Saturday, May 31, 2008

All Articles

List of all articles on this blog -

July 2010
Burqa - Panipat to Paris
Sharia Law: Not in America
Mosque - U.S. should stand on moral high ground
Bikini or headscarf -- which offers more freedom?
Unity Day USA - 6th Annual Event
Themes for the Parliament of Worlds Religions in 2...
Mosque at Ground Zero religious freedom too far?
Imam Hussain- The epitome of justice and tolerance...
Happy Imamat day to HH Aga Khan
Muslim acts of heroism during Holocaust
Standing up for Jews, Gays and Mexicans, why shoul...
Sick of French Commies, Talibans & Iranian Clergy
FOX TV, Sean Hannity and Mike Ghouse about NASA to...
Muslims condemn Blasphemy attack in Kerala
Sulha Joint prayers by Jews and Muslims
Sharia Laws in America
A good story on co-existence from Punjab, India
Burqa Ban – Hannity, Gabrielle and Ghouse on Fox T...

June 2010
Britain's May ban radical preacher Zakir Naik
Happy Fathers, Daughters and Sons day
Fatima Zahra: The Mother of her Father
RE: MuslimAgenda :: -"Muslim Reformers in Iran and...
-"Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey: The Paradox...

May 2010
Reflections on forgiveness
How not to deal with Muslims in America
Interfaith, intra-faith, pluralism, religion & spi...
Islam and Human Rights
Sacramento's Pakistani Americans declare war on te...
TODAY IS NATIONAL PRAYER DAY Let’s pray, reflect o...
National Prayer Day happenings on Thursday
Ghouse speaks at Dallas Mega Immigration March

April 2010
South Park incident with a Muslim
Quraan 2:256 No compulsion in matters of faith
one Islam for Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismailia, Shia, Su...
There is only one Islam
Honoring Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci today

March 2010
Ahmadiyya Muslims among Muslims
Fatwa against terrorism
Religious Conversions or Recruitment
Taslima's article sparks violence in Karnataka, 2 ...
Prophet Muhammad's birthday celebrations
Taslima's article sparks violence in Karnataka, 2 ...

February 2010
Muslim Condemn beheading of Sikhs by Taliban
Can Jewish-Muslim dialogue work?
Pictorial Report - Holocaust and Genocides
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim by Tariq Ramadan
Obama names Indian-American Muslim as special envo...
Bad Fatwa by Muslim-American body about airport bo...
Diversity is God's will Quraan 5:48
Petition for Native American Heritage Day
Little Support for Terrorism
Religious Prejudice Stronger Against Muslims
Stunned Passengers after Muslim bus driver pulls o...
An appeal to Muslims about Dr. Afia Siddiqi
Can Women Be Imams?

January 2010 (12)

PRESS RELEASE Contact: Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916...
Haiti and Earthquake
The Islamists Are Not Coming
Ninth Church Vandalized in Malaysia
Free to criticize religions but not with hate
The struggle for the soul of Islam
What's God got to do with it?
Baptists and Muslims: different books, common word...
Who Owns God?
The Scholar, The Sufi, And The Fanatic
The Indian Minister needs to apologize
Change is Coming to Islam

December 2009 (4)

A tribute to Jesus
An appeal to Indonesian Muslims
Mike Ghouse on National Public Radio
Copenhagen is about Climate Justice

November 2009 (5)

Mike Ghouse to Speak at Parliament of Worlds Relig...
Eid-al-Adha - What is a sacrifice
Muslim countries seek blasphemy ban
Allahu Akbar by Matthew Moes
Fort Hood Tragedy

October 2009 (15)

A Muslim's Journey of Islam
Saudi-ization of Pakistan
Towards a kind and just society
Extremists obsession with female bodies
Book smashes India's "Islamic terrorism" myth
Chandra Muzaffar on Islamic Inclusivism
ICNA Houston, Home for the needy
Chandra Muzaffar on Pluralism & Ijtihad
Obama bows before Gays
Fighting Domestic Violence
Canada should not ban Burqa.
Wanted - Professors in Islam
Muslim Population in the world
Pluralism in Islam
Pluralism is not Khichdi

September 2009 (12)

