Friday, November 30, 2007

Where is the Muslim outrage?

Where is the Muslim outrage?
Mike Ghouse, November 30, 2007

As a Muslim I am outraged at this nonsense going on in Sudan and Saudi Arabia.When Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons were published, few Muslims around the world were outraged to the point of becoming destructive. They burned the embassy in Syria and destroyed property elsewhere. Their contention was that the Prophet cannot be contained in an image, they were right about it, but were dead wrong on destroying property, it went against the very principles taught by the Prophet “to forgive the wrong doers”. Not enough of us were outraged against those criminals to make a difference.
Ms. Gibbons affectionately called the Teddy bear "Muhammad" and the fanatics cry foul. The silent majority needs to step up and condemn the individuals and the government of Sudan for treating a lady for her benevolence in such an ugly manner. She probably would not have named, had she known the cultural sensitivities about the name of Prophet Muhammad. Just for naming the bear she is sentenced to Jail for 15 days.

On the top of that, the shameless Government of Sudan takes pride in reducing her sentence to 15 days in Jail with no lashes! For God's sake she did not even commit a crime to be punished or the sentence to be reduced. She did not insult the prophet either. As as Muslim, I admire her gesture. However, out of reverence, Muslims do not name any one but humans with a name like that. It is a time honored tradition.Prophet Muhammad would be saddened with the behavior of this insane mob. Some of them came out waving swords and demanding the death of Ms. Gibbons. They forgot that their prophet had inculcated values of treating one's guest with full dignity and honor. Where is the Muslim outrage on going against the traditions of prophet?
When the Buddha Statue, a world heritage monument was destroyed in Pakistan last month, a few of us jumped, but where was the Muslim outrage?
When the Buddhist Monks were locked up in Burma, where was the Muslim outrage? What is good for the goose has got to be good for the gander. The third Caliph Omar punished his own son against a complaint from a Jewish businessman; such was the sense of Justice. Where is that sense of justice and fairness now?
Mirza Beg writes, “…a woman in Saudi Arabia was gang-raped. She was seen in a car with a person not of her family. She was also found guilty along with the rapists and recommended punishment under the Saudi Law.”That was not bad enough, when she appealed to the Media, her punishment was doubled because she made it public. Where is the Muslim outrage?
Why aren’t the Muslims jamming the phone lines of Saudi Embassies around the world?Why aren’t the Muslims decrying the Saudis for calling it an Islamic Law? It ain’t, it is their bizarre shameless law of men who do not follow their own religion of peace.
The ones who forgive are the dearest to the lord. Where is this verse buried?
There were members of the state legislature in India who publicly called to kill a heretic, and there was a cleric who offered a bounty for killing the same heretic. Where is the Muslim outrage against these criminals?
God says “Killing one human is like killing the whole humanity”. Why isn’t this verse evoked?
Darfur is bleeding, where is the Muslim outrage?The time has come for the Muslims to speak up; the silent majority needs to speak up, and let their outrage be known.No doubt, the one's who express their outrage are not given the outlet. The media does not see sensationalism in this. At the world Muslim Congress we will continue to compile the outrage expressed my Muslims around the world.

I urge the media to give voice to the Muslims who speak up. It gives hopes to the mankind, whether we are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or Zoroastrians, we face the common enemy – ignorance. Ignorance displayed by super literate people as well as illiterate.
I request Muslims around the globe to send the material to to be added into this Blog and eventually the Website
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world. He can be reached at He is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town
A few comments are listed below with my responses, followed by a few articles condemning the bad judgments of Sudan and Saudi Clerics :

Articles condemning the bad judgements
of Sudan and Saudi Clerics.


Travesty of Justice - Sudanese Caricature of the Islamic Law
Mirza A. Beg, Friday, November 30, 2007

Sadly a majority of people practice double standards. They tend to judge others more harshly, but find excuses for their own failings. Collectively, other races, countries and religions are judged harshly, while we turn a blind eye to whatever we construe as our own.

I suffer from a reverse malady. I am sad at injustice to anyone anywhere, but it offends much more when it is done in the name of my country, society or religion. That is why abjuring popular sentiments, I am more critical of injustices done in the name of Islam, the United States and India.

When others condemn, some times genuinely, and some times maliciously, the knee-jerk reaction is to criticize the critic that they are equally bad or worse. I hear this often, when I write about the immoral war in Iraq, based on lies; the Pogrom by the state government of Gujarat in India or the horrible things that the Talibanist mentality has done in the name of Islam.

Recently, a woman in Saudi Arabia was gang-raped. She was seen in a car with a person not of her family. She was also found guilty along with the rapists and recommended punishment under the Saudi Law. That is bad enough, but to call it Islamic is travesty of truth and reason.

In Sudan, a British teacher was arrested for the "sin" of helping her class of seven year olds to name a cuddly teddy bear, Muhammad. Yesterday, after a court trial, she was sentenced to 15 days in jail, and it is reported that a crowd was clamoring for a death sentence. In a closed dictatorial country a crowd does not gather, it is allowed or urged to gather.

The problem springs from a misunderstanding of cultural norms. In the West people often name their pets after the people they love, including their parents, friends, and even prophets. In the East people give their pets loving precious names, but not the names of people they love and respect. It is considered an insult, akin to calling one's best friend or a prophet a dog or a cat.

All Muslims consider Islam to be a just and humane religion. The most popular stories that children grow up with are about the kindness, humanity and mercy of the Prophet.

