Thursday, May 17, 2012

Same Sex Marriages and changing attitudes.

On this topic there is a two tract conversation going on that I am aware of – the mainstream tract at Dallas Morning News/ Facebook and the Muslim tract. 

Here is a part of the Muslim conversation, I am responding to Mujtuba, because he has genuine question and not a judgmental response. We can debate with those who want to learn and not with those who are set in their tracts.  I will, if I get the time, post the mainstream conversation here. Thank you Mujtuba.

This is posted at
 www.WorldMuslimCongress.organd at – if you wish to be a member of the World Muslim Congress forum, just send an email to 

We are a secular society and not a religious society, thank God for that. Men like Prophet Muhammad, Moses, Ram and others ruled the nations per their religious understanding that were inclusive of humanity. Even though Jesus was not a political king, he led the way.  Prophet Muhammad released the Madinah Charter which allowed each individual to practice his or faith without hindrance.

If we can see such individuals again, I would like to see a religious government; otherwise, the history of men ruling from any religion has not been a good one. Given that, secular democracies or pluralistic democracies are the best choice, America started with the former and is blossoming in to the latter. Thank God for that.

I am glad you added the following, as they are not doing anything to which lay an objection.

1. Those who are selling Narcotics
2. Those who are selling making & Pornography

And, let’s add what is happening in the society;

3. An incest case, where a sister and brother want to get married  
4. There is a society, out in the pacific where part of the initiation of boys is forcing them to perform, what many of us consider,
Weird practices.

As a society, we have a responsibility to determine practices that are harmful to the psychological and sociological well being of the society in the long haul and develop systems to check such practices.

In the first two, no one if forcing any to buy narcotics, or view pornography; in the second two situations, they are considered abhorrent practices, just as same sex marriage is considered abhorrent by many.

Narcotics have proven injurious to the well being of the individual, so is Alcohol and cigarette smoking. But yet, two are allowed with caution and the other is not. Drinking and driving is prohibited, but still people practice. If the narcotics lobby becomes stronger, it will be sold openly some day, same goes with the pornography.

The issue of incest is going to the Supreme Court, where both the brother and sister insist free will and mutual consent. We have to hear the deliberations.

The fears you and I have are legitimate.  Most of us almost cry out loud, God what is happening to the society, it is going beyond control, what will happen to all of us, are these the signs of end times?

But hold it; there is relative safety and security in our form of governance.
I would rather not have religious governance, as it becomes limitless, endless and brutal.  Ferdinand burnt Muslims and Jews alive in 1492, he shamelessly disguised his fears in the religion, Iran, Saudi Arabia has laws that are brutal and inhuman, the ideology of Qatl wajib in Pakistan is ominous, the Hindu mob burnt Muslims alive in Gujarat, the Muslim kings have massacred Hindus and others…  Jesus was right, who can cast the first stone.

Our governance is the best form of governance.

It is the individual liberty and freedom that has allowed every one of us, Atheists, Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Hindus… and every one of us to live and let live. I would not want to change it.

We are individually responsible for our acts, and ultimately one bears his own burdens.

Do Muslims drink? I am not bragging, but giving you an example – about 15 of us were in Cancun to inaugurate the Maya center – every evening for the whole week, everyone went for dinner – and all but two did not drink. Mary Ann does not drink as it gives her migraine headaches, and I did not as it is my religious conviction.  They had a ball, and we did too. They had with drinks and I did without it.

Several of my friends, and possibly yours, were on drugs, and I did not and probably you did not, and I must confess, I tried two times in college and swore to myself, never again and I never did, despite temptations.

You can view a whole lot of other issues – where individuals, regardless of their religion follow certain principles and don’t waver; some of us do waver at times, but get right back on the tract.

Not all of us are like that, whether we are Jews, Muslim, Hindus or Christian, but the freedom makes us better humans, than enforcement.  No matter what rules you have, a few, about a 1% will always deviate from the norm. That is part of the equation, Jesus, whom we consider our prophet, gave an example of including them and not excluding them.

Remember, God gave a choice to Adam – and God did not throw a fit when Adam made the choice contrary to it.  Prophet Muhammad told one of his associates not to divorce, yet he did, did prophet punish him?

I am a better Muslim today, because I am amidst the real life and a not regulated Muslim society. I am not forced to be good, but free to be good.
Our society, the American society is ultimately will be the best model, the model of freedom, a practice God initiated with Adam.

Let’s take the responsibility to teach morality to our kids at our homes, they will follow the moral guidelines you set out, out of free will, on their own.  I am sure; you know Quraan is consistent about free will.  God knows it.

