Ghouse Speaks at Homeless Veterans Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon.

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Veterans Resource
Center, Dallas – November 21, 2013. As an Immigrant American, I
strongly feel a bondage with the Veteran issues, particularly these men
and women who have risked their lives to defend the freedom we cherish,
and they have no home to live, that is sad and makes me feel helpless.
Thanks to Obama and Biden for getting the first and 2nd lady to focus on
doing everything they can to give them the dignity they deserve when
they return from their active duty. I do my share to participate in the
Veterans day events.

The good news is, this year
similar luncheons (they call it dinner) held in Fort Worth and elsewhere
had half the attendance they had last year including the one in
Dallas.  May be signs of good times!

The event started with color
guard ceremony, followed by the pledge and National Anthem. Peter
Dancey welcomed the veterans followed by a short prayer to begin the
food service.

Lannie Lake, the Rabbi and I were debating who who should go first, I suggested
that the Rabbi should go first as Judaism is older of the three, followed by
Christian and Islamic faiths. The Rabbi decided that the handsome one
goes first and I did not have the choice but to go (LOL). Continued below

More pictures:

Pluralistic prayers

I may have said more words than the following outline.

Thank you for your service. We appreciate you all the times, indeed, when we celebrate the two major Muslim festivals, I have always made a point to appreciate you’ll, the men and women in the Uniform who put your lives to defend our freedom. Thank you.

Now, let’s pray.

Dear creator. Please accept our gratitude in every name we call upon you; Mahio, manito, Yahweh, Elohim, Ishwar, Buddha, Wahe Guru, Ahura Mazda, Mother Earth, Allah and Jesus Christ.

Dear causer of the universe, we thank you for enriching our nation with different races, nationalities, ethnicities, orientations, languages, cultures, ideals and religions. Indeed, we are represented by everything you have created on this planet.  

Dear causer of the Universe, in your name we want to create a cohesive and peaceful America with care, kindness and dignity to every one of the 312 million of us as well as 7 billion of us in the world.

Dear God, guide us to talk, act and believe that we are one humanity and one nation with the diversity you have endowed us with.

Dear God, as we undertake the mission of building cohesive societies, where no one has to live in apprehension of the other, we are painfully aware of the ignorance, fear, mistrust and ill-will that divides us, help us open our hearts and minds towards receiving each other.

In your precious name we bow

Say Amen!

I recited the first Chapter of Quran, Sura Fateh, the most universal prayer one can get.

 Al-Fatiha (The Opening) translated by Asad
1:1 In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
1:2 All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds,
1:3 The Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace,
1:4 Lord of the Day of Judgment!
1:5 Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.
1:6 Guide us the straight way(on the right path).
1:7 The way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of
those who have been condemned, nor of those who go astray!

Other notes that I will expand with a title – Jewish Muslim Relations

The Hand symbol in the gold necklace was worn by our Jewish friends. I mentioned to her that the symbol reminds me of many things – my father’s election symbol when he ran for the City Council, it’s the symbol of Jainism and Muslims (Shia) also use the hand symbol. It’s a protection symbol of Jewish friends. The lady pointed out to me that this symbol has two thumbs unlike the Muslim one with one thumb!  Then I got to see a few more beautiful symbols.

A senior gentleman in his eighties wore a beautiful wedding band with Hebrew inscription, he said, it reads, “You are my love and I am your love” – he was proud that he has been married to the same women since a decade, she is 70.

We, meaning Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and others have a lot of work to do, and I am glad, rather pleased, people feel comfortable with me to spit out their ignorance .  I am glad they do, it puts pressure on me to find a way to remove the myths from facts, and I really feel sad, that people don’t take the time to find the truth and live in apprehensions and fears of others, while the fear mongering industry continues to run their cash machines.

A lady joined me and the pastor for the lunch – and we had some interesting conversation.  I will be posting a separate article on Jewish-Muslim relations.  However, I am confident that the blame virus is confined to the right wing Jews and right wing Muslims. Thank God the moderates are immunized to hate and fear.

I will be posting a full article on Jewish Muslim conflict, and the amount of work we have to do to bring about a change.

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 America 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 News
; fortnightly at Huffington post; and
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes all his work
through many links.

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