Friday, December 9, 2016

President's Mood

At this point in history, we are going through difficult times.  Whether you are on the right, left or the center, you are concerned about the liberties and freedoms of all Americans.  The divisiveness, even though temporary, has caused us to lose trust in each other to function effectively as a nation.

So what can we do?

Our President John Kennedy had famously urged us, “Ask not what the country can do - ask what you can do for your country.” and Professor William James had written that our actions can change the moods.

Here is what we can to do to restore America where no Americans feels left out, but feels included in nation building.

Let’s close 2016 on a positive note, let’s come together as Americans, and celebrate our collective Festivals of Hanukkah, Christmas, Milad, Kwanza, Janamashtami, Gurpurab and the festivities of Native Americans, and other traditions including Atheist/Humanist. Each group will get to sing honoring their faith tradition.

When we are together, it is uplifting!
We can change our moods! 

The following video has clips from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Milad, Janamashtami and other great celebrations.  On the actual day of Festival of Faiths, Americans Together will celebrate their traditions.  

  1. Video 
  2. Details
  3. Attend  RSVP – Eventbrite
  4.  Sing?   If your group likes to sing    
  5. List?     Please send an email to   
  6. Op-Ed  Ask not what the President can do for us?” will be released soon
  7. More
  8. Browse Tabs at
  9.  Event   Celebrating America –Festival of Faiths on Sunday, 12/18 – 12 to 2 PM
  10. Where   Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC 


Dr. Mike Ghouse is founder and president of Center for Pluralism aka Americans Together. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. All about him in 65 links at

Saturday, May 14, 2016

London’s New Mayor – Fox News’ Charles Payne and Mike Ghouse

Congratulations to Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London.
Hours before the votes were counted, I was I was on Fox News with Charles Payne and Zuhdi Jasser about Sadiq Khan’s possible victory.  Zuhdi was opposed and expressed his concerns, whereas I supported and cheered the democratic process and stood by my decision. Those of you who are moderates and or to the left, please respect Zuhdi’s point of view without having to agree with him, an Islamic tradition in case you have forgotten it.   We have to be respectful to others point of view that is the highest form of democracy.
Here is the link to Fox news:
Thursday, May 5, 2016 – 6:10 PM Live
SADIQ-KHAN-1Mike Ghouse’ talking points with Charles Payne on Fox News.
Tonight is one of the biggest nights for Democracy!
It is historical and even more important that it is happening in the United Kingdom, a nation of aristocrats, who have risen above it to possibly elect Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver, and belonging to a minority community; Muslims.
I will probably cry with joy, it is not only me, but the entire world will join me in doing that, not because he is a Muslim, but because United Kingdom has finally joined the civilized world led by America, where your race, religion don’t matter, but your capabilities do matter.
When Barak Obama was elected president on November 4, 2008 – who did not cry? By electing Obama, Americans proved once for all, that we are a nation of righteousness and we are not petty
We have a few great examples from history – when Prophet Muhammad anointed a freed slave – Hazrat Bilal to be prayer caller – Muezzin, at that time on the higher spiritual pedestal, and whose Arabic was not up to the mark, but the Prophet laid the foundation of knocking out arrogance and establishing ability as the criteria.
I am proud our democracy and now, the democracy of the United Kingdom for giving value for the one who deserves.
Trump can turn the tide around, and build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I will be happy to guide him through. I am a genuine pluralist, and pluralism runs through my veins.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker thinker and a writer with the Center for Pluralism aka America Together Foundation.
A great statement by Sadiq Khan, “I am the west….” I hope we expand on this, and I certainly will

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker,
Interfaith Wedding officiant, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampoliticsterrorism,human rightsIndiaIsrael-Palestine,motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him (63 links) at

Monday, May 9, 2016

What is Islam?

My faith is strong today, because I am open to criticism of Islam, Quran and the Prophet.   

Islam is simply another word for Justness, fairness and kindness, and the word Muslim is someone who subscribes to that idea. Of course, not every one in every faith follows its teachings, most people get that right and a few don’t.  

The following condensed note is from a speech about Islam, and the language I have used is reflective of a few verses from the Quran.

The more criticism I hear about Islam, the more I dig and learn, and reaffirm the values of Justness, fairness and equity embedded in Islam. Indeed, all religions are designed to build cohesive societies based on mutual trust, respect for the otherness of others and caring and kindness. 

