Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Self-Censoring Muslims

I am sharing my own comments and the article published in the Washington post, there are many comments on the post at the link given with the article below.

Also included is the author's explanation.

Asra Nomani jolts a few, cause the majority of Muslims to think and certainly agitate the extremists. I do know one thing though; the masters know how to play the game, they know how the extremists react and tease them to play; and the extremists simply fall prey for it without realizing that they were had.

The Dutch cartoon Masters tested the mettle of the extremists, and succeeded in getting them to do the intended thing, so they can move their next pawn; that Muslims are extremists. They have several moves planned, as long as the dumb extremists play the game, the Masters will give them the exercise.

Both are wrong, however the onus is on the Muslims, as the Prophet asks them to walk the middle path and not extreme. If one were to do his Jihad, an inner struggle and the strength to remain peaceful despite the temptations to be angry, to retaliate (turn the other cheek), hate, malice, revenge and other vices. Alas those dumb extremists listen to their own Prophet and play the other game; to be the peace makers.

Islam flourished and contributed towards the civilization when its followers listened to Qur'aan and explored and mined every knowledge field for the benefit of mankind.

Asra Nomani writes about a bold new territory being explored by Sherry Jones. “The personal life of Aisha, a prominent Muslim Scholar and the wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).”

I urge Muslims to gear themselves to think and not react. If you cannot listen to the prophet, then don’t read the book. The more you re-act, the more books will be written, the more non-chalant you get, the incentive to write them dims. The Majority of Muslims always choose the right path and they need to speak when the few extremists roar.

Mike Ghouse

Self-Censoring Muslims
Asra Nomani

When news spread that Random House had nixed publication of a new novel, "The Jewel of Medina," about the life of Aisha, the youngest wife of the prophet Muhammad, a congratulatory message went out to "all members of Husaini Youths (HY)."

"Walking on the footsteps shown by Imam Khomeini..." it said, referring to Iran's revolutionary leader, "Active members of HY foiled the conspiracy of Western Media to humiliate our beloved Holy Prophet Mohammad.... The writer Ms. Spillberg from Huston, US wrote this book without any base naming it as a historical fiction on the personality of Holy Prophet." Quite colloquially, it ended: "But after watching the posts by our active members, they have withdrawn the plans of printing it. Hats off for these brothers and all the members of HY. May Allah bless us all."

No big deal that the message got the author wrong: the novel was written by Portland journalist Sherry Jones. But, indeed, the HY group had been in the mix this past spring as Random House executives pondered a warning that the book would be a "declaration of war" on the Muslim world. In April, without reading the book, a 28-year-old HY member from Hyderabad, India, Ali Hemani, a young professional, had posted a seven-point plan to convince Random House to shelve the book this past spring.

This past weekend, Husaini Youth got a new member: Sherry Jones who joined the online group to start a conversation with her critics. She got an unexpected response from the man who had posted the seven-point plan: "I extend my hand for peace with you from all the Members of Husaini Youth." Sure, Jones has received the kind of ugly responses from Muslims that captures so much of what the West fears when it comes to Muslims. But the dialogue generated by the controversy surrounding her unpublished book shows that something valuable and much deeper has been set off in the Muslim world: a lively--and, yes, civilized--debate.

Sparking this debate was Random House's decision to cancel publication of the novel because of fears of a backlash from "a small, radical segment" of the Muslim community. I wrote an opinion piece last week, stating that the decision saddened me as Muslim and a writer because I have come to appreciate fiction as a powerful tool for understanding history.

What I didn't mention was this: I also believe the Muslim community can only move forward intellectually, spiritually and politically if we can engage as intellectual warriors in a civil, peaceful conversation about even that which may offend us. Even the Qur'an (31:19) enjoins us to decorous debate: "Lo! The harshest of all the voices is the voice of the ass."

