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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (download press release)

POSTPONED :::: HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 2007

Shalom/ Salaam

 

Elly, Bernie and Friends,

 

Thanks for the summary of notes from our meeting yesterday (pasted below) I am pleased to forward the same to the members of the World Muslim Congress and Foundation for Pluralism.

 

I am pleased to announce that 2nd Annual Holocaust Remembrance is postponed till next year. The Jewish and the Muslim communities will do it jointly and invite other religious groups to join in. As the Bhagvad Gita puts it,  the whole world is one family. Initially we will be working and developing the concept of Holocaust to include all human suffering. We hope over a period of time, people will be moved enough make a commitment that they will speak up when there is injustice, the least they can do is talk to the people they know.  Justice has got to be for the whole world, what is good for one has got to be good for others.

 

It is our responsibility to cause peace and security for every human being. It is because some one before us has laid out a system that you and I feel secure and at peace living in. We know our kids can go to school and come home safely, we know that our family can go shopping in the remotest place in America and come home fairly safely (with exceptions)... It has to be paid back to have balance in our life. Please join us in our efforts to create a better world for every human.

 

 

Mike Ghouse, President

Foundation for Pluralism

World Muslim Congress

 

December 29, 2006 

To:       The leadership of the World Muslim Congress

From:  Elliott Dlin, Executive Director, Dallas Holocaust Museum

 

Re: Postponing observance of the UN declared commemoration of the Holocaust

 

At a meeting held in my office yesterday with Mike Ghouse and Bernie Mayoff, it was agreed that there is a critical need to offer more and stronger programs that will attract larger numbers of participants for the purpose of educating people about tolerance and understanding. 

 

The UN declared date of January 27 for the commemoration of the Holocaust is a wonderful opportunity to unite a strong coalition of interfaith and international bodies in this community.  This coalition will plan and will offer a series of major events, held each and every year, that will appeal to significant numbers of people and hopefully, will have a profound impact in this region.

 

However, to ensure the success of such an endeavor will require sufficient time to bring together all of the stakeholders, clarify the themes, agree on a focus, plan the events, and publicize them appropriately.  Therefore, we suggest that the first of these events be held in January 2008, with the organizational work beginning immediately.

 

We sincerely hope that the World Muslim Congress will take a major leadership role in bring this vision to fruition.

 

=======================================

Original Press Release

Dallas, Texas. December 23, 2006

The Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress are organizing the 2nd Annual Holocaust remembrance on Sunday, January 28th, 2007.

On this Holocaust remembrance day residents of the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex come together as humans of all affiliations to learn to understand the suffering of The Holocaust; to develop an open mind and an open heart towards each other in the process of healing and repairing the world. 

What

2nd Annual Holocaust Remembrance

When

Sunday, January 28th, 2007 – 4 to 7 PM

Where

Hotel Crowne Plaza, 14315 Midway Road, Addison, TX 75001

Who

Americans of all faiths, races and ethnicities

Refreshments

Provided prior to and after the event

Admission

Complimentary to all attendees

RSVP

Please write “Holocaust” in subject line and send an email to: confirmattendance@gmail.com

Peace is caused by each one of us, just as atrocities are also initiated by individuals.  It is our duty to cause peace, to initiate peace and to work for peace. Each one of us is responsible to create a better world for ourselves and for human kind. We have to work toward the belief that saving one life is like saving the whole of humanity.

In 2006 the United Nations proclaimed January 27th as a Holocaust remembrance day to commemorate the greatest atrocity the world had ever witnessed. In support of that, the Foundation for Pluralism organized an event on Thursday, January 26, 2006 to accommodate the Jewish Sabbath  as January 27 fell on a Friday in 2006.  Information on last year’s event  can be found at  http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_HolocaustDay/HMD2006_ProgramReport.asp

  • Sponsorship is invited for providing refreshments

  • Sponsorship is invited to defray the cost of event

Contact: Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916

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  • Special Thanks to Bernie Mayoff for partnering in making the 2006 event happen
  • Thanks again to Bernie Mayoff for sharing his wisdom for 2007 program
  • Thanks to David Hoffman in partnering in drafting the full length info below.
  • Thanks to Zafar Tabani for helping with the facility at Crowne Plaza Hotel
SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS:
  1. Humanity Check Interfaith Peace & Reconciliation Project -David Hoffman humanitycheck@earthlink.net
  2. Interfaith Encounter Association - www.interfaith-encounter.org - Dr. Yehuda Stolov 
  3. Muslim Community Center for Human Services - Dr. Basheer Ahmed -www.mcc-hs.org 
  4.  

