Subject: Fw: Aga Khan: Trans of interview with German paper Die Presse
03.03.2012 | 14:57 | by Veronika Hofer (The Press)
The Imam Karim Aga Khan told in an interview with the "Press on Sunday" from his greatest goal: a better understanding between the Muslim and Western worlds to create.
He was born in Switzerland and now lives near Paris. For about 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims around the world, he is considered a direct successor of the Prophet Muhammad
One of your first decisions as Imam in 1957 was to establish a newspaper in Nairobi, why a newspaper?
Karim Aga Khan: I was wondering if the African leaders were aware that they were guilty of public accountability. There were no African coverage of African politics, ambitions and goals, and I felt that this was very dangerous. And so we started with a newspaper, focusing on African ideas of the post-independence period was concentrated.
Does it make any difference whether Ismailis are working on a project or not?
It does make a difference. The Ismailis are a very talented and well educated community and we are fortunate to work with highly qualified people. Through them I get an insight into situations that I would not otherwise get. I will also warned of things not going so well.
Why is the view of Islam in the Western world seems at times so closely?
I think that the value systems are very different. I would go so far as to say that there never is just one view, because the Islamic world is so pluralistic. The Western world is pluralistic and I think that there are always multiple perspectives and also it changes over time. It may come into play forces that can be predicted or not. But in the end, these various parts of the world learn to live together. From the perspective of the Muslim world is one of the biggest problems that we are not aware of the western civilized world. Within the Western civilized world teaches one of the plurality of languages, philosophy, religion, culture, but until recently belonged to the Islamic world does not know the definition of an educated person.
Was this your experience as you have studied at Harvard?
Oh yes, absolutely. The Islamic world was not formed.
Have you decided to Harvard, to respond to this suppression of the Islamic world in the West?
Yes, exactly. This was the strongest motivation. If people want to deal with each other, they need a basic understanding. If it is not possible then it is a difficult task to bring the people to communicate and share values.
So you think that might be, for example, art is a bridge for dialogue?
Absolutely. And indeed, was the communication, as far as philosophy and art, in history always very strong.
What are your experiences with regard to tolerance and pluralism?
I work mainly in the developing countries of Central Asia and Africa and these have changed massively since 1957. In 1957 these countries were mainly influenced by the dogma of the Cold War. Today, this dogma, to some degree has disappeared. There are new dogma, but this particular conflict is over. The Cold War has led to a massive paralysis. When I look back now, I'd say that has changed. Yes, there are new dogmas, but not as debilitating.
See an advance?
Oh yes, clearly. Just think back to how Western media reported in the 1950s about China and India. It was said that these countries would never be able to feed itself, would be unable to industrialize, and also improve the quality of life would be impossible there. I'm not saying that everything is perfect, but I can not close our eyes, that all this has changed massively. And I think that also apply to Africa once.
Do you really believe that you can influence the Western attitude towards Islam?
I think if there is no dialogue between the Muslim and Western worlds, and no understanding, and if we confine its activities to the Muslim world, then the relationship will not improve. You have to create and outside the Islamic world capacity to create a dialogue on several levels. The Islamic world is surprisingly strong in the humanities, but the Western world has never seen. I firmly believe that one possible basis for a genuine dialogue could be the whole range of arts, culture and philosophy, these areas currently play absolutely no role for a possible dialogue.
It would be a logical step to get involved in Europe?
Absolutely. We already have agencies, for example, in Lisbon, and we will establish other. But we are a small player in this whole game.
What can you oppose the damaged image of Islam?
I think there are several approaches. First and foremost it's about a dialogue with non-Muslim communities in the industrialized world. But keep in mind that there are more and more Muslim communities in this part of the world and they recognize their own culture and their own identity. Such a commitment has multiple effects and allows a different look than only on the trouble spots of the world. I would even go so far as to say that many of today's trouble spots are not due to the world of Islam as a religion. In fact, they are based on unresolved issues.
More than 100 years ago, your grandfather, Aga Khan III, already trying to help women to equal rights. How do you see the role of women in the Islamic world?