That sort of decorous debate is happening. On blogs like and, Muslims are wrestling with prickly questions about the prophet Muhammad's "jailbait bride," as one blogger put it, and the place of sex in the prophet's biography. On his blog, Mike Ghouse wrote, "...the onus is on the Muslims, as the Prophet asks them to walk the middle path and not extremes....I urge Muslims to gear themselves to think and not react. If you cannot listen to the prophet, then don't read the book....The Majority of Muslims always choose the right path and they need to speak when the few extremists roar."

To me, debate is a good thing--and it's the kind of honest conversation I believe we can endure, just as the Jewish and Christian faiths have endured creative license with the maternal and paternal figures in their histories.

In the case of "The Jewel of Medina," most Muslims actually responded to the novel with restraint. Shahed Amanullah, the Austin, Tex.-based editor of a mainstream Muslim website,, was among the first Muslims to hear about the book. He said he got a phone call from University of Texas of Austin associate professor Denise Spellberg. "Denise called me and said, 'I want to be able to address this book before it comes out. Can you help me find other Muslims who will want to help me with it?'" he recalled. "She felt it exoticized the history. She thought it was another imposition of Western ideas on Muslim society."

Not long after getting off the phone, Amanullah shot a now infamous email to a listserv of graduate students in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, telling them he had received a "frantic" call from Spellberg. The email landed that day on a forum board at, where a blogger posted the seven-point plan to protest the book.

In the wake of the controversy, some bloggers have pilloried Amanullah, American Muslims and Muslims in general. But Amanullah says he never wanted the book pulled. "I'm upset the book wasn't published," he said, "not because I agree or disagree with the book." For him, "I don't want to be in the position where we are stifling speech. Preemptive censorship is not in our interest. That's worse than even censorship. We're not going to silence our way out of problems."

Amanullah said he sent his email about the book to encourage "transparency." To him, it's better not to "blindsided." "That way we are calm and rational about our response," he said. "If somebody is going to be playing in my sandbox I should know what they are doing there."

The debate over whether historical fiction works with Islamic history is "part of a dialogue that has to happen in the public square," said Amanullah. "Muslims don't do nuance. Fiction is about all the grays," he said. "People are really sensitive about their history. Everybody wants to define history as they see it. It gets sensitive because there are social and political ramifications to the telling of history. But historical fiction is a great way to kind of explore possibilities. I'm not sure Muslims are quite ready for that in terms of our history."

In an effort to save her book, Jones sent a review copy to the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a New York-based Muslim American organization, where Sabeeha Rehman, director of interfaith program, read the book. In a letter to Jones, Rehman said the book was "very engaging, lush in its detail and imagery," chronicling impressive "general knowledge about the historical setting and events" and a "convincing" portrait of Aisha as "a courageous woman."

Yet, Rehman wrote, the novel would offend "Muslim readers," arguing that "certain aspects of the book and its approach will not be accepted by Muslim readers, can cause a firestorm, and seriously question the validity of the characters and the accounts." She noted she was "deeply offended by the liberal description of the Prophet's interaction with women." "Muslims also hold the Caliphs in very high esteem," she wrote, arguing the characters of Omar, the second caliph after the prophet Muhammad died, and Ali, the fourth caliph, is "disparaging," such as when the novel has them "barking." She wrote that "for Muslims" the belief is that "a dog is considered an unclean animal."

The book, she concluded, "was reviewed far three target audiences: (1) Muslim women; (2) Interfaith groups; and (2) World Muslim community," and the book doesn't "serve any purpose for any of these three groups."

To me it's always dangerous to refer to any group in the monolith, as Rehman did referring to "Muslim readers." As a Muslim, I reject the traditional interpretation that dogs are dirty, as does UCLA Islamic scholar Khaled Abou El Fadl. But she was pointedly not alarmist in her argument, rather, just urging "caution."

For his part, the Husaini Youth member, Hemani, said in an interview that he had joined the group to "serve the purpose of my life, by gaining closeness to Allah," saddened by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with the situation of Palestinians in Israel. In a decision that Muslims around the globe can use as a guidepost for public debate, he said he had only one choice when it came to welcoming Jones because Allah "says one who rushes towards good deeds is the one I hold close in my view."

