Thursday, December 25, 2008

An appeal to Muslims about Holocaust event

An appeal to Muslims about Holocaust event
Details at:

We cannot complain if we do not participate. I am sure each one of you has discovered the difficulties of being in public or doing a public event.

I. Communications

Those of us who are activist are so focused on the suffering of the Palestinians that we miss seeing the solutions. Solutions lie not in rhetoric but doing things and taking the steps and having a plan. Almost all criticism on this issue stems from not READING the material and shooting from the hip. We all have to improve on it. Please read the press release again and pay attention to the logo, and then they will understand. If one does not get it from these two, then we should focus with those who understand the larger vision and completely ignore the ranting.

II. Diversion

The Bush regime is nearly successful in placing a wedge between PA and Hamas, instead of streamlining their efforts to secure a homeland for all Palestinians, they are fighting each other. The Neocons really don’t give a rat’s xxs about Israelis and Palestinians, they just keep creating chaos, have you seen any good come out of their policies in the last sixty years? I hope Obama will genuinely bring goodness to both the people. In this program we are doing to reflect upon Holocaust and Genocides, a few Muslims are doing the same, diversions – if only they read; Genocides include all of them. Has any one figured out the pictures in the logo? They need to, to at least have the knowledge of the problem about Palestinians.

III. Wisdom

We need to employ different methods to bring justice to the Palestinians and Israelis; there are as many Israelis who want peace as the Palestinians and the people from across the world, Muslim or not. Different approaches are being taken towards achieving peace. The opposers are just a few and they unleash diversions and temptations to get the good work off from happening. Insha Allah, may Allah keep me committed to peace through commitment and work and help me not fall to the diversion temptations of the few.

My approach is to bring the ignored problems as a parcel of other problems; it is an approach that may place at least a little dent. A little dent here and there adds up. We just cannot have benefit to ourselves, they will not last long, what is good for us has to be good for others for it to sustain. Justice will always last longer than injustice.

IV. Meanness

I opened a blog and some extremist from either Jewish or Muslim community or both have reported it as spam – more specifically hate content. There is none there; it will take a few days to remove the blockade of this blog. So I jumped immediately and opened a page on the existing website and linked to

The extremists obviously do not have the intelligence to read; the extremist may have thought that adding Genocides to the title will dilute the misery of Holocaust that has been exclusive for 60 years. The Majority of Jews want to bring a closure and want to bring justice to the situation. Take it from me, the Arab Governments or the so called Islamic countries have not gathered up guts or have the wisdom to take bold steps to solve this problem yet, but the Jews will, they did it in Bosnia saving thousands of Muslim lives and they would do it again in Darfur and God willing they will bring a resolution to the Palestinian problem with or without Muslims.

The extremist among us may have thought that the Palestinian issue was ignored. The dummy did not see it in the logo nor read it that it is an all inclusive issue. The majority of Good Muslims see the need to take an inclusive approach, the first step of it would be to sincerely and honestly understand the suffering, build a solid relationship based on humanness of us. There are enough Muslims out there who are sick of the 60 years of ranting with no results. It is time to let each one work their system. Insha Allah, we can work our system and leave it to Allah for the success or failure of it.

V. Solutions

I sincerely hope the Muslims and Jews quit stereotyping each other. Both the groups have same percent of extremists and 98% of good people. All of us have to work together for the goodness of all.

The Palestinians need peace and hope, and the Israelis need security, both are achievable and it may take a few more years to get there. Justice will ultimately prevail and both people deserve and want it. It is time to go work and quit giving lip sympathy to Palestinians and instead do the real work, however tiny it may be.

Mike Ghouse

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas - Kwanza - Zartosht Diso - Muharram - Yalda
Summary of other Festivals of December in the link at the bottom of this page
"If your festival is missing, please share it with me and my world of friends"
Let's learn a little bit about our friends, neighbors and co-workers, and how they commemorate or celebrate their lives. Friendship is an amazing thing, it takes time to know, but when you do, a lot of myths about others disappear - and you find an amazing peace within you for knowing some one from some group, whom you thought otherwise..oh well, you got it. I have compiled, borrowed and added a few notes to learn and share about the following festivals and commemorations. It is not perfect but selected for a lay person to grasp it. For example the write up about Zartosht no-deso is very elementary to Zoroastrians but meaningful to others.
Please join us to reflect upon the Holocaust and Genocides. Let's make room in our hearts for the precious feelings for human helplessness. Kindly mark your calendars for 7:00 - 9:15 PM on Saturday, January 24th, 2009. Details at: or try .org
Click here to read the details of the festivals listed above:
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer on Pluralism, interfaith, terrorism, peace, interfaith, Islam, Multiculturism and India. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kafir and Kufr

On the Terms Kafir and Kufr
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
(Translated by Yoginder Sikand)

Mike Ghouse' commentary is followed by the Article

I hope a few more Maulana's can join and take this further. The given meaning of the word is Kafir is divisive and should have no place in civil societies. I really like Maualana Wahidudin Khan's analysis.

