Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dallas Thanksgiving Celebrations and Awards Night, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson graces the occassion

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas presided over the proceedings of the 16th annual thanksgiving celebrations and awards night on Saturday, November 22, 2014. It is a bridge building event between communities.

We ought to be thankful to Native Americans, who did not put the electric fence around Americas to keep the illegal aliens like Columbus and other Europeans from entering America without a visa.  Today, we are a nation of immigrants, other than the natives; almost all of us are immigrants from one to several generations.
The event was organized by America Together Foundation, World Muslim Congress. And the Foundation for Pluralism, all committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other.

The purpose of celebrating this event was to thank God for guiding us to learn to respect the otherness of others, and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us.  And more importantly it is to familiarize the new immigrants with the festivities.  You’ll be surprised to find that many of them have not even seen the thanksgiving meal and its fixings. It was not a part of their study for citizenship and apparently no one has done this as a public event. 
“Congresswoman Johnson represents the aspiration of fellow Americans; justice and liberty for every American in his or her pursuit of happiness, and she fights for that relentlessly – Is that the kind of congressperson we want?, well here she is.” Mike Ghouse welcomed her amidst a thunderous applause. 

To paraphrase Congresswoman Johnson, “we have made sacrifices to respect the human rights, civil liberties and freedom for our new generations and now they have those rights.   On the map of the world, ours is still the best country.  The immigrant community has always played an important role in the development of US." 
It was a delight to watch the Congresswoman carve the symbolic turkey, and sharing what thanksgiving means to her; to count your blessings.  For many a immigrants it is an introduction to the American way of life and who else can do a better job than the Congresswoman? Through her efforts and against all impediments, she has realized her American dream. 

Chef Ali of Spicy Cuisine in Irving prepared delicious vegetarian and non-veg meals with a fixing of thanksgiving delicacies. 

Congresswoman Johnson presented the awards to four community leaders and delivered a beautiful keynote address on gratitude,while highlighting the need for events like this to bring people together regardless of their political, religious, racial or and social affiliation to build a safe, secure and a cohesive America.

Mike Ghouse, president of the foundation shared the real life stories that exemplify thanksgiving; stories about Appaiah and the hospitality in Saudi Arabia. How each one of us can restore the spiritual balance within and live a productive, meaningful and a purposeful life. The Appaiah story was published in 
Huffington Post Link , and the Saudi story, all pictures, and notes will be

The attendees were represented by people of different faiths, races, political orientations and other uniqueness’s. They cheered on when Mike Ghouse, chair of the event asked. Whether you are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Gay, Lesbian, Black, White, Native, Immigrant, Republican or Democrat, how many of you like to see your Congress person represent you with equal care and consideration? How many of you would like to see your congress person treat you with dignity and respect regardless of who you are?  Well here she is, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.”She delivered a beautiful key note speech about Gratitude. 

The following individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to building bridges in the communities we live – the title conferred upon all of them was “Pluralist” – meaning someone who respects the otherness of others.Every society has heroes – that is men and women who have gone beyond their normal self to serve the communities at large, and it is our responsibility as a society to acknowledge, cherish and honor them.

Here is a brief introduction of the recipients; detail profiles will be available at
Raja Zahid A. Khanzada – a Journalist for his “Commitment to truth in Journalism.” He reports for the top news media conglomerates in Pakistan and has been a catalyst in a process of “forgiveness” of the robbers – where they surrendered their guns in return for acceptance in the society to live and breathe a normal life, and be the contributors of the nation. It is sort of what President Obama is doing with the undocumented aliens, a noble thing to do.  Raja is a relentless pursuer of education with three Master’s degrees and a degree in Homeopathic medical sciences and holds certification from American Alternative Medicine Practitioner Board in practice of alternative medicine.  He amazed everyone when he asked his mother to receive the plaque.


