This blog will chronicle my comments and other critical articles, cartoons and videos. Time has come for us to put America first and Party 2nd. This page will have the good, bad and ugly of Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians alike, but will always offer pluralistic solutions effective June 8, 2012

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Release - American Muslim Agenda

THE BOOK – American Muslim Agenda
Muslims Together Building a Cohesive America

 What is the book about?  

You will be pleased to see your vision of America resonate in the book. Even though the title is ”American Muslim Agenda,” it is for all Americans.
One of the purposes in naming the book is for my fellow Americans who have misunderstood Muslims to pick up the book and read, and my fellow Muslims who have misunderstood Islam to take a look the at the pristine Islam that they long for, it is not lost, we have to revive it. Islam is not about ruling or dictating others; it is about living your life and letting others live theirs, one of the 12 strongest values of Islam is freewill that Muslims have forgotten.   I have cited the Quran extensively with reinforcing practices of the prophet.
There are occasional references of wisdom drawn from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and every faith in between. You will see Jesus in Muhammad, Torah in Quran or Bhagavad Gita’s reflections or Buddhas Middle path or Nanak’s service to humanity.
You may like this note that Dr. Frank Islam has highlighted.
“I am intrigued by the book, particularly the chapter on the Essence of Islam. The great Talmudic sage Rabbi Hillel in the first century BC said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this—to study it!” Dr. Ghouse responds to Rabbi Hillel with a corollary on Islam, “God wants us to respect the otherness of the others and accept the uniqueness of each human. That is the whole Quran; the rest is the explanation of this—to study it!”

MUSLIMS TOGETHER BUILDING A COHESIVE AMERICA

This book, The American Muslim Agenda, is a primer, a blueprint, a road map for American Muslims to consider. A Muslim is someone who is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer, following the formula for peaceful societies practiced by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and guided by the Quran. As a community, American Muslims have not developed any concrete plans to extricate themselves out of the chaotic situations, hostility and incessant Islamophobic rhetoric we face. Each time a terrorist acts out, we start praying and wishing that the terrorist not be a Muslim. We are Americans, and we can do better than that. This book paves the way for us to own the mistakes we have made, remedy them, and become fully integrated Americans. There is only one America, and all of us are fully integrated parts of that nation. We need to learn to engage with those who are opposed to us, and I have some good success stories to share on that front. When we start defending America and American values we are in! We become an integral part of American Fabric.

What do the Scholars say about the book?

