Sunday, June 30, 2013

Urdu-Hindi Mushaira on Pluralism: a Great Endeavour by Saeed Qureshi

By Saeed Qureshi
The Urdu-Hindi Mushaira on Pluralism was an exhilarating assemblage and rather a fresh and fragrant breeze in an atmosphere rife with literary and ideological suffocation and prejudices. Held on June 29 instant in Richardson, under the auspices of “Foundation for Pluralism” founded by Syed Mike Ghouse, the event could be termed as a meaningful leap towards promotion of interfaith harmony and building of cohesive and tolerant communities.
Mike Ghouse who has been espousing the lofty cause of pluralism and togetherness based on religious harmony and cohabitation has done a great job by holding this much needed seminar cum poetic symposium. The fusion of ideology and the luster and of the poetry went very well, although these are metaphorically heterogeneous. These are heterogeneous because religion primarily is a rigid ideological subject, while poetry is the expression of sentiments that can be secular and mundane as well.
For me it was the first occasion to participate in such a lively and intellectually rich event. It was indeed premised on a genuine urge for fostering harmony and understanding among various faiths so as to live together under one God like hundred flowers blooming in the divine garden.
 Understandably it is impossible for the believers of various religions to sink their doctrinal differences and deep seated ideological discords and craft one religion to follow jointly. It has never been possible, nor would it be achievable in the future.
The Catholics and Protestants in the Christendom and Shias and Sunnis in Islam hold onto their citadels of faith unflinchingly As such merging all the religions under one code or doctrinal domain would be simply unthinkable. It can be a utopian fantasy and is patently far from reality.                                                                                                                                                        
But what Jinab Mike Ghouse is enunciating by hoisting the banner of pluralism and interfaith harmony is possible.  Such a splendid mission can take roots from DFW and spread elsewhere in the United States and even beyond.  
I can believe and perhaps have an insight about the success of this mission spearheaded by Mike Ghous as far as Jewish and Christian communities are concerned. Even otherwise we witness here in America Sunni faithful praying in the same mosques with Shias. We also watch the same spectacle of Wahabi followers going to the same mosque along with their ideologically opponent sects namely Naqshabandi, Chishtia or Qadria. Even if they pray in separate mosques they do not criticize each other as we can see in countries like Pakistan.
In Pakistan and in the Middle Eastern Islamic countries Sunnis and Shias have been slaughtering each other since the inception of Islam. while in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, to name a few Islamic countries, the tussle is patently for power, nevertheless it boils down to the simmering sectarian discords. It is primarily Sunnis or Shias in power, irrespective of their demographic number who sack, brutalize and kill their sectarian opponents.
In the medieval ages there have been constant wars between the major religions each taking its turn to decimate and uproot the rival religious populations. The Muslims and Christians have been taking turns for this faith based barbaric and savage massacres of human beings all in the name of God: the creator of the universe. In regards to the ideological antagonism between Jews and Christians, the history preserves horrific and spine chilling accounts.
The pagan Roman emperors threw the early Christians before the hungry predators as punishment for holding a different faith. One example of the extreme intolerance and Persecution demonstrated by the orthodox Catholic believers was in the city of Beziers, France where 20,000 followers of the Albigenses reformation Christian movement were massacred. The history of the Christendom is replete with such harrowing incidents of obliterating the heretics by the order of the Catholic Pope.
The establishment of inquisitions or the religious tribunals set up by the Catholic clergy in 13th century to suppress the heresy or religious freedom is drenched in blood and was an extreme form of religious persecution.
But those were the medieval and not culturally advanced times. The state and church were controlled by one source and had not separated as we find in the present times. It was the epoch-making and trail blazing Reformation Movement that turned the tables on the intolerant and cruel Catholicism. The Protestant movments made a huge difference in diluting the rigid hold of the medieval Catholic Church over the societies.
The advent of Reformation, Industrial Revolution and the American Constitution brought about colossal change in the societies. For the first time the American constitution gave the freedom of religion and freedom of expression to all the people irrespective of their religious or racial inclinations.
The current phase in human history is a transitional period. During these times the old taboos, moribund values and obsolete rituals and traditions are trying to survive against the irresistible blossoming of the progressive culture and the avalanche of modern dynamics and currents. The fast developing technologies are instrumental in a big way in dismantling the barriers between various nations and races erected because of faith and other prejudices.
Mike Ghouse’s momentous mission of promoting Pluralism and common goodwill through his “foundation of Pluralism” is a monumental effort in enlightening the people and in shedding their narrow sectarianism and mutual faith based aversions.  It is hoped that the “Foundation of Pluralism” and similar progressive movments would continue to motivate the biased and the myopic segments around world to become useful partners in building tolerant societies and crafting a common destiny for the humanity.
The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