Amina Rab – a community activist and leader for “Building Bridges.” Amina is deeply committed to building bridges between the Muslim community and other communities.  It is not her job, but a passion to build bridges. She 
is the President of the Council on American Islamic Relations- DFW chapter and is the first woman to serve on the North Texas Islamic Council, and is a founding Board member of Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation.   She is a Scientist in the healthcare industry for 20 years.  Amina is an entrepreneur with a home based business, a mother, a grandmother and a community Activist with a passion to promote peace and justice in the world.  
Anne Marie Weiss – a community leader for “Bringing the DFW communities together.”  Anne Marie single handedly started the DFW international in early nineties – she had the vision for making the Dallas/ Fort worth an international Metroplex, even before it was declared as such.  Today, DFW International has become an exemplary institution in America. There is nothing like it.  Where can you find connections to every cultural, religious, social and ethnic group in one place? None in America! She has put Dallas Fort Worth on the world Map. If you see the demographic statistics of nationalities and ethnicities in Dallas, it was her effort.  It is her selfless devotion to the belief that DFW should genuinely reflect its diversity.

Sante Santhanam Chary –is a national figure in “Connecting the World Leaders.” Sante is one of the very few Americans, perhaps the only immigrant who has met, shook hands and shared a message with 7 American Presidents and 8 Indian Presidents/Prime Ministers. 
Sante is continuously forging political and business ties between the United States and India and in September this year, he got the US Senate to pass a resolution creating “2014 U.S.-India Partnership Day” to honor Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
He has set a new world record by collecting over 55 contemporary signatures in solidarity on a USPS issued First Day Envelope with Mahatma Gandhi’s stamp on it. Sante is a healthcare entrepreneur with a focus on physician staffing services to small towns in the US.  He is a graduate of The Harvard Business School and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

We are one nation.

Collectively, we are one nation under God represented by every race, religion, political orientation, nationality, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and culture. Everything that God has created in the universe, we have it here in America. Indeed, we are God’s own country.

As Americans together, we see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. Our organization, America together Foundation is committed to preserve this pluralistic heritage of America.

Most of the problems we have in our nation can be traced to one thing – not knowing and being judgmental about others. Whether it is Ferguson, Homophobia, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Misogyny or whatever evils creep on us, they gain ground because we don’t know each other.

How do we come out of these and create a cohesive nation where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other? At America Together foundation we have plans to bring about this change. 

A full report with speeches and pictures will be published in a week.

Mike Ghouse, President of America Together Foundation
Mike Ghouse 
(214) 325-1916 text/talk
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major newspapers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at and his writings are at and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving interfaith Dinner on Saturday with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

Honorable Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is the guest of honor and key note speaker at the 16th Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Nite on Saturday, November 22, 2014.  During the evening’s celebrations, Congresswoman Johnson will recognize District 30 constituents for their outstanding service to the community followed by the delivery of her keynote address on gratitude.

"The purpose of celebrating this event is to thank God for helping us learn to accept, respect and appreciate each other's uniqueness and thank America for being the beacon of hope to the world” said Mike Ghouse, founder and chairperson of the event.

The purpose of the Annual Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Nite is to:

1. Give thanks for the blessed life we all enjoy in these United States of America, wish and pray the same for those who are less fortunate than us.

2. Celebrate the diversity of God's creation and enjoying the cultural heritage of each ethnic group.

3. Appreciate and recognize outstanding volunteers in each community.

4. Gather together as Immigrant Americans with naturally born Americans in celebrating this wonderful holiday.

5. For many of the immigrants it is an introduction to the American way of life.

Please join us for an interfaith dinner among multicultural attendees, gathered together under the belief that the more we learn about one another, the less misunderstandings are there to be had.   If we can learn to respect others and accept the God given uniqueness of all, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 
Master Chef Ali will prepare a special thanksgiving plate that your taste buds will  cherish. 

Accepted Donations are $20/person or $50/person. You can reserve your place to attend via Eventbrite:
Thanksgiving Celebrations & Awards Dinner

The event will  benefit the America Together Foundation, a 501 (3) (c) non-profit charity committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dallas' thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday, Nov 22, 2104

Let your thanksgiving be a little more meaningful and purposeful this year. If you have been around in Dallas for a while, you would know the "Thanksgiving Celebrations &  Awards Night" a 20 year old tradition we had left off a few years ago. Unlike the large gatherings in the past, we are limiting this to a small gathering of 100 at this time.

