B U L L E T I N

PLEASE VISIT www.CenterforPluralism.com for all information

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What is Pluralism?

 WHAT IS PLURALISM? 
Pluralism is an attitude of respecting the otherness of others
 

We have crystallized the definition of pluralism to, “respecting the otherness of the others and accepting the uniqueness of each one of us”. Pluralism is nothing but an attitude of live and let live, and it is applicable in every aspect of life including culture, society, religion, politics, gender, food, ethnicity, race and other uniqueness’s.

Our Objective is to prepare an individual to function effectively in a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-sexually oriented society with least conflicts. 

In cultural terms, Pluralism is recognizing your culture as a beautiful expression of life to you, as my own culture is to me. When it comes to food, it is recognizing that you will almost always enjoy what your taste buds are trained to enjoy, you might enjoy a well done steak while, I may relish the medium rare I delight, or vice-versa.  Religiously, it is learning to honor the way you worship or bow to the creator in gratitude, your faith is divine to you as my faith is divine to me.  As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, faith is in the heart of the believer.


By the end of 2020, there will not be a major city in America, and perhaps in the world, where you will not find people of different faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races, nationalities and social backgrounds working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together.

We need to prepare ourselves for those eventualities to prevent possible conflicts, and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill and effective functioning of the societies. Exclusive communities will become a thing of the past.  If you live amidst others, you must also respect the otherness of others, as you expect them to do the same for you.
You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don't mess with each others space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Pluralism is not a set of rules, it is simply the attitude of live and let live religiously, politically, culturally and socially.  We are committed to building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of a fellow being.
Pluralism is our future, and as a futurist, based on the trends, I foresee, that two generations from now, we would be comfortable in saying, my religion, culture or life style is my personal choice, and further down the road, a significant number will proclaim that my way of life is not superior or inferior to any.

They will consider claiming superiority would be sheer arrogance and religion (a major part of life to many) is believed to imbue humility that builds bridges between cohabitants of the given space, communities and nations in creating that elusive kingdom of heaven where all live their lives without apprehension or fear of the other.

Ideal society is where, no individual has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, live his or her own life and let others live theirs. If we can learn to accept the otherness of others, and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

......

Mike Ghouse has done extensive work on pluralism and interfaith for nearly two decades and is considered an expert in monitoring the interfaith movements.  He has written over 150 articles on Pluralism at Dallas Morning News, nearly 100 pieces at Huffington Post, and together over 1000 pieces published in different media outlets. 

Mike has conducted 26 Workshops from Atheism to Zoroastrianism, and 520 hours of Radio talk show on every faith and tradition and nearly 100 Shows on Fox News with Sean Hannity. Organized and presented 35 major public events over a course of 20 years.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike 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 and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily. Talk/Text (214) 325-1916

His interfaith, Islam, motivational speaker profiles and CV are all linked atwww.MikeGhouse.net

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Freedom of faith: First church built for Christians of Okara, Pakistan

A heart warming story, we need more of these stories to restore the communal balance in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. I have read beautiful stories of Sikhs restoring Mosques in Indian Punjab, Muslims restoring a Hindu Temple in west Bengal.  We have to stand up for each other to build a better world. Your faith is beautiful to you as my faith is beautiful to me. Let's make this life beautiful for both of us.

Mike Ghouse
Foundation for pluralism


Published: December 27, 2014


http://tribune.com.pk/story/812756/freedom-of-faith-first-church-built-for-christians-of-okara/

The church in Okara built by Pakistan Army. PHOTO: EXPRESS
OKARA: 
Pakistan Army has built a church for Christians residing in Okara.
ISPR Spokesperson Major Asad told The Express Tribune that the church was a gift to the Christian community.
“The founders of Pakistan wanted people from all faiths to feel free to practice their religion,” he said. “It is a duty of the armed forces to uphold those values.”
He said there had been no churches in Okara, where nearly 20,000 Christians lived.
The church, constructed in Okara cantonment, can accommodate a congregation of 1,200 people.
The first prayer service at the church was held on Christmas eve. Major Asad said the formal inauguration had been postponed after 141 people were killed in the massacre in Peshawar on December 16. The church was to open officially on Christmas.
He said Multan Corps Commander Lieutenant General Abid Pervez had overseen the project. He said the army had bought land for the church and had collected donated for its construction.
He said philanthropists had donate generously for the church.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Lt General Pervez said the church had been handed over to Father Martin of Catholic faith. He said for the inauguration ceremony of the church was expected to be held in January. Religious scholars from various faiths would be invited on the occasion to speak on interfaith harmony and to promote religious harmony in the society.
He said it was the biggest church in Sahiwal division.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Muhammad Qaisar, 75, said, “I am glad that I can visit a church in my hometown. I have lived in Okara all my life and have never been able to attend mass.”
Okara Christian Welfare Society president Younus Chohan said Christians of Okara were delighted to have a church in their midst.
On Thursday, a walk was held in Okara, led by representatives of the Christian community. They chanted slogans in support of Pakistan Army.
Father Martin told The Express Tribune prayers would be offered for the children of Peshawar for a year.
Markazi Azadari Imam Hussain Council appreciated Pakistan Army for building the church in Okara.
President Hasan Mashadi said people from would attend the inauguration ceremony to show solidarity members of other communities.
Mashadi said such spaces should also be built for Sikhs and Hindus.
The church was open for visitors on Christmas and nearly 1,800 people visited it.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2014.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

All-Hindu Vision of India

www.FoundationforPluralism.blogspot.com

In the following article, Chandrahas Choudhury writes, "
Hinduism suffers because it has historically never been a proselytizing religion (its identity is partly based on being born into a pre-existing caste order). Therefore, if religion were to become a sort of free market in a multifaith country such as India, Hinduism could only stand to lose followers, not gain any."

The deeper question is why does it matter if each one of us minds our own business? What difference will it make if you are a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or the other? Let every one have the freedom to eat, drink, wear and believe whatever the hell he or she wants to believe.


The author hits the right buttons on conversions in the following article,  and I have written many articles on the topic and a link to one of them is appended here below.

I get over a dozen calls a month from people wanting to become Muslim and how to go about it, and my answer is same - why don't you take the time to learn more about what you already know? Then I talk them out of the idea and share the great value of their own faith - the best discussion was with an Atheist from Los Angeles, who was gung ho on becoming a Muslim - finally did, so was a Mormon girl from North Dakota.  I am pleased to read Mahatma Gandhi's take on it as shared by the author "I even find myself in sympathy with Mahatma Gandhi’s unusual idea that it’s best that a person rule out the option of changing his religion and instead live through his or her quarrels with it (as Gandhi very vividly did)."

I find another of his thoughts in tune with me, "As a Hindu, I have some sympathy with this viewpoint. Missionary activity has always seemed to me unacceptably crude and arrogant, not only in its conviction that there is a single truth that must be propagated, but also in its contempt for two of the forces that most strongly influence religious belief:  the accident of birth in a certain religion, which is then followed by many years of socialization into its worldview. " 

Indeed, as a Muslim Pluralist, I find it agonizing to look down, or find faults and deficiencies in other faiths. It is a faith one grows up to be in love, just as one is in love with his or her mother. It would indeed be crude to ask one to give that up. I feel the pain that Muslims, Christians and others have inflicted upon people forcing them to convert in the past.

Those brutish Muslims and Christians from the past are reincarnated as the "Hindutva" forces, doing the same ugly things, what was done to Hindus in the past, keeping the cycle of hate and conversions back in business. 

I really like this note from the author, "I respect an individual’s freedom not only to practice his or her faith but also to change it, " Indeed, that is the crux of my article - every individual should be free in his pursuit of happiness, let no one dictate what one eats, drinks, wears or believes. 

Indeed Prime Minister Modi's silence is dangerous to the nation's cohesiveness, will he speak after the Hindutvadis dig in their heels and find it difficult to back out? There are many good articles written about his silence. Either he is approving it, or does not know what to do or let them do the harm as a revenge for the past and then I will stop.

If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net 


# # #



A New, All-Hindu vision of India
Courtesy Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-a-new-vision-of-india-100-percent-hind-20141226-story.html


97  

This month, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, India’s powerful, male-only Hindu nationalist outfit, finally played a card it has long held in its hand. It announced an intensive conversion program to recover its “lost property” in India, feeding the dream of its cadre and allied organizations of an India that is nothing less than “100 per cent Hindu.”

The RSS has visibly grown in power and ambition in the seven months since the arrival of a new government -- unsurprisingly, as it counts among its past members the current prime minister, Narendra Modi, as well as many old and new chief ministers in the states. With this carefully calculated provocation under a regime sympathetic to its ideology, the nongovernmental organization is seeking victories in many arenas.
In the realm of law, the RSS wants the passage of a stringent nationwide bill that would ban religious conversions. In the public sphere, it has arrogated the right to pronounce not just on the future of minorities in India but that of India’s Hindu majority as well. In the war of the religions, it seeks to spread the news that there is now a Hindu fundamentalism eager to goad and trump well-established Christian and Islamic fundamentals in India and around the world. And among its own vast cadre, it has generated the sense that it, much more than the government of the day or the diverse institutions of civil society and business, holds the keys to India's future.

But let’s consider conversion as a recurring question in Indian history, one that reveals the tensions between a religious society and a secular state, between conservative and liberal adherents of a religion, between majorities and minorities in a multicultural milieu, and between religions that have a history of proselytizing and those that don’t.

The RSS’s new emphasis on conversion actually represents an about-face for the organization, which has for decades condemned missionary activity by Muslims and Christians in India. In so doing, the RSS often points out that Hinduism suffers because it has historically never been a proselytizing religion (its identity is partly based on being born into a pre-existing caste order). Therefore, if religion were to become a sort of free market in a multifaith country such as India, Hinduism could only stand to lose followers, not gain any.

As a Hindu, I have some sympathy with this viewpoint. Missionary activity has always seemed to me unacceptably crude and arrogant, not only in its conviction that there is a single truth that must be propagated, but also in its contempt for two of the forces that most strongly influence religious belief: the accident of birth in a certain religion, which is then followed by many years of socialization into its worldview.

To be sure, I respect an individual’s freedom not only to practice his or her faith but also to change it, as allowed in India by the constitution. But shouldn't this follow from a person’s own dissatisfaction or personal struggle, not as an outcome of the outreach work or material inducements of an organized religion? I even find myself in sympathy with Mahatma Gandhi’s unusual idea that it’s best that a person rule out the option of changing his religion and instead live through his or her quarrels with it (as Gandhi very vividly did).

So if the RSS’s new and crude campaign were aimed at simply drawing attention to the absence of a level playing field in India on the issue of conversion, as well as to generate the necessary debate leading to the passage of such a bill, I could see the point of it. But in truth, even if such a bill were passed, the RSS would insist that it would nevertheless not be bound by the bill's terms. That’s because the present aggressive campaign of the RSS is, in its own eyes, not about conversion but about reversionthe return, after many generations, of Christians and Muslims whose forefathers were once Hindu but were converted during India’s centuries under Islamic and colonial rule.

What the RSS seeks, then, is a new disequilibrium in which no other religious organization would have the right to convert people. No wonder it salivates at the prospect of a future India in which, by generating a consensus against the missionary activity of other religions, it can engineer a society that’s 100 percent Hindu.

And we shouldn’t lose sight of the even more slippery and sinister part of the RSS’s sinister agenda: the simultaneous conversion of a few hundred million people from Hinduism to Hindutva, the rancorous, intellectually and morally impoverished version of Hinduism that the RSS propagates.

This is a dour doctrine that -- like other religious fundamentals -- makes no distinction between myth and history, science and religious belief, and often comes close to caricature. It believes that Hinduism is a thought system perfect from its very origins, that all the problems of modernity and history were foreseen by Hindu sages 2,000 years ago, that all modern scientific achievement wasprefigured in Hindu thought, that Indians of all faiths are “culturally Hindu,” that India’s four-fifths Hindu majority is under threat from minorities, and that all Hindus should fall in line with a singular interpretation of Hindu tradition controlled by a central authority. That body would be -- surprise, surprise -- the RSS. 

What's the view of the Modi government on all of this? In the firestorm that has erupted around the conversion issue, one man’s refusal to comment has come to seem as meaningful as any argument: Prime Minister Modi, who in recent months has taken his message of development and an economically resurgent India to many parts of the world, has remained shamefully silent. (As usual, his friends in the media have found inventive ways of coming to his defense.)

Perhaps this nongesture reflects Modi’s divided allegiance between the oaths and responsibilities of his present post and the convictions and prejudices of his often murky past. But there's no getting past the truth that the evasion by this allegedly firm and decisive leader -- the holder of the largest majority in India’s parliament in three decades -- of the conversion debate holds profound implications for the freedom and future of all of India’s 1.2 billion people.

To contact the author on this story:

             Chandrahas Choudhury at cchoudhury@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor on this story:
Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.net 

Friday, December 26, 2014

“PK” the film – a Panacea to religious conflicts

"PK" is an educational movie packed with humor and wrapped around romance. For the first time on the silver screen the average man gets to see the functionality of 'other religion' without emotional bonding. This movie will become a part of my curriculum for teaching Pluralism 101. No one should miss this film.The film is a panacea to the problems we face today; abuse and misuse of religion.  Indeed, it reflects the values of a common man; to live and let live. 

There is a good possibility that this movie was conceived from the ideas written by me on Pluralism. It is not a vague idea, but a set of concrete ideas written up in Dallas Morning News in the last five years. 

In May 2012, I wrote, “In the pluralism classes I teach, I ask the students to see religion as Mr. Spock (foreign visitor) would have seen without religious pre-conditioning or immersion. They can see religion as catalysts in offering guidance to the ones who are frightened, apprehensive, saddened, confused, angered or hateful to the other. Religions would teach everyone to tell the truth, keep the terms of the contract with spouse, family or business and treat the other as he would want to be treated.” More about it further below.  
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=82ZEDGPCkT8 and
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXsa5-d3f_g

The insecure right wing religious and political leaders of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism may not like this film initially, but I hope they see its value in building cohesive societies where everyone can feel safe and live his own life as he or she deems fit.

It is one of the best films on the theme of "Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of the other."


You name the award; it will go to this film including the Oscar. Whether you are religious or not, the movie is thoroughly entertaining. Our Atheist friends would love this film as much as the theists. 

I will share the inside story of the film- soon.

Last night, Yasmeen and I came out of the movie “PK.” Thanks to my friend Dr. Shariff for insisting on seeing this movie today. Indeed he looked up the theater near-me in Louisville and texted the information. I took this seriously as he has never said anything like this about a movie.  As a bonus, he added, “go throw your Pluralism Blog and all your writings on Pluralism, because Amir Khan has done what you have been wanting to do for years.”  He was right.

Right after the interval at Tinsel Town, I spoke to the audience.

Friends, if you have heard the word Pluralism, this movie is it.  Pluralism is respecting the otherness of others, and accepting the uniqueness of each one of us. Pluralism is nothing but an attitude,  to live and let live, and it is applicable in every aspect of life including culture, society, religion, politics, gender, food, ethnicity, race and other uniqueness’s.
You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don't mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 
The idea of the film

I am writing these notes because of the identical ideas, dialogues and scenarios  that I have been writing, teaching  and talking  for the last ten years – its’ fair to say, the movie seems to have originated from these.  Indeed the source of many dialogues and ideas of the film are to be found in my articles written at Dallas Morning News as an expert on Pluralism.
The rest will appear in a newspaper soon.

COULD "PK" BE PLAGIARIZED?



I am writing these notes because of the identical ideas, dialogues and scenarios  that I have been writing, teaching  and talking  for the last ten years – its’ fair to say, the movie seems to have originated from these.  Indeed the source of many dialogues and ideas of the film are to be found in my articles written at Dallas Morning News and Pluralism sites as an expert on Pluralism.
I have been talking about the idea of seeing religion from Mr. Spock’s point of view for a very long time.
In May 2012, I wrote in Dallas Morning news, “In the pluralism classes I teach, I ask the students to see religion as Mr. Spock (foreign visitor) would have seen without religious pre-conditioning or immersion. They can see religion as catalysts in offering guidance to the ones who are frightened, apprehensive, saddened, confused, angered or hateful to the other. Religions would teach everyone to tell the truth, keep the terms of the contract with spouse, family or business and treat the other as he would want to be treated.”  – The full article contains the story of a Russian lady who talked about Religious salesman (ministers and clergy) setting up shops to sell the religion. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/05/texas-faith-are-we-a-nation-of.htmlIn July 2013, I wrote in Dallas Morning News– “One of the joys of being a pluralist is to play Mr. Spock, and I would conclude, “Religion is a system of beliefs and rituals designed to bring tranquility to an individual and guide him to live in balance with what surrounds him/her; life and the environment.” http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/07/texas-faith-is-it-more-important-to-do-the-right-thing-or-to-have-the-right-beliefs.html
Elsewhere I have written, how the religious men  set up  sales booths  in Moscow in the Nineties to sell their religion to the freed up Russians, many of whom were not tempered with religious beliefs.
In March 2013, I wrote again at Dallas Morning News.  “My teen daughter blurts out, Dad, if my pastor were to tell the truth that all religions are good, then he stands to lose his congregants to other liars." Indeed, religion has become a sleazy product to a "few" ministers, who sell their religion to the gullible by denigrating other religions.  How do you know they are sleaze balls? Here are a few pointers;  i) they make you believe all others are your enemies ii) they frighten you with the end of the world scenarios if others grow in numbers iii) they make you feel good by making someone else bad, iv) all other religions, races and ethnicities are inferior, and v) they have nothing good to say about other religions because they really don't believe in the goodness of their own.  http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/03/texas-faith-is-it-time-for-religions-to.html
In June 2013 I wrote about “Star Trek into darkness” and the picture and the notes have similarities in the film. The word fantasy is used by the film and my writings from three years ago. Star Trek is the final frontier of our fantasies equipped with the future technology. However, the emotions are same that existed in the movies made in the early 1900’s, mid-century or now. Indeed, the emotions have not changed since the Stone Age, rooting for the good guys, seeing the bad guys get beat, and justice prevailing at the end. The expressions have changed, but not the emotions.  http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/06/star-trek-into-darkness-great-movie.html


INDIA TODAY REVIEW:

Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) a journalist student in Belguim falls in love with Sarfaraz (Sushant Singh) from Pakistan. Her family back in New Delhi believes in a Hindu Godman who predicts that Sarfaraz will dump her which leads to some confusion and in no time a heartbroken Jaggu heads back home.

An alien has landed somewhere in Rajasthan and his locket which is his only way to return is stolen by a local. He has never seen humans in clothes and then starts the joyride as one by one the alien questions every manmade belief just like a child. After looking for his locket he is finally told that only God can help him whatever the problem may be.

His dressing and behaviour is weird so the name given to him is PK. He soon bumps into Jaggu on a Delhi metro while he is distributing pamphlets which say if anyone finds God they should contact PK. Jaggu who now works as a journalist in a news channels finds PK fascinating and follows him till she gets his story out. Initially hesitant Jaggu eventually decides to help PK. His locket is with a popular Godman and it's not going to be easy to get it back.

Aamir Khan this time in the title role is simply brilliant! From his physique to the language the actor has left no stone unturned to put in his best for this role. His expressions do most of the talking! I doubt any other star could have delivered the kind of performance Aamir does. Anushka Sharma has a fairly important role. She looks gorgeous and puts in sincere efforts to entertain. Sanjay Dutt who we see in parts is fabulous.

At a running time of almost three hours PK entertains you every minute and brings in surprises one after the other.

PK is an absolute must watch film and watch it before your friends tell you all the surprise elements in detail.

More at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pk-review-starring-aamir-khan-anushka-sharma-sanjay-dutt/1/407753.html

SACHIN TENDULKAR AND LK ADVANI ENDORSE THE MOVIE

Its a big surprise for me to read LK Advani's comments, I guess the graceful fall from politics has made him pluralistic - otherwise he was a bigot.


L.K. Advani who recently watched the film with the entire team has taken a huge liking to the film and feels that more and more people should watch it as it is not just entertaining but also a very important film.
In a press release shared by 'pk' team, L.K. Advani expressed, “Hearty greetings to Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra for a wonderful and courageous film that they have produced in the shape of PK. We are fortunate to have been born in a vast and variegated country like India. This however casts on all patriots a duty to ensure that nothing weakens the unity of the country- neither caste nor community nor language nor region, and certainly not religion."
He adds, "In fact I believe that religiosity is for our nation an inexhaustible source of spiritualism, and so of ethical conduct. Those who run down religion, any religion, are doing a great disservice to the country and to its unity. It is this cardinal lesson that emerges clearly out of this recently released film PK which has excellent performances by the protagonist Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma and Boman Irani.”

HINDUTVA BODIES SEEK TO BAN THE MOVIE

 A lawsuit has been filed claiming the movie disgraces Hindu Gods, particularly Shiva more at http://sikhsiyasat.net/2014/12/25/pk-moive-controversy-hindutva-bodies-use-legal-route-firs-registered/

AAMIR KHAN SPEAKS

 ‘PK’ has invited controversy not only before the film release but post the film’s grand opening, the film roped into controversy for hurting religious sentiments. Hindu groups boycott the film and voiced their anger against the ‘PK’ makers for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments.

Clarifying the issue, Aamir Khan said, "We respect all religions. All my Hindu friends have seen the film and they have not felt the same. Even Raju is Hindu, so is Vinod and so is Abhijat. In fact 99% of the crew was Hindu. No one would have done such a thing", he clarified
#BoycottPK is the slogan roaring on twitter by the haters, on this Aamir said, "I think Indian audience is not feeling this. For everything that anyone does, you have to realise that there would be one person who would stand up and say something negative. People criticised Satyamev Jayate also. So there's no end to that. The collections are only rising and is only indicative of the fact that the people are watching the film and they are liking the film as well. It is rising by 20-30-40% each day which does not happen if people don't like the film. If you don't like the film, the numbers drop instantly. So clearly, I think that certainly this film is taking a stance against those groups or those people who are exploiting others."
On the other hand, ‘PK’ is welcomed by the mass audience with open arm. The film is doing good business at the box-office.
Full article at Bollywood Mantra - http://www.bollywoodmantra.com/news/pk-controversy-aamir-khan-breaks-his-silence-clarifies-issue/16469/

Times of India indepth controversy - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/PK-and-its-controversies/photostory/45627229.cms


OS MODGIL
Here is another realistic description of the film by my friend OS Modgil;

Mike Ghouse...what I am about to say might offend you, but then, I am sure our friendship to be far above our personal egos. .... I think you and I have seen two different movies named PK. 

The movie PK I saw is NOT about Pluralism. As a matter of fact, its NOT even about secularism. PK movie is about the fraud in organized religion, misconceptions created by these "Managers of God" and prejudice about one's appearance and labeling them as Hindu or Muslim or whatever the relative religion they might be. Pluralism, as you describe it, is about respecting each other's religious beliefs while still maintaining your own religious identity. PK has a clear message that no one is born with a "Stamp" of religion. Therefore, God never made any religion. We the humans made and created our own God(s) in our own definition. 

That message is not Pluralism... that message is.... get rid of all religions since they do not represent God who created us. All religions serve their own "Managers" and are a form of business... After seeing PK, I did not walk out of the theater thinking, " Gosh, I should respect religions other than mine. I came out thinking, " What a load of nonsense the concept of religion is" So, I see no commonality between message in PK and your preachings of Pluralism, and hence, no chance of plagiarism. 

And no, no Atheist will like the message in PK... because the message is still in favor of God Almighty who has created all this universe and our "gola" Earth is very much present. And that 'real' God does not care if you dont praise him or worship him. That 'real' God does not care about all this ritualism that every religion has doused itself in. The 'real' God wants you to help each other, live with each other in peace, love each other and be a good human being without the "Thappa" stamp of any religion. This message and concept is far above Pluralism and/or any "Ism" 


Jo darr gaya, wo mandir gaya. 

HINDUSTAN TIMES
http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/pk-review-aamir-steals-the-show-it-s-a-winner/article1-1298241.aspx



It’s difficult to convince you of our impartiality with such a header, but this is where our job begins. In my defense, I begin by telling you that PK is the most ‘different’ Aamir Khan film you have ever seen. Now, let’s start cracking the code.

PK (Aamir Khan) is not his name. In fact, he has no name. His clan doesn’t believe in alienating people on their name, caste, creed, language or religion. Sounds like the preamble of our Constitution? Well, this is the essence of director Rajkumar Hirani’s PK. And it is high on emotions and full of drama.

Who is PK then? Well, he is a humanitarian, who lives in the hearts of millions. See, I am trying to be as secretive as possible about his distinctiveness. Let’s join threads from the scene all of you have seen in the promos. Of course, the transistor scene. So, here is a guy with unblinking eyes, fluttering ears and toned muscles walking towards the most treacherous of places -- in the middle of a desert. He is in Rajasthan. This man is helpless against people who have no moral qualms in making the earth a worse place than what it already is. But he is a firm believer in all things good, and therefore keeps going and soon finds himself in the middle of a megacity -- Delhi, the national capital.

The second part of his adventures begins in Delhi -- He is intrigued by the rules and ways of this big city. PK explores the big bad world with charming innocence and a lot of wit. All of a sudden, he finds himself pitted against a widely followed godman Tapasvi Jee (Saurabh Shukla), and the only person he can trust in this ‘holy’ war is Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma), a news reporter.

Let's leave the character details here and get down to the nitty-gritties of the theme. 

First things first. What is the film about? PK is a man’s journey through the paradoxes of Indian society. He cannot understand the meaning of religion, or the rituals most people busy themselves with. He cannot differentiate between a Hindu and a Muslim. He wonders why godmen ask for money. He disapproves the absurdities that make believers against believers. Think it is too much like Oh My God? -

See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/pk-review-aamir-steals-the-show-it-s-a-winner/article1-1298241.aspx#sthash.dQRI5gcU.dpuf


SACRED - THE FILM; SEPTEMBER 2015

What is Sacred, Flag, Holy Books, Mother, Freedom of Speech?

Sacred Film is about a successful real life event set in Mulberry, Florida coupled with a compelling romantic story built around the Quran burning incident. It is filled with human aspirations, fears, suspense and actions of a typical Hollywood Film.

The film skillfully manages conflicting issues of freedom of speech v what is sacred; safety of Americans v violent reactions; and radicalism v. pluralism. It is an embodiment of conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance based on teachings of Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad. It is a model for building cohesive societies.  Indeed, the concept is encouraged by major institutions.

Through “Sacred”, the world will witness positive changes taking shape; it encourages what Muslims ought to be – the Amins, and how they will be perceived by the society at large. What is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice-versa to restore sustainable harmony.

Sacred is an exemplary story of ordinary Muslim Americans working with fellow Americans of different faiths in forging a new paradigm; a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, apprehension or fear of the other.

Shooting will begin in March for a September 11 release.  I will be happy to give a presentation to your group.


Thank you
mike
Mike Ghouse

(214) 325-1916 text/talk
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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. He is a staunch defender of human rights and his book standing up for others will be out soon, and a movie "Americans together" is in the making.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are atwww.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.