One of the most popular stories is that the Prophet was reviled and cursed by many Meccans, just after his call to Islam. There was a woman who routinely threw garbage on him, when he passed through her street. For a couple of days she did not. He inquired and learned that she had been sick. His reaction was to go to her house to console her.

A well recorded fact of history is that after conquering Mecca he forgave all, including some who had said and done vile things, including a woman, Hinda, who desecrated the corpse of the Prophet's uncle. There are many other such stories and recorded historical events.

An average person may be forgiven for being impetuous, emotional and blinded by the love for the Prophet, but the Sudanese judge and the government ought to know better. This is complete ignorance and disregard of the primary sources of Islamic jurisprudence. It is an insult to Islam, humanity and justice.

All Islamic scholars would agree that the Islamic laws are based on four principles, in the following order of importance, with a strong caveat that the act is punishable based on intent, and when in doubt mercy over-rides the blind word of the law.

1. The edicts of Quran.
2. Not finding in Quran, the actions or sayings of the Prophet, compiled as sets of Hadeeth by a few scholars about 150 years after his passing.
3. Qiyas – analogy from similar rulings emanating from the first two.
4. Ijma – the consensus of the scholars.

In view of the above, as reported, the British teacher was in Sudan serving the populace. 1-Though the Quran condemns harming or insulting the Prophet, it does not recommend a temporal punishment. 2- The Prophet was the best interpreter of Quran. The life history of the Prophet illustrate that he was kind to even those who insulted or injured him. 3-The teacher was clearly serving the people and her intent was not to insult. 4 - Most scholars in the Islamic world would be at variance with the Saudi and Sudanese interpretation, because not only they violate the intent and mercy clause, but also the 2 nd principle.

As children we laughed at a collection of jokes under the loosely translated ditty:
Strange land - Stupid ruler - they sell - Cow for a dollar - Hay for a dollar.

One of the jokes was - a very fat man was condemned to hang. The rope was not strong enough for his weight. So they found a thin man and hanged him, to satisfy the letter of the law.

That was a joke, but this is an insult to all sense of justice Islam and humanity.

Mirza A, Beg can be contacted at or



By Ibrahim Hooper

[Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be contacted at: ]

During last year’s protests over publication of the Danish cartoons designed to insult the Prophet Muhammad, I wrote a commentary called “What Would Muhammad Do?”
Given the ongoing controversy over the jailing of British teacher Gillian Gibbons in the Sudan for “insulting Islam,” perhaps it is time to remind us all how the Prophet himself reacted to insults, both real and perceived.

Even if Ms. Gibbons had the intent to cause insult, which does not seem to be the case, Islamic traditions include a number of instances in which the Prophet had the opportunity to retaliate against those who abused him, but refrained from doing so.

“You do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari) That description of the Prophet Muhammad is a summary of how he reacted to personal attacks and abuse.

Muslims are taught the tradition of the woman who would regularly throw trash on the prophet as he walked down a particular path. The prophet never responded in kind to the woman’s abuse. Instead, when she one day failed to attack him, he went to her home to inquire about her condition.

In another tradition, the prophet was offered the opportunity to have God punish the people of a town near Mecca who refused the message of Islam and attacked him with stones. Again, the prophet did not choose to respond in kind to the abuse.

A companion of the prophet noted his forgiving disposition. He said: “I served the prophet for ten years, and he never said ‘uf’ (a word indicating impatience) to me and never blamed me by saying, ‘Why did you do so or why didn't you do so?’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Even when the prophet was in a position of power, he chose the path of kindness and reconciliation.

When he returned to Mecca after years of exile and personal attacks, he did not take revenge on the people of the city, but instead offered a general amnesty.

In the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, God states: “When (the righteous) hear vain talk, they withdraw from it saying: ‘Our deeds are for us and yours for you; peace be on to you. We do not desire the way of the ignorant’. . .O Prophet (Muhammad), you cannot give guidance to whom you wish, it is God Who gives guidance to whom He pleases, and He is quite aware of those who are guided.” (28:55-56)

The Quran also says: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.” (16:125)

Another verse tells the prophet to “show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” (7:199)

These are the examples that Muslims should follow as they express concern at the publication of insulting cartoons or at misperceived actions of a well-meaning teacher.

After the Danish cartoon controversy and allegations of Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay, CAIR initiated educational campaigns as a peaceful, constructive response. This is an approach that people of all faiths can appreciate, as it helps us move toward respect and religious tolerance.

SEE: and

This most recent episode can be used as a learning opportunity for people of all faiths who wish to promote mutual understanding. It can also be viewed as a “teaching moment” for Muslims who want to emulate the Prophet through the example of their good character and dignified behavior.

As the Quran states: “It may well be that God will bring about love (and friendship) between you and those with whom you are now at odds.” (60:7)

This week’s unfortunate incident in the Sudan points to the need for an increased level of dialogue between ordinary people in the Muslim world and the West.

The complaint brought against Gillian Gibbons was an inappropriate use of Sudan’s legal system to deal with what was in essence a disagreement between parents and a teacher. Ms. Gibbons should never have been charged. She should be released immediately.


Qur'aan on Sudan situation

[1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

[5:8] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice. You shall be absolutely equitable, for it is more righteous. You shall observe GOD. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

Peace be upon you.

British teacher Gillian Gibbons was convicted of insulting Islam for letting her pupils name a teddy bear Muhammad and sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation from Sudan, one of her defense lawyers said Thursday, 11/29/07.

