His Highness the Aga Khan: “Pluralism implies a readiness to listen to many voices”

His Highness addressing the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing upon receiving the Tolerance Award (Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji)
His Highness addressing the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing upon receiving the Tolerance Award (Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji)

“Instead of shouting at one another, we must listen to one another — and learn from one another. As we do, one of our first lessons might well center on those powerful but often neglected chapters in history when Islamic and European cultures interacted cooperatively — constructively and creatively — to help realize some of civilization’s peak achievements.”
His Highness the Aga Khan
Tutzing Evangelical Academy Upon Receiving the “Tolerance” Award, Germany
May 20, 2006
Speech at Press Centre, AKDN

“Pluralism implies a readiness to listen to many voices – whether we agree with them or not – and a readiness to embrace a rich diversity of cultures.”
His Highness the Aga Khan
Opening Ceremony of the IPI World Congress and 54th General Assembly
Nairobi, Kenya
May 22, 2005
Speech at Press Centre, AKDN

“Experience tells us that people are not born with the innate ability nor the wish to see the Other as an equal individual in society. Pride in one’s separate identity can be so strong that it obscures the intrinsic value of other identities. Pluralism is a value that must be taught.”
His Highness the Aga Khan
Annual Meeting of the International Baccalaureate, marking its 40th Anniversary
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
April 18, 2008
Speech at Press Centre, AKDN

His Highness the Aga Khan delivers the LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture in Toronto, Canada (Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji)
His Highness the Aga Khan delivers the LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture in Toronto, Canada (Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji)

“Pluralism is a process and not a product. It is a mentality, a way of looking at a diverse and changing world. A pluralistic environment is a kaleidoscope that history shakes every day. Responding to pluralism is an exercise in constant re-adaptation. Identities are not fixed in stone. What we imagine our communities to be must also evolve with the tides of history.
As we think about pluralism, we should be open to the fact that there may be a variety of “best practices,” a “diversity of diversities,” and a “pluralism of pluralisms.”In sum, what we must seek and share is what I have called “a cosmopolitan ethic,” a readiness to accept the complexity of human society. It is an ethic which balances rights and duties. It is an ethic for all peoples.”
His Highness the Aga Khan
The LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture, Toronto, Canada
October 15, 2010
Speech at Press Centre, AKDN

Compiled by Nimira Dewji

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