Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Release - American Muslim Agenda

THE BOOK – American Muslim Agenda
Muslims Together Building a Cohesive America

 What is the book about?  

You will be pleased to see your vision of America resonate in the book. Even though the title is ”American Muslim Agenda,” it is for all Americans.
One of the purposes in naming the book is for my fellow Americans who have misunderstood Muslims to pick up the book and read, and my fellow Muslims who have misunderstood Islam to take a look the at the pristine Islam that they long for, it is not lost, we have to revive it. Islam is not about ruling or dictating others; it is about living your life and letting others live theirs, one of the 12 strongest values of Islam is freewill that Muslims have forgotten.   I have cited the Quran extensively with reinforcing practices of the prophet.
There are occasional references of wisdom drawn from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and every faith in between. You will see Jesus in Muhammad, Torah in Quran or Bhagavad Gita’s reflections or Buddhas Middle path or Nanak’s service to humanity.
You may like this note that Dr. Frank Islam has highlighted.
“I am intrigued by the book, particularly the chapter on the Essence of Islam. The great Talmudic sage Rabbi Hillel in the first century BC said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this—to study it!” Dr. Ghouse responds to Rabbi Hillel with a corollary on Islam, “God wants us to respect the otherness of the others and accept the uniqueness of each human. That is the whole Quran; the rest is the explanation of this—to study it!”

MUSLIMS TOGETHER BUILDING A COHESIVE AMERICA

This book, The American Muslim Agenda, is a primer, a blueprint, a road map for American Muslims to consider. A Muslim is someone who is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer, following the formula for peaceful societies practiced by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and guided by the Quran. As a community, American Muslims have not developed any concrete plans to extricate themselves out of the chaotic situations, hostility and incessant Islamophobic rhetoric we face. Each time a terrorist acts out, we start praying and wishing that the terrorist not be a Muslim. We are Americans, and we can do better than that. This book paves the way for us to own the mistakes we have made, remedy them, and become fully integrated Americans. There is only one America, and all of us are fully integrated parts of that nation. We need to learn to engage with those who are opposed to us, and I have some good success stories to share on that front. When we start defending America and American values we are in! We become an integral part of American Fabric.

What do the Scholars say about the book?

