Friday, September 30, 2011

India's Cash-for-Fatwa Scandal

The following is from 2006, still being circulated. Since then, the Organization of Islamic countries has issued a fatwa that no fatwa be issued without discussion. Who is going to listen to them? We cannot even agree to one Eid celebration even in smaller cities.

There was a talk among a few Muslims to open a Fatwa Factory - whose sole purpose was to issue counter fatwas against meaningless fatwas. They wanted to issue so many of them that its significance was lost and lead Muslims to create an organization who will authenticate a fatwa on their site, if not, it will be as though some one on the street is yelling. The integrity of Muslims must be called in here to have people of different traditions and those who have the guts to speak out against before it is agreed upon. Without critic and without opposition it will be meaningless.

It may be a good idea for Shura council in the United States to assign an individual the responsibility to issue a counter fatwa against foreign fatwas that are flaunted on national televisions and radio shows.

Mike Ghouse
India's Cash-for-Fatwa Scandal

Last week, many Muslims in India, like their counterparts around the world, gathered on the streets to burn effigies of the Pope and shout slogans denouncing him for his remarks on Islam and violence. Even before that fully died out, however, a new controversy erupted — one that has turned Muslim ire against some of their own local clerics.

India's "cash-for-fatwas" scandal broke out last weekend when a TV channel broadcast a sting operation that showed several Indian Muslim clerics allegedly taking, or demanding, bribes in return for issuing fatwas, or religious edicts. The bribes, some of which were as low as $60, were offered by undercover reporters wearing hidden cameras over a period of six weeks. In return for the cash, the clerics appear to hand out fatwas written in Urdu, the language used by many Muslims in Pakistan and India, on subjects requested by the reporters. Among the decrees issued by the fatwas: that Muslims are not allowed to use credit cards, double beds, or camera-equipped cell phones, and should not act in films, donate their organs, or teach their children English. One cleric issued a fatwa against watching TV; another issued a fatwa in support of watching TV.

Adding to the shock in India, home to the world's third-largest Muslim population (approximately 150 million), is that some of the clerics apparently caught in the sting operation teach at important institutions — one belongs to India's most famous Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom at Deoband. At least two of the clerics have been suspended from their posts, but that hasn't satisfied everyone. Students at one madrassa in north India denounced the clerics, and in the city of Meerut, where a mufti, or cleric, had been caught on camera, the congregation at one mosque refused to offer prayers until he came before them, admitted to taking the money, and apologized.

The "cash-for-fatwas" scandal has also led to a renewed debate on what constitutes a fatwa, and who has legitimate authority to issue one. Fatwas — like the one passed by Iran's Ayatullah Khomeini in 1989 against the novelist Salman Rushdie, or those issued by Osama bin Laden in 1996 and 1998 against America — have come to epitomize the intolerance of Islamic fundamentalists. Yet many Muslims argue that the purpose of fatwas has been misunderstood: A fatwa is, technically speaking, a ruling on a point of Islamic law made by a recognized Muslim scholar in response to a question put to him. Since Osama bin Laden is no Islamic scholar, many deny his right to issue a fatwa. The sway that fatwas hold over Muslims is also not as great as many outsiders think.

Last year, a Muslim cleric issued a fatwa stating that it was un-Islamic for Sania Mirza, India's most famous tennis player and a Muslim, to wear sleeveless tops or short skirts on court. Mirza simply dismissed the ruling; indeed, many, if not most, urban Indian Muslims do not take fatwas seriously. However, in rural communities, a well-respected mufti's fatwa — on issues ranging from marriage to health to women's rights — can carry considerable influence. India's Muslim leaders announced that they will soon create a new body that will monitor the passing of fatwas in the country, in a bid to preserve that influence, and nip the popular anger swirling around this scandal.

Read more:,8599,1537516,00.html#ixzz1ZSBnCqPu

Sunday, September 18, 2011

President Obama, you must vote for Palestine now

Since President Truman, none of the American presidents have had the balls to take a stand and do the right thing; facilitate a lasting solution for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The talk of two states remains a hoax without recognition of Palestine as a nation. It is a necessity for the security of Israel to recognize Palestine; it will tie the loose ends.

Two videos:..


Sixty three years have been squandered with no signs of genuine security for the Jews; they have been living with an unsettling fear and have been on-the-run for their whole history. Not a week goes by where Anti-Semitism is not countered in Europe, it is there in Latin America and it is there in Asia.

The Jews have not been able to breathe freely. There is a genuine phobia that someday a segment of radical Christians will uproot them as Germany did in the recent past and Spain some five hundred years ago, those were the only nations where the Jews felt home twice in their history but were betrayed both the times.