Its an evening to appreciate and express our gratitude,  and enjoy the Dinner 
 with people of different faiths, races, and ethnicities with a belief that the more we learn about each other, the less misunderstandings we would have.   If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.  

The event is to benefit America Together Foundation, a non-profit charity committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

Master Chef Ali will prepare a special thanksgiving plate that you'll cherish it. Ali is my favorite Chef for 20 plus years in Dallas. You'll enjoy the food.

  • Event: Thanksgiving Dinner 
  • Saturday, November 22, 2014
  • Dinner Theme: Gratitude
  • 07:30 -09:30 Dinner
  • 09:30 - 11:45 Poetry Session in Urdu, Hindi and English languages
  • Place: Spicy Cuisine, Restaurant,
  • Address: 1800 Valley View Ln, Irving, TX 75061
For those who speak Urdu and Hindi languages, a poetry session will be carried out after the dinner.

It is a must to give a head count to the Chef.

 Please order your table or individual place at Eventbrite:

Sponsorships:  Table of 10 $500 or $1000 | Individual donations $20/$50
It's a non-profit org
 They are tax deductible under Non-profit Organization 501 (3) (c) - America Together Foundation. 

  Thank you
Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Texas Faith: How should we incorporate faith into a secular political world?

True Secularism or true religious government is not about forcing others into obedience, but facilitating freedom to live his or her life as one chooses. However, the radicals in all systems bring a bad name to their respective group. Radical Secularism infringes on freedom of the religious people, just as radical religion does to non-religious people. 

The history of Soviet Union and China has left a bad taste for generations to come; they forced Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhist, and others to abandon practicing their faiths. It is like forcing someone not to love his mother. The resentment it created has permeated throughout the world and has earned a negative connotation of being a Godless government.  

On the other hand, the radicals calling themselves ISIS wants to force people to become Muslims. I have recommended the administration to give them warning to back off, surrender or go ahead and destroy them to prevent further deaths of Christians, Yazidis and other Muslims.   In India the newly emerged government has remained silent while radical Hindus are hell bent on reconverting Christians back to Hinduism, this needs to stop. We in the United States needs to drop the hatred for the same sex marriages, and restrictions placed on women about their bodies, we should and not infringe on the liberties of others. The Rabbis and the Ministers in Israel need to be slapped for telling their congregants to kill the Palestinian Mothers, and the Buddhist Monks need to be poisoned for goading and killing non-Buddhists in Burma.  Even though these are done by the radicals and not the mainstream majority, the religions get a bad name because of these radicals. 

Ideally every human should be free to breathe, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever the hell one wants to. I hope we all work for such societies, the least we can do is see the value in such societies where every one minds his or her own business.

Mike Ghouse

Texas Faith: How should we incorporate faith into a secular political world?
By Rudolph Bush 
11:53 am on November 5, 2014 | Permalink