SPANK your wife 'to correct misbehavior' - The Christian Movement.

It is disgusting to read that a group called Christian Domestic Discipline is actually teaching how to spank the wife, this is not acceptable. For years, many a Muslims also believed in this non-sense.

This is the practice of  insecure men, regardless of what religion they wear, they abuse religion to justify their bad acts.  We should not let any one abuse religion, be it Islam, Christianity, HIndu or the other.  Religion does not sanction this abuse and disrespect to a fellow being. This will eventually stop if each one of us condemns it.

Discipline: In CDD, husbands spank their submissive wives in order to correct misbehavior

Aren't there men out there who abuse their spouses and yet call themselves Muslims, Christians, Buddhists,  Hindus, Sikhs, Jews and others?  It is not the religion, it is them!
On the other hand, what's wrong with these women who subject themselves to such humility. Spanking, controlling, and abusing some one who is dependent and weaker than you is the thing of insecure men, this has got to go, if they do it, it is because who they are, and not because of their religion.

I can never forget a guest Imam in Dallas, who was in an interfaith meeting responding with a smirk on his face,  to a Christian couple's question, "that the man can beat his wife with a small thing like a tooth pick or Miswak (a pencil size branch of tree to brush the teeth) and he ascribes that to Quran, and adds, you cannot hurt, but you can discipline. Those guys were appalled. I reacted instantly that he needs to refresh his knowledge, he is not current with the research work. He continues to bullshit Muslims.

Indeed, that was what the "men" had interpreted for ages to justify their rotten behavior. No one can claim that there aren't men in their religions like that.

In case of Islam, this is  not true as it does not reflect the life of the prophet nor does it add up to the respect given to woman in Quran and by the prophet.  You can read more about it at - and and there are a few more articles in those sites. Indeed, that verse in Quran has been misinterpreted for ages, it took a woman to fix it. Thanks to Dr. Laila Bakhtiar and Edip Yuskel for the two revised translations of Quran to truly reflect the teachings of the prophet and common sense wisdom of Quran.



The 'Christian' movement that tells husbands to SPANK their wives 'to correct misbehavior'

Read more:

A growing number of married American couples are agreeing to allow husbands to keep their wives 'in line' by taking to corporal punishment.
The trend is called Christian Domestic Discipline and much of what is known about the practice is published on the website Learning Domestic Discipline, published by husband and wife CDD duo, Clint and Chelsea.
The website states: 'It is an arrangement between two adults who share the belief that the husband is the head of the household and with that position comes the right to enforce his authority.'
Clint and Chelsea have also written a 50-page packet on the practice called Beginning Domestic Discipline.
Manifesto: is a source of a lot of information on the new painful Christian trend

Manifesto: is a source of a lot of information on the new painful Christian trend

Discipline: In CDD, husbands spank their submissive wives in order to correct misbehavior
In the packet they describe CDD as a ‘practice between two consenting life partners in which the head of household (HoH) takes the necessary measures to achieve a healthy relationship dynamic.’

That translates to all methods of punishment, not exclusive to spanking. Clint and Chelsea advocate lecturing, removing privileges, corner and bedroom time – essentially the ways most people discipline their children. 

For CDD enthusiasts, this type of punishment isn’t sexual in nature.

Vera (anonymous last name),  who is in a CDD relationship with her husband told The Daily Beast that the practice is in no-way sexual. 