I wish and pray that each one of you (Muslim) welcomes the criticism of Prophet, Islam, Quran and Muslims (Reference 1), there is nothing like having a strong faith after you have turned every stone up.  Your faith is incomplete if you do not allow criticism or critical questions.  Indeed, that is the case with every beautiful faith from Aztec to Zoroastrians and every one in between. 

By the way, you’ll never feel the urge to tell that your faith is better, if you understand the workings of your faith – that is to bring tranquility to yourselves and what surrounds you. The fourth synonym of religion is humility.

I have learned and will continue to learn from being critical.  

First, let me acknowledge that I chose to purge all the Islamic teachings I had learned through my teen years, I was a severe critique of all that was taught in the name of Islam through my adult life.  What was taught did not fit in with my view of the world where all of us have to live together. 

You won’t believe what turned me around, first it was a verse from Bhagvad Gita urging one to find the truth on his own, and then a Bible’s verse, “truth brings freedom.” Add to that, my Mother’s persistent saying that you alone are responsible for your actions on the Day of Judgment, and you stand alone defending your record, and there will be no one for any one, and that helped me focus on the purpose of life. 

Karen Armstrong’s book on Prophet Muhammad made me see him as a human like me, with whom I can connect. I have actually read the Quran through many translations and discovering that there are two false translations to cause Muslims to have ill-will towards non-Muslims and vice versa  (reference 2)

My yardstick measures if a religion contributes towards creating cohesive societies? Mind you, it is the religion I am talking about not its practitioners who may not practice precisely what their religion teaches. I would question the individuals and not their faith.  I have come to believe that Islam measures up on the stick like all the beautiful faiths.  

Please note that you have to be secure in your belief to give equal value to other faiths, I am seeing more and more people feeling secure to say that all faiths are wise, sane, just, fair and equitable.  By the way, if your faith is half-ass, you see other faiths in the same light. I urge you to question your faith if you do not think other faiths are beautiful.  

Finally Islam is for me, it is guidance to create safe and secure societies for every human being and seeking harmony between life and environment.  My chosen faith works for me as your faith suits you. 

Quran is Islam's manual to create cohesive Societies. 

Islam is not about ruling any one, controlling anyone, compelling anyone, or telling others what to do.  

Islam is not about having an Islamic government, and subjugating people of other faiths. Islam is not about imposing its rules on others.

Islam is not about wearing beards, caps or certain clothes.

Islam is about living an exemplary life of a citizen who is just, caring, trustworthy and around whom others feel safe.

Islam is about living your life in peace and letting others live theirs in peace.

Islam is about minding your own faith and letting others mind theirs.

Islam is about contributing to justice, peace and equality in the society.

Islam is about treating others as you wanted to be treated, and Islam is about respecting the otherness of others. (Reference 3)
Islam is about contributing to the well being of humanity. 

Islam says the best ones among us are those who care about following beings, life and environment. Indeed, God assures humanity (not necessarily Muslims) in clear terms that if you are Jewish, Christian, Pagan or other, you need not worry, as long as you cared for fellow beings. You don’t have to be a Muslim to earn God’s grace, but you have to be a contributor to the well being of fellow beings and the universe around you. 

God loves those who forgive often and God loves the least among you who is arrogant, and I urge you to think about the wisdom, the depth and breadth of this sentence.

Islam goes to the extent of saying not to treat all prophets as equals including Prophet Muhammad that is the kind humility it imbues. 

My biggest joy is removing layers of dust from Islam, and re-discovering its inherent pluralistic nature, I see Quran as a manual to build cohesive societies.

I feel guilty, if my language is not inclusive of other faith traditions.  A decade ago, a business radio station asked me to join a Rabbi and a Pastor to talk about Alms giving in the Abrahimic faiths. I asked them if they have other faiths joining, they said no, and then I said, I will do it, if you let me talk about Alms giving in at least three other faiths; namely Hinduism, Baha’i and Sikhism, and they did.  

Even if I am talking about Islam, there will be references to other faiths, indeed Pluralism runs through my veins.

Please note, my faith is strong today, because I am open to criticism of Islam, Quran and the Prophet.  I had a public challenge to Pastor Robert Jeffress, "if you find three faults in Quran, I will do what you asked me to do" he backed off and we held a full blown Quran conference. a few Muslims said, I should not have challenged him, my response was, did you study Quran, have you developed a faith in it?  Video's, Newspaper Report and conference proceedings are at - it is worth your time, if you have an interest. 