FULL LENGTH PRESS RELEASE ON HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE

The Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress are organizing the 2nd Annual Holocaust remembrance on Sunday, January 28th, 2007.

On this Holocaust remembrance day residents of the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex come together as humans of all affiliations to learn to understand the suffering of The Holocaust; to develop an open mind and an open heart towards each other in the process of healing and repairing the world. 

What

2nd Annual Holocaust Remembrance

When

Sunday, January 28th, 2007 – 4 to 7 PM

Where

Hotel Crowne Plaza, 14315 Midway Road, Addison, TX 75001

Who

Americans of all faiths, races and ethnicities

Refreshments

Provided prior to and after the event

Admission

Complimentary to all attendees

RSVP

Please write “Holocaust” in subject line and send an email to: confirmattendance@gmail.com

Peace is caused by each one of us, just as atrocities are also initiated by individuals.  It is our duty to cause peace, to initiate peace and to work for peace. Each one of us is responsible to create a better world for ourselves and for human kind. We have to work toward the belief that saving one life is like saving the whole of humanity.

In 2006 the United Nations proclaimed January 27th as a Holocaust remembrance day to commemorate the greatest atrocity the world had ever witnessed. In support of that, the Foundation for Pluralism organized an event on Thursday, January 26, 2006 to accommodate the Jewish Sabbath  as January 27 fell on a Friday in 2006.  Information on last year’s event  can be found at  http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Images_HolocaustDay/HMD2006_ProgramReport.asp

We should honor our divine instructions to mourn and honor the suffering of others. The focus of the program is Holocaust, while reflecting upon other atrocities and genocides that humans have inflicted upon other humans.  It will be a day for all of us to reflect upon and promise ourselves "never again" and hope each one of us makes a personal commitment to oneself to speak out against these. 

God is infinite compassionate and merciful, and has blessed each human spirit with a measure of that infinite mercy and compassion.  Although God is immense and humans are minuscule, yet we are taught that God partakes in our very human and personal grief, at the misery we inflict on one another.  Does God want us to embrace and honor those blessings, or to attack and revile one another for "wrongly" interpreting them? 

God has created two dimensions of the world: Physical and Spiritual. He has taken care of the physical part by putting planets, stars, sun, moon, mountains, oceans on a certain trajectory and they are following it obediently for Millions of years.   On the spiritual dimension, God gave us the responsibility to maintain that balance. A balanced World is where every human is on its own trajectory, in its own space safe and secure as each star is, yet operating in harmony.

God has given us the heart and mind to use it to create that balance within oneself and with others surrounding us. However, the safe path for humans is to follow*1, surrender*2, submit*3 (and other similar words in different traditions) and obey his instructions for a balanced life. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and balance emerges.

A Good deed is creating peace,  security and balance for all his creation, Mohammad defines it as something you do that benefits others. Going to Mosque, church, synagogue, temple...is half of the equation that prepares us to finish off the rest - that is doing good things to others to keep that balance in the universe. This is essence of all religions.

The healing and recovery God wants for Humanity can only occur when we each examine our own hearts, our own cultures and our own faith traditions to discern where seeds of prejudice, cruelty and even genocide remain hidden. 

A new tradition is taking roots in Dallas. We are inviting Americans of all faiths, races and ethnicities to join together to reflect upon the persecutions and tragedies humans have endured, and bring about a change, however little we can. The least we can do is to join the people who are making a difference.

Sponsorship is invited.

Contact:

Mike Ghouse, Foundation for Pluralism & World Muslim Congress  

1 – Words of Jesus2* – Words of Krishna and 3* words of Allah


HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE - January 26, 2006

The traditional Jewish commemoration would be held at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas at 2:00 PM on Sunday, April 23, 2006. The event is traditionally known as Yom Ha'Shoah. Please join. More details will be published as we get the information.  It will also be listed on Headlines on the Home page of this website.

  • HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE 2006 - a pictorial presentation - Report   
  • Program Brochure PDF
 Summary of the event
Honored Guests: Rosalie & William Schiff, Holocaust Survivors - Harriet Gross - Imam Zia Shaikh - Len Ellis and Beth Pirtle
Sponsors: Zulfi Ahmed, Nadir Meher Ali, Anjum Anwar, Dr. Nauman Anwar, Shiraz Mithani Badruddin, Shawn Bhagat, Rafi and Shahnaz Farukhi, Dr. Mohammad Khalid, Mohammad Iqbal Shariff, Basit Siddiqui
Video/ Photo Fida Hussain Videography & Aftab Lakhani Photography
Media Coverage Jay of CBS11, Niqhat Qureshi, Imran & Naeem Randhawa of Bridges TV, Dallas Morning News, Texas Jewish Post and several websites including DFW International, Eknazar etc.
Catering Vegetarian and Halal/Kosher refreshments by Denise Mayoff and Najma Ghouse,  Soft drinks and tea by Dr. Farrukh Hamid
Prayer Leaders

Regina Rafraf – Bahá’í, Esther Vasquez – Christian, Swami Nityananda Prabhu – Hindu, Mohamed Eliabiary – Islam, Purveen Shah - Jainism, Leon Levin – Judaism, Sardar Harbhajan Singh – Sikh, Ratan Vakil – Zoroastrian

Organizations About 35 Organizations are listed as participating Organizations, please check the list at Participants on the left hand panel.
Volunteers

Ashar Ahmed, Anjum Anwar, Arvy Gallardo, Jazzie Ghouse, Najma Ghouse, Carli Johnson-Scott, Denise Mayoff, Julie Ann Turner

Program Brochure PDF File
Program as it is  Complete Script with a few pictures of the program as it happened.
Video Clips
  • From Bridges TV
  • From CBS 11
Hosts Bernie Mayoff, Rabbi Robert Haas and Mike Ghouse

The last century witnessed an attempted annihilation of Jewish people because of their faith. 6 Million Jews were massacred in an unprecedented tragedy of human history. The greater tragedy is that whole world stood by and did nothing until after the genocide of a 3rd of the Jewish People.

  • As Einstein had said "The world is too dangerous to live in -- not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen."

  • "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing" Edmund Burke.

  • "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that" Martin Luther King

It is the responsibility of every human, of the civilized society, to protect every soul that God has created. As the holy scriptures of all faiths command " to save one life, it is as if a whole universe is saved" . Today it is you, tomorrow it would be me, if we do not stand up for the just world, and follow the word of our creator,  you and I won't exist tomorrow.

 

My Grandfather constantly reminded us that we must attend at least a funeral a month, no matter whose it is... he said it will make us a better human being, I have always cherished that wisdom.  We hope to commemorate the Holocaust event every year, as it reminds us of our responsibilities towards our fellow beings. It would be an occasion for people of all traditions, faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races to come together and ponder over our responsibilities for a better world.

 

We hope, each one of you would feel a sense of balance in life, and that balance comes from taking the action from actively working for a just society to at least speaking up against injustice. Let's be the beacon to the world that, despite our flaws, we would work for a just world.

 

Please visit the Dallas Holocaust Museum at 211 N. Record Street, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75202. You can visit their website at www.Holocaustmusuem.org

Details of Holocaust event held in January 2006 are listed below

Thank you for being human.

 

Mike Ghouse

 

JANUARY 26, 2006
HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION DAY IN 2006
2006 Commemoration details:
  • Program Brochure - PDF
  • Program Script - PDF
  • Pictures
  • Video Clips from Bridges TV and CBS11 TV
  • All other information is listed on the left panel of this page.
A note from The Foundation for Pluralism

Richardson, Texas, January 27, 2006

We appreciate each one of you who made it to the Holocaust Memorial last night. The goodwill is on the horizon, it is indeed a good beginning that people from different faiths joined in to commemorate the Holocaust Memorial day in Richardson, Texas. The event was attended by Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Baha'i, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Native Indians, Zoroastrians and other traditions along with the Jewish Community.  Mrs. Rosalie Schiff's and her husband William Schiff's  presentation was moving.. when she said, she spoke for 45 minutes, it dawned on us that so much time had passed. Except the occasional clicking of the camera, there was pin drop silence from the attentive and caring audience with an empathetic heart and the soul.

