Joined: 07 May 2008 Posts: 1704 Location: TEXAS. U.S.A.
Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:50 am Post subject: MHI relation with Rick Perry.
His Highness Agakhan and Rick Perry, Governor of Texas has been signed a contract between The State of Texas and Agakhan institutions.
The contract detail still not available yet. Jamats were not allowed to visit
MHI also took lunch with Rick Perry and other VIPs, this was third visit of MHI in Austin since 2002.
Last edited by agakhani on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total
Rick Perry has made a name for himself in the last few weeks by palling around with some radical evangelical Christian figures who are openly hostile to Islam, and have even, in one notable case, called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S. Perry also raised eyebrows in his decidedly unecumenical exhortation for all Americans to pray to Jesus Christ.
But it turns out that the Texas governor has had surprisingly warm, constructive relations with at least one group of Muslims over the years.
Perry is a friend of the Aga Khan, the religious leader of the Ismailis, a sect of Shia Islam that claims a reported 15 to 20 million adherents worldwide. Sprouting from that friendship are at least two cooperation agreements between the state of Texas and Ismaili institutions, including a far-reaching program to educate Texas schoolchildren about Islam. That's a partnership that has already prompted a bit of grumbling in far-right corners of the blogosphere and could conceivably become a primary issue if, as expected, Perry enters the presidential race.
The Aga Khan, who claims a direct lineage to the Prophet Mohammed, controls a vast international network of business and philanthropic ventures; he is not a reclusive spiritual thinker, but rather a fabulously rich jet-setter. He has, for example, been married to two princesses. (His father was for a time married to the actress Rita Hayworth.) He reportedly owns 900 Thoroughbred race horses. And in 2010 Forbes put his net worth at $800 million. All of this has made the Aga Khan a fixture in the tabloids in the U.K., where he holds citizenship (sample headline: "Saga over Aga's skiing fall").
Perry met the Aga Khan during a 2000 family trip to Paris (the Aga Khan owns a large estate, Aiglemont, north of the city), the Austin American-Statesman reported in 2008. Two years later, Perry spoke warmly at a dinner in Houston hosted by the Aga Khan. Over the years the governor attended other Ismaili events in Texas, culminating in a pair of formal agreements.
One, in 2009, provides for cooperation between Texas and the Aga Khan's organizations in the "fields of education, health sciences, natural disaster preparedness and recovery, culture and the environment." Perry was quoted at the official Ismaili website as saying at the signing ceremony that "traditional Western education speaks little of the influence of Muslim scientists, scholars, throughout history, and for that matter the cultural treasures that stand today in testament to their wisdom."
That sort of rhetoric presents a stark contrast to some other members of the GOP presidential field, who have variously called for resistance to Islamic cultural conquest and outright restrictions on Muslims in public life.
Perry also brokered a 2008 partnership between the University of Texas and Aga Khan University in Pakistan to expand cooperation on programs including the Muslim Histories and Culture Project, which trains high school teachers on Muslim history and culture curricula. "I have supported this program from the very beginning, because we must bridge the gap of understanding between East and West if we ever hope to experience a future of peace and prosperity," Perry said at the signing ceremony.
A taste of what is offered by the program -- which has trained scores of teachers who have taught thousands of Texas students -- is here; it seems to be a sensible introduction to the Islamic world (and one session even quotes the likes of Edward Said!).
It's not beyond the realm of possibility that right-wing bomb-throwers will use this as a line of attack against Perry. In fact, the program has already been the source of political controversy in Texas. Back in 2008, Republican State Board of Education member David Bradley distributed fliers revealing that his Democratic opponent, a social studies educator, had traveled abroad as part of the program to study Islamic culture. "I think Islamic curriculum is about the furthest thing that we need to be introducing into Texas classrooms," he told Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg. "I think people are real sensitive about Islamic studies, given recent events in the United States."
Perry's relationship with the Aga Khan has already generated skepticism from commenters on a couple of far-right websites. "Scratch him off my Presidential list," wrote one. "We have already seen what a Muslim enabler in the White House can do."
