Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brazil's lost Figueiredo report into genocide surfaces after 40 years

This is a difficult story to read, how the powerful have abused the weak is shameful. The Native American suffering and genocides is beyond belief. The story never ends.  Our own Barbarian bombed Iraq and Afghanistan to no end, while we disgustingly remained quite as a society. The famous words "never again" needs to become our language and stop these monstrous atrocities.

On my part, I will do everything I can to oppose any war by us, the United States, I did oppose Bush, but that was not enough. Shame on us Americans we let Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore stand up, and only a few stood up with them, had we all stood up, or at least a significant number, 6000 of our men and women, half a million of Iraqis and Afghanis would not have lost their lives, we would not have run up $10 Trillion in deficit, 50 million Americans would not have lost their jobs, homes and families. Shame on me if I did not stand up against another war. 

Mike Ghouse

Figueiredo report reveals alleged crimes against indigenous tribes from 1940s to 1980s and sheds light on current land policy from 1940s to 1980s and sheds light on current land policy.

A "lost" report into genocide, torture, rape and enslavement of indigenous tribes during Brazil's military dictatorship has been rediscovered, raising fresh questions about whether the government has made amends and punished those responsible.
Figueiredo report, Brazil
Umutima shaman in 1957: the Figueiredo report caused an outcry after it
 revealed crimes against Brazil's indigenous population. 
Photograph: José Idoyaga/Survival

The 7,000-page Figueiredo report has not been seen for more than 40 years, but extracts acquired by the Guardian reveal hundreds of alleged crimes and perpetrators.

Submitted in 1967 by the public prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo Correia,the document details horrific abuse by the Indian Protection Service (widely known as the SPI), which was set up to improve the livelihoods of indigenous communities but often ended up as a mechanism to rob them of land or wipe them out with guns or poison.

The document caused an international storm when it was released, leading two years later to the foundation of the tribal rights organisation Survival International. Brazil, however, failed to jail a single person despite initial charges against 134 officials alleged to be involved in more than 1,000 crimes.

The report was believed to have been destroyed by a fire at the agriculture ministry soon after it came out, prompting suspicions of a cover-up by the dictatorship and its allies among the big landowners. However, most of the document was discovered recently in a musty archive and is being examined by the National Truth Commission, which is investigating human rights violations between 1947 and 1988.

Although the document has not been made public since its rediscovery, the Guardian has seen a scanned copy in which Figueiredo describes the enslavement of indigenous people, torture of children and theft of land.

"The Indian Protection Service has degenerated to the point of chasing Indians to extinction," the prosecutor writes in an introduction addressed to the interior minister.

The pages – all bound, initialled and marked MI-58-455 – include analphabetical list of the alleged perpetrators and the indictments against them. Most are accused of falsely appropriating land, misusing funds or illegally selling cattle or timber to enrich themselves at the expense of the communities they were supposed to be protecting. But many are implicated in far more heinous crimes.

The number of victims is impossible to calculate. The Truth Commission believes that some tribes, such as those in Maranhão, were completely wiped out. In one case, in Mato Grosso, only two survivors emerged to tell of an attack on a community of 30 Cinta Larga Indians with dynamite dropped from aeroplanes. Figueiredo also details how officials and landowners lethally introduced smallpox into isolated villages and donated sugar mixed with strychnine.

Among those to whom responsibility is attributed is Major Luiz Vinhas Neves, who headed the SPI from 1964 until he was sacked as a result of the report in 1968. He is cited in more than 40 counts, including financial irregularities totalling more than 1bn reals (£300,000) in today's money. Following the report, a parliamentary resolution accused him of complicity in the spread of smallpox among two remote communities in Pataxó.

Torture was common. The most oft-cited technique was "the trunk", which slowly crushed the ankles of the victims. An alternative was allegedly tried out by Álvaro de Carvalho, an official accused of murdering an Indian from Narcizinho whom he hung by the thumbs and whipped.