Bob Roberts, Renowned Evangelical Pastor & Founder of Global.net Author Bold as Love
I’m so grateful for the work of Mike Ghouse and his desire to build bridges.  You will love this book, it’s about how Muslims in America think, and how we should all be connected regardless of faith.  For too long, we’ve ignored the divide between Muslims and Christians and the result is we are prone to believe the worst about one another.  Thanks, Mike for this important book.
* * * * *
Bob Crane, first Muslim US Ambassador
Mike Ghouse’s path-breaking book, American Muslim Agenda, recommends a new agenda in the form of a paradigm shift from the negativism of attacking Islamophobia to the constructive support of America’s founding vision as a model of every world religion’s essence in compassionate justice. This is based on the interfaith search for transcendent truth from both scriptures and natural law in order to translate this wisdom into principles of both ethical value and jurisprudence.  These principles, in turn, are essential to guide the modern think-tanks that shape policy agendas, as well as to inform the voters and legislators who have the practical responsibility to translate the vision of compassionate justice into both societal and institutional reform.  This is what it has always meant to be an American.
Fi Aman Allah,
* * * * *
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, first Muslim woman scholar to translate the Quran sensitively! 
Endorsement for The American Muslim Agenda by Mike Ghouse The author presents a challenge to American Muslims to lose their egos and integrate themselves into being fully Muslim, fully American. They have a Muslim example to follow and it is that of spiritual chivalry (javanmardi, futuwwah).
Spiritual chivalry is that the spiritual warrior constantly strives for the sake of others. It is not seeing yourself as superior to others, to be an enemy of your own soul for the sake of your Lord, to act justly without demanding justice for yourself. Spiritual chivalry is to manifest a beautiful character.
The spiritual warrior (fata or the feminine, fatat) is a person who has a sense of honor, is called ‘he who breaks the idol.’ God Most High has said [in the Quran], ‘We heard a spiritual warrior named Abraham speak of them [the idols Abraham broke]’ [21:20]. And He said, ‘And he (Abraham, the spiritual warrior) made them [the idols] fragments’ [21:60]. The idol of every person is his own ego, so in reality, whoever opposes his own passions is a ‘spiritual warrior’.
* * * * *
 Dr. Tariq Cheema, Founder, World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists
“Bold and brilliant Mike Ghouse. He has not just drawn a roadmap for Muslim Americans to contribute to the society meaningfully but highlighted the unique value proposition of Muslims that mainstream America can bank upon to progress. In fragmented America today, the hope lies in the people of faith who believe in social justice and cohesion. This book is an open invitation and a call to action for all those men and women of conscience.”
* * * * *
 Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Washington
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a warrior for conflict resolution and a partisan for non-partisan dialogue. He aims to bring all voices to the table of religious pluralism that he sets with the “agenda” in this book.  He and I have shared presentations on panels where the perspective centers on covenantal pluralism, the idea that a God who can treasure one faith community must have the will and power to treasure all moral communities of whatever faith or of no faith.  May his efforts in articulating the agenda for his beloved Muslim community inspire other faith leaders to delve self-critically and responsibly into the resources within their own religions to move beyond tolerance to a loving and robust mutual appreciation.  Our times need his voice and need others to speak out as well.
* * * * *
Dr. Harbans Lal, Emeritus Professor, and Chairman, 
Dept of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, UNT Health Science Center, Texas
It is only recently that many courageous scholars and public servants began to tell what the real Islam was. Guru Nanak wrote hundreds of hymns in the Sikh scripture on who is a good Muslim. I am glad to see the recent book by Mike Ghouse. Mike began nearly 15 years ago to set the stage right. He started with a radio show on the world’s religions. I remember my frequent participation there and answering Mike’s piercing questions. Then he contributed hundreds of columns in leading newspapers and magazines. Now, he came up with his book that elucidates the purpose of religion in general and the role of Islam in particular as a member of the community of faiths.  I recommend this book to the Muslim community and their neighbors who are the followers of other religions. In facts, the adherents of other religions might consider Mike’s approach in spreading the sacred words of the founders of their beliefs.
* * * * *
Dr. Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times International.
This beautiful, well-written book, is the next level thinking for the Muslims, many of whom still live in the medieval paradigm of ‘them’ versus ‘us.’ Mike Ghouse is the Messiah for pluralism to pull the Muslims out of a sectarian vision, to a genuine universal brotherhood and sisterhood, befitting our global village, for the 21st century.
It is a must read for every Muslim living in the West, who is desirous of genuine integration, to benefit from all the good that rational and democratic human societies have to offer.  By the same token, it is a must-read for every Westerner, who wants to grasp the genuine peaceful and inclusive vision of true Islam.
The book is a breath of fresh air, away from the political Islam of the Islamists or the Islamophobes, a futuristic vision of coexistence, where we not only tolerate our differences but celebrate them.
* * * * *
 Dr. Frank Islam, Philanthropist, and a Scholar, Washington
I am intrigued by the book, particularly the chapter on the Essence of Islam.
The great Talmudic sage Rabbi Hillel in the first century BC said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this—to study it!” Dr. Ghouse responds to Rabbi Hillel with a corollary on Islam, “God has created us into different races, religions, sizes, colors and other uniqueness’s, respecting the otherness of the other and accepting the God-given uniqueness is the whole Quran and the rest is the explanation of this – to study it.”
* * * * *
Dr. Safi Kaskas, Modern translator of Quran, his translations have been referenced in the book.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a courageous American Muslim. At a time when Muslims are under attack, he courageously stood tall and walked into the enemy’s camp to talk to them and to explain Islam as he knows it.
His book, American Muslim Agenda, is the summary of his experiences and vision for his Muslim community and America his country. I think we Muslims will be wise to listen to what he is saying and take steps away from our antiquated stands of us and them toward a new Quranic vision of competing in doing what is good.
The future of Muslims in America is what Muslims decide to make of it. In order to be successful, we need to think and really understand the environment in which we live. We also need to understand Islam with fresh eyes on the future, taking in consideration the need to find new solutions to the new problems we are facing without compromising our basic beliefs. This requires courage and resilience. It requires leadership coming from within the Muslim community, with the ability to unite and lead.

