Oped News – Holocaust and Native American’s Genocides event in Dallas organized by a Muslim.

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The first Holocaust and Genocides event was
organized by Muslims in Dallas, Texas, after the United Nations unanimously
passed the bill to commemorate Holocaust in their 60th General Assembly meeting
on November 1, 2005. They designated January 27 of each year as Holocaust
Memorial day.

The first event was organized on Sunday, January
29th, and was addressed by the Holocaust survivors, Ms. Rosa Lee Schiff and
the late Mr. William Schiff. This year, we will start with the Holocaust
conversation followed by the Genocides of Native Americans and the Gujarat
Massacre. This is a serious event for us to reflect on the inhumanity within
each one of us, and learn to do our individual share of saying never

William and Rosa Lee Schiff
(image by Mike Ghouse)

I have always believed, and I read the
assessments of some of the best brains, that if we can resolve the
Jewish-Palestinian conflict, i.e.,  security to Jews and justice to the
Palestinians, most of the world issues will collapse and a period of peace on
earth will begin.
Commemorating Holocaust and Genocides for
seven years is a fulfillment of a lifelong drive to build bridges.

Mike Ghouse addressing the first Holocaust Memorial
(image by Mike Ghouse)

Of all the people on the earth, my mother
would be pleased to know that I am doing what it takes to be a “good
Muslim,” to respect, honor, and protect the sanctity of life.
A healthy society can be defined by how well
it functions together, where no member of the society has to live in
apprehension, discomfort, or fear of the other.

Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting peaceful functioning of a society
and it is our duty, both individually and collectively, to track down the source
of such hate and mitigate it. Indeed, each one of us needs to do our share of
work. This hate takes many avatars including anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny,
homophobia, Islamophobia, and other ailments of the society. Untreated, they
will erupt in violent and hostile expressions like crusades, inquisitions,
9/11, terrorism by individuals and nations, Holocaust, genocides, and massacres.

7th Annual Holocaust and Genocides event
(image by Mike Ghouse)

The Jewish-Christian conflict stems from Jesus’
crucifixion; the Christian-Muslim conflict has origins in how each sees
Jesus, and the Jewish-Muslim
conflict took root in the late 1940s.  Much of the conflict with Native
Americans, native societies, Hindus, pagans, and others stem from forced
conversions by the arrogance of Christian and Muslim missionaries.

Religion came into existence to save mankind; most people get that right and a few don’t. No religion teaches hatred
or encourages hostilities. On the contrary, religions are committed to building
cohesive societies where no one has to live in discomfort or fear of the other. The
bottom line of all religions is based on the golden rule, “Do unto others as
you would wish to have done unto you.”
There is always a room for bringing a
positive change, even if it were a small step. The Foundation for Pluralism,
Memnoysne Institute, and the World Muslim Congress have teamed up to find
solutions, which begin with the acknowledgement of the problem and taking
small healing steps.
We are pleased to invite you to join us for
the 7th Annual Holocaust and Genocides event set for Sunday, January 26,
2014, between 3 and 6 PM at the Unity of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX
75230. Details are at www.HolocaustandGenocides.com
The purpose of this event is education, and
we hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to
do our individual share of saying “never again”.

Holocaust pictures
(image by Dallas Holocaust Museum)

The spark of hatred will not disappear
through law and order; it would be temporary off the screen, but will reappear
at every little conflagration.  As civil societies, this has to be worked
out for the long-term good.

What we need is to have a heart-to-heart
dialogue with each community with a goal to acknowledge the differences and
figure out how to live with each other with least conflicts. After all we are
inextricably connected to each other in our day-to-day life.
The goal ought to be respecting the otherness
of others and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each one of us; anything
short of that will leave unattended-sparks ready to flare up at short notice
with the whiff of oxygen.

There is a shameless cruelty in us; either we
shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it
will devalue o ur own or somehow it amounts to infidelity to our own
cause.  What a shame it is to believe that the victims deserved or asked
for it.

We sincerely hope the attendees will walk out with the following understanding:

1. Other peoples’ suffering is as legitimate as mine;
2. It is easy to see ourselves as victims,
but we must also see the perpetrator in us;
3.  When we strip the politics out of a
conflict, we see hope;
4. We can value others suffering without lessening our own;
5.  The overriding desire to highlight our
own blinds us from others’ suffering;
6.  A sense of responsibility for creating a
better world is awakened.

Holocaust and Genocides
(image by Mike Ghouse and MaryAnn Thompson-Frenk)

Mike Ghouse is committed to building
cohesive societies where no human has to live in fear of the other.  

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