Mike Ghouse admonishes Brigitte Gabriel on Hannity Show

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(This note in parenthesis added on Sunday at 8:30 PM – Dr. Akbar Ahmed’s take, I am thrilled to see my reflections and words in the links and articles below are also reflected by Dr. Ahmed, I hold him very high and it is a delight for me – http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/may-6-2011/the-death-of-osama-bin-laden/8775/ )
Today, Brigitte and I were at each others throats on Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio about Bin Ladin.  The half hour segment was aired twice. It was all done while I was driving from Houston to Dallas, a total of 9 hours on road consuming nearly 6 hours of NPR and other talk radio shows. I must thank Hannity for updating on facebook, twitter and announcing several times on the Radio and giving prominence on his website –http://www.hannity.com/guests  I did not realize I have such a huge audience and I am yet to respond to the hundreds of emails I get.
I am pleased several guests after me including Oliver North took the same position as I did.
I need to get the MP3 (?) Audio version and upload on my site, when I googled I found this particular one amusing;


Hannity’s guest Brigitte Gabriel also demanded the photo, saying Obama should not have given Osama a dignified burial at sea, rather we should have desecrated his corpse by wrapping it in bacon and putting it in a sideshow for people to see for a dollar. Gabriel was admonished by guest Michael Ghouse for such an immoral idea, saying Americans are better than the extremists. Ghouse said we have better morals and are about justice, not revenge, hate or escalating violence. Gabriel said we need to show anyone who might mess with us that they will be killed and their bodies desecrated.
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Laura Hornbeck wrties on facebook :: I heard some of your comments today on the radio, Mike. Thank you. You spoke clearly and your appeal to a “higher standard” was most timely. It’s so natural, in a way, to respond to evil with hatred. To want to, as Brigitte said, “wrap Bin …Laden’s body in bacon and show him to Americans.” But being natural usually isn’t being godly. That’s what is so incredibly hard about Jesus’ teachings to love one’s enemies, to even bless those who curse us.
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I quoted the Bible hate not the sinner but sin, there is a great wisdom in it. If we want the world to be a better place, we have to set the example and not lower ourselves to the ones we believe are wrong.  
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Would you have sanctioned the death of Osama bin Laden?
Twelve Panelists have weighed in on it, you can see the struggle in the responses, and many have take an approach similar to mine.  I am happy that he is gone, but I killing him was not the right thing.  I wrote this piece 3 days ago, and at least three of the writers have taken a similar stand, the link to the other 11 points is given below.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

No, I would not have sanctioned the death of Osama Bin Laden.

First of all, there was no need to have killed the man, when the Seals encountered Bin Laden they could have released gases or other elements to knock out and capture him alive. We need to hear more about it from the Navy Seals, if in fact they were in danger to have shot him twice in his head?

The right thing would have been to put him on the trial, just as we did with the Nuremberg, Saddam Hussein and other trials. We could have learned a lot more about his other secret plans that may still be attempted by his loyalists. The world would have witnessed that we care about the rule of law and reinforced it through a time honored process.

Secondly, it has set a bad precedent. Even though the end result benefits humanity, the means were not kosher. It has opened up the doors for others to replicate, thus we ‘may’ have lost the moral upper hand to stop others from extra judicial killings.

Thirdly, no religion permits one to kill the other. Torah and Quran and other holy books do not see any wisdom in killing the other without an imminent threat to one’s own life. Both the books say, to save a life is like saving the whole humanity and the corollary to that is to kill a human is like killing the whole humanity. What is the difference between somewhat pregnant and pregnant? Jesus condemned the sin and not the sinner.

I am glad his body was respectfully dropped in the sea instead of a ground burial. If the choice was given to Bin Laden, he would have preferred this over a ground burial which could have become a shrine to his followers, and that is not acceptable to a Wahhabi Muslim. The last rites were indeed handled appropriately and the Muslims appreciate that. God loves the one who forgives and lives in peace with himself.

Finally for the record, I stand opposed to assassinations, killings and death penalty. Unless it was in self defense, we are morally wrong in killing Bin Laden.

However, it feels good that he is not alive anymore. Mind you, that is different than cheering for his death which we should not do.

His end brings a sense of relief and closure to families who have lost nearly 3000 of their loved ones. Muslims have more to rejoice than others; they were not only victims of his terrorism like all of us, but were also subjects of harassment by several governments around the world, in the airports as well as employment and ordinary acts of life. The Sikh community also endured the grief out of mistaken identity. We pray that the Taliban mind set and the oppression of women in Afghanistan also comes to an end.

It is one of the best news items Muslims have had in a decade; it brings a sense of relief and hopefully restores the relationship between Muslim and Non-Muslims in building a cohesive America. Thank God, an evil era has come to an end with the death of this man.

Mike Ghouse committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
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