Thursday, May 7, 2015

U.S. Holocaust museum says this Muslim minority could face genocide

Rohingya Genocides | Buddhist Hate | www.HolocaustandGenocides.com 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/05/07/u-s-holocaust-museum-says-this-muslim-minority-could-face-genocide/  By Ishaan Tharoor May 7 at 5:00 AM 


Women and children wait in line for medical care at the makeshift Aung Clinic, which serves many Rohingya, with a few dedicated staffers providing free care. (Paula Bronstein for The Washington Post)


Women and children wait in line for medical care at the makeshift Aung Clinic, which serves many Rohingya, with a few dedicated staffers providing free care. (Paula Bronstein for The Washington Post)
The official American institution memorializing the Holocaust sounded the alarm this week on the threat of a genocide facing the beleaguered Rohingya of Burma, one of the world's most neglected communities. A report published by the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, a wing of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, charted the persecution, violence and systematic discrimination endured by this Muslim minority, and warned that it was a "population at grave risk for additional mass atrocities and even genocide."

The plight of the 1.3 million Rohingya is well documented, if not particularly well known. The majority live in Burma's Rakhine state, on the western border with Bangladesh and India. Even though many Rohingya can trace their roots in Burma, also known as Myanmar, through a number of generations, they are not recognized as citizens of the Burmese state, which has insisted on classing them as "Bengali" — a designation that suggests that they may be interlopers from across the border. They, therefore, struggle for access to basic state services in what is already an underdeveloped, fractious, multi-ethnic nation.

The partial democratization that has taken place in Burma, once dominated by a military junta, has not helped the Rohingya. In recent years, the climate of hostility has, as the report puts it, led to the Rohingya being "subject to dehumanization through rampant hate speech, the denial of citizenship, and restrictions on freedom of movement, in addition to a host of other human rights violations." 

Ethnic violence in 2012 led to tens of thousands of Rohingya fleeing to miserable, squalid camps; countless others have chosen to leave the country altogether, sometimes at hideous cost. The waters of the Andaman Sea and the jungles of Thailand still hold the unclaimed corpses of many Rohingya, whose vulnerable position on the margins of the Burmese state have made them prey to human traffickers.

The Simon-Skjodt Center's report was partly based on a fact-finding mission to Rakhine state in March, in which the researchers found what they deemed were "early warning signs of genocide." Earlier research and advocacy conducted by the Holocaust Memorial Museum has included studies on the violence in Sudan's Darfur region, as well as the Central African Republic.

"We’re very cautious when we invoke the term 'genocide,' knowing that it can be quite polarizing and sometimes even unhelpful," says Cameron Hudson, the center's director. "But there is a combination of factors — many of which you saw in 1930s Germany and 1990s Rwanda — that are quite concerning."

To be sure, slaughter and upheaval of the magnitude referenced by Hudson are so far not in the cards in Burma, but it is his institution's mandate to spot the roots of potential mass violence.
"What we're talking about here is the targeting of a specific group, based on their religious and national identity," he says. For the Rohingya, their continued denial of citizenship rights — a U.N. General Assembly resolution passed in December that demanded that Burma recognize the Rohingya was dismissed with derision by the Burmese government — has been reinforced by a growing Buddhist nationalism among some Burmese.

The report found the Rohingya to be the subject of "rampant hate speech" in Burma. It also documented widespread impunity for those carrying out violence against the minority, as well as worrying trends of local and national discrimination against the Rohingya, including restrictions on their movement and probably their ability to vote in elections expected later this year.

No wonder the United Nations recently described the Rohingya "as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world."

Questions that Hudson and his colleagues asked of local government authorities about the group's treatment were met with responses that "were not at all satisfactory," he says.

What has disappointed many outside observers, including Hudson and his team, has been the relative indifference of Burma's pro-democracy camp to the plight of the Rohingya. This includes Nobel laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who's now a prominent opposition politician.

"One of the things that concerned us the most was that this pro-democracy segment has been largely silent on the issue," Hudson says. The Rohingya's desperate lack of wider support within the country leaves them particularly exposed in the febrile, fractious Burmese political scene.
"This [upcoming] election could be the flash point that sets off an episode of mass killing," Hudson warns.

Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor at TIME, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.

# # #  


Why do these Buddhists hate these Muslims so much?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/02/13/why-does-this-buddhist-majority-nation-hate-these-muslims-so-much/

In 2009, Burma's then-consul general in Hong Kong sent a letter to local newspapers and fellow diplomats posted in the Chinese territory. It was addressing concerns over the treatment of refugees from Burma's Rohingya population, a Bengali-speaking Muslim minority long marginalized in the country. Incidents of shipwrecked boats bearing half-starved, desperate Rohingya from Burma had won wider attention in the region.