This depends very much related to what I would describe as the social history of communities. The history of social structures in the Islamic world is not uniform. The African is distinguished from the Asian and Arab. It would be wrong to speak of unity on issues that are in a social context. Meanwhile, one must be aware of. But even if it is in the western world is a big debate, ultimately, it comes in the Islamic world about how to defend the dignity of women. And the rules are not just for women! The Western world is often said that the Islamic world looks down on women. That's not true. She pays attention to male behavior towards women and there are guidelines that are just as clear. It is the basic intention of her much more to the protection of women in society.
Are you sometimes impatient?
Maybe not impatient, I'm worried if I do not understand the causes of blockages or when people do not recognize or confront the blocks not with them. Sometimes, institutions and organizations tend to accept as a given situation, so they can not be changed. And that can cause you live under conditions which would not be. And one must put into question.
They have a famous racing stable. Are horses important in your life?
You were an accident in my life. I did not expect that my father would come in a car accident and he has, after my grandfather died, took over the horses. He was the only family member who carried on this tradition. And then he died in a car accident. My brother, my sister and I, we knew nothing about horses, and were never part of my life. But the horse-breeding three generations of a family had a long tradition in India and then in Europe and I was somewhat ambivalent as to whether I wanted to do with it. It meant to learn something that was not part of my job, but it was part of my family. And so I decided to keep doing it. It seemed to me to take over not quite comfortable about it, something that is stressed by the time and I did not feel that it was important. Today, I'm glad I did it. My daughter and my sons enjoy it and I think every family has the duty to continue a tradition that has existed for three generations.
NanoWisdoms Archive webinar presentations introduce you to the Archive and help you get the most from it. In these one hour presentations, we take you on a tour of the Archive, demonstrate its various features as well as offer you tips on using it effectively.
We also offer private webinars for BUI classes, book clubs, ITREB staff, jamatkhana seminars, private gatherings, etc. Please e-mail us to schedule a webinar for your group.
Click here to e-mail NanoWisdoms.
Introductions and genesis of the NanoWisdoms Archive.
What is the NanoWisdoms Archive, its mission and why is it needed.
Organisation, searching and other features.
Services: Quotes and Suggested Readings.
NanoWisdoms’ Summary Documents.
Contribute and support the Archive in your jamat.
On 12 December 1965, The Sunday Times of London published Nicholas Tomalin's extensive and candid interview of His Highness the Aga Khan. Although widely read and regarded by some as one of the Aga Khan's most important interviews, what is not generally known is that a week later, on 19 December 1965, The Sunday Times published, under the title "Our Future in Africa," the second part of that interview. The NanoWisdoms Archive is pleased to now bring you that second part.
In this riveting instalment, the Aga Khan talks extensively, and candidly, about the Ismaili community in Africa: its challenges, its history, its relations with Africans and governments, highlighting, for example, the situation the community faced during the middle of the last century in South Africa.
NOTE: We would like to thank the persistence of one of our visitors in helping us obtain this important interview -- which the Archive has sought for many years -- from his local public library. It is through the assistance of such visitors, the NanoWisdoms Archive is able to continually uncover lost or forgotten interviews, such as this one from 1965, for the benefit of all. We kindly urge all our visitors to review our lists of material known to be missing or incomplete in the Archive and help us obtain it from the local public and ITREB libraries.
More information and the lists can be found here.
Please do share this e-mail with your family, friends and jamats. We thank you for your support and assistance.
New on NanoWisdom​s: His Highness the Aga Khan ’s preface to the book ‘Architect​ure in Islamic Arts’ (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Singapore; St. Petersburg​, Russia)
In this short piece the Aga Khan explains how, in Islamic thought, "beauty and mystery are not separated from the intellect."
He also draws attention to the lack of public debate of Islamic art and architecture noting, for example, that the "consequences for the Muslim world have been a one-way flow of scholarship and popular culture from the West."
Earlier this week, His Highness the Aga Khan was presented with the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award for having "leveraged the social conscience of Islam in ways that benefit people of all faiths; promoting tolerance, pluralism, and broad-based development."
Following his acceptance remarks, Peggy Dulany, Founder and Chair of the Synergos Institute -- which hosted the event, engaged in a short but extremely thought provoking and insightful interview with the Aga Khan in which he succinctly and forcefully explains the fundamental principles that underwrite the development ethic and strategies of the Aga Khan Development Network. We at NanoWisdoms highly recommend this short, but weighty interview, to all.