Successful Dallas partnership walk
Islamic Center of Irving on Stereotypes
Will Americans accept Islam?
Ramadan Poltics
Ramadan Spirit
Ramadan Traditions
Muslims Who Saved Jews during Holocaust
Muslim Teen Converts
Rising Muslim Middle Class
Adult Muslim Babies
Malaysia to succeed through unity
Ramadan diversity and spirituality

August 2009 (12)

Festivities soured by race
Ramadan pictures from around the world
American Qur'an - Art Exhibition
Qur'aan and me
Washington post on Ramadan
Prophet Muhammad, a Pluralist and an interfaith di...
Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims
Apostasy and Islam
Quraan on Pluralism
Interfaith, Pluralism and Islam
Indonesian Pluralism
Defining a few words in Islam

July 2009 (9)

Muslims must befriend people of Other Faiths!
Islam and Inter-Religious Dialogue
Muslims Should Dialogue With Others
Islam in the West
Who Needs An Islamic State?
American Muslims; an invitation to a national conf...
Jawed Karim - Youtube Founder
Muslim Invention - Glider 900 AD
A woman designs the Istanbul Mosque

June 2009 (15)

Perez to Azerbaijan
Democratic Faiths
Creation, Religion and God's will.
Muslims speak out against Harassment of Minorities...
Is Islam compatible with democracy?
Obama, Hujurat and Islamic Calligraphy
Islamic and Inter-Community Relations
Muslims Condemn action against Shah Rukh Khan
Qatar Initiative on Education
Israel and Palestine, a Common Vision
No Shari'ah in America
100 Muslim opinions on Obama Speech
Who Is CAIR?
Muslims Condemn display of hate at Holocaust Museu...
Fatwa Factory

May 2009 (7)

$5000 REWARD
Qur'aan and the Big Bang Theory
Kim Hendren calls Chuck Schumer 'that Jew'
Islamic Reform
Iran - What would the prophet do?
Saudi Beauty Queen
Muslims Condemn oppression against Sikhs

April 2009 (7)

Dallas Muslim Priorities?
Blair about Militant Islam
Not the Swine, but Mexican Flu
Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan
The Prophet may ask, What Muslim?
Are Muslims a part of the American story?
The Mosque in Morgantown
All-religious alliance
Falsification of Islamic History
Islam is about democracy

March 2009 (10)
Islam and Democracy are compatible.
Neocon Questions to Muslims
Shari'ah and the political Sytems
ME Policy letter to Obama
India's 'Slumdog' Role Model
Proving Islam is peace
Muslim Response to Lies about Qur'aan
Spy in the Mosque
California Muslim Candidate targeted
Obama urged to promote democracy

February 2009
Qur'aan incite Violence - II
Is Qur'aan perfect?
Women Friendly Mosques
Our Mission, Eboo Patel, Rashad Hussain
Evolutionary Creation - 2009 Evolution Week
Obama speaks at prayer breakfast
Rabbi initiates Muslim-Jewish teamwork
Religion-Alliance against Commercialisation
Lifting the Veil on the Niqab

January 2009

Holocaust and Genocides event - Sunday in Dallas
Liberal Muslims' Double Jeopardy
PR on Second Annual “Reflections on Holocaust and ...
HR 34 : Are we pleasing the lobbyists or the peopl...
Holocaust in Gaza Hypocrisy of U.S.-Israeli Acts...
Yom-e-Ashura January Festivals & Commemorations
Take action on Gaza
Preaching Moderate Islam in Saudi Arabia

December 2009

An appeal to Muslims about Holocaust event
Christmas - Kwanza - Zartosht Diso - Muharram - Ya...
Kafir and Kufr
Battle For The Muslim Mind
Individuals, not religions carry out inhuman acts
The Essence of Eid-al-Adha - A Muslim Festival on ...
Scream Bloody Murder, reflections on Holocaust and...
December 2008 Festivals
Muslims refuse to bury militants

November 2008
Celebration of the life of “America’s Imam”
The Essence of Thanksgiving
Holy Land Foundation Verdict -11/24/08
Muslims beware: Wikipedia Blunders on Kaaba
Wall Street Journal - Should Muslims play the Game...
An Open letter to Barack Obama
Jewish Muslim Dialogue; a necessity
Saudis' dubious interfaith agenda
Republican Women took the bold step
New Magazine: Islam, Muslims & the World

