John Stackhouse, Editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, has interviewed His Highness the Aga Khan on more than one occasion. On December 1, 2013, Stackhouse delivered the second annual Ismaili Centre Lecture, a series of intellectually stimulating speaker-based events held at the Centre in Burnaby, Canada. The lectures encourage exchange and mutual understanding between diverse peoples, communities and faiths, while broadening intellectual horizons and fostering an appreciation of pluralism.
“If the Canada of 2013 is more tolerant and worldly – in short pluralistic – than we were in 1973, it is due in part to the leadership, by example, of the Ismaili community.”
“I have followed the Aga Khan network for many years. As a foreign correspondent in the 1990s, I reported on AKDN projects in rural Gujarat, the mountain villages of Gilgit in Pakistan’s northern territories, and in the bustling slums of Nairobi. I’ve interviewed His Highness the Aga Khan, in Ottawa and Toronto. Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be invited to an evening with Kofi Annan and His Highness at the stunning Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa. And of course, as a resident of Toronto, I am watching eagerly as the centre in Don Mills takes impressive shape.”
“Today, for the most part, Canada remains a model of diversity. Five of our 10 premiers are female Calgary, one of the country’s fastest growing cities, is led by an Ismaili, the first Muslim mayor in North America. … One of the country’s biggest corporations, Rogers Communications, is led by another Ismaili, Nadir Mohammed, who steps down today.”
“It is the Canada we all cherish.
Thank you for helping build that country, and by listening today, I hope, volunteering to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
We are at a crossroads, where fundamental rights remain needlessly a topic of debate and where the basic elements of human development remain, it seems, negotiable. Each of us will be counted on to stand up to those challenges. I feel confident the Ismaili community, and this centre, will continue to be at the forefront.
It has been an honour to be with you today.”
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