Ramadan day 20 – Sikh Temple

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Police Chiefs of several Cities
were represented

The massacre of Sikhs at the Gurudwara
in Oak Creek, Wisconsin shook the world. No one would have expected this to
happen in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A deranged individual with hatred
walked in to the Gurudwara and opened the fire killing 6 and wounding several.

One of the great outcomes of this tragedy is the sacrifice made by
Police and Fire men around the world, and most certainly in Wisconsin. The
looney gunman Wade Michael Page shot the police officer multiple times, when the
other officers rushed to him, he waved them to go inside and take care of the
wounded and injured. It’s a tender moment and a moment to salute our officers.
When I read it for the first time, I was a cry

Mr. Manmohan Singh, secretary of the
Temple acknowledged that in his opening remarks in Punjabi, and I fully
understood it and the Punjabi language took me back some 16 years ago, when I
was in the Gurudwara shooting for my TV show, and interviewing Gyaniji (Clergy)
– the whole interview was in two languages- I was speaking in Hindi/Urdu and he
was speaking in Punjabi, the conversation was going on intensely until he used a
word that I did not understand, it was an awakening. We paused and learned that
we were speaking in two different languages, and yet we understood it, but not
all of it. We laughed it at that time. And today, I understood the speech of Mr.
Manmohan Singh in Punjabi, even though, formally I don’t know the

It is one of the shortest Ceremonies,
after the Kirtans (Bhajans/Hymns) singing, Mr. Singh took to the microphone and
spoke, peace was emanating from his face and his language. Blessed are the peace
makers, said Jesus some 2000 years ago, meaning those whose language and actions
bring peace and not conflicts, Prophet Muhammad’s whole life was example of
mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill, Jesus described it as turning the
other cheek, meaning not aggravating the conflict, but finding a solution. Guru
Nanak, the fountain head of the Sikh faith was committed to bring peace between
different people at that time, indeed, Sikhism started out as an interfaith
movement; its basis is Seva, service to humanity.

Manmohan Singh’s speech was thoughtful,
expressing love and understanding, instead of the typical condemnations, I
admired him for that. People did walk out with a sense of support and a sense
of unity rather than rage at the evil man, that was a remarkable speech and I
thank Mr. Manmohan Singh for the same.

The sanctuary was full, people were standing… I
must guess that at least a 800 people attended the event. Everyone came from
different walks of life. I will link some of the stories here.

An ocean of people lighting each
others candle outside Gurudwara

The positive point about the event was the
support that all communities expressed in standing up with fellow members of the
family of faiths.

They kept the proceeding short and sweet, some of
us were to speak, I am glad they moved without all of us. My role was to speak
briefly and acknowledge my Wicca and Native American friends who had joined us.

Part of my speech would have been, “As an
American, Indian and a Muslim, I stand by the Sikh community and hope to find
sustainable solutions to prevent shameless events like this from happening. As
Americans we need to come together to build an America where no one needs to
live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.

Blaming will not bring the lives back or solve the
problems, pushing the bigots to the corner will not do it, engaging (there is no
them, it is all of us) them in a normal day to day life has a chance of
nurturing goodwill.

We need to ask ourselves, am I capable of making
friends with fellow Americans from different backgrounds, races, faiths and
ethnicities? If I am reluctant, biased or bent on blaming others, then half of
the problem is me. If I have it, they have it and I need to begin purging my
bias first. More at: http://nabsites.net/demo/texas-faith-is-sikh-shooting-christian/

A few great articles were written in
commemorating this tragic event and here are the links for you to reflect

We Are
All Muslims by Sonny Singh: A Sikh Response to Islamophobia in the NYPD and
Beyond http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonny-singh/sikh-response-to-nypd-surveillance-and-islamophobia_b_1336722.html
Islamophobia, Sikhophobia and Media Profiling by
Simran Jeet Singh
The Gurdwara
handled and managed the event very well. I must appreciate every one of the Sikh
community and certainly Brother Raj Bhandari and Dr. Harbans Lal (one of my
favorite senior mentors) and several others for reaching out to people of
different faiths and ethnicities. There are several, but I won’t be able to
mention them all, however, I want to appreciate Sister Amina Rab for taking the
initiative and doing extensive follow up to bring the Muslims community

Sikh Muslim relationship

Thanks to
Raj for arranging a special room for prayers and arrangement of dates for
Iftaar, it was super nice of them to do this.
I have two
reflective stories to share about the Sikh-Muslim relationship. I have written
the full version of the story; in short, our Sikh and Zoroastrian friends were
offended at the first Unity day (9/11/2005) when Muslims walked out on them,
when it was their turn to speak. Both the communities held that pain for two
years, but thank God, we have great relationships with people of all faiths,
and two years later in 2007 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dr. Harbans Lal and Dr.
Firdosh Mehta shared their anguish with me and I couldn’t bear their pain and
dug out for answers. Muslims did walk out on them.

