HOME | ABOUT US | www.MikeGhouse.net Google Profile | C.V. | Interfaith Speaker | Muslim Speaker |Motivational Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. I wish I could have them all, but will have to live with a few. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pray for Pope Benedict XVI

Comments on His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Mike Ghouse September 18, 2006


Peace!

The cruelty of the civilizations has got to do with the insecurity of individuals, employing religion to their benefit. Literally asking the subjects to give up their life to secure the wealth and control of the resources for them. I would argue that it was not the religion that got them to kill and get killed, although the Kings twisted the religion and patriotism as the reason for the war by fabricating the element of fear. Our government heads of today are no different than those Kings who sacrificed the innocent lives to satisfy their whims. We have to look beyond.

Imagine the world without Religion? It would have been more chaotic. What should the general public do? We have to tell the authorities that fool me no more, you keep your hate agenda to yourselves. What the holiest of holy Pope has insinuated has nothing to do with Christianity that Jesus preached, it is an expression of his own arrogance and we have to forgive his ignorance that has caused the un-peace. To err is human. Christianity is peace indeed, individuals practitioners may not be.

Let's invoke the forgiveness element of all religions (non-religions included) to every human soul and reaffirm that hate, anger, arrogance and ill-will knocks out the tranquility and peace of mind of an individual. Let's seek the religion to bring peace of mind to each one of the 7 billion of us which will disconnect ill-will. Forgiveness re-stores peace of mind.

Please join me for a prayer followed by two interesting pieces. One of them is the renowned and one of the most respect writers: Karen Armstrong who is a Catholic.


Request his holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Join us in prayers
The Most Reverend Pope Benedict XVI

In the spirit of peace, we the members of the World Muslim Congress, are pleased to follow Prophet Muhammad's example in times of conflicts and adversity.

We request you to join us in our prayers
Dear God, we ask you to help us fill our hearts with generosity and goodwill.
Dear God, we ask you to help us remove any arrogance of righteousness possessed in us.
Dear God, we ask you to help us know each other, as we are your creation.
Dear God, we ask you to help us help the fanatics who are angry with holiest of holy's remarks.
Dear God, help us follow the spirit of all the great spiritual teachings* to bring peace and equilibrium to each one of us and to the human kind

Amen

* Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Shinto, Sikh, Zoroastrian and other traditions.
Mike Ghouse
3928 Brazos Dr, Carrollton,
Texas 75007- USA
MikeGhouse@gmail.com

Please join us in the series of conversations in understanding each one of the paths of spirituality.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Papal ignorance
By Khalid AmayrehSunday, September 17, 2006

Yes, we both have our misunderstandings and misgivings and peculiar beliefs and convictions, both as individuals and as religious and cultural communities. However, it would be unforgivable if we allowed these differences to marginalize let alone neutralize the fundamental common grounds between our religions, commonly called the Abrahamic religions. There is always a huge reservoir of quotes, positive and negative, about religions and religious symbols. A Muslim or non-Muslim could easily amass a preponderance of quotes and texts from the Old Testament, for example, to prove that the Bible advocates murder. In truth, the Prophet of Islam, Muahmmed (Peace be on him), never ever really called for spreading religion with the sword. The Quran states in Surat (chapter) al-Nahl, v. 134, "Invite to the path of thy Lord with wisdom and good advice, and argue with them kindly, for Thy Lord is well aware of those who go astray and He is aware of those who follow true guidance." Indeed, the very next verse states that "if thou should punish (aggressors) punish only in proportion to the aggression inflicted upon you, but if ye be patient, it will be better for the patient."Let us take Indonesia , the largest Muslim country in terms of population size, as an example. Historically, it is well known that no Muslim armies had ever set foot on the huge archipelago. Yet all these millions chose to embrace the religion endeared to them by Arabian merchants and sailors who had exemplified to the natives the Islamic ideals of honesty, purity and faithfulness. A few days ago, a Jewish lady, who had lost 8 relatives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, appeared on Aljazeera TV, explaining why she decided to revert to Islam only a few months after the landmark tragedy. She simply said that "I found truth in Islam." The same can be said about the estimated 20,000 Americans who have embraced Islam after 9/11. Besides, what modicum of objectivity and honesty can there be in the words of an emperor who had lost his throne and empire because of Islam.? What else would we expect from the mouth of that loser?Furthermore, the Pope should have realized that he lives in a glass house. I want to remind him of the history of the Catholic Church upon the helm of which he now sits. It was the Church that burned scientists alive, it was the Church that invented the Indulgences and Simony systems, it was the Catholic world that invented the Inquisitions, the pogroms, and all other abominations associated with its dark practices against critics and opponents, including Christians who didn't extend fealty to Rome . And the Crusades? And the Holocaust? Must we re-open these dark chapters again? Do we have to remind his holiness that in the past century alone, over a hundred million Christians were killed by other Christians in numerous wars, including two world wars? May we remind his holiness that he himself sixty years ago was a member of the Hitler Youth? And then how about the spread of Catholicism in South America ? Was it done through the example of platonic love and self-abnegation?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We cannot afford to maintain these ancient prejudices against Islam The Pope's remarks were dangerous, and will convince many more Muslims that the west is incurably Islamophobic