Kaffir is not "one who denies" , rather it one who does not believe in what you believe. Putting both on par, a symbol of humility and a guarantee to decimate arrogance.

I have written quite extensively on this, and we have debated the meaning of the word Kaffir. Most words become larger in meaning or more pluralistic in meaning as the world shrinks. After all, religion is about mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill, hence, the sensitivity enhancements are to be made to accommodate more people in to the fold of friendship.

Indeed, as the Maulana has expressed, it is used in a derogatory way, and it should not be used in civil societies.

The word of God remains the same, our understanding of it improves. One of the model surah's in term of civil dialogues is Kafirun. I have worked on it to reflect those who live in pluralistic societies, indeed, Prophet Muhammad lived in a pluralistic society and that was his model. All the sharia laws and Hadith's were created and compiled in a mono-religious society, not the kind Qur'aan and Islam was born in.

Here is Kafirun; read the beautiful Chapter (Sura) from Qur’aan that addresses the believers (in other systems) in the most dignified way, putting every one on par and without putting anyone down. It is an exceptional example of civil conduct for Muslims to follow. No where in this chapter it claims the faith of Muslim to be superior and other's to be inferior. It is the recognition of the otherness of other.

Mike Ghouse

According to Marxism, as it is generally interpreted, human society is divided into basically two classes—the working class and the bourgeoisie. The word 'bourgeoisie' is of French origin. In the beginning it denoted the middle classes, but later, when it was employed as a key term in Marxist discourse, it came to be seen in a derogatory sense. Consequently, in Marxist analysis the bourgeoisie came to be regarded as the source of all social ills, while the working class was considered to be the epitome of virtue.

Somewhat the same thing has happened with the term kafir. In the beginning, the term simply meant what its dictionary meaning denotes—'one who denies'. However, later it came to be used and seen in a derogatory sense, and today this latter sense in which the term is generally understood is the source of much conflict between Muslims and others.

Let me cite an instance to illustrate the possible consequences of the wrong use of the term kafir. The noted poet Muhammad Iqbal penned a Persian couplet in which he mentioned his Hindu Pandit origins, referring to himself as a brahmanzada or 'descendant of a Brahmin'. Now, the term brahmanzada is not seen as offensive by anyone. But suppose it was replaced by the term kafirzada or 'descendant of a kafir', lovers of Iqbal's poetry would react in horror. This is because the term kafir has come to be widely perceived and used in a very derogatory sense.

The general usage of the terms kafir and momin ('believers') by Muslims causes a great deal of anguish for many non-Muslims. So much so that some extremists opposed to Muslims and Islam have even demanded that the word kafir should be expunged from the Islamic lexicon, claiming that till this is done Muslims and non-Muslims can never live in amity with each other.

In actual fact, the misuse of the word kafir is not something that only extremists in other communities are vehemently opposed to. To be honest, it has become a major problem for many Muslims themselves. In today's age, Muslims and non-Muslims live and work together, and in this context many educated Muslims feel that they cannot properly adjust to a pluralistic situation while continuing to uphold traditional understandings of the term kafir. Consciously or otherwise, many of them feel that many aspects of the sort of Islam that they have been reared on have lost their relevance in today's age. They have no idea how they can live respectably in society today if they continue to cling to this sort of Islam.

I know of a certain very well-educated Muslim man who lives in Delhi, and who often meets me. He says that although he was born in a Muslim family he has lost faith in Islam. Democracy, he tells me, is his religion, not Islam, because, according to him, Islam sharply divides humankind into momins and kafirs, while democracy regards all human beings as equal [….]
So, as I just mentioned, this issue has become a very real and serious one for many Muslims today. It is imperative, therefore, to seriously address it. This is essential in order to answer the questions people are asking about the contemporary relevance of Islam as well as to help create a climate wherein Muslims and others can live together amicably.
If the issue is studied carefully and deeply, it emerges that the entire question is based on gross misunderstanding. In the general Muslim understanding, the term kafir is seen as synonymous with non-Muslim. Consequently, most Muslims think that anyone who is not a Muslim is a kafir. However, this is a completely wrong notion. The word kafir is not synonymous with non-Muslim.
According to the shariah, the role of true Muslims is that of dais or those who invite others to the path of God. The status of non-Muslims, therefore, is that of madu, or those who are to be invited to God's path. This relationship between dai and madu, between true Muslims and others, necessarily demands that true Muslims, as dais, must constantly seek to maintain good and friendly relations with people of other faiths. It is said that a shopkeeper must always be customer-friendly. Likewise, a true Muslim must always be madu-friendly.
A true dai must be inspired by a genuine sense of concern, love and welfare for the madu. If that is really the case, the dai would never tolerate using any term that might stir hatred in the heart of the madu. In addition, a true dai can never have hatred in his own heart for the madu.

The ancient Aryan invaders of India referred to the indigenous people of the country as Mlecchas. Likewise, medieval Christian scholars referred to Muslims as 'infidels'. Both terms were used in a derogatory sense, and those whom these terms were used to refer to obviously did not approve of them. The proper way in such cases is to use terms that do not have this derogatory implication. Unfortunately, the Muslim scholars have not adopted a proper approach in this regard. In their writings and their translations of the Quran they have indiscriminately used the term kafir to mean 'infidels'. In the Indian context, this has led to much misunderstanding and conflict between Hindus and Muslims. And because the term kafir has been used by the ulema in this sense it has created a particular sort of mind-set among Muslims generally, as is reflected in the writings and speeches of many Muslim scholars. It has played a major role in fashioning an entirely negative approach in the Muslim community in general towards people of other faiths. It has built up a pronounced sense of 'Muslims versus Others', 'We versus Them', which is very unfortunate and lamentable.

My own reading of the Quran leads me to believe that when it says, 'Say, 'You who deny the Truth […]' (Quran, 109:1), using the term kafirun for this, it refers only to the Qureish of Mecca of the Prophet's time who, despite the Prophet having provided them all proof of his divine mission, rejected and opposed him. It was then that God declared that they had become kafirs or deniers of the truth in His eyes. Nowhere else in the Quran has any other group been declared in such clear and specific terms as kafir. This way of addressing people does not, I believe, apply to other non-Muslims, who should be addressed as human beings, rather than as kafirs.

More on the Term Kafir

As I indicated earlier, the Arabic word kufr means 'denial', and the related term kafir denotes 'one who denies', that is 'one who refuses to accept'. Thus, the word kafir denotes an individual character rather than being a label for a specific community or race. In many English translations of the Quran, the word has been translated as 'unbelievers', but this, I feel, is wrong. An unbeliever is someone who does not believe, but a kafir is a person who refuses to believe despite all the proofs of God having been presented to him in an appropriate way.

In the early part of the Prophet's mission, as evidenced in the initial verses of the Quran, the people he addressed were not referred to as kafirs, but, rather, as people. For instance, addressing the Prophet the Quran says, 'O Messenger, deliver whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord. If you do not do so, you will not have conveyed His message. God will defend you from mankind (al-nas). For God does not guide those who deny truth.' (Quran: 5:67). In this verse, God says that He would protect the Prophet from 'mankind' (al-nas), and does not use the word al-kuffar or kafirs. There are numerous such verses in the Quran that indicate the use of the general word insan ('people') or related words to refer to all human communities […]
It was only after thirteen years of the Prophet's struggling to present the Qureish of Mecca of his time all the required proofs of his mission while addressing them as 'people' that, after they deliberately denied him, the above-mentioned Quranic commandment 'Say, 'You who deny the Truth […]' (Quran, 109:1) was revealed. And that too was an announcement from God Himself, and it was not the Prophet's own statement.

The Difference Between Deeds and the Doer

Elsewhere in the Quran the words kufr and kafir have been employed in the sense of referring to certain deeds or acts that are tantamount to kufr, and the person who does this is a kafir in God's eyes. However, other than with regard to the Qureish of Mecca, and that too only after the Prophet's mission among them for thirteen long years which they rejected, there is no specific declaration in the Quran labeling any particular community as kafir. From this it appears that while a dai or an Islamic scholar can point out that a particular deed amounts to kufr he does not have the right to declare any particular community as kafirs. As I mentioned above, the word kafir relates to a certain set of actions, and is not the name of or label for any community.