Bob Roberts, Renowned Evangelical Pastor & Founder of Global.net Author Bold as Love
I’m so grateful for the work of Mike Ghouse and his desire to build bridges.  You will love this book, it’s about how Muslims in America think, and how we should all be connected regardless of faith.  For too long, we’ve ignored the divide between Muslims and Christians and the result is we are prone to believe the worst about one another.  Thanks, Mike for this important book.
* * * * *
Bob Crane, first Muslim US Ambassador
Mike Ghouse’s path-breaking book, American Muslim Agenda, recommends a new agenda in the form of a paradigm shift from the negativism of attacking Islamophobia to the constructive support of America’s founding vision as a model of every world religion’s essence in compassionate justice. This is based on the interfaith search for transcendent truth from both scriptures and natural law in order to translate this wisdom into principles of both ethical value and jurisprudence.  These principles, in turn, are essential to guide the modern think-tanks that shape policy agendas, as well as to inform the voters and legislators who have the practical responsibility to translate the vision of compassionate justice into both societal and institutional reform.  This is what it has always meant to be an American.
Fi Aman Allah,
* * * * *
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, first Muslim woman scholar to translate the Quran sensitively! 
Endorsement for The American Muslim Agenda by Mike Ghouse The author presents a challenge to American Muslims to lose their egos and integrate themselves into being fully Muslim, fully American. They have a Muslim example to follow and it is that of spiritual chivalry (javanmardi, futuwwah).
Spiritual chivalry is that the spiritual warrior constantly strives for the sake of others. It is not seeing yourself as superior to others, to be an enemy of your own soul for the sake of your Lord, to act justly without demanding justice for yourself. Spiritual chivalry is to manifest a beautiful character.
The spiritual warrior (fata or the feminine, fatat) is a person who has a sense of honor, is called ‘he who breaks the idol.’ God Most High has said [in the Quran], ‘We heard a spiritual warrior named Abraham speak of them [the idols Abraham broke]’ [21:20]. And He said, ‘And he (Abraham, the spiritual warrior) made them [the idols] fragments’ [21:60]. The idol of every person is his own ego, so in reality, whoever opposes his own passions is a ‘spiritual warrior’.
* * * * *
 Dr. Tariq Cheema, Founder, World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists
“Bold and brilliant Mike Ghouse. He has not just drawn a roadmap for Muslim Americans to contribute to the society meaningfully but highlighted the unique value proposition of Muslims that mainstream America can bank upon to progress. In fragmented America today, the hope lies in the people of faith who believe in social justice and cohesion. This book is an open invitation and a call to action for all those men and women of conscience.”
* * * * *
 Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Washington
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a warrior for conflict resolution and a partisan for non-partisan dialogue. He aims to bring all voices to the table of religious pluralism that he sets with the “agenda” in this book.  He and I have shared presentations on panels where the perspective centers on covenantal pluralism, the idea that a God who can treasure one faith community must have the will and power to treasure all moral communities of whatever faith or of no faith.  May his efforts in articulating the agenda for his beloved Muslim community inspire other faith leaders to delve self-critically and responsibly into the resources within their own religions to move beyond tolerance to a loving and robust mutual appreciation.  Our times need his voice and need others to speak out as well.
* * * * *
Dr. Harbans Lal, Emeritus Professor, and Chairman, 
Dept of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, UNT Health Science Center, Texas
It is only recently that many courageous scholars and public servants began to tell what the real Islam was. Guru Nanak wrote hundreds of hymns in the Sikh scripture on who is a good Muslim. I am glad to see the recent book by Mike Ghouse. Mike began nearly 15 years ago to set the stage right. He started with a radio show on the world’s religions. I remember my frequent participation there and answering Mike’s piercing questions. Then he contributed hundreds of columns in leading newspapers and magazines. Now, he came up with his book that elucidates the purpose of religion in general and the role of Islam in particular as a member of the community of faiths.  I recommend this book to the Muslim community and their neighbors who are the followers of other religions. In facts, the adherents of other religions might consider Mike’s approach in spreading the sacred words of the founders of their beliefs.
* * * * *
Dr. Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times International.
This beautiful, well-written book, is the next level thinking for the Muslims, many of whom still live in the medieval paradigm of ‘them’ versus ‘us.’ Mike Ghouse is the Messiah for pluralism to pull the Muslims out of a sectarian vision, to a genuine universal brotherhood and sisterhood, befitting our global village, for the 21st century.
It is a must read for every Muslim living in the West, who is desirous of genuine integration, to benefit from all the good that rational and democratic human societies have to offer.  By the same token, it is a must-read for every Westerner, who wants to grasp the genuine peaceful and inclusive vision of true Islam.
The book is a breath of fresh air, away from the political Islam of the Islamists or the Islamophobes, a futuristic vision of coexistence, where we not only tolerate our differences but celebrate them.
* * * * *
 Dr. Frank Islam, Philanthropist, and a Scholar, Washington
I am intrigued by the book, particularly the chapter on the Essence of Islam.
The great Talmudic sage Rabbi Hillel in the first century BC said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this—to study it!” Dr. Ghouse responds to Rabbi Hillel with a corollary on Islam, “God has created us into different races, religions, sizes, colors and other uniqueness’s, respecting the otherness of the other and accepting the God-given uniqueness is the whole Quran and the rest is the explanation of this – to study it.”
* * * * *
Dr. Safi Kaskas, Modern translator of Quran, his translations have been referenced in the book.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a courageous American Muslim. At a time when Muslims are under attack, he courageously stood tall and walked into the enemy’s camp to talk to them and to explain Islam as he knows it.
His book, American Muslim Agenda, is the summary of his experiences and vision for his Muslim community and America his country. I think we Muslims will be wise to listen to what he is saying and take steps away from our antiquated stands of us and them toward a new Quranic vision of competing in doing what is good.
The future of Muslims in America is what Muslims decide to make of it. In order to be successful, we need to think and really understand the environment in which we live. We also need to understand Islam with fresh eyes on the future, taking in consideration the need to find new solutions to the new problems we are facing without compromising our basic beliefs. This requires courage and resilience. It requires leadership coming from within the Muslim community, with the ability to unite and lead.