It was not because
the Sikhs and Zoroastrian were speaking, but because it was the time for evening
Prayers. Many a Muslims pray five times a day and on precise moments – for
example today’s schedule is 5:34 AM, 1:45 PM, 5:30 PM, 8:19 PM and 10:00 PM.
After hearing the reason, Dr. Lal and Dr. Mehta felt relieved and wished they
had clarified this two years ago, instead of carrying it.

As Jews observe
the Sabbath, Christians do theirs, Muslims fulfill their obligation to God. Even
if George Bush ( he was president in 2007) were speaking, a few Muslims will go
for their prayers. This was relayed to the speaker Panel that included people of
13 faiths, and 6 Mayors and other dignitaries

Mayor Pat
Evans and Daisy Khan were the speakers, and Mayor Evans said, I am perfectly
alright if Muslim go to prayers, God is first. Dr. Harbans Lal, Dr. Mehta and I
were relieved knowing the truth and communicate the same to the
So, today,
Dr. Lal and Raj Bhandari were fully aware that Muslims had to break the fast at
8:19 and were ready to tell the story. Most of the thirty some of us were
sitting in the first four rows. On the other hand, what I admire about Brother
Suleman, Imam Yahya, Brother Azhar Azeez and other leaders of the community was
that they sat patiently beyond till 8:23, a window to go to do the Iftaar, and a
room they had arranged to pray the Maghrib ( evening) prayers.

Iftaar was perfect – Lentil, Rice and Roti, all home cooked and delicious, and
of course the Sevian (vermicelli) in the Shir Khurma (bioled in milk and sugar
with nuts).

350 years old Misunderstanding

There are
myths created about each other whether it is Hindu-Sikh, Jews-Muslim or any
combination. Most of them go unquestioned for centuries, one such myth was King
Aurangzeb’s attitude towards Sikhs – based on misinterpreting a verse from
Quraan and a word from Guruji Nanak. Dr. Dhaliwal of Nashville, Tennessee and I
have cracked that myth after 350 years. It is historic. http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/08/quraan-surah-hijr-1526-30.html
as Ramadan proceeds, I will share similar stories with Jews, Christians, Hindus,
Buddhists and others.
misunderstanding has played havoc during partition of India and Pakistan, the
human brutality came to the fore – Sikhs-Muslims-Hindus have mercilessly
slaughtered each other in the trains. We have to heal that, and the greatness to
communities comes when they realize that their pain was as much as others pain.
Neither Guru Nanak, Sri Krishna nor Prophet Muhammad authorized them to do
that, it were ordinary men acted out of anger of displacement. No one needs to
be blamed. Thank God, the process has begun, the Hindus and Sikhs have restored
a few dilapidated mosques and turned them over to Muslims, and in Pakistan the
Muslims have restored the Krishna Temple in Lahore and have maintained the birth
place of Guru Nanank in Nankana.
The good
part of the above story is that many young Sikhs responded to my posting on
facebook with, “where did this come from?” I am glad, the seniors had kept the
difficult part of the history to themselves and did not pass it on to the youth,
at least in America.
Post – Sikhs and Muslims can come together on Guru Nanak’s birthday http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/sikhs-and-muslims-on-542n_b_1087327.html
We all need
to share little stories like this and reconnect with all humanity without bias.
We must stand up for each other. http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/08/standing-up-for-others.html

Each mosque and each tradition is
uniquely different. Insha Allah, I will do my best to keep that uniqueness
intact, however, it is not easy to write different things each day for the whole
month. If you wish to get a complete essence of this, please read for the whole
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a
cohesive America with participation from every community. Please visit www.AmericaTogetherfoundation.com

Please mark your calendar for the Unity Day USA,
a positive event that brings all Americans Together to rededicate our pledge for
a peaceful, prosperous and secure America. We are a part of America and we need
to feel and live it. If you liked some of the article, you will like the
description of Unity Day USA at

What does God really

Are Muslims a part of the American

A call from God to know each other http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2012/01/mission-of-world-muslim-congress.html

No American has to live in apprehension
or fear of the other.
There are solutions; here is a trailer of the
movie in making: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXsTo4VYh8&feature=youtu.be

In defense of Islam, pursuing a
civil dialoguehttp://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20100919-In-defense-of-Islam-pursuing-9397.ece

Please visit www.RamadanDaily.com for a record since

MikeGhouse is committed to building
a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic
solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer
on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike
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 and regularly at Huffington post, and several other
periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.comis updated daily.

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