YES WE CAN BRING PEACE TO GAZA
Mike Ghouse, March 8, 2008
Justice is the basis for peace, and the responsibility to bring justice falls squarely on the powerful shoulders of the al-mighty nations.
Israel owes peace and security to her citizens and it is directly dependent on the security and peace needs of the Palestinians. You cannot live in peace, when your neighbor's aren't. Finding a balance is the most difficult thing to do and both the nations are trying and failing. No wonder the phrase "love thy neighbor" plays such a crucial role in every society.
When Hamas does not rein in those who are shelling the rockets into Israeli territory, Israel finds tempting to avenge it out and the world takes a back step as well.
Hamas can earn the moral high grounds by holding the shelling, and if Israel continues the attacks, then the world will empathize with the Palestinians and most likely the peace process gets a chance. The unfortunate reality is that every time Israelis and Palestinians are inclined to talk, we mess it up badly with a veto against the consensus of the world, and shamelessly it is against the long term interests of Israel. Neither the Hawks in Israel, nor our administration is willing to refresh their thinking. Ultimately, the parties have to figure out how to co-exist.
Mother Teresa said, "If you want peace, go talk with your enemies, you don't make peace with your friends". I do hope the state department genuinely attempts to assess the policies that would work. Right now, they are chasing their own tails.
A few basics need to be addressed and understood by all the parties.
Jews have a need to be understood and be acknowledged for their eternal security needs, not the military, but mental security where they can put their guards down and live their life in peace.
Palestinians have suffered immeasurably; no human should be stripped of his or her hope and dignity; hopes to have a family, work and own a house and call a place their homeland and live a life of dignity.
The end game of our policy should be peace. Our Presidents need to seriously look at what works and develop a vision for peace. They must understand that it may be going against the general opinion and perhaps against their very supporters; AIPAC. We need to take bold steps and produce peace for the people of Israel and Palestine.
Our foreign policy has relied on our gun powder and our ability to dole out alms to shove nations around the World to achieve our goals. The state department has forgotten that 'lasting relationships' hinge on a dialogue based on treating all parties on an equal footing.
If protection of Israel is based on injustice to either Palestinians or the Jews, our integrity has become questionable. We need to be above reproach. Mighty empires can crush the weak for a short term; in the long run every one goes down the tube. We cannot rob anyone and live with a good conscience.
The ways adopted by Israel and Hamas leaders has not worked and most likely will not produce the desired results; peace. We need to listen to average Israelis and Palestinians, we need to encourage the peace makers on both sides and give peace a chance.
I urge both the Moderate Jews and Palestinians to speak up; they need to put justice above the fear of repercussion from the neighbors and members of their communities. Right now, the shots are called by extremists on both sides, it needs to change. It is the fear of what the next Muslim or next Jew will tell them that frightens the moderates. They need to speak up and rein in, they are the absolute majority on both sides, otherwise the evil will persist, if the good people do nothing about it.
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Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com or (214) 325-1916
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August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
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Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
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 (www.UnitydayUSA.com) 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.
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.