My friend Myrna Weinrich wrote "Mike did you know Christiana Amanpour's Scream Bloody Murder," a definitely unflinching history of genocide, premieres tonight on CNN http://snurl.com/7gwxv"
I watched most of 'Scream bloody Murder" in the middle of the night, the feeling was familiar; anger followed by sorrow, and a sense of helplessness. I urge you to watch the documentary.
It is natural to feel angry knowing that the world stood by silently when the Jews were put on the train to the gas chambers; when the live skeletal bodies were thrown into the ditches; when the Bosnian Muslims children were given chocolates and told not to worry and go right behind and open gunfire and massacre them; when the Canadian general sends faxes upon faxes to the United Nations to send help, while the UN and USA chose not to get involved and 800,000 Rwandans were massacred in day light, they were even announcing on their radio how to torture pregnant women by pulling the unborn out of their wombs… they did that in Gujarat Massacre and the world did not do anything about it. It was a difficult documentary to watch, but you must watch and face the world; you have to do your share to clean your own slate of conscience. If you don't feel anger or sadness because they were not of your faith, race or ethnicity, shame on you.
Years ago when I was in my early teens, my mother hid a book “Eichman, killer of 6 million Jews” from me. It was written in Urdu, my mother tongue, she thought I could not handle the horror, she thought I may lose trusting the society. She may have been right but that put a damper on me for the next 40 years. I did not have the guts to watch the horrors of the Holocaust; I made several attempts to watch them on History and other cable channels, and the moment they show the scene of train loaded with skeletal bodies or when they were thrown in the ditch, I froze, I could not see any more and I realized my weakness and fought against it, still failed to see the documentaries on Genocides.
When Dr. Irving and Ahmedinejad belittled the enormity of Holocaust, it pained me that something so heinous is being belittled. Thanks to Bernie Mayoff for sharing the DVD of Schindler’s list, I watched it with a shrinking heart. I was going through my own life’s movie and understood my Mothers concerns, then my fears in watching the Holocaust documentaries.
I took quite a lot in me to finally watch it and thank God for giving me the courage to watch it. Then another life time moment came when Bernie and I visited the Dallas Holocaust Museum to talk about commemorating the Holocaust that the United Nations had just proclaimed for the first time in 60+ years. I met Elliot Dlin, the man with a lot of passion for life and humanity, he gave us the tour of the Museum, and I discovered he was my kind of guy, Holocaust goes beyond the Jewish thing, it is a lesson for humanity, a lesson about trusting the people around you. In my own small way, I understood the horror of a few people I knew, who had encountered it when they were betrayed by the very ones they trusted, and were sexually abused by them in their childhood. How difficult it must have been when they were sent to gas chambers and the world stood by doing nothing. It is the ugliest aspect of being human and the very reason for religion to come in to being to remove the ugliness from us, 99% of us get it and that 1/10th of 1% doesn’t.
My Muslim friends agreed that it was time to come together as religious persons and as humans, and they supported me in organizing the first Holocaust commemoration by Muslims on Sundown, Sunday, January 26, 2006. My Jewish and Muslim friends were joined in by individuals and clergy from every faith in this moment of reflection. Mr. William and Mrs. Rosalie Schiff, the survivors of Holocaust spoke for about two hours while every one listened with a pin drop silence. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_HolocaustDay/HMD2006_ProgramReport.asp
When Ahmedinejad belittled Holocaust in 2006, it irked me to no point and I spoke out along with several Muslims here in Dallas, nearly 40 Muslims wrote condemning Ahmedinejad, a few of the letters were published in Dallas Morning News, and here is mine. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_Press/Holocaust_DallasMorningNews_Macesch.htm
“"The new deniers – Muslim leaders are calling the Holocaust a Western myth, says Lee Harris, and it's catching on," Jan. 15 Points.
The utterances of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmedinejad and Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition party in Egypt, perhaps do not reflect even their own constituents, let alone Muslims. Muslims do not subscribe to such nonsense, for it is the duty of a Muslim to stand up for a just world.
I grew up in a Muslim family and read about the Holocaust. My devout Muslim mother took away the book, telling me to read when I can understand the suffering.
Thanks to her, I am one of the volunteers in organizing Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 26. To save a life is saving the whole of humanity. Holy Torah and Holy Qur’aan say it, and Hinduism talks about the whole world as one family. All faiths teach the same goodness. I recently visited the Holocaust Museum and would urge every disbeliever to visit and understand it.
My mom would be pleased to know I am doing what it takes to be a "good Muslim," to respect every life God created.
Mike Ghouse, Carrollton http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_Press/holocaust_dallasmorningnews_lettertopoints.htm
The frustration shared by a few was never to belittle Holocaust, indeed, it was their cry for the world to hear about genocide and massacre happening to their people. In a Public forum, a fellow Muslim screamed at me for ‘betraying’ the plight of Palestinians without even knowing anything about what I do. He did not understand that I have only 24 hours in a day and I challenged him to set up an event for dialogue and show the plight of Palestinians, to this day, I have not seen any work, other than the talk. My fellow Indians, Hindus and Muslims alike told me about the Gujarat Genocide. My Hindu friends cry out loud about the plight of Hindu Pundits in Kashmir and the Buddhists about Tibet, the African Americans about their own sad story and the Native Indians about the annihilation of their cultures and civilization. All these events are shameful and must be acknowledged and talked about with openness, so that all of us can work on rededicating our pledge "never again".
