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Friday, January 24, 2014

William and Rosa Lee Schiff, the Holocaust Survivors at the First Holocaust event by Muslims

The first Holocaust and Genocides event by Non-Jews was organized by Muslims in Dallas, Texas. The timing was perfect, right after a delicate situation in a 9/11 commemoration there was a need to address the issue of Holocaust and Genocides, and the United Nations unanimously passed the bill to commemorate Holocaust in their 60th General Assembly meeting on November 1, 2005. They designated January 27 of each year as Holocaust Memorial day, the date coincides with the liberation of Auschwitz.

The first event was organized on Sunday, January 29th and was addressed by the Holocaust survivors, Ms. Rosa Lee Schiff and the late Mr. William Schiff. This year, we will start with the Holocaust conversation followed by the Genocides of Native Americans and the Gujarat Massacre. This is a serious event for us to reflect on the inhumanity within each one of us, and learn to do our individual share of saying never again. 

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.

Holocaust Survivors Rosa Lee and William Schiff

Commemorating Holocaust and Genocides for seven years is a fulfillment of a life time drive to build bridges.

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

A healthy society can be defined by how well it functions together, where no member of the society has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.

Rabbi Haas, Mike Ghouse, Bernie Mayoff and William Schiff - seated Rosa Lee Schiff
Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting peaceful functioning of a society and it is our duty, both individually and collectively to track down the source of such hate and mitigate it. Indeed, each one of us needs to do our share of work. This hate takes many avatars including Anti-Semitism, racism, Misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and other ailments of the society. Untreated, they will erupt in violent and hostile expressions like crusades, inquisitions, 9/11, terrorism by individuals and nations, Holocaust, Genocides and Massacres.

The Jewish Christian conflict stems from Jesus' crucifixion; the Christian Muslim conflict has origins in how each sees Jesus, and the Jewish Muslim conflict took root in the late 1940's.  Much of the conflict with Native Americans, Native societies, Hindus, Pagans and others stem from forced conversions by the arrogance of Christian and Muslim missionaries.

Religion came into existence to save the mankind; most people get that right and a few don't. No religion teaches hatred or encourages hostilities. On the contrary, religions are committed to building cohesive societies where no has to live in discomfort or fear of the other. The bottom line of all religions is based on the Golden rule, "Do unto others as you would wish to have done unto you."

Mrs.Elan, Gil Elan (AJC) and Rabbi Haas

There is always a room for bringing a positive change, even if it were a small step. The Foundation for Pluralism, Memnoysne Institute and the World Muslim Congress have teamed up to find solutions, which begins with the acknowledgement of the problem and taking small healing steps.

We are pleased to invite you to join us for the 7th Annual Holocaust and Genocides event is set for Sunday, January 26, 2014 between 3 and 6 PM at the Unity of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230. Details are at www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

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

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.

What we need is to have a heart to heart dialogue with each community with a goal to acknowledge the differences and figure out how to live with each other with least conflicts. After all we are inextricably connected to each other in our day to day life.

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
Indelible Image that has influenced this writer
Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies where no human has to live in fear of the other -www.MikeGhouse.net

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