Yes to Discussions – No to disparagement.

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The purpose of
discussion is to learn, to exchange and to know, so we have fewer conflicts. 
emphasizes that the best one amongst you is the one who knows and learns about
the other and puts myths aside and deals with facts for the purpose of living with
the least amount of conflicts. Indeed, we have conflicts because we don’t know
each other, and sadly if we did know, it is usually something to berate others.  We need to know the full version to deal with
a full version with integrity and honesty.  Many verses from Quran point
to these ideal guidelines in building cohesive societies.

The ground rule for
understanding the other is to respect the otherness of others, as practiced by
the Prophet and taught in Sura Kafirun. (
It’s not your fault
or my fault that we have come to believe whatever we have learned to be
the truth, and whatever we did not learn, appears not to be true to each
one of us.


What if we swap two babies on birth – Baby Ahmadi and Baby Sunni; The Sunni
father will raise the Ahmadi baby and vice versa, both of them send their kids
to the best religious schools possible – like Al-Azhar and Rabwa.
Twenty years down the
road, when both have become masters in their tradition, we will invite them to
the World Muslim Congress for discussion.

Who do you think each one will defend?

And after the discussion, they are told that Ahmadi was really a born Sunni and
vice versa – do their beliefs disappear?  If they don’t, can you wrong either of the boys
or girls for what they have learned?

Imagine the
multiplicity of the issues if we pick on little things… between a variety of denominations
and sub-denominations… like Ahle-Sunna, Jamaati, deobandi, barelvi, nadwatul…
A few among us will
call you names for seeking help from Ghouse-al-Azam, Bulle Shah, Ajmeer walay
Khaja,  Nizamuddin Aulia, Hazrat Ali  and even Prophet Muhammad!
I am a denomination-less
Muslim, meaning I consider all of us are a part of one large universal, all
embracing Ummah, as such I have malice
towards none
(Abraham Lincoln), and I thank God for that.
It is sickening to
see Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller attack the Prophet with all the ugliness they
are loaded with, let us not become Spencers and Gellers to other Muslims and people of other faiths.

If we address Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, let us address him respectfully.
If we address HH Aga Khan, let us address him respectfully.

If we address Syed
Burhanuddin, let us address him respectfully.
If we address Warith
Deen Muhammad, let us address him respectfully, and

If we address the
spiritual leader of any religious group, let’s address him or her respectfully.
(Except criminals like Ashin Wirathu –  the Buddhist Spiritual Master of Burma) 

Can we do that?

Yes to Discussions
– No to disparagement.
Thank you.
Mike Ghouse
 A Note: Iqbal
Kazmi responded beautifully, respectfully highlighting the differences between
Shia, Sunni and Ahmadiyya at Dallas Pakistani’s group and I admire th
. . . . .

Mike Ghouse is a speaker,
thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at
work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and
offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at He believes
in Standing up for others
and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on
national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He 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
; fortnightly at Huffington post; and
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes all his work
through many links.

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