Shamelessly, anti-Semitism continues to operate under the radar in the United States. Not a month passes here in the United States without the markings of Anti-Semitism. Some one’s house is painted with Swastika, someone yells at them “you people” or opens the fire in the Holocaust Museum or demonstrates hateful placards like “Christ Killers”, there are still a few Christians out there who cannot shake this off from their chests.

Shame on our civilization that one group of people has to live in apprehensions of the other. It is just not the Jews but many a minorities in the world live in fears of the other. Shouldn’t we feel bad about it? Are we evil that someone has to be afraid of us? It has got to change.

Recognition of Palestine will put an end to the phobias and fears. The Jewish anxieties will subside when they realize for the second time in their history (first one was creation of Israel) that they are able to live a life of justice, which is a central tenet of Judaism that they had abandoned for security. It will free their psyche. It will have a domino effect, one by one, the Arab nations will recognize Israel’s right to exist over a few years. It simply means acceptance of Israel and a welcome call to the neighborhood.

The real enemies of Israel are those who are milking monies in the name of Israel. It is business to them, they are the Madoffs whose sincerity to Israel is doubtful but loyalty to cashing in the name of Israel is certain. They are manipulators and constantly coerce our congress and senate and get their way. Heck, they have made it worse for Israel by aggravating the conflicts.

The Judeo-Christian phrase was thrown around 40's to make up for the guilt. A whole industry of opportunists was born from that. The two faced support for Jews by Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Glenn Beck and other chest thumpers had ulterior motives. They wanted to cash in on the name of Israel and perhaps convert them or pre-empt God for the Armageddon.

Jews need sincerity and not duplicity to feel secure. A genuine security is like a child in mother’s lap; safe and free from fears. Jews need to feel there is a home for them, where they can chat with friends in a café and carry on conversations without any fear, have zero fears for their school going children or ride the bus without fear. More than that, Jews can live their life again as they wanted to; to be a just people.

All of that is possible once the Palestinians feel justice is finally served to them. Shame on our cvilization, we have not cared for the lives of Palestinians, they are deprived of the very basics of life; a home and a nationality. We have stripped them from their hopes, it will change with this recognition.

President Obama has an opportunity to finalizing the transaction for Israel which was opened by President Truman. Prior to President Truman’s decision to recognize Israel, he was vehemently opposed by many in his administration including the Secretary of State George Marshall, Truman was threatened that his administration will be wrecked, indeed “the wise men” firmly opposed recognition of Israel. Did Truman budge?

President Obama will be equally hounded by Fox News and the right wingers. He has a choice to stand up and act with courage and become a one term president with balls and leave a lasting legacy of bringing genuine security to Israel and hope for the Palestinians.

If President Obama vetoes for Palestinian Statehood, he will do more damage to America’s stature in the community of nations besides keeping Israel in the state of anxiety until another Truman is born.

Let’s recognize Palestine and continue the peace process. It will abate the strife between Jews and Muslims and restore the cordiality that existed prior to the World War I. It is good for Israel, good for Palestine, good for America and good for the Middle East and the World.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive Societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at and you can find all of his current articles at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Texas Faith - Should we pray for rain?

The creator has designed a perfect ecological system for the planet earth to sustain on its own; however a few anomalies are built-in as a reminder for us to accept our own imperfections. Rain is one of the major components of that system and every so often, the system breaks down resulting in famines.
Dallas Morning News
Texas Faith, September 13, 2011

Should Texans or for that matter, others afflicted by drought pray for rain? If so, how would you pray? And what would you expect? If not, why wouldn’t you pray for rain?

Rain is a major source of life-giving water. It fills the lakes, runs the rivers, grows the food, tends the plants which produce oxygen and facilitates all that we consume for nourishment and survival. Lack of rain brings disasters.

The creator has designed a perfect ecological system for the planet earth to sustain on its own; however a few anomalies are built-in as a reminder for us to accept our own imperfections. Rain is one of the major components of that system and every so often, the system breaks down resulting in famines.

We have not had rain for a long time, what are our choices? When our intellect does not produce alternatives, we turn to the creator; it is our only hope.

Gov. Rick Perry’s proclamation to pray for rain may have its origins when he was a Commissioner for Agriculture. Indeed Jesus had made frequent references to it, in Matthew 13; four parables were mentioned relating to agriculture.

Doesn’t the creator know his operation has gone bonkers and needs fixing? He does, the mother knows what her children want, the employers know what the employees want, yet we have to ask for it. So, we pray!

The Native Americans felt the need to appease the creator and initiated rain dances. The Egyptian prayed for rain so the Nile can flow and they can get their water for sustenance.

