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.

Symposium cum exhibition on Holocaust and Genocide by Saeed Qureshi

Upright Opinion
January 27, 2014
Symposium cum exhibition on Holocaust and Genocide
By Saeed Qureshi

Let me first of all warmly compliment Mike Ghouse and his companions for holding the Seventh Exhibition cum Symposium on a crucial phenomenon that we all know as holocaust. This august event took place on January 26 in the spacious hall of the Unity Church of Dallas.

  Holocaust is a dreadful and ghastly dimension of human civilization that has been happening since the dawn of civilization and perhaps even earlier than that. Let me quote one important episode from the known history preserved in Bible and also in the holy Quran. When Prophet Moses liberated the Jewish nation from centuries old stranglehold of the Pharaohs who were the mighty emperors of their own time, they marched into the Sinai desert and settled there for 40 years. Thereafter they perpetrated the first distinctly documented genocide of the peaceful population in the land of Canaan. They killed the inhabitants including the infants indiscriminately and with savagery that is beyond description.

The Jewish nation itself suffered terrible genocides at least four times in history: one at the hands of Babylon Empire, second under the Roman Empire, third in Spain and fourth in Nazi Germany. The Muslims too faced the similar appalling genocides. Apart from other cities of Muslim rule, the Mongols, laid waste the capital of the Islamic caliphate Baghdad in 1258 and killed 1.6 million Muslims. This mass annihilation of Baghdad is recorded as the most heinous genocide carried out during the Middle Ages. 

Besides the Muslims suffered terrible genocides in Jerusalem, Alexandria and Spain at the hands of the victor Christian crusaders. In Spain where they ruled for seven centuries, they were entirely massacred and expelled along with the Jews. Those left somehow were finally deported in 1609. In history the Muslims, the Christians and Jews have been alternating in killing each other adopting a parched earth drive and ethnic cleansing policies. England passed through a spell of genocides at the hands of Romans and Vikings in early times. 

Holocaust and genocide can be treated as synonyms carrying the diabolic connotation that implies the wholesale massacres and extermination of a race of segment of human beings. During the last two centuries several grisly genocides have taken place. 

The British colonial armies in their frantic onslaught to expand the abominable colonialism marched on the vast continent of America. Those who arrived first were called pilgrimages. Their beastly annihilations of the local population have no parallel in history.  They kept on wiping off the local population called native Indians with such a diabolic obsession that continued till it culminated into a civil war between the federalists and the co federalist. 

The native inhabitants called red or native Indians and now American Indians were easy prey to their superior weaponry and fighting tactics. The natives fought back with primitive arrows, batons and swords against the merciless pogroms of the invaders who were more like bounty hunters. The natives’ mainstay of living, cattle and buffaloes were totally wiped off. They were infested with deadly epidemics of diseases like small pox to die if left alive from the pointblank shooting of the well armed and disciplined killers. Even children sucking their mothers’ breasts were not spared. The slogan of the British generals was that “only good Indian is dead Indian”. Approximately 100 million native Indians perished in this the most macabre genocides in the human history after Mongols’ curse.

The exhibition of the Indian genocide displayed extremely heart wrenching and harrowing scenes making the onlookers wonder how human beings could be as callous and barbaric as to slaughter a helpless, primitive and defense segment of human race. 

The exhibits and graphics showed huge piles of dead bodies with killer soldiers standing aside with devilish smiles on their faces after performing this hideous job. The copies of the scrolls, orders and parchments issued by the British commanders were also displayed. In those documents reflects the hate and obsession to kill the local population without any compunction. The exhibition continued from 3p.m.to 7 p.m. when the whole program came to close.

I was thrilled and rather entranced by the presentations and speeches’ during the two hours session conducted in the main hall of the church. The speakers’ spoke about the Native Americans holocaust, the 2002 Gujarat massacre and the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in India. The Jewish holocaust at the hands of the Nazis in Germany was portrayed in video clips, prepared by Christiana Amanpour, the celebrated CNN anchor. Mike Ghouse, the principal organizer of this phenomenal yearly event told his side of the story about the genocide. 

The keynote speaker and host of this memorable evening Mary Ann Thompson-Frank expressed her empirical impressions about the Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 humans were killed. Mary is immensely knowledgeable, highly articulate with   flair of oration. She was eloquent, vocal and gave an excellent account and grasp of the subject and kept the audience riveted to her discourse. I was personally greatly impressed by fluency and candor in dishing out her thoughts and observations. This highly fruitful and greatly enlightening session included a peace pledge by Mike Ghouse followed by a poignantly sad and moving Native American Mourning Song. 

This distinctive and remarkable seminar would add another feather in the cap of Mike Ghouse and his associates in highlighting and rekindling an issue for the civilized nations to reflect and ponder how to foster love and harmony among the people of this planet mother earth. It should serve as a grim reminder and resounding lesson for the human race that never again any genocide or holocaust be allowed to happen.
Such seminars and symposiums emit the divine and cardinal message that the age of barbarians and beast is over and we should all live in harmony and peace and work in unison for the collective good of the entire human race. Those who voluminously collaborated and sponsored in this effort among others were ‘Muslims Together’, ‘American Indian Genocide Museum’, Mnemosyne institute and Foundation for Pluralism. A sumptuous dinner was served at the end to all, the speakers and the spectators alike.

Monday, January 27, 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.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

7th Annual Holocaust and Genocides event - Native American Genocides, Gujarat Massacre and Holocaust on Sunday, January 26, 2014

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.

Please check the column on the left for more details.
  • Event:  Holocaust, Genocides of Native Americans and Gujarat Massacre.
  • Theme: Sparks of Hatred and how to extinguish them 
  • Date: Sunday, January 26, 2014 
  • Time: 3:00 PM :  American Indian Genocide Museum
  • Time: 4 PM – 6 PM Full Program
  • Venue: Unity of Dallas
  • Address: 6525 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75230 
  • Site: www.HolocaustandGenocides.com 
  • Email: HolocaustandGenocides@gmail.com  


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 our 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:
  • 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

Contact:
Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916
Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk ( 214) 564-5119


Organized by:
The Foundation for Pluralism, Memnosyne Institute, World Muslim Congress,
American Indian Genocide Museum and America Together Foundation 

Dealing with genocide and Holocaust across religious lines: What’s politics got to do with it?

Dealing with genocide and Holocaust across religious lines: What’s politics got to do with it?
 

By Wayne Slater | wslater@dallasnews.com
9:35 am on January 25, 2014 | Permalink
http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/dealing-with-genocide-and-holocaust-across-religious-lines.html/
---
 

Mike Ghouse is frequently introduced as ‘the first Muslim guy to commemorate the Holocaust” with an appeal across broad religious lines. The idea is to recognize what people have in common, regardless of their differences as a way of lessening the conflicts, prejudices and intolerance that has produced genocide. And to go beyond politics to find common ground. On Sunday, a program attracting disparate groups around the idea “Never again” is scheduled for Unity Church on Forest Lane in Dallas, sponsored in part by Ghouse’s organization, the Foundation for Pluralism. The event is entitled Holocaust, Genocides of Native Americans and Gujart Massacre.The theme: Sparks of hatred and how to extinguish them.

Mike Ghouse, speaker, writer and advocate of pluralism across religious lines

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.”

Ghouse says the conference is designed as a comprehensive event where various human failings, massacres, genocides and the murder of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust will be addressed. The conference begins at 3 pm with an American Indian genocide museum exhibit, then a program between 4-6 pm.

“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,” said Ghouse.

“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. “Shame on us that we justifying massacres by believing and propagating that the victims deserved it or asked for it.”


http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/dealing-with-genocide-and-holocause-across-religious-lines-whats-politics-got-to-do-with-it.html/

Friday, January 24, 2014

Holocaust, Native American Genocide, Gujarat Massacre

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.
  • Event:  Holocaust, Genocides of Native Americans and Gujarat Massacre.
  • Theme: Sparks of Hatred and how to extinguish them 
  • Date: Sunday, January 26, 2014 
  • Time: 3:00 PM :  American Indian Genocide Museum
  • Time: 4 PM – 6 PM Full Program
  • Venue: Unity of Dallas
  • Address: 6525 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75230 
  • Site: www.HolocaustandGenocides.com 
  • Email: HolocaustandGenocides@gmail.com  


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 our 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:
  • 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

Contact:
Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916
Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk ( 214) 564-5119

Organized by:
The Foundation for Pluralism, Memnosyne Institute, World Muslim Congress,
American Indian Genocide Museum and America Together Foundation 

Holocaust and the Muslim Guy

Published by Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-and-the-muslim-_b_4629509.html

Frequently, I am introduced in the following manner, "He is the first Muslim guy to commemorate Holocaust, and perhaps the first non-Jewish person to commemorate the Holocaust as well."

As a Muslim committed to building cohesive societies, it was an honor to step up to the plate. Quran 3:133, "And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness and to a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which has been readied for the God-conscious." I am not driven by paradise, nor do I seek rewards. But it does mean building a cohesive world where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. God-conscious simply means being caring and sensitive to all of God's creation; life and matter.

Of all the people on the earth, my mother would be pleased to know I am doing what it takes to be a "good Muslim," to respect, honor and protect the sanctity of life.

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.

2014-01-20-Opening1.jpg
Commemorating Holocaust and Genocides for seven years is a fulfillment of a lifelong desire.
2014-01-20-PhotoGallery.jpg
Here is how it happened.
When I was ten years old, I read just about every book my mother read. She was indeed a voracious reader on religion and social sciences; however, I was banned from reading certain books, and one of them was "Eishmann 60 lakh Yahudiyon ka Katil" in Urdu language. That is Eichmann, the killer of 6 Million Jews. My mother insisted that I was a kid and I should not read the book, she was protective of her child. However, I was able to sneak in and see a few horrible pictures which had shut me down for the next 44 years of my life.
2014-01-20-Shootingintopits.Holocaust.jpg
The picture continues to influence me; it is about betrayal of a people. A group of Jews were shoved in front of a ditch and then were shot into the pit. The looks of helplessness on their face, as if looking at me and saying, "you are not going to do anything about it?" They were not complaining, but with all humility enduring the betrayal from the entire world, it has been a difficult picture for me.

