Yes to Discussions – No to disparagement.

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The purpose of discussion is to learn, to exchange and to know, so we have fewer conflicts.

Quran emphasizes that the best one amongst you is the one who knows and learns about the other and puts myths aside and deals with facts for the purpose of living with the least amount of conflicts. Indeed, we have conflicts because we don’t know each other, and sadly if we did know, it is usually something to berate others.  We need to know the full version to deal with a full version with integrity and honesty.  Many verses from Quran point to these ideal guidelines in building cohesive societies.

The ground rule for understanding the other is to respect the otherness of others, as practiced by the Prophet and taught in Sura Kafirun. (

It’s not your fault or my fault that we have come to believe whatever we have learned to be the truth, and whatever we did not learn, appears not to be true to each one of us.


What if we swap two babies on birth – Baby Ahmadi and Baby Sunni; The Sunni father will raise the Ahmadi baby and vice versa, both of them send their kids to the best religious schools possible – like Al-Azhar and Rabwa.

Twenty years down the road, when both have become masters in their tradition, we will invite them to the World Muslim Congress for discussion.

Who do you think each one will defend?

And after the discussion, they are told that Ahmadi was really a born Sunni and vice versa – do their beliefs disappear?  If they don’t, can you wrong either of the boys or girls for what they have learned?

Imagine the multiplicity of the issues if we pick on little things… between a variety of denominations and sub-denominations… like Ahle-Sunna, Jamaati, deobandi, barelvi, nadwatul…

A few among us will call you names for seeking help from Ghouse-al-Azam, Bulle Shah, Ajmeer walay Khaja,  Nizamuddin Aulia, Hazrat Ali  and even Prophet Muhammad!

I am a denomination-less Muslim, meaning I consider all of us are a part of one large universal, all embracing Ummah, as such I have malice towards none (Abraham Lincoln), and I thank God for that.

It is sickening to see Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller attack the Prophet with all the ugliness they are loaded with, let us not become Spencers and Gellers to other Muslims and people of other faiths.

If we address Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, let us address him respectfully.
If we address HH Aga Khan, let us address him respectfully.

If we address Syed Burhanuddin, let us address him respectfully.
If we address Warith Deen Muhammad, let us address him respectfully, and

If we address the spiritual leader of any religious group, let’s address him or her respectfully. (Except criminals like Ashin Wirathu –  the Buddhist Spiritual Master of Burma) 

Can we do that?

Yes to Discussions – No to disparagement.
Thank you.

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at He believes in Standing up for othersand has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site indexes all his work through many links.

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