In an email to Salon, Perry spokesman Catherine Frazier affirmed that Perry "has a good relationship with the Muslim community in Texas." Asked about his views on Shariah, she wrote: "Gov. Perry took an oath to uphold the U.S. and Texas constitutions, and the principles enumerated in those documents are what guide his leadership."
It's worth noting that other members of the GOP field previously had good relations with Muslims in the years before the current hysteria. A Shariah-compliant mortgage program was established during Tim Pawlenty's tenure as Minnesota governor, but he later canceled it. And as I've documented, Newt Gingrich has cultivated prominent Muslim donors and in the 1990s helped Muslim congressional staffers get space for prayers on Capitol Hill.
* Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott
Joined: 07 May 2008 Posts: 1704 Location: TEXAS. U.S.A.
Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:25 am Post subject:
It is not hidden any more in media and among Ismailis that Rick Perry like Agakhan and Ismaili community, in my thinking he impressed with MHI and his charity in the world, he visited MHI in Aglimont twice.
Besides above facts read below too.
1,Texas Governor Rick Perry requested theTexas A&M Aggie Corps Of Cadets Ross Volunteer Company to do a sabre arch salute at a special ceremony for the arrival of the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 16 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide. The Ross Volunteer Company played a key role in the elaborate red carpet ceremony to honor the Aga Khan at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. ..please visit link below,
2, He performed a foundation Stone Ceremony for HPC Jamat Khana in Houston, that time MHI was also present.
3, He is giving tremendous support to the Ismaili Merchant Associations in Texas these association are in Austin, Houston and Dallas.
4, He held a wedding ceremony in his own house for the daughter of Ex- president of Southwest Ismaili council.
5, He helped to appointed Sada Cumber (ex- president of Sothwest Council), as an Ambassador : first U.S. special Envoy to the OIC and he is still that post in Austin.
6, He had a lunch with MHI during his golden jubilee visit in Texas.
7, He had lunch with Ismaili community leaders many times in Austin and Houston. I was invited in one of that lunch but I couldn't attend that I still miss that.
8, He laid the first brick at the groundbreaking ceremony for an Ismaili worship center in Plano in 2005.
Last edited by agakhani on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total
"Finally, while many of Perry’s fellow presidential contenders have competed for the title of Most Islamophobic, Perry may face questions about his close ties to Muslim communities in Texas. In particular, Perry has forged a friendship with Aga Khan, leader of the Ismaili sect in Texas, and has attended a number of Ismaili events, even laying the first brick at the groundbreaking ceremony for an Ismaili worship center in Plano in 2005. Perry has also signed off on Muslim-friendly legislation and played a role in expanding the Muslim Histories and Culture Project, which introduces Islamic history and culture curricula into public schools."
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Remembering the Aga Khan
Princess Salima Aga Khan, married to the
Aga Khan '69-95. I met her in London, 1974
There's been a bit of a kerfuffle recently in the blogosphere: about Rick Perry's cooperation with the Aga Khan in producing teaching materials on Islam for schools in Texas. The latest news on it is "The Perry/Aga Khan curriculum..."
This brought back the time I met the Aga Khan, in 1974 in Paris....
Here's the story:
I was in the UK for three years, 1972-74 just after my Uni degree at the Australian National University. It was the done thing in those days: after Uni head off the the "ol' country". In my case, I was heading off to Canada, via London. I thought I'd work on the oil rigs in Canada as I'd heard they earned thousands per week. Stopped off in London, had a beer at a pub in Hammermith, found it congenial and abandoned the idea of Canada.
By '74 I'd had a number of jobs: motor-bike deliveries, bookkeeping at a pie factory; selling "genuine" black velvet paintings door to door; selling encyclopedias door to door; selling carpets from a Pakistani shop in Knightesbridge. And, the best of all: a butler's valet at Glenfiddich lodge in Dufftown Scotland for the grouse shooting season of '74. I earned something like 26 quid a week, full board and tips. The tips were great, as I was also the driver, picking up the guests of the host down at Aberdeen Airport, and the trip always netted a tenner or so.
