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Sunday, December 7, 2008
Hindus Call for a New Dialogue on Terrorism
Please include "World Muslim Congress" and the"Foundation for Pluralism" as dialogue participants. I will be representing the group. It sounds funny that this dialogue does not have participants from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian and other communities who are equal victims of terrorism. Most certainly Musilms get it more than the others. Their presence is a must and every group that is committed to non-violence and co-existence must be included. Make the sincere effort, sincere results will come out.
As peace makers, our words and our actions should create an environment of peace, where one is encouraged to dialogue, put everything on the table with an open mind and an open heart. The goal should be finding solutions and not pointing fingers. No one can bring the dead back to life today, so there is no need to make calls on them. We have to find solutions and not excuses. As citizens for peace, it is our duty to focus on working for peace and co-existence. Terrorism has got to go from our lives.
There was a time, when you could find fliers at Mosques with hate for others, no more, enough of us have worked hard to rid of such fliers, come to find out no one wanted them in the first place. Yesterday, I found the orange flier distributed at the temple to contain language that was not peace makers language.
We have not been able to solve Terrorism because we are eager to bark at the wrong tree, we are smart people, we can do better than that. It is my deviousness that makes me rob the bank, kill any one that comes my way, and my religion does not teach me to do that. There are millions of Christian, Hindu, Muslims and Jews rotting in Jails for their wrong doing, their religion surely did not teach them to do that.
If we blame the religion, can we punish it? Is it tangible? It is the wrong effort to blame religion and leave the problem un-solved. We need to find the individuals, however many they may be and punish them for their crimes to disturb peace and creating chaos and anarchy. Then we will have justice with justice comes peace and prosperity. Truth triumphs, hate does not.
Religion came in to existence to make us better beings. Lord Krishna says whenever there is Adharma, he will appear and re-store dharma; Allah in Qur'aan says that he sends a messenger to every nation, every community to set them on the right track.
If I burn the Belgian embassy, or burn the busses in the fight for Cauvery water, or burn the innocent men and women in train compartment in Godhra or burn innocent men and women in Gujarat or bomb the trains or bomb Mumbai, It is me, who is the criminal and I should be punished, and each individual should be punished who does that ugly crime. Does blaming my family members make any sense to you? Does blaming the State of Karnataka make sense to you? Does blaming India make sense to you? Does blaming Islam or Hinduism I claim to practice makes sense to you?
We all have the base emotions playing at us, the terrorist find excuses to blame injustice or some other idiotic excuse to kill us, and some of us are eager to act on our base emotions to harm the ones who have done no harm to us.
In the press release below, I took out the Prefix- terrorism attached to the name of the religion. Here is a letter from Iffat Khan about the flier.
Mike Ghouse, Moderator
As a proud Indian and Muslim, I felt a great need to join my Indian compatriots who held the prayer ceremony in memory of the victims of the Mumbai carnage at the DFW temple.
I laud you for having taken the initiative for a “new dialogue” to promote peace. But, I am dismayed at the choice of language in your call for dialogue on “Islamic Terrorism”. Labeling the acts of few disaffected beings to vilify the religion Islam does not promote dialogue. Terrorism has no religion, and has been and is being committed by Hindus in India and SriLanka; and by Jews and Christians elsewhere -- i.e. by people professing various faiths. These acts have NEVER been labeled Hindu, Jewish or Christian Terrorism. I, therefore, beseech you to refrain from labeling atrocious acts as “Islamic”.
It behooves people of conscience to use greater prudence in the choice of words, especially if they genuinely espouse "dialogue". Remember one of the debates we have all had in our schooling - "The Pen is mightier that the Sword".
Ardently striving (JIHAD) for peace, justice,charity and fraternity--the cornerstones of Islam.
Date: Sun Dec 7, 2008 12:25 am
Subject: North American Hindus Call for a New Dialogue on Terrorism -
I understand that you had called and attended the Shanti Homam performed at the DFW Hindu Temple to-day, Dec 6, 2008 morning along with ...... Akram from IANT representing the Islamic faith and Community. I was there too.... distributing the copies of the Press Release.....
Missed talking to you there....Below is the Press Release Dt, Dec 6, 2008, from the North American Hindu Community
North American Hindus Call for a New Dialogue on Terrorism
The heinous terrorist attack on the City of Mumbai from 26 November, 2008 through 29 November, 2008 that claimed over 200 innocent victims and left over 300 injured is a stark reminder that Terrorism is one of the greatest dangers to the future of peaceful human existence in the world. This incident clearly exposes the fact that it was a cold blooded, well orchestrated attack, with months of planning and preparation behind it, and targeted at destabilizing the democratic and secular society of India in particular and the world at large.