Gibbons was teaching her pupils, who are around age 7, about animals and asked one of them to bring in her teddy bear, said Robert Boulos, a spokesman for Unity High School in Khartoum. She asked the students to pick names for it and they proposed Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad, and in September, the pupils voted to name it Muhammad, he said.

Each child was allowed to take the bear home on weekends and write a diary about what they did with it. The diary entries were collected in a book with the bear's picture on the cover, labeled, "My Name is Muhammad," he said. The bear itself was never labeled with the name, he added.

The country's top Muslim clerics pressed the government to ensure that the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, is punished, comparing her action to author Salman Rushdie's “blasphemies” against the Prophet Muhammad.

Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of the British teacher.

I simply failed to understand how did the teacher insult the Prophet?!

Anyway, assume that the teacher insulted the Prophet. In that case, what the Sudanese should have done as Muslims with this teacher?! Put her in the prison and deport her?! Execute her?! Absolutely not! According to the Quran, God does not give them permission to punish her for her "action". It is God Who will put her in hell, if she really insulted the Prophet!

[4:140] He has instructed you in the scripture that: if you hear GOD's revelations being mocked and ridiculed, you shall not sit with them, unless they delve into another subject. Otherwise, you will be as guilty as they are. GOD will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers together in Hell.

[5:57] O you who believe, do not befriend those among the recipients of previous scripture who mock and ridicule your religion, nor shall you befriend the disbelievers. You shall reverence GOD, if you are really believers.

[6:68] If you see those who mock our revelations, you shall avoid them until they delve into another subject. If the devil causes you to forget, then, as soon as you remember, do not sit with such evil people.

[18:106] Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers.

[39:48] The sinful works they had earned will be shown to them, and the very things they used to mock will come back to haunt them.

[45:33] The evils of their works will become evident to them, and the very things they mocked will come back and haunt them.

The Quran guarantees freedom of choice to all the people on earth:

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve....

[6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian.

[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

[73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.

Undoubtedly, the muslim masses insult the Prophet by rejecting his message.

[25:30] The messenger said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran."

Thank you and may God guide us,

M. Irtaza


Fri 30th November 2007
In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful
Newest Articles

Press Release: Protest outside Sudanese Embassy: Free Gillian Gibbons Now!

In regards to the current situation MPACUK and Emel magazine are organising a protest calling for a stop to the outrageous decision by a Sudanese Court to jail British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, for allowing her class of seven-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad.
54 year old Ms Gibbons has been jailed for 15 days, having already served 5 of those 10 days. Now hundreds of Sudanese protesters have called for the death of the poor woman in Capital Khartoum, proving just how out of control this situation has become.
The British government and Sudanese Government need to be working harder and faster at making sure that Ms Gibbons returns home safe and sound.
We invite you to voice your anger and concerns at the protest taking place outside the Sudanese embassy in London Tomorrow, 1st December at 2 pm.

Embassy of the Republic of Sudan
3 Cleveland Row
St. James’s


Calls in Sudan for execution of Briton

By MOHAMED OSMAN, Associated Press Writer 50 minutes ago
Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad."

The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pickup trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation. She avoided the more serious punishment of 40 lashes.

They massed in central Martyrs Square outside the presidential palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed. They did not try to stop the rally, which lasted about an hour.
"Shame, shame on the U.K.," protesters chanted.

They called for Gibbons' execution, saying, "No tolerance: Execution," and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad."

The women's prison where Gibbons is being held is far from the square.
Several hundred protesters, not openly carrying weapons, marched about a mile away to Unity High School, where Gibbons worked. They chanted slogans outside the school, which is closed and under heavy security, then marched toward the nearby British Embassy. They were stopped by security forces two blocks away from the embassy.

The protest arose despite vows by Sudanese security officials the day before, during Gibbons' trial, that threatened demonstrations after Friday prayers would not take place. Some of the protesters carried green banners with the name of the Society for Support of the Prophet Muhammad, a previously unknown group.

Many protesters carried clubs, knives and axes — but not automatic weapons, which some have brandished at past government-condoned demonstrations. That suggested Friday's rally was not organized by the government.

A Muslim cleric at Khartoum's main Martyrs Mosque denounced Gibbons during one sermon, saying she intentionally insulted Islam. He did not call for protests, however.
"Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan. But we welcome imprisonment and expulsion," the cleric, Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri, a well-known hard-liner, told worshippers.

"This an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad," he said.
Britain, meanwhile, pursued diplomatic moves to free Gibbons. Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke with a member of her family to convey his regret, his spokeswoman said.
"He set out his concern and the fact that we were doing all we could to secure her release," spokeswoman Emily Hands told reporters.

Most Britons expressed shock at the verdict by a court in Khartoum, alongside hope it would not raise tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims in Britain.
"One of the good things is the U.K. Muslims who've condemned the charge as completely out of proportion," said Paul Wishart, 37, a student in London.
"In the past, people have been a bit upset when different atrocities have happened and there hasn't been much voice in the U.K. Islamic population, whereas with this, they've quickly condemned it."

Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, accused the Sudanese authorities of "gross overreaction."

"This case should have required only simple common sense to resolve. It is unfortunate that the Sudanese authorities were found wanting in this most basic of qualities," he said.
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, a political advocacy group, said the prosecution was "abominable and defies common sense."

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, said Gibbons' prosecution and conviction was "an absurdly disproportionate response to what is at worst a cultural faux pas."

