Hate Sermons from the Pulpit
By Mike Ghouse, May 2, 2007
It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully
guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting
the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate
and work on mitigating it. We have an obligation to maintain a balance in the
We lose that balance and that elusive equilibrium is if we let hate mongers,
hate sermons and hate lectures creep in our societies.
The Muslims have been diligently cleaning up the hate sermons from happening in
their communities in the United States and Canada. I can recall one incident
last year in Canada where one such alleged hate monger Yaseen Sheikh was not
allowed to land in Canada and was sent right back to his home; The United
Kingdom. The Muslims are making serious efforts to prevent radical preachers
from making any speeches in their communities and their Mosques. I am sure some
one slips by here and there, but the vigil is there and the guard is on. Islam
is about bringing a balance to the society, and American Muslims are vigorously
fighting to prevent the Mosque pulpit to ever go into the hands of hate
Hate peddling is unfortunately human, and doesn’t necessarily have anything to
do with religion, any religion.
As all the religions teach to overcome hate, here are some quotes about doing
Bahai: Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you,
and desire not for any one the things ye would not desire for yourselves.
Writings of Baha'u'llah
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Udana-Varga 5, 1
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye so
to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:1
Confucianism: Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there
will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have
them do unto you. Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which
he desires for himself. Sunnah
Jain: "Living beings (souls) render services to one another" or in short "Live
and let live."
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire
Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Sikh: All humans are same and so we should treat them all the same – Guru Gobind
Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your gain, and your neighbor's loss as
your own loss. Tai Shang Kan Yin P'ien
Wicca: Harm None
Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another
whatsoever is not good for itself. Dadisten-I-dinik, 94, 5
As we pledge one nation under God with liberty and justice for all, we have to
look into each other and look at ourselves, and lift ourselves up from the hate
pit and come together on a level playing field of goodwill and generosity.
The business side of faith has thrived on ridiculing others faiths and
manufacturing a devil out of thin air. There is a misplaced spirituality in
operation; our faith is the best, because others aren’t. Wow, what logic!
Arrogance and Spirituality are inversely proportional; one cannot be religious
when there is an element of arrogance in it. Other faiths don’t have to be bad
for mine to be good. My little daughter says if there is no negative selling how
would the business of Church survive? How would you grow congregations and the
monies that come with it? Shamefully hate and fear binds the people, even though
much of it is manufactured. Who has the time to question? A majority of us do
not really hate anyone, nor do we care for those sermons, we go there as a
social event and often honoring the courtesy of invitation. However, the
extremists among us cash on it, they know what binds us.
It is the human weakness that allows the propagation of hate, and we shamelessly
abuse our holy texts to justify human killing and destruction of the world be it
Armageddon, Jihad, Promised land or some such notion to satisfy one’s disruptive
mindset. Whether it happens in Church, Mosque, Temple, Synagogue or any place of
worship, the silent majority puts up with it and does not speak out. We go to
the place of worship to rid ourselves of our sins – the elements of ill-will,
malice, hate, anger and other entrapments. The pulpit has become a loading dock
for malice and incitement to look down upon others who hold a different view.
Anya Cardell writes (http://www.anyacordell.com).
“This follows on the lecture last week by Steven Emerson at Congregation Beth
Shalom in Northbrook, attended and warmly received by about 500, entitled ‘The
Terrorists Living among us’. Both Pipes and Emerson have long histories of
virulent anti-Muslim efforts. Pipes invented what he calls ‘Sudden Jihad
Syndrome’, which he defines as the sudden change of any normal appearing,
apparently peaceful Muslim, who may turn on a dime into a radical terrorist. …so
I'm not going to cite right now a bunch of similarly appalling assertions from
Pipes, Emerson, and their cronies--but they are truly terrifying, adding to the
'open season' mentality currently profiling, stereotyping, smearing, and
generalizing all Muslims. I have met the families of innocent men who were
murdered in the hate-backlash of 9/11, and know that there are all-too-real
consequences of such hate and fear-mongering. “Additionally, a requisite for war
is demonizing and dehumanizing the Other, so that we can shrug, rationalize or
justify what we call 'collateral damage', and how innocents are caught in the
crosshairs or ensnared in big nets, (roundups, detentions, etc.), all in the
name of 'security'.”
Should our places of Worship offer space for hate sermons or for bridge building
lectures? I hope the sanctity of the synagogue is not violated by the Emerson,
Pipes and his likes and no one ought to be allowed to preach hate towards other
It is in our interest and the interest of public safety that the sermons
delivered at places of worship fill our hearts with love, generosity and
goodwill and build bridges for a safe and peaceful nation.
What if we make our speeches in the place of worship a public record? To keep
peace, law and order in our country, we need to consider hate speech as a crime.
The speech that would permanently place wedges between our communities injects
distrust and destroys the concept of one nation under God.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is
president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio,
discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He founded the World Muslim
Congress with a simple theme: "good for Muslims and good for the world." His
personal Website is
www.MikeGhouse.net and his articles can be
found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs:
http://MikeGhouse.Sulekha.com . He can be reached at
MikeGhouse@gmail.com. Mike lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a
Dallasite since 1980.