Asra Q. Nomani, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is the author of "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam." She is a professor of journalism at Georgetown University.

In response to Georgiason,

As American Muslims, we don’t need an opinion from the Mufti of Al-Azhar; it is our life, our nation and our society. We have to co-exist and the responsibility is not be shouldered by any single group, we all have to own the responsibility and do our part without scoring on the other.
Rogue elements are always part of a society, however you chop it, religiously, ethnically, racially or other uniqueness. You find them in Muslims, and without a doubt, they are among Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and every group. We need to find them and turn them over to the FBI as common criminals, whoever they might be.

Can we count the same number in other faiths? Robertson, Falwell, Hagee, Crendo and many more will terrorize other people and nations, if the laws of our land were to be loose. Heck they wanted to murder Chavez, bomb Mecca, cursed Arial Sharon, they are true brothers of Bin Laden. All of them have on thing in common; they are insecure and misrepresent their faith to their constituencies.

Muslims around the globe are going through a gradual reformation. I will focus on just American Muslims. There is a tremendous reform happening and in the last five years I have observed remarkable changes – you can compare it to the information technology that came in to being in the eighties and every day is a new day, so is with American Muslims. I am working on the paper and you should be able to see it.

Does Islam allow for the separation of church and state? – Absolutely. 75% of Muslims in the world live in democracies, the others would too if we American had not promoted regimes that are not democratic.

Does Islam allow for the full legal equality of women? – Take the blinders off and not read the media that focus on the negatives. Do we, even the most advanced society practice it? Three of the Islamic nations that make up 25% of Muslim population had women heads; we have accepted the possibilities some 40 years later than them. Religiously all women have their rights, but not in practice, it is a shame, Islam is no different than other faiths when it comes to dealing with women. Of course, it is highlighted more as it suits the agenda of the few who want to manufacture an enemy.

Does Islam allow for religious pluralism? - Same things goes; God in his book Qur’aan guarantees his grace to every one who is good to the fellow beings regardless of what one believes. In practice, you will find faith defenders guarantee heavens exclusively, as if they own it.
There is a revolutions going among Muslims to restore the faith as it was intended to, to be open and inclusive and pluralistic.

Mike Ghousewww.WorldMuslimCongress.comWhat is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice versa to have sustainable peace and prosperity for one and all.

Censoring "The Jewel Of Medina"

This month the U.S. publisher Random House planned to launch an historical novel about Aisha, the wife of the prophet Muhammad. The book was a rarity in Islamic-themed literature: an attempt by a Western woman to fictionalize the personal life of the prophet, and to bring to a wider audience one of the great feminist heroines of the Middle East.

Instead, three months ago, Random House decided to abandon publication of "The Jewel of Medina", by journalist Sherry Jones. Fearing the book might incite the same violent reaction as the Danish Muhammad cartoons, and that company staff and property might comes under attack from Muslim extremists, Random House terminated Jones' contract, as reported by Asra Nomani, who first broke the story in the Wall Street Journal last week.

Random House was particularly concerned about a scene in which the Prophet Muhammad consummates his relationship with Aisha, a child bride. It's a short scene, and not to everyone's taste, in which Muhammad's embrace is likened to a "scorpion's sting", but it hardly amounts to "soft core pornography", as the university professor who first raised objections to the book, Denise Spellberg, has described it.

(Read Spellberg's take on the controversy here.)

But Random House's decision to bow down to a hypothetical terrorist threat is surely a grave insult to the Western tradition of free speech, and to Muslims' ability to take the book for what it is: a decidedly glowing portrayal of the Prophet (in marked contrast to the Muhammad Cartoons, or indeed Satanic Verses).

Here, Jones gives an eloquent defense of her book, and explains why we should all take note of Random House's assault on our freedoms.

By Sherry Jones

" 'I can't' never does anything," my mother used to say. " 'I can' does it all."