October 2008

Hope for America, hope for Muslims
Domestic Violence in Muslim Families
Taqlid, Ijtihad and Democracy
Wary of Islam, China tightens rules
Sharia Laws in America
This Qazi is a woman
CAIR, ISNA and Huffington Post
Mission Statement
Are Muslims a part of the American story?
Hindu-Muslim Cremation Arouses Anger
Who Put Hate in My Sunday Paper?
Wanted: Leaders for the Muslim community

September 2008

Six Suggestions to Muslims
Remnants of Muslim Jahilya
Sharia Laws and UN Human Rights
The Spirit, rituals and politics of Ramadan
Obesssion DVD and CAIR
Islamic Feminism Conference in Spain
Iftaar with democracts
Muslim presence at DNC Denver

August 2008

Texan With Character: Sarosha Hansraj
Towards Human Understanding through Dialogue
Islam and Democracy
Paradigm Shift - Religious Organizations
Protest for "Jewel of Madina" By Sherry Jones
Self-Censoring Muslims
Maldives Constitution to be questioned
Writing about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Inside the Koran – documentary
Propaganda against Qur'aan Challenged

July 2008

Iranian Muslim intellectuals protest
Louvre's Islamic art gallery
Interfaith forum in Saudi Arabia
Separating Jihadists fact and fiction
For the sake of Biblical Prophecies
Saving environment through faith
CAIR Chairman Ahmed Resigns
Largest Mosque in Canada opens
Who owns the word “Allah” ?
Who can speak for Islam?

June 2008

Where are the women?
Exploiting the Muslim- Jewish divide
Obama should visit a mosque
Invocation by Imam Shakoor
Americans Tolerant of Religions
Rand:Designs for Muslim World
Secular Muslims
Is Dawah Obligatory?
Me without my Hijab
Islamic state, or state of Islam
Inshallah, Texas Muslims Organize
British Muslim TV wants you
Prophecy and the Fundamentalist Quest
Makkah Interfaith dialogue
Aga Khan - Democracy & Pluralism

MAY 2008

Dialogue: Jews, Christians & Muslims
Saudi Arabia: Interfaith dialogue
Mecca and moderation
Violence has no place in Islam.
Is Tolerance accepted in Islam?
Critiquing Islamism and Maududi
Hindu-Muslim dialogue
God's Grace for Najma Ghouse
Indian Muslim Education
Gentler Islam Schools
Islamic Etiquette
Fall-Rise of Islamic State
Islam's Women Scholars
People's phobia of Muslims
Domestic Violence
Ahmadiyya Muslims - Outline

APRIL 2008

Islam in Spain
Indian Muslims; Amity Road
Pluralism and Volunteerism
Protection for reformist Muslims
Jew & A Muslim on Poverty
Media coverage of Islam
Indonesia going conservative?
Muslim Medical Clinics
Tolerance In Islam - Pickthall
Ahmadiyya Muslims, what next?
Dr. Javed Jamil, a profile
Architect of universal good
Global Religious leaders
Muslim Ulema to introspect
Praying Passenger removed
Muslims and the Pope.
Illusions of an Islamic State
Editorial: Muslim Heritage
Films focus-Muslim women
God's Sake - Khuda Ke Liye
Aga Khan visits Atlanta
Aga Khan - Building Bridges
Indian Muslims against Terrorism
Islamists V. Anti-Islamists
Protecting Pakistan's Hindus
Aga Khan: 50 years of Imamat
Who speaks for Islam?
For God's sake; a movie
Mormons & Muslims
Muslim Philanthropists
33 Tips to Personal Jihad
Bahrain not sunny for Shias
Jihad, Women & Terrorism
Speech on Religion?
Jihad - Muslims Speak out
Prophet Muhammad
Saudis Interfaith dialogue
Muslim true/false
Divorce in Qur'aan