After this sojourn, I thought that the concept of working as "help" in rich houses was a pretty good lurk. The work's not hard, they treat you well and you can save money, cause you're on full board and nothing to spend the money on.
So when I got back to London at the end of August '74, I looked around for similar jobs. I saw one that looked great: chauffeuring a family around Europe for the winter, and doing odd jobs. I applied and got an interview, which was in a lovely apartment in Knightesbridge. Lo and behold, the person doing the interview was ..... The Begum Aga Khan.! That was Princess Salima Aga Kan, aka Sarah Frances Croker-Poole, a former model, and quite the honey, she was. She had three children, aged four, three and a new born. It would be my job to drive them around the Swiss alps, as and when required.
She asked a few cursory questions -- Q: "can you drive a four-door Maserati"? A: "can I what!" -- and then pronounced herself interested to hire me. I would have time, she assured me, to do some skiing when I'd finished my driving jobs for her and kids for the day. Heaven!
And as I left, she looked at me and said: "You would look very well in a chauffeur's uniform"... . "Well", was the word she'd used, not "good", but "well", which I thought, ignorant Aussie that I was, very classy English and a bit of a giveaway; or so I allowed myself to fantasize...
Only one thing. I would have to meet her husband who would have to give his approval.
A few days later an air ticket appeared in my letter box and I was off to Paris to meet the Aga Khan.
His place in Paris is (or was then), on the Ile de la Cite, right in the heart of Paris. A huge, castle-like place, made of enormous stone blocks, Gormonghastian, in a way. I was directed in to the "help" door and sat in a kitchen with scullery maids and a butler, to await the call.
As I sat there, cup of coffee in hand, a couple of the maids, in their cute classic scullery maid black/white outfits (short skirts, stocking, garter belts.... stop it now!), began chatting with each other in Spanish. Now I speak Italian (my mother tongue), so understanding Spanish was pretty easy, though they didn't know that, as they were peering at me over their coffees and speculating on...."hacer el amor con él"... what I'd be like in bed....(I was in my early twenties, remember, and not too ugly...). Wow, I was thinking, as I slyly and innocently sipped my coffee. What could be better: driving the Maserati in the morning, skiing in the arvo, and bouncy young Spanish nooky in the evening. A fantasy come true.
My pleasant musings were interrupted by the call to see the Aga Khan.
I was led up to a huge room, with ceilings to the sky, walls covered in ancient tapestries, carpets the size of football fields (and good ones too: remember I'd been a carpet salesman), and there, in front of me, the leader of the Ismaeli Muslims.
He sat me in a sofa and began to talk. Now the odd thing is, that though I was the one being interviewed, he did most of the talking. What I recall of it is that he talked to me of how difficult it is to be the leader of the Ismaelis. He was unloading himself on me, who knew nothing of Islam, even less of the Ismaelis and just wanted to drive his hot car, ski on his dime, poke his help and get paid for it. On and on he went of the difficulties, the challenges, of being the Aga Khan. Odd, huh?
Then he got onto me.
He asked me: "and why would you, son of a diplomat and with a degree in Economics, want to work as a driver?"
I confess I was a bit stumped by the question and though made a fist of answering, it didn't do it for the Aga Khan. As I reasoned ruefully later: of course the Aga Khan is going to have his people look into my background before letting a young untested buck loose with his gorgeous wife and in charge of his kids, and mixing it with the maids.
So, I didn't get the job.
But I've often thought about that job interview. If I'd been smarter; if I'd predicted his question and had a much better answer than whatever rubbish it was that I must have spouted, I could have been working for the Aga Khan. And I've thought: I would not have remained as his driver. I would have impressed him with my wit and wisdom and worked my way up in his estimation and his hierarchy. I could have become the right hand man of the Aga Khan.
