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Friday, April 21, 2006

Dalai Lama defending Islam

1. Organizers seek to help Islam's image - Mercury News
2. Dalai Lama de-links religion from terror - Al Jazeerah
3. The fifth Commandment of Pluralism

Islam is indeed an all inclusive faith and is universal. Islam is
as natural as you and I are... to get along with others, respect others,
not create a mess for other people or mess for our own people.
Islam is live and let live. Islam is easy to live and is simply peace.
The presence of a Muslim ought to give a sense of peace to the
other person and not frighten, at this time unfortunately it is not.
Insha Allah we have to regain our status to pre-1971 respect.
We just need for the silent people to speak up. We will have
a forum for you to do that.

Thanks to Dalai Lama for stating what he stated. While more than
95% of Muslims appreciate this gesture and most likely to reciprocate,
a few will always go berserk, shouting 'invention'. They simply do not
represent the sentiments of Muslims or the values of Islam. What
Dalai Lama has stated is the 5th commandment of pluralism below.

Let's care for the 95% of Muslims and
pray for that 0.001% who are difficult, and
pray for the 4.999% who are indifferent.

We will be assigning the research task to an university soon
and it will be done by a non-Muslim for authenticity. I am
certain about the numbers, but let's wait for the truth.

Respecting other religions does not mean denigrating our own
and to study other faiths does not mean disloyalty either. A
column on the issue is underway, and hope people can value
the value pluralism adds to Islam and every faith. We have
got to honor every faith and give them full value of divinity.

Insha Allah, on our own, in our writings and notes, lets commit
not to use any pre-fix or suffix like Terrorism to the beautiful
name of Islam and Muslim. That would be a good start.

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Mohamed Ghouse
_www.WorldMuslimAgenda.com_ (http://www.worldmuslimagenda.com/) - coming
soon.

Dalai Lama promotes harmony of religions
ORGANIZERS SEEK TO HELP ISLAM'S IMAGE

By Kim Vo
Mercury News

The Dalai Lama proclaimed himself a ``defender of Muslim teachings''
Saturday during a groundbreaking interfaith conference in San Francisco.

Though the conference was intended to start a religious peace movement, it
also served to publicly align Muslims with the Dalai Lama, considered by many
the incarnation of divine compassion whose iconic image has become an
international symbol of peace.

Representatives from the world's major religions -- Christianity, Judaism,
Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and American Indian traditions -- came from as far
away as Egypt, some with just two weeks' notice.
Organizers hoped that the Dalai Lama's support would help mend Islam's
reputation in the West. The religion's image has been battered by world events
including the attacks of Sept. 11, the subsequent war in Iraq and the riots
following Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, including one showing
him wearing a bomb in his turban.

``He has a lot of energy in the United States. People like him, respect
him,'' said Imam Seyed Mehdi Khorasani, who invited the Nobel peace laureate to
the two-day conference after befriending him in September. ``Why should we not
use him for our cause?''

In Western society, Buddhism probably has the best public image because of
its association with peace, said Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, founder of the Zaytuna
Institute. Islam, he said, has the worst, because people have linked it with
violence.

Yusuf cited recent polls showing more than 40 percent of Americans had
negative views of Islam. A Washington Post/ABC News poll last month found that
nearly 60 percent of those polled thought there were more violent extremists
within Islam than other religions.

Followers want to change those perceptions, noting that they too are part of
the Abrahamic faiths. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last in a line of
prophets that include Moses and Jesus.
``Ordinary people have these great misconceptions, which fuels more
extremism,'' Yusuf said to reporters, noting that the current tensions were
``untenable.''

``You better change perceptions,'' he said. ``Not to reach extremists like
bin Laden -- I don't think we'll reach him with the Dalai Lama, to be honest
with you.''
Speakers at the private event, held at the Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill,
said people must emphasize the commonalities among religions -- love, justice,
compassion, charity -- instead of the divisions.

``Their suffering is my suffering; their joy is my joy. This is the attitude
we should strive for,'' said Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a nun with the Vedanta
Society of Southern California. ``They are not a Hindu, not a Muslim, not a
Buddhist. They are our own people, they are our brothers and sisters.''
The divine is too great for human minds to fully comprehend, the Dalai Lama
said. So people understand it in different ways -- as Buddhists, as Muslims,
as Jews, as Christians, as Hindus. In ancient times, different cultures were
isolated so differences mattered little, he said. But with globalization,
people must learn to work together since the ``whole world is becoming one
entity, one community.''