MARCH 2008

Muslims more than Catholics
Jewish Arabs and Arabia
Debate on Islamic State
Pope Benedict
Wilders, Fitna and Quraan
Qatar - Catholic Church opens
IRS- Politics & Pulpit
Islam and Free Speech
New Ismaili Center in Dubai
Muslim Philantrophist Meet
A Church in Saudi Arabia
China's Uighur Muslims
Turkey - Muslim Philantropist
Pope Baptizes a Muslim
Saudi, no respect for others?
Muslims & Harvard University
Introspection on Deoband Declaration
Melbourne Call for Papers
Harvard’s capitulation to Sharia
Is Happiness Preordained?
Renaissance can't be Islamic
Respecting the Qur'aan
Papers - Contemporary Islam
OIC's Dakar Declaration
Why Shariah?*****
First Church Opens in Qatar
Faiths to Condemn Fitna
Muslim nations condemn terrorism
Muslim Jewish Relationship
Islam and co-existence
Turkey - Muslim conference
Terrorism is anti-Islamic
Yes we can, Peace in Gaza
Gender Equality Now
A Christian Apology
Stopping Islam bashing
Islam and competing in good
What is 'good theology'?
Harvard:Call for Papers
Shariah laws in the west
Pluralism option for Muslims
Mullahs:Terrorism un-Islamic
Terrorism: un-Islamic?


Save Fawza Falih Petition
Muslim Ismaili envoy to OIC
Islam and Pluralism
Belgium-Uneasy coexistence
Muslim Women and AIMPLB
Nazia wins womens rights
Obama - a Muslim Problem
Ijtihad now
Esposito at Stanford
The First Muslims
Executing Terrorists
Texas : Adopting Shariah
Interfaith a Moral Duty
Divine Faith Based Justice
Book : Islam and democracy
CAIR : Hate Hurts America
Prophet Muhammad’s Images
Will John McCain Apologize?
Turkey to lift ban on scarf
Afghan blasphemy case
Vatican-Muslim meeting
Sharia in UK 'unavoidable'
President of peace or war?
Undermining Civil Liberties
Livingstone on Muslims
What is Ibadat?
Sexual Revolution
Muslims Crossed Pyrenees?
Scorekeeping condemnations
Political Islam and the West
Politics divides religions
Brooker Act re-introduced
Pluralism in Islam-Karen
Non-Violent Muslim History
Qur'aan, hadith and women


Mistakes a few Muslims make
Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb
Muslim Service Flag hoisted
Wife beating Morale 4:34
Wife beating 4:34
Islamophobic Wilding
Understanding Muhammad:
Reflections on Holocaust
Be Ruthless to infidels 48:29
Slay the idolaters -9:5
Qur'aan and Neocons
Neocon bait from Dutch
Jews were turned into Apes
Muslim response to Wilders
Necon bait from Netherlands
Pledge, Pictures & Prophet
Was this an honor killing
Pictures of the Prophet
Handbook For Muslim Teens
Domestic Abuse Women
World Without Islam
Who is the Enemy?
Reading Qur'aan
Islam and democracy
Soft Islam in Indonesia
JAN 2008 Celebs &Commems
Hate Sermons from Pulpit
Muslim Conduct
Saudi Cleric -Shia infidels
What did Muslims do in 2007
With or Without Religion
UN Ban on defaming Islam
UN Ban on Criticism of Islam
What offends Muslims?


Happiness for Sale
Asean Charter on Islam
American Muslim Identity
Hope for Pakistan
Muslim Congress-12/26/07-2
Muslim Congress - 12/26/07
Muslim Congress - 12/25/07
Muslim Congress - 12/23/07
Websites maligning Islam
Muslim Congress - 12/22/07
Silence of Moderates
Reform or Understand Islam?
3 Eid Mubaraks - 10 Items
A jihad against jihad -Zuhdi
Muslim Dad Kills Daughter
13 Verses NewYorkTimes
Saudi unconscionable


Where is the Muslim outrage?
Asylum for Taslima Nasrin
Gujarat Muslims: Way Ahead
Why Muslims Lag Behind


Gujarat Massacre & Justice
Muslims Condemn Qaradawi
Muslim-Christian peace talks
Ramadan Triangle
Dallas Muslim Leadership
Ramadan Bill - US Congress


Reason and Revelation
Rama - A Muslim perspective
World Muslim Mission
A Message to Muslims
Dr. Javed Jamil's profile
Jews Muslim pray together
Muslim converts risk life
Does God have a religion?
Unity Day USA A 9/11 Event


Sikhs and Homeland Security
India - Bombing Chronology
Struggle for soul of Pakistan
Fighting the Fanatics
Twin Bombings in Hyderabad
Appeal to Homeland Security
Muslims Stand with Darfur
Muslims demand an apology
Condemn Temple desecration
Muslims Condemn Taliban
Minneapolis Bridge Kindness

JULY 2007

Good for nothing majority
Engaging Islam Conference
Veil and British women
Racism towards Muslims
Moderates and Bombings
Muslim Moderates?
Lal Masjid Pakistan
Terror Condemnations Log
Muslims Condemn London Plot
Eboo Patel on Pluralism
Cowasjee on Muslim Mindset
Burqa to no Burqa
Not in the name of Islam
Muslims Condemn Terror
Emerson, Pipes and Peace
Dallas: Holyland dialogue
Happy 4th from USA today
Islam: Arabian religion?

