Saturday, August 7, 2010

Newt Gingrich V Mike Ghouse on Cordoba House

July 21, 2010 6pm

Newt Gingrich:

...“Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba , Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex. Mike, please comment - the only thing I can find on the internet is that it was a time for Dhimmi for Christians & others.

Mike Ghouse:

First of all “Cordoba House” is not an insulting term, on the contrary the Jews have called it the Golden Era and the Non-Catholic denominations from Europe have welcomed it. I have pulled some information from Wikipedia, not a reliable source, but offer some insights. There is an endless amount of information available on the net and I have presented both the positive and negative perspectives. The 1000 year war between France, England and Germany was not labeled religious, though they were bent on annihilating each other, but when one of the parties to the conflicts were Arabs, the Neocons have made it a religious issue for the same story; conquering lands that the kings have traditionally done no matter what religious banner they hid under.

Islamophobia was born then, to rout the invading kings (every king of the time did that) out, and to inspire their (unwilling) subjects to fight for them, they figured where to hit the Muslims, they paid the Monastery of Abbey to mistranslate Quraan, and called it Muhammadan Cult, that was the first time Islam was called a Muhammadan Religion ( ).

The Cordoba Mosque

After the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic kingdom the Emir Abd ar-Rahman bought the church.[3] Abd ar-Rahman and his descendants reworked it over two centuries to refashion it as a mosque, starting in 784.

The Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (English: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption) is a Roman Catholic Cathedral originally built as a Christian Visigothic Church[1] in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, Spain. It is regarded as perhaps the most accomplished monument of the Umayyad dynasty of Córdoba. After the Spanish Reconquista, it was returned back to a church, with a Gothic cathedral inserted into the center of the large Moorish building. Today the entire building is used to house the Cathedral of the diocese of Córdoba in Spain.

More details at:


The Islamic world classified Jews (and Christians) as dhimmi and allowed them to practice their religion more freely than they could do in Christian Europe.[11]

This was a time of partial Jewish autonomy. As "dhimmis", or "protected non-Muslims", Jews in the Islamic world paid the jizya, which was administered separately from the zakat paid by Muslims. The jizya has been viewed variously as a poll tax, as payment for non-conscription in the military, or as a tribute. Jews had their own legal system and social services. Monotheist religions of the people of the book were tolerated but conspicuous displays of faith, such as bells and processions, were discouraged. [8]

Mark R. Cohen, a scholar on medieval Jewish history, compared the treatment of Jews in the medieval Islamic world and medieval Christian Europe, concluding that the Jews were far more integrated in the political and economic life of Islamic society,[9] and usually faced far less violence from Muslims, though there were some instances of persecution in the Islamic world as well from the 11th century.[10]

Here are a few compelling articles

Just read Michael Bloomberg’s speech, several commonalities in my talking points with his -

Why Jews should Support this - by two prominent Rabbis.

Dallas Morning News had published a fine article written by several Pastors and Rabbis who stood up for the freedom of religion.

Leonard Pitts in Louisville Courier journal -

Mike Ghouse in Washington Post

Newt Gingrich:

Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for "religious toleration" are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City ... and no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia . In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca, And they lecture us about tolerance. If people behind the Cordoba House were serious about religious toleration, they would be imploring the Saudis, as fellow Muslims, to immediately open up Mecca to all and immediately announce their intention to allow non-Muslim houses of worship in the Kingdom. This is an interesting point on "tolerance." Would you please address this. Thank you immensely,

Mike Ghouse:

What is wrong in building a Mega Community Center (Mosque)? Even if 200 Mosques were to exist in New York, there is still a need for the conferences, seminars and education. Every Religious denomination is building one and we have many mega Churches in Dallas.

Should onnly the right wingers have the right to live in a big house and build a big church? Newt is a loser struggling to hang on to anything to gain a few votes, Americans will reject him for his misuse of patriotism and cheap politics.

There is no Church or a Synagogue in Saudi Arabia, simply because there is no indigenous Christian or Jewish populace out there to worship, those who work there are on a short term work permit. It is dumb to build a Church, and for whom? And let’s say if it were built, who is going to maintain and upkeep once the visitors have moved out, are they willing to pay for it or is it our Government? Should Government be in the business of building Churches?

Indeed, Newt calls the Saudi Regimes names, and I do too, but when he was in power, why did not he go build a church there, and maintain it at our tax payers funds?

The Saudi Police has done harm in preventing people of other faiths from practicing their religion in open. I do condemn the Saudi government for that intrusion and I have written to their embassy and the condemnation is on the blog and groups; however, no one is barred from worshipping indoors. There was a Catholic and Mormon Service conducted every Sunday in Saudi Arabia that I know of. Norman Powell was the Mormon pastor from Houston (1977-1980)

If Saudi is bad country, why does Newt want us to emulate them?