 Talking points of the book

I have acknowledged the mistakes Muslims have made,  including an apology to Jews, Christians, and Hindus and have offered solutions to go forward.
Every question you have about “American Muslims” will be answered
in a book signing event, or a special meeting you may consider organizing.
1. Why I wrote the book?
2. Muslim Woman President of the United States in 2036
3. What does it take to run for public office?
4. What are the 12 Islamic Values to shape future societies?
5. Why is this book a reference Manual?
6. Are Muslims a part of the American story?
7. What does it take to be an Amin?
8. Spineless Muslim Leadership9. Mistakes Muslims have made and fixing them10. Rejecting public Sharia
11. Criticism of the Quran, Islam and the prophet
12. Dealing with conservatives
13. Pristine Islam
14. Extremism
15. More
Contact information:
Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916
Washington, DC
AmericanMuslimAgenda@gmail.com
Dr. Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His new book, the “American Muslim Agenda” guides Muslims and non-Muslims alike to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. The book will be available at the end of January 2019 in all the bookstores. Mike is a public speaker, author, interfaith wedding officiant, and the executive director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/

Monday, June 11, 2018

Trump doctrine on foreign policy - ‘We’re America, Bitch’


Trump is worried sick with his misdeeds, the only support he has is his base, and all the statements he makes are to keep that loyalty. He does not care about America or his base, he is seeking his own sanity and self-balancing acts.

Thanks to Jeffrey Goldbert and the Atlantic, you can read the re

Mike Ghouse

Abstracts from the article


"But what is mainly interesting about “We’re America, Bitch” is its delusional quality. Donald Trump is pursuing policies that undermine the Western alliance, empower Russia and China, and demoralize freedom-seeking people around the world. The United States could be made weaker—perhaps permanently—by the implementation of the Trump Doctrine."



"The second-best self-description of the Trump Doctrine I heard was this, from a senior national-security official: “Permanent destabilization creates American advantage.” The official who described this to me said Trump believes that keeping allies and adversaries alike perpetually off-balance necessarily benefits the United States, which is still the most powerful country on Earth. When I noted that America’s adversaries seem far less destabilized by Trump than do America’s allies, this official argued for strategic patience. “They’ll see over time that it doesn’t pay to argue with us.”

The third-best encapsulation of the Trump Doctrine, as outlined by a senior administration official over lunch a few weeks ago, is this: “No Friends, No Enemies.” This official explained that he was not describing a variant of the realpolitik notion that the U.S. has only shifting alliances, not permanent friends. Trump, this official said, doesn’t believe that the U.S. should be part of any alliance at all. “We have to explain to him that countries that have worked with us together in the past expect a level of loyalty from us, but he doesn’t believe that this should factor into the equation,” the official said.  


Thanks to Jeffrey Goldberg and the Atlantic, you can read the full article at https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/a-senior-white-house-official-defines-the-trump-doctrine-were-america-bitch/562511/?utm_source=atlfb

A Senior White House Official Defines the Trump Doctrine: ‘We’re America, Bitch’

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Muslim Republican for Congress from California - Omar Qudrat

As the immigrants integrate with the society and become one with it, then, it will be hard to distinguish between the born and new Americans. They will display the same characteristics ranging from extreme right to moderate and to the left as traditional Republicans and Democrats.

Here is an example of one immigrant, a Muslim going to the extreme in supporting Trump's tactics. They gain support from those who have to hate someone or the other, they create an imaginary enemy and fight against it, and there are enough people to fall for that. 


Here is Omar Qudrat, as reported by WND, World News Daily, another right-wing website in the likes of Breitbart.


Continued at http://centerforamericanpolitics.blogspot.com/2018/05/muslim-republican-for-congress-from.html

Mike Ghouse 



Republican congressional candidate Omar Qudrat
Republican congressional candidate Omar Qudrat
A Muslim running for Congress in California said he backs President Trump’s policies on immigration and terrorism and condemns groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations because they pose a threat to the nation’s security.
Omar Qudrat, who is running in the 52nd congressional district in the San Diego area, told Breitbart News Tonight that “radical Islamic terrorism is a real threat to our nation,” pointing to a “multi-component effort to try to undermine and destroy the United States and its allies.”
“That includes organizations that hold themselves out as advocacy groups,” Qudrat said, referring to CAIR.
CAIR, founded by Muslim Brotherhood operatives, was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation, and the Arab Gulf state United Arab Emirates declared it a terrorist organization.

Qudrat told the Breitbart radio show he opposes groups “that try to use our own laws against ourselves, and weaponize our Constitution against itself.”
“I am against Shariah law,” he said, referring to Islamic law and its supremacist political prescriptions. “It is unconstitutional, period. It has no place in the United States. It has no place anywhere in the world.”
Qudrat, along with several other Republican candidates, is running against incumbent Democrat Scott Peters. The Cook Partisan Voting Index sees the Democrats holding a six-point advantage in the race. Qudrat has been endorsed by the San Diego County GOP and several incumbent Republican members of Congress.