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1874653,00.html#article_continueKaren ArmstrongMonday September 18, 2006
The Guardian

In the 12th century, Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, initiated a dialogue with the Islamic world. "I approach you not with arms, but with words," he wrote to the Muslims whom he imagined reading his book, "not with force, but with reason, not with hatred, but with love." Yet his treatise was entitled Summary of the Whole Heresy of the Diabolical Sect of the Saracens and segued repeatedly into spluttering intransigence. Words failed Peter when he contemplated the "bestial cruelty" of Islam, which, he claimed, had established itself by the sword. Was Muhammad a true prophet? "I shall be worse than a donkey if I agree," he expostulated, "worse than cattle if I assent!"
Peter was writing at the time of the Crusades. Even when Christians were trying to be fair, their entrenched loathing of Islam made it impossible for them to approach it objectively. For Peter, Islam was so self-evidently evil that it did not seem to occur to him that the Muslims he approached with such "love" might be offended by his remarks. This medieval cast of mind is still alive and well.
Last week, Pope Benedict XVI quoted, without qualification and with apparent approval, the words of the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." The Vatican seemed bemused by the Muslim outrage occasioned by the Pope's words, claiming that the Holy Father had simply intended "to cultivate an attitude of respect and dialogue toward the other religions and cultures, and obviously also towards Islam".
But the Pope's good intentions seem far from obvious. Hatred of Islam is so ubiquitous and so deeply rooted in western culture that it brings together people who are usually at daggers drawn. Neither the Danish cartoonists, who published the offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad last February, nor the Christian fundamentalists who have called him a paedophile and a terrorist, would ordinarily make common cause with the Pope; yet on the subject of Islam they are in full agreement.


Our Islamophobia dates back to the time of the Crusades, and is entwined with our chronic anti-semitism. Some of the first Crusaders began their journey to the Holy Land by massacring the Jewish communities along the Rhine valley; the Crusaders ended their campaign in 1099 by slaughtering some 30,000 Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem. It is always difficult to forgive people we know we have wronged. Thenceforth Jews and Muslims became the shadow-self of Christendom, the mirror image of everything that we hoped we were not - or feared that we were.
The fearful fantasies created by Europeans at this time endured for centuries and reveal a buried anxiety about Christian identity and behaviour. When the popes called for a Crusade to the Holy Land, Christians often persecuted the local Jewish communities: why march 3,000 miles to Palestine to liberate the tomb of Christ, and leave unscathed the people who had - or so the Crusaders mistakenly assumed - actually killed Jesus. Jews were believed to kill little children and mix their blood with the leavened bread of Passover: this "blood libel" regularly inspired pogroms in Europe, and the image of the Jew as the child slayer laid bare an almost Oedipal terror of the parent faith.


Jesus had told his followers to love their enemies, not to exterminate them. It was when the Christians of Europe were fighting brutal holy wars against Muslims in the Middle East that Islam first became known in the west as the religion of the sword. At this time, when the popes were trying to impose celibacy on the reluctant clergy, Muhammad was portrayed by the scholar monks of Europe as a lecher, and Islam condemned - with ill-concealed envy - as a faith that encouraged Muslims to indulge their basest sexual instincts. At a time when European social order was deeply hierarchical, despite the egalitarian message of the gospel, Islam was condemned for giving too much respect to women and other menials.