This point can be further clarified with the help of a hadith report attributed to the Prophet which talks about the sin of a Muslim deliberately abandoning his regular prayers and linking it with kufr. In this context, it is acceptable for someone to appeal to Muslims in general to regularly pray and also tell them about the grave implications of abandoning regular worship. But it would be totally incorrect if he were to prepare a list of Muslims in his area who do not regularly worship and then specifically name them as having turned kafirs for this sin.

In exactly the same way, a true Muslim who calls people to the path of God can, on the basis of Quranic teachings, point out the actions which lead people to be seen as kafirs in the eyes of God. But he would be exceeding his boundaries if he were to address non-Muslim individuals and communities by name and declare that so-and-so non-Muslims are kafirs.

Hence, on the matter of kufr and kafir it is crucial to make a distinction between an act or deed of kufr and the person who commits that act or deed. It is only God's prerogative to make a specific declaration in this regard, and that He has done just once, with regard to the Qureish deniers and opponents of the Prophet in Mecca to whom the Prophet had provided complete proofs of God's revelation. With regard to the rest of humanity, God will decide Himself, and this would be made known in the Hereafter. Hence, the task of a true Muslim is simply to invite others to the path of God, and not to declare people to be kafirs.

Consequently, in my opinion, from the Islamic point of view the status of non-Muslim communities all over the world, including of the Hindus of India, is simply that of being human beings (insan). None of these communities can be branded as kafirs, because as of yet the essential conditions that characterized thirteen years of the Prophet's preaching in Mecca among the Qureish have not been fulfilled, only after which the Qureish were declared as kafirs. Likewise, it is incorrect to term them as 'deniers' (munkir).

I believe that the many of the conflicts and complaints that characterize relations between Muslims and non-Muslims are essentially communal and economic. These are, at root, conflicts about worldly or material interests. These cannot be considered to be religious as such. Muslims must take the initiative to desist from these conflicts over worldly or material interests and focus all their intention on their real mission, which is to invite people to the path of surrender to God.

Investigating Kufr

When can it be established with regard to a particular person that he has become a 'denier' (munkir)? The Quran supplies an answer to this. The revelation of the Quran started in 610 C.E. in Mecca, and through the Quran the Prophet invited the Meccans to the path of worship of the one God. In this period, he never referred to his fellow Meccans as kafirs. Instead, as I mentioned before, he referred to them as 'human beings' or by similar terms, such as 'Qureish' or 'my community'. He conveyed to them God's message while considering them part of his own community (qaum). This, therefore, shows that the words kafir and kufr relate to a particular attribute and not to an entire community as such.

In his mission to invite the people of Mecca to God's path, the Prophet was filled with a sense of deep concern for the welfare of those he was addressing, and even though they heaped all sorts of oppression on him he always beseeched God to guide them. And the Prophet continued to do this steadfastly throughout the thirteen long years after receiving his prophethood in Mecca. Even after that he did not refer to these people as kafirs on his own. It was only later that God revealed this commandment 'Say, 'You who deny the Truth […]' (Quran, 109:1). From this it appears that only after these thirteen years of the Prophet's dedicated mission in Mecca that God declared those whom he had addressed but who had rejected him as 'deniers', and it was then that God revealed this commandment. It is thus impermissible to declare anyone to be a 'denier' or kafir without having engaged in this sort of dedicated, sustained mission as the Prophet did in Mecca. To repeat what I have written earlier, it was only after thirteen years of the Prophet's mission in Mecca that God declared certain people or be kafirs or deniers, and for ordinary Muslims like us to do so even a hundred and thirteen years of preaching work will not be adequate.

In some Quranic verses revealed while the Prophet was in Mecca there are certain references to non-Muslims living outside Arabia. For instance, the Quran mentions the Romans, who were Christians, over whom the Persians had secured a temporary victory. But here it refers to them as Romans, not as kafirs. Likewise, the Quran refers to the non-Muslim ruler of Yemen, Abraha, but it does not label him as a kafir ruler. In contrast, the Quran uses the terms kafir and kufr with regard to the Qureish of Mecca who denied the Prophet. It did not refer to all non-Muslims as kafirs. For instance, when the Prophet migrated to Medina, he did not refer to the people of Medina as kafirs, but, rather, as 'people'. There were several non-Muslim tribes living around Medina at that time, but they, too, were not referred to as kafirs by the Prophet. Instead, he referred to them by their usual names, such as Ahl-e Saqif ('the people of Saqif'), Ahl-e Najran ('the people of Najran'), Ahl-e Bahrain ('the people of Bahrain'), and so on.