The writer Karen Armstrong recently noted that it was through bitter experience the west learned to separate the state from religion and wonders why Muslims have “found it impossible to arrive at this logical solution to their current problems.”
“Why do they cling with perverse obstinacy to the obviously bad idea of theocracy? Why, in short, have they been unable to enter the modern world?”
We’ve all asked these questions so often. If only these extremists would lay down their arms and embrace plural, diverse societies, they would see the benefit.
But as Armstrong so clearly writes, the path to our sort of secular and plural society, where we try to divide politics and religion, has been anything but bloodless.
“If some Muslims today fight shy of secularism, it is not because they have been brainwashed by their faith but because they have often experienced efforts at secularisation in a particularly virulent form. Many regard the west’s devotion to the separation of religion and politics as incompatible with admired western ideals such as democracy and freedom.”
Acknowledging this past is important, even if it is unlikely to impress fanatics and extremists.
Perhaps more helpful questions for us are these: how do we, as people practicing and preserving our faiths, segregate the political from the spiritual in our own lives? What lessons can we offer those who want their faith to infuse all elements of their lives and are skeptical of a society and political system that calls for secularism? Are we fooling ourselves that we can have both? Are we cheating one aspect of our lives, spiritual or civic, to serve the other?
Our panelists respond on the jump.
MIKE GHOUSE: President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
Karen Armstrong, in her thought provoking essay, ‘Myth of religious violence’ takes us through a journey of governance and alignment of people from religious to multi-religious to secular in several avatars, it is also a history of the rights of minorities in relation to the majorities. I was hoping she would pave the way for yet another form of governance; Pluralism, which can address some of the questions we are facing today, instead she abruptly ends, perhaps for the reader to take the next step.
Mr. Rudy Bush has picked where she left, and I am pleased to do my share of work towards answering the questions.
I have been working on the idea of pluralism in governance, religion, society, food, gender, politics, culture, race and other aspects of life. I have put in solid 20 years of research work into this, thank God, Pluralism runs in my veins now.
Pluralism is definable as “respecting the otherness of others”. Indeed, if we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge for a smoothly functional cohesive society.
What lessons can we offer those who want their faith to infuse all elements of their lives and are skeptical of a society and political system that calls for secularism?
Radical Secularism infringes on freedom of the religious people, just as radical religion does to non-religious people. The history of Soviet Union and China has left a bad taste for generations to come; they forced Christians, Jews, Buddhist, Muslims and others to abandon practicing their faiths. It is like forcing someone not to love his mother. The resentment it created has permeated throughout the world and has earned a negative connotation of being a Godless government.
There are historic models of pluralistic governance that can be studied. The one practiced by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was the first its kind in human history. Four religions were practiced simultaneously in the same town without violating each other’s rights. He was the head of the State and initiated the Madinah treaty to protect religious freedom of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Pagans and possibly Zoroastrians. Each tradition was to have its own rules to abide by within the larger context of the state, everyone was free to practice his or her religion, and he called the others “People of the book” to create an inclusive mindset among the people. It’s a shame that some of Muslim nations have abandoned it.
The Second example is that of India, a Hindu majority nation. Even though it is labeled a Secular Democracy, it has always been a pluralistic democracy. There is a common criminal code for all citizens, but in matters of faith and civic affairs, each one follows his own religious traditions. It has worked beautifully for nearly 60 years, and I am skeptical of its continuance with Hindu radicalism on rise. A lot of healing is needed to fully restore the Pluralistic ethos.
The third example is that of Indonesia, a Muslim majority nation with a duly elected Christian President, and they now have a raging debate about electing a Christian governor for Jakarta province. I am sure they will honor their pluralistic constitution called Pancasila based on Madinah treaty.
The United States has been a pioneer in every aspect of human life. Our constitution guarantees liberty to every individual; however we are evolving in our declaration that all men are created equal. We have to take pride in our form of governance, which is becoming pluralistic every day.
Pluralism is nothing but an attitude of live and let live, and it is applicable in every aspect of life including culture, society, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, food, ethnicity, race and other uniqueness’s.
You practice your faith and I will not meddle with yours, as in the case of contraceptives for Catholics or Mormons, or do not force the church to give access to the transgender identity to their rest rooms, instead build separate for them and preserve each human with his or her dignity.
Pluralism in governance looks at the criminal as an Individual and not a Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu. We are not fooling ourselves, we can have both and we would not be cheating one aspect of life over the other.
You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don’t mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well. If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the 318 Million of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
HOWARD S. COHEN, Lecturer in Jewish/Christian Relations and member of Congregation Shearith Israel and Congregation Beth Torah, Dallas
I know it is “politically incorrect” in this neighborhood to support the secularist thinkers who claim that religion itself has been the greatest force for destruction and mayhem in western history; nevertheless, their argument cannot be ignored. The religious insistence that the believer has the absolute truth about the will of God and how devotion to that truth needs to be demonstrated by word and deed continues to be the source of tyrannical, imperialist, and dictatorial repression responsible for so much suffering in history. Intolerance seems to be the natural corollary of any religion that claims to have the universal answers about God and claims “absolute truth,” as if any human being could actually know the Unknowable or have a handle on absolute truth.
Armstrong is right in reminding us that secularism – which decries beheadings, honor killings, and death for converts -has only been with us for the last 300 years in the post-enlightenment west and with a spotty record, at that. On the other hand, that observation does not ease our reaction to the actions of the small number of Muslim terrorist extremists (thousands of Muslims out of 1.5 billion) that fill our news reports. No one wants to wait 300 years for them to catch up.
Like Odysseus choosing between Scylla and Charybdis, it is conventional wisdom today to assume that we must decide between religion and secularism, bifurcating our lives according to our chosen priorities. But there’s a third option.
George Washington declared in his 1796 Farewell Address that “of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Yet he also believed that “the liberty enjoyed by the people of these States, worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their consciences, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.”
Thomas Jefferson believed that “no nation has yet existed or been governed without religion,” yet he articulated and defended “a wall of separation between Church and State.” If our Founders could envision a free church in a free state, why do other civilizations struggle to embrace a similar ethos?
Here’s one reason. With all due respect to Karen Armstrong, one of our greatest scholars of world religions, we must not overlook genuine worldview differences among the various faiths. The Qur’an prescribes an entire system of governance, complete with dietary restrictions and economic regulations. The Hebrew Bible does the same. Many who follow their teachings most fervently therefore believe that they can allow for no “secular” state outside their “spiritual” authority.
WILLIAM McKENZIE: a co-founder of the Texas Faith blog, is editorial director at the George W. Bush Institute.
I would argue this issue the other way around: Religion and politics do mix. In fact, they inevitably mix. Religion and politics are both about values, so it is only natural they will be in the same arena. In modern times, the clearest example – and most important one – is the way in which black churches and their leaders gave birth to the civil rights movement.
If they had kept their religion separate from their politics, the country never would have had this major breakthrough. Put another way, if African-American churchgoers had only adhered to personal piety, and not tried to seek justice in the larger social realm, America would have not moved forward.
There have been many other examples of people of faith acting in the political arena because of their religion. The Moral Majority gave voice to many Americans who were concerned about a cultural drift within the nation. At heart, this was a response framed by religious views.
Of course, what we want is a healthy dose of respect and tolerance to go with the mixture of religion and politics. That is what keeps people from different persuasions from tearing each other apart.
We also have been blessed in this country by the figurative line between church and state. That distinction has helped both religion and politics in America. There is more freedom in each domain because we have no official merging of church and state.
Yet I don’t see how religion and politics – or spiritual lives and the social realm – can ever be kept separate. Not when they each involve how we translate values like justice and mercy into the course of our lives together.