In a state of unhealthy denial, Christians were projecting subterranean disquiet about their activities on to the victims of the Crusades, creating fantastic enemies in their own image and likeness. This habit has persisted. The Muslims who have objected so vociferously to the Pope's denigration of Islam have accused him of "hypocrisy", pointing out that the Catholic church is ill-placed to condemn violent jihad when it has itself been guilty of unholy violence in crusades, persecutions and inquisitions and, under Pope Pius XII, tacitly condoned the Nazi Holocaust.
Pope Benedict delivered his controversial speech in Germany the day after the fifth anniversary of September 11. It is difficult to believe that his reference to an inherently violent strain in Islam was entirely accidental. He has, most unfortunately, withdrawn from the interfaith initiatives inaugurated by his predecessor, John Paul II, at a time when they are more desperately needed than ever. Coming on the heels of the Danish cartoon crisis, his remarks were extremely dangerous. They will convince more Muslims that the west is incurably Islamophobic and engaged in a new crusade.
We simply cannot afford this type of bigotry. The trouble is that too many people in the western world unconsciously share this prejudice, convinced that Islam and the Qur'an are addicted to violence. The 9/11 terrorists, who in fact violated essential Islamic principles, have confirmed this deep-rooted western perception and are seen as typical Muslims instead of the deviants they really were.


With disturbing regularity, this medieval conviction surfaces every time there is trouble in the Middle East. Yet until the 20th century, Islam was a far more tolerant and peaceful faith than Christianity. The Qur'an strictly forbids any coercion in religion and regards all rightly guided religion as coming from God; and despite the western belief to the contrary, Muslims did not impose their faith by the sword.


The early conquests in Persia and Byzantium after the Prophet's death were inspired by political rather than religious aspirations. Until the middle of the eighth century, Jews and Christians in the Muslim empire were actively discouraged from conversion to Islam, as, according to Qur'anic teaching, they had received authentic revelations of their own. The extremism and intolerance that have surfaced in the Muslim world in our own day are a response to intractable political problems - oil, Palestine, the occupation of Muslim lands, the prevelance of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, and the west's perceived "double standards" - and not to an ingrained religious imperative.
But the old myth of Islam as a chronically violent faith persists, and surfaces at the most inappropriate moments. As one of the received ideas of the west, it seems well-nigh impossible to eradicate. Indeed, we may even be strengthening it by falling back into our old habits of projection. As we see the violence - in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon - for which we bear a measure of responsibility, there is a temptation, perhaps, to blame it all on "Islam". But if we are feeding our prejudice in this way, we do so at our peril.
· Karen Armstrong is the author of Islam: A Short History

Request the most reverend Pope Benedict XVI to Join us in prayers
The Most Reverend Pope,

In the spirit of peace, we the members of the World Muslim Congress, are pleased to follow Prophet Muhammad's example in times of conflicts and adversity.

We request you to join us in our prayers
Dear God, we ask you to help us fill our hearts with generosity and goodwill.
Dear God, we ask you to help us remove any arrogance of righteousness possessed in us.
Dear God, we ask you to help us know each other, as we are your creation.
Dear God, we ask you to help us help the fanatics who are angry with holiest of holy's remarks.
Dear God, help us follow the spirit of all the great spiritual teachings* to bring peace and equilibrium to each one of us and to the human kind
Amen

* Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Shinto, Sikh, Zoroastrian and other traditions.
Address: 3928 Brazos Dr, Carrollton, Texas 75007- USAPhone: (214) 325-1916

Please join us in the series of conversations in understanding each one of the paths of spirituality

1 comment:

  1. I personally never read the book but a very close friend who did didn’t like it either. I’m guessing that the reason people like the book and the writer is the same reason that makes the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” series popular. As you nicely put it, it doesn’t have food for thought. I guess some people care more about the idea of finishing a book than the actual content of the book.http://www.keyinsight.com/Spiritual_Teachings.html

    ReplyDelete