 February 13  

Ye Myint Aung, the Burmese envoy in Hong Kong, hoped to dissuade others from feeling sympathy for the Rohingya. His method for doing this was by revealing his shocking racism. The Rohingya, he said, "are as ugly as ogres" and do not share the "fair and soft" skin of other Burmese ethnic groups.

Therefore, the Burmese consul general concluded, "Rohingya are neither Myanmar people nor Myanmar’s ethnic group," using the other name for Burma while trotting out his government's long-standing contention that the Rohingya are interlopers in Burma and don't deserve citizenship rights.

Burma to revoke minority ID cards(1:15)
The government in Burma, also known as Myanmar, is set to revoke temporary identification cards for minorities including its 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims. (Reuters)
More than half a decade has passed since then, and the situation in Burma has changed for the better. The country has opened up. The secretive, dictatorial military junta that once held sway has allowed the advent of a fledgling, albeit heavily curtailed democracy. Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from decades of house arrest and is now a main leader of the opposition.

But the miserable condition of the Rohingya, a forgotten, stateless people, persists. The United Nations deems them "one of the most persecuted minorities in the world." There are some 1.3 million Rohingya, the majority of whom live in Burma's Rakhine state, on the western border with Bangladesh and India, and struggle to access basic state services. As WorldViews reported last year, around 140,000 Rohinigya eke out a squalid existence in ramshackle camps, displaced by ethnic and sectarian strife in 2013 and neglected by the Burmese government.

Recent U.N. calls on the Burmese government to grant the Rohingya full citizenship rights, including a General Assembly resolution passed in December, have been received with hostility. Angry anti-Rohingya marches this week persuaded the government to scrap tentative plans to give Rohingya carrying temporary documents the right to vote in an upcoming referendum.


Much of the ire is fanned by a hard-core of nationalist Buddhist monks. Certain groups play an outsize role in fanning sentiment against the Rohingya, whom they like to characterize as "Bengali" illegal immigrants rather than a distinct Burmese ethnic group. (Never mind that many generations of Rohingya have lived on Burmese soil.)

Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk notorious for his xenophobic rhetoric, even earned a spot on the cover of TIME magazine's international edition, with the cover line: "The Face of Buddhist Terror." The saffron-clad Ashin Wirathu dubs himself the "Burmese bin Laden," and indulges in frenzied, un-monk-like speeches calling for tough action against Muslims. He raises the fear of forced conversions and terrorism. Last year, he addressed a gathering of nationalist monks in Sri Lanka, another nation with a Buddhist majority, warning of "a jihad against Buddhist monks."

But critics say Ashin Wirathu and his ilk, more often than not, are the ones inciting mob violence against Burma's Muslims, including non-Rohingya Muslims. Hundreds have died in recent years amid riots and tit-for-tat attacks.


It's a worrying development in a diverse nation that's just emerging from the straightjacket of authoritarian rule. Perhaps the most depressing indication of the Rohingya's plight is the relative silence of Suu Kyi, a global icon for democracy and human rights. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, in keeping with Burmese government policy, refuses to even say the word "Rohingya" — which in Burma's polarized context would be an act of recognizing the community's rights, let alone its very existence.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

8th Annual Holocaust event held in Dallas

Dallas Morning News, Jan 26, 2015 issue
Event at Unity Day. 

Report will be added later

Mike Ghouse, Chair
8th Annual Holocaust and Genocides event

A Holocaust pledge by Justin Amler

 Justin Amler, I will take that pledge with you.

"So I pledge in this moment, of this day, in this time that no matter how rough the seas will get, and no matter how strong the storm will blow or how hard the rain will fall, and no matter how dark the night will become, I will be there, holding up a candle and honoring the memory of my family and my people." 

And as a Muslim, along with several other Muslims, we will continue to light the candle in the memories of Holocaust and genocide victims at our annual (just passed the 8th) Holocaust and Genocides event. God willing some day, I would like this interfaith event to be organized in every place by non-Jews as a part of understanding the tragedy - to remind ourselves to see the inhumanity in us, each one of us, and learn to say never again. 

When you talked about the dignified way in which they endured the death, it reminds me of my own story that I have shared before, how those images have been a part of my life and made me a devoted human rights activist. I will include this piece at our site www.HolocaustandGenocides.com 

Thank you for sharing this. 

