I prepared this summary notes for the interview with Dr. Frank Islam.
On Fox 5, Tuesday, 10:00 AM, September 25, 2018
The actual interview did not cover it, but I am pleased to share the following.
My CV with business expertise and a 60-page extensive profile of accomplishments are appended to the Profile at Linked in. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/
HERE IS PART OF MY WORK RECORD
1. PERSONAL MISSION
My personal mission is to open people’s hearts and minds towards fellow beings and I am committed to building cohesive societies where people learn to respect the otherness of others and live securely with their faith, race, gender, ethnicity, culture and other uniqueness. I am pleased to see the fruits of my work.
2. LIFE MISSION
My life mission is the establishment of the Center for Pluralism committed to building cohesive societies where every American can live freely without apprehensions. Now, I am looking forward to establishing the institution to offer accredited credit course in Pluralism (Religion, Politics, Society, Culture, Workplace, and Nations). CFP is a well-recognized name in the society – by the way, currently, only three organizations are actively producing the work on Pluralism.
Web Portal: www.CenterforPluralism.com
3. BEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
My best accomplishment is opening people’s heart, minds and souls towards fellow Americans. A few quick examples are: Individuals who had no idea about Hinduism began respecting the religion, some dropped their bias against Atheism, and a few started accepting homosexuality as legitimate as heterosexuality. A lady who hated Islam started seeing that she was misinformed and wanted to learn more. It is all about following Prophet’s Muhammad’s groundbreaking principle of mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill among fellow humans.
Today in Dallas, we have 10 clergies from different faiths, who did the workshop with me on Quran – they read the truth first hand in the Quran, and have learned to separate the false charges that the Quran teaches violence. They see the Quran as a book of guidance to create cohesive societies. I want to do the same for all faiths.
4. BUSINESS CONSULTANT
As a consultant, I have turned around an ailing fire protection company into a successful one, turn around two restaurants.
No one wanted to be the first, and I have done things no one has done before. One of the 67 examples is holding a Demonstration against ISIS on the steps of Lincoln Memorial – Fox News supported and lauded it, and right after that, 11 other demonstrations took place within a month. They were hesitant, once, one paves the way, others will join.
6. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
I undertook the responsiblity to start American Muslim Institution from Scratch, zip, zero and established it and put it on the Map of Washington. All in 20 months. If you go to TheGhouseDiary.com and type in the words “Mission Accomplished Mike Ghouse,” you will get the full summary. http://www.theghousediary.com/mission-accomplished-american-muslim/
7. DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Thanks to Dallas Morning News’ Texas Faith Column, where I wrote 250 pieces over a period of 5 years, each article weaves thru several faith traditions, it is a common road that all religions travel upon. No tradition was excluded.
Google search: Dallas News Mike Ghouse Texas Faith
8. HUFFINGTON POST
About 125 Articles over a period of 10 years, mostly interfaith pieces
9. PRESIDENT TRUMP
Reaching out to President Trump – I produced a simple 4 paragraph dream letter for President Trump to review. I went to C-PAC meeting for all the three days, and passed the message to Matt Schlapp, President of the conservative Union, he read it, it is on video, and said, he will give it to President Trump. The next day, I handed the letter to VP Pence, emailed or texted all the Trumps men and women – Then on the first address to the joint house, he started his speech, the first two sentences were an expression in my letter. I had asked to speak for Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and the Mexicans, he excluded Muslims and Mexicans from the speech.
“Fellow Americans, you chose me to be your President, and now help me do the right thing. Listen carefully, stop those ‘few’ guys who are a threat to fellow Americans, particularly the bomb threats against the Jewish Community Centers which is not acceptable. We will hunt them down and punish them accordingly.
Stop the radicals from harassing the Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Immigrants, African Americans or anyone for that matter, the actions of those few are a terrible reflection on my administration. I will not tolerate anyone messing with fellow Americans under my Presidency, neither should you? Stop them now.” Google search “CFP delivers the letter to President Trump.” or
10. HILLARY CLINTON
Two days before the election on 11/06/16, I wrote a Dream Speech for Hillary at Huffington Post. What is unique about that speech is the inclusion of fellow Americans who were ignored, had Hillary listened to me, she would not have lost elections. What is rewarding is, Peggy Noonan wrote the same idea two weeks after the elections, and she got the Pulitzer prize for it. She needs to share that with me! Here are a few excerpts:
My priority is to reach out to my fellow Americans who had it right until the disaster from wars brought misery to them; the white Americans. We are going to find ways and means for them to recover from the difficult times they have endured while others Americans have prospered.
Believe me, the Black Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, immigrant Americans, and all other Americans want each one of us to prosper, particularly the disaffected White Americans. Our prosperity hinges on the prosperity of people around us and the success of nations around us. None of us will succeed if some of us are left behind.
I am committed to restoring justice to my fellow Americans who lost their jobs in manufacturing, to fellow Americans who live on farms and to fellow Americans who do not have an education or technical skills. All the men and women who are plumbers, electricians, repairmen, drivers, janitors, and small business owners, and taking care of them is a priority of my administration. We will restore our glory days, and in the end, no American will be left out.
Hillary’s last-ditch effort – the final speech
11. FOX NEWS/ SEAN HANNITY
Sean Hannity gave me the national presence. After 110 TV Shows, 150 Nationally Syndicated Radio shows, Sean gave the best concession anyone can ask: Major accomplishment was he stopped bashing Quran and understood there are two types of Sharia, the Public Sharia has a few aspects that American Muslims reject, and the private Sharia is between an individual and God – that is how one prays, fasts, gives charity, cares for fellow beings. This had a considerable impact on the outcomes to the point Peter King, the then chairman of the Homeland security committee, corrected the statement to 96% of Muslims are good people, that was a 180 degrees turnaround.
Sharia Explained: http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/
Video about Hannity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd-mgSFziII
Dealing with difficult ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=HiEHbdK84Gk
12. FOX NEWS/ STEWART VARNEY
Stewart Varney Stuart Varney on Fox declared he will not use the phrase Muslim Terrorists and instead use Terrorists among Muslims. Videos available at Google and youtube. One of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=aGSti7f9F-A
13. AMBASSADOR BROWNBACK
The Ambassador for Religious freedom has a great group of people updating him on religious freedom across the world. I am one of the many signatories to several letters sent to different heads of the government to preserve the religious liberty of the people, including India.
Google: Brownback Ghouse, you will find several articles.
14. INTERFAITH WEDDING OFFICIANT
Interfaith marriages are becoming the new norm of the society. In a few years, one out of two unions would be of interfaith. Yes, this is across the board, whether you are a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Baha’i, Atheist or the other. According to the Pew survey, 40% of people of faiths will be marrying a person of another religion, it is higher among Jews, it’s 50%.
I am blessed to have officiated secular ceremonies for a few, and religious interfaith ceremonies for Jewish-Christian, Hindu-Christian, Bahai-Jewish, Hindu-Jewish, Atheist-Jain, and several other combinations. Being a Muslim, I am pleased to have officiated weddings for Muslims in a variety of combinations; Muslim-Christian, Muslim-Jewish, Muslim-Hindu, Muslim-Mormon, Muslim-Sikh, Muslim-Jain, Muslim-Buddhist and Muslim and an Atheist.
15. NON-VIOLENT WELCOME TO VIOLENT GROUP WORKED
In October 2015, a group that did not like Muslims were planning to hold anti-Muslim demonstrations across 19 mosques in the United States. At a meeting of 30 plus Muslim leaders, chaired by Congressman Keith Ellison at CAIR’s national headquarters, they were about to decide to close the Mosques and not deal with the gun toters. Thanks to the Congressman for letting me speak, which was seconded by Dahlia Mogahed and the whole narrative changed. I presented it as an opportunity to welcome the strangers with full hospitality by serving them with water, hot dogs, waving American Flags. When they come expecting Muslims to resist, they will find that Muslims are not what they thought they were, they were hospitable people. It will speed up the process of acceptance of Muslims as a part of the American family of faiths. A press release was sent, and thank God, they men decided, their teasing will not work and canceled the demonstrations.