'The pure CDD people don't go there. A lot of folks think of Fifty Shades of Grey - but this is not that.’
Spanking is clearly the bread and butter of this kind of relationship. Eighteen pages of the CDD manifesto are dedicated to spanking and how to properly go about administering spanks. 
Tools: A hairbrush is one of the listed items sanctioned for spanking on in the Beginning Domestic Discipline packet
Tools: A hairbrush is one of the listed items sanctioned for spanking on in the Beginning Domestic Discipline packet
Paddle: A wooden spoon is another spanking tool. In the packet, Clint and Chelsea warn that one of the cons with this tool is that it 'can break easily'

Paddle: A wooden spoon is another spanking tool. In the packet, Clint and Chelsea warn that one of the cons with this tool is that it 'can break easily'

Clint and Chelsea talk about all aspects of spanking such as the ‘awkward’ first spanking, the various tools that can be used to administer the spankings, what position the wife should be in and the pros and cons of spanking over or under clothing.  

Corporal punishment at home obviously leads to questions about whether or not this is domestic abuse. Clint and Chelsea stress in their packet that CDD should only practiced by consenting adults and that the HoH should never punish while angry. 

‘If the HoH becomes angry, they must do whatever it takes to get themselves back to a calm, reasonable, rational, level-headed, and collected state before making any decision or carrying out any punishment.’ 

But as evidenced on many forums dedicated to CDD, the practice has turned violent in cases. 
‘I wanted the spankings to stop and my husband told me it was either DD and marriage or divorce. I chose divorce. I couldn't handle the pain of spankings anymore, emotionally or physically,’ a woman named Michelle wrote on a popular CDD blog found in reporting by The Daily Beast. 

What’s scarier is how little fear is expressed in these forums.
XOJane writer Laura Rubino investigated the issue and trolled the internet looking for horror stories but was surprised when she ‘didn’t find as many of those as I was expecting to.’
'Most of the women who write about their CDD experiences online are not complaining. Many of them report feeling extremely calm and relaxed after being disciplined, and believe it is an expression of their husband caring about them and their marriage, enough to help them modify their behavior,’ Rubino said. 

The punishment, Rubino said, offers these women a clean slate and they don’t have to worry about passive aggressive tension after a fight. 

While many of these women rave about CDD, it’s not something that Rubino would voluntarily sign herself up for.

‘Walking around my own home, conscious of the fact that any perceived transgression could result in physical pain and a surrendering of control of my body? That would stress me the f*** out. I don't find that sexy at all. Scary, yes. Hot? Not so much.'

Jim Alsdurf, a forensic psychologist who has written a book on abuse in Christian homes, agrees. 
‘No fool in his right mind would but this as a legitimate way to have a relationship. A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.’ 
Even conservative Christians aren’t behind this trend. Radio host Bryan Fisher told The Huffington Post that he finds no basis in Christianity for such a relationship. He described the trend as ‘horrifying,’ ‘ bizarre,’ ‘unbiblical’ and ’un-Christian’.

'God in the New Testament clearly asks wives to arrange themselves under the leadership of their husbands (in Greek, the word 'submit' means 'to arrange under.') But there is no place where husbands are instructed to make their wives do it or punish them if they don't.'
Read more:

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, IslamIsraelIndiainterfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at He believes inStanding 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 all his work through many links. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

World's 'most racially intolerant country is not India = the survey is flawed and must be questioned

I am outraged at this map about India. Not because I am an Indian, but because it is flawed. I have consistently stood up against wrong surveys and mis-representation of people, all people.  This is the second international survey that is so much out of the line this year.

The first one was about the Sharia Survey by Pew on April 30, 2013 - and I have appeared on Fox News on May 1st to refute it and have written about it in Huffington Post.


India is pegged as the most racially intolerant country in the world, and this is not acceptable, off hand these are the questions; 

First of all, the question about race is flawed. To a typical Indian, there is only one race in India. However, the majority of Indians are not aware of the existence of all the anthropological races in India - Caucasian, Mongoloid, Negroid and the Brown, although the awareness has increased since globalization started. They may have colored the question differently or it was misunderstood.

Secondly, it is rather religion that is the cause of discrimination* than race in the subcontinent. Race, religion, language and caste are excuses to exploit the greed of humans. We should call it greed than race.  "Rang aur Nasl, Zaat aur Mazhab, Jo bhi aadmi say kamtar hai" (color, race, caste and religion are inferior to humanity) are all clubbed in many a songs as discriminating factor.  