 Talking points of the book

I have acknowledged the mistakes Muslims have made,  including an apology to Jews, Christians, and Hindus and have offered solutions to go forward.
Every question you have about “American Muslims” will be answered
in a book signing event, or a special meeting you may consider organizing.
1. Why I wrote the book?
2. Muslim Woman President of the United States in 2036
3. What does it take to run for public office?
4. What are the 12 Islamic Values to shape future societies?
5. Why is this book a reference Manual?
6. Are Muslims a part of the American story?
7. What does it take to be an Amin?
8. Spineless Muslim Leadership9. Mistakes Muslims have made and fixing them10. Rejecting public Sharia
11. Criticism of the Quran, Islam and the prophet
12. Dealing with conservatives
13. Pristine Islam
14. Extremism
15. More
Contact information:
Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916
Washington, DC
AmericanMuslimAgenda@gmail.com
Dr. Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His new book, the “American Muslim Agenda” guides Muslims and non-Muslims alike to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. The book will be available at the end of January 2019 in all the bookstores. Mike is a public speaker, author, interfaith wedding officiant, and the executive director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Future American life

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   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjhbRkN7soQ 
  2. Details   http://centerforpluralism.com/festival-of-faiths/
  3. Attend  RSVP – Eventbrite
  4.  Sing?   If your group likes to sing Register@Centerforpluralism.com    
  5. List?     Please send an email to   Register@Centerforpluralism.com   
  6. Op-Ed  Ask not what the President can do for us?” will be released soon
  7. More     http://Centerforpluralism.com/Workshops
  8. Browse Tabs at  www.Centerforpluralism.com
  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 www.MikeGhouse.net

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Interfaith Celebrations - Huffington Post

Mother is the ultimate definition of selflessness! No matter what happens to the world or even her, she is there for you in your need; she recognizes your need much before you know it. Of course every day is Mother's day, and each one of us honors her in a variety of ways. From simple caring to doing things for her that makes her happy. Mothers don't need a whole lot; they just need to know that you care. Remember you were showered by her attention when you needed it.
2015-05-07-1431017127-5376304-Mothersday.Huffingtonpost.MikeGhouse.black.jpg
Every religious tradition has elevated mother to nearly the status of God, because she possess many a qualities of God; kind, merciful, beneficent and caring among thousand other qualities. Mother is the reason for our existence; sustenance, nurturance and shaping who we are. I dedicate this write-up to my Mother, and all the Mothers out there. There is a beautiful song in Urdu/Hindi language

Full Report with Mother as she is called in over hundred global languages and almost all South Asian Languages - continued at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/mothers-day-interfaith-ce_b_7233900.html

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Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day- all about him at www.MikeGhouse.net

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dallas Thanksgiving Celebrations and Awards Night, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson graces the occassion

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas presided over the proceedings of the 16th annual thanksgiving celebrations and awards night on Saturday, November 22, 2014. It is a bridge building event between communities.

We ought to be thankful to Native Americans, who did not put the electric fence around Americas to keep the illegal aliens like Columbus and other Europeans from entering America without a visa.  Today, we are a nation of immigrants, other than the natives; almost all of us are immigrants from one to several generations.
The event was organized by America Together Foundation, World Muslim Congress. And the Foundation for Pluralism, all committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other.

The purpose of celebrating this event was to thank God for guiding us to learn to respect the otherness of others, and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us.  And more importantly it is to familiarize the new immigrants with the festivities.  You’ll be surprised to find that many of them have not even seen the thanksgiving meal and its fixings. It was not a part of their study for citizenship and apparently no one has done this as a public event. 
“Congresswoman Johnson represents the aspiration of fellow Americans; justice and liberty for every American in his or her pursuit of happiness, and she fights for that relentlessly – Is that the kind of congressperson we want?, well here she is.” Mike Ghouse welcomed her amidst a thunderous applause. 

To paraphrase Congresswoman Johnson, “we have made sacrifices to respect the human rights, civil liberties and freedom for our new generations and now they have those rights.   On the map of the world, ours is still the best country.  The immigrant community has always played an important role in the development of US." 
It was a delight to watch the Congresswoman carve the symbolic turkey, and sharing what thanksgiving means to her; to count your blessings.  For many a immigrants it is an introduction to the American way of life and who else can do a better job than the Congresswoman? Through her efforts and against all impediments, she has realized her American dream. 