4. Quran Conference -

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at for his writings at and several blogs listed there in.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pat Robertson's nasty comment and Muslim Speaker's response on 700 club Today

Mr. Robertson, more than the Muslims, Jesus would be disappointed in you severely. The role of religious leaders is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill, and he called out “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Leaders invoke civility in the society, so members of the society can live in peace and without apprehension and I urge you to be at least a peace maker, if not the blessed one.

I urge Muslims to follow the Prophet’s formula of mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill and not be offended with Mr. Robertson’s comments. Prophet was a mercy to mankind, and it is time for us to collectively follow him and be kind and gentler towards any one who is nasty towards us.

Mr. Roberston, what did you do this morning?

You pit Christian Americans against Muslim Americans? Do you cherish Americans living in tensions? Do you get paid for that, do the dumb and dumber ones donate more money to you? Shame on them to encourage you to be a rascal. If you need money badly to do good things, we can pitch in for you, but don't invoke the baseness in fellow humans. Please don't be an embarrassment to Christianity, the man who sacrificed his life should not be misrepresented. I pray for you to become a blessed peace maker and join me in created a safe and secure America for every one of us.

Mr. Robertson, Religion is not the problem!

None of us had a religion before, and each one of us was given guidance to live in peace and harmony with oneself and with others. A majority of the people got that message of religions right, and a few creeps did not, and it is our role to help every one restore peace. Is it not?

But when bad things happen, who do you blame, religion or the creeps?

Let me show you what happens.

When we blame the creeps, what happens? We will hunt them down wherever we can find them, and punish them according to the laws of the land and restore trust in the society, so no one can live in apprehension or tensions. What a relief it is to stop the bad guy!

If you blame the religion on the other hand, what happens? Nothing happens! It is the dumbest thing to blame the religion, is it not?
Religion is not a being, not a thing, not a body, for Christ's sake, it is an intangible item. You cannot shoot, kick, beat, thrash, hang, kill or bury it. It does not do any good and no problem will be solved except aimless barking.

Problem remains, people will continue to remain apprehensive and fearful of each other. Let’s find solutions to these problems instead of barking at religion.

I have said this on Stuart Varney show, Hannity Show, and given many speeches on the topic and have written it umpteen times. It is down right stupid to blame religion. God willing, I will get on Fox and Friends or any show and start talking about it.
God willing a full article will be written on the topic.

"Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson said that countries like Belgium and France must respond with “violence” to the “infection” of Muslim immigrants, telling his co-host Terry Meeuwsen that these countries must fight Islam in the same way that a body fights a deadly disease." 
Otherwise, “Europe is doomed. Doomed!” he said, before adding: “And we have a president here in America who refuses to name it, refuses to identify it and refuses to give us what’s needed to kill the infection.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

Muslim Prayers, one, two, three and four rakats

It’s not easy to be the first one. In 2005, Memnosyne Foundation held a conference on religion, and at the conclusion of the ceremony, each faith tradition was asked to pray, so we can learn how each one of us prays. The time given to each one of us was 2 minutes, and there were nearly 30 of us to wrap it up in one hour.  

I had a hard time figuring out how to perform Muslim prayers in two (2) minutes,  the minimum known prayer is two units (Rakats) and it takes 3-4 minutes*. So, I decided to go with one unit (Rakat) of Prayer and it was opposed, and some of them did not even want me to pray as it had never been done before.  I had the higher responsibility to share how we pray; it was a message that needed to be communicating to the world at large.

I sought forgiveness from God and prayed and it was both in English and Arabic. Believe me that was one of the most devotional prayers of my life. I put my heart, mind and soul into it. I was on the stage with cameras clicking and I had to be my best and thank God, I was deeply devotional and absorbed in it. God did not tell me if he was happy, but I am sure he was, it was to promote understanding and that is his call (Quran 49:13). The best ones among you are those who learn about each other, and when we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge for peaceful existence of humanity. 

Surprise, surprise!

