Mike Ghouse, July 3, 2007
Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and their likes will hopefully figure out the path to peace based on historic precedence. They have not considered a perspective of co-existence, and instead have treaded on the path of “might” is the cure all for bringing peace.
Tyrants like Pharaohs, Alexander, Romans, Crusaders, Inquisitors, Genghis, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Saddam and Osama have attempted to force their way of life onto others by their evil might and failed. They have had short term gains, but were never able to sustain their evil empires.
God is always with the people, those bullies never succeeded in crushing the will of the people; the Jews, the Muslims, the Christians, the Zoroastrians, the Hindus and the like. The brave people, either fought for their life or gave it up at the Masada, they were butchered by Ferdinand but held on to their beliefs. Hitler planned on annihilating the entire Jewish population but failed. The mighty Russian empire could not do diddly with the Afghans, nor could our Almighty war machine crush the Vietnamese. Romans could not do it either and we are seeing the results in Afghanistan and Iraq, our actions are producing opposite of what we desire.
What makes one to believe that the sheer might will buckle people down? There is plenty to learn from history.
As Americans we need to speak up and adopt methods advocated by the great spirits like Gandhi, King and Mandela.
Creating fear and gaining support from the average American to believe that we can wrap bombs on our F-16’s and annihilate the percieved enemy completely, ought to be reviewed for its effectiveness.
These powerful ideas have generated more destruction, more anger and have bred hate and anger. I hope the Neo-cons realize this and spend their energy on bringing true peace and co-existence.
Anya Cardell writes (http://www.anyacordell.com). “This follows on the lecture last week by Steven Emerson at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, attended and warmly received by about 500, entitled ‘The Terrorists Living among us’. Both Pipes and Emerson have long histories of virulent anti-Muslim efforts. …so I'm not going to cite right now a bunch of similarly appalling assertions from Pipes, Emerson, and their cronies--but they are truly terrifying, adding to the 'open season' mentality currently profiling, stereotyping, smearing, and generalizing all Muslims. I have met the families of innocent men who were murdered in the hate-backlash of 9/11, and know that there are all-too-real consequences of such hate and fear-mongering. “Additionally, a requisite for war is demonizing and dehumanizing the Other, so that we can shrug, rationalize or justify what we call 'collateral damage', and how innocents are caught in the crosshairs or ensnared in big nets, (roundups, detentions, etc.), all in the name of 'security'.”
It is time; we listen to peace makers and seriously consider abandoning our failed approaches that has cost us American as well as non-American lives. We need to stop running amuck with a gun and blindly shooting every where hoping it will hit something. We need to earn the respect of nations through our efforts to bring peace through humility.
For our own sake we need to bring humility and remember that all of us will die this moment or the next, let’s work on bringing peace to the world and not cherish chaos and enjoy destruction.
I appeal to Emerson, Pipes and others to try what has worked. One of the comments that missed their thinking radar was when Karen Hughes wore a make shift Hijab when the President was re-visiting a Mosque in DC was made to appear like appeasement. By God, it is an age old tradition to dress up in host’s costumes, people and Presidents wear Yarmulke when the visit a Synagogue, wear other gear as a respect. That is called diplomacy and it has worked for over centuries.
Here are three articles to read and absorb the gamut of our current polices. Deep down, it appears our President is a good man when he is on his own longing for peace; he just needs to walk on the path alone and lead his few supporters instead of getting led.
- Laser Barking at the Terrorists: http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2007/05/laser-barking-at-terrorists.html
- Steve Emersons's fantastic Obsession: http://aninsight.org/2007/07/steve-emersons-fantastic-obsession.html
- Shoeless President: http://wahaudi.blogspot.com/2007/07/shoeless-president-bush.html
- Hate Sermons from the Pulpit: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2007/06/hate-sermons-from-pulpit.html
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, 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 lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a Dallasite since 1980.
The New York Sun
July 3, 2007 Tuesday
Shoeless President Bush
BYLINE: DANIEL PIPES
SECTION: FOREIGN; Pg. 7
LENGTH: 785 words
When President Eisenhower dedicated the Islamic
Center in Washington, D.C., in June 1957, his
500-word talk effused good will ("Civilization
owes to the Islamic world some of its most
important tools and achievements") even as the
American president embarrassingly bumbled
(Muslims in America, he declared, have the right
to their "own church"). Conspicuously, he included nary a word about policy.
Exactly 50 years later, standing shoeless,
President Bush rededicated the center last week.
His 1,600-word speech also praised medieval
Islamic culture ("We come to express our
appreciation for a faith that has enriched
civilization for centuries"), but he knew a
mosque from a church - and he had more on the agenda than flattery.
Most arresting, surely, was his statement that "I
have invested the heart of my presidency in
helping Muslims fight terrorism, and claim their
liberty, and find their own unique paths to
prosperity and peace." This cri du coeur signaled
how Mr. Bush understands to what extent actions
by Muslims will define his legacy.
Should they heed his dream "and find their own
unique paths to prosperity and peace," then his
presidency, however ravaged it may look at the
moment, will be vindicated. As with President
Truman, historians will acknowledge that Mr. Bush
saw further than his contemporaries. Should
Muslims, however, be "left behind in the global
movement toward prosperity and freedom,"
historians will likely judge his two terms as
harshly as his fellow Americans do today.
Of course, how Muslims fare depends in large part
on the future course of radical Islam, which in
turn depends in some part on its understanding by
the American president. Over the years, Mr. Bush
has generally shown an increased understanding of
this topic. He started with platitudinous,
apologetic references to Islam as the "religion
of peace," using this phrase as late as 2006. He
early on even lectured Muslims on the true nature
of their religion, a preposterous ambition that
prompted me in 2001 to dub him "Imam Bush."
As his understanding grew, Mr. Bush spoke of the
caliphate, "Islamic extremism" and
"Islamofacism." What euphemistically he called
the "war on terror" in 2001 by 2006 he referred
to with the hard-hitting "war with Islamic
fascists." Things were looking up. Perhaps
official Washington did understand, after all.
But such analyses roused Muslim opposition and,
as he approaches his political twilight, Mr. Bush
has retreated to safer ground, reverting last
week to decayed tropes that tiptoe around any
mention of Islam. Instead, he spoke inelegantly
of "the great struggle against extremism that is
now playing out across the broader Middle East"
and vaguely of "a group of extremists who seek to
use religion as a path to power and a means of domination."
Worse, the speech drum-rolled the appointment of
an American special envoy to the Organization of
the Islamic Conference, directing this envoy to
"listen to and learn from" his Muslim
counterparts. But the OIC is a Saudi-sponsored
organization promoting the Wahhabi agenda under
the trappings of a Muslim-only United Nations. As
counterterrorism specialist Steven Emerson noted
June 28 in the National Review, Mr. Bush's dismal
initiative stands in "complete ignorance of the
rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and
anti-American sentiments routinely found in
statements by the OIC and its leaders."
Adding to the event's accommodationist tone, some
of the president's top female aides, including
Frances Townsend and Karen Hughes, wore makeshift
hijabs as they listened to him in the audience.
In brief, it feels like "dejà vu all over again."
As Diana West put it in the June 29 Washington
Times, "Nearly six years after September 11 -
nearly six years after first visiting the Islamic
Center and proclaiming ‘Islam is peace' - Mr.
Bush has learned nothing." But we now harbor
fewer hopes than we did in 2001 that he still can
learn, absorb, and reflect an understanding of the enemy's Islamist nature.
Concluding that he basically has failed to engage
this central issue, we instead must look to Mr.
Bush's potential successors and look for them to
return to his occasional robustness, again taking
up those difficult concepts of the caliphate and
Islamic extremism. Several Republicans - Mayor
Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and (above all) Fred
Thompson - are doing just that. Democratic
candidates, unfortunately, prefer to remain
almost completely silent on this topic.
