Pluralism News – September 7, 2018

Dr. Mike Ghouse   September 8, 2018   Comments Off on Pluralism News – September 7, 2018

We are pleased to share the following with you, it is our work, creating cohesive societies where each one of us feels secure about our faith, race, culture, ethnicity and any other uniqueness.

1. Happy Rosh Hashanah
2. Pilgrimage Visa to Pakistani Jews
3. Happy Janmashtami
4. Youth Conference by Fasilah
5. Congratulations to LGBTQ Community
6. Arfa Khanum, Star Journalist from India visits DC
7. Busting Myths about Hindus and Muslims
8. Saudi American Relations on C-Span

All at http://centerforpluralism.com/pluralism-news-september-7-2018/

9/11 SPECIAL = MY STORY  LIVE ON FACEBOOK 
9:30 AM ON 9/11 AT https://www.facebook.com/MikeGhouse/

HAPPY ROSH HASHANAH

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year that takes place in the month of Tishri and celebrates Creation. On the day of Rosh Hashanah G-d opens the Book of Life and observes his creatures, and decides their fate for the coming year. What follows for the next 10 days is self-reflection to justify one’s existence to God, a period called Shabbat Shuva, and on the 10th day, God closes your book, and it is a time for the celebration

http://www.theghousediary.com/yom-kippur-and-rosh-hashanah-greetings/

The Spirit of Rosh Hashanah

PILGRIMAGE VISA TO PAKISTANI JEWS

Tuesday, September 4, 2018, Department of State — I had the pleasure to present an appeal to Ambassador Brownback in his meeting at large requesting him of two things;

1. Issue a Pilgrimage visa to a Pakistani Jewish man who wanted to celebrate the Passover holidays in Jerusalem.

2. Remove the derogatory statement about Ahmadi Muslims when someone applies for a visa or Passport in Pakistan.

Ambassador agreed to follow it up with the Pakistani government, and now we have to draft a letter to be signed by many organizations who stand for religious freedom.

More at http://centerforpluralism.com/pilgrimage-visa-from-pakistan-to-israel/

HAPPY JANMASHTAMI

Janmashtami is the celebration of Sri Krishna’s birthday, the man who is the 8th Avatar (representation) of Vishnu; meaning the facet of the creator that manages the preservation aspect of life. Hinduism sees God in three broad categories; Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma reflects the creator form of God, and Vishnu represents the preserver aspect of creation that inspires one to be righteous, and Shiva brings a finite ending to life. It is a part of the life cycle; every human is born, lives on, and finally disintegrates. Details – http://centerforpluralism.com/janamashtami-lord-krishnas-birth-celebrations/ 

YOUTH CONFERENCE  ON 9/21 

FASILAH is a non-profit organization working towards empowering, developing and training young leaders to positively impact their communities, nations, and the world. FASILAH aims to do so by designing and developing a various number of initiatives, activities, and programs focusing on the below areas of interest: – Personal & Professional Development – Culture, Arts & Talents – Promoting Peace & Tolerance

Please ask your youth to register at the following link.  https://www.fasilah.org/peace-dialogue

KUDOS TO INDIA’S SUPREME COURT & CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY

Finally, India joins the civilized nations by accepting and respecting the uniqueness of each human being. Thanks to the Supreme Court of India for striking down the colonial-era ban on gay sex.

This act removes the legal barriers and prejudices towards LGBTQ community as a part of the society.

Now it’s the responsibility of Indians, the civic, business and religious leaders to promote social acceptance and remove biases towards fellow Indians who are from the LGBTQ community.

We also have to upgrade our civility towards Atheists, Buddhists, Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Hindus, and other Indians and people living and working in India.

God is a part of the equation. We are all a part of his creation, and no one is more privileged than the other. He created each one of us to be unique with our own thumbprint, eye print, taste bud, DNA and sexual orientation. All that God wants is for us to respect each one of us regardless of our race, region or religion.

Our religious people have to study their holy books and correct the misinterpretations of making God as a villain of his own creation. God loved us all and chose to create space for each one of us. We have been blessed with respectful identities of nations, religions, ethnicities, races and sexual orientation.

My article in 2013 – calling for the Supreme Court to honor liberty
 https://www.opednews.com/articles/Same-Sex-marriage-criminal-by-Mike-Ghouse-Court-Challenge_Decision-making_GLBT_GLBT-131227-613.html

NEW YORK TIMES TODAY – https://nyti.ms/2CnBJQR

Dr. Mike Ghouse is president of the Center for Pluralism and is committed to building cohesive societies.

ARFA KHANUM – STAR JOURNALIST FROM INDIA VISITS WASHINGTON, DC

Arfa is one of the star journalists of India visiting the United States for professional meetings as well as sharing her story with fellow Indians across the country. The meet & greet luncheon in Washington, DC was organized by Kaleem and Tahoora Khawaja of the Association of Indian Muslims of America.

Ms. Arfa Khanum Sherwani is one of the Indian journalists who is deeply committed to your freedom. Indeed, if you recall the 70’s, it’s the journalists who saved India from fascism, some of them even went to Jail to protect our freedoms.

Right now, the Indian public is looking for a few more saviors who can speak boldly against the dictatorial tendencies. Thank God, a new breed of freedom fighters are emerging from the wire and other online news portals.

A democracy that is your right to elect the representatives from among you to protect your interests- that is your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The strength of Democracy hinges on four great legs: press, legislature, judiciary, and administration.

Arfa is fulfilling her dharma dutifully. The more critical you are of the government, the more patriotic you are. If you resort to chamchagiri, you are encouraging the politicians to keep doing the same thing and sink the nation. You’ve got to keep them on their toes; they work for us.