People were traded like animals. Flavio de Abreau, the chief of an SPI post in Couto Magalhaes, reportedly swapped an Indian woman for a clay stove and then thrashed her father when he complained. He is also accused of starving local communities. Other officers made children beat their parents, brothers whip their siblings and forced women back to work immediately after giving birth.

Figueiredo points out that the authorities operated with impunity to deny Indians what should have been a life of plenty. "There is a fabulous Indian heritage and it is well-managed. They do not require a penny of government assistance to live a rich and healthy life in their vast dominions," he notes.

The report was highly embarrassing for the military regime and a censored press ensured it was rarely mentioned again. The SPI was replaced by another agency, Funai, but tribes continue to struggle against illegal loggers, miners, government dam-builders and ranchers

This is particularly true in Mato Grosso do Sul, which has the highest rate of murders of Indians in Brazil. The estimated 31,000 Guarani-Kaiowá Indians in the area are now confined to tiny areas, completely surrounded by fields of soy or sugar cane.

Survival International's director, Stephen Corry, said nothing has changed when it comes to the impunity regarding the murder of Indians. "Gunmen routinely kill tribespeople in the knowledge that there's little risk of being brought to justice – none of the assassins responsible for shooting Guarani and Makuxi tribal leaders have been jailed for their crimes. It's hard not to suspect that racism and greed are at the root of Brazil's failure to defend its indigenous citizens' lives," he said.

Lawyers, politicians and NGOs warn the influence of the "ruralista" landowners' lobby is once again on the rise. President Dilma Rousseff is dependent on their representatives in congress, who have watered down the forest code, and are said to be planning the reduction of indigenous reserves by transferring responsibility for their demarcation from Funai to the conservative-dominated congress.

Most of Brazil's main newspapers – including Globo, Folha and Estado de Sao Paulo – have largely ignored the rediscovery, even though the Figueiredo report was recently described by the Truth Commission as "one of the most important documents produced by the Brazilian government in the last century".

Marcelo Zelic, the human rights lawyer who discovered the document amid 50 boxes of files in the Indian Museum in Rio de Janeiro, said powerful vested interests are already trying to undermine the report because they fear they may appear in it.

"This documentation, which was hidden for many decades, sheds light on conflict situations that endure today. For states like Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Bahia and Amazonas, it contains lots of information that can help reveal once and for all the truth behind many forms of violence against Indians today and provide an insight into the real owners of the land in dispute."


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Israel's low ranking in global popularity

This is indeed a wake call for the people of Israel and the Jewry around the world. The people of Israel need to recognize that the real enemies of Israel are men like Netanyahu and his cronies who have frightened the day lights out of the Jews to buy their their reluctant support, just in case the fears are real.

A poll released Tuesday by the BBC confirms Israel remains one of the world’s least popular countries, with more than half of those surveyed identifying its influence as “mainly negative.” Only North Korea, Pakistan and Iran fared worse. Fifty-two percent of respondents view Israel in a negative light; 21% rated it in positive terms, placing it far behind China’s 42% and Russia’s 30%.

 I am a supporter of Israel's right to exist and have written nearly 50 articles to that effect, talked about it and speak endlessly. The Jewish people have suffered the most in the community of nations, and I was hoping the creation of Israel would have taken them out of the 3000 year old insecurity, apprehensions and discomfort and bring them genuine liberation, where they can drop all their guards and enjoy the sense of freedom and security.

Guess who is holding them hostage, it is the right wing politics of Israel and the right wing Christians and Jews of  America, and they simply cannot see people living in peace and cook up enemies and keep the Israelis under control.  The moderate majority of Israelis and Jews in America are accustomed to the bullying from the few, they need to have the guts to speak up and take back their nations and drive it into security.

The American right wingers are the 2nd most enemies of Israel, their mouths tell one thing, and their actions do the opposite. These men want Israel to remain in eternal wars so they can make their good. You can see how Israeli government has been a bad boy in the community of nations, and it appears that US is the only ally of Israel when you look up the UN votes on issues. Except the ones we throw money at like UK, Spain, Italy and a few others beggars, most of the free world is not with us, we are wrong in not getting Israel and Palestine to the table and God only can help our arrogance which refuses to see our ills.

The actions of Israeli government, just about every action is isolating Israel, the people are sick of Israel getting away with murders. And as long as Israel is seen as the bully who does not care about the world opinion, it accelerates Antisemitism.  Israeli public needs to wake up and remove the military dependency on the United States and be a proud free people who can chart their own destiny. The right wingers in the US will not let Israel have peace and security.

As a Moderate Muslim I understand the plight of moderate Jews - we are the majorities, and we are used to taking abuse from the "few" bullies, they frighten the crap out of us. The least we can do is to speak up and see things will change for the good of all people. I like to see security for Israelis and Justice for the Palestinians, neither will get what they want, if they don't respect the other's needs and take over the power from the right wing extremists of Israel and America, who don't give a flip about Israel.

Its time for Israelis to wake up, it’s time for the right wing Jews to wake upsincerely seek peace, through peace and not the military might, it is strong and no one can touch it. Peace is always made by the powerful and by the majority, the burden for peace falls squarely on Israel.

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Author's note: Who am I to worry about Israelis and Palestinians? What inspires me to be involved in the Israel Palestine conflict? The following is the story of my struggle to see a cohesive world, the story will take you through different emotions but at the end, I hope you feel a sense of completeness of the story. Due to its length, it is in three parts - its in the ABOUT us at My


Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam,Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building aCohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes his work through many links.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics


Pope Francis is right, r
eligion is indeed common sense!

This is the truth I have found in all religions, even though, some of its followers have ignored, forgotten or denied it. The Pope is right and I have written a few articles about him since he was Poped in and I need to learn more about him. Pope Francis speaks common sense. He is a true man of that one single piece of undivided God, that we call with different names.  

Who wants a God that is sneaky and deals differently with different people behind our backs? Indeed, God has not signed a deal with Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Baptists or anyone behind other’s  backs - God is just and fair to all. Everyone who is good to God's creation in keeping its harmony will earn the grace of God. Yes, including those who do not profess a faith in the dished out versions of God, or do not believe in a thing called God at all.

What does God want after all? He, she or it wants all of its creation to live in harmony that she has created; everything in balance.

This is precisely what Qur'an says, even though some of its followers have ignored, forgotten or denied it.  You can find this inclusiveness in all religions, indeed if religion is exclusive it cannot claim to be religion of God!

[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.

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

Mike Ghouse


Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.

During his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome, Francis emphasized the importance of "doing good" as a principle that unites all humanity, and a "culture of encounter" to support peace.

Using scripture from the Gospel of Mark, Francis explained how upset Jesus' disciples were that someone outside their group was doing good, according to a report from Vatican Radio.

“They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”

Pope Francis went further in his sermon to say:

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can... "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!".. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Responding to the leader of the Roman Catholic church's homily, Father James Martin, S.J. wrote in an email to The Huffington Post:

"Pope Francis is saying, more clearly than ever before, that Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for everyone. That's always been a Christian belief. You can find St. Paul saying in the First Letter to Timothy that Jesus gave himself as a "ransom for all." But rarely do you hear it said by Catholics so forcefully, and with such evident joy. And in this era of religious controversies, it's a timely reminder that God cannot be confined to our narrow categories."

Of course, not all Christians believe that those who don't believe will be redeemed, and the Pope's words may spark memories of the deep divisions from the Protestant reformation over the belief in redemption through grace versus redemption through works.

The pope's comment has also struck a chord on Reddit, where it is the second most-shared piece.

More from Reuters:

Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good, Pope Francis said on Wednesday in his latest urging that people of all religions - or no religion - work together.

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in the homily of his morning Mass in his residence, a daily event where he speaks without prepared comments.

He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.

"Even them, everyone," the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. "We all have the duty to do good," he said.

"Just do good and we'll find a meeting point," the pope said in a hypothetical conversation in which someone told a priest: "But I don't believe. I'm an atheist."

Francis's reaching out to atheists and people who belong to no religion is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict, who sometimes left non-Catholics feeling that he saw them as second-class believers.

In defense of Jewish pluralism - women at the wall

Controversy around Women of the Wall has sparked debate about non-Orthodox Judaism in Israel, but it goes against Judaism's rich history to claim there is only true way of understanding the Torah

In her recent “Open letter to Naftali Bennett,” Allison Kaplan Sommer made the case for why the national religious public in Israel should embrace non-Orthodox streams of Judaism, in the wake of the ongoing controversy about Women of the Wall. I applaud Kaplan Sommer for her analysis and her contribution, much of which was spot on, but at the same time, parts of her letter made me uneasy. I have little doubt that this was not her intention, but some of the letter seemed predicated on the notion that Orthodox Judaism is authentic Judaism, while the purpose of non-Orthodox Judaism is that it allows people to stay involved in Jewish life.

I can understand why the letter read that way to me; after all, it was addressed to the national religious public, and therefore its underlying assumption was that its audience sees Orthodox Judaism as the only true Judaism. Of course, my experience has shown otherwise, and I know many self-professed Orthodox Jews, living in Israel and abroad, who believe there is validity and truth to non-Orthodox Judaism as well.

That Orthodox approach, which I greatly respect, echoes the description of the disagreements between the schools of Hillel and Shammai as quoted in the Eiruvin tractate of the Talmud: “these (of Hillel) and those (of Shammai) are both the living words of God, but the law is according to Hillel.” Such pluralistic Orthodox Jews are pluralistic in recognizing multiple truths, but orthodox in seeing one practice as the right way.

However, even that approach is not the only one found in our Jewish tradition. The Mishna, the first law code of rabbinic Judaism, is replete with multiple opinions toward the same concept, and the Talmud has many unresolved debates in which the final halacha is not made clear. The schools of Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiva had completely different understandings of the biblical word "ger," stranger, and the laws they taught reflected those differences. It would indeed be difficult for someone to claim that one of those rabbis practiced authentic Judaism while the other simply created a compromised version that made Judaism more palatable.

Despite the insistence of some, I simply cannot accept the claim that what I call “Orthodox” Judaism is really “true” Judaism, “Torah” Judaism, or some other term that denies the validity of my practice and beliefs. To those who claim that there is only true Judaism, I ask how Rabbeinu Tam and the Rambam, both writing in the 12th century, could have come to opposite conclusions about the permissibility of Jewish business dealings with Christians? If Judaism were always universal and true, why would Karo and Isserles appear side by side in the Shulchan Aruch, offering different legal rulings?

And so, to all those who can accept that Judaism is more complex than a singularly accepted set of practices, I’d like to emphasize that my brand of Judaism, Masorti (Conservative) Judaism, is not a watered-down version of some truer Judaism, but a valid interpretation of Judaism with its own merits. I believe the same is true of the other streams, but I will leave it to their adherents to proclaim their value. For my Judaism is rooted in Jewish law and in Jewish morals, in a Jewish decision-making progress and a Jewish sense of love formy fellow human beings and respect for all humanity.

I am the first to admit that I do not adhere strictly to every aspect of Jewish law as it has been determined by arbiters in previous generations. Yet even in these cases I have firm grounding in our tradition. For example, I will gladly drink wine with a non-Jew at the dinner table. I recognize that the prohibition on non-sacramental non-Jewish wine is a rabbinic one, and as our tradition teaches us, respect for humanity has the power to outweigh a rabbinic prohibition. I respect those who disagree with me and avoid all wine touched by non-Jews, but I believe that my decision is a decidedly Jewish one, rooted both in Jewish values and legal precedent.

I also feel that the validity of our Judaism need not be determined by how learned we are in Jewish texts and how strictly we observe Jewish ritual. I recognize that not all Jews in my movement feel committed to Jewish observance in the way that I do. Yet I firmly believe that it is not my place to determine what ritual behavior is beyond the pale of acceptance. Ethical behavior, though, is a different matter. Somebody who decides to eat pork is making a decision to break with Jewish ritual law, but I would much sooner honor such a person at my synagogue than one who is dishonest in business dealings. Does the fact that I have different priorities—all of which are grounded in Judaism—make my Judaism less authentic?

I understand that there are some who will always see my brand of Judaism as a threat to theirs not only because it looks different than theirs does, but because it accepts multiple interpretations as having validity. I am happy to know that I have partners in this pluralist vision amongst different streams of Judaism who understand that the truth is more complex than just what the previous generations’ poskim (law arbiters) determined was the proper law.

I encourage all people - secular, traditional, and religious - to try to understand the perspectives of those with different practices and beliefs. One need not give up her own truth and practice in order to understand those of others.

Arie Hasit, a student at the rabbinical seminary of Machon Schechter, serves as the spiritual leader for NOAM- the youth wing of the Masorti Movement in Israel. He lives in Jerusalem.

Courtesy - Haaretz -

Memo to Haredim: Jewish pluralism won’t destroy your way of life

The more I learn about orthodox Jewish traditions, the more they mirror the orthodox Muslims - Mike Ghouse

by Carlo Strenger
Courtesy - Haaretz

To protect their modus vivendi, the ultra-Orthodox sector must give up certain privileges and stop forcing their beliefs onto the rest of Israel's population.

Last week I gave some lectures in Switzerland on Israel and its interminable problems. My audience was mostly composed of Jews who care deeply for Israel, who want the best for it, and profoundly believe that only the basic liberal order, with its respect for human rights and tolerance for different ways of life can, in the long run, save Israel from its internal woes.

Originally Swiss myself, I found the audience profoundly sympathetic to my message, and I am grateful for the warm reception and hospitality. Why is it then that the simple message that the basic order of liberal democracy will save Israel is received with often venomous resistance in Israel?

In Israel’s currently charged atmosphere, the group that feels most threatened by the new revival of classical liberalism is the ultra-Orthodox sector. This sector has staged large demonstrations against Yair Lapid and his demands to adopt the ultra-Orthodox school system in a way that allows Haredim to participate in Israel’s economy and for them to help shoulder Israel’s security burden. This is a great pity; I am certain that Jewish pluralism will not threaten the ultra-Orthodox way of life, but will actually help to preserve it.

I am an avowed atheist, but I grew up in a family that combined ultra-Orthodoxy and religious Zionism. Most of my extended family is Haredi, and I have warm relations with them. It may sound strange if a secular atheist tells you, Haredim, to return to the model according to which Judaism has functioned for millennia, but I think that this modus operandi was much wiser than the way things have functioned in Israel in the last 65 years.

My message to you, dear Haredim, is very simple: I understand that you feel threatened in your way of life by the new government’s state of mind. But if you want to protect it, you just need to accept that you must stop forcing your beliefs onto the rest of Israel’s population. Let me explain.

The current situation in Israel is an anomaly in Jewish history. My grandparents were Haredim, and so is most of my extended family. None of them ever expected anybody else to pay for their children’s upbringing and education. They worked hard during the day, and studied the Torah and the Talmud in the time left. So did many of Judaism’s greatest figures: Maimonides was one of the great physicians of his time, Ibn Ezra, one of the great astronomers of his century and Don Yitzchak Abrabanel, a gifted businessman whose advice was coveted by many governments.

Let’s talk about money then, one of the obvious points of conflict, because you Haredim demand that Israel finance the Yeshiva system. You might do well to remember that for many centuries Yeshivot were financed by voluntary contributions of the members of the Jewish community and was not imposed by taxation. This is how Jewish life has been working for millennia, and for good reasons.

In the past each Jewish community found a delicate balance between its elected leadership and the rabbinical authority that was hired and paid by the community. Paradoxically, Jewish life was more democratic in the last two thousand years than it has been in Israel, where the state is paying rabbis, and gives religious monopoly to one of Judaism’s many currents.

If you want to protect your way of life, you need renounce some privileges, like payment of a large contingent of rabbis and kashrut supervisors by the state. But I seriously think that you stand to gain more from accepting the basic liberal order than you’ll lose from it.