To Read the views of other panelists, please go to Dallas Morning News at:

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at and his writings are at and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Guru Nanank's 545th birthday Celebrations - Happy Gurpurab

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh

It's the 545th  birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism. Let's pray that this Gurpurab nurtures goodwill and removes ill-will between people of all faiths. That would be the highest tribute we can pay to the Guruji, indeed that was one of his missions for people to live in harmony with each other.
Guru Nanakji's birthday has a special significance to me. Indeed, the religion we called Sikhism started out as an interfaith movement, in which Guru Nanak primarily brought people from different religions together and taught common sense goodness, serving humanity and caring for the neighbors.
On this auspicious day of Guru Nanak Devji's birthday, on behalf of World Muslim Congress and the Foundation for Pluralism, we wish peace and blessing to the world.
As a Pluralist, I have been writing about the  "Festivals of the world" for the last twenty years, I write the essence of every major Festival of every religion and a message to go with it for the common man of other faiths to get a gist of it and a special message on the occasion.

Last month, I wrote an article on Gandhi's birth celebrations - the best tribute to Gandhi; do not poison your children at  and also wrote a message about the Sikh Genocides, Muharram, Diwali, Rosh Hashanah and other festivities and commemorations.
This Month, I hope to contribute my message is dedicated to ease the relationship between Sikhs and Muslims, the discomfort is not on the surface, but lurking deep inside their psyche's, perhaps not with the 2nd generation after independence.
Guru Nanak Jayanthi is the birth celebration of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, and one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism.
The festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus. These Gurus were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhs. Their birthdays, known as Gurpurabs, are occasions for celebration and prayer among the Sikhs.
The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of guidance in poetry composed by Hindu and Muslim spiritual teachers. Indeed, the land for the Golden Temple was a grant by King Akbar and the first brick for the Golden Temple was laid out by a Muslim fakir.

