Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fareed Zakaria, Nick Kristof & Mike Ghouse on Uprisings

Those who watch and read multiple sources of news and information are fairly similar and accurate in their assessment of the situation in the Middle East, except those who just watch American News media, forget about the Fox news watchers.

In the last few weeks, I found similarities in the takes of Nick Kristof, Fareed Zakaria and myself.  Between Kristof and me, four articles have a similar take and one has an identical paragraph that I wrote on 25th and he wrote the same on 26th.

Nick Kristoff wrote in “unfit for democracy”  

A crude stereotype lingers that some people — Arabs, Chinese and Africans — are incompatible with democracy.

Moreover, this line of thinking seems to me insulting to the unfree world.

Look, there’ll be bumps ahead. It took Americans six years after the Revolutionary War to elect a president, and we almost came apart at the seams again in the 1860s. When Eastern Europe became democratic after the 1989 revolutions, Poland and the Czech Republic adjusted well, but Romania and Albania endured chaos for years.

The record is that after some missteps, countries usually pull through. Education, wealth, international connections and civil society institutions help. And, on balance, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain are better positioned today for democracy than Mongolia or Indonesia seemed in the 1990s — and Mongolia and Indonesia today are successes.

In the 21st century, there’s no realistic alternative to siding with people power.

Mike Ghouse writes “Trusting people to manage their own affairs”.

On February 25th I wrote:  “Lets support the people movement, after the initial turmoil everything will come together, we must resist the temptation to believe that they cannot handle their affairs; every human and every nation is capable of managing their affairs when each person is free to choose and free to think.”

And again on on 25th I wrote, “With the uprising in the Middle East, no doubt there will be chaos, but people can handle their own affairs, and out of that chaos will emerge a fledgling governance of the people by the people for the people.  It is sheer arrogance to believe that they cannot, they said the same thing about India, Indonesia and several other nations.


On February 27, Fareed Zakaria said it eloquently

Mike Ghouse has echoed the same thoughts thrice, spoken on Hannity Show, Dallas Fox TV, A Radio Station in Portland and Dallas Morning News.

It is a fulfillment of the aspiration of people for their sovereignty; it is the beginning of the freedom, liberty and justice for the people of Egypt.
This is the first time in history that Muslims have chosen non-violence as their path to bring about a change and those attitudes must be encouraged. Do we really mean we support democracy? If we do, the time is now.

We must admire them for giving life to one of the most civilized forms of a political change; non-violence. It is a new experience for the Arab world and due encouragement will pave the way for others with similar aspirations.

I am moved by watching the "non-violent" peaceful revolution coming out of Egypt, this is a major paradigm change for Muslims.

Feb 11, Fox Tv - and  It's one of the most beautiful days of my life; seeing a people get their freedom though non-violence and peaceful means.

I wrote on January 28, 2011

Obama understands that equity is sustainable than inequities we have been wrong many times, and I hope this time we will get it right and I trust Obama will do the right thing.

Mubarak will wither away and anything we (U.S.) can do to show support for the aspiration of people will do two things: firm up the people to people peace agreement and prevent the opportunity for brotherhood to take advantage of this.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, activist and a futurist. He manages the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress.

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your work place, place of worship, school, seminars or conferences.  He is a media commentator offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at

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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.