Pluralism and Islam

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This is particularly addressed to Muslims

We are still fighting a battle with the Neocons, and they are constantly mis-representing Islam. As Muslims, we need to rise above and make an effort to understand ideas and concepts without being judgmental.

Let me give you the example of the railway lines, two parallel rail lines run for the length they have designed to run and each line stands on its own. They do not converge, but they exist side by side.

Like wise, there are several faiths that exist side by side. Acknowledging their existence and accepting that it is God’s will to have made us different, and then his guidance for us to know each other is simply Pluralism. Pluralism is not a religion, it is an attitude to be respectful of others sentiments and faiths.

Pluralism is not Deen-e-Elahi and pluralism is not a religion. Pluralism is simply an attitude of who we deal with others. Pluralism is co-existence. The idea of integration is oppressive and expects the minority to merge with the majority.

Pluralism is NOT integration, it is purely co-existence. You are who you are and, I am who I am, and let’s figure out a way to live with least conflicts.

Pluralism is an attitude of respecting the otherness of other and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of his creation.

Of the several beautiful values, one of the most important values of Islam is to leave the judgment call to Allah and practice non-judgementality in our daily lives. We recite the verse Malik-i-yomiddin so many times a day and hope that becomes a part of it.

Here on this group, except personal attacks all views on a given topic have been posted. We need to resist the thought of gaining support from a few to be against some one. What is the need for it? We all can read between the lines.

As a moderator of this group, I express my views and welcome all other views. My Pluralistic attitude encourages me to present all views, even if they are contrary to my own. This is a critical value, as Muslims, we need to consider adopting. This leads to a development of healthy societies.

Conformity kills creativity; it is the push for conformity that we have gotten behind. The world would not have moved an inch forward if we were all conformist. From a religious point of view – we would not have had the two divisions or six schools of thought.

We are not a monolithic lot, and most certainly each one of us is responsible on the day of reckoning – I am responsible for me and no else will come to rescue me except the good things I have done. Your take and my take on Islam would differ on a few issues and that is healthy. There is no compulsion in Islam.

Mike Ghouse

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About Mike Ghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at