And then I'd be on the other side of the argument with Spencer: I'd be the one handling the fall out with Rick Perry....
While researching my forthcoming book, "Sharia Versus Freedom -- The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism," I discovered the work of an iconic contemporary Ismaili Muslim intellectual, Asaf A. A. Fyzee. As a law professor consummately trained in Western methods of research, he guided several generations of Indian students on how to prepare and present cases before the secular courts of law. More importantly, but related, Fyzee's writings and pronouncements reveal a Weltanschauung -- revered and highly influential within the Ismaili community - germane to the near hysteria (for discussions, see here, here, here, and here) over Texas Governor Rick Perry's association with the Ismailis.
Asaf Ali Ashgar (A.A.) Fyzee (1899-1981) began his legal career in 1926, as an advocate in the High Court of Bombay, a post he held until 1938. Simultaneously, in 1929, Fyzee began his academic career by teaching law at the Government Law College, Bombay, where he became the Principal and Perry Professor of Jurisprudence from1938-47. Subsequently Fyzee also served as Ambassador to Egypt during 1949 to 1951. From 1929-49, Fyzee was on the managing committee on the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, and the joint-editor of the Branch's Journal. From 1933 to 1949, he acted as the honorary secretary of the Islamic Research Association. He also had the distinction of being an original associated member on the executive committee of the edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam. Fyzee produced some 150 publications, ranging from short essays to fifteen monographs, textbooks, and various editions and translations of Islamic theological and legal texts. Fyzee's classic Outlines of Muhammadan Law, had four editions published (1949-74), and he was also the foremost contemporary authority on Ismaili jurisprudence, a field Fyzee introduced to modern scholars.
Fyzee was a deeply committed advocate of Islamic modernism who pressed the need for a dramatic re-interpretation of Islam and Muslim law in the contemporary world, a theme he frequently reiterated in many of his writings. Despite an unsurprising apologetic attitude toward Medieval Islamdom at its cultural apogee, Fyzee unequivocally decried an Islam since that long bygone era whose "spirit was throttled by fanaticism," its theology "gagged by bigotry" and its core vitality "sapped by totalitarianism." Ever the Western-trained legist, Fyzee lamented,
It is as if Islam lies imprisoned by a tyrannical government where the writ of habeas corpus does not run.
And Fyzee was equally frank in his prescription for curing these ills during the modern era:
What is necessary to be faced is that a Muslim living in a secular or a modern state must have the freedom and independence to obey fresh laws; and new legal norms, whether related to the shari'ah or not, will have to be forged. It is becoming increasingly clear that something good and legal may be entirely outside the rules of shari'ah, just as, surprisingly enough, some rules which are unjust and indefensible may occasionally fall within the orbit of acts permitted by the shari'ah.... The first task is to separate logically the dogmas and doctrines of religion from the principles and rules of law. To me it is an axiom that the essential faith of man is something different from the outward observance of rules; that moral rules apply to the conscience, but that legal rules can be enforced only by the state. Ethical norms are subjective; legal rules are objective. The inner life of the spirit, the 'Idea of the Holy,' must to some extent be separated from the outward forms of social behavior. The separation is not simple; it will even be considered un-Islamic. But the attempt at a rethinking of the shari'ah can only begin with the acceptance of this principle.
Ultimately, Fyzee hoped that such, difficult wrenching changes would release a
...bright spirit of joy, compassion, fraternity, tolerance, and reasonableness, and modern man will be the happier for its [i.e., the Muslim community's] presence
Given the aggressive, mainstream irredentism in the global Muslim umma (community) -- often masked for unwitting infidel consumption by doctrinally-sanctioned taqiyya (see here, here, and here) -- vigilance is always warranted. But Fyzee's modernist vision appears to have been widely respected and inculcated amongst Ismailis, which validates clear-headed engagement with this community. Governor Perry's interactions with the Ismailis need to be evaluated in this larger context.
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