IMO News Service
Mike Ghouse, the only Indian American, was among 15 Dallasites who were recognized for their contributions to the society at a gala event organized by Safeer-e-Pakistan, a popular community program that airs on Geo Television Network. The 8th Annual Dinner event was held at DFW Marriott Hotel by the Airport on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Those who were presented Safeer-e-Pakistan Award, included Aslam Khan, Dr. Akhtar Shah, Amina Ismail, Asad Rehman, Dr. Amir Suleman, Mike Ghouse, Barkat Basaria, PSNT, Haleema Rahim, Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Mansoor Shah, Anwer Azam, Sakhia, Dr. Huma Shah, and Dr. Mohammad Nawaz.
The Safeer-e-Pakistan Award is a fulfillment of the vision of its founder Waqar Ali Khan, “to provide a platform for the Pakistani American community to voice their concerns on issues of importance to them”. Since 1997 the program has been introducing role models in different spheres of American life. In the 20 minutes video presented at the program, it highlighted its work over the years, and was quite impressive.
Mike Ghouse, who is also associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Foreign Editor, said in his acceptance speech: “As a Dallasite, Indian American, and a pluralist, I welcome the spirit of the program. The recipients were Pakistani-Americans as well as one Indian American. This is a good step forward by the Pakistani community on a national level to reach out to Pakistanis from around the nation. We welcome Safeer e Pakistan to Dallas, indeed we are a model Desi community in America. We have been blessed with multi-cultural and multi-nationalistic efforts in bringing people together. We have been doing this for a long time, starting with Desi Thanksgiving Celebrations, Asian News Magazine, Asian News Radio, Asian Chamber of Commerce, FunAsia Radio, Asian American Star, Radio Hot Pepper, Radio Azad, B Magazine and several others.”
“Despite being Americanized, we still have a few loud mouth Indian and Pakistani immigrants who do, and say things to hurt the delicate relations, but gleefully do back flips to befriend Taiwanese, Mexicans, Russians, Japanese, Egyptians, Somalis or Brazilians, but resist befriending our own neighbors. They are deprived, and do not have anything good to say about the others, I pray for their enrichment. We are not alone in this short-sightedness; the Chinese-Taiwanese, Iranians-Saudi, North-South Korea, Israeli-Palestinians and others join us in our deficiencies, it is indeed human, but it is also human to build cohesive societies where no one has to live in fear of the other. If we are incapable of cleansing ourselves with prejudices against each other, then we should not expect the people back home to do it either. The spirit has to be global. It is in this spirit, I appreciate the work of Safeer-e-Paksitan program and the awards night. As a Pluralist, it is a joy for me to witness races, nationalities, religions and ethnicities fall the barriers between peoples and embrace each other. In the interfaith weddings that I officiate, the latest ones being a Muslim-Jain and a Hindu-Christian weddings, I share this, “What the bride and groom have chosen to do, must be admired by one and all. In this divisive world, where people have difficulty in agreeing or getting along – they are setting a new standard. That is learning to respect the otherness of other and accepting the God given uniqueness of each other. They have additional differences; they both grew up in different religious traditions,” Mike Ghouse said.
Mike Ghouse also expressed his thanks to Geo TV, Waqar Ali Khan, Fatima Khan, Anjum Anwar, Naheed Raheel and Safeer-e-Pakistan team for adding the interfaith category in the recognition.
He said in his acceptance speech that pluralism and interfaith is our future, by the end of 2020, there will not be a major city in the America, and perhaps in the world, where you will not find people of different faiths working, eating, and doing social things together. We need to prepare ourselves for those situations to prevent possible conflicts and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill. Exclusive communities will become a thing of the past.
“Guess who pioneered the interfaith? Indeed, it was Prophet Muhammad, the peace maker. He was perhaps the first spiritual master who was blessed to have lived amidst three to four different religious traditions. He lived his preaching, just as Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Nanak, and all the great teachers did. He had regular meetings at his Mosque with Jews, Christians and others to discuss and learn and share about each other’s religions. He was following the words of Qur’an 49:13 (paraphrase) – the best among you is the one who makes an effort to know each other. There is a presumption that we don’t know each other, and most certainly we don’t. By knowing and learning and accepting each others as we are, we can create better societies – the product was the Madinah declaration initiated by the Prophet, where all people had their own religion to follow and practice without interference, it is almost a predecessor to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion. Of course, there will always be a tiny fraction of a percent of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and other who do not follow their own religion resulting in conflicts and false propaganda, but a majority of the people get the goodness of their religion. Example after example, we can trace the essence of his work – conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance, and respecting the otherness of others. The recognition of interfaith work is owed to Prophet Muhammad and I thank Safeer-e-Pakistan for honoring the work of the Prophet,” Mike Ghouse concluded.
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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on May 25, 2012. Filed under Featured, Foreign, Interfaith Relations, Latest News, Media, Mike Ghouse, People, Photo Gallery . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response