Mike Ghouse speaks about Fox News and the power of engagement (Sean Hannity), Akhira and committment

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POWER OF ENGAGEMENT | World Muslim Congress.com

This is the outline of my speech at the Plenary session of AMU conference,  “Intellectual crisis of the Muslim Ummah; Rethinking traditions solutions” held at Aligarh Muslim University on April 6 and 7th in 2015. The video link is included at the end of this script.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a visionary, who understood the issues and hopelessness of the Umma after the fall of the last Mogul.  He knew modern education was the only way to pull the community out of the quagmire.

He took the bold steps to establish the educational institution despite the opposition and hurdles. It is perhaps the first “Muslim” university in the world where Muslims were taught subjects other than memorizing Quran and Hadiths. He paved the Middle path for us with Deen and Duniya together that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had advocated.

We went back in to slumber and remained dormant for nearly a hundred years.  Thanks to the VC General Zameeruddin Shah, Pro-VC Brig Ahmed Ali and Professor Rashid Shaz for having the courage to resuscitate that vision and bring critical thinking back to AMU. We have to admire the staff and volunteers who supported them without any reserve.

I pray that AMU will become one of the high profile Muslim Universities in the world, and hope we all can pitch in to make that happen.  I am not an Alumni of AMU, but my spirit has always been with AMU since I learned about Sir Syed in my school days. I was completely surprised when my sister in Bangalore told me that it was her dream to be at AMU campus as well.   Insha Allah, her dream may come true next time when I visit the campus, hopefully to speak about Pluralism in Islam.

I believe AMU was looking for critical thinkers who can challenge the prevailing practices and take the Ummah forward to live the God given life on this earth to the fullest possible extent.
Salam Friends.

Has anything ever happened by itself? No matter what it is, getting a job, raising a family, going to war, building cohesive societies,  going to moon or coming to Aligarh – someone caused it. 

This conference would not have happened by itself; it needed a driver with passion and a strong commitment.

Ray Bradbury had once said, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy… Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.… Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

When you are not committed, and if something goes wrong, your attitude would be, “ I knew it, I knew, it was not going to work out  for me” or “I should have listened to my friends” and on and on… you find every excuse to justify the small set back to get out of the situation.

Let me ask you this, if you fail yourselves, why should anyone give you a pass? Why should anyone support you if you are hesitant?

Dr. Abdul Hamid Abusulayman beefs it up, “There is a clear distinction between doubts and problems. Doubts provoke obstruction, frustration and discouragement, where as problems inspire motivation, action and diligenceOn the other hand when you are committed, and if things go wrong,  your attitude would be “Oh, I have to do this to get there, hurdles will not be hurdles any more, but become stepping stones to get to the destination with all the detours.

One of the greatest examples of commitment was delivered by Tariq Bin Ziyad; when he crossed the Gibraltar Channel, he burned the ships. There was no going back, period.

Such is the power of commitment and let’s give a big round of applause to Dr. Shaz, his staff, volunteers and the management of AMU for their strong commitment to make this event possible, and guess what, Aghaz to acha hai, and Anjaam will have to be shaped by each one of us.  

Congratulations Dr. Shaz, God is with you, and indeed, we are with you!

This conference, “Intellectual Crises of the Muslim Ummah: Rethinking Traditional Solutions” is a timely event. Today, we are at cross roads of leaving behind 100 lousy years of post-colonial trauma, and setting up the next 100 years.  This is the time for us to shape our destiny…

And it begins with freedom.  When Adam and Eve were given the options and consequences for each action, God gave them complete freedom and stuck to his words.

When Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit… God knew they were wrong, but God did not get mad, or slapped them left and right… instead, he accepted their choice, he did even not stop them… Friends, we are born with freedom and we must live with freedom. There is no compulsion in what you believe, and we must value freedom as the most important value of Islam.


One of the major flaws in our thinking is our misplaced focus on Akhira. We need to invest our time in fixing this flawed thinking and change the future of Muslim Ummah.

We have a choice to be herded, or shape our own destiny.  We need to boldly challenge what is taught to us in our mosques. God has given us this life to live it to the fullest, and not throw it away for Akhira.

I have not been to a Mosque in Aligarh yet, but every Mosque I have been to, keeps pounding on Akhira. Life is a trust given to us, and how can we do qiyanat with it, how can we jump to Akhira without living the Hazira? How can we cheat the present for the future? We need to be honest with today to be truthful with tomorrow.

When you are talking to your parent or child, how do you feel if he or she is thinking something else… instead of being with you, he or she is somewhere else? That is how God would feel, he gave us this life to live, and instead of living it, we are jumping to the Akhira.

The Akhira is a poor excuse for those who are unable and incapable to deal with what is given, and simply find refuge in Akhira. Next time you hear someone talk about Akhira, please tell them that it is a poor excuse for not making good of this life, and Akhira is sequence after Hazira and we cannot jump to Akhira without living the Hazira.


How many of you have heard about Fox News?  How many of you have heard about Sean Hannity? He is the 2nd most popular talk show host in the United States.  He is one of the most hated guys not only by Muslims but the progressives as well.

The story I am about to tell is an eye opener and hopefully change your mind.  I call this the power of engagement, when you engage with people there is always a chance to bring about a change. If you don’t, you don’t even have a chance.  I did not have to go to China to learn this, I learned right here from Mother Teresa, she said, “If you want to bring peace, go talk with your enemy.” Indeed, that is the truth.

When I go back to the States, I will be doing my 100th appearance on his TV show and probably 50+ on his National talk show radio.

Two major things have happened thru this engagement; He has stopped attacking Quran in the last two years and had agreed to (but has failed a few times) to use the phrase “Radicals among Muslims” instead of “Radical Muslims.” It was a huge concession!  Furthermore, the biggest accomplishment for Muslim community through his promise was the change in the tone of several of the right wingers.  Representative Peter King, Chairman of the Homeland Security said this on April 15, 2013 when CNN camera honed on him in the evening right after the Boston Marathon bombing…

Hear the rest of the story in the video athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDMuE4bdYW4

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator onPluralismIslamIndiaIsrael-PalestinePolitics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film ” Sacred” to be released on 9/11 and a documentary “Americans together” for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links atwww.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com – Mike is committed to building coh

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