Almost 30 years after Islamists first attacked
Americans, and on the eve of three major
attempted terrorist attacks in Britain, the
president's speech shows how confused Washington remains.
Mr. Pipes ( www.DanielPipes.org) is the director of the Middle East Forum.
Steve Emerson’s Fantastic Obsession
What would an investigative reporter turned director of a private intelligence operation, who is increasingly obsessed with proving that mainstream Muslim American organizations are radical, do when he fails to find evidence to support his obsession? Human decency and Ethical conduct dictate that he give up his obsession and admit that he was wrong. Steve Emerson, the director of the shadowy Investigative Project, thinks otherwise. Rather than doing the right thing and give up his bigoted endeavor, he decides to use fantasy to forge evidence and prolong his compulsive obsession.
Steve Emerson’s Fantastic Obsession
What would an investigative reporter turned director of a private intelligence operation, who is increasingly obsessed with proving that mainstream Muslim American organizations are radical, do when he fails to find evidence to support his obsession? Human decency and ethical conduct dictate that he give up his obsession and admit that he was wrong. Steve Emerson, the director of the shadowy Investigative Project, thinks otherwise. Rather than doing the right thing and give up his bigoted endeavor, he decides to use fantasy to forge evidence and prolong his compulsive obsession.
Emerson belongs to a network of anti-Muslim pundits who, driven by bigotry and exclusivist ideology, are bent on marginalizing Muslim Americans, and using unscrupulous tactics to distort the image of Muslims and instill fear of Islam and Muslims in the American public. Their strategy is to repeat their unfounded accusations against mainstream Muslim organizations so as to create a public record and then use it to incite federal officials and agencies against Muslim Americans. The idea is that if they can repeat a lie long enough, and use different media outlets to propagate their accusations, the lie in time becomes “believable” and takes the semblance of “truth.” Obviously, they have not heeded Abraham Lincoln’s wise advice: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
In a recent article published in the National Review Online (June 28, 2007) under the title “Radical Outreach: Bush coddles American apologists for radical Islam,” Emerson lashes out against President Bush for appointing a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Emerson made it clear that he resents Bush’s initiative, which is aimed at mending fences with the Muslim world, and faults OIC for being critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians under military occupation.
Emerson was particularly upset that President Bush distinguished between Muslims in general and fringe extremist groups whose attacks on innocent civilians have been condemned by Muslim communities throughout the world, and by mainstream Muslim organizations. By making a distinction between ordinary Muslims and extremists, Emerson proclaims, Bush advances the “very talking point [that] is the refuge of America’s supposedly [sic] mainstream Muslim organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA).”
To undermine the distinction between mainstream Muslims and extremists, he goes to the website of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and picks up a news release that was published in 2004. The news release reported then the decision of the US Navy Chief of Chaplains to remove an article by Salman Rushdie that was intended to instigate Muslims against the West and westerners against Islam from the Navy website. I wrote to Rear Admiral Louis V. Iasiello, then the Navy Chief of Chaplains, asking him to reconsider the decision to publish such a divisive article. Chaplain Iaseillo realized that it was a mistake to republish the article and he ordered its removal.
Emerson takes the news release and turns its content upside down, and without any ifs, maybes, or buts he attributes to me the divisive argument advanced by Rushdie. Emerson writes: “In 2004, Louay Safi, a top ISNA official, went further, writing that the ‘assertion by ‘world leaders’ that the war on terrorism is not a war on Islam is nothing but a piece of propaganda and disinformation that was meant to appease Western Muslims and to maintain the coalition against terrorism.’”
Emerson ignores the context of the above statement and omits a key phrase that shows clearly that the quoted argument was that of Rushdie and not my own as he claims. Here is the paragraph which Emerson misquotes in its totality:
“Salman Rushdie's article ‘Yes, This is About Islam,’ originally published in New York Times, argues that the assertion by ‘world leaders’ that the war on terrorism is not a war on Islam is nothing but a piece of propaganda and disinformation that was meant to appease Western Muslims and to maintain the coalition against terrorism.”