Foreign Secretary David Miliband summoned the Sudanese ambassador late Thursday to express Britain's disappointment with the verdict. The Foreign Office said Britain would continue diplomatic efforts to achieve "a swift resolution" to the crisis.

Gibbons was arrested Sunday after another staff member at the school complained that she had allowed her 7-year-old students to name a teddy bear Muhammad. Giving the name of the Muslim prophet to an animal or a toy could be considered insulting.

The case put Sudan's government in an embarrassing position — facing the anger of Britain on one side and potential trouble from powerful Islamic hard-liners on the other. Many saw the 15-day sentence as an attempt to appease both sides.

In The Times, columnist Bronwen Maddox said the verdict was "something of a fudge ... designed to give a nod to British reproof but also to appease the street."
Britain's response — applying diplomatic pressure while extolling ties with Sudan and affirming respect for Islam — had produced mixed results, British commentators concluded.

In an editorial, The Daily Telegraph said Miliband "has tiptoed around the case, avoiding a threat to cut aid and asserting that respect for Islam runs deep in Britain. Given that much of the government's financial support goes to the wretched refugees in Darfur and neighboring Chad, Mr. Miliband's caution is understandable."

Now, however, the newspaper said, Britain should recall its ambassador in Khartoum and impose sanctions on the Sudanese regime.
Associated Press writers Jill Lawless, David Stringer and Kate Schuman in London contributed to this report.

'Mohammed' teddy bear row: UK puts pressure on Sudan
29 Nov 2007, 2006 hrs IST , Rashmee Roshan Lall , TNN

Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher accused of insulting Islam by naming a teddy bear Mohammed (AFP Photo)

LONDON: An outraged Britain piled the diplomatic pressure on Khartoum over the case of a Liverpudlian teacher accused by conservative Sudanese Muslims of insulting Islam by allowing her class to name a teddy bear 'Mohammed'.

Even as the British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, appeared in a Khartoum court with the threat of punishment ranging from 40 lashes, a prison sentence and a fine hanging over her head, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Thursday the UK wanted to make clear to the Sudanese authorities that she had not shown any lack of respect for Islam.

Gibbons is charged with insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs has arrived at court.

Commentators expressed fears the row might snowball into an international clash-of-civilisations crisis similar to the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet of Islam.

Miliband, who summoned the Sudanese ambassador, Omer Mohammed Ahmed Siddig, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, piled on the pressure even as Prime Minister Gordon Brown got personally involved in the affair by speaking to a member of the teacher's family.

Even as a horrified British media continued a second day of angry front-page coverage of the so-called "teddy row teacher" affair, Miliband firmly declared that he hoped "common sense would prevail" on Khartoum and its hardline leader President Omar Bashir.

While allegedly sensationalist reports continued to pour into Britain that Sudan's top clerics are calling for the full measure of the law to be used against Gibbons because her actions were part of a Western plot against Islam, the UK government reiterated its "highest respect for Islam".

But sections of even Sudanese academia insisted the British teacher had been wrong to name the bear Mohammed because the animal does not exist in Sudanese folklore "if you call someone a bear they will be angry".

As the potentially explosive diplomatic row escalated and angry Sudanese promised large street protests after Friday prayers to call for the Briton to be lashed in public or even hanged, Miliband insisted, "We want to see her freed as soon as possible. This is a human story, no malice is involved. Her security and welfare are absolutely at the forefront of our concerns...this is not a political dispute".

Gibbons, a 54-year-old former deputy head teacher in Britain, taught at an elite British-run school in Khartoum.

On Thursday, four days after her arrest, photographs of her round, pudding-like face continued to be plastered across the British press, alongside anguished reports of her plight "locked in a cell in a police station...her toilet is a hole in the ground, her window a small, barred opening high in the wall".



By Ibrahim Abdil-Mu'id Ramey
MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director

As the world knows by now, a British secondary school teacher in Khartoum, Sudan was arrested by Sudanese authorities for allegedly defaming the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Unto Him) when, as part of a class project at the Unity School, a stuffed toy bear was named Muhammad. The name was voted on by the entire class, apparently not to refer to the Prophet of Islam, but in honor of a male classmate.

The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, was then reported to authorities by another faculty member and subsequently charged with blasphemy and promoting religious hatred. The initial, possible penalty faced by Gibbons was one year imprisonment and 50 lashes; which was, at the time of this writing, reduced to 15-days jail time and deportation.

News sources report that some 600 demonstrators congregated in Khartoum to protest the alleged defamation of Prophet Muhammad. Some were reported to have called for the execution of the teacher.

Lets review: the naming of a stuffed, toy bear after a boy in a classroom in Sudan has been transformed into a major international incident; a teacher has been incarcerated; a few zealots have called for her severe punishment; and the governments of the United Kingdom and Sudan are now embroiled in a major spat.

This incident is perfect for fueling the rhetoric of Islamophobes and Islamic extremists alike, and selling tabloid newspapers.

But it's also a matter that has serious repercussions, not only for Muslims in Sudan, but for the global Muslim community as well.

Why should we be concerned about a single teacher and a Teddy Bear? The emerging truth of the matter is that the school children themselves, and not their teacher, chose to name the toy bear. That alone should have been enough to exonerate Ms. Gibbons, and bring the matter to a swift (and innocuous) conclusion, however, the current climate of mutual distrust and animosity between many people in the "West" and the Muslim world, has grown into something so pervasive that an 'incident' such as this has erupted into a major incident.