In the same way, in the early Islamic period, soon after the Prophet's demise when the Arab Muslims spread out of Arabia into other countries, they referred to the non-Muslim communities they encountered there by their own names, not as kafirs. For example, they called the Christians of Syria as 'Christians' (Masihi), the Jews of Palestine as 'Jews' (Yahud), the Magians of Iran as 'Magians' (Majus), the Buddhists of Afghanistan as 'Buddhists' (Bodh or Boza), and so on.

Likewise, when the first Muslims landed in India they did the same. They referred to the non-Muslims of India as 'Hindus', which is the Arab way of pronouncing the word 'Sindhu'. One of the earliest Arab Muslim chroniclers of India, Abu al-Rehan al-Biruni, author of the well-known Kitab ul-Hind ('Book of India'), referred to the non-Muslims of India as 'Hindus', not as kafirs.

Some Historical Instances

As I have repeatedly mentioned above, the form of address contained in the Quran 'Say, 'You who deny the Truth […]' (Quran, 109:1) applies only to those Meccans who denied the Prophet even after he preached among them for thirteen years and provided them with all the necessary proofs. The Quran does not address anyone else in this specific manner besides these people of Mecca of the Prophet's time. After the Prophet's conquest of Mecca, several Arab tribes sent delegations to meet him. For instance, some people came to meet him from Yemen. He addressed them as 'people of Yemen' (Ahl-e Yaman), not as 'kafirs from Yemen'. Similarly, the Prophet sent letters to the rulers of various lands near Arabia, inviting them to the path of God. He did not refer to them in these letters as kafirs [….]

To reiterate what I have said above, the investigation of kufr with regard to a particular person can happen only after all the necessary proofs of the faith have been presented before him, and the model of setting out the proofs (itmam-e hujjat) is just one—that is, the thirteen year preaching mission of the Prophet in Mecca. Further, even after one has properly and adequately set out the proofs of the faith it is only for God to specify, if He wishes, a particular person to be a kafir or 'denier' of the Truth. We cannot do this ourselves.

Heated Polemics

When the British ruled India, Muslim and Hindu preachers engaged in heated public polemical debates (munazara). This took the place of what rightly belonged to dawah or inviting, with love and concern, people to the path of God. These debates contributed in a major way to the rapid worsening of Hindu-Muslim relations across the country.

This is not the Islamic way of approaching others. The true Islamic way is through addressing others by being inspired by a spirit of love, compassion and concern for their welfare, even despite their opposition. On the other hand, polemical debates aim at defeating and demeaning others. Instead of love and understanding, they produce only more hate and conflict, thereby creating even more problems.

The Notion of Dar ud-Dawah ('The Abode of Inviting People to the Path of God')

The terms dar ul-kufr ('the abode of infidelity') and bilad al-kuffar ('the land of the infidels') are not found in the Quran. They are a later invention which emerged after the demise of the Prophet and date to the Abbasid period. They were not in use among Muslims before this. In my opinion these terms are not proper. Lands other than those that can, if at all, be called 'Islamic' countries, must be seen and termed as dar ud-dawah abodes of inviting others to the path of God, and these include even those countries that some Muslims might regard as opposed to them.

In the Quran, God addresses the Prophet and instructs him thus:
'This is a blessed Book which We have revealed, confirming what came before it, so that you may warn the 'Ummal-Quraa [Mother of Cities] and the people around it' (Quran, 6:92).

The term 'Ummal-Quraa in this verse refers to Mecca. When this verse was revealed, Mecca was in the control of non-Muslims, so much so that they had installed numerous idols inside the Kaaba. Yet, despite this, the Quran did not refer to the Mecca of this period as dar ul-kufr, but, rather, as 'Ummal-Quraa or 'Mother of Cities', and asked the Prophet to engage in the work of dawah there. From this one can infer that all places that are under the control of non-Muslims can be considered as dar ud-dawah, thus indicating to Muslims their duty of dawah or inviting to God's path the people of these lands. To refer to them with terms such as dar ul-kufr or bilad al-kuffar is not proper.

This is a translation of a chapter titled Kufr Aur Kafir Ka Masla ('The Issue of Kufr and Kafir'), in Maulana Wahiduddin Khan's Urdu book titled Hikmat-e Islam (Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2008) (pp.35-48).
For more information about Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and his writings, see,, and
To order this book, write to

Monday, December 8, 2008

Battle For The Muslim Mind


Your powerful sentence is the highlight of the article "By identifying the terror attacks as "un-Islamic", the clerics undermine the religious legitimacy that the terrorists seek to bring to their violent acts." Furthermore, the denial of burial space for the terrorists by Indian Muslims sends a very strong signal to the terrorists that upon their death, ugliness will be meted out to them and not the houris. They will realize that they have been duped and hopefully the recruitment to terrorism will dwindle.