Happy Gurpurab to all the Sikhs and to everyone who is a well-wisher of the ideals of Sikhism. I hope, on this auspicious occasion of Gurpurab, that Muslims and Sikhs make a genuine effort to pay tribute to the spirit of Guru Nanak Devji and remove the misunderstandings that erupted from a wrong translation of Quran that happened 350 years ago and has rightfully etched in the psyche of Sikhs.
In an article in The Huffington Post about Kentucky Senator David William's bigotry expressed against Hindus,  I wrote, "No one has a right to belittle other's faiths. If Senator Williams has a problem let it be his problem and no one should malign Christianity for his bigotry." Likewise, King Aurangzeb's bigotry should not be slapped on Muslims. I have nothing to do with it, nor does any Muslim has anything to do with him.
Sadly there was a lot of bloodshed during the partition of India that has deepened the ill-will among a few Muslims and a few Sikhs. It is time to forgive for our own sake, as it will release the tension and apprehension within us and free us to deal with each other as free individuals.
May the noor (divine light) of Guru Nanankji brighten the world. Amen! Sikhism was one of the first formal religions that began as a reconciliatory goodwill nurturing faith and let's give the full value to it.
I just want to share a great misunderstanding that occurred in the 17th century and has lasted till this day.

I was a speaker on "reading the scriptures" at the Parliament of World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia. During the conference, one of the Sikh scholars was presenting a verse from Quran that has been difficult for Sikhs for more than 350 years. When Dr. Avtar Dhaliwal started his presentation with the obviously wrong translation of a verse from Quran, a fellow Muslim was outraged and walked out and was looking at me for a response. Later, I invited him back into the hall and responded to the mistranslation during my presentation and not during Dr. Dhaliwal's presentation. That is a whole another story, but for now, I will share the email that followed the conversation.
Here is note from a leader from the Sikh Community, who is making every effort to set the record right. We must appreciate all such efforts where people have made a difference in creating a better world for all of us.
Avtar Dhaliwal, July 27, 2010
Dear Mike,
Greetings. I hope by now you are well recovered from the exhausting Parliament meeting in Melbourne, Australia.
I am working on my article on Sacred Scriptures and its Intended use--misinterpretations.
Apparently, during my presentation, I did not apply the qualified translation which resulted in misunderstanding By our friend from Bombay. I apologize for not gathering my information correctly. I had applied the translation that was posted on the Internet by 'Quran'. I have no intension of denigrating any sacred books.
You had mentioned that correct translation is available for Surah 15:26-30. However, a Sabd by Guru Nanak Ji had been misinterpreted by the Clerks in the court of Aurangzeb, and the same interpretation has been copied in Sikh literature for the last 350 years.
I am trying to get the correct explication of the misinterpreted Sabd in Sikhism. In reference to that I need correct translation of Surah 15:26-30.
Will you please, send the correct translation in the English language as well as in the Urdu language.
Thanks for time.
Wishing the best.
Avtar S. Dhaliwal
Tennessee, USA
Here was my response. It is lengthy but worthwhile in removing 350 years of ill-will carried in our hearts.
Apparently the verses from 15:24-30 were mistranslated to suit one group over the other as the note below indicates. I will add a note after hearing from Mr. Dhaliwal.
Thank God, no one had dared to make a change in the Arabic version of Quran since its inception, however there have been three mistranslations, two of which I am familiar with, one was paid to mistranslate in 1142 AD by the European Kings around the crusades times to have the Christians hate Muslims; the other one was by Hilali Khan in 1922 after the fall of Ottoman Empire to rally up Muslim support by creating enemies out of Jews and Christians. I am not familiar with the third one, apparently during King Aurangzeb's time. Aurangzeb was an honest man, but was an intolerant fanatic towards Hindus and apparently Sikhs.
Quran, like all other holy books is a book of guidance for humanity to co-exist in harmony and peace, the religious scriptures are God's love for his creation. Just as the Nuclear power in the hands of good men and women can be beneficent to humanity and destructive in the wrong hands, the holy books are the same. Neither Quran, nor Nuclear powers are bad, it is whose hands in it is that determine the outcome. Fortunately, the intolerants ones are less than 1/10th of 1% of the population.
The best way to understand a verse is to read five verses before and after, and read at least three translations to get the right meaning. Finding the truth is one's own responsibility.