God bless you.
Mike Ghouse


A Holocaust pledge
Courtesy of Facebook/Progressive Zionism and Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/The-Energy-of-Thought/My-pledge-389245

Over the last few days, I have seen pictures and read stories and watched videos of people who once lived on this earth.  People who played and laughed.  People with goals and dreams.  People who worked hard to make a living and to make a life for themselves – only to have it all ripped away by the evils of man. 
And as the 70th commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp rolls away, the memories of that time do not roll away with it.  Because those faces that stared up in wonder from faded black and white photographs, and decaying film strips with scratches and white patches of overexposure, were my people and my family.
In America they speak about the Greatest Generation – those who grew up among the depression, but we too have our Great Generation who for many did not grow up, but remained forever young, and whose dreams did not die with them, but passed on to those who came after.
They were all my heroes, and who I am today is shaped from who they were yesterday.  Because behind the hollow eyes and the broken bodies, there were souls.  Souls that burnt bright.  Souls that yearned to live, in a time where life itself was a scarcity.  A time where a slice of bread was the difference between living and dying, and a potato was worth the combined fortunes of an entire country.
I think about the boys who once might have played with an old soccer ball in the streets behind their homes.  I think about the girls who dressed up small dolls and held tea parties.  I think about the children who never even got to play, or the babies whose time on this earth was as short as the taking of a small breath.  I think of the fathers and the mothers who tried their hardest to look after their families and give them a good life.  And I think about the grandparents who watched as the entire world they had known and grown up with was destroyed before their eyes.  I also think about those whose faces will never be known, and whose photos along with their bodies were burnt in the fiery pits of hate. 
I think of all of them and the fate that would have been my own, if not for my grandmother who at the tender age of 12, along with her brother just one year younger was forced to leave her small town of Ponevez and everything she had ever known to board a ship that traveled to the less dark continent of Africa.  Two small children traveling alone across the world.  She survived, not because of the world, but in spite of it.  She lived, but her aunts and her uncles did not.
They are all my family – those who survived through the horrors and those they didn’t.  And even as the last of those survivors begin to fade away and return to the heavens from whence they came, and those dark forces that tried to smother them before begin to gather again, I will stand here tonight and make a pledge.
My pledge is directed to you and to me and to the entire world.
To those who try to tell me these heroes who are my family didn't exist and their memories are false, I will stand before you as proof.
To those who want the memory of the Holocaust to disappear like the fading mist of a winter’s morning, I will hold up their testimonies for all to see.
And to those whose desires are filled with darkness and their hearts with evil and somehow want to revisit that period in history, I will fight you.  And by doing so I will fight for my own survival just as those who went before me fought to stay alive - even as their last breaths of life slipped away.
So I pledge in this moment, of this day, in this time that no matter how rough the seas will get, and no matter how strong the storm will blow or how hard the rain will fall, and no matter how dark the night will become, I will be there, holding up a candle and honoring the memory of my family and my people.
The human body is frail, but the human spirit is not.  And the spirit of their generation will live on through mine and forever more.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

8th Annual Holocaust and Genocides commemoration

The purpose of this event is education, information and activism. We hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to do our individual share of saying “Never Again”. 



We hope you will walk out of the event with a genuine feeling of being a contributor towards building a cohesive world where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

The Holocaust event has been commemorated by the Jewish community since 1953 for the loss of  6 million Jews during the Holocaust, known as
 Yom HaShoah in Synagogues around the world. The general public learns it by visiting the Holocaust Museums and educational institutions.

We at America Together Foundation are committed to spread the knowledge of Holocaust and Genocides through interfaith and public events.


Our format has been simple and consists of four parts: interfaith prayers, the Holocaust, Genocide (one or two each time), a Massacre, action items for individuals and the pledge of peace. Silently we acknowledge all suffering, but physically we are limited to a Genocide and a Massacre at one time.  

I believe, when we acknowledge each other’s grief and participate in each other’s commemoration, we connect with the humanness within ourselves and seed the relationship of understanding and caring for each other. 

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or somehow it amounts to infidelity to our own suffering, and every community and nation has suffered through this.

The purpose of this event is education; we hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to do our individual share of saying “Never Again”.

Our mission is to create awareness of the inhumanity within each one of us and hope to find the solutions.

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.

It is a bridge building event and we sincerely hope the attendees will walk out with the following understanding:

  • Other people’s suffering is as legitimate as mine;
  • It is easy to see ourselves as Victims, we must also see the perpetrator in us;
  • When we strip the politics out of a conflict, we see hope;
  • We can value others suffering without lessening our own;
  • The overriding desire to highlight our own blinds us from other’s suffering.
  • A sense of responsibility for creating a better world is awakened.


A initiative of American Muslims, organized by the Foundation for Pluralism, World Muslim Congress and America Together Foundation.

We are looking for participating organizations, sponsors and volunteers. Please text or call me at the number below.