JUNE 2007

Aga Khan Foundation Scores
No compulsion in Islam
Muslims Must Affirm freedom
Muslims V Muslims
Jewish News: Suicide attacks
Rabbis on Israeli occupation
The Israeli Palestinian conflict
Bangladeshi Hindus Harassed
Indian Muslims and Media
Funding to train Imams in UK
Blair speech on Islam
Qur'aan & Science - Dr. Jamil
Rational & Progressive Islam
American Born Imams

MAY 2007

Pew Survey - Free Muslims
Serving the community - MCC
Wake up Call to Muslims
Islam jostles politically
Moral Leadership - Mattson
Pew Survey about Muslims -1
Around the world - 12 items
Malaysian Apostasy - Lina Joy
50 yrs of Imamat, Aga Khan
Islamism is the Problem
Mickey Mouse & Hamas TV
Laser Barking at Terrorists
Muslims advocate dialogue
Accumulating Wounds
Strenghtening Muslim voice
Muhammad Iqbal
Balancing the Prophet
Dying for religion or Politics?
Unchanging in Changing World
Is there one Islam?
Violation of rights of children

APRIL 2007

Aging Muslim Communities
Pluralism and Islam - Asani
Islam and Pluralism
Moderate Muslims
Orthodox - Moderate -Labels
Mapping Sharia in America
Virginia Tech Massacre
Elusive Moderates - LSafi
Yom HaShoah & Yom Milaad
Reluctant Fundamentalist
My City -My Community
Symposium:One Islam?
Symposium - One Islam?
Islamic Democracy by Bukay
Understanding Buddhism
Moderates stepping up
Islam a Single body? Pamela
Islam by Diplomat Grimland
Trouble with Islam - Rebuttal

MARCH 2007

Apostasy - Dr. Jamal Badawi
Divorce :: Arab wives
Wife Beating - Abusulayman
Wife Beating: Jamil/Ghouse
Accomodating differencs
Woman re-interprets Qur’aan
CAIR - No Law suit please
Youth - Reshaping Islam
Islam: Guide or Govern?
Apostasy and Freedom.
Fatwa Condemned - Taslima
Muslim-bashing frenzy – II
Iran - dialogue of civilizations
Mideast - Culture of Peace
Muslim women reshape Islam
Islam - Higher Math
Islam's Liberation of Women
India - Progress for Women
How to perform Salat
Turkey - Armenian Genocide
India - Ghazni & temple
Anti-Islam Summit
Islam's Nuts and Bolts
Khaled Abou El-Fadl
Secular Islam Summit update
Qur'aan Translation
Faith and The Lost Tomb
Around the World
Dr. Nakadar's work


Khutbah Competition.
8000 Female Hadith Scholars
Muslim Support for Terror
Love & Islam
Interfaith Dialogue
Manufacturing Islamophobia
Secular Islam Summit
To Veil or Not to Veil
Human Rights & Tolerance
Resolution Shia-Sunni
Saudi's Harass Ahmedi's
Hindu Harassment in Kazhak
Female voice - Islamic Law
Arab Blunder - Indo-Arab
Jewish Muslim School


Holocaust 2007
American-Muslim Dialogue
Muharram - together
Women in Saudi Arabia
Sharia Value
Sunni-Shiite split
Burn the Burqa
Dublin Imam v fanatics
Unityday USA - 9/11 Comm
Combating Terrorism India
An Apology
Little Mosque on the Praire
Krishna Temple Lahore
Mumbai Bombings
Muslims Condemn Terrorism
Management of Organizations
Islamic Constitution
Decline of Islamic Civilization
Muslim-Jewish Model
Nazanin Fatehi - Injustice
Human Development
Save Darfur
Congressman Ellison
Muslim Conduct
New Sitcom: Little Mosque
Things to do in 2007
Sharia Reforms
Can Muslims pray in Cordoba?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dialogue: Jews, Christians & Muslims

The following two pieces are on the same subject. Praise the Lord, good things are happening. I welcome these steps.