Over the past two years the NanoWisdoms Twitter quote service has broadcast several hundred quotes from His Highness the Aga Khan's speeches, interviews and writings. We are pleased to announce this collection of short quotes is now available on-line at NanoWisdoms, catalogued and organised by theme together with all sources as shown below.
Combined with our extended quotes, published on Facebook, and our thematic charts, our compilation of over 750 quotes by the Aga Khan is the largest available on-line and the only collection organised by theme and topic. New quotes are added to the collection each week via Twitter and Facebook. If you are not a Twitter or Facebook user you can subscribe to and receive both quote services by e-mail.
We invite all our visitors to share with us their personal collections of quotes -- from the Aga Khan, prior Ismaili Imams (pbut), the Prophet (pbuh) or Qur'an -- so we may share them with the Jamat and public at large.
"A Man of the World," the little known 1967 documentary video and interview with His Highness the Aga Khan
Salgirah Mubarak (card Attached).
May Allah grant you and your family peace and happiness.
To commemorate Salgirah, I am pleased to bring this important documentary for all to enjoy and learn from.
During the 1960s His Highness the Aga Khan, then a young man in his 20s, led a consortium of private investors in the transformation of some 35 miles of desolate, untouched Sardinian coast line at Costa Smeralda, into a world class tourist destination. At an estimated 1969 cost of £70 million (approximately $200 million then, or £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion) today), the development was among the largest private construction projects of its time and put up some 9,000 buildings.
In 1986 the Aga Khan characterised the Costa Smeralda project as an enterprise “that probably one day will ... come to be an important prop for our development efforts in the Third World,” (1). Indeed, Costa Smeralda is an invaluable case study (2), pioneering principles of environmentalism in the leisure industry and also impact investment -- a concept the Aga Khan today considers as “one of the most important ... in the last 50 years” (3) and a fundamental precept of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).
"A Man of the World" is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Sardinian development as well as the Aga Khan's private and public life as Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. The programme, which features extensive excerpts from his interview, highlights his roles, objectives, principles and ethics which guided his vision and strategy in Sardinia.
Click to view the full documentary (or read the transcript) at NanoWisdoms:
Documentary and Interview: 'Pacemakers: A Man of the World - The Aga Khan' (London, United Kingdom)
Please do share this e-mail with your family, friends and jamats and I thank you for your support and assistance.
Editor and Publisher
Refs: (1) CBC, Man Alive interview, 1986, (2) Philip Jodidio interview, 2007, (3) Synergos Foundation interview, 2012.
NOTE: We would like to thank one of our visitors for providing us with this important documentary and interview. It is through the assistance of you, our visitors, the NanoWisdoms Archive is able to continually uncover lost or forgotten interviews, such as this one from 1967, for the benefit of all. We kindly urge all our visitors to review our lists of material known to be missing or incomplete in the Archive and help us obtain it from the local public and ITREB libraries.
Click here for more information and the lists
We suggest you add our e-mail address, email@example.com, to your address book so that future emails from us are not accidentally removed by your spam filter.
His Highness the Aga Khan’s preface to the 2011 book ‘The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme: Strategies for Urban Regeneration’ edited by Philip Jodidio (Aiglemont)
In this weighty preface, to the 2011 book The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme: Strategies for Urban Regeneration, His Highness the Aga Khan explains his rational and vision behind the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, highlighting four key principles behind his "effort to defend the value of culture."
In contrast to "conventional thinking suggests that there is a sequence that must be followed in every instance -- first addressing humanitarian and social needs, then economic challenges and finally, perhaps, culture," the Aga Khan forcefully argues, however, "that the equation is not so simple, [and] culture itself can be the catalyst for social and economic development."
His Highness the Aga Khan's the little known September 1957 MovieTone interview (London, United Kingdom), just 3 months after becoming the Imam
In September 1957, just three months after ascending the throne of the Ismaili Imamat, His Highness the Aga Khan gave a short interview to MovieTone in which he discussed the Ismaili community, the type of community and family leader his grandfather was as well as his educational plans.
His Highness the Aga Khan's 2013 interview with Vanity Fair (USA)
This month, Vanity Fair published an extensive article about His Highness the Aga Khan and his efforts to restore cultural assets in his neighbourhood of Chantilly. Excerpts from their interview with the Aga Khan, included in the article, touched on his feelings when he learned he was appointed the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, his role as Imam and the Chantilly development.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum