Ghouse on Bill O'Reilly about Indonesian ban on bikini at Miss World Peagant –

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On The O’Reilly factor between
Greg Gutfeld, sitting in for Bill O’Reilly at Fox News,  and Mike Ghouse,
president of America Together Foundation and the World Muslim Congress about
the Indonesian ban on bikini at Miss World Pageant.

I have stood up for every race, ethnicity, culture and religion, and this time
I am standing up for Muslim sensitivities to ban Bikini at the Miss World Pageant
in Indonesia to be held on September 28, in Jakarta, Indonesia. We have to
stand up for up for every one’s right to be who they are and who they want to

Of course, this is a fodder for
the Islamophobes to cash in on hyping up the situation that radical Muslims are
gaining control in every sphere of life, and that they will take over the
world.  My fellow Americans like Pamela
Geller and Robert Spencer will squeeze every penny out of their nincompoop
supporters. The more they frighten, the more donations will roll in; frightening
Americans is their business.

I am thankful to Fox
News and Greg Gutfeld to take me on the O’Reilly show to share my
perspective.  The show was broad casted
between 8 and 9 PM EST on Friday, June 7, 2013. Most of my talking points made
it in the show but a few critical ones did not and they are here below.

Fox News Video:

More pictures:


The bikini ban did not happen overnight, it
was a part of the year long negotiated business transaction between the
organizers of Miss World and the Indonesian cultural and tourism authority. 

 One of the great American values is to
respect the sensitivities of other people. What is good for the goose has got
be good for the gander.  Dale Carnegie had perfect words for this
situation, “If you want to gather the honey, don’t kick the beehive”.

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.

That is exactly what the Miss World Pageant did; they agreed to respect the
Indonesian culture, predominantly Muslim to address their concerns. When in
Rome, do as Romans do.

“All of the more than 130
contestants will be required to wear Bali’s traditional long sarongs instead of
the sexy bikinis
that are historically part of the competition, “said Adjie S. Soeratmadjie of the RCTI, the
official broadcaster and local organizer.

In fact the chairwoman of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley said,
“Indonesia is designing for us a very beautiful one-piece beachwear, and
I’m very happy with them,” she told The Associated Press by phone from
London, adding that the pageant will include a special beachwear fashion show.

In America we call it lobbying and bribe the decision makers in one form or the
other and get the job done, the Indonesia garment industry probably was looking
to promote their version of the bikini in to the world market through the

As Americans, we are open to most things, but we have our own problems. We have
protested against the sinful ugly war, Muslim protests against Bikini, so what?

Aren’t we sensitive to the needs of our business?

Would a traditional Jewish family eat in a restaurant where the meat is not
kosher? If the restaurant is predominantly in a Jewish community or Muslim
community, it is in their business interest to serve Kosher/ Halal meat, is it

So what if we are sensitive to the needs of Muslims in a predominantly Muslim community?
Why should we push our way on to them? Do they push their ways on to us?

We should be proud of the demonstrators, it is a healthy sign of democracy, if
the Republicans do not protest, and Obama will get away with many things.
Protesting is the democratic thing to do, and we must appreciate it.

Forget the Jews, Muslims and Hindus; would you and I eat dog meat, if that is
served in a restaurant? Did we not protest Horse meat in burgers? Hindus
protested about beef ingredient in the French Fries as well.  What about McRib by McDonalds?  What did Jack
in the box and McDonald’s do? They did not appease any one; they did what was
right for their business, just as the Miss World Pageant did to protect their

Why do we need to piss people off? What is our gain? Dale Carnegie had once
said if you want to gather the honey, you don’t kick the beehive. We need to be
sensitive to the needs of the culture we operate in.

Opposing Bikini is not necessarily a Muslim thing to do; it is indeed a
Cultural thing. Hindus have done, Muslims have done and Christians have done

In 1996 the pageant was marked by violent protests in India – Mind you this was
done by the Predominantly Hindi culture. The event was culture sensitive, the
models danced to traditional Indian music and dance.

There is the business angle – 2 billion people watched it.

When Tebow knelt on the field, how many Christian Americans loved it?

Bangalore was flooded by 10,000 Para military troopers, water hoses, sniffer
dogs to protect the event from the protestors. “Shashikala, leader of Mahila
Jagran Samiti (Forum for Awakening Women) which had promised the immolation
protest, remained at large, police said. But an unemployed man in southern
India died after setting himself ablaze in protest.” 

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez
had to mend their dance moves for the fear of riots, you cannot call this a
Muslim thing either, the same things have happened everywhere in different parts
of the world with different pretexts. 

As far as Greg Gutfeld
throwing in the London incident of hacking a soldier without giving me the time
to respond was not the right thing, he should not have brought it up to begin
with.  Greg Gutfeld’s fears are misdirected.
If I was the police commissioner of United Kingdom, I would have said this to
the criminal, “Shut up you criminal, you violently hacked another being to
death for no reason, I am going to book you, you can plead insanity, I may have
that evaluated, but if you abuse your religion or Qur’an, I am not going to
spare you – no Muslim organization in UK had authorized you, and neither Quran authorized
you to murder another being – As a civil society, we know only one thing – you are
a plain criminal, pleading religion is inadmissible, you are in for a long haul
and a criminal.”

Let the Muslims protest, it is their right to do and we have to admire their


In an effort to placate religious Muslims, organizers of the Miss World competition have jettisoned the bikini competition for this year’s pageant in majority-Muslim Indonesia. Greg debated the ban with Mike Ghouse of the World Muslim Congress. “I stand with the Muslims and their sensitivities,” Ghouse said. “They have the right to defend what they believe in and we should be proud of them for protesting, which is the sign of a healthy democracy. This is a business decision – if you want to open a restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood, you want to sell kosher food. In this case, they’re doing this show in a predominantly Muslim country.” But Greg contended that the move was made primarily out of fear: “I have a feeling it’s more about capitulation than sensitivity, it’s the intolerance of Muslims who threaten violence.”

Mike Ghouse is a
thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to
building a Cohesive
and 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
; fortnightly at Huffington
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes his work through many links.

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