She urged Muslims to integrate into the society fully, and be a part of the Indian story and not apart from it. Here is an article I wrote several years ago, that reflects some of the conversations and a panacea to the current situation the Muslims are struggling with.

Are Muslims a part of the society? The same story holds good for India –

She articulated a few bold points. Not only the education of girls is the key to bringing a positive change, but giving her the freedom to pursue her career is important, a woman should not be taught to be a gold digger and a submissive wife, but an independent woman who chooses how she lives her life and live her full potential.

Of course, many good ideas were floated about adopting a school in your hometown, establishing a scholarship and mentoring programs for at least a few journalists each year.

A weak Modi will be re-elected in 2019, allaying the fears about changing the constitution and pulling the right to be free. If freedom is not preserved, it will lead to the collapse of the social structure causing chaos.

RSS and Congress are two mindsets rather than two parties.

One ideology is based on the perceived fear that their way of life will be lost with freedom in the society, hence the need to dictate others how to live, what they eat, wear, believe and whom they marry – all to have a false sense of security.

Whereas, the other mindset is tethered to a firm belief in Vasudhaiva kutumbukum and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each Indian. They are secure under their skin.

So, what are our choices? Who do we support? Voting is a personal choice, an individual votes out of his or her own free will. All we can do is offer the knowledge – which party will bring peace to the communities, removes the fear of each other and brings people together for the common good.

Goodness is inherent in human, each one of us wants to get along with others, and we are the happiest, that is the natural state of mind when all of us help each other and get along. A few among us lose track of it, and resort to doing things that go against their nature, we have a responsibility to spread the knowledge of goodness.

Mike Ghouse is the founder and executive director of the Center for Pluralism committed to building cohesive societies, where no fellow human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.

Busting Myths about Hindus & Muslims for peace, profit, and productivity. 

When you work with people of different faiths, ethnicities, cultures, and races, you are bound to encounter conflicts; both real and perceived. The battles may be overt or subtle, but they cause tensions and start pitting one against the other. They get entangled in these gratuitous battles instead of enjoying their lives and being productive to the company, government or the community they serve.
Our goal at the Center for Pluralism is to bust the myths and pave the way for tension-free living and work environment. We hope you walk out of the seminar respecting the otherness of other and accepting the God given the uniqueness of each other resulting in fewer conflicts and plenty of goodwill, peace, and harmony, and above all else, free yourselves to enjoy your time with your family.
The myths and stereotyping have persisted because very few have done anything to change it.
I am one of the guys with whom people of all faiths from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and everyone in between confides, and I will keep that confidential, but I feel their anger, anguish, and pain when they say ugly things about the others. This seminar is an effort to bring sanity, peace, and profitability to such individuals.
Here is the list in progress, and will add them all to make a comprehensive list and then classify them into categories to address.  The next round is myths about all religions and tackling them in November over dinner. If each one of has got some of this crap, how can they effectively work together, and enjoy the life with so much suspicion?
We will collect all the items as they come,  and then fine-tune them into 50 items to deal with.
MYTHS ABOUT HINDUS  
We will add everything people have on their minds
1. Muslim can’t be believed. Unreliable. Backstabbers.
2. Muslim Men in India marry more than 1 woman
3. Muslims are rapidly increasing in population over Hindus in India
4. Violent n brutal, savage-like or Kasai ki jaat
5. Orthodox especially regarding women marriage at puberty
6. dress code n caps to show identity n difference
7. Polygamy, age difference, no family planning
8. NO reformation is possible
9. Muslims kill anyone to please Allah to go to Heaven.
10. Muslims are loyal to Pakistan
11. Subjugate their wives
12. Want to have sharia law
13. Kill kafirs
14. They Pray five times a day and talk about Killing Hindus
15. They don’t accept anyone but Allah, the Moon God
MYTHS ABOUT MUSLIMS 
We will add everything people have on their minds
1. Hindus set their women on fire if they don’t get the dowry
2. Hindus beat their women to death
3. Hindus will kill anyone to please Cow God
4. They draw the lines for women not to cross
5. Killing female babies before birth are rampant
6. Trust the snake not the Brahman
7. They don’t value humans over cow
8. Untrustworthy
9. Wives are servants
10. They are all vegetarian
11. Drink cow urine
12. They have countless gods and idol worshipper
13. Observe caste system, no respect for low caste
14. They don’t let low caste enter the Temples
15. Do Hindus divorce or in case of the death of a spouse, they remarry

16. Hindus mistreat and humiliate widows

Please send an email as what you like to hear about Hinduism and Islam in the meeting.

RELIGIOUS SCRIPTURES – BRING HARMONY OR CREATE CONFLICT?


A successful seminar on religious scriptures at Capitol Hill – A Rabbi, Imam, Pastor, and a Pundit answer tough questions on the universality of their scriptures. This was a part of the events held the Department of State’s three-day program on Religious Freedom around the world. Thanks to Dr. Frank Islam, Dr. Farooque Khan, Dr. Rehana Kausar and Dr. Nauman Anwar for their sponsorship.  VIDEO: https://youtu.be/KNsJjHQf3Cw

SAUDI AMERICAN RELATIONS – ON C-SPAN 

Al-Maeena and Ghouse discuss the social, cultural and religious changes taking place in the kingdom, particularly in the last year.  The program was broadcasted live from the Gold Room at Capitol Hill. Thanks to the congressman Gus Bilirakis and Miranda Robinson for their help.VIDEO – https://www.c-span.org/video/?449909-1/us-saudi-arabia-relations 

What do we do at the Center for Pluralism
http://centerforpluralism.com/what-do-we-do-at-center-for-pluralism/

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Thank you,

Mike Ghouse

Center for Pluralism, Washington, DC
Pluralism Studies in Religion, Politics, Society, Culture, and business.
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