Chef Ali of Spicy Cuisine in Irving prepared delicious vegetarian and non-veg meals with a fixing of thanksgiving delicacies. 

Congresswoman Johnson presented the awards to four community leaders and delivered a beautiful keynote address on gratitude,while highlighting the need for events like this to bring people together regardless of their political, religious, racial or and social affiliation to build a safe, secure and a cohesive America.

 
Mike Ghouse, president of the foundation shared the real life stories that exemplify thanksgiving; stories about Appaiah and the hospitality in Saudi Arabia. How each one of us can restore the spiritual balance within and live a productive, meaningful and a purposeful life. The Appaiah story was published in 
Huffington Post Link , and the Saudi story, all pictures, and notes will be atwww.ThanksgivingCelebrations.org


The attendees were represented by people of different faiths, races, political orientations and other uniqueness’s. They cheered on when Mike Ghouse, chair of the event asked. Whether you are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Gay, Lesbian, Black, White, Native, Immigrant, Republican or Democrat, how many of you like to see your Congress person represent you with equal care and consideration? How many of you would like to see your congress person treat you with dignity and respect regardless of who you are?  Well here she is, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.”She delivered a beautiful key note speech about Gratitude. 


The following individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to building bridges in the communities we live – the title conferred upon all of them was “Pluralist” – meaning someone who respects the otherness of others.Every society has heroes – that is men and women who have gone beyond their normal self to serve the communities at large, and it is our responsibility as a society to acknowledge, cherish and honor them.

Here is a brief introduction of the recipients; detail profiles will be available at 
www.thanksgivingcelebrations.org
Raja Zahid A. Khanzada – a Journalist for his “Commitment to truth in Journalism.” He reports for the top news media conglomerates in Pakistan and has been a catalyst in a process of “forgiveness” of the robbers – where they surrendered their guns in return for acceptance in the society to live and breathe a normal life, and be the contributors of the nation. It is sort of what President Obama is doing with the undocumented aliens, a noble thing to do.  Raja is a relentless pursuer of education with three Master’s degrees and a degree in Homeopathic medical sciences and holds certification from American Alternative Medicine Practitioner Board in practice of alternative medicine.  He amazed everyone when he asked his mother to receive the plaque.

 

Amina Rab – a community activist and leader for “Building Bridges.” Amina is deeply committed to building bridges between the Muslim community and other communities.  It is not her job, but a passion to build bridges. She 
is the President of the Council on American Islamic Relations- DFW chapter and is the first woman to serve on the North Texas Islamic Council, and is a founding Board member of Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation.   She is a Scientist in the healthcare industry for 20 years.  Amina is an entrepreneur with a home based business, a mother, a grandmother and a community Activist with a passion to promote peace and justice in the world.  
 
Anne Marie Weiss – a community leader for “Bringing the DFW communities together.”  Anne Marie single handedly started the DFW international in early nineties – she had the vision for making the Dallas/ Fort worth an international Metroplex, even before it was declared as such.  Today, DFW International has become an exemplary institution in America. There is nothing like it.  Where can you find connections to every cultural, religious, social and ethnic group in one place? None in America! She has put Dallas Fort Worth on the world Map. If you see the demographic statistics of nationalities and ethnicities in Dallas, it was her effort.  It is her selfless devotion to the belief that DFW should genuinely reflect its diversity.

Sante Santhanam Chary –is a national figure in “Connecting the World Leaders.” Sante is one of the very few Americans, perhaps the only immigrant who has met, shook hands and shared a message with 7 American Presidents and 8 Indian Presidents/Prime Ministers. 
Sante is continuously forging political and business ties between the United States and India and in September this year, he got the US Senate to pass a resolution creating “2014 U.S.-India Partnership Day” to honor Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
He has set a new world record by collecting over 55 contemporary signatures in solidarity on a USPS issued First Day Envelope with Mahatma Gandhi’s stamp on it. Sante is a healthcare entrepreneur with a focus on physician staffing services to small towns in the US.  He is a graduate of The Harvard Business School and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.


We are one nation.

Collectively, we are one nation under God represented by every race, religion, political orientation, nationality, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and culture. Everything that God has created in the universe, we have it here in America. Indeed, we are God’s own country.

As Americans together, we see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. Our organization, America together Foundation is committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.

Most of the problems we have in our nation can be traced to one thing – not knowing and being judgmental about others. Whether it is Ferguson, Homophobia, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Misogyny or whatever evils creep on us, they gain ground because we don’t know each other.

How do we come out of these and create a cohesive nation where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other? At America Together foundation we have plans to bring about this change. 

A full report with speeches and pictures will be published in a week.

Mike Ghouse, President of America Together Foundation
Mike Ghouse 
(214) 325-1916 text/talk
...............................................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major newspapers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at 
www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Dining on Saturday November 22, 2014

Honorable Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is the guest of honor and key note speaker at the 16th Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Nite on Saturday, November 22, 2014.  During the evening’s celebrations, Congresswoman Johnson will recognize District 30 constituents for their outstanding service to the community followed by the delivery of her keynote address on gratitude.

"The purpose of celebrating this event is to thank God for helping us learn to accept, respect and appreciate each other's uniqueness and thank America for being the beacon of hope to the world” said Mike Ghouse, founder and chairperson of the event.

The purpose of the Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Nite is to:

1. Give thanks for the blessed life we all enjoy in these United States of America, wish and pray the same for those who are less fortunate than us.

2. Celebrate the diversity of God's creation and enjoying the cultural heritage of each ethnic group.

3. Appreciate and recognize outstanding volunteers in each community.

4. Gather together as Immigrant Americans with naturally born Americans in celebrating this wonderful holiday.

5. For many of the immigrants it is an introduction to the American way of life.

Please join us for an interfaith dinner among multicultural attendees, gathered together under the belief that the more we learn about one another, the less misunderstandings are there to be had.   If we can learn to respect others and accept the God given uniqueness of all, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 
Master Chef Ali will prepare a special thanksgiving plate that your taste buds will  cherish. 

Accepted Donations are $20/person or $50/person. You can reserve your place to attend via Eventbrite:
Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Dinner

The event will  benefit the America Together Foundation, a 501 (3) (c) non-profit charity committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916
MikeGhouse@aol.com

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/11 Memorial in Dallas - Unity Day USA


YOUR INVITATION TO
               VIII ANNUAL UNITY DAY EVENT

It is a purposeful event to bring people of different faiths, races, ethnicities and other uniquenesses together to feel the oneness of our nation and to feel indivisible.

to be together as Americans
to express our gratitude to our Firemen, Police and Armed Forces
to honor seven individuals who have contributed to the well being of the DFW
to honor two communities for their work towards building a cohesive America
to emphasize and appreciate diversity represented by America.
to cherish the other American as American and nothing but American
to rededicate our pledge to the peace, prosperity and security of America

Please join us with your family and friends to be together as Americans. Your presence is a valuable expression of unity. Along with our elected officials, civic, religious and business leaders, you help fulfill our common values and aspirations. Your presence fortifies our commitment to a pluralistic America.

Event: 8th Annual Unity Day USA
Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Time: 11:30 AM -1:30 PM
Where: Unity of Dallas,
Address: 6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230

The Marine Guards will start off the ceremony followed by the Sikh Community Members singing our national Anthem followed by recognizing seven individuals who are making a difference in building a cohesive America. Two communities have been playing an exemplary role in sharing their work and action that brings Americans together. The civic leaders including state Representatives, Mayors, council persons, Fire and Police Chiefs will join us followed by 13 leaders representing Atheism to Zoroastrianism to share the wisdom or scriptures from their traditions. There will be light lunch in the Sikh Tradition.

Awards: Seven Individuals for building bridges in Dallas/Fort Worth communities
Communities: Two outstanding communities this year for their service
Organizations: Participating organizations are you in?
RSVP to: ConfirmAttendance@gmail.com (there is no charge for the event)

We will gather as Americans and rededicate our pledge to the peace, prosperity and security of our nation.

As Americans, and as American Muslims, we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our constitution. All our faiths reinforce the creed of "One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all”.
On this Unity Day USA, we, the people of the United States of America of every faith, race and ethnicity, will gather to express our commitment to co-existence, safety, prosperity and the well being of our nation.


Thank you.
Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 text/talk
www.AmericaTogetherFoundation.com
www.FoundationforPluralism.com
www.UnitydayUSA.com