Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and my Mentors

A tribute to Gandhi |
Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead 68 years ago on this day, January 31, 1948.

Mahatma Gandhi is one of my nine favorite personalities. I call them my mentors, meaning I think about them regularly and that they are; Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Pope Frances, and President Barack Obama. Of course, my father and mother top the list, I am who I am today because of them opening the windows of knowledge to me.

These are the men and women I have come to adore; their passion was to create cohesive societies where everyone can live without fear of the other.

By the time I croak my list may grow to be 10, as there is one more individual I am studying and he may become the 10th favorite Pluralists, i.e., those who respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us.

Every year, for the last 25 years, I have been writing a note about him on his death and birth anniversaries, this is my way of paying tribute and expressing the gratitude to a man who gave so much to India and the world.
By the way, I have seen Gandhi in my dream twice, way back in early 70’s and in the early 2000 – both the times he pats on my back and says, Son you have a lot of work to do, and that has remained my inspiration to do the work I do.

Gandhi’s Clothing

Why did he wear the loin cloth and not the suits? Indeed, he was a Law graduate of University College of London, a successful Lawyer in South Africa and he wore the three piece suits like all the Englishmen did during the period.

Do you remember one of his thousands of quotes – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” What does it mean? One of the major social reforms he brought to India was ‘acceptability’ of the ‘untouchables’, it is a shameful part of history of civilizations where humans were dehumanized, including here in the United States.  He wanted the downtrodden and the poor masses to relate with him and he wanted to be one of them and not the elites who look down upon them.  Prophet Muhammad did similar thing – he gave Bilal, the slave whom he freed, the highest spiritual status among his followers, it was a jolt to the society, but it knocked their prejudices down. My father did the same, which I have written separately, you see the same trend with Jesus, Mother Teresa, Pope Frances and others – they had zero prejudice towards fellow beings. God bless them all.
Given what Gandhi stood for, two things are going severely wrong in India, a handful of extremists have taken over and mistreating the Dalits (Untouchables) and the shameful celebration of the man who shot Gandhi. They are building temples to Godify this man Godse who killed Gandhi. I hope the Indian Government on this day makes a commitment to follow the law, to treat all humans equally and to value the freedom of speech. It is a shame, if we don’t speak up against injustice and let the seeds of discrimination grow in a nation that is beacon of hope to many nations.
 Season of Non-Violence  

Season of Non-Violence begins today, January 30th, on the day of Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated and concludes on April 4th the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It is a “64 Days of Daily Messages for Social Media
The site has beautiful graphics and daily messages in web format to inspire, create discussion, and hold in our thoughts each day during the 64 Days of the Season. Consider having your SNV campaign be to share these on Facebook or Twitter. Then, be sure to check back in with us to let us know how your social network is growing by sharing these graphics.”  I cannot forget my friend Len Ellis of Dallas for his dedication to this season and the messages he shares.

This year like the last few years, we talk about the peace makers of the world, in the beginning it was Gandhi and MLK, now Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela are added, and I have added Prophet Muhammad to the season.

Watch out for the day, I will be giving a talk about what these men did to build a cohesive society, where humanity can live in peace and harmony.

This is not complete, I will be adding more to this at

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 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Interfaith sensitivity about Jews.

Interfaith sensitivity about Jews |   

The story I am about to share is the very reason I write, speak and broadcast the knowledge about interfaith, in particular “Festivals and commemorations of the world”

In 2011, one of my Christian friends Kristen was on my team to invite people to attend the “Holocaust and Genocides” event – I am blessed to be first Muslim in the world who regularly commemorates the event to develop understanding between people of different faiths, races and ethnicities. More at

Kristen lived in a Jewish neighborhood and grew up with many Jewish friends. When I called her up for updates, she was disappointed with the response she was getting, but I encouraged her to continue, as it is a difficult event to attend.

The following weekend, there was an art exhibit by a Russian artist and about 150 people came to the event, Kristen was there and was excited to call on her Jewish friends to attend the event, she came back disappointed for the silent stares she was getting.  She asked me to join her to invite another couple down in the corner sipping wine.