 
The entire script of the program, the program brochure and pictures will be posted. It was also video 'd by CBS Fox 11 and Bridges Cable TV along with our own videographer. We will get all that on the Website. If any one of you likes to share your comments, please send an email, we include them on the Website.
 
Ehud Olmert, the acting Israeli Prime Minister, in a press release yesterday put it succinctly ""I hope that this step will lead to the awareness of the Holocaust being instilled in many publics around the world...". Well said.
 
Mike Ghouse,
 
Israel welcomes International Holocaust Day
Ehud Olmert voiced hope that International Holocaust Day would help fight anti-Semitism.

Israel´s acting prime minister chaired a special Cabinet session at Yad Vashem on Thursday before the U.N.-declared global memorial day.

"From this year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be marked annually in most countries around the world. This is the result of an Israeli initiative that was approved by a great majority of the United Nations General Assembly," Olmert told fellow ministers. "I hope that this step will lead to the awareness of the Holocaust being instilled in many publics around the world, which for years tried to evade the need to deal with the Holocaust in all its aspects. I also hope that this step will lead to a reduction in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, which in recent years, to my regret, we have witnessed with concern."

International Holocaust Day, which was approved last year, is being marked this year for the first time in Israel on Friday. It also is being marked around the world, including at the United Nations.

 

You are invited to participate the Holocaust commemoration at 7:00 PM on

Thursday, January 26th at FunAsia Center in Richardson.

  • Harriet Gross and Texas Jewish Post for the following information: PDF File

  • Mark Macesich of Dallas Morning News on Holocaust event - Dallas NewsPDF

  • Letters to the Editor Dallas Morning News - Letter

  • Please go to the HOLOCAUST TAB of this website for more details.

  • Comments

Time & Day: Thursday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM, January 26, 2005

Place: FunAsia Center, 1210 E. Beltline Road, Richardson, TX 75081 

Directions: From Central Expressway in Richardson, take Beltline Road Aka Main Street ,  Go East For About 4 Miles, Then Across McDonald's You See The Marquis Of FunAsia. If You Cross Plano Road, You Need To Come Back - Www.FunAsia.Net

Contact:

  1. Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1915,

  2. Bernie Mayoff (972) 669-9169,

  3. Rabbi Robert Haas (214) 914-3403

Supported by:  Friends of Pluralism - List will be published in the program book.

Participating Organizations*1: List published below

Admission: Individuals and groups - No fee, just an empathetic soul.

Refreshments*2: Fruits, Veggies, light snacks, soft drinks, coffee and Tea

*1- To list your organization, we need a commitment of at least 5 Members from your organization to attend. They are listed below. 

*2- Will be served at the beginning of the program.

On November 1, 2005, in a resolution co-sponsored by 104 countries, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 as an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day to keep the memory alive in a bid to prevent future acts of genocide.

"The Holocaust also reminds us of the crimes of genocide committed since World War II," Assembly President Jan Eliasson said after the resolution was adopted. "It must, therefore, be a unifying historic warning around which we must rally, not only to recall the grievous crimes committed in human history but also to reaffirm our unfaltering resolve to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.

"We cannot continue to repeat saying 'Never again' – after Cambodia, Rwanda and Srebrenica," he added referring to more recent perpetrations of genocide.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the 'International Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust,' an important reminder of the universal lessons of the Holocaust, "a unique evil which cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten."

The U.N. resolution recalls that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and that disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind; and that the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.  It also calls for actively preserving the sites of the Holocaust, including Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labor camps, and prisons, and to establish a program of outreach and mobilization on Holocaust remembrance and education.

January 27 was selected as the international day of remembrance because on that date in 1945 the Soviet army liberated the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Poland.  That date was already officially recognized as a day of remembrance for Holocaust victims in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.

U.N. Secretary-General Annan said he looked forward "to mobilizing civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help prevent future acts of genocide."

In keeping with the spirit of this international remembrance and to avoid repetition of genocides such as those committed by the Nazi Regime, you are invited to join us for an interfaith, multi-cultural program.  The event is free and open to the public through the generous support of the Foundation for Pluralism and the FunAsia entertainment and banquet facility.  Please note that this program will be held on Thursday, January 26.