To ban any Muslim presence from the neighborhood because of the actions of 19 terrorists is to fall into the same flawed ideology of the terrorist who label all Americans as evil.

America has led the world in Science, technology, innovation and has remained a beacon of morality and a defender of human rights. Our constitution is an exemplary document of democracy and now the time has come to lead the world in Pluralism and co-existence.

We have to be a model to other nations \The other nations need to look up to us and not the other way around. We need to set higher standards of civility and NOT stoop down to the level of Talibans or some dictators and monarchs around the world. If we want other nations to behave, we need to lead the way. We need to stand tall and on a moral high ground and be an example of morality and civility to the world.

This is the very reason we need to support the Mosque to show to the world what freedom of religion means: to demonstrate our spirit of liberty and set an example of how a nation treats its minorities.

Bin Laden pulled two of our symbolic buildings down and murdered nearly 3000 Americans; He is still at large. We need to find this criminal and punish him instead of creating a deficit and ruining our economy with the war. Bin Laden is the most hated guy for American Muslims than anyone else; he has provoked prejudice towards Muslims and has made their lives miserable.

The right wingers on the other hand will pull all of us Americans down from the moral high grounds we have held for nearly a century and sink us in bigotry. We have stood up for the Holocaust survivors, the refugees and the oppressed people in Bosnia and elsewhere in the world.

Bottom Line

Who are the folks opposing or supporting the Mosque near Ground Zero? The revelations are as clear as the day light, the right wing politicians have gone berserk and hanging on to tiny branches to save their political careers, and it is an abuse of Patriotism to have political gains.

If you have surfed through the internet, you might reasonably conclude that the ones opposing are the right wing Republicans like Palin, Gingrich, Paladino, Corker, Tancredo, Rowe, McCain and others. They continue to fall in the abyss of ignorance and are out of touch with the American public. The pied piper Limbaugh had led them once and his cooked up support will blind them again.

Until they come up with concrete alternative solutions for the difficulties our nation is facing, they will continue to hang on to anything they "perceive" will save them. The American public does not like divisive politics and I hope they understand and honor it, and become conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers.

# # #

Out of Cordoba
Averroes and Maimonides in Their Time and Ours

A timely and dramatic new film about interfaith relations has just been released. Out of Cordoba is a documentary, directed by Jacob Bender, which explores some of the most vexing questions of our time: Is there a "clash of civilizations" between the West and the Islamic world? Are Jews and Muslims eternal enemies, incapable of peaceful coexistence? Does religious faith lead inevitably to hatred and violence?

For information about bringing this exciting interfaith experience to your university, organization, or community, see below.

Out of Cordoba confronts the issues raised by the conflict between reason and revelation, tolerance and xenophobia, through an exploration of the lives and writings of the two most important thinkers to emerge from medieval Muslim Spain: Averroes the Muslim, and Maimonides the Jew. The 82-minute film explores the legacy of these two philosophers, as well as their contemporary influence for Muslims, Jews, and Christians struggling against the rise of religious extremism in their own communities.

In Out of Cordoba, we meet a Muslim leader in Spain who declares a "fatwa" against Osama bin Laden after the Al-Qaeda attacks at the Madrid train station; the foreign minister of Spain, who finds inspiration for his diplomacy in the legacy of Averroes and Maimonides; a Jewish physician in Morocco, one of the last Jewish doctors in the Arab world; Egyptian human rights activists, inspired by Averroes, who are struggling to democratize their country; a rabbi in Israel who defends Palestinian homes against demolition by the Israeli army; a Catholic priest promoting interfaith reconciliation; and an art historian decoding the secrets of one of the most enigmatic of Renaissance paintings.

Out of Cordoba is a timely and powerful plea for greater interfaith understanding in our own troubled and often violent times.

To bring Out of Cordoba and director Jacob Bender to your university or seminary campus, interfaith organization, church, synagogue, or mosque, please call 1.917.660.3805, or email

Visit the film's website,, to find out more about the film, view the trailer, see news about upcoming screenings, follow Out of Cordoba on Facebook, join the mailing list, or for information about the purchase of educational and home editions of the DVD.
# # #

From Wikipedia, about Cordoba

For the period of Spanish cultural flourishing in the 17th century, see Spanish Golden Age.
The Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain, also known as the Golden Age of Arab (or Moorish) Rule in Iberia, refers to a period of history during the Muslim rule of the Iberian Peninsula (the former Roman and Visigothic Hispania) in which Jews were generally accepted in society and Jewish religious, cultural, and economic life blossomed.