There are people in the Muslim world - particularly in the aftermath of last year's Danish cartoon incident - who believe that Muslims should vigilantly defend their faith and Prophet against defamation. And we should. But we should be collectively judicious in judging if, and when, the defamation of our faith actually occurs.

I seriously doubt that Ms. Gibbons acted in an intentionally disrespectful way toward Islam and Prophet Muhammad. She should not have been punished, and she is owed a serious apology by the state and people of Sudan.

Then, there is the issue of what the people of Sudan should really be concerned about.

Given the ongoing crisis in Darfur, the disintegration of the North-South unity government, armed insurrection in eastern Sudan, and the Herculean task of rebuilding the nation after a horrific 20-year civil war, I would humbly submit that the Sudanese government, and its people, might want to invest their energy in responding to issues much more important than the naming of a toy.

I trust that Ms. Gibbons will be freed by the authorities in Khartoum, although I expect that her teaching experience in Sudan will come to an abrupt, and unhappy, conclusion given the news of her pending deportation.

It is my sincere hope that responsible parties on both sides of the issue will use this incident as an opportunity to examine the danger of over-reaction, on the part of some Muslims, to unintentional offenses. Likewise, people in the Christian world should not use such events to mischaracterize or stereotype all Muslims as extremists.

It's all too much for the Muslim world to bear.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Asylum for Taslima Nasrin

Asylum for Taslima Nasrin
Mike Ghouse, November 25, 2007

When it comes to intolerance the people who understand their religion the least have the loudest voices. Their narrow minded Fatwa's and their recent harassment of Ms. Nasreen in Hyderabad have earned her sympathizers, some sincere, but many such as the BJP Party are out to make political capital out of it.

The first mistake the extremists made was to issue a Fatwa against Taslima Nasrin for her statements that did not go well with the fundamentalists. "She told the Muslim women to burn the Burqa" as if she will start wearing a skirt if a westerner says "Burn the Saree, it is a sign of backwardness". Neither is a sign of backwardness, it is a culture that has evolved and no one will drop what they are used to on the sound of a word 'drop'. In a democracy, people should have the freedom to speak; the best way to combat a bad idea is to offer good ideas to compete.

The second mistake the rioters made is that they did not follow their own religion. God advises in Sura 109 that when you present the word of God to the other, they may deny it, let them know that what they worship is not what you worship and at the end leave the conversation in good taste by saying 109:6 "unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine!" They should have left her alone as there is no compulsion in matters of faith. What she believes is her belief.

The third mistake they made is violating the example of the Prophet. When he was traveling form Mecca to Taif, he was pelted with stones, he was bleeding, and at that time his associates and the Angel Gabriel were anxious to punish the miscreants. The prophet stopped them and said something to this effect. Let's not punish them, it is not the answer; instead let's pray that God may help them with Good will.

All that was needed to calm Taslima Nasrin was to ignore her, pray for her and let her do what she wanted to do. Instead, those who want to destroy Ms. Nasreen in the misused name of their own religion help to build her up.

The fourth mistake they made was in Hyderabad, where they threatened her life and nearly assaulted her, against the law of religion.

The fifth and a major mistake they made was not to have a debate with her on the issues. They did not have enough faith in their culture or religion to debate. Taslima would have easily lost with a debate from a few intellectuals and most likely she would not have gone on the attack binge.

Now, let's turn the tables.

Taslima Nasrin has gone through personal tragedies in her life, several women in the Sub-continent are abused, ordered and compelled to obey, be it a Muslim, Hindu or any family. Women in our society (all religions included) are to "listen" or "obey" their father and then husband. There is not much freedom for most women in our society, Taslima is no exception. She is raging with anger, instead of directing her anger at her perpetrators; she is directing at her religion and wing-dinging the responses from a few of her fellow religionists. It is unproductive.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh should have asked the MLA's to resign when they threatened to kill her, the government of UP should have arrested the zealot who had offered a bounty for killing her. The Indian Penal code would be sufficed to arrest them and put them through the legal system until they apologize. In addition we need to bring to the front what Qur'an tells about their attitudes "To kill a single life is like killing the whole humanity". It is not late now to go back and charge them. In a civil society, we need to punish the ones that mess up other people's life, so others don't repeat it.

What should be done with Taslima Nasrin?

First, she needs to be given a political asylum as a death threat looms for her in her native country. We have made other mistakes but that does not mean we should not do a few things right. We are a pluralistic democracy, and we should allow dissent and free debates as a part of education and learning.

Second, to remove the eternal threat against her life for the stand she takes, she needs to be engaged in debates with liberal, conservative and middle of the line Muslims scholars. If she is wrong, she will accept it and will not have a face to be hateful anymore, on the other hand, if she has grievance, let's study them and figure out the answers. Most likely it is a personal and not a religious issue.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gujarat Muslims: Way Ahead

Gujarat Muslims: The Way Ahead
Ram Puniyani, November 26, 2007

Mr. Puniyani's article follows Moderator's comments;

Dear Mr. Puniyani, I appreciate this idea of forgiveness, indeed, Mahatma Gandhi, Prophet Muhammad, Jesus Christ and several spiritual teachers have believed in the power of forgiveness. You have quoted Jesus and Gandhi; let me give the example of Prophet Muhammad.

When the Prophet was traveling form Mecca to Taif, he was pelted with stones to a point of excessive bleeding, it is said that he could not even remove his blood solidified shoes. His associates and Angel Gabriel were anxious to go out and punish the miscreants. The prophet stopped them and said something to this effect. Let's not punish them, it is not the answer; instead let's pray that God give them guidance and goodwill.