Moses declared in Deuteronomy 11:14 " I will give you the rain of your land…" and laid a condition, “to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Lord Krishna says, “Beings are nourished by food, food is produced by rain, rain comes from sacrifice, and sacrifice is performed by action” and in chapter 19 of Bhagvad Gita he says “O Arjuna, I control heat, the rain and the drought.”

Indeed, it is a routine in India for the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains to gather up and sing songs for rain. Even eminent scientist like C.N.R. Rao has inaugurated festivities to Goddess Chamanudeshwari to bless the State with bountiful rain.

James 5:18, “Then, Elijah prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops”

Martin Lings, a Muslim scholar writes, “In Quraan the ideas of Mercy and water, in particular rain are in a sense inseparable” he compares that to the idea of revelation and the rain, both sent down by all Merciful God and both are spoken of as life giving. He adds that “the divine mercy reaches the uttermost confines of creation.”

In April this year, the Council on American Islamic Relations urged Muslims in Texas mosques to offer special Islamic prayers, called Salatul Istisqa, simply meaning asking God for water. This prayer was offered by Prophet Muhammad during times of drought. Muslims pray 2 units of optional prayers either personally or in congregation, it is in the same format of daily prayers except the supplications for rain.

As a pluralist, I want to assure that this piece is meant to represent all religious traditions even though they are not mentioned. May God bless us with rain now, Amen.

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The weekly column called Texas Faith at Dallas Morning News asks the religiously oriented to write about the issues facing the nation from their faith perspective. I have been blessed to be sharing my take for over a year now. At the morning news, you can read at least ten other takes on the question.

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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at and you can find all of his current articles at

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do Jews, Christians and Muslims better understand each other since 9/11?

TEXAS FAITH: Do Jews, Christians and Muslims better understand each other since 9/11?

Abstract: Jews need sincerity and not duplicity. Native Americans need an apology and there is a good amount of phobia embedded in Hindus about conversions. We believe in Jesus as a Prophet and not as a son of God. Unless we deal with tough issues about our differences, we will continue to fake being nice to each other and brood with ill-will within. There is indeed improved understanding among faiths since 9/11. But there also is deepening suspicion among them. One is spiritually motivated and the other is political. Please note, most of my writings are inclusive of all theist and atheists traditions, we all inhabit the earth and we need to figure how best to co-exist cohesively.

# # #

Since September 11, 2001, many conversations have taken place among Muslims, Jews and Christians. There are official interfaith conversations occurring all over the globe, where participants dig into each other's texts. And numerous personal dialogues have been established over the last decade. Many of us have learned more about the three Abrahamic faiths since September 11, 2001 than perhaps we knew before that day.

But here's this week's question, which is simple in its wording but not necessarily simple to answer: Do followers of the three Abrahamic faiths really understand each other better since 9/11?

Eight Texas Faith Panelists including Mike Ghouse weighs in at:

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

There is indeed improved understanding among faiths since 9/11. But there also is deepening suspicion among them. One is spiritually motivated and the other is political.

We were better off when we knew very little about each other. But as we faced the hostage crisis in 1979, the evangelical foray into politics, the Baptist convention on harvesting poor souls and finally 9/11, religion moved on to center stage. It will get better when we know more about each other.

On September 11, 2001, I was on the radio in Dallas attempting to make sense out of the chaos of the day and pave the way for relevant actions. Interfaith-faith prayers, blood donation and fundraising for the men and women in uniform were all in place by evening. The fog was clearing up. Osama bin Laden was the bad guy and Muslim-Americans had nothing to do with his actions, nor did they authorize him to terrorize any one. Indeed, he placed a wedge between Americans that still needs to be undone.

Atheists, Baha'i, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Jews, Native Americans, Pagans, Sikhs, Wicca and Zoroastrians along with area city mayors, FBI, police and fire chiefs and community leaders graced the first interfaith event in Frisco. Out of which a new tradition evolved called Unity Day. It continues year after year.

But while we are trying to know more about each other, more needs to be done. Here are a few examples;

* Mosques in Dallas/ Fort Worth area opened their doors right after the 9/11 incident. As Christians walked in, they were naively welcomed by yet-to-be trained volunteers who said, "We believe in Jesus as a Prophet and not as a son of God." However, the volunteers were trained to welcome without conflict the very next week.

Of course, back in the 8th Century, a Syrian bishop had declared that Islam was a false religion. That declaration has remained in the psyche of a few Christians forever.

Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas reiterated the statement and added, "Quran is a false book written by a false prophet." He was asked to prove it but failed.

There are several verses in Quraan that are mistranslated for political gains. Steve Blow in Dallas Morning News quoted me, "In the Middle Ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews."

