Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Further on Quraan burning 
Posted at in response to concerns and question from Mian Waheed and Khalid Faridi.

First of all, I second and endorse the words of Khalid, “Quran is our symbol. And to a Muslim this symbol carries enormous weight and value.” Indeed, it is.  Most of the conflicts start by messing with the symbols and icons of others.

Mian you are right about burial, as the pages may be uncovered years later, as it happened in Yemen, those unearthed pages are being looked at in Germany and there are conflicting reports on that.  There is a new book out called Which Quran? By an ex-Muslim Ibn Warraq, he had copied the pages from different copies and shows them to be different. I have not seen this yet, but I have been called on it. No wonder Hazrat Umar burned several copies of the Quraan that were misprinted (written).

The Afghan rebels desecrated the Quraan before the American soldiers burnt it, they wrote secret messages on the pages of Quraan, no idea what they were, but you are not supposed to alter, or give the appearance of alteration.  Neither one is charitable acts.

Burning may not be the real issue, but disrespect, desecration and denigration is the issue. The behavior is designed to irritate the Muslims and Muslims fall prey to it.

We have several choices to consider:

1. Retribution – Retribution should be addressed directly to the men and women who messed with it. They need to be called in at the court and punished appropriately, if found guilty. Islam presumes one is innocent until proven guilty as does our constitution, only God knows what is in one’s heart until we can extract it from them.

If retribution is not confined to the men and women, then it is inflammatory and wrong. We cannot condemn Afghans, Muslim or Americans for the acts of the individuals. God sets the example of punishment to the individuals. Please remember the Quraan is clear about it; no one bears the burdens of other.

2. Forgiving and turning the other cheek – Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammad both have set that example innumerable times – don’t aggravate the conflict, but mitigate it and nurture goodwill. Taif incident is a good example (full story below). What does Quraan say about forgiveness? God’s favorite human is the one who forgives, is it not?  Forgiving disengages one from malice and liberates one to be free.

3. Reaction – Had Muslims not reacted violently across the globe, and followed the example of prophet – hold a prayer meeting, invite the press, and say prayers for the miscreants. You know what that would do? It will not tempt any one, anymore to do such despicable acts; it is no more fun to them, as Muslims will not react.

Here is a piece Imam Zia and I co-authored way back in September 2010. it was also published in Huffington post.

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MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he writes weekly at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, The Smirking Chimp and several other periodicals. His daily blog is

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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.