Emerson misrepresentation of my position is not simply an error of omission, but a gross distortion of my words and a malicious attempt to put a spin on my statement so as to support his thesis of assigning anti-American views to Muslim American leaders, scholars, and organizations. My correct position is in complete opposition to what Emerson presented and is not easy to miss as it is spelled out in the subsequent paragraph. Here is my response to Rushdie’s argument:
“In his letter, Dr. Safi pointed out that the article not only insult the overwhelming majority of Muslims worldwide, particularly American soldiers of the Islamic faith, who every day put their lives on the line . . . but its cynicism cannot be easily missed as it accuses the commander in chief, and virtually all senior members of the government, of duplicity.”
Mr. Emerson has in the past used innuendo and half-truths to malign mainstream Muslim individuals and organizations, but he has recently reached a new low as he is now willing to use fraud and fabrication to undermine Muslim Americans. His unscrupulous attacks and insinuations against Muslims in general and Muslim Americans in particular must be condemned by every American of conscience, as his hateful and divisive message would, if left unchecked, confuse the public and undermine the efforts to isolate extremism and defeat terrorism.
This article appears in the following publications:
Media Monitor Network
Middle East Online
The American Muslims
Laser Barking at Terrorists
Mike Ghouse April 20, 2007
This essay explores the mistakes our Administration has made in not facing the terrorist squarely; and instead acting out like cranky babies. The world communities will be with us, with their hearts in fighting the menace of terrorism, if we go after the individuals responsible for the crimes and not their families, their nation or their religion. We will achieve far greater success, if we learn to laser bark at the criminals, instead of barking at the universe.
Throw me in the ditch for the crimes I commit, inflict the punishment I deserve, but please do not unleash your fury on my family, my parents, my town or my religion. I should be responsible for my acts, and no one else. This should be a common principle and norm, we should abide by.
There is always a reaction to the biased phrase when some one is addressed as, “You people”. We have seen reactions by Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus or African Americans, Arabs, Caucasians and others when they hear that phrase, “you people” in that particular tone. For the wrongs I do, it should be, “Mike you goofed up” and not, “you guys”. When a Jewish councilman was addressed in that fashion in Dallas in 2006, all of us were offended, and I took the step to condemn the sayer of such a phrase through Dallas Morning News. I also make no exception if my fellow Muslims speak in that tone.
You face the battle with your kids when they go nuts, you do the best in disciplining them, and when they are cranky, they will do the thing they know how; to be unruly, challenging and sometimes even getting destructive. When you push a wild animal to the corner, he knows he is done with, but before he crumbles, he will charge on you and attempt to inflict whatever damage it can.
While the analogy of wild animal in the case of terrorists may not be perfect, more often than not we use an approach in delineating and classifying terrorists. We have to develop a nuanced and conscientious approach in dealing with terrorism. Some groups, such as al-Qaeda, are aimless, there is no negotiable goals or agendas that can be meaningfully contended with. Therefore, there is not a room for flexibility with them. However, there are many a movements that engage in terrorism, and have legitimate and genuine grievances as part of national resistance movement. Without addressing those grievances, no preaching or pressure would eliminate such terrorism, especially when many among these people have lost all hope for any solution or resolution and have been pushed to the wall.
While we must not condone any terrorism, we must also take the moral high ground by addressing the underlying grievances and problems and avoid pursuing policies, and undertaking ventures that provide new impetus to the terrorists, as it has unfolded in Iraq. We have to figure in the frustration game of new ones popping up and avoiding them. Pounding them with mega bombs will not cut it, we do not have a record in history of such successes; the Taliban’s are popping again. To create a just world for our own peace and peace for others requires giving due attention to their concerns without compromising our own deeply held values. We cannot become oppressors ourselves in the pursuit of peace. The world communities will be with us, with their hearts, in fighting the menace of terrorism, if we go after the individuals responsible for the crimes and not their families, not their nation or their religion. We will achieve far greater success, if we learn to laser bark at the right criminals, instead of barking at the universe. Others need to sense in our actions that we are not barking at them, and then they will be with us.