One such difficult passage is "Kill the infidels wherever you find them." Ten such propaganda verses were read to separate the myths from reality. They were not read by Muslim clergy, but by Baptist, Mormon, Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian, Methodist, New Age, Unificationists, Sikhs, Hindu and others at the Quraan Conference

*Shamelessly, anti-Semitism continues to operate under the radar. The anti-circumcision bills in San Francisco and Santa Monica were irksome to some, but frightening to others. Indeed, there are still a few Christians out there who cannot shake off what Fred Phelps was demonstrating with reckless posters such as "Christ Killers."

The Judeo-Christian phrase was thrown around in the 40's to build relationships between Jews and Christians. A whole industry of opportunists was born from it. The support for Jews by Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Glenn Beck and other chest thumpers have ulterior motives. They want to cash in on the name of Israel and perhaps convert them. Jews need sincerity and not duplicity to feel genuinely secure.

*Native Americans need an apology for the destruction of their religion and there is a good amount of phobia embedded in Hindus about conversions. Some of them feel that Governors Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal made it in politics because they converted to Christianity.

*The spiritual balance in the community needs to be restored through observing and following the Golden Rule, which is treat others as you would like others to treat you. Although we have failed in the past, such as when the city of Plano rejected a permit to build a Hindu temple in the early 80's and Richardson did not permit a Muslim school to open there in the mid-1990s, we still have come a long way. Thank God, those are now history and the public in the metroplex welcomes diversity.

* Interfaith meetings are still social gatherings. Leaders from smaller groups are invited as tokens rather than to genuinely get to know each other. Unless we deal with tough issues about differences, we will continue to fake being nice to each other and brood with ill-will within. There is plenty of room for honesty to grow and mature.

If we can learn to respect the otherness of other people and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. One of these days we will get there. Meanwhile, I am pleased to invite you to the 7th Annual 9/11 Memorial, the Unity Day USA on Sunday September 11 at 5:00 PM at the Unity Church of Dallas on Forest Lane. Details are at
Quraan Conference program sequence:

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at and you can find all of his current articles at

Monday, September 5, 2011

Muslims on 9/11

You would be pleased to know that Muslims have taken initiatives to work towards a cohesive America and I am pleased to invite you to the 7th Annual 9/11 Memorial, the Unity Day USA on Sunday Sep 11 at 5:00 PM at the Unity Church of Dallas on Forest Lane. Details are at Kindly rsvp to Thank you

Mike Ghouse, Texas faith panelist
(214) 325-1916

Invitation to 7th Annual 9/11 Memorial
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2011 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Unity church of Dallas, 
6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230

We are pleased to invite you to the 7th Annual Unity Day USA; a purposeful event to bring Americans together. This is the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, from this day forward we hope to effect the change to make. It is an initiative to come together to stand up for the safety, security and cohesiveness of America.

On this Unity Day, we the people of the United States of America of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background will gather to express our commitment to co-existence, unity, prosperity and well being of our nation.

Unity Day USA is about re-affirming our faith in the goodness in humanity, and the longing for harmony and co-existence. The traditions include but are not limited to Native American, Atheist, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Earth-traditions, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Wicca and Zoroastrians; thus it is an all inclusive event.

It is an experience to feel a sense of unity with fellow Americans that will bring a feeling of coming home to where we drop all of our identities and to be united together as an American family.

As Americans we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our constitution. Our faiths reinforce the idea of one nation with liberty and justice for all.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lessons in Leadership from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

Lessons in Leadership from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad
Book review by Dr. Muqtedar Khan.


Thanks for the review. I just want to share a few things that touched me:

“this school seeks to minimize the miraculous nature of the Prophet's biography”. Indeed, it was this aspect in Karen Armstrong’s book that had appealed to me. I saw Muhammad as an individual with whom I could relate. For nearly thirty years, I had nothing to do with Islam; the turnaround came from reading a verse in Bhagvad Gita, “finding the truth is your own responsibility” and among three other things, Karen Armstrong’s book Muhammad. 

“ Unlike other commentators, he does not aim to explain or glorify Islam and Islamic teachings, and this allows him to home in on the aspects of Prophet Muhammad's personality and cultural context to illuminate his leadership qualities.” And that appeals to me.

Help me understand, if you have the time about the acts mentioned in this quote, “retreated to his tent where his wife Umm Salama, advised him to go back out and silently perform the very acts he had ordered.”

Muqtedar, I give a talk on “Muhammad the peace maker” sharing his role as a consummate peace maker, we can see the conflict mitigater and goodwill nurturer in him in just about everything he has done. You have inspired me to write on the same topic, a short book, after my two other books are done. Insha Allah, I want to credit you for this critical moment to wanting to write.  My new organization “Americans Together” committed to building a cohesive America was a reflection of his work, building cohesive societies.

Thank you for sharing this and Insha Allah, I will order the book and read it.