Previous articles on the subject:


Mike Ghouse
# # #

Paving The Path To Dialogue
Understanding between Muslims and Jews.
-- Judea Pearl

First came an "Open Letter From Muslims to Jews," signed by dozens of leading Muslim scholars and intellectuals in the West, calling for "Peace, Dialogue and Understanding Between Muslims and Jews."

The letter, which was initiated by American University professor Akbar Ahmed and formally presented by Oxford University professor Tariq Ramadan at Cambridge, England, stresses the Quranic acceptance of Jews and Muslims as one nation (Ummah); elaborates on commonalities of contemporary beliefs, rituals and values; celebrates shared memories of positive historical encounters; and ends with a call for "concrete outcomes in Muslim-Jewish relations in different parts of our shared world."

Second came an impassioned plea from the Saudi King Abdullah, for a dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews, the first such proposal from the custodian of Islam's holiest shrines and a nation that bans non-Muslim religious services and symbols. Abdullah said that Saudi Arabia's top clerics have given him the green light to hold meetings with "our brothers" in Christianity and Judaism, "so we can agree on something that guarantees the preservation of humanity against those who tamper with ethics, family systems and honesty."

Israel's newspaper Yediot Ahronot had subsequently reported on March 30, based on a phone call from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, that Israeli rabbis will soon be invited to an interfaith conference initiated by the Saudi kingdom.

The official Jewish response to these proposals has been wholeheartedly enthusiastic. Responding to the Muslim letter, the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), an umbrella committee representing major Jewish organizations, has issued a welcoming call for dialogue between Muslims and Jews titled, "Seek Peace and Pursue It," and IJCIC's chair, Rabbi David Rosen, encouraged Muslims to develop the dialogue "in the pursuit of a world made better through our efforts."

As to King Abdullah's proposal, my understanding is that all chief rabbis in Israel, and there are many of them, are currently busy packing for an adventurous trip to the Arabian Peninsula.

Oddly, when I was asked by the initiative organizers to respond to the Muslim letter, I felt somewhat reluctant; it seems that all the media excitement caused me to take a sober look at the enterprise of Jewish-Muslim dialogue, with which I have been involved for almost five years.

My first thought landed of course on the positive symbolic value of having a visible dialogue going, regardless of its content. I therefore commended the authors for opening a new channel of communication between Jews and Muslims, and endorsed the letter as "a welcome first step toward the goals of peace, understanding and mutual respect."

But then I asked myself, how would an average Jewish reader react to the content of the letter? It became clear that the letter would evoke two immediate reservations, if not objections: First, it is totally void of self-criticism and, second, it skirts the thorniest of all issues: Israel's right to exist.

The question then became not whether a dialogue is a good thing to have (this I take as an axiom), but whether unconditional embracing of an invitation based on certain premises constitutes a tacit endorsement of those premises, with which one may disagree: In our case, the two premises in question are, first, that Islam is in no need for reform or introspection because it is already a pluralistic, nonexpansionist, Jew-respecting, violence-minimizing and human-rights-protecting religion and, second, that peace can somehow be achieved without Muslim acceptance of the legitimacy and permanency of Israel.

The concept of reform is a sensitive one in conversations with Muslims. Understandably, no person, let alone a community leader, would engage in an interfaith discussion only to listen to a sermon on how his or her religion should be reformed. Reforms, as Jews would surely recall, emerge from internal debates, not external criticism. Dealing with reform is especially hard for Muslims, since they are instructed to view the Quran as the final, perfect and immutable word of God.

In view of these constraints, what the Muslim letter is presenting to us is, in effect, a progressive reform strategy that we might as well call "stealth reform," namely, reform cast as reinterpretation of the sacred scriptures. The strategy invokes a simple recipe of dealing with contradictory texts in the Quran: texts that conform to accepted norms of modernity are to be considered central, universal and intentional, while those that deviate from modern norms are contextualized to specific events in seventh century Arabia and marginalized from modern discourse.