"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies." There is no saner advice than Mother Theresa’s, and when we are overwhelmed with badness around, “The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas” Alfred Griswold.
The business of Terrorism has been around for a long time, however tracing it in the last century, the Haganah began its operations in the 20’s, then came the Irgunists and after Stern died in a shoot-out with British police in 1942, the mantle was picked up by future Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, then in November 1944, Lord Moyne, the British minister was assassinated in Cairo by the stern Gang. Once, Israel was established in 1948, the tables turned, the Palestinians were displaced and the PLO came into being and started their acts of terrorizing the innocent. The 1971 Munich Massacre was the ugliest one followed by the plane hijackings and other activities. While IRA continued terrorizing in Northern part of UK, the Tamil Tigers were wreaking havoc in Sri Lanka. By the way, we never called them Christian, Hindu or Buddhist Terrorists, why do we call Muslim Terrorists then? That is plain stupid and counter-productive, if our goal is peaceful co-existence.
Now, the International terrorism has become a daily affair. President Reagan made hero out of Osama, instead of being grateful, the ugly traitor turned the guns against us. He has done a lot of damage to us; The 1992 Bombing of WTC, the Embassy in Kenya, the Cole and the 9/11. Regionally, the Beirut Bombardment created Hezbollah in Lebanon and the political imbroglio generated Hamas in Palestine. While other outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-a-Mohammad got going in South Asia. Intoxicated with our might, we extended the invitation “Bring on” to those al-Qaeda terrorists and they are multiplying in Iraq now, aren’t they?
Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King must have pondered over our situation in Iraq and mused about telling this to our President Years ago, “Conquer your foe by force, you increase his enmity; conquer by love, and you will reap no after-sorrow.” We completely violated the teaching of Jesus, Luke 6: 27, 28 – "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
We did not believe in this wisdom and decided not to deal with the terrorists, who would we deal with then? They are the ones who are disruptive. We always have the last option available to us, but our first choice should have been to engage them into a dialogue, we can certainly laugh about it, but looking at the results we have achieved, the dialogue option would have been more fruitful and less destructive. Our insolence in not engaging them as a part of a broader approach has produced more of them, than we can conquer.
We falsely believed, and still do, that our gunpowder can subdue everything in the world. I hope we realize that we have always won the right battles and the right wars, and have certainly lost the wrong ones in Vietnam and other places. We forget that dear God is mightier than our gunpowder. We have also forgotten making distinctions between movements of national resistance and groups given to apocalyptic-type agenda for destruction.
The wrong wars did not have a clear objective, nor did we know where to point the gun. We were trigger happy to destroy what we did not like. The way we have gone about in dealing with Terrorism is pathetic. Shame on us, we were indeed scared to speak up until November 7th, 2006.
The Elections changed it all, Thanks God, we are speaking now, and at least our mistakes are surfacing. “When we took over Baghdad, we had plans to rebuild Iraq, but wasted our time for over a year in preparing the blueprints, while we let the un-employed and the youth rot with nothing to hope for,” Rajiv Chandrashekharan from Washington post had reported. Our strategy was wrong and planning was helter skelter. It is easier to blame on a host of things on our failure than to acknowledge our mistakes. That is the first thing we have to do, to know where we were wrong, then figure it out how to fix them.
We can consider the following;
i) Announcement of the troop withdrawal date, as it would give a clarity to all parties,
ii) asking a non-parties to the war like; Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Brazil or Japan to call on a summit of key Arab leaders including the leaders, and opposition leaders of the three factions in Iraq,
iii) asking each one of the three groups to prepare a wish list that would stop the bloodshed
iv) monthly withdrawal of our troops replaced by troops of their choice to maintain law and order. This may dampen the Al-Qaeda presence.