The Haredi argument that without a single standard for Jewish conversion, marriage and divorce the Jewish people will fall apart doesn’t hold water. In any case, dear Haredim, you only marry those of your own belief and lifestyle anyway, so your monopoly on rabbinical state institutions in Israel is not necessary for you to assure your way of life.

And please do not tell us that the survival of the Jewish people depends on our accepting your particular interpretation of Judaism. The majority of the Jewish people in the world do not share your understanding of Judaism: Worldwide there are many more conservative, liberal, reform and secular Jews than Orthodox – never mind Haredi. You must realize that there are more Jews in the U.S. than in Israel, and US Jewry has flourished phenomenally under conditions of pluralism.

Israel’s situation is an anomaly in Western democracies of the last two hundred years. No modern democracy except Israel maintains a situation in which the clergy determines how its citizens can marry or how they will be buried. Dear Haredim, you must understand that the current status quo is intolerable for everybody but yourselves. Precisely because I feel close to you, I strongly suggest that you accept pluralism in Jewish life. This will prevent unnecessary conflict and will not threaten your way of life in any way.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Urdu Hindi اُردو / हिंदी Mushaera on Pluralism

Saturday, June 29, 2013 – 8 PM – 11:00 PM
Unity of Dallas

We request you to participate in one or many ways;

To be our guest attendee.
To write a poem based on the theme of Pluralism
To recite your poem in the Musha’era/ Summelan
To be a volunteer
To be a sponsor

Selected poetry will be published in a booklet
If you want to bring a change to the society, be the propeller.

تہذيب  (tehzeeb) ho, ya संस्कृति (sanskriti), we have always respected each other. However, that element of the culture is depleting and causing distrust and discomfort with each other.  Can we let this happen? I hope not. 

Poetry is one of the pillars of our  
सभ्यता , تمدن and it is in our interest to leave a better world for our نسل, पुश्त or posterity.  Indeed, we can revive that tradition. 

Let us consciously work towards creating
संसक्त  समाज,  معاشرہ  چسپندہ or  cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.  The mere idea of thinking and writing such thoughts in our poetry is seeding the future; indeed, this is a small step, and hope it will become a giant leap for the Urdu/Hindi speaking populations of the Subcontinent, برِصغیر, महाद्वीप in building cohesive societies.

This program will be a model program to be placed on the world wide web, and seek publication in major Urdu/ Hindi media. With your 
सहायता, تعاون and help, we can invite the giants of poetry in Hindi and Urdu to write the poems, if they are in Dallas, they can recite it as well.

Pluralism in one sentence is about respecting the otherness of others and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of us. It involves building cohesive societies and creating an environment where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.
The words that best describe Pluralism in Hindi are: Anekāntavāda (Devanagari: अनेकान्तवाद) and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Sanskrit: वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम) and in Urdu it is تَکثیریت (we are still looking for the right word).  

I have been researching, writing and speaking on Pluralism for the last twenty years with articles in Dallas Morning news (150), fortnightly in Huffington Post (50), Washington  Post (10)  and several other periodicals around the glove including live workshops (28)  and radio programs (520 hours)  on the wisdom and essence of all the beautiful religions.  And one of the three books called “Standing up for others” will be released at the Mensa Conference in Fort worth on July 4th.

You can choose a variety of topics inclusive of religion, humor, culture, food, language and day to day living.  How do we get along respectfully with each other!
The poetry will be sensitive and respectful of every religion, race, ethnicity, gender, color and nationality. It’s a conscious step in advancing our culture of respecting each other’s uniqueness.  The completed poetry must be in by June 15th to make it to the book.

We hope to place a book in the hands of every major poet,
कवि  and شاعِر.  Indeed, this will be a small step, and hope it will become a giant leap for Urdu/ Hindi speaking populations in learning to respect and accept each other’s uniqueness.

We seek funding for this project and I hope you can fund it generously.  You can make the check to America Together Foundation (foundation for Pluralism is its dba) or pay through credit card at:



Shri D. D. Maini
Irfan Ali (940) 565-1723
Amin Tirmizi (817) 663-3786
Noor Amrohvi (972) 859-0647

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916

America Together foundation
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206
Dallas, TX 75234


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