When I set out to write a book about A'isha bint Abi Bakr, favorite wife of the Prophet Muhammad, I never doubted that it would be published. After all, I had all the elements I needed for a terrific work of historical fiction: a remarkable heroine, little known in the West; a famous hero, widely misunderstood here; a setting unfamiliar yet exotic; and an exciting tale of love, war, spiritual awakening and redemption.

Five years and seven drafts later, I had indeed landed a publisher for "The Jewel of Medina." Not just any publisher, either, but Random House, the biggest house in the world. I was thrilled not only by the two-book deal, which included a sequel detailing A'isha's life after Muhammad's death, but also by the passion with which everyone at the publishing company seemed to embrace this novel. I was thrilled, but not surprised.

Soon, the foreign rights sales started coming in: Spain, Italy, Hungary. I still wasn't surprised. My agent called to tell me of an eight-city U.S. book tour -- gratifying, but not surprising. Book of the Month Club signed on to feature "The Jewel of Medina" in its August 2008 issue, and Quality Paperback Book Club would follow up six months later. My book seemed destined for the best-seller list.

Then, a university professor, asked for an endorsement, called Random House with warnings of a terrorist attack by angry Muslims if my book were published. "A national security issue," University of Texas associate professor Denise Spellberg reportedly said. "More dangerous than the Satanic Verses or the Danish cartoons."

Now this surprised me -- stunned me, in fact. The follow-up letter from her lawyer provided the second hit in Ms. Spellberg's one-two punch, threatening to sue Random House if her name were associated with my book in any way, including, I assume, a listing in my bibliography. Her reason had me reeling: She objected, she said, to the book's "sexual content," of which there is almost none.

Several weeks later, Random House associate publisher Elizabeth McGuire delivered the final blow. After consulting with other academic "experts" in Islam as well as the company's head of security, Random House executives had decided to "indefinitely postpone" publication. Not because of terrorist threats, mind you -- but because of threats of terrorist threats. Because, in other words, of fear.

I was, of course, devastated by this news, coming as it did less than three months before my Aug. 12 publication date. I was also chagrined to realize the far-reaching ramifications of this historic decision to quash a work of art before it could even reach the public eye. Is Random House no longer publishing books about Islam? How does this bode for the future of publishing? What will be banned next? Art? Music? Theater? Dance?

As a journalist for the last 28 years, I hold the right to free speech especially dear. The First Amendment is, in my view, the very best thing about living in the United States. Publishing houses can, of course, do whatever they want. But university professors? Ms. Spellberg urged Random House to abstain from publishing. The reason, she is telling reporters now, is that she doesn't like my book. Does this development mean our public universities no longer support the free exchange of ideas?

I'm optimistic, but not naive. I expected my book to spark controversy. "The Jewel of Medina" is a novel of women's empowerment, never a popular theme among fundamentalists of any faith. I was also aware that some would take offense at any fictional portrayal of Muhammad, especially one by a non-Muslim American woman. Given the respect with which I treat the Muslim prophet, however, I never expected to be killed because of it. I still don't.

As an advocate for peace, I have high hopes for "The Jewel of Medina" and its sequel, in which A'isha and her rival, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, are dual protagonists facing off in the first Islamic civil war. Already I've had many requests for interviews with Muslim journalists and have been invited to participate in a 90-minute chat on, a Muslim website which boasts of 13 million hits weekly.

This type of dialogue is long overdue. So far, discussion has centered around my not-published book, which almost no one has read. Soon, I hope, we will address the text itself, in published form, and my ideas, derived from research and experience, of moderate Islam as a religion of egalitaranism and, yes, peace.

In the meantime, using A'isha as my example, I challenge all to do as I am striving to do: Rise up against the culture of fear that pervades our society, refuse to succumb to racism, stand up for our rights, and live courageous lives.

Journalist Sherry Jones is a correspondent for BNA, an international news agency in the Washington, D.C. area, and for Women's eNews in New York. "The Jewel of Medina" is her first novel.

( I have posted several of my responses to the comments in the Newsweek Washington post link provided above)


  1. The topic is about the censorship of the book, if we can stick with the topic, we can go somewhere.

    How we can we deal with ignorance? The fanatics among Christians match the fanatics among Muslims and Jews. Fortunately they are just a few. Each one assumes that his belief is the standard to denigrate the other, as if they are in the business of denigration.