References:

Our first event: Hon. Roslie and William Schiff, the Holocaust survivors delivered the key note, while people from many faiths participated in sharing scriptures from their holy books: .http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_HolocaustDay/HMD2006_ProgramReport.asp 

Holocaust and the Muslim guy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-and-the-muslim-_b_4629509.html 


United Nations proclamations:  http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/docs/res607.shtml

Mike Ghouse, Event Chair
(214) 325-1916

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holocaust and Genocides commemoration – VIII Annual event in Dallas and Washington DC.

The purpose of this event is education, information and activism. We hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to do our individual share of saying “Never Again”. 

We hope you will walk out of the event with a genuine feeling of being a contributor towards building a cohesive world where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.


The Holocaust event has been commemorated by the Jewish community since 1953 for the loss of  6 million Jews during the Holocaust, known as
Yom HaShoah in Synagogues around the world. The general public learns it by visiting the Holocaust Museums and educational institutions.

We at America Together Foundation are committed to spread the knowledge of Holocaust and Genocides through interfaith and public events.


On September 11, 2005, the Unity Day USA was established to bring people of different faiths, races and ethnicities to rededicate their pledge for the safety and security of fellow Americans,  as their positive contribution towards building a cohesive America.  FBI Chief, State Senators, Mayors, Police and Fire Chiefs and 650 people attended the event.  One unfortunate thing happened during the event that led us to Holocaust and Genocides commemoration; – the fire alarm went off causing panic, and the Mayor of Frisco called his Fire Department, and it was a false Alarm, the Mayor, FBI and the Police Chiefs assured the public that we are safe… almost everyone joined us back.

However the “apprehension” I saw on the faces of my Jewish friends was difficult to bear, they came to this Muslim's event as his guests and were in tension.  I wanted to do something about it and it is here at Huffington Post -  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-and-the-muslim-_b_4629509.html

Thank God for paving the way.  In less than two months, on November 1, 2005, the
United Nations passed a resolution designating January 27th of the year as the Holocaust commemorative day - http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/docs/res607.shtml

We took it upon ourselves to commemorate, we experienced the good, bad and ugliness of organizing this event - nothing deterred us from doing it and thank God for helping us out. On January 26, 2006, we commemorated the first interfaith Holocaust commemoration – extending the education of Holocaust to people of different faiths.  Hon. Roslie and William Schiff, the Holocaust survivors delivered the key note, while people from many faiths participated in sharing scriptures from their holy books. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_HolocaustDay/HMD2006_ProgramReport.asp

Our format has been simple and consists of four parts: interfaith prayers, the Holocaust, Genocide (one or two each time), a Massacre, action items for individuals and the pledge of peace. Silently we acknowledge all suffering, but physically we are limited to a Genocide and a Massacre at one time.  

I believe, when we acknowledge each other’s grief and participate in each other’s commemoration, we connect with the humanness within ourselves and seed the relationship of understanding and caring for each other.
There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or somehow it amounts to infidelity to our own suffering, and every community and nation has suffered through this.
 
The purpose of this event is education; we hope to learn and acknowledge our failings and make a personal commitment to do our individual share of saying “Never Again”. 


Our mission is to create awareness of the inhumanity within each one of us and hope to find the solutions.

TWO LOCATIONS | DALLAS, TX | WASHINGTON, DC

Dallas Event:  Holocaust and Genocides
Theme: Sparks of Hatred and how to extinguish them 

Date: Sunday, January 25, 2015 
Time: 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Venue: TBA
Email: HolocaustandGenocides@gmail.com  

Washington Event: Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Time : 2-5 PM
Venue: TBA

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.

We sincerely hope the attendees will walk out with the following understanding:
  • Other people’s suffering is as legitimate as mine;
  • It is easy to see ourselves as Victims, but we must also see the perpetrator in us;
  • When we strip the politics out of a conflict, we see hope;
  • We can value others suffering without lessening our own;
  • The overriding desire to highlight our own blinds us from other’s suffering.
  • A sense of responsibility for creating a better world is awakened.

A initiative of American Muslims, organized by the Foundation for Pluralism, World Muslim Congress and America Together Foundation.

We are looking for participating organizations, sponsors and volunteers. Please text or call me at the number below.

Dallas Contact: OS Modgil ( 214) 934-3438
Washington DC Contact: Marryam Chaudhry 

Mike Ghouse, Event Chair
(214) 325-1916

Friday, October 31, 2014

30th Anniversary of Sikh Genocide, a survivor writes his story

Survivor of Sikh Genocides writes on 30th Anniversary.
Published at:



Dallas, Texas, October 31, 2014.  It’s been 30 years since the Sikh Massacre took place in New Delhi; justice is still not served to the victims and their families. The fanatics among Hindus went on a rampage of killing 3000 Sikhs within a week, just because they were Sikhs and nothing but that. The Moderate Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others have condemned the acts of the fanatics.

