Saturday, October 28, 2006
“One on One”
I watched Peter Mansbridge interview with his Highness Prince Karim (born December 13, 1936) is the current (49th) Imām of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He has held the title since July 11, 1957. The Aga Khan is very gentle soft spoken person who is believed to be a direct descendant of Mohammed by the Ismaili community. Wikipedia offers much more background if you are interested.
Although I was interrupted a couple of times during the interview, I did come away with some pearls of wisdom which the Aga Khan shared without any hesitation.When asked about why he liked visiting Canada.He said words to the effect that Canada was a good example of a pluralistic society, a global asset. He was here establishing the Aga Khan Foundation Centre.
On the Question of Canada in Afghanistan, his response was about 2 speeds of change happening in that Country. The one side of rapid changes whilst the other rural area’s where there was so much hope only a few years ago has not seen any changes and therefore leads to a continued situation of people who do not even have the basics.
When asked about Canada’s role in Afghanistan the response was clear.Canada should stay although the situation is very difficult but very necessary. The Aga Khan spoke about the need for governments to provide enabling environments where people can achieve change.On this topic I agree.
When asked about the US attack on Iraq, on Bhagdad specifically he posed the reverse by asking a simple question How would the Christian World react to the bombing of Rome.
It has been just over 20 years since I had the Honour of attending the ground breaking ceremony for the Jatmatkhana in Burnaby. I along with several hundreds of others was received by His Highness the Imam and her Highness the Begum (since divorced). Through my Ismaili friends I learned that like Judea Christian religions the Muslims have many different sects. Memoirs of the Aga Khan has one chapter that explains to people outside the Ismaili community what they are all about including their beliefs. If you can get a copy , I highly recommend it.