Thirdly - depending on the strict race question, Pakistan has ranked as a tolerant nation, because in theory rarely a Muslim believes in superiority of one race over the other, as the Prophet had said in his last sermon**, but do they really follow the Prophet?  Had they followed, they would speak up against injustice and harassment of Hindu women, Sikhs and Christians, and stop the killing of Ahmadiyya and Shia Muslims. 
Pakistan is shown a higher degree of tolerance than India. No doubt, India does not have an impeccable record on religious discrimination, but it is much better than many of the other nations. India should realistically rank as more tolerant nation.

* Although discrimination is illegal in India as in the United States, but it is practiced widely where as in the US individuals have recourse with Law. India does not have anEqual Opportunity and Housing discrimination department to access. Urbanization is removing the barriers, but it would be the law on the side of the discriminated, that will change the society. 

** A survey is warranted here in the United States, a good percentage of Desi Americans (subcontinentians -south Asians of all religions) living in America are racist pigs, I am sick of their racist remarks. This needs to go, and I get stared at with contempt when I speak up against racism. 

I protest the survey and ask the Surveyors to reconsider the data and club the Rang aur Nasl, Zaat aur Mazhab, Color and race, caste and Religion as one item and redo the survey and rank the nations. 

May be the civility of nations index is warranted based on how they treat their minorities – race, religion, ethnicity, culture and language. 

The survey is flawed, and India does not deserve to be # 1 in negative way. This is my protest and if I get the support, I will take it further.

Mike Ghouse

The Book "Standing up for others" will be released on July 4th.  Mike Ghouse is committed to build cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
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The Telegraph, UK
Saturday 22 June 2013

Swedish economists have stated that India, Jordan and Bangladesh are among the least tolerant countries in the world, while Britain is among the most accepting.

The World Values Survey asked respondents in more than 80 different countries to state the type of people they did not want as neighbours.

Over 40 per cent of respondents in India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong said they would not want a neighbour of a different race.

The British were among the most tolerant, along with former colonies the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. People in Latin American counties were also prepared to embrace racially diverse neighbours.

The data from the survey by Niclas Berggren and Therese Nilsson wasmapped by the Washington Post by Max Fisher.

In India, 43.5 per cent said they did not want someone of a different race as their neighbour. In Jordan it was 51.4 per cent, while in Hong Kong and Bangladesh, over 70 per cent said someone of a different race was their biggest concern in a neighbour.

Europe showed widely varying results, with France coming out as notably racially intolerant at 22.7 per cent. Former Soviet states such as Belarus and Latvia proved to be more tolerant than many of their European neighbours, according to the study.

Washington Post

• Wide, interesting variation across Europe. Immigration and national identity are big, touchy issues in much of Europe, where racial make-ups are changing. Though you might expect the richer, better-educated Western European nations to be more tolerant than those in Eastern Europe, that’s not exactly the case. France appeared to be one of the least racially tolerant countries on the continent, with 22.7 percent saying they didn’t want a neighbor of another race. Former Soviet states such as Belarus and Latvia scored as more tolerant than much of Europe. Many in the Balkans, perhaps after years of ethnicity-tinged wars, expressed lower racial tolerance.

• The Middle East not so tolerant. Immigration is also a big issue in this region, particularly in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which often absorb economic migrants from poorer neighbors.

• Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, showed more skepticism of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

• South Korea, not very tolerant, is an outlier. Although the country is rich, well-educated, peaceful and ethnically homogenous – all trends that appear to coincide with racial tolerance – more than one in three South Koreans said they do not want a neighbor of a different race. This may have to do with Korea’s particular view of its own racial-national identity as unique – studied by scholars such as B.R. Myers – and with the influx of Southeast Asian neighbors and the nation’s long-held tensions with Japan.

• Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.

Update: I’ve heard some version of one question from an overwhelming number of readers: “I’ve met lots of Indians and Americans and found the former more racially tolerant than the latter. How can these results possibly be correct?” I’d suggest three possible explanations for this, some combination of which may or may not be true. First, both India and the U.S. are enormous countries; anecdotal interactions are not representative of the whole, particularly given that people who are wealthy enough to travel internationally may be likely to encounter some subsets of these respective populations more than others.

