Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hate Sermons from 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 ( “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 and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and . He can be reached at Mike lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a Dallasite since 1980.

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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.