The nature and length of this "Golden Age" has been a subject of debate. Some scholars give the start of the Golden Age as either 711–718 (after the Muslim conquest of Hispania) or 912 (the rule of Abd-ar-Rahman III) and the end of the Golden Age variously as 1031 (when the Caliphate of Cordoba ended), 1066 (the date of the Granada massacre), 1090 (when the Almoravides invaded), or the mid-1100s (when the Almohades invaded).

The Nature of Golden Age:

The treatment of non-Muslims in the Caliphate has been a subject of considerable debate among scholars and commentators, especially those interested in drawing parallels to the coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in the modern world. It has been argued that Jews (and other religious minorities) were treated significantly better in Muslim-controlled Iberia than in Christian western Europe, living in a unique "golden age" of tolerance, respect and harmony. Though Al-Andalus was a key center of Jewish life during the early Middle Ages, producing important scholars and one of the most stable and wealthy Jewish communities, there is no clear scholarly consensus over whether the relationship between Jews and Muslims was truly a paragon of interfaith relations, or whether it was simply similar to the treatment Jews received elsewhere at the same time.

Mark Cohen, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, in his landmark 1995 book on the subject, Under Crescent and Cross, argues that the "myth of an interfaith utopia" was first promulgated by Jewish historians such as Heinrich Graetz in the 19th century as a rebuke to Christian countries (particularly in Eastern Europe) for their treatment of Jews. This view went unchallenged until it was adopted by Arabs as a "propaganda weapon against Zionism",[3] who wanted to show that the establishment of the modern State of Israel shattered an alleged previously existing harmony between Jews and Arabs in Palestine under the Ottoman Empire; they pointed to the supposed utopia of the so-called "golden age" as an example of previous harmonious relationships. This "Arab polemical exploitation" was met with the "counter-myth" of the "neo-lachrymose conception of Jewish-Arab history" by historians such as Bat Yeor,[4] which also "cannot be maintained in the light of historical reality".[5]

Birth of Golden Age

After 681, the Christian Visigoths of Hispania persecuted the Jews severely; therefore, the Jews welcomed the Muslim Arab and mainly Berber conquerors in the 8th century. The conquered cities of Córdoba, Málaga, Granada, Seville, and Toledo were briefly placed under the control of the Jewish inhabitants, who had been armed by the Moorish invaders. The victors removed the Christian Visigoths' oppressive restrictions and granted the Jews full religious liberty, requiring them only to pay the tribute of one golden dinar per capita (Jizya).

A period of tolerance thus dawned for the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula, whose number was considerably augmented by immigration from Africa in the wake of the Muslim conquest. Especially after 912, during the reign of Abd-ar-Rahman III and his son, Al-Hakam II, the Jews prospered, devoting themselves to the service of the Caliphate of Cordoba, to the study of the sciences, and to commerce and industry, especially to trading in silk and slaves, in this way promoting the prosperity of the country. Jewish economic expansion was unparalleled. In Toledo, Jews were involved in translating Arabic texts to the romance languages, as well as translating Greek and Hebrew texts into Arabic. Jews also contributed to botany, geography, medicine, mathematics, poetry and philosophy.[7]

'Abd al-Rahman's court physician and minister was Hasdai ben Isaac ibn Shaprut, the patron of Menahem ben Saruq, Dunash ben Labrat, and other Jewish scholars and poets. Jewish thought during this period flourished under famous figures such as Samuel Ha-Nagid, Moses ibn Ezra, Solomon ibn Gabirol Judah Halevi and Moses Maimonides.[7] During 'Abd al-Rahman's term of power, the scholar Moses ben Enoch was appointed rabbi of Córdoba, and as a consequence al-Andalus became the center of Talmudic study, and Córdoba the meeting-place of Jewish savants.

# ##

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and thinker on Pluralism and Islam and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, he is a frequent guest at the media and his work is encapsulated in 22 blogs and 3 websites listed at


  1. Another excellent documentary on the Golden Age

  2. You really make it seem really easy along with your
    presentation however I to find this topic to
    be actually one thing that I believe I might never understand.

    It sort of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for
    me. I'm looking ahead in your subsequent publish, I'll attempt to get the hold of it!
    Feel free to visit my blog post ... cash advance loan

  3. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog? My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would really
    benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!
    My page ; online cash advance payday loans

  4. This is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate information… Thanks
    for sharing this one. A must read article!
    Also visit my site ... apply online for jobs

  5. Hello, I check your new stuff regularly. Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!
    My web blog :: how to make Money from home No scams



Email to:

Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

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.