proportionate to the civility of the society.

Thank you.


Mike Ghouse

Pakistan’s Hindu Temples
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/08/21/pakistans-hindu-temples/

Hindu devotees inside the Sri Laxmi Narain Temple in Karachi, Pakistan
Madiha Aijaz
The partitioning of the subcontinent in 1947 led to the migration of millions of Hindus and Muslims who left behind homes, livelihoods and places of worship.

A new book “Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience” by Reema Abbasi looks at the remaining Hindu temples in Pakistan, some of which have become casualties of the conflict between India and Pakistan.

In 1992, a Hindu mob destroyed the 16th-century Babri Masjid in the pilgrimage town of Ayodhya in northern India. Pakistani Muslims reacted by attacking temples across their country. It was “a time that erased over 1,000 historic temples from Pakistan’s landscape,” Ms. Abbasi writes in her new book released last month.

But there are signs of hope, says the author. The book traces the history of more than 40 of Pakistan’s roughly 500 Hindu holy sites in Pakistan, concentrating on the most active and most-visited shrines.
Ms. Abbasi spoke to The Wall Street Journal during her recent trip to the Indian capital.
Edited excerpts.
Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple, believed to have been built around 1,500 years ago, in Karachi, Pakistan.
Madiha Aijaz
The Wall Street Journal: Why did you decide to write this book?

Reema Abbasi: It seemed like everyone in India I met thought there were no temples left in Pakistan. People from all walks of life: Muslims, Hindus, people who are very enlightened, very clued in. I found that so hard to believe because how do you wipe out such ancient buildings and beliefs? It’s like me thinking there are no mosques in India. I was actually really taken aback and that gave me that push [to do this book].

Also, the perception about Pakistan had to be addressed. There’s a lot of sensationalism in the media about the country. This book has recorded real incidents of harmony and unity. I think it is a celebration of shared history and shared people between Pakistan and India. But at the same time I haven’t whitewashed the problem areas.

WSJ: Most Pakistani Hindus live in Sindh province in the south. There are numerous temples there where they can practice their religion openly. The same applies in other parts of Pakistan, but not in Punjab. Why?

Ms. Abbasi: I found Punjab tragic. It was really very sad, the burden of false identity there after the conversion from Hinduism to other religions. The burden of false identity has got to be the heaviest one where you can’t come out and tell everyone who you really are and you have to practice your religion covertly.

Lahore now has only two Hindu shrines. The small Balmiki Temple is being run and maintained by people who have converted and on record are Christian. They are aware that their temple, which has been their shelter and their place of belonging for generations, is going to die with them. They know their customs won’t continue and their children are reluctant to take it forward. Those aging men, I felt their pain.
In Lahore there are now only 35 Hindu families remaining, all living under disguise. If there are more, we don’t know. Most Hindus have left the city. They have experienced tremendous discrimination.
Lahore was one of the last places we visited so just at the tail end of everything being positive, you are hit by this boulder. Fear was where I least expected, in Lahore, in a beautiful city shaped over time by multiple religions.

WSJ: Tell me about the sites you visited.

Ms. Abbasi: The first site we covered was the Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Karachi, which is 500-years-old. In the book, we document over 40 antiquated, active sites. Some of them are really, really ancient. In some cases, we went to sites based on certain accounts and found nothing was there because of disuse or disrepair–maybe the remains of an ancient pillar, but that’s it.

Most places did bear the brunt of mob fury after the Babri Masjid incident, but in many instances renovation work has occurred and is ongoing, but of course that can never match the ancient craftsmanship.

WSJ: You write about meeting Muslims at some of the Hindu temples you visited. Did that surprise you?

Ms. Abbasi: So many people would say when we went to visit a site that this is so ancient it can only be the home of god. There’s reverence attached to the history that comes with it.

It seems these sites have transcended all faiths and that’s why often Muslims go to these sites in the belief that something that is so ancient, with such mystique, pulls people and keeps them coming back.
Some go for blessings; others believe it’s a place that should be respected for all that it has seen.

WSJ: Some say Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws interfere with the practices of minority faiths. Would you agree?

Ms. Abbasi: No, I don’t. It’s a very sensitive topic and the blasphemy laws are not really part of my chronicle, but I don’t think they are targeting any faith. Neither is there government prejudice against minorities. If there was, my work would have been hugely hindered. Instead, it was welcomed.
Atish Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Delhi. You can follow him on Twitter @atishpatel.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Muslim, Buddhist and Government perspective 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)

https://bootheglobalperspectives.com/article/1408542245WBG487492234/muslim-buddhist-and-government-perspective-of-isis-in-iraq

 
THREE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES TO ISIS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL CONFLICTS IN THE WORLD


 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.

 1. PERSPECTIVE FROM MUSLIMS, MIKE GHOUSE, WORLD MUSLIM CONFERENCE (6,000,000 people follow Mike)

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.  

3. ISIS (ISIL) BEFORE AND AFTER ENTERING IRAQ

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".

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Desmond Tutu to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine

The truth is one, no matter where it comes from or who says it.  I could not believe my eyes, when I read this appeal by Bishop Desmond Tutu.  So many sentences, thoughts and paragraphs are identical  in the following pieces I wrote a few weeks ago (after the appeal) - Mike Ghouse

Desmond Tutu to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine

 http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.610687

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.
I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”

Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.
 
I appealed to Israeli sisters and brothers present at the conference to actively disassociate themselves and their profession from the design and construction of infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation barrier, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land. 

“I implore you to take this message home: Please turn the tide against violence and hatred by joining the nonviolent movement for justice for all people of the region,” I said. 

Over the past few weeks, more than 1.6 million people across the world have signed onto this movement by joining an Avaaz campaign calling on corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation and/or implicated in the abuse and repression of Palestinians to pull out. The campaign specifically targets Dutch pension fund ABP; Barclays Bank; security systems supplier G4S; French transport company Veolia; computer company Hewlett-Packard; and bulldozer supplier Caterpillar. 

Last month, 17 EU governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements. 

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine. 

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world. 

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.
I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.” 

Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa. 
 
I appealed to Israeli sisters and brothers present at the conference to actively disassociate themselves and their profession from the design and construction of infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation barrier, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land. 

“I implore you to take this message home: Please turn the tide against violence and hatred by joining the nonviolent movement for justice for all people of the region,” I said. 

Over the past few weeks, more than 1.6 million people across the world have signed onto this movement by joining an Avaaz campaign calling on corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation and/or implicated in the abuse and repression of Palestinians to pull out. The campaign specifically targets Dutch pension fund ABP; Barclays Bank; security systems supplier G4S; French transport company Veolia; computer company Hewlett-Packard; and bulldozer supplier Caterpillar. 

Last month, 17 EU governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.

But what ultimately forced these leaders together around the negotiating table was the cocktail of persuasive, nonviolent tools that had been developed to isolate South Africa, economically, academically, culturally and psychologically. 

At a certain point – the tipping point – the then-government realized that the cost of attempting to preserve apartheid outweighed the benefits. 

The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo. 

Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo. 

Those who contribute to Israel’s temporary isolation are saying that Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace.
Ultimately, events in Gaza over the past month or so are going to test who believes in the worth of human beings. 

It is becoming more and more clear that politicians and diplomats are failing to come up with answers, and that responsibility for brokering a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land rests with civil society and the people of Israel and Palestine themselves.

Besides the recent devastation of Gaza, decent human beings everywhere – including many in Israel – are profoundly disturbed by the daily violations of human dignity and freedom of movement Palestinians are subjected to at checkpoints and roadblocks. And Israel’s policies of illegal occupation and the construction of buffer-zone settlements on occupied land compound the difficulty of achieving an agreementsettlement in the future that is acceptable for all. 

The State of Israel is behaving as if there is no tomorrow. Its people will not live the peaceful and secure lives they crave – and are entitled to – as long as their leaders perpetuate conditions that sustain the conflict.
I have condemned those in Palestine responsible for firing missiles and rockets at Israel. They are fanning the flames of hatred. I am opposed to all manifestations of violence. 

But we must be very clear that the people of Palestine have every right to struggle for their dignity and freedom. It is a struggle that has the support of many around the world. 

No human-made problems are intractable when humans put their heads together with the earnest desire to overcome them. No peace is impossible when people are determined to achieve it. 

Peace requires the people of Israel and Palestine to recognize the human being in themselves and each other; to understand their interdependence. 

Missiles, bombs and crude invective are not part of the solution. There is no military solution. 

The solution is more likely to come from that nonviolent toolbox we developed in South Africa in the 1980s, to persuade the government of the necessity of altering its policies. 

