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' .