Pluralism News, April 11, 2017

Dr. Mike Ghouse   April 13, 2017   Comments Off on Pluralism News, April 11, 2017

CFP Bulletin segments

  • CFP – General Bulletin
  • CFP – Muslim Bulletin
  • CFP – Jewish Bulletin
  • CFP – Christian Bulletin
  • CFP – Hindu Bulletin
  • CFP – Sikh Bulletin
  • CFP – Others as we gather the staff.

This weekly bulletin comes to you from the Center for Pluralism, an organization committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to feels alienated or afraid of the other. How do we build such an America, where we can retire without tensions, and our children and grandchildren can feel secure about their future?   Please visit: http://www.Centerforpluralism.com

CFP is a bridge builder – all of us learn about each other. CFP is an all inclusive organization for every American. We have to learn to be a part of the whole and not live in silos.  This is a lot of work and we hope your see the value in it.

CFP – General Bulletin

Over the last 24 years, our writings have sought to capture the essence of each major religious festival and the contributions of spiritual masters in making the world a better place. Wishing you the very best on these festivities and celebrations.  We will make an effort to do a short write up on each one of these spiritual masters and their contributions to making the world a better place for all of us to live in. A lot of information is here and we can always improve upon it with your participation.

04/05 –  Ramnvami (Lord Ram’s Birth)  Wednesday, Hinduism
http://centerforpluralism.com/happy-ramnvami-birth-celebration-of-lord-rama/

04/08 – Mahavir, (Lord Mahavir’s Birth)  Sunday – Jainism
http://centerforpluralism.com/wisdom-of-lord-mahavir-live-and-let-live/

04/08 – Guru Gobind Singh’s Birth Anniversary Celebrations in New York
http://centerforpluralism.com/guru-gobind-singhs-350th-birth-anniversary-celebrations/

04/10 – Hazrat Ali ( Hazrat Ali’s Birth) Monday – Shia Muslims
http://centerforpluralism.com/hazrat-ali-4th-muslim-caliph/ and
http://centerforpluralism.com/imam-ali/

04/10 – Passover,  Monday, Jewish
http://centerforpluralism.com/a-passover-seder-haggadah-supplement/

04/11 – Hanuman Jayanthi, Tuesday, Hinduism
http://centerforpluralism.com/happy-hanuman-jayanthi-a-hindu-festival/

04/11 – Baisakhi (Festival of Harvest – Hindu, Sikh)
http://centerforpluralism.com/happy-baisakhi/

04/14 – Good Friday (Christianity)

04/16 –  Easter, Sunday, Christianity
http://centerforpluralism.com/a-muslim-pluralist-celebrates-easter-2/

04/20 – Ridvan, Thursday, Bahá’í
http://centerforpluralism.com/bahai-festival-ridvan/

04/23 – Yom Hashoah (Jewish)
http://centerforpluralism.com/yom-hashoah/

04/24 – Shab-e-Meraj Lailat al Meraj – Prophet Muhammad’s ascension
http://centerforpluralism.com/lailat-al-meraj-or-shab-e-meraj-a-muslim-prayer-night/

04/30 – Ghambar Festivals (Zoroastrian)
http://centerforpluralism.com/zoroastrian-festivals-gahambar/

Please visit the following tabs – programs, workshops, calendar, festivals, wisdom and conferences at www.CenterforPluralism.com for upcoming events.

WORKSHOP – UNDERSTANDING THE ESSENCE OF ISLAM
   

Islam remains a myth to many people who are not Muslims, not because it is complicated, but simply because its purpose and its role in society was rarely explained.

You’ll learn how Islam is a part of the family of faiths and contributes to the well being of humanity. The dots will be connected to bring a clear picture for you. It is just one of the 13 workshops on 13 different religions explained in the link below – and will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 1-4 PM.

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/islam-understanding-the-essence-of-islam-tickets-33377341527

Program Outline:  http://centerforpluralism.com/understanding-the-essence-of-islam/
13 Religions | 13 Workshops: http://centerforpluralism.com/workshops/

CFP – Muslim Bulletin

  1. Standing up for Muslims
  2. Muslim Meetings
  3. Mistakes Muslims Make
  4. Understanding Islam

Standing up for Muslims

Besides God, American Muslims have so much to be thankful for; the vision of our founding fathers and the contagious American sense of justice and fairness.  We attend both mainstream and Muslim events, and what we find is strong support for Muslims everywhere. It is time for us to reciprocate and volunteer more and stand up for others. In the long run, all of us would live a more secure life if we would all look out for each other.  I urge fellow Muslims to attend these events. A website is in process called www.DMVCalendar.com to compile all these events. A sponsor would be appreciated.

ACLC – American Christian Leadership Conference held their meeting at Washington Times News Paper office – It was good to speak on behalf of Muslims at the meeting, and I have been a speaker at their meetings since 2005.