16. QURAN BURNING PASTOR
It is one of the biggest events for me in resolving the conflict in a non-violent way and setting a model for future conflicts. Three hundred plus newspapers around the world covered it. It is a real-life drama that happened in Mulberry, Florida – a compelling story loaded with elements of human aspirations, fears, suspense, distrust, discrimination, anger, kindness, hope, tenderness, and even a car chase. It all ends on a happy note. Funds permitting we are looking to make a documentary called Sacred, it is a forty-five minutes film about conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance. What is freedom of speech and what is sacred? It is based upon Prophet Muhammad’s formula applied in negotiating the conflict between free speech and desecrating what is holy – the Quran.
Info – hundreds of articles and videos at https://quranburningpastorterryjones.blogspot.com/
17. QURAN BASHING PASTOR
As a society, we have faltered in blaming the group or the religion for the acts of individuals. The words of Pastor Jeffress generates fear, anxieties hate and ill-will, it is him and not the reflection of his Church, even if the congregation sheepishly claps and gives a standing ovation when the pastor calls out, “Islam is an evil evil religion and Quraan is a book written by a false prophet” with full passion. This is the story of how education can make a difference. The conference was about reading the difficult verses of the Quran by 10 religious leaders in front of a live audience.
18. HOLOCAUST & GENOCIDES – 13th ANNUAL EVENT
A purposeful event to reflects on human failings, with the intention of learning to prevent such happenings as individuals, and reaffirm, “Never Again.”
19. UNITY DAY USA 11th Annual Event.
20. THANKSGIVING CELEBRATIONS – 20th year
A time of gratitude and celebrations of cultural pluralism and appreciating men and women amidst su who have learned to accept each other as they are and how they express their joys through their unique cultural dances.
21. FESTIVALS OF THE WORLD – 25th year
When we live as neighbors, we might as well learn about each other. The best way to build cohesive societies is for its members to understand each other’s sorrows and joys, and festivities and commemorations. Wouldn’t it be nice if you know a little bit about your neighbor’s festival and perhaps invite them to your celebrations to start safe neighborhoods by understanding each other? Every human and every religious group celebrates something or the other in their way, each one is different, but the essence is the same; celebrations and commemorations. A simple language is used for most people to get a gist of it.
22. PLURALISM AWARDS
To encourage fellow Americans to reach out and serve beyond their own folks, nearly 50 such individuals have been recognized their outstanding serving tot he community, these are individuals with prejudice towards none.
23. AMERICAN AMIN AWARD
The idea behind this recognition is to encourage Muslims to reach out and build relationships with fellow Americans and create cohesive societies where harmony and peace prevail. Indeed, that is the simplest purpose of Islam. Islam is not about governance, ruling others, imposing your values on others, Islam is about learning to live in harmony with ourselves and with others.
24. WORKSHOPS ON RELIGION
When we live as neighbors, fellow workers, students, players, activists and inhabitants of the same city, it behooves us to learn about each other’s beliefs, motivations, moments of celebrations, devotions or commemorations. The more we know about the other, the less mythical they would become creating a friendly environment for all of us to function efficiently in whatever we do. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance of the otherness of others leading us into tension free and sustainable prosperity.
25. STANDING UP FOR OTHERS
Societies are built to protect the rights of individuals whether they are invincible or vulnerable. If you don’t stand up for others, why should anyone stand up for you? It is all about Human rights and religious freedom.
26. WISDOM OF RELIGION – RADIO SHOW
Summary: Our radio show was called Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful religions. The purpose was to simplify each faith so that the person on the street can get the essence of that faith. This was broadcasted on AM Radio 1150 in Dallas, Texas. A total of 780 hours were dedicated to studying of the religions – 104 hours each for Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam on Monday, Thursday and Friday respectively. 52 hours each for Atheism, Bahai, Buddhism, Interfaith, Jain, Judaism, Sikhism and a few hours on the annual program and pluralism.
Info: https://www.smu.edu/Perkins/News/News_Archives/Archives2012/Faith_Forum_Panel/Ghouse Info: https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-dallas-morning-news/20090614/281968898661320
info: to be uploaded
27. MEMORIAL DAY
Memorial Day resonates with American Muslims, and I am blessed to have joined in the tradition of honoring our Veterans on this Memorial day by visiting the Cemeteries for a short prayer for the last eight years. It is an annual event and I hope to bring interfaith gatherings to honor our men and women.
28. JULY 4TH – ANNUAL EVENT
CFP is one of the organizations that has produced an unbelievable number of articles on July 4th and integration. We need to start thinking and acting as one people. July 4th is a great opportunity for Americans to come together and celebrate our freedom.