The wisdom is simple: there is hope that people will do better if we give them a break and appeal to their goodwill. Give them a chance to recognize their mistakes without demanding a pound of flesh.

In the tradition of the Prophet, I genuinely ask the Muslims of Gujarat to forgive the perpetrators of the Crimes, it takes a big heart to do it, but when they do it, there is peace in it and hopefully an opportunity for the criminals do their Praischit (repentence) in their own way. We need to help them release from their pain, so all of us can work on living with good will. Let' not dig in our heels, let's step out and reach. Goodwill gives birth to goodwill.

I appeal to the Muslims of Gujarat in particular to take that first step; there is a beautiful universal prayer that Muslims say after every prayer.

To paraphrase it:
Dear God, please forgive me, my parents, my teachers,
Those who bow to you, surrender to your guidance,
Please forgive the living and the dead,

Time for the healing process must begin and it is time now. Thanks for writing this thoughtful healing piece of information and I request all people to give it a currency.

May God bring peace to all.

Mike Ghouse

... and now Mr. Puniyani's article.

Many a voices have emerged from a small section of Muslim community which is arguing that Muslims should unilaterally forgive the pain they suffered during the carnage of 2002. This section says that we should draw from the reality of Gujarat where the religious and other community leaders have refused to apologize for the crimes committed in the name of Ram. Also that the state apparatus is so communalized that chances of getting justice are bleak, and how long a community can live in such a state of pity and victim hood, it affects their self respect and dignity. This section does see that civil rights groups are fighting for the rights of Muslim minority against odds, irrespective of their religion.

One can appreciate the personal magnanimity of those who personally suffered serious losses due to violence against them, like Mrs. Gladys Stains who personally forgave the killers of her husband and children. Jesus and Gandhi urged the people to put another cheek forward when slapped on one. One has to see the difference between personal magnanimity and the political assault of a section of people to victimize the weak. One has to see that the communal violence is not just violence against person but is also a part of political agenda of some. The crimes against a person can not be forgiven in law, as justice is the basis of tranquility and peace in society. The question is, can such a position of individual/ individuals to forgive the crimes against them be acceptable to major sections of victims in Gujarat? Many a religious teaching do emphasize on forgiveness. Are such things applicable to the situation of those facing Gujarat Muslims?

There are many a precedents where the culprits have been forgiven. South Africa was the major experiment, where truth and reconciliation commission undertook a massive exercise in this direction. The starting point there was that the culprits confessed to their crimes. Reconciliation followed. Personally putting forward another cheek when someone slaps is based on the basic human understanding that the one slapping you has a potential for reforming, will have remorse of his actions and will feel apologetic about what he has done.

In Gujarat the things are very different. The communalization of society was going on from many decades. The demonization of Muslim minority went unhindered for a long time, and violence was used as a method of polarizing communities. Later Dalits, Adivasis were co-opted to unleash on the Muslim community by clever social engineering. The truth of this has been reconfirmed by Tehelka expose (Novemember 2007). Modi used the pretext of Godhra to unleash the genocide. The state machinery is totally communalized, no rehabilitation, no justice for victims, and there is a deliberate marginalization of Muslims to the status of second class citizens! Today in Gujarat not only are communities polarized, the partitions between communities are becoming worse and deeper by the day. No body is asking forgiveness as the criminals, Modi downwards, believe, that what they did was for their religion, was right, and was needed to teach 'them' (Muslims) a lesson. There is also an un-spelt understanding that they will anyway be protected by the mighty arm of the Hindu Rashtra of Gujarat. So whom are you going to forgive?

The problem is essentially that of violation of democratic rights and civil liberties. Problem is that Gandhi's Gujarat has been manipulated to become Godse-Modi's Gujarat. Modi, the mass murderer, is hero for large sections. He is acquiring a halo around him duly helped by a section of media. The alternative pole, the one of Congress is more interested in electoral arithmetic and so far has been behaving as B team of RSS combine. The defense of democracy and forthright stand for secular values has been put on the backburner.

One can understand the painful sigh of a section of Muslims, some of whom may be thinking on these lines. This section, seems to have accepted and internalized the second class status and seem to be willing to be on the bent knees to live in this Hindu Rashtra, where Indian constitution is present by its absence. Can there bee peace without justice? Can there be dignity and self respect if the injustice is inbuilt into the social system and is institutionalized to the core?

Are the civil rights groups working just for minority community? The work of civil rights groups is more a defense of democratic rights and civil liberties than just a defense of rights of this or that religious group. It is more a question of defending our constitution and not just the rights of minorities. Can we call it a democratic society if a large section has to reconcile its status as the one of a second class citizen? RSS combine is celebrating this relegation of minority rights, as now more and more villages of Gujarat are putting the hoarding of 'Welcome to so and so village Hindu Rahtra of Gujarat'.

While totally empathizing with this section of Muslims one has to turn the criticism to the larger democratic polity. What have we done to our democracy? How is the status of democracy judged? One of the parameters is to see as to how safe and secure the minorities are. At another level the acceptance of such position of Muslims is a sign of total surrender of democracy to the religious fascism, which is on ascendance more so in Gujarat. And this intimidation of minorities is just the beginning. As we witnessed in Germany, the same thing is being played here in the slow motion. Jews were the first target, followed by communists, trade unionists and later sections of Christian minorities. Here in India the order planned by RSS combine is Muslims, Christians, Secularists and other weaker sections of society, in that order.

