Interfaith sensitivity about Jews.

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Interfaith sensitivity about Jews |   

The story I am about to share is the very reason I write, speak and broadcast the knowledge about interfaith, in particular “Festivals and commemorations of the world”

In 2011, one of my Christian friends Kristen was on my team to invite people to attend the “Holocaust and Genocides” event – I am blessed to be first Muslim in the world who regularly commemorates the event to develop understanding between people of different faiths, races and ethnicities. More at

Kristen lived in a Jewish neighborhood and grew up with many Jewish friends. When I called her up for updates, she was disappointed with the response she was getting, but I encouraged her to continue, as it is a difficult event to attend.

The following weekend, there was an art exhibit by a Russian artist and about 150 people came to the event, Kristen was there and was excited to call on her Jewish friends to attend the event, she came back disappointed for the silent stares she was getting.  She asked me to join her to invite another couple down in the corner sipping wine.

So here it goes, Kristen introduces me, “Rosie, this is Mike, and we are here to invite you to a celebration of the Jewish Holocaust event…” Literally, I fell off my chair, I had to cut her in, sorry Rosie, it is a Holocaust Memorial event, and it is a reflection on the cruelties within each one of us and how to put it off and learn to say Never again.  It is a somber event….’ There was a relief on the face of Rosie and her husband.  We carried the conversation forward and they did join us along with a few other friends.

Like Kristen most of us make the mistake, whenever there is a gathering of people, we associate it with celebration.  To understand this, it is like inviting a friend, “Please join me at the funeral home, and they are celebrating the death of our friend Mike, who passed away yesterday,” Personally, that is what I would want to happen upon my death, but most people including my wife, my kids and grand kids may not appreciate it.

There are three public events that I know, mind you, these are not celebrations – Holocaust commemoration (Jewish), Ashura /Muharram (Muslims) and the big one, Memorial Day, end of May. Please do not wish a happy…….. You can probably say I am sorry to hear the _____ Memorial event is coming up, I am with you, or my prayers are with you… or some such thing to show support.  I suggest you to visit the Holocaust Museum or attend our event in 2017 to learn about these.

As time permits, I will share different stories.

This is the first time in 10 years that I have not organized the Holocaust and Genocides commemoration event, it’s a difficult event for many to attend, yet an average of 300 brave souls have made it each time.  As a Muslim, why do I commemorate? The answer is in this article at Huffington Post called Holocaust and the Muslim Guy. (

Why is it important to know about our neighbors and people of other faiths, races and traditions?  I let you imagine it and urge you to think about it, and if you are tempted write, please share it. I will publish it at www.interfaithspeaker.comand

“Festivals of the World” is an educational series published by Mike Ghouse since 1993. When we live in the same communities as neighbors, we might as well learn about each other. The best way to build cohesive societies is for its members to participate in festivities as well as commemorations of each other, or at least understand each other’s’ joys and sorrows. Please note the simplicity in writing is designed for people of other faiths to learn and to know, so we can function cohesively.  This is too elementary for the followers of the faith, but informational to those who are not aware of the tradition.

Since 1994, I am blessed to have published essence of many, but not all festivals, as the time has permitted.  You are welcome to plug the name of the festival with my name in the Google search, more than likely, you will find information on major festivals and commemorations.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at for his writings at and several blogs listed there in. 

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