Hope is the most important ingredient of life, without which life is utterly meaningless. It is the hope that determines destiny and fuels the drive towards it. A normal youth aspires to go to school, get the education, fall in love, have job, get married, have a house and raise children who would live a life better than himself or herself. Most people learn to live and be content with accomplishing any part of that elusive hope. Snatch all of it from a human being, what is left to derive satisfaction? Have we thought seriously and empathically about it?
It is wrong to assume that Muslims support terrorism. Why should they? They are getting the shaft triply because of the terrorists; i) they are blamed iii) their religion is maligned and iii) the world looks at them maliciously. Muslims are as terrorized by the terrorists as anyone else is. Heck, Muslims condemn terrorism three times as strong. The media does not put the Muslim voice out; heck the Muslims are frustrated with this situation. But condemn they do, more so than others. It is just not Muslims, you will find that the Jews, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and others also condemn the atrocities committed in their names, but their voices are drowned as well. The bullies on both sides continue to reign. It has got to change, and the moderates need to speak up and the media ought to oblige to give the space, even if it is not sensational. **1
Once we are committed to a peaceful world of co-existence, we will start seeing the issues in more focused way. Dalai Lama says, “Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity”. If we see the problems of the world as problems that need resolution - then our approach will crystallize and start thinking of solutions.
Let’s start with the war on Terror.
Osama Bin Laden and his gang destroyed our symbol of freedom and prosperity on 9/11, we screamed, “You people” implying Muslims. We also said, “Muslim Terrorists” and a whole lot of other phrases to “Islamofascist”. The right phrase would have been “Osama, you screwed up”.
Whose rears should we have hauled? To the world, we looked like maniacs with a cocked gun running amuck with no particular place to point it towards; anything that moved got bombed out, including a wedding party. We were shooting everywhere, and destroyed every thing in our reach. This is the wrong way to get the terrorists; Osama is still on the loose.
If we can laser shoot the tiny object 3000 miles away, we can get the six footer and his cronies. We can laser bark at the right tree and quit barking at the universe. We have excuses for our failure, and have sacrificed over 3000 of our sons and daughters and a million plus Iraqis, and the latter simply doesn’t count.
We could have done the right thing, but we did not have the guts to do it. When people cannot face things squarely, they go the route of “you people” and shoot in darkness hoping we would shoot some at least, what a delusion! The American people, generally caring and empathic, understand now that we didn’t go to Iraq with pure and sincere motivations to help them, rather with our own grandiose interest in mind, where the Iraqi people would be guinea pigs. That’s why the support for the war has disappeared so visibly. It is time to admit our mistakes and undo those by disengaging from Iraq; they will probably not do as much of damage as we have done
**1 - Note added today, May 11th, 2007. The article was written on April 20th and was asked to be published in New York Times, Washington post, Dallas Morning News, Wall Street Journal and a few others. They are still toeing the line of the admin and would not publish it. Thanks to countercurrents and conservative voice to publish it. As a principle, I have published on this blog, after it got published elsewhere.
The Conservative Voice: http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/25016.html
Counter Currents: http://www.countercurrents.org/ghouse100507.htm
Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer, speaker and a pluralist with the aptitude [you might like to use a different word] to find solutions. He believes that if we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com and at the websites www.MikeGhouse.net and www.FoundationforPluralism.com and www.WorldMuslimCongress.com
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Hate Sermons from the Pulpit
Hate Sermons from the Pulpit.
Mike Ghouse, May 2, 2007
It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it. We have an obligation to maintain a balance in the society
We lose that balance and that elusive equilibrium if we let hate mongers, hate sermons and hate lectures creep in our societies.
The Muslims have been diligently cleaning up the hate sermons from happening in their communities in the United States and Canada. I can recall one incident last year in Canada where one such alleged hate monger Yaseen Sheikh was not allowed to land in Canada and was sent right back to his home; The United Kingdom. The Muslims are making serious efforts to prevent radical preachers from making any speeches in their communities and their Mosques. I am sure some one slips by here and there, but the vigil is there and the guard is on. Islam is about bringing a balance to the society, and American Muslims are vigorously fighting to prevent the Mosque pulpit to ever go into the hands of hate generators.