As we have been learning about the mind set of criminals regardless of what religious garb they don, invariably they deny – some even say, why bring it up, there is no problem now. They are lying to themselves, the sparks of hatred are potent, and can catch the fire any time.

There is a criminal lurking in each one of us, we need to find him and destroy him before he eats us out from within. If we justify the rapes, murders, killing, massacres or genocides by believing "they asked for it" "they ignited it" or worse "they deserved it", then we have a serious problem and need to find a release.

What is needed is to face the problem squarely, acknowledging the wrong doing, and apologizing to the victims and finding mukti, the Jain Dharma offers a great phrase – Michami Dukadam, that is clean each other’s slates and start afresh.

Injustice is the mother of Adharma – i.e., everything that is wrong in the society stems from injustice, and Martin Luther King said, injustice to one is injustice to all at the end.

I hope one day, India will focus on cleaning up its dirty stains – there are many unfinished items on our plate that prick the nation from time to time. The hatred against the other is part of that mess.

Prime Minister Modi believes that when there is prosperity, most of the nagging things will go away, I hope they do. But I believe until we sit down face to face and acknowledge the evil in each one of us, and commit to go forward dumping the old baggage, we will be limping along. We need to reboot our souls, hearts and minds.

The following write up is from a Sikh Survivor of the 1984 Sikh Massacre.  It is a shame that many a families are still waiting for the whereabouts of their loved ones missing for over 30 years. The Indian Government has a responsibility to take this up, to bring relief to the victims of these massacres. I do hope Mr. Modi, as the Prime Minister of the nation, who claims to be a Hindu, acts like a Hindu and restores Dharma – the righteousness and justice to fellow beings.   

Pritpal Singh has spoken at our Holocaust and Genocides events and I am pleased to share his story with you, please feel free to share wherever you like.

The Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress is commemorating Holocaust and Genocides for the last seven years, as a step towards reconciling with each other and learning about each others pain and suffering of each of us humans on this planet.

Wayne Slater of Dallas Morning News wrote, “
Ghouse says he hopes attendees will walk out better appreciating the sufferings of others and seeing “the perpetrator in us” as a way of building trust across social and religious lines.

“I called on my friends with the idea of commemorating the event, and thus began this journey,” said Ghouse. “Education is the purpose; we have to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other, and we have to understand that our safety hinges on the safety of all others around us.”

“There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or somehow it amounts to infidelity to our own cause,” he said. “We should be ashamed of ourselves in justifying the massacres by falsely propagating the myth that the victims deserved it, or asked for it.” It shows an absence of intelligence.

Our event is comprised of 3 segments; Holocaust is the anchor event every year, then Genocides and a Massacre. We have been able to address many Genocides around the Globe, as well as the Massacre of Bangladeshis in 1971, Sikhs in New Delhi in 1984 and Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.  

The criminals are still at large and need to be punished to restore peace of mind to the victims and their families. That is the least a head of the state can do for his countrymen and it is good for the psyche of the people.

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net

 






 



1984:  My Struggle & Inspiration
According to famous Czech writer Milan Kundera, "the first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory.  Destroy its books, its culture, its history.  Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history.  Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was...  The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."  We are here today to continue that struggle.  Never had the citizens of independent India experienced state sponsored genocide against its own people.
  After the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi, for three days the well-organized mob with explicit instructions from the federal government went to loot, destroy, rape, eliminate every identifiable Sikh on India.  Iron rods, crow bars, kerosene, and firearms were provided to mobs.  Voter lists, ration lists, and school registration lists were used to identify & track Sikhs, Gurdwaras, and Sikh businesses. 

Slogans like "blood for blood" were shown repeatedly on state controlled TV.  Rumors were circulated about the violence against Hindus in Punjab to incite hatred against Sikhs in India.  Sikh soldiers were disarmed and confined to barracks while army was deliberately kept outside Delhi until 11/4.  All this occurred in the presence of police who ignored the violence or at times aided in it.  The police officers who deviated from this order were neutralized and records were manipulated to destroy paper trail and to protect criminals from prosecution.  For the Sikh victims, the police refused to record FIR (First Information Reports) or falsified them.
 According to NY times, there was complete censorship of the press.  The relief measures were inadequate.  VM Tarkunde, retired justice of the Indian Supreme Court, stated "Two lessons can be drawn from the experience of Delhi riots.  One is about the extent of criminalization of our politics and the other about the utter unreliability of our police force in critical situation."  According to government report the number of Sikhs killed in Delhi was 2733; HS Phoolka, Delhi high court lawyer, estimates 4000; Affidavits have been filed for 5015; Madhu Kishwar, editor of Manushi, estimates 10,000.  These   estimates are just in Delhi while the killings occurred throughout India.
 Rajiv Gandhi justified the Sikh murders, rapes, loot & arson by saying, "When a great tree falls, earth trembles."  The result of the violence against an easily identifiable minority was winning 414/533 seats in the parliament for Congress Party of India.  Even the opposition party, Sangh Parivar, stated the Sikhs invited the attacks. 