We must understand our linguistic and spatial limitations, in any given breath and in any given moment, we cannot to do verbal justice in reciting every atrocity. We cannot even read one paragraph in one instance. Everything has to be done in a sequence and each sequence has a different priority to the ones that suffer.
No Genocide should minimize the other; it is our collective responsibility for the peace. If we can realize “I cannot have peace for me, if my family members, my community or the world around me is not having it” then it becomes our responsibility to do our share and do it without keeping a score on what others do. Peace exists in mutuality. Others should have peace for me to have a piece of it. Let’s do our share.
There is a myth out there that Holocaust is an industry. The record is otherwise, Jews are not doing this to gain sympathy, they are doing this to make this world a better place. I read with sadness that the media publishes and gives currency to writers who belittle Holocaust calling it a Jewish way of manipulating the world without ever visiting the Holocaust Museums. I do wish that the Media gives proportionate space for those Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Bahai’s, Jains, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Wiccan, Pagans, Hopis, Toltec’s and others who understand the need to learn about Holocaust and what it represents. The do-gooders don't get the news coverage, where as we see and hear only the ugly things in bad disproportion. We are all in it together for the common good and let's act inclusive.
On my part, I have no gain to have and have never received any benefit from any one. On the contrary the extremists few (1/500th of 1%) among Muslims and Jews have sent nasty emails from time to time and I understand their point of view but disagree with them. Criticism is always an essential element of democracy and truth, and I welcome it, it keeps us on our toes.
Richard Holbrook and Eli Wiesel, both Jews, have been in the forefront to stop the Genocide in Bosnia and Darfur both places where Muslims were and are being persecuted. The Jewish community has taken the initiatives and the Muslims, Hindus, Christians and other are doing their part as well, we need to acknowledge them with gratitude. We need to work for co-existence of all.
I owe my gratitude to Eli Dlin of the Dallas Holocaust Museum for sharing the larger concept of Holocaust with me; to make the world aware of the dangers of remaining silent when horrors engulf one, if it does to one, it does to the other and then to you. We have to speak up and learn the pledge “Never again” and should not let this happen.
Dedicating the event to Honor Mr. Dlin
Indeed, it was Eli Dlin’s idea to commemorate the Holocaust and Genocides with a larger concept, to include every massacre around the world. I am pleased to dedicate this event to Elliott Dlin for seeding the idea.
What can you do?
When you see or hear news or information that uploads you with hate and prejudice against the other, please question it, even if it came from your Imam, Rabbi, Pandit, Priest or Pastor. Ultimately, it is you who will be burning inside for your judgments; it is you who feels the pain, not them.
When you watch any biased television broadcasts, resist all temptations to judge any group based on the actions of individuals. If you can do that, you have raised yourselves to be good human being, and you will feel the goodness in you. If every one keeps distancing themselves with the other, what are the chances of creating a better world for you and I?
Finding the truth is your own responsibility for it releases you from a negative bondage. It is achieved through hearing the diametrically opposite views along with other views. If the goal of such effort is co-existence, then truth will emerge from all sides and you will find peace within you with the action you take. It is a commitment to your own peace of mind, your own liberation, salvation, Mukti, Nijaat, Moksha, Nirvana and ultimate freedom from hate and tension.
When you see or hear an atrocity, hold the temptation to blame the religion. There is always an individual behind an evil, not the religion. We need to place the blame on individuals for committing the horrors, possibly stop them when they are plotting and round them up and bring to justice. Individuals do wrong and they should be responsible for it not their parents, community, religion, race or ethnicity.
Your peace hinges on mine; your security is guaranteed when others around you are secure. We need to take this approach to solve the problems. Aren't we all in it together?
Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides is set in Dallas, after sundown on Saturday, January 24th and we wish to produce a small booklet to list all such horrors. You can send us the list and any information about it. You may undertake to write an essay in 600 words about the event. You may find additional joy if you could understand and write the tragedy of people other than your own faith or ethnic group. Try it; there is peace in it for you.
Mike Ghouse., M.B.A., M.Com.,SPEAKER, WRITER & A THINKERHe co-chairs the center for interfaith inquiry of the Memnosyne Foundation, and presides the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, interfaith, Islam, India, Multiculturism, Terrorism, Peace, Politics and Civic issues. He is the president of World Muslim Congress a think tank with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world and vice-Versa. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town.
Mike's Profile, he is a Neighborhood Commissioner at the City of Carrollton, and a Board Member of Dallas Peace Center and has initiated the annual events like Thanksgiving, Unity Day USA, Holocaust and other events. He was Past President of Indian Creek HOA and North Texas Cricket Association and has been a member of several Boards.
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