    Neither Jews nor Muslims deny Jesus Christ, they have another point of view as the Christians do. God has not signed a deal behind others back to favor one over the other, that kind of God will cheat you too and that is no the quality of God.

    No sir (as ma'ms are not fanatics) God is about love, justice and fairness. He loves all his creation whether you go through the teachings of Jesus, Mohammad, Moses, Krishna, Zarthustra, Bahaullah, Buddha, Mahavir, Nanak or any of the spiritual masters.

    All paths will lead one to become a better being and no one will go to hell.

    Mike Ghouse

  2. Extremism and ignorance is the common enemy of mankind. Not the religion, any religion for that matter.

    The Extremists wearing religious labels have nothing else to do than frightening the people to falsely feel safe that they have enough people on their side. It is time for the majority to speak up, An overwhelming majority (above 90%) of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others are moderate folks who believe in living their lives and letting other live theirs. The “moderate majority” is getting tired of the extremists and will speak up and pacify the extremists not to fear and have hopes, a tough job to do.

    If Pew or some one else conducts a survey, framing the questions to determine one’s moderation, you will find out that we are a nation of moderate people, don’t gloat on it yet to find wrong with others, that will be the result even in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, Ireland or any where you go.

    We have to figure out the best possible way to co-exist, annihilation of others has never worked nor will it ever work.

    Mike Ghouse

  3. Dear Jon;

    I have taken a stand againt part of the public Sharia, which is about relations between oneself and the others; whereas private Sharia is about the relations between the creator and humans, it is how one connects with the lord.

    I have not condemned the book publication either. I wish you taken the time to at least read this thread, or learn about others before you make the comment about them. You have made too many assumptions.

    This particular thread is about the book. Why was it pulled, censorship or profitability?

    Your comment saddens me, we the moderates (of all faiths) have a lot of work to do; to mitigate ill-will and nurture goodwill. I forgive you, by the way God loves the ones most, who forgive.

    I ask God to free you from prejudice, once you achieve that you will be the happiest man on this earth and I want you to be happy. It is contagious

    Mike Ghouse

  4. Dear halozcel:

    "*75% of Muslims in the world live in democracies*
    Would you please to write those *Democratic Muslim Countries*"

    Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Nigeria, Thailand....USA, UK, Australia, France, South Africa to name a few,( I’m not sure about Afghanistan and Iraq yet) that sums up close to 75%.

    "To me, correct word should be *Does Muslim know what Democracy is*"

    The answer is yes! You may want to take time to study on your own rather than believing what is dished out there.

    "*Religiously all women have their rights*
    Yes, correct. Woman in Islam has right to open her legs, nothing else."

    The issue about women is not religion but men; it is about those ugly insecure men found from America to Zimbabwe, Atheist to Zoroastrians, Blacks to white and every one in between.

    Women suffer the same in all groups, even in America there is pay differential, accepting women in leadership roles. Yes many guys beat up their women and kill about the same number of women as others. Look at the global stats on violence against women. Yes men in some of the Islamic societies find an excuse to push their ideas on women, it is bad, and so do the ugly men all over the world in one fashion or the other.

    It is wrong to paint it as Muslim thing, it is THE MEN. Our media likes to label other killings with a religion, where as our killing as violent men.


    "-Bloody Mary/Mary Tudor was Queen of England in 1553 and Elizabeth I in 1558.
    -Margot was the Queen of France in sixteen centuries (She is one who slept all men in the Palace)
    -Catharine, Queen of Russia. German Girl who said *I begot three children and none of them from my husband*(oooovvvv).Pedro (King of Russia and her husband) you are the greatest."

    I appreciate the above info. Razia Sultan also ruled India in the 11th century, and there were a few more in Egypt and elsewhere.

    My friend, the problem is the individuals, not the religion. Get to the source to solve the problem, and you will. Aiming at religion is a useless activity; religion is not a tangible thing to knock down.

