Mike Ghouse, July 28, 2007
Edmund Burke, a philosopher from the 17th Century had said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And a similar message was communicated by spiritual leaders of all faiths through out the course of human history.
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." -- Albert Einstein.
Evil exists in the world because of good people. The good people’s silence, silently gives a tacit approval to the bad guys to continue to do bad things. I believe Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi had expressed similar sentiments.
Indeed, the problem is not with the evil men, it is with us. I’m least worried about what bad people can do than what good people don’t. The majority of Americans do not want war, yet the few are carrying it out. We silently sat by and let 3,500 of our sons and daughters and some 650000 Iraqis slaughtered.
If we can recall our class room scenario, our work place, or our extended family, there was always a tyrant, who got away bullying every one. No one dared him or said anything to him, due to fear or not having the stomach to stand up to him or her. Had you stopped that tyrant in the tract, things would have stopped long ago, but no one dared it and simply endured it for a long time. As a larger society, we are allowing those tyrants to go on terrorizing all of us. You and I regardless of our faiths face the same evil.
That brings us to Terrorism, go ahead and make my day, call it Muslim terrorism and beam me up.
Did you know that a Muslim is more vulnerable to terrorism than a Christian, Jew or a Hindu?
A Muslim get the shaft three different ways; i) the bullying fear from the extremists Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus, ii) the idiotic media and iii) and the denigration of his/her religion where as the others get only one way.
Silent no more, speak up is our mission, not just for Muslims, but for all. The peaceful majority sounds like good for nothing crowd. We believe they will wake when pushed to the corner. As we Americans spoke up during the last days of Vietnam, then we spoke up on Tuesday, November 7th 2006 and we still have not taken actions to the death and destructions we are causing in Iraq, we will, and the Muslims will do their chore as well.
Everyday, I go through many articles and at least 80% of them border on finger pointing and blaming the others with no particular goal to pursue a solution.
One of the biggest mistakes we make is to give a religious label to the bad people. It is a shame to call those bad boys Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christian or otherwise. It is our gutlessness to face the evil that prevents us from facing the problem squarely. If we can recall a dialogue with our mother, father, uncle or some one powerful over us. We find that when we disagreed with them we whispered it quietly or even mumbled; we did not want a fight. However when they screamed “What did you say?” We shuddered and quietly denied saying any such thing, or depending on the strength of the voice of the opposite person, we even slighted our response and said "oh nothing" or something irrelevant… we did not want to invoke the wrath of the tyrant facing us.
When Osama Bin Laden brought hell on all of us, what did our president do? He did not face the tyrant squarely… like many, he found it convenient to blame Muslims and Islam, just like you may act when you face a real tyrant (family or community) and start blaming the world when you could not laser bark at the bad dog any more.
If a TV anchor blames you for the wrongs you do, most people would let you handle it on your own terms, but when he suggests that those ‘people’ are messing our nation”. I can guarantee that all of us would be offended and are less likely to listen to the anchor. By calling Muslims the terrorists, they have invariably barked at the wrong tree and they continue to do so.
99% of terrorists are Muslims! When you watch some of the Neocon websites, CNN and Fox network: Every kidnapping and every individual vandalism done by the Muslims is jumped at; rightfully so. Indeed all of us should jump at it. But when similar crimes are happening in the same breath, they are reported as a regular crime that is wrong by any sense of morality.
Thanks God the V-tech crazy was not a Muslim, if it was, the bad guys would have feasted on it for months, it feeds them and they are eager to be the first. The TV, Radio and the papers would have stretched the food for months.
In your city there is a murder and rape every day, like Iraq, why don’t we call them Christian terrorists or if it is in India call it Hindu Terrorism or other one, then why call Muslim Terrorism for similar crimes on the street?
No terrorists should be given respect by adding a religion to his crime. Any one who commits a crime, disturbs the peace, should be punished for his acts. Religion should not be a factor at all, if we do that, we find excuses not to take the action. We should get the individual criminal for his act and punish according to the law. Let law be not taken any any one's hands including the Chief Executive. Let us not give an opportunity to any one to become terrorist in reverse.
What if we do not point the gun, and just shoot what surounds that criminal? What is the difference between them and us. It is this dual sense of morality that we need to avoid. Mother Teresa's wisdom is eternal "if you want to make peace, You don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
In the fight between the good and the bad, the average man gets killed. We should care for human life, whether we are Muslims, Hindus, Christians or Zoroastrians. All evil must be condemned whether it is my brother or any one. If each one of us adopts the posture of a just position – we can find peace, peace comes through you in your language. Each one of us has to find solutions.