Before we dismiss this strategy as self-deceptive or disingenuous, we should be reminded that identical strategy has been used to great advantage in the Jewish tradition since the time of the Mishnah. Its most explicit expression is encapsulated in the Talmudic saying: Kol mah Sh'Talmid vatik atid l'horot lifnei rabbo, kevar n'emar L'Moshe B'Sinai (Translated: "Whatever a seasoned scholar is destined to innovate before his master was already revealed to Moses at Sinai") (Yerushalmi, Pe'ah 2.4). In other words, the Talmud bestows divine power unto the capacity of the human mind to reason and innovate.

The secret of this "stealthy" strategy lies in its power to usher in reform without challenging the divine origin of the scriptures; modern interpretations, however creative, are given equal chance to compete against extremist, literalist interpretations that accord universal validity to morally outdated texts. Stealth reform worked marvels in the Jewish tradition (e.g. no child was ever stoned for disobeying his parents, Sanhedrin, 71) and, if it worked in the Muslim world, we would be the last ones to quibble with its logic.

However, the effectiveness of this strategy depends critically on finding authoritative spiritual leaders who are willing to implement it in practice and turn it into the ruling philosophy of religious education. In other words, progressive interpretations of the Quran would become credible if sustained and reinforced by educational and jurisprudence institutions such as, for example, Al Azhar University, in Cairo, the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam. Unfortunately, the leaders of these institutions, including Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, grand imam of Al-Azhar University, often support literalist interpretations that depict Jews as despicable, eternal enemies of Islam, and these interpretations are the ones that are currently gaining momentum in vast areas of the Muslim world.

It seems reasonable therefore to suggest that the Muslim letter would do more good if sent to Grand Imam Tantawi and other Islamic leaders in the Middle East who, evidently, have compelling reasons to object to the conciliatory interpretation espoused in the letter.

The Israeli-Palestinian issue is more subtle. Though the Muslim letter tries hard to avert controversial topics, it admits nevertheless: "At the core of the Muslim-Jewish tension lies the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and proposes: "A peaceful resolution that will assure mutual respect, prosperity and security to both Palestinians and Israelis, while allowing the Palestinian people their rights to self-determination."

Readers familiar with the history of Israel's plight for a two-state solution would notice immediately the asymmetrical language in which the proposed resolution is cast. Whereas the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination are affirmed explicitly, the rights of Israelis to the same status of self-determination are left undeclared, vulnerable to future assaults by enemies of co-existence.

In my response to the letter, I therefore expressed hope that the next phase of the dialogue "will bring Muslim and Jewish leaders closer toward a position of symmetry and reciprocity, and boldly acknowledge the historical rights of both sides to self-determination in two, equally legitimate, equally indigenous, and equally secured states."

I am thoroughly convinced that such acknowledgment, benign and neutral as it may sound, would do more for world peace than theological accounts of shared prophets and common rituals. And if King Abdullah's conference manages to sprout such acknowledgment we will indeed be facing the dawn of a totally new era in the Middle East.

What I am still unable to determine, though, is whether entering a dialogue in response to an asymmetrical invitation has a better chance of restoring symmetry than insisting on symmetry at the onset. Let us hope that the Jewish delegation to King Abdullah's dialogue will find some of the answer in Riyadh.

Judea Pearl is a professor at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, named after his son. He and his wife Ruth are editors of I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

# # #

Headline News
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 staff writer

Saudi king invites Jews, Christians for interfaith dialogue

Israeli media is reporting that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has invited Jews and Christians to his kingdom for an interfaith dialogue despite the fact that anyone with an Israeli passport or an entry visa into Israel stamped in their passport is not allowed into the country.

Haaretz daily newspaper said the date and location of the meeting has not been announced. Abdullah first announced his plans in March to hold dialogue with Muslims from around the world and Christians and Jews. “We will start to meet with our brothers in every faith I have mentioned - the Bible and the New Testament,” he said.

At the time, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger responded positively.

“Our hands are extended to any peace initiative, or to any dialogue whose goal is to bring an end to terror and violence,” he said. “I have said many times that the true way to reach the long-awaited peace is through interfaith dialogue.”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said in a statement that King Abdullah’s initiative “is a laudable step forward. We hope that other religious leaders and political leaders throughout the world will be encouraged to join.”


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.