Mike Ghouse

Battle For The Mind
9 Dec 2008, 0012 hrs IST,

Post-Mumbai terror strikes, most of the talk has been about improved security and ways of hitting terror camps within Pakistan. But we often forget that the battle against terror must be won in the mind too. It is in this context that the unequivocal condemnation of the Mumbai terror by prominent imams in Delhi and Mumbai is important. And well before the Mumbai carnage happened, a gathering of some 6,000 Islamic clerics in Hyderabad endorsed a fatwa against terror issued by the influential Deoband seminary.

What effect, you might ask, would the Deoband fatwa and the imams have on those who inflict terror in the name of Islam? Possibly not much. Those who have been indoctrinated into taking up arms in the name of martyrdom and a place in paradise would probably continue doing terrible deeds. But the actions of the clerics are not academic exercises either. By identifying the terror attacks as "un-Islamic", the clerics undermine the religious legitimacy that the terrorists seek to bring to their violent acts.

In a larger context, the proclamations by the clerics and the Deoband school are very much a part of the process of interpretation of Islamic law and canons, which have been going on since centuries. It's a common error to regard Islamic law as unchanging and cast in stone. Though the Quran, the sunna (the practice of the Prophet) and the hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) are the primary sources of Islamic law, there is also a place for ijma (consensus), qiyas (analogical thinking) and ijtihad (systematic original thinking).

Ever since Islam was founded, change has been a part of the religion. And this continues to be so. Just a few weeks ago, lawyers, religious scholars, judges, journalists and activists gathered at Salzburg a not-so-unlikely place considering the Ottomans had once reached the gates of Vienna to debate and discuss if there was a common ground between Islamic and international law. There were no simple answers at the Salzburg Global Seminar but the consensus was that in many areas Islamic law was compatible with international law and covenants such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The gatherings in Hyderabad or Salzburg must be seen in this context of reinterpreting tenets of Islam, perhaps the most controversial being jihad. Jihad which in Arabic means "righteous struggle" or "striving" can be looked at in several ways. There are many Islamic scholars who believe that the greater jihad is the inner or spiritual struggle. These interpretations, of course, cut no ice with the terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or the "army of the pure" which orchestrated the Mumbai terror.

It is no secret that jihadi terrorism has emanated from radical and backward-looking strains of Islam such as Wahhabism and Salafism. It's also no secret that the dominance of these hardline ideologies can be traced to Saudi backing and money. This has resulted in the mushrooming of mosques and madrassas across the world that preach an ideology of hate. LeT is known to have received Saudi funds and, of course, Pakistani patronage. Undoubtedly there are some in India who are also receptive to this ideology.

This is where Islamic clerics figures of authority for many Muslims could play a crucial role. If they interpret Islam as being patently against terror and violence, it is bound to have an effect on believers. And if the majority of Muslims subscribe to that view, it makes it that much more difficult for the purveyors of terror to gain acceptability.

A long-term solution to countering the ideology of hate must involve liberal interpretations of Islam. India, and indeed South Asia, could be one of the poles of this transformation. It is often forgotten that nearly half of the world's Muslims live in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. And contrary to what many people think, an overwhelming majority of ordinary Muslims in South Asia we must not, of course, confuse them with governments reject the ideologies of hate and violence. That's why international relations scholar Vali Nasr said during a recent visit to India that South Asia "matters to the Muslim world in real terms much more than the Arab world".

There could be other poles for the reinterpretation of Islam. Turkey, where the AKP party has won elections for the second time running, could provide a testing ground for a confluence of Islam and secular ideologies. The AKP leader and Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has on more than one occasion affirmed his faith in secularism even while arguing for more freedom for Muslims. Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation but also a multi-religious one, could be another pole. Recent reports suggest that the government is serious about cracking down on radical groups such as the Jemaah Islamiah. And Muslim groups, including the Indonesian Ulemas' Council, have said that the three men recently executed for the 2002 Bali bombings must not be treated as martyrs. These are encouraging signs.

It is a truism that terror has no religion. But when that terror emanates from a twisted interpretation of religion, we must acknowledge it instead of justifying it by referring to Kashmir or atrocities against Muslims as some prominent commentators have done. This is precisely the sort of logic employed by LeT ideologues. Such bigots and their followers have no place in civilised society. But they cannot be countered by force alone; their militant ideologies have to be thoroughly discredited. This is where India's 150 million Muslims and clerics could play a significant role.

