WARNING : This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of other and sufferings of both sides of the party in the conflict. Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians are interdependent, one will not happen without the other. My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I hope and pray a sense of justice to prevail. Amen. Website www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com | Also Check Israel Palestine Confederation a pragmatic solution

Friday, April 29, 2011

Arab world is deposing rulers while Israel is blowing leaves

Published on Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Haaretz (Israel) Arab World Is Deposing Rulers, Israel Is Blowing Leaves The Environmental Protection Ministry declared this nothing less than a "revolution" - the leaf blower revolution. The Arab world is deposing rulers and we are deposing the leaf blower. by Gideon Levy

Sometimes I'd watch him, the leaf blower. Making a racket, raising clouds of dust but doing a wonderful job of cleaning our streets. Crouching along the sidewalks of the city, he would never get anything but barrages of curses from passersby. Yesterday his work ended. The new noise prevention regulations went into effect, and with them, the end of the leaf blower. I loved them, but apparently most Israelis thought otherwise. The Environmental Protection Ministry declared this nothing less than a "revolution" - the leaf blower revolution.

The Arab world is deposing rulers and we are deposing the leaf blower. Now they will inundate the streets with thousands of African sanitation workers, who will sweep our streets in a hush and clean up after us ever so quietly with their wretched brooms of twigs, these sub-contracted workers, who earn the very minimum of the minimum wage and do not receive any social benefits or health insurance. But what's important is that our rest is not disturbed and our tranquility is preserved, no matter the cost. This is how we are, we Israelis. We love to eat our cake and have it, too. We love the artfully achieved natural "look." We want someone to clean up after us but without making noise; we want someone to sweep up after us in conditions of near enslavement and without making a sound. It's not Israeli raucousness, the persistent honking of car horns, and the music blaring out of these cars - all the work of our own hands - that disturbs us. What disturbs us is the leaf blower. It's not the sounds of the seething environment that disturbs us. Not the outcries of the oppressed among us, not the mutterings of the world that opposes us and not the moans of those under our occupation. These do not disturb our serenity. Only the leaf blower does. This leaf blower is, indeed, a metaphor. There are many other leaf blowers and brooms out there that Israelis would want to "do their work" for them, to clear away the fallen leaves and the piled up garbage, but they better not disturb their tranquility. The separation wall is a case in point. They are there and we are here (and also there ), but the main thing is that the Palestinians disappear from our sight - separation and sweeping without any noise. Every time the occupation has the gall to proclaim its existence and make a racket like a leaf blower, we hasten to issue regulations to muffle it and use violent means to silence it. Like the cleanliness of our cities, we want the occupation to continue but without making noise. We want violent wars and brutal military operations but without a peep from the world in their wake. We want crude violations of human rights but without the clamor of criticism; to preach to the world to boycott Hamas but to be against international boycotts. We want democracy but without the background noises of the minority. We want to live in a near theocracy, one of the most religious countries in the world, and to imagine we are living in a secular and liberal democracy. We want to consider ourselves enlightened and to vote for Kadima - a rightist, nationalist party in every respect, only without the leaf-blowing racket of the undisguised right-wing nationalists. We say that most of us are in favor of the two-state solution, but we vote for parties that will do nothing to advance it. We vehemently oppose a one-state solution but we live, in fact for decades, in an apartheid state. We favor free access and worship at Joseph's Tomb but not at Al Aqsa. We remember 1948 but without the Nakba. We oppose returning Palestinian property from before 1948 but we evict Palestinian inhabitants in Hebron and Sheikh Jarrah on the grounds that their homes were under Jewish ownership before 1948. We shoot passengers in Palestinian cars who refuse to stop at roadblocks, but when the Palestinian police do the same, we call it a "murderous terror attack." We call the Israeli army Defense Forces, while most of its work is occupation. We live without a civil society but believe that tying a yellow ribbon onto our car mirrors for Gilad Shalit is an act of protest. We support Shalit's release but oppose the release of 450 terrorists in exchange for him. And we sweep and sweep, but without making any noise. I loved the leaf blower, but not only for his effectiveness: Sometimes it is, in fact, the silence that is rubbish. I, too, love quiet but not imaginary quiet, not quiet that sweeps things under the rug and deceives. If

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Muslim Speaker Mike Ghouse


A Muslim Speaker, thinker, organizer and an activist committed to building cohesive societies with a belief that what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice versa to sustain peace, harmony and prosperity.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter. Over 1000 articles have been published on a range of topics in Islam and Pluralism. Insha Allah, a book outlining the Muslim vision is on the horizon.

In defense of Islam, pursuing a civil dialogue


Over and over you hear it said: If Muslims oppose terrorism, why don't they stand up and say it?

If that has been you, Mike Ghouse ought to be your hero.

It is hard to imagine that anyone has worked harder than the Carrollton resident to demonstrate the peaceful and moderate side of Islam.

And that effort includes personally visiting Dallas' First Baptist Church last Sunday just to put a friendly face on the "evil, evil religion" that the Rev. Robert Jeffress denounced a few weeks before.

"It was wonderful," Ghouse said of the visit. "We were so warmly received."
He hopes a quick chat with Jeffress will be the start of deeper discussion about Islam and the importance of respect between religions.

"I want to have a dialogue with him, not to say he is wrong but to share another point of view," Ghouse said.

The 57-year-old Muslim was born in India and has lived in the United States for 30 years. He owns a small property management firm. But most of his day is devoted to building bridges between people of different faiths.

"It is my passion," he said in his distinctive raspy voice.

He has been a guest a dozen times on Sean Hannity's TV and radio talk shows. "I don't like the way Sean cuts me off, but I have to honor him for giving the American public a semblance of another point of view."