    Mike Ghouse

  5. Terrorism, Oppression and killing of civilians must be condemned by one and all. Muslims condemn these dudes much more than any one else; as it violates the rights of others and also stains their faith unjustly. The biggest villlians of Muslims are the Bin Ladens.

    As many Muslims want to dominate the world, as the number of necons in the world. They are all insane brothers in this game of frightening people. Get with the ordinary folks, they are all fine. The problem is not between Muslims and Christians or Hindus or Buddhists, it is between the few extremists and all of us together.

    Mike Ghouse

  6. Dear Idolator;

    I hope you have not bought the propaganda of our Neocon gang "they hate the Westerners" and it was odd that you added their trade mark "scary". That is what they want to do, frighten us and cash in. It is profitable to them and we are suckers to fund them, instead of funding activities that will mitigate conflicts.

    No, they do not hate us, some do. Once Bush is gone, we will regain what we have lost in the last six years “A nation of caring people, who honored and respected other's right to be who they are". Didn’t we hate the Russians, the Chinese, the Saddam and the Ayotallah, did we hate their people? No. Likewise they do not hate us, they hate our administrations aggressions, not us, the Americans.

    Don't we have murders, rapes etc going on in our own nation. Check the stats. Do we want to label them with a religion? If not, then why label other criminals with a religion?

    Mike Ghouse

  7. Islam or any religion does not teach one to hate, to dominate or to subjugate, individuals do. They do because they did get their own religion into their blood stream.

    Hate towards others is not about religion, I have read quite a lot of hate on this thread, when you are loaded with it, that is all you can think of about others. Those who have claimed to be Christians on this thread, have not been a Christian in their disposition, same goes with others whether they are Muslims, Jews, Hindus or others.

    Good Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others will talk about love, about getting along, about forgivenes and about Co-existence. Those who are, need to come out and speak up. If not you are letting the other ones lead the discussion.

    To be a Muslim (or religious of any kind) is to be a peace maker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter.

    As Muslims, we are driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."

    Our Mission

    Our Mission is to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, to sustain it.

    Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator.


    Our short term goal is to understand different faiths and let the values of Islam be understood as well. So we may know one another.

    Our Long term goal is simply to bring the realization that the purpose of all religions is to bring peace and tranquility to an individual and further create a balanced relationships between the individual, society and the environment. Learning about other faiths need not imply infidelity, but rather the search will enrich one's own faith, it reaffirms the idea that the intent of every faith is to "fix" the individual as an active working and participating spoke in the wheel of life. Some get it and some don't.

    Islam defined

    The most precise definition of Islam: Justice for every human being.

    The Qur'aan starts with the word God of Universe (not necessarily Muslims) and ends with Humankind (and again not Muslims).

    We have a monumental task to repair the World, and we will do our part in working towards a World of co-existence, one person at a time. We are committed, and now help us God. Amen.

    Good Deeds

    Islam is a deed based non-judgmental religion, and consistently encourages individuals to do good. It emphasizes about individual responsibility towards the peace and security of society at large.

    Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) described a good deed as an act which benefits others, such as planting a tree that serves generations of wayfarers with fruit and the shade. The world is a better place today because of a good legacy bequeathed to humanity by people of all faiths that came before us. We owe it to coming generations to leave the world a little better than we found it, to usher an era of justice and peace.

    With Prejudice towards none

    Almost all Muslims are cognizant and repeat the verse “God is the master of the Day of Judgment, and he alone we worship”. A fully observant Muslim recites this verse at least 50 times a day and refrains from judging others, as he or she believes God only can make that call.

    Individual responsibility

    Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164: I ask whether I should seek any god besides God--when he is the Lord of all things. All people will reap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another’s burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he will resolve your disputes.


    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) set an example of good citizenship early on in his life. The people of Makkah, non-Muslims at that time, called him Al-Amin; the truthful, the trustworthy and the peace maker because of his unwavering commitment to honesty in word and deed. The goal of the World Muslim Congress is to instill the humane values of Islam and to aspire to be Al-Amin to all.