Individuals, not religions carry out inhuman acts

Why blame Islam?

Mike Ghouse: Individuals commit crimes, not the religion. Individuals must be punished to serve justice. Religion came in to being to fix the humans to do the right thing, 99% of the humans get it and less than 1% does not get it

Individuals, not religions, carry out inhuman acts.

Islam is a religion of peace, accepted and practiced by more than 1.25 billion people worldwide. It is the fastest-growing religion in the world, and if it was what some critics claim, why should the people from all walks of life from around the world keep embracing Islam? Where is the sword now?

In Islam, a person has the right to defend himself, his family, his country or his neighbor(s), which justifies the resistance being offered by the people of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir and Palestine, to attacks on their soils by the so-called liberators, who are actually the occupiers.

The Holy Qur’an clearly states that if a person saves one life, it’s as if he saved humanity, and if a person kills one human being, it’s as if he killed humanity.

What is happening in the enslaved Muslim countries is a natural reaction to occupation, bombings, killing and terrorizing of innocent civilians (children, old men and women), rapes, in addition to looting of resources, national antiques and artifacts, above all the destruction of their property by the occupiers.

Terror breeds terror.

We assure those who bash Islam that if there was no occupation in this world by foreign invaders, there would be no resistance – the so-called terror.

We would like those who criticize Islam to explain the following acts committed by the Christians on Jews, other Christians and Muslims alike, throughout history:

- Hundreds of thousands of Muslim men, women and children killed by the crusaders, who were Christians.

- Inquisition of Jews and Muslims from Spain by Queen Isabella, a Christian.

- Millions of people killed by the European and American Christians during the two world wars and the civil wars.

- Atrocities committed on millions of Jews and Christians by Adolph Hitler, a professed Christian.

- Hundreds of thousands of Christians killed every year by the Irish Christians, including the British and the IRA, both Catholics and Protestants, during the past few centuries. Why they are not blamed to be “Christian Terrorists, or Catholic Terrorists, or Protestant Terrorists?”

Both of them believe in Jesus Christ, who told them to turn the other cheek, and both of them believe in the same Lord, Who commanded that “Thou shall not kill.” Period.

- Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, in the United States of America, was a Catholic. Are all Catholics terrorists?

For more than sixty (60) years, the Zionists are actively involved in the genocide of a whole nation, killing a number of Muslims in the occupied territories of Palestine on a daily basis with machine guns, missiles from helicopters, tanks, and bombs from F16s, under the watch of the western countries, the so-called champions of the human rights. How do you explain that?

Just by labeling the freedom fighters as terrorists and launching another holocaust on the poor Palestinians as revenge will not wipe out the crimes or the guilt of Hitler! Where are the justice, equality, freedom, and above all the human tights of Palestinians, dead or alive, propagated by these champions of human rights?

Last but not least, how do you explain the bombings, killings, lynching, murders and raping of innocent Native American Indians and black slaves (Afro-Americans) committed by the so-called Christians in the United States during the past 200 years of history. What about them?

Will those filled with hate for Islam blame Christianity for the above inhuman acts by Christians in various parts of the world since its inception?

If not, then why are they blaming the religion of Islam for what is a natural reaction to occupation of Muslim countries by foreign invaders?

Most importantly, these folks should know that the three (3) great Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have one common basis, and that is one God Almighty.

“All men (and women) are created equal, and we all are one nation under Almighty God,” is a clear cut statement according to the Holy Qur’an and is very well elucidated in the Constitution of these United States, one of the champions of the human rights.

Lastly, yet importantly, as brothers in humanity, we recommend those Islamophobists filled with prejudice to get life and an education in the history of Islam and Muslims, before they dare to write nasty letters, articles, and news releases, using out of context verses from the Holy Qur’an and distorted statements from the true traditions of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), full of personal, ingrain hate and vendetta against Islam and Muslims.

We would be pleased to provide anyone with free copies of the Holy Qur’an and Islamic literature in English or any other language, which would help them to understand the truth about Islam and Muslims and get rid of all hate from their systems, God willing.

May God Almighty show the light to all those, who believe in one mankind, as children of Adam and Eve, hence brothers and sisters, no matter what they believe in, Amen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Essence of Eid-al-Adha - A Muslim Festival on Monday

The Essence of Eid-al-Adha - A Muslim Festival on Monday

Eid-al-Adha is also known as Hajj or Bakrid (variations listed below) if you wish to greet Muslims on this day you may say Happy Eid or Eid Mubarak. Eid is festivity. At the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj, Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid-al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). This year, Eid-al-Adha will be celebrated on Monday, December 8, 2008. It is about remembering and commemorating the trials and triumphs of Prophet Abraham.