USCRIRF – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom launched a drive on Capitol Hill to defend those persecuted around the world. Each one of the commissioners took on the responsibility to defend the rights of persecuted groups. It was so good to see so many of them defending Muslims around the world including Uyghur Muslims upon whom China has placed massive restrictions.  CFP will be an active participant in the ongoing.

IRFR – The International Religious Freedom Round table will be holding a conference on persecution of Christians and we hope to be one of the panelists and speakers at the event in April at the National Press Club.

The National Cathedral in Washington DC – held its discussion on “Welcoming the Stranger” and we were one of the sponsors of the event. A report is coming up on it.

The Committee on Religious Liberty – In one of the reports from the Department of Justice research showed that nearly 40% of the cases for places of worship denied a permit were for Muslims, a large share, but Muslims were not the only case, as there were Churches and other religious institutions that faced the same situation as the Mosques.

DOJ’s Acting Asst Attorney General Tom Wheeler (Trump Appointee) and I are considering hosting a Town hall kind of meeting to address Muslim concerns. He assures me that the rule of law will be followed.

SPLC – The Southern Poverty Law Center and Muslim Advocates hosted a discussion about post-Election bias – of the 1863 bias incidents, 180 were anti-Muslim incidents – almost 10% which is disproportionately large for a population that is less than 2% of the US population.
Muslim Meetings

Glad to see the informal Muslim advocacy group forming through the Montgomery County Faith community under the leadership of Lubna Ejaz. 27 Muslim organizations are participating in the formation.  In the meeting held at Rockville Library the focus was on 3 action items; bullying, safety and security of people and places and working on communications.  There is another meeting on 24th and we at the Center for Pluralism have volunteered to “examine the curriculum content for insensitivity and bias.” We hope to send this message to Muslims across the nation to develop similar programs.
The Adams Center is co-hosting Passover Seders and I urge Muslims around the nation to participate in them in their local communities.

Media Training

As we are planning to host a conference on Sharia, we are reviewing a lot of debates, discussions and hearings… the most common complaint is the refusal (or gun shy) of Muslim scholars and Imams to participate in public debates. As a result the public is hearing only one perspective. I fully understand the fear of the media-men making us speechless. It is time to overcome such fears.

There is a need to prepare us to deal with the media.  We hope to announce the training for Imams and Muslim leaders soon.

Mistakes Muslims Make

Finally, the book “Mistakes Muslims Make” is near completion. Over the last twenty some years what I have witnessed with Muslim organizations is chronicled in this book.  I hope it will provide insights into how Muslim organizations function and what steps need be taken for corrective actions. The idea is to learn from it.

On the theological front, we have failed miserably; we don’t have a clear understanding of our own religion and it is time we bring clarity not only to ourselves but to fellow humans.

Let’s take Apostasy as an example – there was no punishment meted out to Apostates during the times of the Prophet, but it has crept into our system. There is absolutely no compulsion in matters of faith, yet, the practice of compulsion continues. If a Muslim chooses to become a Christian, all hell breaks loose on him. The situation is the same with blasphemy.  We claim the Prophet has mercy for mankind, but we do not project him as such with our actions of cruelty towards those we consider to be apostates and blasphemers. We need to develop and broader perspective and consensus.

Another example is insistence on having witnesses in a rape case to protect against false accusations. However many a Sharia ulema rejects the DNA test as evidence.  As a matter of fact the Pakistani ulema council rejected it three years ago. They will take the DNA test but still insist on having three witnesses. What kind of men would they expect to be witnessing a rape and do nothing?

There should be no confusion; we need to bring clarity to many of the issues we have been postponing for years.  Suggestions will be made so that the process of rejection, modification and acceptance will begin.

Can we focus on these instead?

  1. Building relationships with fellow humans – the more we understand others, the fewer problems we would have, and the solutions are offered at http://centerforpluralism.com/program/
  2. The issues that affect all Americans should be a part of our focus in addition our own. We should not react to issues that affect Muslims only – that is too selfish and short-sighted. If everyone becomes selfish, our lives would not be easy to live.
  3. Focus on Creating an American world around us, and not a Muslim World. That is, let’s doing things that benefit all of God’s creation, not just Muslims.

PLEASE DONATE

Meanwhile, please make a generous donation – your name will be listed for supporting our efforts in building a cohesive America. You can donate at. https://www.paypal.me/AmericansTogether

This weekly bulletin comes to you from the Center for Pluralism. The Center for Pluralism is about building a cohesive America, where no American has to live in anxiety, discomfort or fear of another American.  By learning to respect the “otherness” of others and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each one of us, we pave the way to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. Then we all can live our lives and not worry about another’s religion, race, sexual orientation or ethnicity. We are all Americans.

Link to the above bulletin: http://centerforpluralism.com/muslim-bulletin-mistakes-muslims-make/

Dr. Mike Ghouse is President and Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, apprehension or fear of the other. He is a pluralist, thinker, writer, activist, motivational speaker and a news maker. He offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 65 links at www.MikeGhouse.net

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