In 2009 the situation came up again. I was at the Parliament of World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia and a Saudi woman Islamic teacher was giving the talk on how Muslims pray, and the room was packed with clergy from Iran and Saudi Arabia in their flowing robes. She asked if a Muslim can step up to demonstrate the Muslim prayer and it will be one unit… I cannot tell you, I literally jumped up from my chair and dashed to the stage floor, tripping once over the cable on the floor, but got up and was ready to ‘perform’.  After the prayer, I told them that this event released me from the bottled up tension, and of course every one cheered. Later on in Dallas the FBI was training ethnic sensitivity about Muslims and Sikhs and a Muslim trainer did that one unit prayer again. 

What a relief!

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker with whom you can engage on talking about any issue concerning Islam - Quran is the source he relies on and occasionally refers to the secondary sources with caution, as they were human compilations and subject to errors.   He encourages one to lay it out, lay everything that is bothering one, he believes in clarifying rather than walking out with doubts.  He has gained more knowledge about Islam by allowing and encouraging people to critique and criticize, and his faith in the principles and essence of Islam is rock solid.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunni Muslim, is that what I am ?

Farrukh wrote, “This is a warning to all Muslims in this forum that Mike Ghouse’s religion is not Islam, he is Ismaili, and he is misguided person. If anyone needs more info about his religion, please let me know.”  
There are a few out there who do not even have the inclination to verify any information but pass it on as their authoritative information.   I wish he had written, “Mike Ghouse is a Muslim, and I am not sure which denomination he belongs to as I have not verified it,  but it appears that he fits in with everyone from Shia, Sunni, Bohra, Ahmadiyya, Ismaili, Alawite or what not.” And, “If anyone wants/need more information about his religion, visit the following sites.
Am-I-a-Sunni-Muslim ,, , ,, and a whole lot more sites including and the following video at Youtube;

