Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TEXAS FAITH: Would you have sanctioned the death of Osama bin Laden?

Bill McKenzie of Dallas Morning News asks and twelve Panelists respond, you can see the struggle in the responses, and many have take an approach similar to mine.  You are welcome to share your point of view at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/05/texas-faith-would-you-have-san.html

Here is my take:
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

No, I would not have sanctioned the death of Osama Bin Laden.

First of all, there was no need to have killed the man, when the Seals encountered Bin Laden they could have released gases or other elements to knock out and capture him alive. We need to hear more about it from the Navy Seals, if in fact they were in danger to have shot him twice in his head?

The right thing would have been to put him on the trial, just as we did with the Nuremberg, Saddam Hussein and other trials. We could have learned a lot more about his other secret plans that may still be attempted by his loyalists. The world would have witnessed that we care about the rule of law and reinforced it through a time honored process.

Secondly, it has set a bad precedent. Even though the end result benefits humanity, the means were not kosher. It has opened up the doors for others to replicate, thus we 'may' have lost the moral upper hand to stop others from extra judicial killings.
Thirdly, no religion permits one to kill the other. Torah and Quran and other holy books do not see any wisdom in killing the other without an imminent threat to one's own life. Both the books say, to save a life is like saving the whole humanity and the corollary to that is to kill a human is like killing the whole humanity. What is the difference between somewhat pregnant and pregnant? Jesus condemned the sin and not the sinner.

I am glad his body was respectfully dropped in the sea instead of a ground burial. If the choice was given to Bin Laden, he would have preferred this over a ground burial which could have become a shrine to his followers, and that is not acceptable to a Wahhabi Muslim. The last rites were indeed handled appropriately and the Muslims appreciate that. God loves the one who forgives and lives in peace with himself.

Finally for the record, I stand opposed to assassinations, killings and death penalty. Unless it was in self defense, we are morally wrong in killing Bin Laden.

However, it feels good that he is not alive anymore. Mind you, that is different than cheering for his death which we should not do.

His end brings a sense of relief and closure to families who have lost nearly 3000 of their loved ones. Muslims have more to rejoice than others; they were not only victims of his terrorism like all of us, but were also subjects of harassment by several governments around the world, in the airports as well as employment and ordinary acts of life. The Sikh community also endured the grief out of mistaken identity. We pray that the Taliban mind set and the oppression of women in Afghanistan also comes to an end.

It is one of the best news items Muslims have had in a decade; it brings a sense of relief and hopefully restores the relationship between Muslim and Non-Muslims in building a cohesive America. Thank God, an evil era has come to an end with the death of this man.

Mike Ghouse is an interfaith Speaker, thinker, futurist, writer, organizer and an activist committed to building cohesive societies with a firm belief that the purpose of religion is to bring harmony to an individual within and create a balance with what surrounds; life and matter. If we can learn to respect and accept every which way people have come to worship the creator, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. He offers pluralistic solutions to media and to the public on complex issues of the day and is available to speak in a variety of settings such as schools, seminars, conferences, and places of worship, or the work place. His work is indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

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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 (www.UnitydayUSA.com) 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.

URL- http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/planned-muslim-response-to-quran_18.html

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.