Meeting Dr. Ben Carson – Mike Ghouse

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Meeting Dr. Ben
Carson | 
Mother Teresa had
said, “If you want to make peace with your enemies, go talk with them, talking
among friends won’t change a thing.”  Of
course Ben Carson is not our enemy, he is just misinformed and making an attempt
to wiggle out of it. We need to recognize and appreciate the desire to
correct himself, or distance himself from what was said earlier is a
good step forwards.

Dr. Ben Carson and Mike Ghouse in Washington, DC

His security guard brought him to the special VIP (don’t know why they called it
VIP) reception to the Bloomberg lounge at the National press club. He stood
outside the door, and I rushed to him and shook hands and said, I am a moderate
Muslim, one of the 6 million of American Moderate Muslims and am with American
Muslim Institution. Dr. Carson, I understand what you said about Muslims, you
probably had read or heard and simply passed it on.  I was hoping you would say the right thing,
and if you need to say it flawlessly, anything about Islam or Muslims, we will
be a resource for you. Let me know what I can do for you.  He appreciated it and took my card.

Then at the reception,
I repeated my question, and he said, he’s got my card. I said, as a presidential
candidate I would like to see you say the right things and earn the respect of
American Muslims. I’ll be happy to coach you on Islam.  However, I must
add, finding the truth is your own responsibility.
Rabia Ahmed from MPAC
was there, we agreed that I’ll video tape her, and she would reciprocate it. I
did my part, and will find out if she has done hers.

I thought I had an opportunity
to go for the third interaction, but they chose to have the question written on the Card. I wrote in
big bold letters, THE MUSLIM THING” , “Do you verify the information
before you speak up? Obviously, the information about Muslims missed your
verification, and if you don’t have any one, I will be happy to be your coach,
Mike Ghouse, American Muslim Institution.”

But there were too many questions and mine was not answered, however, he addressed
it differently on another question, “He said something to the effect, and asked, “what
is wrong in not supporting a candidate whose loyalty is to other laws.” He
bungled up again; first of all, no candidate will go beyond the filing stage if
his loyalty is not to America or American Laws, why would he assume that a
candidate will reach that far? He is not aware of the process of the

If I had a chance, I would have made this statement, “As American Muslims we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values
enshrined in our constitution. Our faith reinforces the idea of one nation with
liberty and justice for all.” 

Two reporters caught up with me right after my 2nd interaction,  and I had an extensive conversation with them, not sure if they will report.  I offered them the same thing that I offered
Dr. Carson.

Don’t push people in to a ditch that they cannot get out
of it. If we brand someone as a hate monger, we are essentially committing them to
that position and that would be wrong. We need to believe in the wisdom of Jesus, when he said, “
Condemn the sin and not the Sinner” by doing that we can redeem the person.

His speech was excellent, thank God for a verse from Quran that has been my guidance, which tells not let your bias make you unjust towards others. I was in tune with him most of the time with an open mind. He does speak of a pluralistic America, but I could not square his prejudice against Muslims. I do hope, if he starts believing in verifying information before blurting out, and particularly about Muslims and about other things in general, an aptitude he has to develop, he has a potential to be a good presidential material. 

Republicans hear me out! Those of you who want him to be nominated, you can shape
him, and I will be happy to be his coach about Islam and Muslims, it does not
mean I would support him, but it simply means, I care what a presidential
candidate says about his or her fellow citizens.   As a
pluralist, my expertise is in sensitivity training about all traditions
including but not limited to Atheism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and
paganism. We are all Americans and each one must be respected, and at the end
no one should feel alienated or apprehensive of the fellow Americans,
particularly a presidential candidate.

This was partially covered by MSNBC and repeated in several news papers –

The other article:

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on IslamPluralismInterfaithpolitics, human rights, foreign policy and
building cohesive societies.
Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63
links at and his writings are at  

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