    A Just society

    Islam emerged to bring peace, tranquility and equilibrium to the multitudes of tribes at conflict with each other in the 6th century AD. In a period of 23 years, thru suffering, persecution and sacrifice a just society evolved. Diversity was it’s basis, respecting each tradition and bringing them together and appreciating the creator was the foundation stone of Islam. Justice, liberty and freedom are the core values enshrined in Islam.


    Islam is indeed a pluralistic faith and imbues a sense of humility and ideals of equality of humankind. These values are embedded in its rituals practices. All people harvest their own deeds.

    Qur'an, At-Taghabun, Surah 64:2-4: It was God who created you; yet some of you refuse to believe, while others have faith. He is aware of all your actions. He created the heavens and the earth to manifest the truth.

    He fashioned each one of you--and each one of you is beautiful. To God you will all return. He knows all that the heavens and the earth contain. He knows all that you hide and all that you reveal. He knows your deepest thoughts.

    The Madinah pact, prescribes the rights of its Citizens and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the signatory to it as the head of the City State. It was an all inclusive agreement between the Jews, Christians, Sabeans, Quraish, Muslims and other tribes for a peaceful co-existence. An example was set for a pluralistic society in documenting the rights of individuals. Perhaps it was the first historical document that included diverse people. The Word Ummah was used in the document to mean all residents of the City.


    God could have made us all sinless angels; instead he chose to make us humans, giving guidance on one hand, temptations on the other – then giving room to make mistakes, and room for correction. Islam has not claimed monopoly to heaven; it is assured to those who do good deeds. Good deeds are defined by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as how your treat others. He told his daughter that it would be her deeds that would earn her a place in the Kingdom of God and not her relation with the Prophet. ''There is no free lunch.

    Qur'an, Al-Inshiqaq, Surah 84:7-15: Each person will be given a book. Those who are given their books in their right hands (understanding the book correctly) will be judged leniently; and they will return to their people joyfully. But those who are given their books in their left hands (misunderstanding) will call their own destruction on themselves, and burn in the fire of hell. There are the people who have never cared for their neighbors; they thought they would never return to God. Their Lord watches all that people do.

    For Millions of years, the physical dimension of the Universe has existed in a perfect balance as it did not have the ego to compete with each other nor had the freedom to mess with it. They do, what God intended them to do. It is the human dimension that needed religion, and every religion is meant to bring peace to individuals and balance to the world around them through free choice.

    God willing, the Muslim community will be drawing the blue prints and developing a 14 year plan to find their space in the world of communities, as contributors and active participants in the peaceful co-existence for the people of the World. The Book “Muslim Vision 2020” is on the horizon.

    The human desire to monopolize World resources is the root cause of all evil. The pockets of anarchy and problems of the world are born out of fear and insecurities of evil men. Religion is not the source of wars or conflict. In fact, Religion is the best Gift humans have received from God, without which the World would be chaotic.

    Praise the Lord. We are pleased to announce the formation of The World Muslim Congress, A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting co-existence and contributing towards a just world. (Formed: 5/25/2006)

    Our silence has done more damage to us, our faith and our World. Silent no more, God willing, we will resolutely take back our faith for our good and the good of mankind.

    A Major Paradigm Shift

    The world has indeed become a global community. Everyone is a neighbor to everyone else; we aspire to nurture the concept of good neighborliness in the world. Our advisory board will be represented by individuals from every faith. It is time for us to be equal citizens of one world, our home. This is a major paradigm shift in how the religious organizations would be conducting their business in the coming years.

    Our upcoming website: will present a range of values in Islam. It is a shame that some of the translations of Qur’an contain phrases that are not in Qur’an. A dozen translations will be presented verse by verse, with the source. So you may know the truth!

    Qur'an, As-Saff, Surah 61:2-3: Believers, why do you say what you do not execute? It is most offensive in the sight of Allah when you say what you do not practice!

    Mike Ghouse



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Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

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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.