There have been 11 commissions & inquiries but no high level politician or law enforcement official has been convicted despite eye witness accounts and abundant of evidence.  On the other hand, the perpetrators were awarded cabinet positions, governorships, and party chief positions.  The lack of accountability against the organizers of the Genocide paved the way to the violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. 

Pogroms will continue to occur in India unless the State acknowledges and records these violations in a transparent & honest manner, toward cleansing itself of the people and the institutions that perpetrate these crimes and addressing the survivors' rights to knowledge, justice, and reparation.
 I, as a survivor of the Sikh Genocide of 1984, wait for a day when the citizens of India will demand and display the very ideals of unity, justice, and healing as the citizens of America illustrated after the Wisconsin massacre in 2012.  So, my dear brothers & sisters, we cannot forget the killings of innocent people no matter where they occur.  Instead, we ought to remember, revive, and respond like our fathers & mothers did.  They sought Inspiration from within and channeled their energy toward discovering their role in pursuit of Justice.
Pritpal Singh 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Massacre At My Lai: 46 Years Ago


By Mickey Z

“We weren’t there to kill human beings, really. We were there to kill ideology.” (Lt. William Calley)
Officially termed an “incident” (as opposed to a “massacre”), the events of March 16, 1968 at My Lai – a hamlet in South Vietnam – are widely portrayed and accepted to this day as an aberration. While the record of U.S. war crimes in Southeast Asia is far too sordid and lengthy to detail here, it’s painfully clear this was not the case.
Not even close…
In fact, on the very same day that Lt. William Calley entered into infamy, another company entered My Khe, a sister sub-hamlet of My Lai. That visit has been described as such:
“In this ‘other massacre,’ members of this separate company piled up a body count of perhaps a hundred peasants – My Khe was smaller than My Lai – ’flattened the village’ by dynamite and fire, and then threw handfuls of straw on corpses. The next morning, this company moved on down the Batangan Peninsula by the South China Sea, burning every hamlet they came to, killing water buffalo, pigs, chickens, ducks, and destroying crops. As one of the My Khe veterans said later, ‘what we were doing was being done all over.’ Said another: ‘We were out there having a good time. It was sort of like being in a shooting gallery.’”
Colonel Oran Henderson, charged with covering-up the My Lai killings, put it succinctly in 1971: “Every unit of brigade size has its My Lai hidden someplace.”
Of the 26 U.S. soldiers brought up on charges related to My Lai, only Calley was convicted. However, his life sentence was later reduced to three and a half years under house arrest.
Never forget, comrades: This is what we’re up against.
But let’s also never forget the actions that day of a man named Hugh Thompson.
hugh_thompson_jr.__2
Hugh Clowers Thompson, Jr. wanted to fly choppers so badly that after a four-year stint in the Navy, he left his wife and two sons behind to re-up into the Army and train as a helicopter pilot. Thompson arrived in Vietnam on Dec. 27, 1967 and quickly earned a reputation as “an exceptional pilot who took danger in his stride.”
In their book, Four Hours at My Lai, Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim also describe Hugh Thompson as a “very moral man. He was absolutely strict about opening fire only on clearly defined targets.”
On the morning of Mar. 16, 1968, Thompson’s sense of virtue would be put to the test.
Flying in his H-23 observation chopper, the 25-year-old Thompson used green smoke to mark wounded people on the ground in and around My Lai. Upon returning a short while later after refueling, he found that the wounded he saw earlier were now dead.
Thompson’s gunner, Lawrence Colburn, averted his gaze from the gruesome sight.
After bringing the chopper down to a standstill hover, Thompson and his crew came upon a young woman they had previously marked with smoke. As they watched, a U.S. soldier, wearing captain’s bars, “prodded her with his foot, and then killed her.”
What Thompson didn’t know was that by that point, Lt. Calley’s Charlie Company had already slaughtered more than 560 Vietnamese. Most of the victims were women, children, infants, and elderly people. Many of the women had been gang-raped and mutilated. All Thompson knew for sure was that the U.S. troops he saw pursuing civilians had to be stopped.
Bravely landing his helicopter between the charging GIs and the fleeing villagers, Thompson ordered Colburn to turn his machine gun on the American soldiers if they tried to shoot the unarmed men, women, and children. Thompson then stepped out of the chopper into the combat zone and coaxed the frightened civilians from the bunker they were hiding in.
With tears streaming down his face, he evacuated them to safety on his H-23.
Never forget, comrades: This is how we can choose to be.
#shifthappens
***
Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on a couple of obscure websites called Facebook and Twitter. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here
©WorldNewsTrust.com