Hate peddling is unfortunately human, and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with religion, any religion.
As all the religions teach to overcome hate, here are some quotes about doing unto others;
Bahai: Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for any one the things ye would not desire for yourselves. Writings of Baha'u'llah
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5, 1
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:1
Confucianism: Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. Analects 12:2
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you. Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah
Jain: "Living beings (souls) render services to one another" or in short "Live and let live."
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Sikh: All humans are same and so we should treat them all the same – Guru Gobind Singh
Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss. Tai Shang Kan Yin P'ien
Wicca: Harm None
Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself. Dadisten-I-dinik, 94, 5
As we pledge one nation under God with liberty and justice for all, we have to look into each other and look at ourselves, and lift ourselves up from the hate pit and come together on a level playing field of goodwill and generosity.
The business side of faith has thrived on ridiculing others faiths and manufacturing a devil out of thin air. There is a misplaced spirituality in operation; our faith is the best, because others aren’t. Wow, what logic! Arrogance and Spirituality are inversely proportional; one cannot be religious when there is an element of arrogance in it. Other faiths don’t have to be bad for mine to be good. My little daughter says if there is no negative selling how would the business of Church survive? How would you grow congregations and the monies that come with it? Shamefully hate and fear binds the people, even though much of it is manufactured. Who has the time to question? A majority of us do not really hate anyone, nor do we care for those sermons, we go there as a social event and often honoring the courtesy of invitation. However, the extremists among us cash on it, they know what binds us.
It is the human weakness that allows the propagation of hate, and we shamelessly abuse our holy texts to justify human killing and destruction of the world be it Armageddon, Jihad, Promised land or some such notion to satisfy one’s disruptive mindset. Whether it happens in Church, Mosque, Temple, Synagogue or any place of worship, the silent majority puts up with it and does not speak out. We go to the place of worship to rid ourselves of our sins – the elements of ill-will, malice, hate, anger and other entrapments. The pulpit has become a loading dock for malice and incitement to look down upon others who hold a different view.
Anya Cardell writes (http://www.anyacordell.com). “This follows on the lecture last week by Steven Emerson at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, attended and warmly received by about 500, entitled ‘The Terrorists Living among us’. Both Pipes and Emerson have long histories of virulent anti-Muslim efforts. Pipes invented what he calls ‘Sudden Jihad Syndrome’, which he defines as the sudden change of any normal appearing, apparently peaceful Muslim, who may turn on a dime into a radical terrorist. …so I'm not going to cite right now a bunch of similarly appalling assertions from Pipes, Emerson, and their cronies--but they are truly terrifying, adding to the 'open season' mentality currently profiling, stereotyping, smearing, and generalizing all Muslims. I have met the families of innocent men who were murdered in the hate-backlash of 9/11, and know that there are all-too-real consequences of such hate and fear-mongering. “Additionally, a requisite for war is demonizing and dehumanizing the Other, so that we can shrug, rationalize or justify what we call 'collateral damage', and how innocents are caught in the crosshairs or ensnared in big nets, (roundups, detentions, etc.), all in the name of 'security'.”
Should our places of Worship offer space for hate sermons or for bridge building lectures? I hope the sanctity of the synagogue is not violated by the Emerson, Pipes and his likes and no one ought to be allowed to preach hate towards other people.
It is in our interest and the interest of public safety that the sermons delivered at places of worship fill our hearts with love, generosity and goodwill and build bridges for a safe and peaceful nation.
What if we make our speeches in the place of worship a public record? To keep peace, law and order in our country, we need to consider hate speech as a crime. The speech that would permanently place wedges between our communities injects distrust and destroys the concept of one nation under God.
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, 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 lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a Dallasite since 1980.