Ghouse said he can understand fear and criticism of Islam because he went through a time of similar feelings. As a teen, he was troubled by passages of the Quran. He called himself an atheist for a while.

But he said deeper study led him to realize the Quran had been purposely mistranslated down through history.

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.

"It was all for politics," he said.
Ghouse said he hopes to present Jeffress with a modern, faithful translation and challenge him to find evil verses.

"If he can, I will convert. I will join his church," Ghouse said. "If he can't, I will call on him to retract his statements and become a peacemaker."

Ghouse acknowledges that deep problems persist within Islam. "Three steps forward, two steps back," he said with a sigh.

And he agrees that mainstream Muslims have not done enough to counter violent images of their faith.

"That is very true," he said. "But part of it is that many Muslims have given up hope that we will ever be heard."

He said repeated denunciations of terrorism seem to fall on deaf ears.

And some efforts have backfired - like the proposed Islamic information center in New York. He said it should be hailed for furthering the moderate Muslim cause.
Instead, it has deepened hostility toward Muslims.

I have been astounded by the amount of anti-Islam propaganda that circulates via e-mail. Tons of it has come my way in the last few weeks.

One theme is that people like Mike Ghouse can't be trusted, that Islam encourages deception.

But Ghouse says actions speak louder than words. And he points to elections in Muslim nations.

More than half of Muslims live in countries with some degree of democracy. And time and time again, Islamist parties are overwhelmingly rejected in favor of secular, mainstream parties.

"The religious parties don't get more than 3 percent of the vote," Ghouse said.
Polls show deep mistrust of Muslims. "But the most important question in those surveys is: 'Do you know anything about Islam?' " Ghouse said. "Most people say no."
What keeps him going is faith in Americans, he said.

"The majority of Americans, if they know the truth, they will change their minds."
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer, thinker, futurist and an activist of Pluralism, Islam, India and Civil Societies passionately offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

He is a commentator at Fox News on the Hannity show, nationally syndicated Radio shows along with Dallas TV, Print and Radio networks and occasional interviews on NPR.  He has spoken at international forums including the Parliament of Worlds Religions in Melbourne, Middle East Peace initiative in Jerusalem, International Leadership conference in Hawaii, Washington and elsewhere.

Concerned by the divisiveness, he saw the need to bring Americans together and founded America Together Foundation committed to building a cohesive America, indeed it is in response to ACT America which is bent on pitching one American against the other.  We will be holding series of educational programs, conferences and workshops to address the issues that divide us such as Civil Right, GLBT, Quraan, Abortion, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racial Profiling and Stereotyping.

The Annual Unity Day USA is in its 7th year now, it is a purposeful event to bring Americans together, 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 wellbeing of our nation.  

Thanksgiving Celebration is in its 15th year showcasing cultural diversity.

The 5th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides is to learn and to acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things we have inflicted upon each other and commit to avert such tragedies.  Through this event non-Jewish people have consciously learned about Holocaust for the first time, it was also for the first time that people of 14 faiths came together to join in to commemorate the Holocaust that commemorated within the Jewish Community for years. They are not alone anymore in their anguish, we are all in it together with them, and it is a Muslim initiative to effect a positive change.

The programs, seminars and workshops conducted by the Foundation for Pluralism have become a part of the America Together Foundation. While the Foundation for Pluralism continues championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other, the commitment to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress continues.

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Mike is working on two books scheduled to be released this year; The American Muslim Agenda and My Journey to Pluralism.

Mike has written over 1000 Articles on Pluralism, Islam, India, Peace & Justice and civil societies published in a wide spectrum of Newspapers and Magazines around the world.

Locally, he is a panelist at Dallas Morning News's and writes weekly on a range of issues facing the nation. Washington Post, Huffington Post and other news papers and sites regularly publish his work.  

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your place of worship, school, work place, seminars, workshops or conferences. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/

Friday, April 1, 2011

A new Palestinian Non-Violent movement

Although the right wing Jewish and Palestinians may favor the two nation solution, it needs to be debated and all parties need to understand that, we cannot live in silos, eventually there will be larger federations in the Middle East of the likes of the European Union, a dream piped in by a few about the Subcontinent. A similar ideas was floated and executed 64 years ago resulting in India and Pakistan and it is an emotional drag on both people.

The nation of Israel exists and the Islamic nations or the future Muslim majority democracies around need to acknowledge endorse and establish diplomatic relations and to pave the way for stability in their neighborhoods.

The official Recognition of Israel by the Muslim majority nations is in the best interests of the actual Palestinians and the Israelis.

The stand taken by the right wing Israelis and Jews, the right wing Palestinians and Muslims has not produced results for either people.  We need to wash off the old mindset that has not worked in 63 years.

They are going through difficult times and are motivated by their security needs over the need to seek peace in the long haul and obviously patience is in short supply but score keeping is intense like two year old siblings.

It pains me to see the Palestinians languishing in squalor and camps for over three generations without an official national identity, shame on our civilization to have let our biases deprive them of the very basic human rights.   

One needs to understand the anti-Israeli sentiments as well, they see the Goliath running over the Palestinian David’s with sling shots, but to find long term solutions one must understand the security needs of the Jewish people. Both people are driven by security, not military security but the sense of living without apprehension.   The Jewish people have endured this pain of homelessness for over 3 thousand years.

We have to give the sense of security to the Jewish people and full hope and security to the Palestinians.  Recognition is one step that will break the camels back towards a better future.

I welcome the new peaceful non-violent movement to bring a positive change for the both the Palestinians and Israelis. What is good for one has got to be good for the other to sustain.

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Mike Ghouse, President of America Together foundation is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, and is available to speak at your place of worship, work or in seminars and conferences. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. His work is reflected in websites and Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Reference: A New Palestinian Movement: Young, Networked, Nonviolent
By Joe Klein Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011