Participating Organizations

To list your organization, you have to commit to bring at least 5 members to the event, if you can, please send an email to: Holocaustday@gmail.com

......and when they came for me.

German Pastor Martin Niemöller was a supporter of the Nazis in their earliest days,  By 1934 he recognized that a sinister power was growing and he began to express his dismay.  There were not enough voices like his early enough.  By 1939 he was imprisoned.  He survived the Sachsenhausen concentration camp outide Berlin where 100,000 people died or were murdered in violent “medical: experiments.  He survived the Dachau concentration camp near Munich where camp records list 30,000 people exterminated in death chambers and thousands more dead from ill treatment.  In 1946, following the end of the war, he wrote:

When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List concludes with the Talmudic phrase "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."  While the film tells the story of one courageous man’s efforts to do the right thing in the face immense evil and great personal risk, he was not alone.  Overlooking Jerusalem is a museum and a memorial to those killed in the Holocaust – Yad Vashem.  Yad Vashem memorializes the names of each of those six million souls murdered in the Holocaust, not as anonymous numbers, but as real people who lived and laughed and loved. 

And at Yad Vashem there is a garden lined with trees and another list of names.  This is the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, honoring the names of 20,000 non-Jews who acted according to the most noble principles of humanity and risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust.

The concept of doing the right thing, of being “my brother’s keeper” is not unique to the Hebrew bible, nor even to the Abrahamic faiths.   The Holy Quran asserts “saving one life is like saving the entire mankind” The Holy Bhagvad Gita talks about Vasudeva Kutumbam meaning the whole world is one family…. Other religions have expressed the same concepts  in similar words.  They recognize that, whether you believe in evolution or you believe in creationism, we are all one family.  Well, if we are one family, then why do we kill each other?

There are several justifications and reasons that evil people have used through out the history of mankind for their evil acts.  You can always find one egomaniac and an insecure individual behind these evil acts.

One of the saddest part of this evil is that often good people could stop this evil if they recognize it early enough, if they don’t hide from it, if they don’t close their eyes to it, When good people chose to remain silent in the face of evil it becomes an endorsement for evil.

There were over 12 Million people  murdered in the Second World War. They were a variety of ethnicities,  nationalities and cultures.  It was a crime against humanity done precisely and intentionally., We must condemn  each of these atrocities.  Out of the 12 Million, 6 Million were killed for no reason other than their religion. And that is important for the world to remember. It is the greatest  manmade tragedy in history.  This must never happen again. As human beings we have failed on this time and again.  We have stood by silently when people were murdered simply for their religion or their opinions or their color...

So today we remember the tragedies that happened at places like Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Treblinka, Dachau, Sobibor, Treblinka, Babi Yar and thousands of other places, and the unfathomable hatred behind those tragedies.  And the tragedies that have happened since in places like Cambodia, and Rwanda, and that are happening today in Darfur.

Nobel Laureate Elie Weisel said:  “My good friends – we never try to tell the tale to make people weep. It is too easy. We did not want pity.  If we decided to tell the tale - it is because we wanted the world to be a better world .”

Taken from speech given by Prof. Elie Wiesel at the inauguration of the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem  15/3/2005.

All suggestions are welcome, please send your email to: suggestions@foundationforpluralism.com

INVITATION TO YOUR FRIENDS

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

 

We live in a society where we come in contact with a variety of people and cultures every day.  We might as well live with the least amount of tension between these cultures.  None of us are an Island unto ourselves. 

 

Often what keeps us wary of others is based on "hearsay", "myth" and or "insecurities". There is peace of mind, security and comfort in dispelling the myths and the age old misperceptions and prejudices.  Each one of us has to earn the goodwill of the society we live in. 

 

Please join us for a program in conjunction with the United Nations Holocaust Commemoration Day in memory of those tragic events and what we can learn from them.  The Commemoration will take place at FunAsia, Richardson at 7:00 PM on Thursday, Jan 26, 2006.  Details are at www.FoundationforPluralism.com

 

Kindly bring your friends and if you could please RSVP to Holocaustday@gmail.com .

 

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916

Bernie Mayoff (972) 699-9169

 

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