First of all, Prophet Muhammad knew only one group of people; Muslims! Prefixes like Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismaili, WD Muhammad, Alawite, Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahl-e-Hadith, Ahl-e-bait etc., were not in his vocabulary nor can anyone ascribe these words to him – he did not use them.  
All the Madhabs or denominations are natural outcomes of the society. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) understood human nature and rightfully predicted the singular faith he taught will split, re-split and will continue to split and he chose the metaphorical number 72 do denote an infinite number.
He planted that seed, so we can learn to live with each other with our differences, we have to race in doing good things but not claim to be self righteousness and denigrate others, as that amounts to arrogance and God does not like those who are arrogant.  Only God knows who would be rank #1, #2, and #3,  and who would score A, B, C or D grades. Even if you are a sinner,  God may forgive you if you do one simple act of kindness towards other living beings like giving water to a thirsty cat, but most certainly fellow humans. Only God knows the full impact of our actions to his creation to bestow his grace.
My understanding is, you have to be a good human being who cares for his fellow beings and environment (that God has created). Wont’ you be happy and sing songs of your guests in your home if they meticulously take care of your property?  Or your employees who make sure your business is intact and taken care of?  Do you worry if the employee is Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Christian or whoever, as long as he or she cares for your business? God does not worry how you worship him or what your religion is,  he appreciates it if you contribute towards preserving his creation,  and it comes through justness, fairness and kindness.
God does not discriminate one from the other, his criteria or question to us is, “Are you good to your fellow beings (humans and animals) and environment?”
[2:136] Say, “We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.”
[4:152] As for those who believe in GOD and His messengers, and make no distinction among them, He will grant them their recompense. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
God loves us all, after all we are his creation, and because he cares about us, he offers guidance, and he sends a peace maker (call a messenger, prophet or any other word) to each community and each group to show them how to live in peace and harmony. Bhagvad Gita phrases it in another fashion, every time there is chaos in the society, someone from among you will emerge to restore righteousness. It could be a Shaman in the remote jungles of Amazon or a Prophet like Abraham, make no distinction, they serve God by preserving harmony, peace and justice in the community they live in.
Islam has always emphasized on serving fellow beings, God assures every one, yes every one, not to worry about the future, as long as you take care of his creation comprising life and and matter, he will take care of you.
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[22:17] Those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, the Christians, the Zoroastrians, and the idol worshipers, GOD is the One who will judge among them on the Day of Resurrection. GOD witnesses all things.
[43:17] He also said, he made us into many tribes, races, nations and by extension religions and communities and the best ones among us are those who learn about each other, and when we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
The division
Quran remains the word of God; however, what God meant has been understood differently by different people. No one, including the great Imams of the time can ever claim that his understanding is the right one.  Remember, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not assign any one to be the sole interpreter of Quran, he said, I am leaving this book to you, for you to understand. Please note, the Shia tradition differs on this issue, and we have to respect their understanding. If God is kind, just, merciful and fair, and Prophet is a mercy to mankind, then everything we will see in Quran would be nothing but common sense for common goodness, it is non-stop universalism. You are welcome to differ, Islam is too big of a religion (aalameen) to exclude any one of us.  
In the beginning, there was one singular interpretation for Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and other faiths for many years.
In the 16th century,  Christianity split into Protestant and its many variations, each faith has followed the same natural path of amoeba, divide itself and keep multiplying.
In case of Islam, Prophet Muhammad knew only one thing; what he preached; One Islam. He did not even know that there was a Sunni Islam. I would say the same about all other prophets.
Then we reluctantly accepted the split of Shia and Sunni traditions, then came the 6 six schools of thoughts, we accepted that diversity as well, and now Islam has many traditions within, and we have accepted them with humility. Pluralism is an attitude of respecting the otherness of others. 
Allahu Akbar! (Check out Huffington Post – ) it means humility, we are small, hence all of us small ones are on par.  A few among us are arrogant about our traditions and denigrate others.  What a shame, they assign themselves to play the role of a deputy of God or decider for him and pass judgments about others. That is shirk (diluting the dominion of God)  and it creates problem hence declared as the ugliest of all sins. That is we cannot judge other’s faith.
I have chosen to remain denomination less, but if you want to know what I pray like and sound like, it is reflective of Sunni tradition, only because I was raised with those values and it don’t mean superior or inferior, it is just my tuning.  If my parents had programmed me to be a Shia or an Ahmadiyya, I would have followed that path. We need to learn to respect each path, each one means dearly to the believer, as they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, faith is in the heart of the believer.  My mother is dear to me as your mother is dear to you and Quran says, to you is your faith and to me is my faith (109.6 – that is not a radio station, but the Verse from the Quran) .
Heavens, I am comfortable with every which tradition a Muslim prays and I have been to every Mosque of almost all denominations including the three most revered ones in Mecca, Madinah and Jerusalem. (Check out  Ironically, it would have been abidda, an invention if someone had called himself or herself a Shia or a Sunni during the life of the Prophet.  So, why should I call myself a Sunni?  I fully respect other people’s choices to belong to sub-groups and all are welcome. I am a Muslim, period! I have no walls between me and another Muslim, and no wall between me and another human. 
Indeed, the World Muslim congress was formed with that express purpose to create space for every Muslim, and the was created for all humanity.  In the search box, you can plug in the name of any denomination, and you will find the articles, you can plug in the name of any commemoration or festival, you will find the information. It took me a lot of time and effort to make that happen, and that is my commitment to create a world where all humanity can get along by knowing each other. 
The role of Muslims is to contribute towards the well being of humanity, and to be the conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers. Our goal is to build a secure world for every human, our Jewish friends can understand that, as they believe in Tikkun Olam. Please read the mission statement
This group is about Muslims and their civic responsibilities in creating a dignified religious, social and civic space for themselves in the community of faiths. We do not distinguish between a Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya, WD Muhammad, Ismaili, Bohra or the subsets of each group, all believe in God, the Prophet and the accountability of their actions and whoever calls himself or herself a Muslim is a Muslim to us. Currently we are blessed to have our Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Baha’i, Sikh and Buddhist friends among us to learn and share their perspective. This is our world and our God collectively.

The with  1700 members from around the world, and it is denomination-less, it is for all Muslims with full and equal respect to all denominations.Our focus is not the tiny differences, but the larger commonality.
World Muslim Congress is a think tank, all are welcome to participate in the discussions, and our scope is limited and defined in our mission statement. Currently, we have 1700 Members worldwide with no membership fee.
To join the group that has been around since 2004, and prior to that it was called the Muslim Agenda from 2002 onwards, send an email to:
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker,Interfaith Wedding officiant, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslam,politicsterrorism,human rightsIndiaIsrael-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him (63 links) for his exclusive writings.

Moderate Muslim Speaker

Moderate Muslim Speaker
email to: or text to (214) 325-1916


Email to: or text (214) 325-1916

Moderate Islam

Moderate Islam
Moderate Islamic Speaker