Mike Ghouse

Lessons in Leadership from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad
Published October 05, 2010 in Arabic Knowledge@Wharton
 The Leadership of Muhammad is a new book by British management scholar John Adair that mines the life of the Prophet Muhammad to highlight his extraordinary qualities as a leader. According to Adair, success is a function of leadership, and his short work provides anyone interested in learning how to lead and motivate with a wealth of insight, according to this review by Muqtedar Khan, an associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of Delaware.

Over the years, Muslim and non-Muslim historians have written many books about Prophet Muhammad as a leader, highlighting the divinely guided qualities of his personality as the final messenger of God, according to Islamic beliefs. But in the past century or so, a modernist, rationalist school of Islamic thought has emerged, which focuses on examining Prophet Muhammad as a charismatic leader as well as being the messenger of God.

Developed by thinkers like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Shibli Nomani in India and Sheikh Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida in the Arab world, this school seeks to minimize the miraculous nature of the Prophet's biography to explore the rationalist and humanist dimensions of his personality. Their interpretations are formed by many categories that guides modern thinking -- the Prophet Muhammad as statesman, as a businessman, as a political leader and a spiritual guide.

British management scholar John Adair's new book, The Leadership of Muhammad, joins this body of work, even though he is not a modernist Muslim. But Adair's interpretation is different from most Muslim biographers of Prophet Muhammad in several key ways. First, Adair, who served with a Bedouin regiment in the Arab Legion, emphasizes the context in which he lived over abstract moral principle. His narrative is rich with discussions of tribal practices and the day-to-day habits and traditions that had an influence on Prophet Muhammad. If Adair's goal is to argue that leadership styles must conform to the cultural context in which they find themselves, he succeeds. In episode after episode, he shows how Prophet Muhammad's understanding of the tribal norms of Arabia helped him become an inspirational leader as well as an effective manager.

Leading from the Front

Adair is singular in his focus on Prophet Muhammad as a leader. Unlike other commentators, he does not aim to explain or glorify Islam and Islamic teachings, and this allows him to home in on the aspects of Prophet Muhammad's personality and cultural context to illuminate his leadership qualities.

Metaphors, such as comparing leaders to shepherds, and adjectives like humble and courageous appear frequently throughout the book. A good shepherd guides his sheep, unites them, works for their welfare without taking advantage of them and cares for each individual. Adair sees those characteristics in the Prophet Muhammad. Not only did he care for the well-being of each and every member of his flock, he was uncompromising in his determination to protect the integrity of his mission.

Adair conveys many nuggets of wisdom about what constitutes leadership, how it can be developed and understood, using a simple narrative style to tell the story of a very special man, one who was at once a business leader, a political authority, a community activist, a social entrepreneur, a divine source and a humane role model.

Adair has strong views about what makes great leaders stand out. They lead from the front and lead by example. They must eschew arrogance, exude humility, be truthful, be prepared to share any hardship with followers, and provide both vision and dedication to achieving a task at hand. Success to Adair is a function of leadership, and Muhammad -- as a prophet who transformed Arabia and much of the world with his teachings -- could not have achieved success without being a good leader. This is the unstated assumption that holds the book together.

Based on that, Adair mines the life of Muhammad to highlight his extraordinary qualities as a leader and the acumen with which he deployed these attributes. One is an account of an encounter between one of his followers and the Prophet while he was drawing up the formations of Muslims before the battle of Badr, a key military victory for the fledgling religion:

As Muhammad was walking up the line straightening it with an arrow in his hand, he came to one Sawadi Ibn Ghaziya, who was standing too far out of line. "Stand in line, O Sawadi," the Prophet said, gently pricking him in the belly with his arrow. "You have hurt me, O apostle of God," Sawadi cried, with a much-exaggerated cry of pain. "God has sent you to teach us about right and justice, so please allow me to retaliate". "Take your retaliation," said Muhammad with a smile, uncovering his own belly. Sawadi kissed it and embraced him. "O Messenger of God," he said. "You see what is before us, and I may not survive the battle, and as this is my last time with you I want my skin to touch yours.' Muhammad then blessed him. With soldiers like that you tend not to lose battles.

Elsewhere, Adair captures the love and affection that Prophet Muhammad's followers showered on him. As the thinking goes, You can be appointed a commander or a manager, but you are not a leader until your appointment is ratified in the hearts and minds of those who you lead.