15:24 (Asad) and well do We know [the hearts and deeds of all human beings - both] those who lived before you and those who will come after you; (Or: "those of you who hasten forward [towards Us], and those who lag behind". Both these interpretations are considered equally legitimate by the early commentators)
15:25 (Asad) and, behold, it is thy Sustainer who will gather them all together [on Judgment Day]: verily, He is wise, all-knowing!
15:26 (Asad) AND, INDEED, We have created man out of sounding clay, out of dark-slime transmuted
There are many references in the Quran to man's having been "created out of clay (tin)" or "out of dust (turab)", both these terms signifying man's lowly biological origins as well as the fact that his body is composed of various organic and inorganic substances existing-in other combinations or in their elementary forms-on or in the earth. The term salsal, occurring in three verses of this surah as well as in 55:14, adds a further dimension to this concept. According to most of the philological authorities, it denotes "dried clay that emits a sound" (i.e., when it is struck); and since it is used in the Quran exclusively with reference to the creation of man, it seems to contain an allusion to the power of articulate speech which distinguishes man from all other animal species, as well as to the brittleness of his existence (cf. the expression "like pottery" in 55:14). As the construction of the sentence shows, this salsal is stated to have evolved (Razi) out of hama' - which, according to some authorities, is the plural of ham'ah, signifying "dark, fetid mud" or "dark slime"-while the participial adjective masnun which qualifies this noun denotes, as Razi points out, both "altered" (i.e., in its composition) and "brought into shape": hence my rendering of this expression as "transmuted", which to some extent combines both of the above meanings. To my mind, we have here a description of the primeval biological environment out of which the "sounding clay" - the matrix, as it were - of man's physical body has evolved in accordance with God's plan of creation. (Quran 15:26 )
15:27 (Asad) whereas the invisible beings We had created, [long] before that, out of the fire of scorching winds
"out of the confusing flame of fire (marij min nar)": i.e., of non-corporeal elements. The noun al-jann, rendered by me as "the invisible beings", is in reality a singular, denoting here the kind of these particular beings or forces, similar to the use of the singular noun "man" (al-insan) which describes the collective entity "mankind".
15:28 (Asad) And lo! Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to create mortal man out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted;
15:29 (Asad) and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down before him in prostration!
The allegorical character of all the passages bearing on the creation of man and on God's command to the angels to prostrate themselves before him is brought out clearly in God's saying, "I am about to create mortal man ... ; and when I have formed him fully. ..", etc.: for it is obvious that, in reality, no lapse of time is required for God's completing His creation - since, "when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, 'Be'-and it is" (cf. 2:117, 3:47 and 59, 6:73, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82 and 40:68). God's "breathing of His spirit" into man is obviously a metaphor for His endowing him with life and consciousness: that is, with a soul. (Quran 15:29 )
There are several references where God tells the angels to bow to the man he has just created. In essence, God is asking to look up to man who is not an automatic machine to be in peace and free from conflicts, but has the free will and will strive to achieve peace, a state of conflict free, guilt free life.
15:30 (Asad) Thereupon the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together,
15:31 (Asad) save Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.
15:32 (Asad) Said He: "O Iblis! What is thy reason for not being among those who have prostrated themselves?"
15:33 (Asad) [Iblis] replied: "It is not for me to prostrate myself before mortal man whom Thou hast created out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted!" 
This signifies lack of trust in God by Iblis (Shaitaan) and arrogance to bow in front of a thinking and independent creature. 
15:34 (Asad) Said He: "Go forth, then, from this [angelic state]: for, behold, thou art [henceforth] accursed.
Dr. Harbans Lal and Mike Ghouse

To honor Guru Nanak ji, on the 445th birth celebrations, let's all make an effort to open our hearts to each other, and work on reconciliation between Hindu and Muslims, the conflicts are not gone, they have to be addressed and understood and new beginning has to be given.  I hope the above is a good step forward.

I am pleased to be a part of every faith group and here are some of the many  photo albums with the Sikh community.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh
This article was published at Huffington Post a few years ago. Mike Ghouse is committed to build a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is indexed at