So here it goes, Kristen introduces me, “Rosie, this is Mike, and we are here to invite you to a celebration of the Jewish Holocaust event…” Literally, I fell off my chair, I had to cut her in, sorry Rosie, it is a Holocaust Memorial event, and it is a reflection on the cruelties within each one of us and how to put it off and learn to say Never again.  It is a somber event….’ There was a relief on the face of Rosie and her husband.  We carried the conversation forward and they did join us along with a few other friends.

Like Kristen most of us make the mistake, whenever there is a gathering of people, we associate it with celebration.  To understand this, it is like inviting a friend, “Please join me at the funeral home, and they are celebrating the death of our friend Mike, who passed away yesterday,” Personally, that is what I would want to happen upon my death, but most people including my wife, my kids and grand kids may not appreciate it.

There are three public events that I know, mind you, these are not celebrations – Holocaust commemoration (Jewish), Ashura /Muharram (Muslims) and the big one, Memorial Day, end of May. Please do not wish a happy…….. You can probably say I am sorry to hear the _____ Memorial event is coming up, I am with you, or my prayers are with you… or some such thing to show support.  I suggest you to visit the Holocaust Museum or attend our event in 2017 to learn about these.

As time permits, I will share different stories.

This is the first time in 10 years that I have not organized the Holocaust and Genocides commemoration event, it’s a difficult event for many to attend, yet an average of 300 brave souls have made it each time.  As a Muslim, why do I commemorate? The answer is in this article at Huffington Post called Holocaust and the Muslim Guy. ( )

Why is it important to know about our neighbors and people of other faiths, races and traditions?  I let you imagine it and urge you to think about it, and if you are tempted write, please share it. I will publish it at and -

"Festivals of the World" is an educational series published by Mike Ghouse since 1993. When we live in the same communities as neighbors, we might as well learn about each other. The best way to build cohesive societies is for its members to participate in festivities as well as commemorations of each other, or at least understand each other's' joys and sorrows. Please note the simplicity in writing is designed for people of other faiths to learn and to know, so we can function cohesively.  This is too elementary for the followers of the faith, but informational to those who are not aware of the tradition.

Since 1994, I am blessed to have published essence of many, but not all festivals, as the time has permitted.  You are welcome to plug the name of the festival with my name in the Google search, more than likely, you will find information on major festivals and commemorations.
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. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Interfaith Language (Shouting v Chanting)

Interfaith Language |
As a Pluralist (i.e., respecting the otherness of others) my ears are trained to be sensitive. In one of hte discussion we had going, a Professor wrote, “Thousands of them (Hindus) are "roaming" along the banks of the Ganges in Kashi/Gaya (India) shouting "Hare-Ram! Hare Ram!"

My response?
Dear Professor, I would prefer, “Chanting Hare Ram, Hare Ram” to the phrase “shouting Hare-Ram! Hare Ram!" Likewise, I would prefer Chanting Allahu Akbar rather than shouting Allahu Akbar.

We have do the best we can in choosing the words that would not hurt others. Words can change one’s attitude towards you.
Mike Ghouse

Monday, January 18, 2016

Interfaith Speaker

In Genuine interfaith dialogue, we respect the otherness of others and never claim our faith to be superior to the other, as that amounts to arrogance, and religion is about humility that builds bridges and communities and not arrogance which kills relationships and breeds conflicts.

All religions are about peace. 

I am blessed to be open with all faith traditions, and I treat them as systems that are meant to help an individual achieve his or her own peace.

Again, I am blessed to have written up about every faith tradition, you can Google search the following:

  1. Atheist Mike Ghouse
  2. Bahai Mike Ghouse
  3. Buddhist Mike Ghouse
  4. Christian Mike Ghouse
  5. Hindu Mike Ghouse
  6. Jain Mike Ghouse
  7. Jewish Mike Ghouse
  8. Native American Mike Ghouse
  9. Pagan Mike Ghouse
  10. Sikh Mike Ghouse
  11. Wicca Mike Ghouse
  12. Zoroastrian Mike Ghouse
You can also Google Search

  1. Name of Festival Mike Ghouse

God has blessed me with the ability to stand up for every one, and I have to complete compiling the list, meawhile, you can check these out.
  1. Standing up for Atheists -
  2. Standing up for Christians -
  3. Standing up for Hindus -
  4. Standing up for Jews -
  5. Standing up for Sikhs -
  6. Standing up GLBT -
  7. Standing up for Immigrants -
  8. Standing up for others - to be completed. 
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. 

Experiments in religious understanding

Experiments in religious understanding

Baptized Muslim Mike Ghouse in Jordan River

Baptized Muslim Mike Ghouse in Jordan River
I was blessed to be baptized in River Jordan last year in the same spot where Jesus was baptized. It was an enriching experience to me, particularly feeling the symbolic transformation. Jesus is my mentor, a true pluralist who had no barriers between him and humanity, as a Muslim I felt the affirmation of that thought; of being boundless. Article and pictures at

Interfaith Experiments

Interfaith Experiments

Interfaith Radio, wisdom of religion, all the beautiful religions

Interfaith Radio, wisdom of religion, all the beautiful religions
At the conclusion of two years of the daily Radio program called “wisdom of religions all the beautiful religions", where both Atheism and Pluralism were included, a handbook of Religion was released in 2005. Over the period of two years we read the Bible, Torah, Quraan, Bhagvad Gita and the other holy books. I will talk about the program in my speeches; it is thrilling to know that we all seek truth in our own ways. Finding the truth is our own responsibility.


  • Ultimate Interfaith dialogue
  • Experiments in truth
  • Reversing Roles
  • God does not sign exclusive deals
  • Purpose of Religion
  • Psychology of Prayers
  • Arrogance and Humility
  • Wisdom of Religion

Pastor Robert Jeffress was challenged to find the truth

Pastor Robert Jeffress was challenged to find the truth
Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas (unfortunately representing the First Baptist Church of Dallas) called Quraan an evil book written by a false prophet, his congregants rewarded him with a standing ovation. However it cannot be the church doctrine, it was his individual take. Mike visited the pastor to offer the right translation of the Quraan so he can find the truth and share with his congregation. It was followed by interviews on Local Fox News and NBC channels, followed by Dallas Morning News exchanges leading to Quraan Conference to demystify the myths. Mike’s challenge to the Pastor was to “find me three verses in Quraan that are evil, and if you do, I will join your ministry.” The pastor has blown the opportunity to harvest the poor souls; he chickened out from holding the conversation on his turf in his church. Details, videos and write up at

Interfaith experiments, public understanding of other religions

Interfaith experiments, public understanding of other religions
Religious leaders representing different religions were asked to share about their religion in three sentences, then towards the end of the program audience was randomly given to read (other than their own religion) a 100 word summary of each one of the religions. It was an eye opener for the people to see the difference in what the media and the politicians say, and the holy books of the respective religions say. You have to read it yourselves the whole paragraph or chapter and not a sentence to get a fuller picture.

Interfaith Solidarity; standing up for the Gazans and the Israelis.

Interfaith Solidarity; standing up for the Gazans and the Israelis.
We have to stand up for the rights of all people, joined in at the Gaza Rally protesting the killing of Gazans and led the Pluralism Prayer for the wellbeing of the people of Gaza and Israel at North Haven United Methodist Church. Love and Prayers are the positive energies that prevent your heart from contamination of ill-will, malice, hate and prejudice. We have to be blind when it comes to justice and not appease or pander to any one.

Arab Imams on Interfaith

Arab Imams on Interfaith
I thank God for presenting limitless opportunities to talk about the Pluralistic values embedded in Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) being an interfaith dialoguer. I have been a small part of the interfaith dialogue movement in Saudi Arabia, which began in 2003 in Dallas. In 2010 about twelve Arab Imams visited Dallas and I hosted the luncheon to talk about Interfaith in Islam. I can sum this up in one sentence, “those imams were ahead of us in pluralism in Islam, for every sentence I uttered, they produced Prophets Sayings and verses from Quraan.” God willing one major good is going to come out of it; stopping the printing and distribution of mistranslated Quraan by Muslims; Al-Hilali translation.

The Prestigious Slater Award

The Prestigious Slater Award
Mike Ghouse was honored with teh prestigious Slater Award as the Religious communicator fo the year.