Friday, August 21, 2009

Washington post on Ramadan

Eid Mubarak

Does the mainstream public in America, Canada, India, Australia or elsewhere relate with Muslim customs and traditions? The following articles are written with the intent of developing that understanding.

1. Traditions of Ramadan

2. Politics of Ramadan

3. Spirit of Ramadan

4. Our Mission -

The language chosen is generic and incidences are relational, so the public can relate with what they are familiar with and extrapolate that to the politics, traditions and the spirit of Ramadan. Of course, we can write a book on each. I have learned over the years that news papers have a reason to limit the length of the articles and I have followed that to the best of my ability.

You are welcome to share, forward, comment and make suggestion to make it better in the comments section of each article. You can publish it as well.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism interfaith, political and civic issues. He presides the Foundation for Pluralism and is a founder of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. 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



  1. Beautiful article. Thank you for helping to educate me.
    Rabbi David Wolpe
    Sinai Temple

  2. Here is my comment below
    Beautifully written and another good example of how people of different faiths can find common ground, resulting in better understanding and appreciation. Exploring, Understanding and Appreciation are incredible tools to bridge gaps and unite humanity. With a little effort in trying to understand and appreciate our neighbor, what a wonderful place this world can be. These are special occasions when we have the opportunity to discover and experience the love and peace that God has for opportunity to share also with those around us.


  3. Wishing you HAPPY RAMADAN KAREEM to you and your family. May all of us be blessed and may all our prayers be accepted in this holy month and always.

  4. Alhamdulillah, I, am Muslim. What do you mean by moderate?

  5. Congratulations!! it is a wonderful and well written informative article.

    Rehana Kausar,MD

  6. Mike:

    The article is really fantastic. We need more articles like these to clear the misperceptions about Islam. Please keep it up. Let me know if we can help at this end in Washington.

    Ishrat Z. Husain
    Bethesda, Md.

  7. Dear Mike>

    They say in order to understand what a fallacy is; one must understand what an argument is. Your seemingly innocuous argument---carefully and cleverly camouflaged by way of obfuscation of the truth, is truly unforgivable. You write, “For fasting to be truly universal, its benefits must extend beyond the fraternal ties of Muslims and must extend to forging a common humanity with others. Fasting is meant to impart a sense of what it means to be truly human, and its universality is reflected by its observance in Bahais, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Zoroastrian and other faiths. Wonderful and Congratulations! Now honestly tell the forum, how Islam can become tolerant of other Religions through fasting! Give us some examples of tolerance of the Kafirs from your holly book. I respectfully submit that Islam is against Democracy, Human rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—and no amount of Fasting will cleanse your soul. Please read:
    · Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
    · Article 16: Equal rights to marriage, during marriage and its dissolution regardless of religion or nationality
    · Article 18: Freedom of thought; Freedom of Conscience; Freedom of Religion; and Freedom to Change Religion.
    · Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression
    Article 25: All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection You see, Islam violates the Article 6, the Article 16, the Article 18, the Article 19 and the Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


  8. Saif,

    Thanks for your note.

    If you have made a firm decision from what you have learned, please let me know. On the other hand, if you are seeking to explore the truth, I will share what is available, are you open to it?

    Your questions are appreciated though.

  9. How we wish all would live and work together in peace, with respect and goodwill toward all our fellowmen. Although I'll be out of town Sept. 6, my thoughts and prayers will be with the group meeting at The Unity Church of Dallas. I praise all those who will be speaking and expressing positive messages to bring about peace on earth, and we acknowledge the fact that our Muslim friends are leading this special project.

    Blessings to all, Helen Pigg

  10. Mike, great article. Unfortunately many folks I met at UAE especially the young are so engrossed in the Sumptuous Feasts at the end of the day, that I for one find it amusing. These are not only Emeriti but Muslims from all over who live there. I mean they go all out to see who has the biggest and best feasts. If they go out to "parties and have to pay to attend they get to be expensive.

    Our Daughter Dahazhi is over there again for most of the month. She is once again fasting and observing Ramadan with her friends to support them. I'm happy and proud of her for doing that. My family didn't do the Four Days of 24 hr. fasting, no food or liquids plus Ceremonial Dancing from Sunup Thursday till Sundown Sunday that I did for 16 years during the Sun Dance with my Lakota Family. They would fast some and go to the Sweat Lodge Ceremonies at least once a day.........

    Blessings to you and yours.

  11. Hi Mr. Ghouse,

    Thanks. I found the article in the Washington Post newspaper interesting and informative as well. As you rightly described Islam is a religion of kindness, generosity, harmony and peaceful co-existence among nations and with other religious denominations. But unfortunately it is being highjacked by few. Similarly this few happen to exist within other religions, i.e. Christianity, Judaisim. Therefore, this small number of religious extremists everywhere must not be allowed to dictate to the mainstreams and, hence, destroy the very fabric of the human-being and humanity.




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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.