Second, the survey question gets to internal, personal preferences; what the respondents want. One person’s experiences hanging out with Americans or Indians, in addition to being anecdotal, only tell you about their outward behavior. Both of those ways of observing racial attitudes might suggest something about racial tolerance, but they’re different indicators that measure different things, which could help explain how one might contradict the other.

Third, the survey question is a way of judging racial tolerance but, like many social science metrics, is indirect and imperfect. I cited the hypothetical about Swedes and Finns at the top of this post, noting that perhaps some people are just more honest about their racial tolerance than others. It’s entirely possible that we’re seeing some version of this effect in the U.S.-India comparison; maybe, for example, Americans are conditioned by their education and media to keep these sorts of racial preferences private, i.e. to lie about them on surveys, in a way that Indians might not be. That difference would be interesting in itself, but alas there is no survey question for honesty.

Correction: This post originally indicated that, according to the World Values Survey, 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis and 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers had said that they would not want a neighbor of a different race. In fact, those numbers appear to be substantially lower, 28.3 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively. In both cases, World Values appears to have erroneously posted the incorrect data on its Web site. Ashirul Amin, posting at the Tufts University Fletcher School’s emerging markets blog, looked into the data for Bangladesh and discovered the mistake. My thanks to Amin, who is Bangladeshi and was able to read the original questionnaire, for pointing this out. His analysis is worth reading in full, but here’s his conclusion:

The short answer is, yes, someone did fat finger this big time. “Yes” and “No” got swapped in the second round of the survey, which means that 28.3% of Bangladeshis said they wouldn’t want neighbors of a different race – not 71.7%.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ghouse to FBI - Robert Mueller, take that poster down

Mike Ghouse on O'Reilly Factor,  Fox News tonight with Laura Ingram at 8:00 PM EST about the offensive poster. ‘Offensive to Muslims’: Mike Ghouse and Dem congressman Jim McDermott calls on FBI to take down photos of terrorists.
Mike Ghouse to FBI on Fox News -  "Robert Mueller, take that poster down"
The O'Reilly Factor - Laura Ingraham - Mike Ghouse 6/21/2013

First of all, as a society, we have a responsibility to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill.  

FBI routinely posts the pictures of  the wanted terrorists in the post offices and public places, and even displayed on TV networks – so, if people spot them, they can report. 

Look at the stupidity of FBI – these terrorists are not in America, how will an American ever spot these dudes? That ad should be posted in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, not here in America. That is waste of tax payer dollars.
Poster on Seattle Bus- needs to come down
The 2nd Mistake is. Terrorists come in all colors, religions and races – to place the Muslim ones exclusively is damn stereotyping and a cause of hatred and disruption. This ad has got to go.

No American has to live in tension, apprehensions and fear of the other, that is the kind of cohesive America we want to build. 

I had warned Fox news right here on September 23 and again on October 8,  in two different appearances (  that the posters in the New York subway by Pamela Geller was 
dangerous to fellow Americans, particularly Muslim women wearing a scarf, Catholic women coming from a Church, Sikh Women, the older Hindu women with part of the Saree covering their head, the Non-Muslim women from Africa donning their cultural headdress. Does the city have a role in imbuing a sense of security in her people, or each citizen is on his or her own? Did you know a Hindu man was killed on the subway on mistaken Identity, is the security of that person means nothing? Who is responsible for the death of that individual? 

I am proud of Congressman, Jim McDermott from Washington State to work against stereotyping any one. The Daily Caller reports the following:
McDermott, a Democrat from Washington state, voiced his “deep concern” about the ad, which shows mug shots of international terrorists, and asked the FBI chief to “reconsider publicizing” it.

According to McDermott, the “ad featuring sixteen photos of wanted terrorists is not only offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities, but it encourages racial and religious profiling.”
 McDermott continued, “Representing terrorists, however, from only one ethnic or religious group, promotes stereotypes and ignores other forms of extremism. The FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorists List‘ includes individuals of other races and associated with other religions and causes, but their faces are missing from this campaign.”

My previous appearance on The O'Reilly factor -


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 a Cohesive Americaand offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at 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 all his work through many links.