Conservatives talk show hosts are fun to work with.

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Washington, DC Press Club, December 15, 2015 

I was watching the Presidential debate at the National Press Club, there was another
group watching right behind me.  When Lindsey Graham spoke eloquently
about blaming the individuals and not the faith, which is my mantra, I clapped,
and they booed.  One of the ladies and her husband beckoned me to join
them, and told me they were conservatives and asked about me, “I am a
moderate” I said. 

Melody and Dave Clarke, and Mike Ghouse

Of course we exchanged
a few thoughts on what is being a moderate – it is someone who does not see the
conservative and liberals as his or her adversaries, it is someone who had no
problem with a different point of view, it is someone who understands different
perspectives without agreeing to them. I introduced myself and gave them my
card that read, Mike Ghouse, Executive Director, American Muslim Institution. 

What followed after
that was an interesting but a familiar conversation, Déjà vu!   It appears
that most of the conservatives have memorized certain things about Muslims, and
reel it off.  I don’t get offended; instead I listen to them patiently and
share my perspective. They asked me about Sharia and I gave them a short talk
on the topic and referred them to my website
and asked them to read at least two articles listed on the left panel; Genesis
of Sharia and Fixing Sharia.
 If we bear any responsibility towards the well
being of fellow Americans, we must talk with the idea of communicating our
points of view, and to understand and not to put down the other, even if the
other does that. That is precisely what Jesus meant when he said to turn the
other check, meaning don’t aggravate the conflict, mitigate it, and that is
precisely the approach of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), both of them are my mentors
in human development.
Melody Clarke is a
conservative Radio talk show host; and her husband Dave and we had a good time
learning our differences on political issues.  She has offered me to join on her on her show
in North Carolina, and I have been on many conservative shows across the
nation.  I hope a few more will see another point of view, shame on us, as
Muslims, we have not offered an alternate narrative about Muslims, and instead
we defend and blame them and cause them to dig in their heels. On the other
hand our conservative friends have not made an effort to see if there is
another point of view.  
 I am sure you
have had that experience, with patience; people will learn to respect you, and
gradually see your point of view as a courtesy. Instead of falling into the
trap and getting agitated, if you take the approach of listening with patience,
it opens them with common decency to listen to you; a dialogue begins at that

If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God-given uniqueness
of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.  It is not 2+2 = 4, but we have to go through
emotional process to achieve that for a better world around us. 

There is no joy
greater than living without conflicts with fellow beings. By the way, do join us for this God given opportunity to build stronger bonds with fellow Americans on the steps of Lincoln Memorial for joint celebrations of Christmas and Milad (Prophet Muhammad’s birth day) with Christmas Carols and Nasheeds.

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer,
news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine Terrorism
and foreign policy. Over 3000 Articles have been published on the subjects. He
is committed to building cohesive societies and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at and bulk of his writings are at  

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