There are problems, such as suicide bombers, he admitted, but such
``mischievous people'' exist in every faith.

``Muslim tradition, like others, also deserves respect,'' said the Dalai
Lama, noting that Muslims and Buddhists had co-existed peacefully in Tibet for
four centuries.

His words heartened Ingrid Mattson, a professor of Islamic Studies at the
Hartford Seminary in Connecticut who was among the more than 500 people in
attendance Saturday.
``It was such a wonderful act of generosity,'' she said. ``Muslims in
America are feeling so isolated and alone and we're always on the defensive. This
act of solidarity and compassion -- it gives me so much hope and courage to
feel I can go forward and not feel alone.''

Samina Sundas of Palo Alto agreed with the Dalai Lama's advice not to simply
talk about getting along, but also to put action behind it.

``What we need to do is take this to the living room of every American,''
said Sundas, who is Muslim and holds an open house every year. Last year, 265
people came.
``When you bring people face to face, when you have eye contact,'' she said,
``it's hard to call them `terrorists.' ''
She hoped the Dalai Lama's actions would inspire more prominent people to
defend Islam.
``I would like the pope to come next,'' she said.


____________________________________
Contact Kim Vo at _kvo@mercurynews.com_ (mailto:kvo@mercurynews.com) or
(408) 920-5719.


Dalai Lama delinks religion from terror
_http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C8EE0396-F665-4B1A-95B4-D5371025C628.h
tm
_
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C8EE0396-F665-4B1A-95B4-D5371025C628.htm)
Sunday 16 April 2006, 8:50 Makka Time, 5:50 GMT
The spiritual leader regretted the skewed perception of Islam
Related:
_Tibetans vote for government in exile_
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F20C4560-4248-423E-825A-2BB3F61A76FE.htm) _Dalai Lama wants to visit
China _
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/EB7812A2-C07A-4259-A4C4-037879A68ECD.htm) _Dalai Lama: Abu Ghraib abuse shocking_
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BDBE2FB6-07E5-4F87-B6E4-ACF8CF1B4F19.htm)

The Dalai Lama has defended Islam at an historic religious gathering in San
Francisco, saying suicide bombings were tragic "mischief" that could plague
any religion.
The Dalai Lama took centre stage on Saturday at an anti-terror summit with
Muslim clerics and other religious leaders from around the world.
Tibet's spiritual leader came in response to a prominent California imam's
invitation to help form a "United Nations of Religion" devoted to countering
extremist violence.
Imam Seyed Mehdi Khorasani said the idea came after he met Dalai Lama Tenzin
Gyatso in the US state of Idaho late last year.
Religious leaders and scholars from approximately 30 countries were brought
to San Francisco, which Khorasani said was selected because it was where the
United Nations was founded.
Organisers heralded the assembly as the establishment of a multi-religious
body that will work to quell violence and promote harmony between people of
different faiths.
The Dalai Lama said: "Nowadays, to some people, the Muslim tradition appears
more militant. I feel that's totally wrong. Muslim, like any other
tradition, is the practice of compassion."
He said suicide bombings and other violence by extremists have unfairly
skewed the world's perception of Islam.
"Such mischievous people are not just in the Muslim community, but among the
Hindus, the Christians, the Buddhists. In any community, a few mischievous
people are always there."
Unity urged
The Dalai Lama urged the leaders of all faiths to stand together on their
common ground to defend Islam and promote the ideal of respecting the faiths of
individuals while embracing religious diversity in communities.
He said: "In some respects, I am one of the defenders of Muslim tradition.
If one believer, one tradition, is getting criticism, we have to act.
"I feel, this moment, we Buddhists and other traditions must come together."

THE SEVEN COMANDMENTS OF PLURALISM
1. We shall not ridicule anyone that God has created. It amounts to
ridiculing the creator God himself, herself or itself.
5. We shall not blame any religion or a group for the acts of the
individuals just because they belong to that faith or group. Letâ?Ts learn to
differentiate the wrong doers from the religion, while appreciate the goodness of each
religion.
for 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 - log on to:
_http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/index_Commandments.asp_

Every religion frees us from the negative engagements. When we truly believe
in the ultimate oneness of God and the ultimate oneness of mankind, we have
accepted Godâ?Ts greatness and parity of human beings.
If you wish to learn more about pluralism, log on to:
_www.FoundationforPluralism.com_ (http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/)

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