The Advice of Women

Adair's book is neither a scholarly nor a systematic study of the subject. It is a short book of 117 pages, which brings insight into the decisions of the Prophet. It does have one shortcoming: The author fails to explore fully how the Prophet Muhammad respected the opinion and advice of women even while making very serious decisions. One of his anecdotes from the Prophet's life captures this quality aptly:

After Prophet Muhammad agreed to the terms and conditions in the peace treaty imposed by the Quraysh tribe at Hudaybia, many of his companions were profoundly upset with him, since the terms were favorable to the enemy. All of his companions refused to obey a direct command of his, which was to make the sacrifices and complete some of the rituals of the Hajj. Prophet Muhammad, saddened and worried by this development, retreated to his tent where his wife Umm Salama, advised him to go back out and silently perform the very acts he had ordered. When his companions saw him lead by example, they immediately followed him and a major mutiny was averted.

At a time when the public sphere is filled with Islamophobic narratives determined to caricature the noble Prophet and demonize the Islamic faith, this cameo about his leadership lessons comes as a welcome and edifying relief.

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The Consequences of Islamophobia

JOHN ESPOSITO: The Consequences of Islamophobia, in the U.S. and Abroad
John EspositoThe July 2011 massacre in Norway was a tragic signal of a metastasizing social cancer — Islamophobia. The Norwegian assassin, Anders Behring Breivik’s, 1500-page manifesto confirmed the dangerous consequences of hate speech that has been spread by American and European xenophobes and websites that are quoted hundreds of times in his fear-filled tract.

Because the small number of extremists responsible for 9/11 and terrorist attacks in Europe and the Muslim world legitimated their acts in the name of Islam, we have seen an exponential increase in the past ten years of hostility and intolerance towards fellow Muslim citizens. This hatred threatens the democratic fabric of American and European societies and impacts not only the safety and civil liberties of Muslims but also, as the attacks in Norway demonstrate, the safety of all citizens.

The broad spectrum of preachers of hate that include politicians, media commentators, Christian Zionist ministers, and biased media and internet sites exploit legitimate concerns about domestic security and engage in a fear-mongering that conflates Islam and the majority of Muslims with a small but deadly minority of militants. The Gallup World Poll revealed that 57% of Americans when asked what they admired about Islam said “nothing” or “I don’t know.” So. too, a Washington Post poll revealed that a shocking 49% of Americans view Islam unfavorably.

In the US, the 2008 presidential elections and the 2010 Congressional elections were marred by politicians like Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle who grabbed headlines, using Muslims as convenient scapegoats. Gingrich created a reality that doesn’t exist by calling for a federal law barring US courts from considering Islamic Law as a replacement for U.S. law. Sharron Angle nearly topped him when she falsely suggested that Frankford, Tex., and Dearborn, Mich., were subject to a “Sharia” regime. Park 51 (the so-called “mosque at ground zero”) and anti-mosque and anti-Shariah hysteria across the country revealed the extent to which Islamophobia has gone mainstream in communities from New York to California. In the wake of this irrational emotion and fear, major polls by Time Magazine and The New York Times in August 2010 reported that 33% of those polled believed that Muslim Americans were more sympathetic to terrorists and, in general, 60% of those polled have negative feelings about Muslims.

Despite all the paranoia, what objectively do we know about Muslim Americans? What does empirical evidence tell us? In contrast to the charges that Muslims cannot integrate and cannot be loyal citizens, a major Pew Research Center study (2007) found that most Muslim Americans are “decidedly American” in income, education and attitudes, rejecting extremism by larger margins than Muslim minorities in Europe. Similarly, a 2009 Gallup report found that 70% of Muslim Americans have a job compared with 64% of the US population.

Muslim men have one of the highest employment rates of religious groups. After Jews, Muslims are the most educated religious community in the US. Muslim women are as likely as their male counterparts to have a college degree or higher. 40% of women have a college degree as compared to 29% of Americans overall. And how do these Muslims in their communities fight terrorism? Not only did tips from Muslim Americans provide information that helped authorities thwart terrorist plots, but also, as the Triangle Centre on Terrorism and Homeland Security’s study noted, “Muslim Americans have been so concerned about extremists in their midst that they have turned in people who turned out to be undercover informants.” This study also found that the number of Muslim Americans who were arrested for perpetrating terrorist acts dropped from 47 in 2009 to 20 in 2010. (pdf)

Despite much evidence to the contrary, Congressman Peter King, Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, held controversial hearings on “Radicalization of Muslim Americans,” using legitimate concerns about national security for political gain. King has been consistent in his undocumented claims. In a 2004 interview with Sean Hannity he charged that “no American Muslim leaders are cooperating in the war on terror,” and that “80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists.” When challenged, he staunchly insisted, without providing any data or citing any government reports: “I’ll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us”.King and others like him also ignore statements by key government officials like FBI Director Robert S Mueller III, US Attorney General Eric H Holder, and Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Centre, who have all praised the Muslim American community for playing an instrumental role in assisting law enforcement agencies. As Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President commented to Muslims in a speech framing the Obama administration’s strategy to successfully prevent violent extremism:

“You create jobs and opportunity as small business owners and executives of major corporations. You enrich our culture as athletes and entertainers. You lead us as elected officials and Members of Congress. And no one should ever forget that Muslim Americans help keep America safe every day as proud Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. Indeed, some of these heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and now rest in our hallowed national cemeteries.”
Like other Americans, Muslims also were victims; they too lost loved ones and friends in the 9/11 attacks. Moreover, they have seen their religion vilified and many in the mainstream Muslim majority have been victims of serious abuses — racial profiling, overzealous and illegal arrests and detentions, surveillance, wiretapping and trials using “secret evidence”. A campaign of ethnic profiling followed 9/11. Five thousand Arab and Muslim foreign nationals detained, 8,000 sought out for FBI interviews, 82,000 called in for special registration, not because they were terrorists, but because they were foreigners from Arab or Muslim countries. And still today, the use of tactics such as aggressive informants to “manufacture” crimes in Muslim communities, wiretaps, surveillance and monitoring of mosques without probable cause also remain a source of intimidation and fear. Yet, despite these extreme measures, as the FBI and Homeland Security have stressed, the majority of Muslims remain an integrated part of the American mosaic. It is time to digest the real, verifiable facts, to stop wasting energies on the wrong “enemies” and to use our collective strength to focus, together, on solving the very real problems that America is facing in the 21st century.
John Esposito is a professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is also the director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Conversation about Ahmadiyya Muslims

Thank God we live in America under God where there is no compulsion on any one to believe or not believe. 

 Aren’t you glad, being a non-Hijabi woman you don’t live in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia? Aren’t you thrilled that you don’t live as a Sufi in Iran or Saudi Arabia? Aren’t you happy that you don’t live as a Sunni in Syria, Iran or Iraq? Aren’t you glad you don’t live in Pakistan, Bahrain and Indonesia as an Ahmadi or Shia? فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (55:16) 

Is there a self-proclaimed Muslim nation where any kind of Muslim can freely practice his or her religion without hassles?

America is one of the few places on the earth that you can practice your religion freely per the Quraan and not per bigots.
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ 

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brought one religion, the religion that will bring about social justice and peace to mankind.  His universal religion brings harmony within an individual and what surrounds him or her. He understood human nature and paved the way for Muslims in the future to figure out how to co-exist with their differences.  He said his Ummah will eventually have 72 (73) different versions and each one must rush to do good things ( he did not say, annihilate the other) and one among them will receive bountiful goodness for being exceptionally good. All will receive their recompense from the creator.

Each group is bent on converting and convincing the other. Sunnis are arrogant that God has a special pact with them, while the Shias believe the same and so do the Ahmadiyya Muslims.  God does not make deals with any one behind each others back, Muslim or not. You do the good things, bring peace to his creation and earn his grace.

None of us was assigned to guard the religion or Quraan; he said he will protect it himself. We have to trust God without any doubts.  

As long as each one of the 72 tribes is doing good things for humanity, we need to appreciate them. After all no one is responsible for your and my actions but ourselves.

I have known the Ahmadiyya community for a long time now; they share what they know, but have never asked me to subscribe to their belief in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed as Prophet or the Messiah. If they do, I would respectfully say that I am content with my belief as they are with their belief and let’s together do good to humanity with our differences. Let’s have a strong faith in whatever we believe and not fear discussing or talking will drain off my faith. Who needs a faith like that? If someone becomes Sunni, Shia or Ahmadiyya, let them? You are not responsible to any one, not one soul on the Day of Judgment.  So why belligerence and ill-will?  It is not good for us, this is the Jihad Prophet (pbuh) called on us. 

Islam is not defined by denying others their belief, forcing others to your way… The Sunnis can survive without manufacturing an enemy that is what the Neocons do; make enemies out of Muslims who are not. Are we like them?

Jazak Allah Khair
Mike Ghouse

# # #

Dear all,

It is very imoprtant not to misunderstand any corruption done in our religion by certian groups and giving the impression that there is no differnace between Ahamdis and othe Muslims places of worship and iftar. These are the tectics to get Muslims involved and then convert to Ahmadis. if they are the same as other muslims are then why do we have to convert to Ahamdiat? Once you go deep inside then you will know that Ahmadis are very different and corrupting our religion by changing the meaning of Quran and not Accepting Prophet ( PBUH) as the last prophet and instead beleiving that Mirza is the continuation of Prophet hood. This is a very long discussion, i have attached the presentation by which everyone can understand that how they have tried their best to change the meaning of Quran to their religion. No one has interprated Quran in 1400 years execept this group and list of other things is long. i am ready to debate any Ahamdi regarding the finality of Prophet ( PBUH) this is the basis of our relgion and Aqeeda. Without beleving in finaltiy of Prophet Mohammad ( PBUH) we are not following Quran and Allah. Allah says very clear in Quran about the Finality of Prophet Mohammad ( PBUH) any group try to chnage is not Muslim or the follower of Islam.

Nasrullah khan
# # #

Dear Intisar

Thanks for pointing the error.  First of all it was my mistake that I did not point out the information that was contrary to Brother Qureshi’s information on Ahmadiyya and Bahai.


Brother Qureshi wrote, “But again they have added many new elements such as the name of their prophet into Kalima (declaration of belief in God and Prophet Muhammad) and also in Azan (beckoning Muslims to come for prayers). The Ahmadis are officially declared as the infidels, apostates or heretic in Pakistan.”

I have not heard a different Azaan or different Kalima than

"La Ilaha Illal lah Muhammadur Rasool Allah.” I have been to two different Ahamdiyya Mosques, one is Dallas Area and the other in Houston, I have prayed in their mosques, had Iftaar with them, have spoken many times and have also spoken at the their Annual convention – I have a copy of their Quraan and some great books they have written. 

In their two day convention that I attended,  so many times they recited Takbir, Shahadah and Darood and of course Mirza Ghulam Ahmed's name, just as they do in Shia Mosques - Nara-e-Hydari - Ya Ali. I have taken pictures of their mosques where you see inscribed on their walls, "La Ilaha Illal lahu Muhammadur Rasool Allah."

In the early 70’s on the walls of one Ahmadiyya Mosque in Africa, the first Meem of Mohammad in the Kalima was discolored and made it appear like it was Ahamdur Rasoola Allah. All I have seen is on the walls of the Ahmadiyya Mosques I have been to.

Brother Qureshi has to explain his experience on Kalima and Adan

As a side note, nothing to with the topic above but related to it. I have written over 15 articles on Ahmadiyya (of  750+ Articles on Islam) in the last few years and as a “Sunni” Muslim it amazes me that how many of us go by hearsay and make blind statements. The politically brainwashed hatred towards Ahmadiyya has blinded so many Muslims to jump to conclusions without verifying.  I am not defending Ahmadiyya here, I am defending what Allah and his Prophet has told us to do – to verify before we judge other people, besides that, no one has a right to judge the faith of other person other than Allah. Don’t let your bias towards others to make you unjust.

I was in Austin several weeks ago, one of my Ismaili friends was telling me that he went to the Mosque for Friday prayers, and the Imam was belligerent towards him for dropping the hands during the Iqama position, which most Shia Muslims do. Insha Allah, I will go talk to the imam and ask him what Allah meant, “the best among you are the ones who learn about each other”   If he is not aware of how Muslims prays in different Mosques. I pray that he treats the guests at the mosque in a dignified way, if he were to be an Imam. In one line (saf) people hold their hands on naval level, above stomach or even on the chest while other practices exist. Unless we speak up, things will not change.  Do we want our Imams to be respectful of other?


Bahaulla and his predecessor the Bab did not claim to be the Messiah, they just claimed to be a prophet in a series of prophets that have brought in the message of goodness. Furthermore, Bahai faith is not an off-shoot of Islam; it is a religion on its own. We cannot say Islam is an offshoot of Judaism for the similarities it has in it. I have literally taught Bahai faith for over two years on the Radio Show and in my workshops, along with 13 other religions. I have been to Mormon Church/Congregation several times in Saudi Arabia as well as here in Dallas

 Mike Ghouse

--- In, "Intisar" wrote:

> Dear Mike Sahib:

> I note with great interest the following from Mr. Saeed Qureshi writings: “In a way the founder of Ahmadiat religion made two claims: one that he was Prophet Mohammad reincarnate (shadow) and secondly that he was the resurrected Jesus Christ or the promised Messiah. > Ahmadis mostly retain the Islamic elements of faith in that they pray five times a day, go for pilgrimage, fast for full month etc. But again they have added many new elements such as the name of their prophet into Kalima (declaration of belief in God and Prophet Muhammad) and also in Azan (beckoning Muslims to come for prayers).”

> Mike: You had an opportunity to break bread during Ramadaan with this group (the Ahmadiyya) and have worshipped with them in their mosque. I am curious if you noticed or observed first hand any “new elements” added into Kalima by this group and also added in Azan? Has anyone on this forum firsthand made such observations?

> Intisar

# # #
> Dear Mike Sahib,

> Thank you for your valuable input.With your permission I shall use this in my next article on multiplicity of faiths, a diversity that looks repugnant but essentially is good.
> Saeed Qureshi


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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.