To close; it does not matter what my take is, because everyone has an equal voice to say yes or no. Self-Regulation is what religion is all about and not enforcement. Indeed that is the way I see Islam.

Jazak Allah Khair

--- In, makdmc wrote:

Dear Mike Sahab

Asslaamu Alaikum

"My own perspective is, as long as anyone -- gay, lesbian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Christian or Baha'i -- is not stealing your food, gas, clothing, money and car, he or she can live his life the way he or she chooses. Society's responsibility is limited to punishing the individual for the acts that affect public safety and those acts that an overwhelming majority agrees to abide by"

With your above perspective what you will do for the following
1. Those who are selling Narcotics
2. Those who are selling making & Pornography

Because they are not doing anything to which you have shown object in the above para

With best regards


On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 6:33 AM, Mike Ghouse <> wrote:
Clearly societal attitudes change in some key areas. And religious organizations, like many other institutions, are forced to respond. Eleven Texas Faith panelists at Dallas Morning News write their take on the issue.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

No one has ever remained unaffected by the change. So are religious organizations and individuals. The conservatives of today would have been considered liberals by conservatives of the fifties. In turn, they would have been liberals to the conservatives from around the First World War.

Who has contributed most towards favoring same-sex marriage? Of course, it is the conservatives! When the only voices that oppose change accept the new reality, it seems the whole world has moved.

The Times survey jump from 27% to 47% in 15 years was obviously not by liberals alone. One after the other, conservative bastions of religions have seen the need for change. The latest one is the Presbyterian Church, which has opened its doors this year. Now, evangelicals are choosing their words carefully to keep that door open.

President Obama has indeed become a catalyst for this change. Right after he announced his personal take on the issue, a host of organizations are starting to come around to his view. The momentum will build.

The pattern was similar with racial integration and civil rights. It takes one to take the bold stand and others will follow. It was a big risk for Obama politically, but it was the right thing to stand up for individual liberties, rights and freedom of expression. Those, ironically, are true conservative values.

Most religious organizations are moderate by nature, but take on a conservative posture to appease those who bankroll them. A few will always remain ultra-conservative and opt to have their way rather than change.

There is room for everyone to seek their own umbrella, but change is inescapable. If not, we would have remained in the caves, ridden camels, tilled the land, worn loin cloth and hunted animals.

America is about freedom of the spirit. There is nothing like it in the world. The mere presence on this land impregnates one with frontier can-do attitudes.

The regressive approach of Santorum and Bachman did not pan out. The society at large did not give them a lift. Indeed, we have looked past Catholic Kennedy and African- American Obama/ And when it comes to the Republican nomination, Mormon Romney will get the mantle. It is not the color of the skin, or religion. It is what you can do for America that matters to Americans.

Except the anomaly in 2010 elections, we have punished the narrow attitudes in the past. With the fall of the conservative candidates, we are witnessing embarrassing back- peddling by self-proclaimed conservatives. It was not conservatism. Rather, politics at its worse failed them.

I am proud of my America, where merit and progressiveness is supported over jingoistic claims. We are setting new standards in the world, where others can look up to us and model us in creating societies where every human is valued rather than their sexual orientation or race. Each one of the 312 million of us is a beneficiary of this spirit.

Muslims are evolving in their take on same-sex marriage, just as Baha'is, Hindus, Sikhs and others while Native Americans, Jews and Christians have a take on the issue. Muslim institutions will remain silent, but individuals will be driving change to knock off the resistance.

I have been deliberating the statement of Dr. Aslam Abdullah, editor of the mainstream Muslim Observer, He said: "However, Islam does recognize the rights of people to reject this world view and acknowledges the freedom of people to adopt an alternative perspective, with the admonition that people are responsible for the consequences of their actions in the eyes of God."

My own perspective is, as long as anyone -- gay, lesbian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Christian or Baha'i -- is not stealing your food, gas, clothing, money and car, he or she can live his life the way he or she chooses. Society's responsibility is limited to punishing the individual for the acts that affect public safety and those acts that an overwhelming majority agrees to abide by.

Ani Zonneveld, editor of the progressive Muslim Values, caps my take very well, saying: "Regardless of whether any individual agrees or disagrees with the religious acceptance of homosexuality, America is about justice for all. If you consider yourself a proud American, then same-sex marriage is a no brainer.

To see all the opinions, please visit Dallas Morning News, Texas Faith column at:
# # #


MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is aprofessional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralismpolitics, civic affairsIslamIndiaIsraelpeace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly Texas Faith column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other is his daily blog.

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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.