Saturday, August 23, 2008

Towards Human Understanding through Dialogue

World Muslim Congress
Good for Muslims and good for the world

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; that is indeed the purpose of religion, any religion. Mission statement


Dr. Manzoor Alam,

Alhamdu Lillah, the dust that has gathered on Islam seems to be blowing away one speckle at a time taking back to the Islam of Prophet Muhammad’s time, where several faiths co-existed, where he believed in “live and let live”, when he initiated and co-signed Madinah pact, offered Christians to worship in his mosque, walked up and kissed the Torah in a Jewish procession showing reverence for other faith, unprecedented inter-tribal marriages for people to learn to live with different sets of beliefs without the need to convert the other, giving amnesty to the bitter people who wanted to kill him when he took Mecca back, praying for those who threw rocks at him. The biggest lesson we have to constantly remember is Prophet’s own uncle and care giver, who did not convert.

Over the centuries, we had become reclusive insensitive societies as we deprived ourselves of co-existence and rigidly became monolithic Muslim societies. We did not believe in dialogue for a while as we did not have any one to dialogue with.

Thank God, we see the light at the end of the tunnel; HH Aga Khan has jump started the movement with his Pluralism Center, King Abdullah of Jordan’s has made good moves, Abdul Wahid of Indonesia has great number of supporters for the movement and now King Abdullah puts the capstone to it. We are floundering, but once we understand the reason for co-existence and how Islam is about peace and Justice, we will get a firm back bone and stand firm footed on the kind of society that existed during Prophet’s time, it is coming back again, the evidence is all over.

Although Amina Wadud, Asra Nomani, Tarek Fateh, Farzana Qazi, Irshad Manji and a few others appear to be falling off the stratosphere, without them, we would not have moved an inch off our butts. Instead of letting them dig in their heels, we need to welcome them as reformers and give them a listen and make them our partners in working towards demystifying the myths about Islam. Let’s not lose them to the Neocons.

The Moderate Majority of Muslims are not afraid of exploring the ideas, the conservatives are scared that by listening to these reformers somehow Islam will not be Islam any more. As moderates, most of us are, my guess is 98% of us are moderates, we need to assure them that it won’t, we have to firmly believe in the word of Allah, he will protect his system of goodness that he has created for mankind. Islam has survived and will continue to be a part of billions of people as other faiths of God are. Every one is created by God, and each one of us has to account for what we do, the noblest among humans are those who necessarily care about others. We have a treasure and we need not let it be divided, all denominations and the ones on the left, right and the middle have to work together for a common goal; to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation;

Dr. Alam,

I am pleased to enclose the response from Ambassador Ahsani copied to several movers and shakers of the Muslim community in the US.

You have two of them in your backyard – Dr. Abusaleh Shariff ( ) one of the top 25 economists in India, and top ten demographers in the world. He is our common friend. Insha Allah he will present the paper that he and I would write on the subject “"Towards Human Understanding through Dialogue”.

Dr. Javed Jamil, is a prolific writer on Islam and economics.

I am sure you have Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer working on it as well.

I am also copying this note to Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq, who has written one of the best papers on Sharia Value that has moderated some of the Sharia Busters.

You may want invite Dr. Eboo Patel, son of your soil (and mine too) who is making inroads into co-existence through service work. An young man who will have a major impact on removing the ill propagated perceptions about Islam. He will be a major player in the main stream community.

Dr. Louay Safi is another great writer of our times on co-existence.

Insha Allah we have big plans in Dallas to build the Memnosyne Campus for Humanities, one of the six center is the Center for Interfaith inquiry and I am pleased to take the responsibility to over see the development of the Center as a co-chair.

Unity Day USA is our initiative, a Muslim initiative to contribute towards the well being of our nation. Insha Allah, if I continue to work on it, it will become a national day, a Muslim effort on the national event.

Aga Khan Network’s “Partnership Walk” is becoming a major national event in the United States and Canada, perhaps in other nations as well. This is dialogue in action.

I have copied them all and Insha Allah will also post the event at

We have to factor in the idea that we have to deal with all possible negatives, comments, cheers and jeers to develop a sustainable ongoing dialogue, if not it would be a farce thing to please ourselves.

Qur'aan :: As-Saff (The Row)
61:2 O YOU who have attained to faith! Why do you say one thing and do another?
61:3 Most loathsome is it in the sight of God that you say what you do not do!

