Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bad People are bad people, common sense cards

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

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holi Celebrations

Happy Holi Celebrations

Holi is a Hindu festival of radiance and celebration of spring with colors that nourish one’s joyous moods and complements the function of respective elements in the atmosphere. The essence of Holi is liberation and breaking the barriers between adults and children, family members and friends, and the festivity opens up to each other. 

It is celebrated through out India, and in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, British Guyana, Suriname and other places.   

Although Holi is part of the Hindu tradition, most Indians participate in it, it presents unity of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and of course, Jains, Zoroastrians, Baha’i, Jews, Buddhist and native traditions
Legend has it, that Lord Krishna is believed to have complained to his mother about his dark complexion while Radha's had a lighter skin. Krishna's mother decided to apply color to Radha's face (Reverse Make up?) The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.
Several years ago, my son, daughter and I were drenched in Holi colors at the Hindu Temple festivities and were driving home. At a stop light, people in others cars on either side stared at us and looked scared and drove off screeching on the green light... the three of us laughed and looked at each other…  it dawned on us that we looked bloody, green, yellow and mellow.......colors in our hair, face and clothes…

Prasad's daughter, Prasad Thotakura | Jasmina, Mike and Jeff Ghouse

My kids thoroughly enjoyed throwing the colors in liquid and dust forms on me, they loved it. I would also call it friendship festival as it removes inhibitions
The picture below reflects that sentiments - all colors coming together to create oneness, thus the phrase Vasudaiva Kutumbukum; the whole world is one family. Similar expressions are a staple in every faith.
Radiant Colors of Holi

Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna which usually falls in the later part of February or March.

Since 1993, I have been writing about every festival on the earth, have done a weekly Radio program called "Festivals of the world" and shared about each festival.  Make it simple enough that most people can get the essence of it. For Hindus there is lot more depth and meaning to it, but for the non-Hindus, this gives them an idea about the festival. It is a part of the Pluralism education, so we all can know each other and appreciate our own uniqueness. Each one of is a model of our own.

Happy Holi and please enjoy the songs;

From the movie Lagaan, Radha Kaisay na Jalay -

Another one that reflects unity -

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, and cohesive and current articles

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mr. Trump, Islam does not hate us


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

Mr. Trump, blaming Islam amounts to barking at the wrong tree.
Washington, D.C.  March 10, 2016 – Mr. Trump in an interview to CNN Anchor, Anderson Cooper said, “There’s an unbelievable hatred of us, we have got to get to the bottom of it, and there is unbelievable hatred of us.”Anderson interjects, “In Islam itself?” Trump responds, “You have to figure that out, ok, you will get another Pulitzer.” (Video)

He continues, “We have to be very vigilant, very careful and we cannot allow people coming into this country with this hatred of us”.

I want to assure Mr. Trump that Islam does not hate America, nor does Islam kill people, just as Guns don’t kill, but individuals do. 

Mr. Trump is seeking guidance when he says, “we have to get to the bottom of it” and I am pleased to offer my services to coach him in Islam and Muslim psyche.
Jesus did not give permission to Christians to go on the crusades, inquisitions, genocides of Native Americans, Holocaust, Bosnia and massacres etc? It is not Christians, but the men who did not get Christianity committed those crimes.

Muhammad (pbuh) did not give permission to Muslims to gas the Kurds, commit 9/11, genocide of people in Darfur? He did not give permission to the ISIS animals to forcibly subject Christian, Yazidi and Shia women to sex abuse?  It is not Muslims, but the men who did not get Islam committed those crimes.

If we are inclined to believe in that non-sense, we have a serious responsibility to find the truth, and truth shall set us free.

Bad things happen because those creeps did not get their religion right.
Who do you blame, religion or the creeps?
If you blame the creeps what happens? 
 You’ll hunt them down wherever you can find them,  and punish according to restore trust in the society, so no one can live in apprehension or tensions. 

If you blame the religion what happens? Mr. Trump, nothing happens! It is the dumbest thing to blame the religion!  Religion is not a being, it is an intangible item, and you cannot shoot, kick, beat, thrash, hang, kill or bury a religion. Let’s not bark at religion, it does not good and no problem will be solved except aimless barking.

Problem remains, people will continue to remain apprehensive and fearful of each other. Let’s find solutions to these problems.

We are indeed committed to build a cohesive America, where no American has to live in Apprehension or fear of each other.

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 talk/text 

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorismhuman rightsIndia,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.
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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 

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.