A parent would risk his or her life to protect the child. People in love have the passion to value their beloved's life and are willing to get the bullet and save the life, they are willing to rescue her or him from the freezing lake risking their own life, even strangers do that. It is the willingness to put the life of the loved one’ above one’s own life. Every day our Police officers risk their own lives to protect ours, the firemen and women risk their lives to save a child, a pet or an aged person from a fire; and every day our soldiers put their lives at risk to save fellow soldiers and to save our freedom. Eid-al-Adha is a tradition started by Prophet Abraham.


Scream Bloody Murder, reflections on Holocaust and Genocides

Scream Bloody Murder, reflections on Holocaust and Genocides

You feel angry knowing that the world stood by silently when the Jews were put on the train to the gas chambers; you feel anger when the Bosnian Muslims children were given chocolates and told not to worry and go right behind and open gunfire and massacre them; you feel anger when the Canadian general sends faxes upon faxes to the United Nations to send help, while the UN and USA did not want to get involved and 800,000 Rwandans were massacred, they were even announcing on their radio how to torture pregnant women to pull out the babies… It was a difficult documentary to watch, but you must watch and face the world; you have to do your share to clean your own slate of conscience.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Muslims refuse to bury militants

Muslims refuse to bury militants

The sentiment of Muslims not to bury the terrorists in their cemetery is understandable. It is a good thing to send a signal to the terrorists that their act was shameful and has no place in Islam. They also need to know that the promises made to them about hooris are a false understanding of the verses. I hope it will put a dent in the thought process of some of those who are duped into believing that terrorism is rewarding.

They need to know that their religion does not reward terrorist. It is condemned in Islam. “Killing one life is like killing the whole humanity” and “saving one life is like saving the whole humanity”. There is no offensive war against any one, you can only defend.

However, after making the point, we have to let them be buried with decency; we need to show them our civility. The best among humans are those who forgive and we need to forgive, forgiving relieves one from guilt, pain and anxiety. You are not doing them a favor when you forgive; you are doing the right thing for your psyche and the dead ones.

Revenge and punishment must be left to God. Let’s not carry the burden of the terrorists. We have to bury the dead with civility. It is also a civil Geneva Convention. You don’t trample the enemy soldier when he or she is dead.

Mike Ghouse

Muslims refuse to bury militants
By Zubair Ahmed
BBC News, Mumbai

Indian Muslims say they do not want the gunmen killed by the security
forces during the attacks in Mumbai to be buried in Muslim graveyards.

Community leaders believe the militants cannot be called Muslims
because they went against the teachings of Islam and killed innocent

One leader said the militants had "defamed" the religion.

Nine militants died when they stormed targets in India's financial
capital, killing at least 172 people.


In what is perhaps their first openly defiant act against "Islamic
terrorism", Muslims in India have decided they will not allow the
militants to be buried in Muslim graveyards anywhere in the country.

They said that they could not believe that the assailants, who they
said had "killed innocent civilians unprovoked", were true followers
of Islam.

Ibrahim Tai, the president of the Indian Muslim Council, which looks
after the social and religious affairs of the Muslim community in
India, said that they had "defamed" his religion.

"They are not Muslims as they have not followed our religion which
teaches us to live in peace.

"If the government does not respect our demands we will take up
extreme steps. We do not want the bodies of people who have committed
an act of terrorism to be buried in our cemeteries.

"These terrorists are a black spot on our religion, we will very
sternly protest the burial of these terrorists in our cemetery," he

Other Muslim groups have written to their local assembly
representatives to say that if the authorities force the militants to
be buried in a Muslim graveyard, they too will come out on the streets
in protest.

The council move found some support in Mumbai.

One Muslim housewife, Ruksana Sayeed, said: "We Muslims do not even
kill an ant, our religion does not teach all this, we are against all
these terrorists and I completely agree with the Muslim Council's

However, Naseem Ahmed, a Muslim worker in the city, said the council was wrong.

"They are Muslims and they can be buried even if they have done
something wrong. Our religion does not say that those who have done
evil can't be buried in a cemetery," he said.

The gunmen held dozens of people hostage in two luxury hotels and a
Jewish centre for over 60 hours before they were killed by commandos.

India is believed to have the world's largest Muslim population after Indonesia.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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Voice of Moderate Muslims

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Moderate Islam Speaker

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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.