Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pictorial Report - Holocaust and Genocides

A report on the III Annual Reflections on
Holocaust and Genocides
Sunday, January 24, 2010

We applaud the people of North Texas for attending the event. They came from every religious, ethnic and race backgrounds; they were Indigenous Americans, Atheists, Bahai, Buddhists, Cherokee, Christians, Hindus, Hopi, Jains, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Toltec, Wicca, Zoroastrians and from several ethnicities and nationalities.

Our purpose was education to diverse population. It was a purposeful event to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other, and to understand that our safety hinges on the safety of all others around us.
The program featured 7 speakers who reflected on 7 topics for 7 minutes each followed by 7 commentators on 7 different types of atrocities. The range of topics included; the Holocaust, Genocides, Massacres, Atrocities and Tragedies.This is perhaps the for first time in our history, that we have acknowledged the genocides of the indigenous Americans and Native peoples of Americas in a public forum along with other tragedies.

The Jewish community has borne the suffering of the Holocaust for over sixty years; it is time for us to share it. No community should bear the suffering alone; we all have to stand up, and be there for each other. It is a Muslim initiative to build responsible civic societies. There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how 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.

The Holocaust was a major human tragedy and a failure of humanity. The World stood by mercilessly when people were sent to Gas Chambers for their belief in the creator. The looks on the faces of the people, the resignation on their faces that the world silently stood by is horrifying and will haunt us for centuries to come.

Among Genocides, Massacres and other tragedies we reflected upon the Indigenous American people such as the Choctaw, Mayans, Toltecs and the massacres of the Native people right here in Dallas.

We touched upon Darfur and rolled the slides on Polpot, Congo, Armenia, Rwanda, Nanking, Falungong, Bosnia, India and other events to represent the Genocides and Massacres.

Among the ongoing tragedies, the tragedy of Gaza was highlighted with mentions of Burma, Tibet and other tragedies. The massive drowning and tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade was shared.

Through these representative events, our goal was to reflect upon every human failing. The technical definitions of the words do not describe the sufferings of the people in full, we have to work with the limited choice of words, but must have a big heart to feel the pain and suffering of every human being, not just my people or my tribe, but every one. Let us be a part of all human suffering, and together work on getting out of it.Gatherings such as this offer hope and opportunity for a secure and a safer world. At this event, we learned to see each other with dignity, and honor the otherness of other.Of the several acknowledgements, a few notable ones are;

1. Other people’s suffering is as legitimate as ours;
2. Through faith, ethnicity or land mass we are related with butchers of the past;
3. It takes courage to see ourselves as perpetrators;
4. It is easy to see ourselves as Victims
5. When we strip the politics out of these events, we see hope.
6. We can value others suffering without lessening our own;
7. The overriding desire to highlight our own blinds us from other’s suffering.

A sense of responsibility for creating a better world was present in us as witnessed by the people hanging out for an hour and a half after the program.

It is an initiative of American Muslims striving to build responsible civic societies. The event was organized by the Foundation for Pluralism, where co-existence is our value. We appreciate the sponsorship by the Center for Spiritual Living, all the three are Dallas based Organizations.

To the;
Jews, we say you are not alone;
Native people, we say you are not alone;
Homosexual community, we say you are not alone;
Darfurians, we say you are not alone;
Kashmiris Pundits, we say you are not alone;
Gujarati Muslims, we say you are not alone;
Gazans, we say you are not alone;
Ugandans, we say you are no alone;

To all those, who have endured holocaust, genocides, massacres, bombs, annihilation, land mines, hunger, rape, torture, occupation and inhuman brutality, we say you are not alone. The least we can do in the process of healing is to acknowledge every one's pain in one voice. We have begun the process of coming together as one people, to stand with you, we are indeed one world and a single humanity, and caring for each other brings safety and peace to all of us. I cannot be safe if the people around me are not, and I will not have peace if people around me don't. It is in my interest to seek a peaceful world for one and all.
A full day conference is planned for Wednesday, January 26, 2011 to discuss every human tragedy, please submit a thoroughly researched 500 word abstract about the event you'd like to discuss to HolocaustandGenocides@gmail.com.

We are working on initiating a course on tolerance education, so one day, we all can learn to have a heart that opens to the pain of every human. Initial report - http://holocaustandgenocides.blogspot.com/2010/01/initial-report-on-holocaust-and.html

A full report with Speakers information and their talks will be available on the websites soon. Pictures for all the three events are available at the website, for 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157623333495277
Mike Ghouse, Chairperson
Annual reflections on Holocaust and Genocides

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