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

7th Annual Holocaust and Genocides program outline

We hope to put the  report together with complete script and pictures to the following outlines, a video will be out as well.
7th Annual Holocaust and Genocides
Program Outline 4:00 to 6:00 PM-
Master of Ceremonies: Mike Ghouse

1. Welcome by Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk (3:00-Minutes)

2. Video - National Anthem (2:50) (
http://americatogetherfoundation.com/national-anthem/ )   

3. Video - Pledge of Allegiance (2:51) (
http://americatogetherfoundation.com/pledge/ )  

4. Pluralism Greetings & Prayer (4:00) – Mike Ghouse

5. Acknowledgements by Coke Buchanan (6:00 )
a. Wayne Slater of Dallas Morning News, Huffington post, Oped News
b. Joshua Frenk and Mary Ann-Thomspson-Frenk, Coke Buchanan, Philip Collins,
c. Memnosyne Institute, Foundation for Pluralism, World Muslim congress, America Together Foundation and Unity of Dallas.

6. Purpose of this program 6:00 – Mike Ghouse

7. Holocaust - 18:00
            a. Christiana Amanpour 00:00- 09:23 
           
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIw7uI_gVyM&feature=youtu.be
            b. Mike’s Story of Holocaust ( 9:00)

8. American Indian Genocide 30:00
            Steve Melendez 20:00
            Ricardo Cervantes 10:00

9. Gujarat Massacre 15:00
            Arundhati Roy 5:55 -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCb15I5-ujs
            Sajee Gopal 10:00

10. Summary
             Gurvinder Singh (5:00)

11. Key Note Speaker: Signs & Prevention
            Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk

12. Peace Pledge 5:00 by Mike Ghouse

13. Native American Mourning Song

14. Fellowship.

Why Only Mike Ghouse? by Shah Alam Siddiqui

January, 29,2014
Why Only Mike Ghouse???
By Shah A Siddiqui

It was my second year to attend the seminar on Holocaust & Genocides. Every year has been organized by the Foundation for Pluralism  and American Together Foundation. This year the focus was on Native American Indian genocide in the American history.The venue was as usual the Unity Church of Dallas's beautiful auditorium. Before I elaborate the manifesto of this very well organized annual program under the superb management of Mike Ghouse, I will praise for the punctuality of his all events, whether it is a small get together or big event , starts on time and ends on time without waiting for the people to accumulate and fill the hall. This gesture of his punctuality shows the discipline in his life.

I was very much impressed when I had attended  last year's event on Sikh massacre and I was participating as a speaker on the genocide of Urdu speaking Pakistanis in Bangladesh in 1971 by the Mukti Bahini forces. This event was widely attended by the Indian Sikh and Hindu community besides of local dignitaries from the American offices. In my column in Urdu Times I had criticized the missing numbers of Pakistanis where, only 3 or 4 were present at the event to support the Sikh community on their memorial program of Sikh genocide in 1984 in all over India.

I will quote here the saying of John F Kennedy "Geography has made us neighbors.History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners and necessity has made us allies". Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder" what a beautiful quote is that, and if we all start thinking in this way the world can be a wonderful place to live with harmony. Mike Ghouse in his program, always spreads the word that  "speak up for others and stand up for others" Unfortunately, as a human being our mental capacity is went below average for the others. We should come out of the shell of self centered policies and be useful person of the community.

Come to the point of the symposium on American-Indian genocide in the 17th century, which is a Stigma on the forehead of powerful civilized country of the world. The lobby was nicely displayed with the posters and pictures on the topic of Native American genocide. It was very good exposition of the history and frankly speaking, it was my first ever chance to attend a symposium on the extermination or genocide of Native Americans. I have had a little knowledge of Native Americans  that this tribe were brutally killed and exterminated by the conquerer. Christopher Columbus was also one of those who ordered to kill Native Indians during his governorship and. I read about the brutality that Columbus once punished a man found guilty of stealing corn by having his ears and nose cut off and then selling him into slavery. There are many ore stories about him.

In the expo lobby, I met with one spiritual Mexican man whose nickname was "Gorilla" who told the story of being named "Gorilla" which was interesting, but his real name is  Ricardo Cervantes and he showed us a black shiny round stone plate about an inch thick and a spiritual torch burner. Later he displayed in the auditorium the lighter and the stone with the noble history of his ancestors related to stones and prayed or those who left this world for the betterment of the human being.
Mike Ghouse also introduced me with a prominent historian, lecturer of Full Blood American Indian, Citizen of Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Peggy Larney, who gave us a brief information on the Native American holocaust. 