The reason these tools – boycott, sanctions and divestment – ultimately proved effective was because they had a critical mass of support, both inside and outside the country. The kind of support we have witnessed across the world in recent weeks, in respect of Palestine. 

My plea to the people of Israel is to see beyond the moment, to see beyond the anger at feeling perpetually under siege, to see a world in which Israel and Palestine can coexist – a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign. 

It requires a mind-set shift. A mind-set shift that recognizes that attempting to perpetuate the current status quo is to damn future generations to violence and insecurity. A mind-set shift that stops regarding legitimate criticism of a state’s policies as an attack on Judaism. A mind-set shift that begins at home and ripples out across communities and nations and regions – to the Diaspora scattered across the world we share. The only world we share. 

People united in pursuit of a righteous cause are unstoppable. God does not interfere in the affairs of people, hoping we will grow and learn through resolving our difficulties and differences ourselves. But God is not asleep. The Jewish scriptures tell us that God is biased on the side of the weak, the dispossessed, the widow, the orphan, the alien who set slaves free on an exodus to a Promised Land. It was the prophet Amos who said we should let righteousness flow like a river. 

Goodness prevails in the end. The pursuit of freedom for the people of Palestine from humiliation and persecution by the policies of Israel is a righteous cause. It is a cause that the people of Israel should support. 

Nelson Mandela famously said that South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free.
He might have added that the liberation of Palestine will liberate Israel, too.

# # #
Do we fault Religion or the individual for the Gaza Crisis?
http://thearabdailynews.com/2014/08/06/fault-religion-individual-gaza-crisis/


Sanity Prayers for Jewish and Muslim Americans
http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com/2014/08/sanity-prayers-for-american-jews-and.html


Israel Palestine: Call for Accountability for the massacre of 1900 Civilians
http://thearabdailynews.com/2014/08/07/holding-obama-netanyahu-mashaal-accountable-massacres/ 


 Light a candle
http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2014/08/light-candle-and-light-spirituality-in.html


White House petition
http://wh.gov/luT9U 


Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net 

Texas Faith: Why should the government say whether churches can preach politics

If we repeal the laws, does it give a free hand to men like Pastors Hagee, Jeffress, Robertson and others to spew unrestricted hatred towards others, creating chaos and mess up America’s orderly life? Should we extend that kind of free speech to men like Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, if he were to preach in the United States?
 
Mike Ghouse
 
TEXAS FAITH: Why should the government say whether churches can preach politics from the pulpit?
By Wayne Slater | 3:15 pm on August 19, 2014 | Permalink
 
When Christian conservatives gathered recently in Iowa to hear from potential presidential candidates, nothing was a bigger applause line than the idea of allowing politics to be preached from the pulpit. Iowa opens the presidential nominating process with its first-in-the-nation caucuses. Plenty of would-be Republican nominees were there a week ago – including Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.
 
Religious leaders regularly preach moral issues, both those on the right and the left. But partisan politics has been off limits from the pulpit since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Houses of worship are granted tax-exempt status. In return, they’re not allowed to endorse candidates. The Internal Revenue Service is the agency is charged with enforcing the law and withdrawing the tax-exempt status from any offending church. As a practical matter, the IRS hasn’t pursued cases. That prompted a nonprofit atheist organization in 2012 to file suit, demanding a strict separation of church and state. Last month, the suit was dismissed after the IRS assured it “no longer has a policy of non-enforcement against churches.”
 
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, defended the church side against the lawsuit. In an interview with the on-line site The Daily Signal, Bloomberg raises an issue that increasingly comes up in election years: Should the government have any role limiting what a pastor says in the pulpit during a religious service? So here’s where we are: A law aimed at curbing partisan politics by houses of worship. An agency that’s supposed to uphold the law, but isn’t. Considering the situation as it now stands, what should be done? Should we repeal the law and regulations restricting what pastors can say from the pulpit? Should we actively begin enforcing the law and strip offending houses of worship of their tax-exempt status? Should we simply do what we’re doing now and not enforce the law?
 
That’s this week’s Texas Faith question. Is it time to repeal the law forbidding churches engaged in partisan politics from the pulpit? Our Texas Faith panel of experts weighs in.

 
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
 
I am in favor of enforcing the existing laws and pleased to submit my understanding for consideration. The validity of a binding contract signed under the influence of alcohol is always questionable, should a person’s decision to vote a candidate under the influence of clergy be invalid? Does it amount to losing one’s freedom?
 
A few years ago, I was browsing in a store for a pair of new glasses. The lady behind the counter asked me if President’s Bush’s decision to hang Saddam Hussein was right. I said no, the timing was wrong to hang him on the day of Christmas like festival of Muslims. I don’t look anything like Saddam Hussein; but she pursued the inquiry as if I was his brother and would have sympathies for him. Finally, I asked her about her opinion, which she was anxious to answer, “My pastor told me to support the president, the Bible calls for it” I said really? Let me bring the Bible from my car, and please show me where it is written. She protested the need for that and wanted to end the conversation with “I believe my pastor.”
 
The Clergy from the pulpit can positively or negatively influence a large number of congregants. There is nothing wrong with that, but it kills the individual’s spirit through undue influence. The idea of a deliberated vote ensures it was exercised freely for us to remain a free people. We are yet to realize the full potential of the wisdom of our founding fathers and what is encapsulated in our constitution – that Congress has no business in promoting or discouraging any religion to go with all men are created equal.
 
If we repeal the laws, does it give a free hand to men like Pastors Hagee, Jeffress, Robertson and others to spew unrestricted hatred towards others, creating chaos and mess up America’s orderly life? Should we extend that kind of free speech to men like Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, if he were to preach in the United States?
 
Thank God during the Gaza crisis, I wrote, “The conflict should not tear the Jewish and Muslim Americans apart; instead it should bring them together to build a cohesive America, and hopefully cohesive societies across the world where no human has to live in fear of the other. (http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com/2014/08/sanity-prayers-for-american-jews-and.html )
 
I visited several Mosques during the month of Ramadan, and in no place did they spill hatred towards Jews, but prayed for the victims and prayed for sanity to prevail, what a blessing, that is what a place of worship ought to be. I did not get a chance to visit churches and synagogues to see if there was any hatred spilled there. We do have the freedom to say whatever we want to say, but if that freedom robs others freedom, that is not freedom anymore. We should retain and enforce the laws on the books.
 
 
Thank you
mike

Mike Ghouse

...............................................................................................................................
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.

Texas Faith: The endless entanglement of faith and war

Most of the religious men are insecure, and want to secure their income, place and status in the society by doing what sells; making a villain out of God, who hates Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others. That is the real problem.
 
Texas Faith: The endless entanglement of faith and war
By Rudolph Bush | 9:10 am on August 6, 2014 | Permalink

For so many of us in the comfort of the west, it is hard to understand the generational conflicts in the Middle East, between Jew and Muslim or Sunni and Shia.

The cycle of provocation and vengeance has lost its beginning. It seemingly has no end. It is wrapped on all sides in justifications of faith.

Both violence and faith are used by evil people as a means to ascend to power. But good people too become absorbed in the tradition of blood for blood.

How can faith help break this cycle? How can each side use his or her belief in a higher power, and in their sacred scripture, to see the humanity in someone different?
 
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
 
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a humanitarian one, and it would be wrong to label it as Jewish and Muslim or between Judaism and Islam. We have to guard ourselves from labeling each other as enemies which we are not, and we shouldn’t be. Of course a few among us (Jewish or Muslim) look to the other as if ‘they’ have wronged us. No, none whatsoever.
 
The conflict should not deteriorate the delicate relationship between Jews, Christians and Muslims; instead it should bring us together to build a cohesive America, and hopefully cohesive societies across the world where no human has to live in fear of the other.
 
It is easy to blame the religion, an intangible that you cannot kill, shoot, beat, hang or bury to restore trust and justice in the society, but you restore trust in the society by holding the individual wrong doers accountable.
 
It is time for Jews, Christians and Muslims to re-look at their books and start seeing and believing in a God who is just, merciful and loving, and not a bigot who takes sides, favors one over the other, or makes deals with one set of people behind other’s back. Do we need a sneaky God like that? Hell No!
 
I have spent 20 years researching on pluralism and here is my take. The holy books are right, God’s words are right, and religions are beautiful. God loves us all, we are his creation, and his words are not the problem; it is our understanding that is messed up.
 
Most of the religious men are insecure, and want to secure their income, place and status in the society by doing what sells; making a villain out of God, who hates Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others. That is the real problem.
 
Making a villain out of God
 
Some of the most powerful leaders in Christianity tend to be sadistic men, and their own tailor-made-God loves killing people, and they remorselessly justify and cherish massacres of Palestinians, because God will come soon to the earth if that happens. Does Jesus want blood on his hands to come back?
 
The Powerful Jews and Muslims are no better either; they have got their scriptures completely wrong. One’s bigoted God has promised them the land robbing from the others, and the other’s bigoted God tells them not to make friends with Christians and Jews. The interpretations for the following verses need to be corrected – Exodus 23:31-32, Deuteronomy 1:8, Genesis 15:18-2 and Quran, 5:51 to prevent abusers from justifying injustices and outright hate. God is not a bigot.
 
God is just, and has created everything in harmony and balance. Our free will messes us up with our bad choices. God wills nothing but seeing his creation remain intact as he has created, and it is responsibility of good ones among us to remind the others about what God wants; harmony and respect for his creation.
 
Apologies
 
We should demand an apology from Benjamin Netanyahu, Khaled Mashaal, Barak Obama, our Senators and Congresspersons for the death of the Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused from their irresponsible justifications and actions.
 
God gave paws, fangs and horns to animals to settle their disputes, but denied the same to humans, and instead gave them a tongue to dialogue. I am afraid these men were not blessed with a tongue. They are still at the bottom of the evolution pit and are adept in using their horns, fangs and Paws to settle their disputes.
 
In conclusion, we need to fix the interpretation of our holy books, make God a good God for all, get Netanyahu and Mashaal to dialogue instead of encouraging and funding them to pound each other. Let’s look forward to building security for Israel and justice for the Palestinians; one will not happen without the other.
 
Resign
 
If these men really want peace, we need to put them together with 5 Israeli and 5 Palestinian Children with their mothers, and ask them to look at the kids and promise to them, that they the Palestinian and Israeli leaders together will deliver peace and prosperity, jobs and security to them when they grow up, and that they will not be their villains anymore. Furthermore, they would apologize to them for killing other children who would have become their friends in prosperity. If they have no intentions to deliver the results, why should people elect them?
 
To see other opinions, please visit
 
Thank you
mike

Mike Ghouse

...............................................................................................................................
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.

Sanity Prayers for American Jews and American Muslims

This piece is also published at oped news however the one on this site is an enlarged version.: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Sanity-Prayers-for-America-by-Mike-Ghouse-Boycott-Israel_Hamas-Attacks-Against-Israel_Israel-Embassy_Israel-Runs-Washington-140728-883.html

# # #  


The conflict should not tear the Jewish Americans and Muslim Americans apart; instead it should bring us together to build a cohesive America, and hopefully cohesive societies across the world where no human has to live in fear of the other.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a humanitarian one, and it would be wrong to label it as Jewish and Muslim or between Judaism and Islam. We have to guard ourselves from labeling each other as enemies which we are not, and we shouldn’t be. Of course a few among us look to the other Americans as if they have wronged us. No, none whatsoever. 

On the other hand we need to ask people to appreciate the efforts of Jewish and Muslim peacemakers in the United States who are making every effort to find solutions. Calling it a Jewish Muslim problem amounts to belittling their efforts. Let’s guard ourselves from such short sightedness.

Rabbi Elana Zelony of congregation Beth Torah in Richardson affirms the above, “With all the media about violence between Muslims and Jews, it's easy to forget that many of us are yearning for peace. We will gather to strengthen one another with our prayers and affirm a vision of a peaceful world.”

It is easy to destroy the relationships with reckless language, and I urge everyone to use the language that restores goodness.  Of course when passions are flared, anything short of telling the other is 100% right amounts to outright rejection by both sides. That is the precise reason we have problems, we need a few of us who are willing to speak sanity. Let’s take this as an endurance test of our wits. I hope we come out unscathed as conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers, and not the ones who mess up.

Shaheen Khateeb of Indian American Muslim council shares the note from Andrea Winters of Pace University, "It really was lovely dinner and opportunity to reconnect- and share- felt good, all the more because of what is happening in the world. Very painful.. but it is heartening to know that important connections can be made and kept despite all the bloodshed elsewhere. Now the world has to figure out what to do about the bloodshed.”

Here is a summary of the conflict in the most simplistic expression;

1. The Palestinians are made up of Christians, Muslims and others, before the creation of Israel, even the Jews from the area were referred to as Palestinian Jews.

2. When Jews were persecuted or discriminated throughout Europe and the US respectively, Arab and Muslim nations were a safe haven for Jews for nearly 1300 years of Islamic existence and India and Hindus for nearly 2000 years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
3. The Israeli Palestine issue is not thousands of years old as some blabber, it’s just 67 year old, since Israel was carved out of Palestine in 1947. There were no significant flare ups between Jews and Muslims until then,  while Europe was bent on annihilating Jews in the same period of time.

4. The United Nations rightfully took the responsibility to settle the Holocaust survivors in the then Palestine. The land was given to Immigrant Jews (even the United States refused a Jewish refugee ship to land on our shores), and it was handled poorly without proper local consent and cooperation,  instead of dialogue and kindness people resorted to fighting and denying each other’s rights.

5. Shamefully, the fight for the land began and continues today, the Jewish settlers are robbing the land from the Palestinians, bulldozing their homes, and building their own settlements, there is no rule of law and justice.  

6. The biggest shame is on a handful of Rabbis, Imams and Pastors who are maligning their religions and justifying their holy books to kill each other, it is their personal hate and anger that is the problem and not Judaism, Islam or Christianity.  

7. When justice is compromised,  no one will live with a full sense of security or peace.

SOLUTIONS
There is a solution; we have plenty of land here in Texas, we should welcome the Jewish settlers ; at least they can build it guilt free. We have been subsidizing Israel with over $3 billion a year; and we can reduce it to $1 billion for one year and use the funds to offer them federal lands to build their settlements. It will create a lot of Jobs in the United States and peace in the Middle East.

We can offer the same deal to Palestinians; let’s welcome them to the United States to raise their families in peace and prosperity instead of fighting a daily battle for survival and their own land. We can help compensate the Palestinians from the same funds and offer lasting solutions for them as well.

There are always people who eke out their living by evil means. Indeed, they have successfully built up prejudice against Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular, and many of us Americans have lost a sense of fairness and justice.  There is no reason for us to be prejudiced against any people; we need to fight that instinct and live a prejudice free life.  We don't have to be unjust to either Jews or the Palestinians (Christians and Muslims).

I have been to several Mosques during this month of Ramadan, and it was good to hear supplications seeking justice and relief to the Palestinians, but no hatred towards Jews was expressed and that was the right thing to do. What a relief it was to know that the bad guys are not Jews, Judaism or Israel, but the leaders who are hell bent on seeking revenge.
I am disappointed in the members of Senate to have voted unanimously in favor or Israeli leader’s short-sightedness in justifying revenge, two wrongs doesn’t make it right, the first wrong was by Hamas for firing the rockets and the 2nd wrong was the revenge seeking by the Israeli government (not Jews, Judaism or Israel) both caused by occupation and blockade.
Shame on our democracy where sycophancy took over and ditched the very essence of freedom; dissent. Not a single Senator had the balls to disagree? We the people are not that sheepish, are we?
Shame on our elected representatives, instead of bringing security to Israel and Justice to the Palestinians, their false belief has made sure Israel is not secure for a long time to come by encouraging military solutions, instead of a forging a dialogue between the two. Damn them for funding furthering Iron dome and damn them for funding Gaza to rebuild their homes to be destroyed again. What a waste of our funds!
I am glad to see Muslims and hopefully Jews, Christians and others use the place of worship to seek God’s help and guidance in finding the solutions; security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians. I do hope the moderate Jews, Christians and others besides Muslims speak up against any hate sermons and justifications of rockets or revenge in their places of worship.

I will be visiting a few places of worship in the coming weeks and I hope to hear nothing but peace and goodness in our churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship.

Let’s pray:

Dear God guide us from keeping the places of worship free of malice
Dear God lift us above pettiness
Dear God give us guidance to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.
Dear God remove hatred and bias towards fellow beings.
Dear God give us strength to speak up against bias and hatred in our gatherings.
Dear God strengthen the sense of Justice in our hearts and souls.
Dear God don't let a few stray Jews and Muslims justify killings
Dear God please don't make them a villain or bigot out of you.
Dear God please don't allow claims of one to have deals with you behind other's back.
Dear God strengthen empathy towards fellow beings in our hearts.
Dear God help us heal our relationships between fellow Americans.
Dear God help us become instruments of peace and harmony.

Amen

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, IslamIsraelIndiainterfaith, and cohesive work places. He offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His information is atwww.MikeGhouse.net