Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Is there one Islam?

Mike Ghouse, May 2, 2007

The above title appeared in one of the neo-con websites " Suicide of the west". I read and responsed as follows, (responsed is updated).

Dear Mark,

I appreciate your comments; there is always another point of view.

While acknowledging the violence that has been part of the world, and recognizing the Muslim part of that piece, I have to share a simple example.

I honor our constitution as one of the best documents on harmonious societies. The laws of our nation are well written and are designed for the purpose of keeping law and order and consequently a peaceful harmonious society. Yet, we have witnessed slavery. The women’s right to vote came about 150 years later, and the civil rights were passed to bring the African Americans into the fold nearly 200 years after our independence. Was our constitution wrong before? Or were the practitioners?

Watch the evening news with some one from Edinburg, Rome or Taipei, and the entire 20 minutes of the local news is crime, rape, murder, arson and other stuff. Would that scare your friend and tempt him to call that the people of your city are criminals? That is all he sees on the news, isn’t he? It is a fact what we see on the TV, but a miniscule truth, not the whole truth. Just like the terrorism story on the TV.

If you look at the ruthless, destruction of life during crusades, inquisitions, the annihilation of Native American cultures and just 60 years ago, the holocaust, would that prompt you to ask, if Christianity was wrong? Was the Bible wrong or was it the individuals?

Would you call the people of Washington bad drivers based on their traffic tickets? Or would you blame the City?

Why don’t we lend the same logic to Islam?

No religion, including Islam preaches hate. It is the dangerous neo-cons in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and other faiths that are the problems not the majority of any people.

Throw me in the Jail for the wrongs I do, and punish me for my crimes, but don’t blame my City, my nation or my religion. We need to bark at the right tree, if we learn to do that, then we have a specific target and can solve the problem. The neo cons (all of them) run with a gun firing every where blindly like maniacs, we have seen the world of destruction listening to them. It is time to listen to the moderates, who want peace for all and believe me, they are a majority, we just need to stroke the spark in them to do the right thing.

I am optimistic, war mongers see the futility in destruction and hope and pray that they understand that we have to create a better world, a world of co-existence; it is a necessity, so all of us can live in peace.


Mike Ghouse

That’s the question on the table for another invaluable Front Page Magazine symposium, this time featuring Mike Ghouse, Robert Spencer, Timothy Furnish, Thomas Haidon and Hans-Peter Raddatz (Ghouse and Haidon are Muslims). The answer, of course, is no. Islam is not monolithic. But as Furnish points out, on one issue there is a predominant Muslim view across time, culture and geography: the meaning of jihad:

And this brings me to the sense in which Islam can be said to be one: at the level of certain doctrines which continually are reified in Islamic history. At a minimum, of course, belief that God spoke to Muhammad as the final prophet to humanity, and that these revelations were later collected into the Qur’an, is something that unites all Muslims. Ditto for the other four pillars of Islam (prayer five times daily; tithing; fasting during Ramadan; and the hajj). But I speak of a constant in Islamic history, one that mystics and generals both have agreed on the importance of, and one that has, for some very influential Islamic thinkers over the years, been ranked as the sixth pillar of Islam: jihad.

Mr. Ghouse and Mr. Haidon will no doubt pull out of the quiver the argument that “jihad means being a good Muslim” but—as Mr. Spencer will no doubt argue better than me—that mainly Sufi understanding of jihad is based on a spurious hadith, or tradition, attributed to Muhammad. Any examination of Islamic over the course of 1,400 years will show that jihad-as-conquest is the normative meaning and is, I would argue, perhaps the most defining feature of Islam going back to the time of Muhammad. The Bin Ladins of the world did not create violent jihad ex nihilo. And even moderate Islamic polities such as the Ottoman Empire declared, and waged, violent jihad against (mainly Christian) states—as recently as World War I!

Until Islam can divest itself of the proclivity to violence, originating in the Qur’an itself and the activities of its founder [emphasis mine]—then all the appeals to, and claims of, “progressive” Islam will remain vacuous.


  1. First, before I post anything about the subject matter, could Mr. Mike Ghouse inform me WHO is then the ACTUAL writer of the commentary? Also please add the said person nationality and religion so that I can responce appropriately. Thank you!

  2. I wrote the commentary

  3. Mike Ghouse commenting on ... Mike Ghouse?
    I KNOW at the bottom it's stated POSTED by a "Mike Ghouse",but is it BY "Mike Ghouse"(you),
    or somebody else???
    Just so I got it right, I meant the SECOND one where there's a line that says - "...Mr. Ghouse and Mr. Haidon will no doubt pull out of the quiver the argument..." from the 03rd paragraph.
    I meant THAT commentary. It can't be you wrote that one right??? Like I said, YOU commenting

  4. Mr. Anonymous,
    It was Jamie Glaznov,editor of front page. Why did you have to go through this exercise, please write your comment. Thanks
    Mike Ghouse



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.