When Gujarat is facing elections and many forecasters are talking of Modi's return, the time has come to put all our energies to save democracy there. The time that we get over the diffidence, that Modi is too clever to be defeated, that the polarization has gone too far to be repaired. These may be part of the deliberate propaganda of the well oiled machine which organized Gujarat pogrom. We need to reassert that there is no substitute for democracy. The treatment of ills of democracy is more democracy and more democracy. National integration means that we have the overarching national, Indian community in which any injustice to one is the injustice to all. Any undermining of the rights of one section tantamount to erosion of the values of our freedom movement and the principles as given in our Constitution, which these communal elements do not hold by.

Even today the chasm between the religious communities can be bridged by broadening the awareness about our syncretic traditions, Bhakti and Sufi. There is an urgent need to remind people that Hindus and Muslims have lived together for centuries. What has been propagated is opposite of this that there is a centuries old fight between Hindus and Muslims. Even today there is a need to remind people every where that freedom movement was the movement in which all communities participated equally. We need to remember that Hinduism of Gandhi and Islam of Maulana Abul Kalam unites people while Hinduism of Godse-Modi-RSS and Islam of Jinnah-Muslim League-Taliban divide the people.

It is never too late to counter the negativity injected by communal forces and bring back the humane values ingrained in our plural history to ensure that the process of remorse, reconciliation and justice comes to the fore, and Muslims feel as much at home as any one else. That a section of our society is made to think that one sided forgiveness is the only way out just shows that our system is deeply infected and needs to be cleansed by the spirit of Indian ness. And that's where all the conscientious and aware citizens believing in democracy have to stick together, for getting justice for all and to soothe the wounds of those thinking of unsolicited, unilateral forgiveness.

Your comments:

Mike Ghouse

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Why Muslims Lag Behind

Why Muslims Lag Behind
Mike Ghouse, November 1, 2007

Dr. Khuswant Singh, whom I have admired growing up, and have religiously read his Illustrated weekly, has now written a column "Why Muslims Lag behind". I am challenging his take on four issues he contends with. i) Polygamy - ii) Burqa, iii) Alcohol iv) Pork


Dr. Singh got that right; marry up to four wives if you can be just. Obviously, one cannot be just to all in the real sense, one woman or the other would feel saddened, taken advantage of, or feel used due to her dependency.

The provision is not a free ticket to marry four women; it was made with a social purpose to keep the society in a balance. Rather than be at the mercy of lustful men who want to keep a woman as their concubine, the woman may feel a sense of dignity even if she is playing the 2nd, 3rd or 4th fiddle by marrying to the man. However, the first wife has to see it as a social need, rather than a man-woman relationship, she may not feel the un-justness in it and may actually wilfully authorize to save a woman from being on the street. It takes a lot of genorisity on the part of the first wife to do that.

What will you do with 300,000 + women left alone in the savage war in Iraq by the death of their husband, son, brother or father? What are the choices to rehabilitate them? Let them become carriers of Aids? Find sustenance through the only thing they can trade, given the job market, their flesh? It is a tough question and answers are not easy, the provision was made for dire situations like that. However, some people will always abuse the system, no matter what system they follow.

Personally I am against polygamy, but the provision must be guarded from being abused. Dr. Naik's example that more Hindu's are polygamist is not a good reason or logic to support one's case. Even if men keep several women as their secret girl friends, it won't justify one to marry more than one woman.


Dr. Naik could have simply said, that the form of Burqa that is currently in practice was not the prescription of Qur'aan, rather it was the modesty clause interpreted to mean Burqa. The current form of Burqa has become a cultural symbol in the guise of religious identity, and the culture sits deeply in one's psyche than religion, and it is not easy to drop it at one's command.

Dr. Singh’s scope is narrow for him to call Burqa as a sign of backwardness, wearing a Shalwar Kameez or Saree seems backward to the westerners. I don't believe most Indian women (except the college going girls and a few westernized ones) would give up the Saree or Shalwar Kameez for a Skirt on husband or brothers call, she just won't do it, and why should she, what is the need?

Being civilized is being able to understand free choices and let people have the freedom to wear what is comfortable to them? Who sets the standards that a woman should wear bikini, mini-skirt, Saree, Abaya, or Shalwar Kameez? Why should it bother me what a woman wears, how is it coming in my way? How would it affect her ability to do the work in an office? Let it be a free choice what the woman wants to wear, what she is comfortable with. Each society has its own threshold and it lives with its own equilibrium. Each system works where it is in vogue.

Dr. Singh is a Sikh. Is keeping the hair on his face and head uncivilized, jahilya or backwardness? Absolutely not, it is a religious requirement and there is nothing wrong adhering to one’s belief and practices, it is not hurting any one nor is it hurting the keeper.

Dr. Naik is again trying to justify what the western societies do, he imagines them to be failures, they are not, indeed, they are as much a failure as any society is. Wearing Burqa was not in response to what they do, neither is it the 100% prescription of Qur’aan, he could have done well saying that the format is rather cultural than religious. Muslim women have been wearing it for centuries, has any one lost anything with that?

Oppression of women is bad, and it has absolutely nothing to do with any religion, it is the insecure men, who seek their security by oppressing women and unjustly using their religion, culture or some other excuse.

In terms of percentage, as a standard to equalize the different sizes of populations, I believe a similar percent of American women are victims of domestic violence as Indian, Muslim or Hindu women. Abuse is a man thing and not the religion. Indeed religion continues to civilize the beast and succeeds with many but fails with some.


