03/03/2014 – Rizwan Mawani for Huffington Post
Greeted by a standing ovation, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, Shi’a Imam of the world’s Ismaili Muslim population addressed a joint session of Canadian Parliament on Thursday January 27, 2014. The sub-zero temperatures and intermittent snowflakes weren’t enough to stop members of the House of Commons and the Senate from listening to the reflective advice of the celebrated Muslim leader who also heads one of the world’s largest private, international development agencies.
This is only the third time since 1941, when these joint sessions began, that a non-sitting head of state has been accorded this honor and the only time a faith leader has addressed both houses of Canadian Parliament. Being Imam of the Ismailis, a position he inherited from his grandfather in 1957 at the age of 20, is a responsibility that has entailed providing spiritual guidance to his followers, a transnational community scattered over many countries, including Canada.
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