Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Can Muslims and Christians co-exist – Symposium report 1 of 2

Can Muslims and Christians co-exist – Symposium report 1 of 2

San Antonio, TX, Saturday, February 27, 2916 -- Pastor Charles Flowers of Faith outreach center called on Christians and Muslims to share their perspectives on the subject matter in a symposium organized on Friday and Saturday.


No matter how difficult these conversations are, they are necessary to understand and learn about each other. God almighty in Quran says, the best ones among you are those who take the time to learn about each other, when we learn about each other conflicts fade and solutions emerge.     God has created everything in order and in balance, and human greed and insecurities knock this balance off, and God advises us to restore it for our own good.  The act of restoration is indeed a religious inspiration. 

Every religion is beautiful and each one is designed to bring peace, tranquility and salvation to oneself, one learns to live in peace with himself or herself and with others.  There is a shortage of Pastors, Rabbis, Imams, Pundits and religious men and women who have the integrity to say that others religions must be equally beautiful.  My daughter said when she was around 10, “Dad, if the pastor tells the truth that all religions are beautiful, why would any one flock to his church?"  The minute one feels or claims that his faith is the truth (and others are not),  and is superior, it is religion no more, politics and greed have taken over the soul. To sell religion and have larger congregations, one has to lie about other faiths, what a shame!

Thanks to Pastor Flowers and Mrs. Janice Flowers for organizing this event, we were able to clarify a few misunderstandings, but a whole lot more needs to be done. God willing we will continue to strive to create heaven on the earth, where no one has to live in fear of the other. Pastor Flowers is a genuine guy, as he moderated the event with utmost sincerity and honesty, I applaud him for that.

Misinformation about Allah, Islam, Quran and the Prophet was painful to sit through and listen, particularly coming from my brothers who were former Muslims. May God bless them, and give them the knowledge to see that God is God of all humanity despite how we perceive him, her or it is one and the same.  

On the other hand, we (Muslims) have failed to question the authenticity of the Hadiths, Ibn Hisham's Seerah, the Sharia and the exegesis by Tamiya, Katheer, Maududi, Banna and others.  Some of us have put these books on par with Quran, which we should have never done. In the next few yeas, we will be ready to sign a joint declaration that Quran is the only book for Islam - and the only quotes from Quran about Islam will be considered authentic.

We have to fix some of the Hadiths and Sharia books to be authentic and reflect Prophet Muhammad's character who was a mercy to mankind. I don't blame some of our friends from other faiths for being scared of what they read, and most of the time, they quote from these doubtful books, sincerely 
believing that it is Islam.  As a Muslim, Quran is the only book for me, the material in other book will be authentic,  only if it contributes to building peaceful cohesive societies. (Two Islams

The format of the symposium did not allow me to present another point of view except shaking my head in disagreement when I heard things were way off.  I was tempted to walk out a few times, instead I started scribbling Jesus' mantra to turn the other cheek, meaning don't do or say anything to aggravate the situation and started praying like them, asking the lord to forgive them, for they know not.   
We cannot blame others for misunderstanding us without clarifying such misunderstandings, and making an effort to know others' perspective. We have a lot of work to do. As Muslims, we have the responsibility to create a better world for all humanity.

The speakers included three former Muslims; Daniel Akbari, Kamal Saleem and Taufiq, and two practicing Muslims Raheel Reza and Mike Ghouse. Lt. Col. Roy White, and Joe Carey,   both Christian Activists laid out the programs to counter Jihadis. 

The social issues were addressed by four different speakers. Bishop Harry Jackson offered three lenses to look at the presidential candidates and I applaud him for his inclusivity, he responded positively if the candidate were a Muslim or a Hindu, if he or she would be qualified to serve.  What a joy it was to hear him out.

Mrs. Alice Patterson presented how the primaries and precincts work. Her story of overcoming bias is worth listening to, and I have fought with myself not to have any bias towards another human and related with her story. Indeed she played a major role in organizing prayers when a Blackman Alfred Wright was dragged to death in Jasper, Texas in 2013.

 Dr. Fernando Cabrera’s talk on education resonated with me, indeed, his parents told him exactly what my parents did – get education!

Gilbert Hernandez’s presentation was a big hit for me, and I hope to dedicate time for his project.  So many young men and women are lost to the vultures form Gangs and Drug cartels. Muslim Youth are also facing similar problems, as a community we are deeply concerned and want to do everything to safeguard our kids from being recruited by the extremists.   Gilbert’s passion to save our youth is admirable and I hope to connect him with Muslim organizations, they have a good system down to address this sorry state of affairs.

Blessed are the peacemakers, said Jesus on Mount Beatitude, which Prophet Muhammad practiced, and became a mercy to the universe. Following in their footsteps, unwaveringly, I hung on to their wisdom and remained a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer.

Raheel Raza and I gave our presentations on Friday night, which were received very well. I have full written up on my presentation, and will be available under the title of “My speech at San Antonio interfaith symposium about Muslims and Christians” at

My commentary on the presentations of Kamal Saleem, Daniel Akbari, Lt. Col. Roy White, and Joe Carey will be finalized after the video or audio presentation becomes available to make sure I can quote them verbatim.

Pastor Charles Flowers concluded each segment with a summary and a graceful prayer. Fortunately, he chose to advance my calling that finding the truth is one's own responsibility. 

My last offering towards the very end of the program was that I will review each item and share my comments and suggestions about the program and publish it.  Those who want to see another perspective are welcome to it. 

My responsibility is to address the phobias and allay the fears; no American has to live in apprehensions or fear of fellow Americans.  My role is to build bridges and free my friends from ill-will and malice.

Yes, Muslims and Christians have coexisted and will continue to do so, despite the shortcomings on both sides that mess up the relationships. I'll summarize the historical, theological and social perspectives at a newspaper and then at the websites American Muslim Institution and ATF. 

This is one of the rarest conferences I have attended where the host has set the highest standards of hospitality.  How many people can I thank? Rosalie Astran, Zulmarie Santiago,  Abraham Martinez and of course,

Twenty years from now our pastors, imams, rabbis, pundits, shamans and all the religious clergy will be telling the truth – that faith is in the heart of the believer just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

My faith is Islam and it is not superior to any religion, nor is any religion superior to Islam, claiming superiority is arrogance, and God in Islam does not favor arrogance, as it is the root cause of all evil and conflicts. Most Muslims get that right and a few don’t, just as with all other religions.

May God bring humility to us.

Thank you,

Mike Ghouse, 
(214) 325-1916
Washington, DC 

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, newsmaker and a professional speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslam,  politicshuman rights, and foreign policy.  Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at and his writings are at 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practice must end now

Female Genital Mutilation |
This is a brutal practice of cutting the genital part of women by insecure men of the past, but continued today by equally insecure men.  I have put together several articles here below.  It is cruel, inhuman and violates the inalienable rights of women to life, liberty and happiness, and secondly, the religious leader Syedna Burhanuddin of the Bohra Muslim Community has refused to stop the practice.  I have written a letter to him but he has since passed away and his successor is no different. 
Muslim and Christians should join hands to stop this, as it is practiced by a fraction of them in the name of their religion.
Many have taken up to stop this inhuman practice and we should all join this.
Warning: The pictures too graphic, especially the one with raw blade. Most of the pictures are from Africa to illustrate the point and perhaps due to the limited availability of such practices.

  1. Female Genital Mutilation among Bohra Muslims - A report - not for children, too graphic pictures to bear.
  2. Setting the record Straight, Female Genital Mutilation
  3. Scientific knowledge at practice was banned in the USA in 1996
  4. Female genital cutting
  5. Bohra Women slam cruel tradition of female genital mutilation India Today – NDTV
  7. Female Genital Cutting: An Unknown Global Concern – by Mariya Taher
  8. FGC and the Law: Why Criminalization Isn’t Enough
  10. End Female Genital Mutilation in India
  12. Join the Global Conversation to #endFGM Imam Magid and Coptic Pastor

Mike Ghouse
Text or Talk at (214) 325-1916

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at for his writings at and several blogs listed there in. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Moderate Muslim speaker

Since 9/11, talk show hosts, journalists, lawmakers, interfaith authorities and thought leaders have asked: “Who are the authentic moderates of Islam?” Where are moderate Muslims to join the debate on social, civic, religious and political issues, including racism and violent extremism? And, “Who speaks for American Muslims?”
Steve Blow of Dallas Morning News wrote, "Over and over you hear it said: If Muslims oppose terrorism, why don't they stand up and say it? If that has been you, Mike Ghouse ought to be your hero."
Muslims are sick of the terrorists, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and their ilk committing evil acts and conveniently passing the buck to their religion, and Muslims are neither happy with those few gullible Americans who are too eager to buy the poor excuses of these gangs. Instead of punishing these criminals, they are hell bent on finding faults with the religion.
In behalf of American Muslim Institution a rally was organized on the steps of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on Friday, November 20, 2015. The symbolic location was chosen to mirror the effort of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who brought a positive change to the American civil Society with his famous, “I have a dream” speech.  Dr. Ghouse believes that this effort has seeded the momentum for yet another positive change; acceptance of Muslims as equals with the process of integration.
A reporter asked what would be achieved by condemning or demonstrating here at Lincoln Memorial.  Dr. Ghouse responded, “Evil exists because good people do nothing about it, we the good people are doing something about it; we are condemning the evil acts of ISIS, and sending them a clear message that the world condemns their act and that they have no place among the civil societies unless they surrender and give up terrorism, violence and extremism.
At the National Press Club, Dr. Ben Carson was asked if he verifies the information he relays about Muslims and Islam. The lack of response led Dr. Ghouse to offer advice and guidance to him, and if he considers the advice, he will save himself a lot of regrets and time on doubling down on the false information, and if he were smart, he can earn at least 3 Million Muslim votes.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a proud, unapologetic Moderate Muslim and a passionate advocate of Pluralism in religion, society, politics, race, dining, clothing, dancing, sports and every aspect of life. He is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator who is considered an authority on Pluralism and Interfaith relations in America, and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
Phyllis Curott, the Vice Chair of Parliament of World’s Religions writes," Mike Ghouse has the courage of his convictions - he carries a spark of inspiration that can only be called Divine…..”
Religion News Service,
" (RNS) A Florida pastor plans to burn a pile of Qurans on the 9/11 anniversary, and interfaith activist Mike Ghouse says, “It is not what (the pastor) will do, it is what we do as Americans and American Muslims that matters.”
Dr. Ghouse has appeared in more than 150 TV Talk shows, including 102 with Sean Hannity alone. He has served as
subject expert hundreds of times on nationally syndicated radio shows. Many listeners have heard his informed opinions at the time of the Quran Burning issue in Mulberry, Florida, Quran Bashing in Dallas Texas, during the Ground Zero Mosque, Boston Bombing, Garland, Phoenix, Washington and other major conflicts.
He has published more than 3000 articles on a variety of topics, of these; more than 1000 are on Pluralism, including 225 pieces in the “Texas Faith” column of the Dallas Morning News and 130 articles at Huffington Post.  A thousand articles on politics, Israel Palestine Dialogue, India, and Terrorism, foreign policy, movies, sports, culture and motivation. The rest of the thousand are about the Pluralistic values of Islam and Muslims.
American Muslims are committed to a prosperous and secure American for every one of the 318 Million Americans.
Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What is Islam?

Islam is a beautiful system, like all other faiths devised to restore sanity and common sense in a given society through simple basics like building trust, being truthful, be a security to fellow beings, stand up for justice, practice non-judgementalism,  jettison arrogance and adopt humility, and kindness.

These are the seven principles of building cohesive societies where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other,  indeed that is the foundation of Islam and a few Muslim have forgotten it. We have to restore it now for building a cohesive world, where people live their lives and let others live theirs.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) laid that foundation, and those seven principles made him an Amin, an individual who lives his life per those principles.  Unfortunately, a 
few have made Islam to be a political system, which it is not. Indeed, sadly all religions have become political systems of you or me, rather than spiritual system of we are in this together.

Preparing a talk on the subject.

Mike Ghouse 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Muslim Speaker

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at for his writings at and several blogs listed there in.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Muslim Success Stories | Congratulations to Dr. Babar Cheema

Muslim Success Stories  |    
Louisville, KY, January 12, 2016 -- Dr. Babar Cheema and I ran into each other in Louisville Airport terminal. I was heading to Washington and he was returning from Washington.

From time to time, I would like to write the Muslim success stories, not the ones who make lots of money, but the ones' who do things that will create better safer and secure societies for all. 
What a joy it was to know that he was an honored guest at President Obama’s state of the Union address last night. Dr. Mohammad Babar Cheema and a few others have worked relentlessly in building relationships with fellow Americans of all hues, and this note is to appreciate his work and to acknowledge his contributions.

If you know any other Muslim who was invited, please let us know with their information, the least we can do is acknowledge and encourage others to get out and be a part of the society.

Congratulations Dr. Cheema!

This is how we become part of the American story, thanks for setting the example. 

I urge every Muslim to make that effort, to get out and be with the people, if you can afford, please invite a Christian, Jewish, Hindu, African American, Hispanic, Chinese and an Arab family to dinner, at least once a month.  For God's sake get to know each other as friends and kindly keep religion and politics out of the conversation, don't even try it. We all need to connect with each other as fellow Americans with common concerns. 

If God gives me life, I want to do something very big this December, and want to celebrate those Muslims who have built relationships with at least 10 families of different faiths including- Atheists, Baha’i, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Native Americans, Pagans, Shinto, Sikhs,  Wicca, Zoroastrians and others. Each denomination in Christian and Muslim traditions counts as one.   There is no limit to how many Muslims can do that. 

I'll be happy to share simple guidelines to make the dinner successful and memorable for everyone.  

Here is a link to the extraordinary work that testifies their work in building good relationships.

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorismhuman rightsIndiaIsrael-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at and a bulk of his writings are at and several blogs listed there in.