Dallas Muslim Leadership
Mike Ghouse, October 10, 2007
There are about 80 active Muslims in Dallas/Forth Worth ** Metroplex of the 80,000 some Muslim in the area. If each one of you can accompany or ask your non-Muslim friend to attend this workshop on Understanding Islam, it will help towards nurturing goodwill and strengthening inter-community relations.
“We believe knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another point of view”. The goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the knowledge zone of each group.
We hope at least a few of the attendees will walk out with an open mind and an open heart towards fellow beings. It is rather difficult to shed the prejudices, but once we do, there is genuine freedom in it. We have to change the perception about us, so we can be fully contributing and participating partners in the nation building and building our own lives in peace and security.
** We encourage Muslims in every city to take this up, and make sure it is a two way street, meaning you have to attend events of other faiths as well.
Everything you wanted to know about Islam, you can learn about it in this short 90 Minutes workshop.
Essence is the crystallization of what each idea, philosophy, faith or practice is about. Islam can be summed up as Justice. When justice is the norm of a society, people live a secure life knowing that no one will take advantage of them, when justice becomes the soul of the society, fear dissipates and peace prevails paving way for prosperity to one and all. Justice is the single most human craving that needs to be met for societies to live and let live.
Justice is a floating equilibrium that maintains the balance in one’s life and what is around him or her. Islam stands squarely on the principles of justice, equality, peace and respect to God’s creation; life and matter.
Ritual is a necessary step towards achieving the serene, blissful state of mind. Where one follows the instructions laid down in a manual, to Muslims that manual is called Qur’aan, each faith has its own manual that works for followers. Whether you want to have a good physique or keep good health, you have to follow the routines in the gym and in your diet to get there. Just as you have to drive the vehicle through the road hazards and follwing traffic rules to reach the destination. Islam has 5 such rituals, traditionally called Pillars of Islam, they are: i) Pledge, ii) Prayer, iii) Fasting, iv) Charity and v) Pilgrimage.
Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility, as truth frees one from the bondage of hate, malice and ill-will.
5:30 - 6:30 Understanding Pluralism
6:30 – 7:30 Understanding Islam
7:30 – 8:00 Q&A
Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison, TX 75001
Directions: Click Map : From LBJ, north on Midway, after Spring Valley.
In affairs of the world, religion appears to be a source of the problem; it certainly is not. You can always trace the wars, genocides, oppression and other atrocities to evil insecure men. Please remember, the purpose of religion was to fix the evils of humankind and it continues to do so while some men still don’t get it. Thanks God, the world is a better place today because of the Religion and spirituality, without which there would be chaos. Every Religion is on the same side, that of goodness for humankind. Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility as the truth brings salvation.
If beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, then faith is in the heart of the believer. Let every one find peace his/her own way
** I would suggest that each Muslim bring a non-Muslim friend to the events, as this is the most certain way to reach out. Imagine what we can do with it, if we can make that small commitment.
What is Pluralism? What is a pluralistic attitude? Learn its application at work place, home, social situations and other circumstance. It is about co-existence ** (Questions to ponder - listed below)
POINTS TO PONDER
1. Is attempting to undermine divinity of other faiths amount to arrogance?
2. Is blaming a religion, race, or ethnicity for the acts of individuals’ amount to deception?
3. Is holding greed, anger, hate, or malice in our hearts depleting our freedom?
4. Is ridiculing a person amount to ridiculing the creator?
5. Is judging others without knowing them personally amount to prejudice?
6. Is God free or some group owns him/her? Are we not limiting its limitlessness?
7. Does God make deals behind our back and favor some? Could God do such a thing?
In affairs of the world, religion appears to be a source of the problem; it certainly is not. You can always trace the wars, genocides, oppression and other atrocities to evil insecure stupid men. Please remember, the purpose of religion was to fix the evils of humankind and it continues to do so while some men still don’t get it. Thanks God, the world is a better place today because of the Religion and spirituality, without which there would be chaos. Every Religion is on the same side, that of goodness for humankind. Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility. Truth brings salvation.
If beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, then faith is in the heart of the believer. Let every one find peace his/her own way.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the www.FoundationforPluralism.com and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the www.WorldMuslimCongress.com 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 Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com