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What People are Saying About This
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.
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.
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’.
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.
I am intrigued by the book, particularly the chapter on 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.”
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.
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
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.
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.