Video: to be uploaded
29. VETERAN’S DAY – ANNUAL EVENT
We are grateful to the men and women in uniform, who risk their lives in defending our freedom and guarding our safety. I have always made a point to salute them and certainly participate in the Veterans Day Parade and have spoken at homeless Veterans centers.
30. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Summary: to be updated
31. SHARIA LAWS
Summary: As Americans, we are apprehensive about the Sharia laws and the fears are real for some people. I say, fear not, American Muslims have no appetite for the Sharia as practiced in a few orthodox nations, and no American Muslim wants the Public Sharia, except the Private Sharia which is between an individual and God. Sharia serves as the constitution in other nations, and it badly needs amendments like our constitution.
32. BLASPHEMY LAWS
Summary: Blasphemy laws have no basis in the Quran, God is about justice and mercy, and not cruelty and tyranny. Those who claim to defend the dignity of God, Prophet, Quran, and Islam really do not have faith in them. They are afraid God, Prophet, Quran, and Islam will disappear from the face of the earth without their protection. They are wrong! We are bloody mortal beings here today and gone tomorrow, whereas God, Prophet, Quran, and Islam have been around and will always be there. There should be no punishment for Blasphemy, it is not in the Quran and it was not practiced by the prophet.
33. 9/11 GROUND ZERO MOSQUE
Summary: America missed an opportunity in leading the world and set the tone for a world of co-existence. The center was to become a Mecca for teaching Pluralism. Sadly, Imam Feisal did not respond on a timely basis. Pamela Geller and I fought off from Day 1 of the demonstrations against the mosque on Hannity Radio. I was on Hannity for a whole week. While the tragedy will never fade from our memories, we have to consider the political opportunists who have opposed the Muslim Center near Ground Zero? The revelations are as clear as the daylight, the right-wing politicians had gone berserk and hung on to tiny branches to save their political careers, and it is an abuse of Patriotism to have political gains. I was fully involved in the conversation
Washington Post: https://www.onfaith.co/onfaith/2010/07/26/on-mosque-us-should-stand-on-moral-high-ground/5118
Video links at the site.
34. RAMADAN NEWS
35. QURAN COMMENTARY
36. ISRAEL PALESTINE DIALOGUE
Summary: to be updated
37. PLURALISTIC ETHOS OF INDIA
Summary: to be updated
38. INTERFAITH WEDDING OFFICIANT
Summary: to be updated
In 1996 we held an Exhibition Cricket Match between the Ambassadors (or someone from the Embassy) of Cricket playing nations represented by UK, India, Pakistan, Australia, Bangladesh, NewZealand, South Africa, Jamaica, and others. Putting Dallas on Cricket map of the world. When I was the president of the North Texas Cricket Association, the organization grew from a team of 6 to 30 teams, and I secured several cricket grounds from different cities including four in Plano. I also instituted the first ever Cricket development program – where all the players had to go through mandatory continuing education through renowned umpires including Greg Chapel. Our organization won the award for Best Cricket development in the Western Hemisphere.
Info: to be updated
My heroes are the activists, who get out on the street and demonstrate against injustice to anyone anywhere. These demonstrators are the reason we have the freedom and democracy in our nation. Over the last 25 years, I have taken part in many demonstrations and have organized a few. Had we listened to Michel Moore and Cindy Sheehan, we would have saved nearly a million people’s lives.
I thank God and Mother Teresa for inspiring me with her words, “If you want to make peace with your enemies,” she said, “go talk with them.” I thank God and my parents for instilling guts in me to speak up and reach out to the most difficult people on the planet. I have spoken and participated in the Gaza Rally, which a few of my right-wing Jewish friends had difficulty with. And in the same year, I participated, spoke, prayed and stood with the Jewish community at the Holocaust Museum, two Synagogues, Texas Jewish post, and Akiba Academy, and of course, a few right-wing Muslims had a problem with that. What they fail to see is what their holy books say -Saving a life is like saving the whole humanity.
41 – 65 Items will be uploaded asap.
What does the CFP do?
The Center is committed to reassuring each other, including the disconnected ones among the White Americans, that together as Americans, we are committed to safeguarding the American way of life. No American needs to worry about losing his or her way of life. As Americans, we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our Constitution. You can google search “What do we do at the Center for pluralism” for details.