At the symposium there were a couple of very impressive speakers like Civic Leader and Native American Representative  Steve Melendez, who briefly took us back to the history of the Native American Genocide in which more than 100 millions were brutally vanished from the earth.

There were many speakers like Coke Buchanan, Alan Keith, Michael Losurdo, Constance and I heard one speaker Gurvinder Singh of Sikh massacre in 1984 and also one Indian-American Civil right activist Sajee Gopal on Gujrat killings of Muslims in 2002 they both delivered very impressive and touch speech on the subject. Very young keynote speaker Mary Ann Thompson-Frank, who  is also a Civil Right activist delivered her speech with charismatic style and gripped the audience to listen to her findings and experience to visit Rwanda. She shared a very useful information to the audience.

A short documentary prepared by CNN and presented by International correspondent Christian Amanpour on Jewish genocide was also displayed for the audience. In the documentary the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland was focused which dragged me to my visit of this camp in 1986 when I was posted on a diplomatic assignment there. The Jewish Holocaust has  a horrible heart wrenching stories and in the concentration camp one can see and feel the pain and pesky scenes even after more than seven decades. I have written my memoir about this visit.

I had a very little knowledge about the genocide of native Americans, but in this symposium and its exhibition gave me a vast picture of this barbaric ethnic cleansing of a tribe where hundred of thousand of pregnant women killed with their babies in the womb and the invaders used different killing methods like  infesting  with deadly epidemics of diseases in women and children. New born babies were also not spared and got killed by the occupying soldiers. I read different  slogans printed in the flyer regarding the genocide. One interesting slogan of British soldiers  was " The only good Indian is a dead Indian". In fact, this slogan reminds me when the British soldiers use to put signs in different public places in Indian subcontinent before partition that" Admission of dogs and Indians are prohibited" etc.  

This  wonderful symposium and exhibition was full of knowledgeable materials and information. I can say it was an educational symposium or convention on the native American Indians and I congratulate Mike Ghouse for doing this wonderful job on his own.

I will again criticize our Indian and Pakistani community for not attending and supporting the cause of Native Americans on their genocide. I know this is history now, but to remember the history keeps you energized to face the consequences.Thanks a million to God that we are  now living in a civilized country and we did not go through the atrocities the people from the other communities have gone trough and we are reading their stories.

I would like to come to the title of this article " Why only Mike Ghouse???" most of my readers can understand the concept of this article but most of the readers  will just ignore knowingly.  First, I would like to say something about Mike Ghouse that whatever he is doing is a noble work. In the beginning when he started his 'Pluralism' mission to bring the different faiths at one platform, it was a rubbish and provocative act for other believers,in my opinion and I was very against of his all these activities being propagated his 'Pluralism' "faith" among the communities of different faith and cultures. I moved from Chicago in 2001 to this beautiful city Dallas and since then I have been listening Mike Ghause 's radio program and different papers and literally I use to hate him because of his illogical  theories  on pluralism and I thought this guy must be an '' atheist" or he hates Pakistanis or Muslims. In the beginning, in 2001 when I moved to Dallas from Chicago 

I started listening his radio program and most of the times I use to call on his radio show and complain for  not being fair with Pakistanis and Muslims and after listening and reading his articles about 'pluralism' I deadly gone against Mike Ghouse and thought that this guy is against Muslim ideology. By the time passes away, I use to read his  emails and couple of times I saw him on the Fox TV show with 'Sean Hanity show' in favor of the Muslim cause defending Muslims in the 9/11 scenario and after that I saw him on different occasions on Fox Tv and read his articles in 'Huffington Post' newspapers and in groups of community emails, gradually, I changed my opinion about Mike Ghouse. I extended my full support for the cause that Mike Ghouse is carrying alone on his shoulder for the humanity. He is serving the community in all walk of life, regardless of religions and ethnic backgrounds. He is trying to bring an impossible dream into reality and that is harmony, brotherhood and sincerity within the different communities.

He stands up for Ahmadis, Bahais, Buddhist, Christians, Sikhs, Hindu, Jains, Ismailis and of course for Muslims as well. He attends all kinds of worship as a gesture to show his and community's cooperation with them. 

The teaching of Islam is very broad who clearly speaks about brotherhood and harmony to the others and the other religions also support the same gesture, none of the religion teaches hatred or violence among different believers. This is a hard work which Mike Ghouse is doing alone under his own flag of 'Pluralism' .

Is his all activities are going against of humanity? Or it is in the right direction of humanity. If he is doing something positive for the community, for the different believers, then why we should not support him and extend our cooperation to him for the betterment of the human cause. Together we can stand strong and it is my believe that one day our dream will come true when all the  believers of different  faiths will live in peace and prosperity. We should join hands to hand with Mike Ghouse to make this planet a beautiful place to live.