Let’s take a principle stand and call the evil for simply what it is; Evil. Let’s use the same yardstick to judge all criminals.Each one of us should focus on building peace, hate and blame does not take any one anywhere, the first casualty is ones own peace and then others’. One cannot point fingers at other others to be peaceful while he himself is not.
Peace begins with a dialogue as does the war.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local TV networks discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He founded the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is www.MikeGhouse.net and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: http://MikeGhouseforAmerica.Blogspot.com and http://MikeGhouse.Sulekha.com . He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com . Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town.
Additional Notes - unrelated unconnected.
A majority of Muslims - 99-9/10ths are moderate Muslims who believe in getting along with others and taking care of their family. Only 1/10ths of 1% - 1/100ths of 1% tend to be on the wrong end of the life. By the way, this formula applies to all people be it religious, ethnic, racial or any other uniqueness. What those two brothers did was rare, shocking and disgusting. Muslims are on a watch out for some one like this.
I hope we take part in building our nation as Indians and not have the divisiveness get to us. For a discussion group of Indians, giving a communal tone is not kosher. It is neither Hindu nor Muslim, it is just Indian. Even if it were Hindu or Muslim, it should not be based on hate towards each other. If others do it, that is their choice, we don't have to follow them. This group will remain for Indians who want to understand the differences and work on finding solutions. You are welcome to write.
No religion is bad, individuals are. The acts of crime are committed by individuals using all sorts of excuses, blaming the religion is shying away from facing the wrong doers. Take any situation going back some 2000 years, you will always find that insecure men and greedy kings have used the poor people to go kill and get killed to consolidate their empires. They have always used the common man to their advantage and have sat behind the throne in the safety zone, they never risked their lives.
Very few leaders have actually led the wars, you can see Lord Krishna, Prophet Muhammad and Mahatma Gandhi and other great leaders actually participating in the wars or movements standing up to evils of the society. They did not send some one else to go die for them. Please take the time to attend interfaith meetings including the ones by the Foundation for Pluralism. They are open meetings, open questions and open learning. You may enjoy employing your mind to the full capacity, as finding the truth is one's own responsibility, once you find the truth, you will find relief, mukti, moksha and salvation. There is plenty of reading material out there, as much as the hate material. May you find Mukti and become a source of light and goodness for the humankind.
Every one of us has a responsibility to make the world a better place to live. Peace begins with each one of us, you or I will never see peace if we are a product of hate. If we re-act with malice, it multiplies and swallows us into it.We have to get the freedom from hate, not because God wants it, and not because it is some noble thing to do, but because it brings peace to oneself and because it benefit you and it is a necessity, once you have it, you will find peace in you and that translates to peace to your family and friends and whatever surrounds you. Hate is engaging and enslaving, it is to our individual benefit we have to free ourselves from hate, try it, you'll love it and you'll change the world for better.
Religion was issued to humans to make them better beings, some get it and some don't. Parents teach children to be good kids, some do and some don't. The Civic laws are made for the safety of the Citizens, some follow some don't. It does not make the Civic laws wrong, it does not make the parent wrong if the kid turns out to be a bully and does not make the religion bad if one does not follow it.
We have to punish the individual who does wrong, we have accountability then. Blaming the elusive is wrong, it shows our inability to solve the problem, then we need extra dose of religion, so we can get it. The wisdom of religion is to make us all better humans, if we don't get it that is our problem, not religion's. If we punish the individual, then it is accounted for. Hating a religion is like shooting the gun without aim. Let's get to think and find ways - annihilation is not the answer, co-existence is. But before that, our mind needs to be in peace. Peace emits peace.
May the creator bless us with peace, tranquility and free us from hate and malice.
July 17, 2007
I used to know a man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II. He was a German Jew. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.
"Very few people were true Nazis," he said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride; and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us; and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp, and the Allies destroyed my factories."
We are told again and again, by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.
Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam, at this moment in history, as the Nazis did, in their time in history.
It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa, and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.
The hard quantifiable fact is that the" peaceful majority" is the "silent majority," and it is cowed and extraneous.
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
The average Japanese individual, prior to World War 2, was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing, that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians - most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving?"
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day, and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others, have died - because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.
As for us who watch, it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.