Ten years from now, you will not find a place of work, worship, playground, school, restaurant, theater and other areas of public gatherings where you will not see people of different faiths, races, and ethnicities interacting, working, studying, intermingling, playing and marrying together. The future is bound to create conflicts.
A vast majority of us have heard things about others from our friends, news, social media or our knowledge of others and we instantly form opinions about others. As responsible individuals, we must strive to strip stereotyping and build pathways to ensure the smooth functioning of our society, whether it is the workplace or our neighborhoods.
We need to reassure each other, particularly the disconnected ones, that together as Americans, we are committed to safeguarding the American way of life. No American needs to worry about losing his or her way of life. Together as Americans, we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in our Constitution; a guarantor of the way of life each one of us wants to lead.
CFP will continue to bring non-stop actions in practicing pluralism in religion, politics, society, and culture and be a catalyst for a safe and a secure America for each one of us as we move through this transition.
What is a Cohesive Society, and how does it help America?
Take the human body as an example – to function normally, all our body parts and organs have to work in coordination, and they function their role if we feed them the right energy. What if we don’t eat right? When we have a headache or heart problem, we cease to function cohesively, right?
Extend this to the social aspect of our lives, i.e., our interactions with other people. In a given family, or at a workplace, community center, our states, and our nations, we do not act as one nation. If we lose the common objective, we tend to go in different directions instead of finding solutions.
Chief Seattle, a Native American said this correctly, “All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the webs, he does it to himself.”
Examples – the community is a bus!
America is God’s own country. Indeed it is. It is a representation of everything God has created on this planet from the sea to the shining sea. We have green pastures, rivers, mountains, deserts, snow, rainfall, storms; we have a cold to hot climates.
We are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. We are represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, and religion.
We are blessed with every possible faith that you can imagine on the earth, there is no other nation represented by this many faiths. Together as Americans, we believe in one God, no God, and many God representations; we think him to be male, female and genderless; we believe it to be a being, non-being, and everything; unknown and innumerable names.
We have families who opt to live a simple life with no modern amenities and us families who live in the lap of luxury that is unmatched anywhere.
We believe in our constant declaration of independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
What does inclusion mean? How does it benefit the common man?
Do you remember the hurt you felt when a group of associates huddled in the corner and did invite you to the conversation? Do you remember two of your family members were talking together, and when you walked in they stopped talking… you feel frustrated when you are excluded. You lose interest…. you are onto a project, and your spouse is not aware of it, you know how he or she feels?
Inclusion is inspiring, it breeds enthusiasm and commitment to the common purpose.
Two days before the election in 2016, I wrote an imaginary speech for Hillary Clinton and published it in the Huffington Post. It called for her to “Include” the disaffected Americans, mainly the suburban and the ones who lost their jobs in manufacturing. Had she done that, Trump would not have earned their sympathy.
Inclusion is important.
Does Pluralism beneficial to the business?
Absolutely! Every business, religious, political, and community service organization wants people to get along with each other, be productive and live out with least tensions.
Let me share a quote from Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And when they feel bad, their productivity goes down, and it is infectious, others will crawl too. You switch gears to go into either “getting even” mode or resentment towards the other. This consumes you at the workplace, Then you carry the tension home, and you don’t give 100% to your family it deserves, neither you nor your family or the people at work are happy.
But when we learn about Pluralism, most things can be shaped to reach our goals of cohesion and one nation.
When you have a conflict with someone, don’t carry it with you, sit down and have a conversation – the pain from that conversation is worth the freedom you will have for a long time to come.
Real Example: 4 work associates going for lunch, two scenarios!
7. What is the most significant contribution of CFP to America?
It will be instrumental in shaping the future of America.
Ten years from now, you will not find a place of work, worship, playground, school, restaurant, theater and other areas of public gatherings where you will not see people of different faiths, races, and ethnicities interacting, working, studying, intermingling, playing and marrying together. The future is bound to create conflicts, and the CFP is determined to shape that future where all of us can live without apprehension and fear of the other.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the founder and President of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/ and http://www.theghousediary.com/mike-ghouse-my-mission/ and www.MuslimSpeaker.com and www.interfaithspeaker.com