He told Breitbart he favors Trump’s wall and his policy of suspending immigration from countries where residents can’t be properly vetted for terrorism.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Stacey Abrams Wins Georgia Democratic Primary for Governor, Making History

Courtesy New York Times


Stacey Abrams Wins Georgia Democratic Primary for Governor, Making History

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Stacey Abrams at her election night watch party in Atlanta, after winning the Democratic primary in Georgia on Tuesday.CreditMelissa Golden for The New York Times
·         May 22, 2018
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Georgia Democrats selected the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States on Tuesday, choosing Stacey Abrams, a liberal former State House leader, who will test just how much the state’s traditionally conservative politics are shifting.
By defeating Stacey Evans, also a former state legislator, Ms. Abrams also became Georgia’s first black nominee for governor, a prize that has eluded earlier generations of African-American candidates in the state. The general election is sure to draw intense national attention as Georgia voters determine whether a black woman can win in the Deep South, a region that has not had an African-American governor since 
Reconstruction.

She will face either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the top Republican vote getter Tuesday, or Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Mr. Cagle and Mr. Kemp will vie for their party’s nomination in a July runoff.

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Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, left, a candidate for Georgia governor, during an election night gathering in Gainesville, Ga., on Tuesday.CreditTodd Kirkland/Associated Press
Ms. Abrams’s victory, confirmed by The Associated Press, came on the latest 2018 primary night to see Democratic women finding success, as voters in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas also went to the polls. Among the winners was Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, who upset Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington in a House primary in Kentucky.
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But it was the breakthrough of Ms. Abrams that drew the most notice. A 44-year-old Yale Law School graduate who has mixed a municipal career in Atlanta and statehouse politics with running a small business and writing a series of romance novels under a nom de plume, she is now a central character in the midterm elections and the Democratic Party’s quest to define itself.

In a Facebook post declaring victory Tuesday night, Ms. Abrams acknowledged the general election would be tough and cast herself as the candidate representing “the Georgia of tomorrow.”
Speaking later to a throng of supporters at a downtown Atlanta hotel, Ms. Abrams did not directly invoke her barrier-breaking nomination but held up her candidacy as a sign of the state’s progress.
“We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired,” she said.
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When she arrived, Ms. Abrams spoke forcefully, calling herself a “proud daughter of the Deep South,” and referring to Georgia’s rich but “complicated” history — and of leaders who too often had overlooked the “gap between struggle and success.”
She also quoted the Book of Esther, saying “We were born for such a time as this.”
With Atlanta thriving as a capital of black America and a magnet for immigrants across the world, Georgia’s demographics are changing. Yet even as Democrats eye the state as the next great blue hope, the party has struggled to win statewide office in part because it has had little success with conservative-leaning whites. African-American Democrats have held powerful state offices, like the attorney general’s post, but Republicans currently control every major position in Georgia.
Ms. Abrams has signaled that she is unlikely to spend much time pleading with rural whites to return to a Democratic Party that they have largely abandoned. She has embarked instead on a strategy of energizing a coalition of young and nonwhite Georgians who represent a growing share of the state’s population, an approach national Democrats are watching closely as they grapple with how to reclaim the presidency.
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But this slice of the electorate has not proven to be reliable in nonpresidential races, and some of them are not registered to vote at all. By contrast, non-Hispanic white voters make up about 53 percent of Georgia’s population, according to census data, and they tend to vote in strong numbers.
And Ms. Abrams’s race and gender may make her bid difficult enough: Georgia has never elected a female governor, and while Atlanta has elected a procession of African-American mayors, they have not found success in running for statewide office.
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Many Democrats believe that waging a progressive campaign aimed at mobilizing liberals, rather than running toward the center to win over suburban moderates, is folly in a state that has not elected a Democratic governor since 1998.
“It’s still a red state, even though it’s getting more purple every year,” said Kerwin Swint, chairman of the political science department at Kennesaw State University.
Yet Ms. Abrams’s candidacy comes at a volatile moment in Georgia, where demographic changes are creating fresh uncertainty about Republicans’ dominance, and when left-leaning voters are highly energized.