“We are extremely disturbed by this horrible terrorist attack on Mumbai. Our hearts bleed for the departed souls and families who have lost their loved ones, we also feel compelled to state that the people who master-minded this attack should be severely punished. The Hindu community of North America has come together to perform a Shanti Homa (ceremony of peace) to pray for peace for the affected families and also for the world” says Kalyan Viswanathan president of Dallas-based Sanatana Dharma Foundation.
The Shanti Homam at the DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas attracted members of over 30 Hindu organizations living in the DFW metro area. Members of the Jewish and Islamic faiths were also present at the ceremony where prayers for world peace and solace for the affected families were offered, in the Sanskrit language in a traditional Vedic ritual. “We come together to look into the eyes of terror and say we stand together as one people of the world in support of humanity - Not in despair or hopelessness, but rather in love, strength, resolve, and peace for the present and the future” says Ranna Jani, President of the DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas. Similar Homam ceremonies were also offered in many cities in United States of America, Canada, Australia and around the world.
Nearly 3 million Hindus live in North America today. India is home to another 900+ Million Hindus. Pluralism or the ability to accept many different belief systems and pathways to God is not new to Hindus. Right from the early Rig Vedic era (5,000 BC), Hinduism aka Sanatana Dharma has upheld and valued the fundamental spiritual freedom and the right of the individual to believe and practice his or her faith. As a result numerous sects and sub-traditions within the family of traditions called Hinduism exist in harmony within India and across the world. Over the ages, Hinduism also welcomed many religions born in distant lands to come into her land to make a home, free from fear of persecution. This has been the very core of the Hindu civilization for many millennia. In keeping with her ancient Hindu pluralistic ethos, India embraced a Secular Constitution after its independence in 1947 further affirming and accepting the co-existence of many diverse faiths in its land. As a non-proselytizing family of religious traditions, Ahimsa (non violence) being one of its core values, Hinduism poses no threat to any other faith community in the world.
However, this essential pluralistic tradition has made India vulnerable to threats that have come into its lands from afar and within. Since 2004 alone, nearly 7000 people lost their lives due to terrorist attacks. Behind every terrorist attack is the same ideology that sanctions violence against innocent people, in the name of a particular religion and its God. We are concerned that the civilized world and India in specific, which are committed to democracy and pluralism, are increasingly under threat.
Even as our heart goes out to the innocent victims of this heinous crime and we affirm the validity of different paths and religious traditions in this world, we are obliged in this hour of crisis to raise our voice, and say “Enough. We need a new resolve. We need fresh thinking. We need an approach to resolving the problem of Terrorism that does not tip-toe around the hard issues, and keeps making practical compromises, leaving behind the infrastructure that graduates yet another batch of terrorists. We need our Islamic brothers and sisters, who truly believe in peaceful coexistence, to step up and be equal stakeholders in stamping out this deadly cancer from the world”.
Signed by :
Sanatana Dharma Foundation, Dallas, Texas
DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas
Vaishno Devi Temple, Ontario, Canada
North Texas Hindu Mandir, Dallas, Texas
Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, (FACT), Houston, Texas
Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation, New Jersey
International Sanatana Dharma Society, Omaha, Nebraska
Samskrita Bharati, San Jose, California
United States Hindu Alliance, Atlanta, Georgia
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Vadtal Dham, Scarborough, Ontario
Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Kendra, Toronto, Canada
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, Madison, Mississippi
Hindu Mahasabha of America, Houston, Texas
The Arise Arjuna Foundation, New Jersey
Indic Studies Foundation, California
Indian Intellectuals Forum, New York City, New York
Third Eye Meditation Inc., Dallas, Texas
Denton County India Cultural Association, Denton, Texas
SEWA International, USA – Dallas Chapter
National Federation of Indian American Association (NFIA), California
International Kashmir Federation (IKF), San Francisco, California
Global organization of the people of Indian Origin, San Francisco, California
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Dallas Chapter
Foundation for Hindu Religious Studies, Cleveland, Ohio
Forum for Religious Freedom, New York City, New York
Yoga Bharati, San Jose, California
Sri Kripalu Kunj Mission, Houston, Texas
Kashmiri Association of North Texas, Dallas, USA
Jagadguru Kripalu Yog, USA
Frisco Vishnu Sahasranama Group, Frisco, Texas
Sanatana Dharma School, Irving, Texas
DFW Hindu TRAC Group, Dallas, Texas
Vedanta Today, Boston, Massachusetts
American Telugu Association (ATA), Irving, Texas
Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council, Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean
Subhodhayam Group, College Station, Texas
Canadian Hindu Advocay, Toronto, Canada
DFW Gayatri Parivar, Arlingon, Texas
Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Sydney, Australia
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206
Dallas, Texas 75234