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress
Memnosyne Center for Interfaith Inquiry
Foundation for Pluralism

Three-day international conference
Towards Human Understanding through Dialogue

Dear Dr Mohammed Manzoor Alam,
Assalamo Alaikum,

Through courtesy of Mike Ghouse, I thank you for contacting me. Mike Ghouse is doing wonderful work in reviving the agenda of World Muslim Congress, first established in1926 at Makkah. Held in 1931 at Jerusalem, under the Presidency of Hajj Amin Al_Hussaini, and with Allama Iqbal as Vice President, and Riad Solh of Lebanon, Mustafa Taba Tabai of Iran, Mohd Alouba Pasha of Egypt, it was in abeyance due to war.

Rejuvenated by Late Inamullah Khan in 1949 at Karachi in which I was present, it assembled a galaxy of leaders of Muslim world like Hajj Amin al-Hussein, Said Ramdan, of Egypt, Mahmud al-Sawwaf of Iraq, Mustafa Sabai of Syria.

As President of Institute of Medieval & Post Medieval Studies, Texas, we are at present working on Renaissance of Ummah/Humanity through Inter-civilization Dialogue.

May I request some Muslim leaders of societal standing as follows::

• Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi-Chairman,American Muslim Fiqh Council,California
• Dr. Ingrid Matson,President,Islamaic Society of North America
• Dr. Saiyyid Saeed, President Interfaith Outreach,WashingtonD.C.
• Dr. M.Fareed,Secretary General,ISNA
• Dr. Faisal Abdul Rauf,Presidnet,ASMA,New York
• Dr. Assad Basool,American-Arab College,Chicago
• Dr. Ghulam Haider Aaasi,Arab AmericanCollege,Chicago,
• Dr. Wasiullah Khan,President East -West University,Chicago
• Dr. Ibne Hassan,Prof.Harvard University
• Dr. Dr. Agha Saeed,Founder President,American Muslim Alliance,National:American MuslimTakd Force,for Civil Rights & Elections
• Dr.Zahir Ahmed,Space Scientist,Producer of Islamic Documentaries-God of 3 Religons,Islamic Spain,now working on a film on Allama Bukhari
• Dr.Dr.Nazeer Ahmad,Space Scientist,author of Islam in GlobalHistory,Member of Nixon Foundation
• Mr. Mike Wolfe ,President of Unity Productions,Documentar Film Producer of Films like Legacy of Prophet,Light of Two Cites,Prince of Slaves, author of book: One Thousand Years of Pilgrimage

.Kindly contact them on the addresses given in CC.
With kindest regards,
Ambassador of Pakistan (to15 countries) Syed A.Ahsani
Chair, American MuslimAlliance,
South West Coordinator,AmericanMuslim Task Force,Texas Chapter,
National & State Delelgate to Democratic Conventions since 1998

----- Original Message ----
From: Institute of Objective Studies
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:57:53 AM
Subject: MuslimAgenda :: Three-day international confererence on "Towards Human Understanding through Dialogue" to be held from October24-26,2008 at New Delhi

August 23, 2008


Mr.Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress
Foundation for Pluralism
Center for Interfaith Inquiry
Subject: Request to suggest name of organisations / individuals for the participation in the three-day international conference on "Towards Human Understanding through Dialogue" to be held from October 24-26, 2008 at New Delhi , India

Dear Sir,
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!

Please find herewith a copy of the approach paper for a proposed three-day international conference on Towards Human Understanding Through Dialogue to be held from October 24-26, 2008 in New Delhi .

The paper spells out various dimensions of issues relating to creation of synergy to generate mutual understanding among nations, civilisations, faiths and cultures so that humanity may find solutions to the present crises and dispel the atmosphere of mistrust. The 21st century presents an alarming and gloomy scenario of dangers of insecurity, terrorism, violence, conflicts and confrontations. This calls for immediate attention of all concerned to find out ways and means to address relevant questions and seek right answers.

It is believed that dialogue among faiths, civilisations and cultures may prove to be an effective means to achieve the objectives at hand. Dialogue is human in its basics and has been used in most crucial situations in human history with valuable results and favourable impact on civilisations. Islam, among other faiths and ideologies, has shown great respect and confidence in adopting the process of dialogue in reaching peaceful resolution of problems.

The Institute of Objective Studies has resolved to popularise dialogue and its importance in modern times through seminars, symposia, books and media discourse.

It organised a three-day international conference on "Inter-Civilisational Dialogue in a Globalising World" on April 6-8, 2005 at New Delhi . It was followed by nearly a dozen regional conferences on various aspects of dialogue at different regional centres in India .

We intend to invite, the above international conference, the top brass of all concerning segments from all over the world. We are sure of getting an excellent response and participation from eminent personalities from different quarters.

We earnestly request you to kindly suggest some name of organisation/ individuals working in this field.

Your contribution will certainly go a long way in fetching desirable results.

Waiting for your response,

With kind regards,

Dr. Mohd. Manzoor Alam
Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies
New Delhi, India

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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.