It is adhering to one’s belief. I don’t see how anyone becomes backward by not drinking or forward by drinking. I don’t see how eating or not eating pork determines the economic progress or lag of a community.

Dr. Naik should just stay with the rules of the religion, all people follow the rules of their religion whether it makes sense or not. The Hindus don’t eat beef, Muslims don’t eat the pork and oops, also prohibit alcohol, Sikhs do not cut their hair, Buddhist don’t eat meat on certain days, and same goes to catholic. It is all traditions and nothing is lost following it. It gives them a sense of belonging, which in turn gives them a sense of being complete.

One should constantly search for the wisdom of why we do things? We will always find ourselves justifying it.

Dr. Naik will lose out his argument on Pork, if he bases it on health issues alone, as that is not the issue with the western societies, Pigs are farm raised, corn raised and are usually as clean as any other animal. Kids pet them too.

There is nothing wrong subscribing to certain rituals; social or religious, following which does not make one backward or forward.

It is always the freedom of choice, live and let live that is the hall mark of civil societies. Muslims do not lag behind because of Burqa, Pork, Alcohol or polygamy. They lag behind because of the education and denied opportunties.


Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the / and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the / with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is / and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: / and / Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at For a full bio:

At the recent Book Fair in Delhi there was a stall selling Islamic literature. Friends who went round the stalls told me that among the hottest sellers was Answer to Non-Muslim Common Questions About Islam by Dr Zakir Naik (Madhur Sandesh Sangam).

The learned doctor, who has a phenomenal memory when it comes to quoting chapters, verses and lines of the scriptures, has chosen 20 questions, most often asked by non-believers: they include polygamy, burqa, drinking, eating pigmeat, afterlife, and kafirs. I have heard Zakir Naik hold forth on these and other subjects several times on television before large receptive audiences, who hear him spellbound. I disagree with almost everything he has to say about misconceptions about Islam. Though by definition (a kafir), I don’t believe in God, satan, angels, devils, heaven or hell, I feel hurt and angry because I am emotionally and rationally bothered by the sorry plight of Muslims today. I find Naik’s pronouncements somewhat juvenile.

They seldom rise above the level of undergraduate college debates, where contestants vie with each other to score brownie points. I will deal with only four of the twenty topics he deals with — two of minor and two of major importance. Why is eating pigmeat forbidden in Islam? Dr Naik tells us that the "pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth."

Agreed, it eats garbage, including human and animal excreta. He further adds, “The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate" I admit I was not aware of this swinish aberration. He goes on to list 70 different types of diseases caused by eating pigmeat. He does not tell us why the vast majority of non-Muslims, non-vegetarians of the world relish pigmeat in different forms: ham, bacon, pork, sausages, salami etc.

Many Pacific island economies depend on breeding pigs. I for one have not heard of great epidemics caused by consumption of pig meat. Why is alcohol forbidden to Muslims? Actually, what is forbidden by the Quran is drunkenness, not drinking. However, Dr Naik construes it to be a sin.

He says, “Alcohol has been the scourge of human society, since time immemorial. It costs enormous human lives and terrible misery to millions throughout the world."

He lists 19 diseases, including eczema, caused by intake of liquor. One does not have to quote the scriptures to prove that excessive drinking ruins one’s health, impoverishes families, leads to bad behaviour and crime. It is plain common sense. People all over the world overdo it and suffer. Those who drink within limits enjoy it. I have been drinking for 70 years. I have not been drunk even once in my life, never fallen ill nor offended anyone.

I am 94 and still drink everyday. My role model is Asadullah Khan Ghalib. He drank every evening and alone. I look forward to my sundowners. For me and for millions of others, drinking has nothing to do with religion. Let us see what Dr Naik has to say about two more serious subjects: polygamy and hijab (veil).

“The Quran is the only religious book on the face of this earth that contains the phrase "marry only one," he asserts. And explains the verse on the subject "marry women of your choice, two, three or four; but only fear that ye shall not be able to do justice (with them), then only one". And since "ye are never able to be fair and just as between women. Therefore, the verdict is in favour of one wife at a time. "Hindus are more polygamous than Muslims," writes Dr Naik.
There are more women than men in the world; so what are women who can’t find unmarried men do except become co-wives of married men? Or become “public property?” So goes the learned doctor’s argument.

He does not deign to deal with the situation as it exists today. Every other religion other than Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism now forbids men from having more than one wife at a time.

Muslims are the sole exception though only a miniscule minority, mainly Arabs, have multiple wives. Apply for a visa to some country like Indonesia and Malaysia and you will have to fill a column naming up to four wives accompanying you. The answer to the problem of women out-numbering men is not polygamy, it is freedom to engage in extra-marital relation or have them staying single. It is better than having a harem.

Dr Naik is in favour of women wearing burqas from head to foot, girls not going to mixed schools or colleges, nor going into professional institutions in which they have to expose their faces etc. This amounts to denying them, equal rights with men. In my view, shared by all my Muslim friends, burqa is the single most reprehensible cause for keeping Muslims backward (it is synonymous to jehalat — ignorance and backwardness). The sooner it is abolished, the better. He castigates the western society in no uncertain terms: “Western talk of women’s liberalisation is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul and deprivation of her honour.

“Western society claims to have uplifted women. On the contrary, it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses, and society butterflies who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketers….” All I can say in reply is “Dr. Naik, you know next to nothing about the Western society and are talking through your skull cap. People like you are making the Muslims lag behind other communities.”


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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.