For the next 44 years of my life, I was not able to see the WWII movies with scenes from holocaust on the screen. I would turn the TV off and go into silence for a while, just could not get over the idea how people can do that to other people. There was fear in me, fear to witness that betrayal. They never begged any one to save their life and just stared into the spaces even without complaining. I have held them in a very high esteem for the dignified death they faced.

Fast forward: Sunday, September 11, 2005.

The first Public commemoration of 9/11 was initiated by Muslims, and we called it Unity Day USA to boldly bring together Americans of different faiths, ethnicities and cultures together to rededicate our pledge to the safety and security of America.

About 650 People attended the event including 10 Mayors and several Police and fire chiefs, FBI Chief, and clergy from every faith and civil leaders were represented in the event.

While Mayor Joe Chow of Addison was speaking, the Fire Alarm went off creating a panic. Remember, it was a 9/11 commemoration! Most people were dashing out of the building including my Jewish friends who sat in the front row, what I distinctly remember was the fear in their eyes, and that bothered me to no end. They were my guests and that is no way to treat the guests.

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No human should be afraid of the other.


It was a false alarm; Mayor Simpson of Frisco announced it within 3 minutes. I asked the FBI Chief Guadalupe Gonzalez to assure the people and ask them to come back, finally, everyone made it back and took the seats waiting for the Fire Marshall to come and turn the Alarm off. I love Mayor Joe Chow, while all of this was happening he continued with his speech.


That fear prompted me to do something about it, not sure what. But I do know what Goethe had said, "When you are committed, all sorts of things will happen to you, and providence moves in and God paves the way to fulfill your commitment." In November, the United Nations made a proclamation to commemorate Holocaust on January 27, 2006. I said to myself, did God pave the way for me?


Sixty years after of the Holocaust, the United Nations finally established the Holocaust Remembrance Day on November 1, 2005. "At its sixtieth session, the General Assembly resolved that the United Nations would designate 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust; and requested the Secretary-General to establish a programme of outreach on the subject of the "Holocaust and the United Nations", and to report on the implementation of that programme at the sixty-third session of the Assembly (resolution 60/7).


I called on my friends with the idea of commemorating the event, and thus began this journey. 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. It is a comprehensive event where all human failings, massacres, genocides and Holocaust will be addressed in one fashion or the other.

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Yom HaShoah has been commemorated in Synagogues since the 50's, and for the first time in history, others have joined in the commemoration, it's just not Muslims, but people of all faiths have participated in the interfaith pluralistic prayers. I just want to assure my Jewish friends that you are not alone; we are with you in the most somber moment of your life.
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The first commemoration lifted a huge burden off me. I felt the relief. This was my calling - to build bridges. William and Rosa Lee Schiff, the holocaust survivors delivered a talk for over an hour - it was literally pin drop silence.


There are incredible stories associated with this journey. There was harassment, threats, bias, and prejudices from across the spectrum. Each group was about me, me and my pain.


We had many a tense moments, some were purely political, everyone was reluctantly ready to face them; it was the resistance to the inclusion of pain of others. Although I do not believe in divine intervention, a revelation came to me a few seconds before such an acknowledgment.


"Dear friends, it is painful to miss out the suffering of one people or the other, we do not want to live with the burden of consciously or subconsciously excluding the suffering of any, hence, to be fair to all, let's silently pray for every atrocity that comes to our minds, and pray for the relief of the victims, and punishment or release to the perpetrators" - Sounds simple? But that offered a magical relief to the people who were tensed up for that moment. Thank God, every atrocity was silently included in one's prayer or the other.


It has not been an easy story. A few have dropped me from their lists; a few did not want to see me ever again. People who taught tolerance were intolerant; a few people in the pulpit did not tell the truth to their congregants. Maria Arita of Fox News and I had a heart to heart on a few items. Maybe, I will write a chapter urging people and organizations to guard themselves from a few who can prevent good things from happening. Thank God, we have made through it all.


Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting peaceful functioning of a society and it is our duty, both individually and severally to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it. Indeed, each one of us needs to do our share of work. It is also our moral responsibility to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen.


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.

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The injustice done in the past will not fall off the earth, it lingers and eats away peace between individuals and nations, and we are responsible to bring a closure to the loose ends of many a conflict, so we all can trust each other and feel safe, and focus on the collective prosperity of all.

The program will address preventing such occurrences, and most importantly, how to bring closure to these sparks and work on building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the 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 cause. Shame on us that we justifying massacres by believing and propagating that the victims deserved it or asked for it.

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
  • Ultimately co-existence and every one's safety and peace should be the driving thought.
The event is on Sunday at Unity Church on Forest lane. Details at www.HolocaustandGenocides.com