President Trump carried Georgia by just five percentage points in 2016, a narrower margin than he enjoyed in traditional battleground states like Ohio and Iowa. And booming communities of black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters in the Atlanta area have put Georgia on track to become a majority-minority state inside of a decade.
Her candidacy will also be a test of whether the extraordinary energy coursing through Democratic politics at the federal level will also flow into state elections. In a special election for Congress in Georgia last year, grass-roots donors helped a political newcomer, Jon Ossoff, raise nearly $30 million in a losing campaign. But there is little precedent for Democrats pouring small dollars into a state election on that scale, and it is unclear whether Ms. Abrams can expect a similar outpouring of support.
Recognizing that opportunity, and facing growing calls for candidate diversity in a party that depends heavily on black voters, several national groups aligned with Democrats have made Ms. Abrams’s campaign a top priority. And African-American activists say they will be watching them to ensure they keep their commitment.
“We need to hold our institutions accountable to investing in black women’s leadership,” said Glynda Carr, who helped found Higher Heights, a group that promotes African-American women in politics.
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Organizations like Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood, which have special clout among women, backed her in the primary even though her opponent was also female.
Several potential presidential candidates have already campaigned with Ms. Abrams and are all but certain to return to her side in the general election. Advisers to Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, the Senate’s two black Democrats, both of whom are considering the 2020 race, said Ms. Abrams’s campaign was a high priority for the fall.
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Supporters of Stacey Abrams for governor at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Ga., on primary night in Georgia. CreditMelissa Golden for The New York Times
Only two African-Americans have been elected governor by voters: L. Douglas Wilder in Virginia in 1989 and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts in 2006 and again in 2010.
What may prove decisive this fall is whether Ms. Abrams — in addition to drawing out voters who typically do not vote in a midterm election — can also win over the sort of white women who have recoiled from Mr. Trump and powered Democratic turnout in a series of special elections and primaries.
To do so, she will have to make inroads that have eluded other Democrats. In Georgia, about seven in 10 white women voted for both Mr. Trump in 2016 and Gov. Nathan Deal, the term-limited incumbent, in 2014, exit polls found. In Georgia’s last election for governor, African-Americans made up about 30 percent of the electorate, and nine in 10 gave their votes to Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee and a grandson of the former president Jimmy Carter.
But nearly two-thirds of voters in 2014 were white, according to exit polls. Mr. Carter lost his race by eight percentage points — and a little more than 200,000 votes — to Mr. Deal. Ms. Abrams will have to drive minority turnout far higher, without losing ground among whites, to avoid Mr. Carter’s fate.
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In other primary races Tuesday, Ms. McGrath in Kentucky displayed another show of force by a Democratic woman in a contested primary. She seized the party’s nomination for a Republican-leaning House seat based in Lexington, defeating Mr. Gray, the city’s popular mayor.

National Democrats had aggressively recruited Mr. Gray to challenge the incumbent there, Representative Andy Barr, viewing Mr. Gray’s stature as a local official and former Senate candidate as assets in the race. But Ms. McGrath had a different and plainly more powerful appeal as a political newcomer, and she entered the race with a splashy online video that dramatized her military career and electrified Democratic activists in Kentucky and beyond.
In Texas, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, a lawyer, defeated Laura Moser, a writer and political progressive, in a Houston-area House runoff that once was seen as a major proxy fight between the Democratic establishment and its left wing.

But after attacking Ms. Moser during the first round of balloting in March — a move that seemed to elevate her candidacy by accident — the House Democratic campaign arm remained silent while still quietly backing Ms. Fletcher. Ms. Moser was then unable to rouse some of the liberal attention she drew in the lead-up to the initial vote.

Elsewhere in Texas, Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran, won the nomination to run in a heavily Hispanic district that stretches from San Antonio far along the state’s southern border. Ms. Jones, who would be the first lesbian to represent Texas in Congress, will face Representative Will Hurd, a Republican who has won a series of difficult elections.
And in a Democratic runoff in the race for governor, Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, defeated Andrew White and will face the Republican incumbent, Greg Abbott, in the fall.
The most prominent race in Arkansas on Tuesday was in the state’s most moderate House district, a Little Rock-based seat that sent Democrats to Congress until 2010. Clarke Tucker, a state representative, defeated a handful of more liberal challengers to win the nomination, avoiding a runoff. He will take on Representative French Hill in November.
In the Republican primary for governor, Asa Hutchinson held off an aggressive conservative challenge from Jan Morgan, a television personality and gun shop owner. Mr. Hutchinson will face Jared Henderson, the Democratic nominee.
Richard Fausset contributed reporting from Atlanta and Michael Tackett from Richmond, Ky.
A version of this article appears in print on May 23, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Governor Race In South Sheds Racial BarriersOrder Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe