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Aga Khan visit Canada 27 February 2014 Speech in parliament
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:05 am    Post subject: Aga Khan visit Canada 27 February 2014 Speech in parliament Reply with quote

CBC news in Canada has announced that Hazar Imam will be visiting in the month of February 2014 to address the government of Canada.

http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/02/07/pm-welcome-his-highness-aga-khan-canada
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*PM to welcome His Highness the Aga Khan to Canada *

Standoff, AB

7 February 2014

*Introduction*

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that His Highness the Aga
Khan will make an official visit to Canada later this month. During his
visit, the Aga Khan will meet with Prime Minister Harper, who has invited
him to deliver an historic address to Parliament.

Canada has a warm and enduring relationship with the Aga Khan,
49thhereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world's 15 million Shia
Ismaili
Muslims. The Government of Canada has a strong, long-standing relationship
with the institutions of the Ismaili Imamat, including the Aga Khan
Foundation Canada (AKFC) and the Aga Khan Development Network. AKFC is a
trusted partner of Canada on a wide range of international development
initiatives, including in Afghanistan, in the areas of health, education,
rural and economic development, and the creation of new opportunities for
women. The Network's underlying ethic is that of compassion for the most
vulnerable in society and service to humanity without regard to faith,
origin or gender.

*Quick Facts*

- Since taking on his role as Imam in 1957, the Aga Khan has been deeply
engaged in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable
populations, while emphasizing the need to uphold human dignity as well as
respect for tolerance and pluralism. There are more than 100,000 Shia
Ismaili Muslims in Canada.
- The Aga Khan was formally granted honorary citizenship in May 2010
during an official visit to Canada. This initiative was passed unanimously
in the House of Commons on June 19, 2009.
- In May 2010, the Aga Khan and Prime Minister Harper took part in the
Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and Park in
Toronto. The Aga KhanMuseum is the first museum in North America dedicated
exclusively to the arts of the Islamic world. The museum seeks to inform,
educate and inspire audiences about the arts of the Islamic world and the
plurality within Islam whereas the network of Ismaili Centres globally,
through their design and function, reflect and illustrate the Ismaili
community's intellectual and spiritual understanding of Islam, its social
conscience and its tolerant attitude.
- In October 2006, Prime Minister Harper announced that our Government
was partnering with the Aga Khan to establish the Global Centre for
Pluralism in Ottawa. The Centre promotes pluralism internationally as a
means to advance good governance, peace and human development. It also
supports academic and professional development, provides advisory services,
and supports research and learning in developed and developing countries.
- The Government of Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation cooperate in
development projects around the world, including in Afghanistan, Pakistan
and eastern Africa. Collaboration has been particularly strong on promoting
maternal, newborn and child health - one of Canada's development priorities
- including in Afghanistan, Tanzania, Mali, Mozambique and Pakistan.
- The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of private,
international, non-denominational agencies, established by His Highness the
Aga Khan, working to improve living conditions and opportunities for people
in some of the poorest parts of the developing world. The network is active
in over 30 countries and employs over 80,000 people globally. Its nine
agencies address complex development issues including the provision of
quality healthcare and education services, cultural and economic
revitalization, micro-enterprise, entrepreneurship and economic
development, the advancement of civil society and the protection of the
environment.

*Quotes*

"Our Government is honoured to once again welcome His Highness the Aga Khan
to Canada. Our country has a warm and lasting friendship with His Highness,
who was granted honorary Canadian citizenship for his leadership as a
champion of international development, pluralism and tolerance around the
world." - *Prime Minister Stephen Harper *

- See more at:
http://www.pm.gc.ca/news/2014/02/07/pm-welcome-his-highness-aga-khan-canada#sthash.HlC3Xr1G.g05sY4mA.dpuf
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

montrealgazette.com/life/Harper+announces+Khan+visit+Canada+address+Parliament/9481956/story.html

Harper announces Aga Khan to visit Canada, address Parliament later this month

By The Canadian Press February 7, 2014

OTTAWA - The Prime Minister's Office says the Aga Khan, hereditary spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims, will make an official visit to Canada later this month.

The office says the Aga Khan will meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and address Parliament during the visit.

The spiritual leader is a regular visitor to Canada, with his most recent trips coming in 2008 and 2010.

He was granted honorary Canadian citizenship during the 2010 visit.

The Aga Khan became the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims in 1957.

Harper says Canada has long had good relations with the Aga Khan and his institutions, including the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Aga Khan Development Network.

The foundation runs a wide range of international development initiatives, including in Afghanistan, in the areas of health, education, rural and economic development and the creation of new opportunities for women.

In October 2006 Canada announced a partnership with the Aga Khan to establish the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa.

"Our country has a warm and lasting friendship with His Highness, who was granted honorary Canadian citizenship for his leadership as a champion of international development, pluralism and tolerance around the world," Harper said in a news release announcing the latest visit.

There are about 100,000 Shia Ismaili Muslims in Canada.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

985fm.ca/national/nouvelles/le-chef-spirituel-musulman-aga-khan-sera-en-visite-299138.html

Le chef spirituel musulman Aga Khan sera en visite au Canada en février
Publié par La Presse Canadienne le vendredi 07 février 2014 à 15h21. Modifié par Vincent Morin à 18h16.

OTTAWA - Le cabinet du premier ministre Stephen Harper a annoncé, vendredi, que l'Aga Khan, chef spirituel héréditaire des musulmans ismaéliens chiites, ferait une visite officielle au Canada plus tard en février.

Durant son séjour, l'Aga Khan rencontrera M. Harper et s'adressera au Parlement, a ajouté le cabinet.

Le leader spirituel visite régulièrement le Canada. Au cours de son plus récent voyage, en 2010, il a reçu la citoyenneté honoraire canadienne.

L'Aga Khan est devenu le 49e imam des musulmans ismaéliens chiites en 1957.

Stephen Harper a affirmé que le Canada entretient de bonnes relations avec l'Aga Khan et ses institutions, dont la Fondation Aga Khan Canada et le Réseau Aga Khan de développement.

La Fondation supervise un grand nombre d'initiatives internationales, notamment en Afghanistan, dans les domaines de la santé, de l'éducation, du développement rural et économique, ainsi que de la création d'opportunités pour les femmes. En octobre 2006, le Canada avait annoncé un partenariat avec l'Aga Khan afin de créer le Centre mondial du pluralisme à Ottawa.

«Notre pays entretient une amitié chaleureuse et de longue date avec Son Altesse, qui s'est vu accorder la citoyenneté canadienne honoraire pour son leadership en tant que champion du développement international, du pluralisme et de la tolérance partout dans le monde», a affirmé M. Harper dans un communiqué.

Il y a environ 15 millions de musulmans ismaéliens chiites dans le monde, dont quelque 100 000 au Canada.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

actualites.sympatico.ca/nouvelles/politique/un-chef-spirituel-devant-le-parlement-canadien-2

Un chef spirituel devant le Parlement canadien

Par Radio-Canada le 8 février, 2014

Un chef spirituel devant le Parlement canadien

Pour la première fois de son histoire, le Parlement canadien entendra le discours d’un chef spirituel, invité par le premier ministre Stephen Harper.

Il s’agit de l’Aga Khan, imam héréditaire des musulmans ismaéliens (un courant minoritaire de l’islam chiite), qui s’est déjà vu accorder la citoyenneté canadienne honoraire officielle en mai 2010, durant une visite au Canada.

Milliardaire et grand philanthrope, il œuvre au développement des pays pauvres, principalement en Asie et en Afrique, par le biais du Réseau Aga Khan de développement (AKDN).

Il sera en visite officielle au pays au cours du mois de février.

Une première

Mis à part les chefs d’État et de gouvernement, seulement cinq dignitaires étrangers se sont déjà adressés au Parlement canadien : trois secrétaires généraux de l’ONU, le dernier en liste étant Kofi Annan en 2004, Nelson Mandela en tant que vice-président du Congrès national africain en 1990 et l’épouse du chef de la République chinoise en 1943.

L’Aga Khan sera donc le premier chef spirituel à s’adresser aux députés de la Chambre des communes. Ce sera un « discours historique », selon le bureau du premier ministre qui a annoncé la nouvelle dans un communiqué. La date précise de la visite de l’iman n’a toutefois pas été dévoilée.

Le Canada est partenaires de certains projets de l’AKDN, notamment en Afghanistan, au Pakistan et en Afrique de l’Est, où il collabore à la promotion de la santé des mères, des nouveau-nés et des enfants.

Le gouvernement canadien a également établi un partenariat avec l’Aga Khan en vue de créer le Centre mondial du pluralisme, dont le siège social sera à Ottawa, et qui fera la promotion de la bonne gouvernance, de la paix et du développement humain à l’échelle internationale.

L’AKDN, qui prodigue ses services peu importe la confession, dit vouloir concrétiser « la vision éthique de la société inspirée par le message de l’islam ». Il est actif dans plus de 30 pays et emploie plus de 80 000 personnes dans le monde.

Devenu imam en 1957, succédant ainsi à son grand-père, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, l’Aga Khan a reçu de nombreuses distinctions honorifiques de divers pays au cours des années.

Né à Genève, en Suisse, il est le 49e imam d’une communauté de 15 millions de fidèles, présents dans 25 pays, sur cinq continents.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=2

41st PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION
EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 044
Friday,
February 7, 2014

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the various parties and I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, the hours of sitting and the order of business of the House on Thursday, February 27, 2014, shall be that of a Wednesday; that the Address by His Highness the Aga Khan, to be delivered in the Chamber of the House of Commons at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 27, 2014, before Members of the Senate and the House of Commons, together with all introductory and related remarks, be printed as an appendix to the House of Commons Debates for that day and form part of the records of this House; and that the media recording and transmission of such address,
introductory and related remarks be authorized pursuant to established guidelines for such occasions.

The Speaker:

Does then hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video Invitation by Prime Minister Harper to H.H. The Aga Khan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL4dGKD2Al4&feature=em-share_video_user
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WEBCAST

http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/parlvu/ContentEntityDetailView.aspx?contententityid=11341&date=20140227&lang=en



Address to Parliament : His Highness the Aga Khan
Location
Chamber, Centre Block
Event Date
Thursday, Feb 27, 2014
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
45 Minutes
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

English link for the webcast

http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/parlvu/ContentEntityDetailView.aspx?contententityid=11341&date=20140227&lang=en

Lien Français

http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/parlvu/ContentEntityDetailView.aspx?contententityid=11341&date=20140227&lang=fr
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Friday, February 21, 2014 6:10:55 PM, "jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca" <jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca> wrote:

Friends, As you know, His Highness the Aga Khan will be making a historic visit to Canada next week. On Thursday morning, His Highness will address the Parliament of Canada, and will then travel to Toronto to speak at Massey Hall on Friday. As we look forward to His Highness’ visit with great excitement, I encourage you to visit http://www.stephenharper.ca/agakhanvisit/ to keep up to date on the visit and to ‘live stream’ video of both speeches. Please share this message with friends and family. Sincerely, Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MPCalgary Southeast
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Invitations to the Canadian Parliament on 27 February 2014. H.H. The Aga Khan is addressing the Parliement.



Also for the Friday 28 February Toronto event:

------------------------------------
Thank you for confirming your attendance at the event to be hosted by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper in honour of His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

Prime Minister Harper will be joined by Minister Baird, Minister Kenney, Minister Alexander, and other Ministers and Parliamentarians.

The event will be held at Massey Hall on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 2 p.m. in Toronto, Ontario in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan, to honour him on the occasion of his visit to Canada and address to Parliament the previous day.

Additional details regarding the event will be forthcoming.

Kindly note this invitation is personal and non-transferable.
-------------------------------------


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Source: theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-aga-khan-the-singular-appeal-of-a-pluralist/article17041201/

The Aga Khan: the singular appeal of a pluralist

JANICE GROSS STEIN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Feb. 21 2014, 6:10 PM EST

This week, the Aga Khan will be in Ottawa to address a joint session of Parliament, a signal honour reserved for a handful of extraordinary people who have a special relationship with Canada.

It is not hard to understand why this country is special to the Aga Khan, who for more than 50 years has been the spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims. Shocked in 1972 when Uganda suddenly expelled anyone of Asian descent, including thousands of Ismailis, he turned to Pierre Elliott Trudeau in his search for a haven.

The two had met just two years earlier, yet the prime minister arranged for roughly 10,000 refugees to settle across the country. (Among them were Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s parents, who joined the exodus from Tanzania.)

But what makes the Aga Khan special to Canada? Over the years, he has maintained relationships with a succession of prime ministers of different political stripes, including the current one, who granted him honorary citizenship in 2009 and will welcome him to the House of Commons on Thursday.

He is widely respected for his humanitarianism, for his leadership in education and development and his commitment to architecture and beautiful spaces for quiet contemplation. The Canadian bond, though, springs from his dedication to pluralism, something so associated with this country that many Canadians now take it for granted – at their peril.

A small community by global standards, Ismailis are never in the majority – no matter where they live. Like other minorities, that makes them one of civilization’s exposed nerves, exquisitely attuned to intolerance and reliant on government for protection.

It’s not surprising, then, that the Aga Khan would be a leading proponent of pluralism, ensuring that minority groups can participate fully in society while maintaining their cultural differences. But his vision of pluralism also sets him apart: He argues that it’s more than protection of minority rights, more than diversity of language – it is a culture, a habit of mind, a set of practices that celebrates difference, is curious about the unfamiliar and actively embraces the other.

He speaks of the “hardware” of pluralism (the institutions that provide its framework) and its “software” (the cultural habits that inform everyday life). Both, he insists, are important.

As a result, the schools he has founded in Mombasa, Hyderabad and Maputo augment the standard curriculum with an explicit emphasis on pluralism. Not only are they linked electronically, to cross cultures, students all speak a second language, and often leave their homelands to study.

Here in Canada, the Aga Khan has built centres for his followers. But he has also established the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa – designed as a resource for a world that increasingly struggles with difference.

For all this, pluralism is at best a work in progress, under siege abroad and under stress at home. The Aga Khan speaks with a sense of urgency about the growing threat to the cultures and habits of pluralism that he sees almost everywhere.

The large numbers of people on the move, our capacity to communicate ideas and share experiences with people anywhere in the world, the importance of immigrants to societies in Europe and Asia that are rapidly getting older – all speak to the importance of diversity and pluralism in rich as well as poor societies.

But these same factors create friction, as new ideas bump up against established practices, people from one tradition run into people from another, and new smells, sights and sounds seem to drown out familiar ones. It takes only a wily leader, who sees the political advantage of exploiting this friction, for pluralism to come apart at the seams.

This was the sad story of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Kenya a decade later and Syria today. Pluralism can crack under pressure – and Canada is not immune. Quebec is seized with a debate about the visible symbols of identification that people wear.

The controversy is fierce in Québécois society, which is hardwired for pluralism, but the software can be rewritten to seek political advantage. Québécois are debating the size of a cross that can be worn in public, whether women who cover their hair with a scarf can be public servants and doctors who wear skullcaps can work in hospitals. The yardsticks are moving.

The champions of pluralism, those who oppose the legislation that may well pass Quebec’s National Assembly, now seek only to limit the legislation to judges, police officers and other authoritative representatives of the state.

Not only Quebec struggles with the contours of pluralism. Canada is redefining the meaning of citizenship in an age when many are citizens of more than one state. What obligations, some Canadians ask, do we have to those who spend most of their time abroad? When at risk abroad, should they be rescued? And what responsibilities fall to those who come to Canada seeking refuge and opportunity? What should “they” learn and be required to do?

Such concerns are new to the debate on pluralism – and come at a time when we, too, are aging and need new faces, new cultures and new talents if we are to flourish.

We may need new immigrants badly, but our approach to pluralism cannot be purely pragmatic. We must, as the Aga Khan has said in the past, recognize that “the other is both present and different, and appreciate this presence – and this difference – as gifts that can enrich our lives.”

He may well say so again on Thursday.

Janice Gross Stein is the director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

o.canada.com/news/spiritual-leader-aga-khan-to-address-parliament-on-thursday/

Spiritual leader Aga Khan to address Parliament on Thursday

rime Minister Stephen Harper has lauded him as “a beacon of humanitarianism, of pluralism and of tolerance throughout the world,” and on Thursday the Aga Khan will be given the rare privilege of addressing Parliament.

But what do Canadians really know about the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims and a respected philanthropist, who also just so happens to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and enjoys a jet-setter’s lifestyle?

Thursday’s speech will be the latest in a string of Canadian honours already bestowed upon the religious leader, including the Order of Canada, honorary degrees from five universities, and the granting of honorary Canadian citizenship in 2009.

Canada also has emerged as a key partner for the Aga Khan’s philanthropic work in the developing world, pumping tens of millions of dollars into his Aga Khan Development Network, which focuses on countries with large Muslim populations in Africa and Asia.

Despite the fact the Aga Khan does not govern a country, but is instead the spiritual head of the world’s moderate Ismaili Muslim sect, thousands of whom live in Canada, a de facto embassy was allowed to be opened on prime real estate in Ottawa in 2008.

And the federal government gave $30 million and a 99-year lease for the old Canadian war museum in Ottawa to help him establish an international centre for tolerance and peaceful co-existence between different religions and cultures.

The Aga Khan himself has expressed a profound admiration for Canada, in part because this country took in thousands of his Ismaili Muslim followers from East Africa during the 1970s where they faced persecution by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and other regional leaders.

One of Islam’s smallest sects, the Ismailis’ travails in East Africa were only the latest in a long history of persecution that often included discrimination by other Muslims and has left them scattered across Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

But those who fled to Canada were able to find a home. The community now numbers from 45,000 to 70,000, and has representatives at all levels of government, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Sen. Mobina Jaffer, who until recently was a member of the Liberal caucus, and Harper aide Alykhan Velshi.

And the Ismailis’ presence and visibility in Canada is about to get a giant bump when an extensive $300-million Ismaili cultural museum opens in Toronto this year. It will provide a permanent home for hundreds of treasured Ismaili artifacts, and a place where non-Ismailis can learn about the religion.

On Thursday, parliamentarians of all stripes are expected to welcome the Aga Khan with open arms and listen intently as he holds up Canada as an example of how people of all races, colours and creeds can live in peaceful co-existence.

It’s a message that will resonate particularly strongly for the Conservative government, which has made the defence of religious minorities and the protection of human dignity a key part of its foreign policy.

The Aga Khan will be the first non-head of state to address Parliament since United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan in 2004 and, before him, Nelson Mandela in 1990, four years before Mandela was elected president of South Africa.

The Aga Khan may also touch on the plight of the less fortunate, a particularly relevant message as Canada has contributed $112 million, or about $22 million per year, to the AKDN’s aid efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tanzania and Mali since 2008.

But what he is almost certain not to mention, and what likely won’t come up when Harper or any other political leader talks about him, is the Aga Khan’s own extensive fortune.

The Ismaili leader’s exact worth is not known, but estimates range from $800 million to as much as $13.3 billion.

The discrepancy can be blamed on whether one counts only the Aga Khan’s personal holdings, or those of his religious and development organizations as well.

With a lineage that Ismailis believe goes directly back to the Prophet Muhammad, and includes the conferring of titles by the Emperor of Persia in the 1930s and Queen Victoria in 1886, His Highness Prince Karim, the fourth Aga Khan and 49th Imam of Nizari Ismailism, was born into wealth.

Today, the 77-year-old calls a chateau and its extensive grounds outside Paris home, when he isn’t jetting around in one of his two private aircraft or sailing his four-storey, 50-metre yacht, which some reports say cost $200 million.

A British citizen who was educated at the best schools and has been married twice, he owns hundreds of racehorses and a number of stud farms designed to pump out more.

The Aga Khan also receives what some believe to be hundreds of millions of dollars donated each year by Ismailis around the world through an estimated 10 per cent tithe on their annual income.

But Ismailis say that money is not actually intended for their spiritual leader’s personal use, and is instead invested into aid efforts in the developing world — including 90 for-profit businesses across Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Those businesses employee more than 30,000 people and take in annual revenues of more than $1.5 billion, according to the AKDN, and include pharmaceutical, insurance, banking, telecommunications and energy companies, as well as airlines and a chain of luxury hotels.

The businesses are only one part of the AKDN’s work, which includes education, maternal health and restoring buildings of cultural significance. (The Aga Khan’s top representative in Canada, Khalil Shariff, says he is unaware of any Canadian aid dollars going toward those for-profit businesses.)

But rather than being lambasted by controversy for his for-profit enterprises, the Aga Khan has been lauded by foreign officials and development experts for filling an apparent gap.

In particular, he has been applauded for investing in risky environments, such as building Afghanistan’s largest cellphone network, creating jobs and contributing tax income to governments that otherwise have few revenue streams.

The Aga Khan has said all income generated by the businesses is either re-invested into the businesses or the wider development network.

(It’s worth mentioning that some of the businesses are publicly traded and pay out dividends to shareholders first, while performance data for other companies is not readily available.)

In a rare interview with Vanity Fair last year, the Aga Khan said he and other Ismailis “have no notion of the accumulation of wealth being evil … It’s how you use it.”

“The Islamic ethic is that if God has given you the capacity or good fortune to be a privileged individual in society, you have a moral responsibility to society.”

Foreign Dignitaries Who Have Addressed Parliament Since 1989

Sept. 22, 2011 — British Prime Minister David Cameron

May 27, 2010 — Mexican President Felipe Calderón

May 26, 2008 — Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko

Sept. 22, 2006 — Afghan President Hamid Karzai

May 18, 2006 — Australian Prime Minister John Howard

Oct. 25, 2004 — Mexican President Vicente Fox

March 9, 2004 — UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Feb. 22, 2001 — British Prime Minister Tony Blair

April 29, 1999 — Czech President Vaclav Havel

Sept. 24, 1998 — South African President Nelson Mandela

June 11, 1996 — Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo

Feb. 23, 1995 — U.S. President Bill Clinton

June 19, 1992 — Russian President Boris Yeltsin

April 8, 1991 — Mexican President Carlos Salinas

June 18, 1990 — Nelson Mandela, deputy president of South Africa’s African National Congress

Oct. 11, 1989 — King Hussein of Jordan

June 27, 1989 — Israeli President Chaim Herzog

— Library of Parliament

lberthiaume(at)postmedia.com

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:41 pm    Post subject: Itinerary of Aiglemont flights in February Reply with quote

Below is the itinerary of LX-PAK one of Imam's plane.

Hazar Imam landed at noon this Wednesday 26th February in Ottawa.

The other plane is LX-ZAK landed at 17:20 with Princess Zahra on board.

The itinerary will be updated here during this visit.

Flight Itinerary for LX-PAK:



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ottawacitizen.com/news/national/Spiritual+leader+Khan+address+Parliament+Thursday/9546184/story.html

Spiritual leader Aga Khan to address Parliament on Thursday

By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News February 24, 2014

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has lauded him as “a beacon of humanitarianism, of pluralism and of tolerance throughout the world,” and on Thursday the Aga Khan will be given the rare privilege of addressing Parliament.

But what do Canadians really know about the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims and a respected philanthropist, who also just so happens to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and enjoys a jet-setter’s lifestyle?

Thursday’s speech will be the latest in a string of Canadian honours already bestowed upon the religious leader, including the Order of Canada, honorary degrees from five universities, and the granting of honorary Canadian citizenship in 2009.

Canada also has emerged as a key partner for the Aga Khan’s philanthropic work in the developing world, pumping tens of millions of dollars into his Aga Khan Development Network, which focuses on countries with large Muslim populations in Africa and Asia.

Despite the fact the Aga Khan does not govern a country, but is instead the spiritual head of the world’s moderate Ismaili Muslim sect, thousands of whom live in Canada, a de facto embassy was allowed to be opened on prime real estate in Ottawa in 2008.

And the federal government gave $30 million and a 99-year lease for the old Canadian war museum in Ottawa to help him establish an international centre for tolerance and peaceful co-existence between different religions and cultures.

The Aga Khan himself has expressed a profound admiration for Canada, in part because this country took in thousands of his Ismaili Muslim followers from East Africa during the 1970s where they faced persecution by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and other regional leaders.

One of Islam’s smallest sects, the Ismailis’ travails in East Africa were only the latest in a long history of persecution that often included discrimination by other Muslims and has left them scattered across Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

But those who fled to Canada were able to find a home. The community now numbers from 45,000 to 70,000, and has representatives at all levels of government, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Sen. Mobina Jaffer, who until recently was a member of the Liberal caucus, and Harper aide Alykhan Velshi.

And the Ismailis’ presence and visibility in Canada is about to get a giant bump when an extensive $300-million Ismaili cultural museum opens in Toronto this year. It will provide a permanent home for hundreds of treasured Ismaili artifacts, and a place where non-Ismailis can learn about the religion.

On Thursday, parliamentarians of all stripes are expected to welcome the Aga Khan with open arms and listen intently as he holds up Canada as an example of how people of all races, colours and creeds can live in peaceful co-existence.

It’s a message that will resonate particularly strongly for the Conservative government, which has made the defence of religious minorities and the protection of human dignity a key part of its foreign policy.

The Aga Khan will be the first non-head of state to address Parliament since United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan in 2004 and, before him, Nelson Mandela in 1990, four years before Mandela was elected president of South Africa.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vancouverdesi.com/news/a-preview-of-the-aga-khans-speech-to-the-canadian-parliament-on-thursday/726428/

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

A preview of the Aga Khan’s speech to the Canadian Parliament on Thursday

DR. VALI JAMAL
VANCOUVER DESI

The Aga Khan will be speaking as an honorary citizen of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday. The Aga Khan is the recipient of six honoris causa (honorary doctorates) from Canadian universities, the “owner” of three landmark institutions in Canada, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims – and a world Muslim leader.

When the Aga Khan speaks the world listens and this speech is now being billed as his most important so far. The speech could be quite moving on the trends in world society and his role in it, starting with his relationship with Canada from the 1972 expulsion of Uganda Asians by the dictator Idi Amin. The Aga Khan played an immense role in this out of his friendship with Prime Minister Trudeau.

Ismaili professionals had started trickling into Canada from the mid-1960s when they realized the Canadian immigration laws were no longer race-based. Some returned to Uganda on proselytizing visits. Some met with the Aga Khan to extol the virtues of Canada as a destination for East African Asians, who were feeling more and more insecure after independence in their adopted countries at the start of the 1960s. The Asians were rich and in the eye of the new rulers.

In Uganda itself they numbered at their height just 80,000 or so people – 1 per cent of the total population – but they took home two-thirds of the non-food part of the GDP, food being the domain of the Africans. All “modern” sectors were in their hands – trade, industry, services, professions, skilled trades. No wonder they earned the resentments of not only African leaders, but also the man on the street, more so as they had arrogant ways to go with their wealth, displaying it at every opportunity to each other by their motorcars, homes and clothes. Africans didn’t exist for them except as customers in their dukas (shops) and workers at home and factories, but Africans saw the Asian display of wealth as an affront to their independence – what difference did uhuru make to them? Uganda’s first post-independence leader President Obote tried to correct the inequality through his acts of nationalization but he was soon deposed by Idi Amin. Idi Amin “nationalized” the whole economy at one go with his expulsion order. Although in popular accounts it is depicted that Amin got his idea in a divine revelation – some accounts even speak of him coming out in his pajamas, rubbing his eyes, to announce the expulsion – he had warned the Asians since coming to power that they had to change their ways.

Amin really meant to ethnic-cleanse his country but he had to have a fig leaf to expel the citizens, around 20,000. So he asked them to come to verify their papers. Half of the people were disenfranchised in this exercise on dubious grounds. Of the verified 10,000 citizens, 3,000 or so joined the expulsion on their own. Five thousand wanted to make a go of their citizenship. Amin said, welcome, now be ready to go and cultivate the soil like Africans and marry them – a big grudge of his. These people were picked up by the UNHCR (the refugee agency) during the last week of the expulsion in a massive airlift that has become legendary amongst the Asians. The high commissioner? None other than Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, the uncle of His Highness. In that year the HCR had to look after half a million refugees and IDPs from South Sudan, yet they gave us so much attention!

Ten thousand people who were disenfranchised were mostly Ismailis and Goans. They had taken out “full-family” citizenship, unlike the split-citizenship strategy of the other communities: husband Ugandan to be allowed to trade; wife British if it came to leaving. Canada responded to British Prime Minister’s frantic calls to help with the plight of the “overcrowded island” (as PM Trudeau put it to the Canadian parliament on August 24, three weeks into Amin’s expulsion notice). The Canadian mission people were surprised not many British passport-holders were coming forward to apply to them. Truth to tell, to the British passport holders, a majority Hindus, this was their chance to get into Britain where many of their community had gone recently from all three East African countries and were thriving.

In stepped His Highness the Aga Khan to his friend Prime Minister Trudeau to get Canada to admit the stateless. But, contrary to some stories, it was not a free ride and Ismailis were not specially favoured. The Canadians were at first applying the points system, even though this was a refugee situation. This we glean from the diary of Roger St Vincent, the chief of the mission that came to pick us up. One-half of those who applied were rejected outright; another third were rejected at the interview. Many Ismaili high-ups were rejected. Almost all Goan applicants (2,000 or so) passed on points. Around 500 people of other communities were also admitted to Canada.

This was the first time Canada was accepting such a large number of non-White refugees and the opposition in Canada were watching that no favouritism was granted. They were gunning to organize demos but failed miserably because the Canadian people were glued to the World Series of Hockey (USSR-Canada). So hockey did intervene, apart from the story that the number to be admitted to Canada was settled when the Aga Khan and Trudeau were meeting during one of the games and an aide came in to signal by his fingers that the score was 3-all. The Aga Khan: “Six thousand, right?” – and it was settled. There is more. The first flight of the Uganda Asian refugees arrived at Montreal just as the eight and final game of the world Series was taking place. WWYW moment for Canada, September 28, 1972. The series score is 3-3-1 and the game score 5-all, 34 seconds to go – and Hendersen scores – the Goal Heard Around the World, but we didn’t know anything about it in Uganda queuing for our immigration. One of our arriving people was asked by a reporter at the refugee centre at Longue Pointe if he knew what everyone was watching. He said, “Yes. That’s ice hockey; I saw it in the Love Story.” What a far cry from now, when Uganda Asian Sherali Najak is the executive producer of Hockey Night in Canada and attendance at jamatkhana (Ismailia mosque) falls by one-half during major games!

Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, Aga Khan poses after the inauguration ceremony at Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi on September 18, 2013. PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Within six months of arriving in Canada two-thirds of the Uganda Asians had found jobs, although not commensurately with their education. One person who had owned several Mercedes-Benzes in Uganda was now parking the Mercedes-Benzes of the 1960s Uganda Asian pioneers at Hotel Vancouver! Already the mid-60s pioneering cohort were that well established in Canada. Fast forward to today: The Uganda Asian brand is synonymous with wealth in Canada. There are several serious-millionaires (>$300 million) among them, more multi-millionaires per square centimetre at any of the Aga Khan’s Imamat Day celebrations in the West Vancouver jamatkhana than were present at St Paul’s Cathedral for Duke of Cambridge’s marriage. Uganda Asians’ successful resettlement in Canada quite surely contributed to Canada adopting the Multicultural Law in July 1987 – and that undoubtedly contributed to the Aga Khan establishing his Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa. In the “virtuous spiral” we take note of the honours bestowed upon the Imam, more honours to an individual than in any country, the pinnacle undoubtedly the emotion-packed address to the parliament. Uganda Asians – Ismailis or not – will be glowing.

Dr Vali Jamal is an ex-UN-International Labour Organization economist (1976-2001), with a BA from Cambridge (Trinity College) and a PhD from Stanford. He is an Ismaili. He has lived in Uganda since 2005. The above account is based on his book, Uganda Asians: Then and Now, Here and There. It has been almost seven years in the writing and is expected to be launched in July.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Alexander
To Me
Today at 1:45 PM
Conservative Party of Canada
Friend,

Thank you for signing up to receive our important updates on the upcoming historic visit of His Highness the Aga Khan to Canada.

Over the next few days, we will be posting updates, including photos and videos, of what will certainly be a memorable visit. You will find these updates at: http://www.stephenharper.ca/aga-khan-visit/

...


Sincerely,

Chris Alexander

We believe email is an important way to stay in touch with Canadians. If you no longer wish to receive e-mail updates from us, click here to unsubscribe.

Email communications from: Conservative Party of Canada 1204-130 Albert St Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4 Canada
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/02/26/why_the_aga_khan_loves_canada_and_why_we_love_him_siddiqui.html


Why the Aga Khan loves Canada and why we love him: Siddiqui

The Aga Khan is respected in the West as well as in the Muslim world and he sings the virtues of both.

By: Haroon Siddiqui Columnist, Published on Wed Feb 26 2014


The Muslims loved by the West are usually the ones most hated by Muslims — such as Salman Rushdie, the Shah of Iran, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Muslims most quoted by the media — and courted by right-wing politicians, including the Stephen Harper Conservatives — are those who attack Muslims and Islam.

Conversely, many parts of the Muslim world cheer the most extreme anti-western voices.

The Aga Khan strides in between those extremes.

He is respected in the West as well as in the Muslim world. He speaks ill of neither. He sings the virtues of both, even while condemning Rushdie for gratuitously insulting the Prophet Muhammad. He has also berated the West’s “stunning lack of knowledge” about Islam that lets Islamophobe ignoramuses dictate public discourse disproportionately.

He particularly likes Canada, especially multiculturalism’s cardinal principle of conferring the dignity of equality on all citizens.

Canadians, in turn, like him, even Harper, who has invited the Aga Khan to address Parliament today — a rare honour given only a few, such as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

The Aga Khan, 76, is the imam of the Ismaili Muslims, a tiny minority within the Shiite minority among the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, an overwhelming majority of whom are Sunnis.

The divisions are political and theological. Prophet Muhammad had no sons and when he died in 632 A.D., his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib was passed over and became only the fourth caliph. For Shiites — literally, the partisans of Ali — this political skulduggery was a usurpation of the Prophet’s lineage, which continues only through Ali, their first imam.

The Shiites themselves were to split over his descendants. Some believe there were seven imams but a majority believes there were 12 imams. The Seveners are also known as Ismailis, named after the seventh imam. The Twelvers are a majority in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain, and are almost half the population of Yemen and the largest religious group in Lebanon.

Both streams believe their last imam did not die but went into ghaeba, a transcendent realm from whence he would return one day. In the meantime, they must be guided by ayatollahs and, in the case of the Ismailis, by a Hazar (present) imam, the Aga Khan. By contrast, the Sunnis — followers of the sunna, the teachings and deeds of the Prophet —believe in a more direct, individual relationship with God.

The Ismaili golden age of political, literary and cultural power was the Fatimid dynasty (909-1171), based in Cairo.

By the 19th century, the 45th Ismaili imam was in Persia, married to the daughter of the ruler, and had the title of Aga Khan (the great chief). But he had a falling out with the ruler and in 1837 crossed over into neighbouring Baluchistan and Sindh, then part of British India, where there were already Ismaili converts. The Aga Khan and his cavalry helped the British in the First Afghan War and also in defeating rebels in Sindh — prompting the then British governor-general to send Whitehall his famous coded telegram, “I have sinned” (Sindh).

(The Aga’s old mud villa by the Indus River, in the interior of Sindh, is still standing, at least it was when I visited it in 1995).

The Aga was given a pension by the British and later the title of His Highness. In 1841, he moved south to Mumbai, where he established the Ismaili headquarters. He died in 1881 and was succeeded by his son who died within four years and was succeeded by his 8-year-old son, Sultan Mohammed. Aga Khan III was to become famous for his mediatory role between the British and the Indians. For the Ismailis, his great contribution was emphasizing modern education, including for women.

When he died in 1957, he bypassed his two sons, including the playboy Aly, and named his grandson, the Harvard-educated Karim, then 20, as his successor.

Aga Khan IV has since transformed the imamate as well as his community of 14 million, spread over Central and South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Persian Gulf, Syria and the West, including 90,000 in Canada.

From Geneva, he runs a worldwide non-profit development network of 300 institutions, which run schools, universities, hospitals and businesses worldwide, especially in developing countries, including Afghanistan. His is the world’s largest non-governmental development agency, one in which Canada co-operates with about $22 million a year.

His other initiatives include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture based at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which restores historic Islamic spaces.

From his home in Gouvieux, France, he runs a private business empire that employs 30,000 people.

To his people, he provides both spiritual and worldly guidance and, in return, commands near-total loyalty and dedication, including the tithe of time and voluntary service. Nurjehan Mawani, former chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, is serving the Aga Khan network in Afghanistan. Firoz Rasul, former head of Ballard Power Systems, is president of the Aga Khan University in Pakistan. Toronto businessman Aziz Bhaloo does development work in Kenya.

In Canada, the Aga Khan has established a Global Centre for Pluralism, to distil the Canadian wisdom on pluralism and export it to the world, and he is developing an 18-acre site at Wynford Dr., visible west of the Don Valley Parkway, for a museum, an Ismaili centre and a park.

He was named honorary companion of the Order of Canada in 2005 and honorary Canadian citizen in 2009.

He is “perhaps the only person in the world to whom everyone listens,” says former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, who sits on the board of his pluralism centre. Harper calls him a “beacon of humanitarianism, of pluralism and tolerance throughout the world.”

I have drawn from the following books: No God but God, by Reza Aslan, Random House, 2005; India’s Islamic Traditions 711-1750, edited by Richard Eaton, Oxford, 2003; Sindh Revisited, Christopher Ondaatje, HarperCollins, 1996; The Ismailis, their history and doctrines, Farhad Daftary, Cambride University Press, 1990; Islam in the World, Malise Ruthven, Oxford, 1984; Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mohamed Keshavjee, I.B. Taurus, 2013; The Memoirs of Aga Khan, with a foreword by W. Somerset Maugham, Cassel and Co., 1954.

Haroon Siddiqui’s column appears on Thursday and Sunday. hsiddiqui@thestar.ca
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

February 26, 2014 5:54 PM

Media Advisory - Aga Khan to address special joint session of parliament on Thursday, February 27

OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - His Highness the Aga Khan, founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, arrived in Canada today to deliver an historic address to the Canadian Parliament at the invitation of The Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

His Highness the Aga Khan joins a handful of individuals who are not a head of state or government to address a joint session of Parliament. He is also the first faith leader to address the Canadian Parliament.

Speaking about the invitation in a press release issued by the Canadian government, Prime Minister Harper stated that "Our Government is honoured to once again welcome His Highness the Aga Khan to Canada. Our country has a warm and lasting friendship with His Highness, who was granted honorary Canadian citizenship for his leadership as a champion of international development, pluralism and tolerance around the world."

The Aga Khan, the AKDN and the Ismaili community have long-standing ties to Canada. The Government of Canada and the Aga Khan Development Network collaborate on development projects around the world. Partnership has been particularly strong in promoting maternal, newborn and child health - one of Canada's key development priorities. His Highness has launched several institutions in Canada, which stem from his admiration of Canada's success as a pluralistic nation.

These include the Global Centre for Pluralism - a joint initiative of the Canadian government and the Ismaili Imamat - as well as the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat. In May 2010, Prime Minister Harper and His Highness presided over the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, and the Aga Khan Museum, the first museum in North America dedicated exclusively to Islamic arts and cultures.

His Highness the Aga Khan will deliver the historic address to a joint session of the Canadian Parliament on February 27, 2014 at 11 am EST. For information or pictures, please see AKDN.org.

SOURCE Aga Khan Council For Canada
For further information:


Semin Abdulla
Senior Communications Officer &#8232;
Aga Khan Development Network
Semin.abdulla@akdn.org

Faiza Hirji
Aga Khan Council for Canada
faiza_hirji@hotmail.com
(289) 921-0578
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those who missed the speech, the video is now available online.
Please see link below.

http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/headline-politics/episodes/90002991/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m4dbzu8cac
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cp24.com/news/opposition-accuses-harper-of-aga-khan-snub-1.1706626

Also www.ctvnews.ca/politics/opposition-accuses-harper-of-aga-khan-snub-after-speech-on-inclusion-1.1706472



Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

Opposition accuses Harper of Aga Khan snub

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:05PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 27, 2014 5:26PM EST

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper listened intently as the spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims preached a message of tolerance, inclusion and peace to a packed House of Commons.

But Harper stood accused Thursday of turning a deaf ear to the core message of the 77-year-old Aga Khan by choosing not to invite the NDP and Liberals to an event Friday in Toronto to mark the visit.

The snub had the two opposition parties in an uproar, coming as it did one day after they took Harper to task for refusing to include them among an official Canadian delegation to Ukraine this week.

"We've got to learn to work together," said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who along with his Liberal counterpart, Justin Trudeau, was allowed to meet the Aga Khan Thursday on Parliament Hill.

But no invitation was extended to the opposition parties for Friday afternoon's event at Toronto's Massey Hall. At least two Conservative cabinet ministers and one senator are on the guest list.

"The Aga Khan is a model for working together and reaching out to other people, so it's a shame that for that event tomorrow in Toronto no one else seems to have been invited," said Mulcair.

Added Liberal foreign affairs critic Marc Garneau: "This is a highly-partisan government that behaves that way."

Harper spokesman Jason MacDonald responded that both opposition leaders were invited to join the prime minister for a meeting with the Aga Khan before he addressed the Commons.

"The event in Toronto will be an opportunity for thousands of Ismailis and non-Ismailis to hear His Highness speak," MacDonald said in an email.

"Invitations were extended to thousands of people from the community, as well as senior executives from the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Quebecor Media, Postmedia, and other media organizations -- to say nothing of CEOs and charitable sector leaders."

The political fracas followed a speech in which the Aga Khan called on Canadians to join him in making the world a more tolerant, peaceful place.

"Canada is a leader in the community of nations," he told MPs and senators in a joint session of Parliament.

"I happily recall the establishment of the delegation of the Ismaili Imamat here in 2008 and the prime minister's description that day of our collaborative efforts to make Canada 'the headquarters of the global effort to foster peace, prosperity and equality through pluralism."'

He was welcomed with repeated standing ovations in the packed Commons. The audience in the galleries included many Ismaili Muslim representatives invited for the occasion.

The Harvard-educated religious leader spoke elegantly in both official languages, mixing humour and history as he offered a solemn plea for peace in a badly divided world.

He opened by paying tribute to Canada's recent gold-medal Olympic hockey victories and joked that, as an honorary Canadian citizen, he would have liked to have played for the team.

"The Dalai Lama and I would have been a formidable defence."

The Aga Khan, hereditary holder of his religious office, is a regular visitor to Canada, with his most recent trips coming in 2008 and 2010.

In 2006, the Aga Khan opened the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, which is housed on Sussex Drive, just down the road from the prime minister's official residence.

He was granted honorary Canadian citizenship during the 2010 visit.

He said his foundation would help Canada celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017.

The Aga Khan made a plea for greater understanding of the world's Muslims, noting that how they are viewed in the world is shaped by "the lens of war."

He lamented the growing divisions among Shia and Sunni Muslims around the world, especially in war zones such as Iraq, saying those disputes are not based on profound differences in religious faith.

"It is becoming a disaster," he said.

The world needs to pay more attention to the role of civil society, he said, which represents "voices for change where change is overdue ... voices of hope for people living in fear."

Religious intolerance and hostility seem to be on the rise around the world and can be countered by vigorous civil society, he argued.

And he commended Harper for establishing an Office of Religious Freedom, saying it could be a model for other countries.

He closed by quoting a verse from the Qur'an that the human race was born from a "single soul" -- inspiring another sustained standing ovation.

Harper introduced the Aga Khan as a tireless humanitarian, lauding him for development partnerships in Africa, Asia and Afghanistan. The prime minister also said Canada had signed a protocol with him to deepen co-operation.

"When you are in Canada, you are home," said Harper, adding that the Alga Khan's advocacy for tolerance and pluralism has gone "beyond words."

Harper also thanked the Aga Khan for supporting his child and maternal health initiative, launched in 2010.

"Canadians are strongest when we have the support of those who share our values," Harper said.

"Your highness, I value your counsel and your friendship."

The Aga Khan became the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims in 1957, and oversees a number of foundations which run development projects around the world.

There are about 100,000 Shia Ismaili Muslims in Canada.


Last edited by Admin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-exemplary-leader-in-unity-and-pluralism-aga-khan-says-1.2553527


You can see the whole speech video coverage by CBC Television by clicking the link below. Unfortunately it is preeceded by some publicity by CBC.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2439722043/

CBC NEWS




Canada 'exemplary leader' in unity and pluralism, Aga Khan says
77-year-old Aga Khan is hereditary spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims


By Trinh Theresa Do, CBC News Posted: Feb 27, 2014 10:34 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 27, 2014 5:20 PM ET



The Aga Khan encouraged Canadians to continue embracing diversity Thursday morning in Parliament, in a speech espousing the need for an improved global civil society.

Aga Khan brings deep ties to Canada in address to Parliament today

“One key to Canada’s success in building a meritocratic civil society is your recognition that democratic societies require more than democratic governments,” the spiritual leader said before members of both houses.

The hereditary spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims spoke at length about improving societies through institutions outside of government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

1 of 7

“The sad fact behind so much instability in our world today is that governments are seen to be inadequate to these challenges. A much happier fact is that, in the global effort to change this picture, Canada is an exemplary leader,” he said.

The Aga Khan said the world needs to look beyond the government and private sector. He spoke of the Ismaili community's Aga Khan Development Network, which has been supporting economic development, education and health care, among other things, in countries around the world.

“Increasingly, I believe, the voices of civil society are voices for change – where change has been overdue. They have been voices of hope for people living in fear,” he said in his speech.
Politics to blame for religious clashes

He praised Canada for the country’s emphasis on education, as well as the government’s creation of the Office of Religious Freedom.

The spiritual leader spoke of the “harsh reality” of the rise of religious hostility and intolerance, particularly in countries such as the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Myanmar.

The Aga Khan also addressed the wide variance of Muslim cultures and misconceptions about how Muslims view the world.

"Essential among them is that they do not share some common, overarching impression of the West. It has become a commonplace for some to talk about an inevitable clash of the industrial West and Islamic civilizations. But most Muslims don't see things this way," he said in his speech.

The Aga Khan blamed clashes between Islam and other faiths on political circumstances and economic ambitions of governments, rather than deep religious divides.

“Sadly, what is highly abnormal in the Islamic world often gets mistaken for what is normal. Of course, media perceptions of our world in recent years have often been conveyed through a lens of war,” the spiritual leader said.

The Aga Khan switched over to French in the midst of his address to proclaim that, despite existing misconceptions, harmony is possible. He said a constitutional approach could be used to correct the inadequacies of existing state policies, especially when societies are still developing.

This is an essential topic that my duties prevent me from ignoring, he said.

The Aga Khan’s words come as the province of Quebec is embroiled in a fiery debate over the proposed charter of values, which would prevent public servants from wearing religious symbols — including crucifixes, hijabs, turbans and yarmulkes.

The proposed charter is carving a deep divide in a province that’s long struggled with identity politics and secession attempts.
Deep ties with Canada

Before beginning his address, the Aga Khan congratulated Canada on the gold medal performances of its hockey teams in Sochi.

"I was hoping you would require your honorary citizens to join your team," he said, explaining that he was an ex-player himself. "I am convinced that the Dalai Lama and I would have been a formidable defence."

The Aga Khan was made an honorary citizen of Canada in 2010, a distinction he shares with the Dalai Lama.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave the Aga Khan a warm welcome in his introduction.

"When you are in Canada, you are home," Harper said.

He also spoke of the deep ties between the Imamat — the entity that represents the succession of Imams — and Canada, especially with regards to diversity.

"Canadians are strongest when we have the support of those who share our values."

There was a large audience to hear the Aga Khan speak in the House of Commons, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Following the speech, the spiritual leader and Harper signed a protocol of understanding to strengthen ties between the Imamat and Canada.

"Our partnership in Canada has been immensely strengthened, of course, by the presence — for more than four decades — of a significant Ismaili community," the Aga Khan said in his speech.

The agreement commits both sides to regular consultations on a range of global issues, including foreign policy and regional trade, as well as appointment of representatives.

Currently, Canada is involved in 13 development projects with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, which is a major fundraiser for the Aga Khan Development Network, with a total government commitment of more than $216 million.
Opposition MPs not invited to Toronto event

The Aga Khan also met privately with opposition leaders while in Ottawa.

He is expected to head to Toronto on Friday for a speaking event at Massey Hall.

NDP and Liberal MPs said they were not invited to the engagement, which was organized by the Prime Minister's Office.

The event will be taking place in Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland's riding of Toronto Centre. She calls the situation "ironic."

"One of the messages of the Aga Khan is understanding, working with pluralism, being tolerant, living in a world of diversity," she said. "To meet that message and to receive a person who's come here to talk to us about that with this hyper-partisanship, I think it's just wrong."

New Democrat MP Craig Scott agrees.

"If the Aga Khan had his way and knew this was the approach to how his event is being handled, I can't imagine he'd be all that happy about it," he said.

In response to a CBC News query, a representative of the Aga Khan Council for Canada said that the spiritual leader was not aware of who would be attending.

"The event is organized entirely by the Prime Minister's Office and we do not have access to the invitation list."

The only Ismaili parliamentarian, Liberal MP Mobina Jaffer, was also not invited to the Toronto event.

"But I'm just as happy to be here and to welcome him to my home. Parliament of Canada is where I work, it's my home, so I'm happy."

The 77-year-old Aga Khan is a regular visitor to Canada, with his most recent trip coming last November following visits in 2008 and 2010.

The Aga Khan became the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims in 1957, when he succeeded his grandfather.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From akdn.org

Address of His Highness the Aga Khan to both Houses of the Parliament of Canada in the House of Commons Chamber, Ottawa

27 February 2014

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim
Mr Prime Minister,
Speaker Kinsella,
Speaker Scheer,
Honourable Members of the Senate and House of Commons,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Honourable Members of the Diplomatic Community
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Prime Minister’s generous introduction has been very kind. I am grateful for this invitation, for our association, and for so thoughtfully enabling leading representatives of our community and institutions, around the world, to join us on this occasion. I am thankful they will have this opportunity to see for themselves why Canada is a leader in the community of nations.

I must also thank you, Prime Minister, for inviting me to become an honorary citizen. May I congratulate you on the gold medals of your remarkable hockey teams in Sochi. As an ex-player myself I was hoping you would require your honorary citizens to join your team. I am convinced that the Dalai Lama and I would have been a formidable defence.

Merci encore Monsieur le Premier Ministre pour votre invitation. Je ressens cet instant comme un honneur sans précédent. C'est à la fois un sentiment intime, et une perception objective, puisque l'on m'a rapporté que c'est la première fois depuis 75 ans qu'un chef spirituel s'adresse au Sénat et à la Chambre des Communes réunis, dans le cadre d'une visite officielle. C'est donc avec humilité et conscient d'une éminente responsabilité que je m'adresse à vous, représentants élus du Parlement fédéral canadien, en présence des plus hautes autorités du gouvernement fédéral.

J'ai le grand privilège de représenter ici l'Imamat ismaïli, cette institution qui, au-delà des frontières et depuis plus de 1,400 ans, se définit et est reconnue par un nombre croissant d'Etats comme la succession des Imams chiites imamis ismaïlis.

Quarante-neuvième Imam de cette longue histoire, je porte depuis plus de cinquante ans, deux responsabilités inséparables : veiller au devenir spirituel des ismaïlis ainsi que, concomitamment, à l'amélioration de leur qualité de vie et de celle des populations au sein desquelles ils vivent.

Même s'il fut une époque où les Imams ismaïlis étaient aussi Califes, c'est-à-dire chefs d'Etats — par exemple en Egypte à l'époque fatimide — ma fonction est aujourd'hui apolitique; tout ismaïli étant avant tout un citoyen ou une citoyenne de son pays de naissance ou d'adoption. Le champ d'action de l'Imamat ismaïli est pourtant considérablement plus important qu'à cette époque lointaine, puisqu'il déploie aujourd'hui ses activités dans de nombreuses régions du monde C'est dans ce cadre que j'évoquerai successivement devant vous quelques réflexions qui me paraissent dignes de vous être présentées.

I propose today to give you some background about myself and my role, and then to reflect about what we call the Ummah — the entirety of Muslim communities around the world.

I will comment, as a faith leader, on the crisis of governance in so much of the world today, before concluding with some thoughts about the values that can assist countries of crisis to develop into countries of opportunity, and how Canada can help shape that process.

First then, a few personal words. I was born into a Muslim family, linked by heredity to the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him and his family). My education blended Islamic and Western traditions, and I was studying at Harvard some 50 years ago (yes 50 years ago — actually 56 years ago!) when I became the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

The Ismaili Imamat is a supra-national entity, representing the succession of Imams since the time of the Prophet. But let me clarify something more about the history of that role, in both the Sunni and Shia interpretations of the Muslim faith. The Sunni position is that the Prophet nominated no successor, and that spiritual-moral authority belongs to those who are learned in matters of religious law. As a result, there are many Sunni imams in a given time and place. But others believed that the Prophet had designated his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as his successor. From that early division, a host of further distinctions grew up — but the question of rightful leadership remains central. In time, the Shia were also sub-divided over this question, so that today the Ismailis are the only Shia community who, throughout history, have been led by a living, hereditary Imam in direct descent from the Prophet.

The role of the Ismaili Imam is a spiritual one; his authority is that of religious interpretation. It is not a political role. I do not govern any land. At the same time, Islam believes fundamentally that the spiritual and material worlds are inextricably connected. Faith does not remove Muslims — or their Imams — from daily, practical matters in family life, in business, in community affairs.

Faith, rather, is a force that should deepen our concern for our worldly habitat, for embracing its challenges, and for improving the quality of human life.

This Muslim belief in the fusion of Faith and World is why much of my attention has been committed to the work of the Aga Khan Development Network.

In 1957, when I succeeded my grandfather as Imam, the Ismaili community lived for the most part in the colonies or ex-colonies of France, Belgium and the British Empire, or behind the Iron Curtain. They are still a highly diverse community, in terms of ethnicity, language, culture, and geography. They continue to live mostly in the developing world, though increasing numbers now live in Europe and North America.

Before 1957, individual Ismaili communities had their own social and economic institutions where that was allowed. There was no intent for them to grow to national prominence, and even less a vision to coordinate their activities across frontiers.

Today, however, that situation has changed, and the Aga Khan Development Network has a strong presence in several dozen countries, where appropriate regional coordination is also useful.

The AKDN — as we call it — is composed of a variety of private, non-governmental, non-denominational agencies implementing many of the Imamat’s responsibilities. We are active in the fields of economic development, job creation, education, and health care, as well as important cultural initiatives.

Most of our AKDN activities have been born from the grass roots of developing countries, reflecting their aspirations and their fragilities. Through the years, of course, this landscape has changed fundamentally, with the creation of new states like Bangladesh, the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Uganda, the collapse of the Soviet empire and the emergence of new countries with large Ismaili populations such as Tajikistan.

More recently, of course, we have faced the conflicts in Afghanistan and Syria. But through all of these experiences, the

Ismaili peoples have demonstrated an impressive capacity to persevere and to progress.
Our work has always been people-driven. It grows out of the age-old Islamic ethic, committed to goals with universal relevance: the elimination of poverty, access to education, and social peace in a pluralist environment. The AKDN’s fundamental objective is to improve the quality of human life.

Amongst the great common denominators of the human race is a shared aspiration, a common hope, for a better quality of life. I was struck a few years ago to read about a UNDP survey of 18 South American states where the majority of the people were less interested in their forms of government, than in the quality of their lives. Even autocratic governments that improved their quality of life would be more acceptable for most of those polled than ineffective democratic governments.

I cite that study, of course, with due respect to governmental institutions that have had a more successful history — including certain very distinguished parliaments!

But the sad fact behind so much instability in our world today is that governments are seen to be inadequate to these challenges. A much happier fact is that, in the global effort to change this picture, Canada is an exemplary leader.

Let me now describe a few examples of a quarter century of close collaboration between AKDN and Canada.

One of our earliest collaborations was to establish the first private nursing school in Pakistan, in cooperation with McMaster and the CIDA of that time. It was the first component of the Aga Khan University — the first private university in that country. The nursing school’s impact has been enormous; many of those who now head other nursing programmes and hospitals in the whole of the region — not just Pakistan — are graduates of our school. Canada was also one of the first donors to the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Northern Pakistan, tripling incomes in this remote, marginalised area. The approaches developed there have shaped our further collaborations in Tajikistan, in Afghanistan, in Kenya, and in Mozambique. Canada has also helped establish the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development in Karachi and in East Africa, along with other educational initiatives in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan, including pioneering work in the field of Early Childhood Development.

I could speak about our close ties with Canadian universities also, such as McMaster, McGill, the University of Toronto, and the University of Alberta, enhancing our own institutions of tertiary education — the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia.

The latter institution has resulted from the Imamat’s unique, tripartite treaty with the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It serves some 22 million people who live in Central Asia, in hillside and high mountain environments, areas of acute seismic and economic vulnerability.

I could list many more examples in cultural development and in scientific research. And we are especially proud of the Global Centre for Pluralism here in Ottawa, a joint project of the Imamat and the Canadian government.

In just three years, Canada will mark its 150th anniversary, and the whole world will be ready to celebrate with you. Sharing Canada's robust pluralistic history, is a core mission of our Global Centre, and 2017 will be a major opportunity for doing so, operating from its headquarters in the former War Museum on Sussex Drive. Perhaps 2017 and the celebrations can be a catalyst with our neighbours to improve the entire riverfront area around that building.

Our partnership in Canada has been immensely strengthened, of course, by the presence for more than four decades of a significant Ismaili community. Like most historic global communities the Ismaili peoples have a variegated history, but surely our experience in Canada has been a particularly positive chapter.

I happily recall the establishment of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat here in 2008 and the Prime Minister’s description that day of our collaborative efforts to make Canada “the headquarters of the global effort to foster peace, prosperity, and equality through pluralism.”

We are deeply pleased that we can sign today a new Protocol with your Government — further strengthening our ongoing platform for cooperation.

As we look to the next 25 years of the AKDN, we believe that our permanent presence in the developing world will make us a dependable partner, especially in meeting the difficult challenges of predictability.
Against this background, let me move on to the broad international sphere, including the role of relations between the countries and cultures of Islam — what we call the Ummah — and non-Islamic societies. It is central to the shape of global affairs in our time.

I would begin by emphasising a central point about the Ummah often unseen elsewhere: the fundamental fact of its immense diversity. Muslim demography has expanded dramatically in recent years, and Muslims today have highly differing views on many questions.

Essential among them is that they do not share some common, overarching impression of the West. It has become commonplace for some to talk about an inevitable clash of the industrial West and Islamic civilizations. But Muslims don’t see things in this way. Those whose words and deeds feed into that point of view are a small and extreme minority. For most of us, it is simply not true. We find singularly little in our theological interpretations that would clash with the other Abrahamic faiths — with Christianity and Judaism. Indeed, there is much that is in profound harmony.

When the clashes of modern times have come, they have most often grown out of particular political circumstances, the twists and turns of power relationships and economic ambitions, rather than deep theological divides. Yet sadly, what is highly abnormal in the Islamic world gets mistaken for what is normal. Of course, media perceptions of our world in recent years have often been conveyed through a lens of war. But that is all the more reason to shape global conversation in a more informed direction. I am personally aware of the efforts the Prime Minister has made to achieve this. Thank you, Prime Minister.

The complexity of the Ummah has a long history. Some of the most glorious chapters in Islamic history were purposefully built on the principle of inclusiveness — it was a matter of state policy to pursue excellence through pluralism. This was true from the time of the Abbasids in Baghdad and the Fatimids in Cairo over 1,000 years ago. It was true in Afghanistan and Timbuktu in Mali, and later with the Safavids in Iran, the Mughals in India, the Uzbeks in Bukhara, and Ottomans in Turkey. From the 8th to the 16th century, al-Andalus thrived on the Iberian Peninsula — under Muslim aegis — but also deeply welcoming to Christian and Jewish peoples.

Today, these Islamic traditions have been obscured in many places, from Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The work of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and our Historic Cities Programme, is to revive the memory of this inclusive inheritance. Another immediate initiative is the Aga Khan Museum which will open this year in Toronto, an important testimonial in a Canadian setting to the immense diversity of Islamic cultures.

Perhaps the most important area of incomprehension, outside the Ummah, is the conflict between Sunni and Shia interpretations of Islam and the consequences for the Sunni and Shia peoples.

This powerful tension is sometimes even more profound than conflicts between Muslims and other faiths. It has increased massively in scope and intensity recently, and has been further exacerbated by external interventions. In Pakistan and Malaysia, in Iraq and Syria, in Lebanon and Bahrain, in Yemen and Somalia and Afghanistan it is becoming a disaster. It is important, therefore, for non-Muslims who are dealing with the Ummah to communicate with both Sunni and Shia voices. To be oblivious to this reality would be like ignoring over many centuries that there were differences between Catholics and Protestants, or trying to resolve the civil war in Northern Ireland without engaging both Christian communities. What would have been the consequences if the Protestant-Catholic struggle in Ireland had spread throughout the Christian world, as is happening today between Shia and Sunni Muslims in more than nine countries? It is of the highest priority that these dangerous trends be well understood and resisted, and that the fundamental legitimacy of pluralistic outlooks be honoured in all aspects of our lives together — including matters of faith.

Permettez-moi à ce point de mon discours de m'adresser à vous à nouveau en français.

Je viens d'évoquer les incompréhensions entre le monde industrialisé et le monde musulman et les oppositions qui flétrissent indument les relations entre les grandes traditions de l'Islam.

Pourtant, le cœur, la raison et, pour ceux qui en sont animés, la foi, nous disent qu'une plus grande harmonie est possible. De fait, des évolutions récentes nous donnent une ouverture.

Parmi ces évolutions, je voudrais dire combien la démarche constitutionnaliste est importante pour corriger l'inadéquation de nombreuses constitutions existantes, avec l'évolution des sociétés, notamment lorsqu'elles sont en développement. C'est un sujet essentiel que les devoirs de ma charge m'interdisent d'ignorer.

Vous serez peut-être surpris d'apprendre que trente-sept pays du monde ont adopté une nouvelle constitution dans les dernières dix années, et douze sont en phase avancée de modernisation de la leur, soit a total quarante-neuf pays. Dit autrement, ce mouvement concerne un quart des états membres des Nations-Unies. Sur ce total de quarante-neuf pays, 25 pour cent sont des pays à majorité musulmane.

Ceci montre qu'aujourd'hui, la revendication par les sociétés civiles de structures constitutionnelles nouvelles, est devenue incontournable.

Je voudrais ici m'arrêter un instant pour souligner une difficulté particulière du monde musulman. Là, les partis religieux sont structurellement porteurs du principe de l'inséparabilité de la religion et de la vie de la Cité.

La conséquence en est que lorsqu'ils négocient les termes d'une constitution avec des interlocuteurs qui revendiquent la séparation entre Etat et religion, le consensus sur la loi suprême est d'évidence difficile à atteindre.

Cependant, un pays vient de nous faire la démonstration que cela est possible : la République tunisienne.

Ce n'est pas le lieu de commenter par le menu sa nouvelle constitution. Disons toutefois qu'elle est la résultante d'un débat pluraliste assumé, et qu'elle semble contenir les règles nécessaires pour assurer le respect mutuel entre composantes de la société civile.

Ceci se traduit en particulier par une appropriation de la notion de coalition, que ce soit au niveau électoral ou gouvernemental. Il s'agit là d'une grande avancée pour l'expression de ce pluralisme accepté que le Canada et l'Imamat ismaïli appellent de leurs vœux.

Remarquons enfin une conséquence que cette évolution laisse espérer : le forum des débats et conflits inhérents à toute société pluraliste n'est plus la rue ou la place, mais la Cour constitutionnelle d'un état de droit.

Outre le génie propre des constitutionnalistes tunisiens, les travaux préparatoires ont été l'occasion de consultations de droit constitutionnel comparé. Je voudrais saluer en particulier le rôle des juristes portugais, citoyens d'un pays pour lequel j’ai beaucoup de considération et qui, comme le Canada, a développé une civilisation du respect mutuel entre communautés, et d'ouverture aux religions. Je fais référence ici à la loi à dimension concordataire qui régit les relations entre la République portugaise et l'Imamat ismaïli depuis 2010. Devant votre très honorable assemblée, je suis heureux d'ajouter que cette loi, votée à l'unanimité, prend acte de la qualité d'entité supranationale de l'Imamat ismaïli.

Pour conclure sur la constitution tunisienne, Monsieur François Hollande, Président de la République française, a dit à Tunis : "Ce qui fait l'originalité de votre révolution, et même de votre Constitution, c'est le rôle de la société civile." Clearly, the voices playing a major role in Tunisia were the voices of “Civil Society.”

By Civil Society I mean an array of institutions which operate on a private, voluntary basis, but are motivated by high public purposes. They include institutions devoted to education, culture, science and research; to commercial, labor, ethnic and religious concerns; as well as professional societies in law, accounting, banking, engineering and medicine. Civil Society encompasses groups that work on health and safety and environmental matters, organisations that are engaged in humanitarian service, or in the arts or the media.

There is sometimes a tendency in the search for progress to focus solely on politics and government, or on the private, profit-making sector. And surely they both have roles to play.

But my view is that the world needs to pay more attention — much, much more attention — to the potential role of Civil Society.

We see it expanding in many places, from Sub-Saharan Africa to Tunisia and Egypt, from Iran to Bangladesh. At a time of extreme danger in Kenya a few years ago — the beginnings of a civil war — the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, led the way to a peaceful solution which rested heavily on the strength of Kenya’s Civil Society.

Increasingly, I believe, the voices of Civil Society are voices for change, where change has been overdue. They have been voices of hope for people living in fear.

They are voices that can help transform countries of crisis into countries of opportunity. There are too many societies where too many people live in a culture of fear, condemned to a life of poverty. Addressing that fear, and replacing it with hope, will be a major step to the elimination of poverty. And often the call for hope to replace fear will come from the voices of Civil Society.

An active Civil Society can open the door for an enormous variety of energies and talentsfrom a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals. It means opening the way for diversity. It means welcoming plurality. I believe that Canada is uniquely able to articulate and exemplify three critical underpinnings of a quality Civil Society — a commitment to pluralism, to meritocracy, and to a cosmopolitan ethic.

A cosmopolitan ethic is one that welcomes the complexity of human society. It balances rights and duties, freedom and responsibility. It is an ethic for all peoples, the familiar and the Other, whether they live across the street or across the planet.

The Aga Khan Development Network has worked over five decades to assist in the enhancement of Civil Society. And as we look to its future, we are honoured that Canada views us as a valued partner. Thank you Prime Minister. One key to Canada’s success in building a meritocratic Civil Society is your recognition that democratic societies require more than democratic governments.

I have been impressed by recent studies showing the activity of voluntary institutions and not-for-profit organisations in Canada to be among the highest in the world. This Canadian spirit resonates with a cherished principle in Shia Ismaili culture — the importance of contributing one’s individual energies on a voluntary basis to improving the lives of others.

This is not a matter of philanthropy, but rather of self-fulfillment — “enlightened self-fulfillment.”

During my Golden Jubilee — and this is important — six years ago Ismailis from around the world volunteered their gifts, not only of wealth, but most notably of time and knowledge, in support of our work. We established a Time and Knowledge framework, a structured process for engaging an immense pool of expertise involving tens of thousands of volunteers. Many of them traveled to developing countries as part of this outpouring of service — one third of those were Canadians. Their impact has been enormous in helping us to achieve best practice standards in our institutions and programmes, making us we hope an even better partner for Canada!

Such efforts thrive when multiple inputs can be matched to multiple needs, which is why Canada’s immense economic diversity is such a valuable global resource.

One of the foundational qualities of Canada’s Civil Society is its educational emphasis. Studies show that Canadian students — whether native or foreign born — perform in the very top tier of students internationally, and indeed, that more than 45 per cent of the foreign born population in Canada has a tertiary degree.

This record of educational opportunity resonates strongly with the Shia Ismaili belief in the transformative power of the human intellect, a conviction that underscores AKDN’s massive commitment to education wherever we are present — not only education for our faith, but also of education for our world. To do this we are engaged in all levels of education.

The Aga Khan University in Karachi and East Africa are expanding to create a new Liberal Arts faculty, and to establish eight new post-graduate schools in collaboration with several Canadian universities.

We also share with Canada a deep appreciation for the potential of early childhood education. It is the period of the greatest development of the brain. This education is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the quality of life for rural as well as urban populations. Congratulations, Prime Minister, for your initiative on this.

In this regard, let me take a moment to salute the late Dr Fraser Mustard, whose work in Early Childhood Development will impact millions of people around the world. The AKDN has been fortunate to have been inspired and counselled by this great Canadian scientist and humanist.

Quality education is fundamental to the development of a meritocratic Civil Society, and thus to the development of pluralistic attitudes.

The history of Canada has a great deal to teach us in this regard, including the long, incremental processes through which quality civil societies and committed cultures of pluralism are built. One of the watchwords of our new Global Centre for Pluralism is that “Pluralism is a Process and not a Product.” I know that many Canadians would describe their own pluralism as a “work in progress,” but it is also an asset of enormous global quality.

What more will a quality Civil Society now require of us? Sadly, the world is becoming more pluralist in fact, but not necessarily in spirit. “Cosmopolitan” social patterns have not yet been matched by “a cosmopolitan ethic.” In fact, one harsh reality is that religious hostility and intolerance seems to be on the rise in many places — from the Central African Republic, to South Sudan, to Nigeria, to Myanmar, the Philippines and other countries — both between major religious groups and within them.

Again, Canada has responded in notable ways, including the establishment — just one year ago — of the Office of Religious Freedom. Its challenges, like those facing the Centre for Global Pluralism, are enormous and its contributions will be warmly welcomed. And surely it will also serve as a worthy model for other countries.

In sum, I believe that Civil Society is one of the most powerful forces in our time, one that will become an increasingly universal influence, engulfing more countries, influencing, reshaping and sometimes even replacing ineffective regimes. And I also believe that Civil Society around the world should be vigorously encouraged and wisely nurtured by those who have made it work most successfully — Canada first amongst all.

I am most grateful to the Prime Minister and to you who have given me this opportunity to share — from a faith perspective — some of the issues that preoccupy me when looking ahead. I hope I have explained why I am convinced about the global validity of our partnership for human development.

Let me end with a personal thought. As you build your lives, for yourselves and others, you will come to rest upon certain principles. Central to my life has been a verse in the Holy Quran which addresses itself to the whole of humanity. It says: “Oh Mankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women…”

I know of no more beautiful expression about the unity of our human race — born indeed from a single soul.

Thank you.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prime Minister Harper has shared photos of the event on Flikr at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmharper/12818072193/


The Website of Prime Minister Harper of Canada give san extensive coverage of the visit on:

http://www.stephenharper.ca/aga-khan-visit/

Aga Khan visit – February 27-28, 2014

There is a video of:

PM and His Highness the Aga Khan sign a Protocol of Understanding

February 27,2014

The Webcast of the Address to Massey Hall on 28 February 2014 will be on this page:

http://www.stephenharper.ca/agakhanvisit/his-highness-the-aga-khan-livestream-of-his-address-to-massey-hall/

The akdn.org website has also photos of the 27th February event on the following link:

http://www.akdn.org/photos_show.asp?Sid=221


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ottawa, Canada
27 February 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)




Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) walks with the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie




The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's 15-million Shia Ismaili Muslims, receives a standing ovation from the House of Commons, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday February 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



As Received:

Testimony:

We were about 30 people waiting outside the Canadian Parliament this 27th February 2010.

Mowlana Hazar Imam came out of his car and was welcomed by Prime Pinister Harper at the outside entrance stairs. As they climbed the stairs, both turned and waved at us. Prince Amyn did the same.

It was quite cold, much below freezing temperatures. We came back about 45 minutes the event was to finish, around 1:30pm

We saw again P.M. Harper coming down the stairs with Mowlana Hazar Imam. Mowlana Hazar Imam waved at us before entering the car with Prince Amyn. There were several cars. Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa, Princess Zahra and Prince Hussein, they all waved at us and Princess Zahra looking at us showed with a gesture that she understood we were all waiting in the freezing cold since long to see them.

They entered the cars and opened the windows to wave again at us. they seemed so happy and were giving us their candid smile. We were deeply touched and honestly that was the first time I was seeing all of the Noorani family so happy, laughing and waving with large gestures to us outsiders and it was a delight to see Prince Rahim's smile! I would not have exchanged these moments against anything in this world. Today we had a taste of paradise!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Yahoo Images

CBC News



Aga Khan compares Sunni-Shia conflict to Ireland - DAWN.COM




The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, addresses a joint session of Parliament as House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer listens in Ottawa February 27, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS


Express Tribune:

Aga Khan compares Sunni-Shia conflict to Ireland
By AFP

Published: February 28, 2014

OTTAWA: The hereditary spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims Thursday compared a conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims to Ireland, urging the West to engage both branches of Islam.

Speaking to both houses of Canada’s parliament, the Aga Khan said tensions between the two denominations “have increased massively in scope and intensity recently and have been further exacerbated by external interventions.”

“In Pakistan, Malaysia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan it is becoming a disaster,” he warned.

To help bring an end to the strife in these countries, the Aga Khan said “it is important for (the West) to communicate with both Sunni and Shia voices.

“To be oblivious to this reality would be like ignoring over many centuries that there were differences between Catholics and Protestants. Or trying to resolve the civil war in Ireland without engaging both Christian communities.”

Highlighting the span of the crisis, he said: “What would have been the consequences if the Protestant-Catholic struggling in Ireland had spread across the Christian world as is happening today between Shia and Sunni Muslims in more than nine countries.”

Canada is home to approximately 100,000 Ismaili Muslims, who found refuge in this country after being expelled by Ugandan President Idi Amin in 1972.

The Aga Khan himself was made an honorary Canadian citizen in 2010.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Received

Testimony

Today 28 February 2014 in Toronto, about 40 Ismailis were waiting for the Imam to come out of Massey Hall around 4pm. When the Imam came out, the police pushed the Jamat very far from the car so many of them did not see the Imam get into the car. I was fortunate to be close enough to see him there but the police were pushing very roughly, shuting "backoff! backoff" .

As soon as the car started moving somehow 2 large bus coming from nowhere blocked the road and the car convoy had to stop behind.

We all ran to Hazar Imam's car and for many minutes which seems like an eternity, the Imam started smiling and waving to all the Murids on the left side and to those on the right side. alternating several time. It was obvious that he was amused by the situation. The car was stopped. The police siren was loudly ordering the bus to move but nothing doing. Both bus were stuck. If a leave of the tree can not move without the permission of the Imam, how could the bus then move?

So after an incredible moment filed with happiness and excitement for the Jamat, the bus started moving.

Each Murid present felt that Hazar Imam looked at him while waving, each had his own special moment. My daughter said that The Imam looked in her eyes and smiled at her while waving. Shukr!


Last edited by Admin on Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:57 am, edited 2 times in total
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nuseri



Joined: 12 Jul 2012
Posts: 1377

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya Ali Madad.
Beautiful coverage of Imam and Noorani Family and all of them at one place.
God Bless Canada for honoring HIM.

Somebody posted today we had taste of paradise.
I would like to add further to it. We Ismailis are blessed to be rightful resident
of paradise and be an Indeed part of paradise.

Today Our Imam has our Canadian Ismailis along with those worldwide has made us extremely proud.

I had used the word 'Disaster' in some of my post earlier.Indeed the word is 'Disaster' as also said in the Speech.I was right in my analysis and assumption.

I had composed a poem in Silver Jubilee.
few lines from it.
It is befitting this historic occasion.
The title is Noor Moulana Karim.

DUNIYA KE AALA DESHO NE
TERI SANMANI KEE HAI.
SHAAN NE UMMAT KHUB BADIYEE
NOOR MOULANA KARIM.

PRINCE AMYN AUR PRINCESS ZAHARA
NEE KAAM ME HAATH BATAYA HAI.
KYA SHANDAR 'AHLE BAYT HAI
NOOR MOULANA KARIM

For me his name' ALI' is first all the time only this time the current Imam's name is used as it is poem of glorification of 49th Imamat phase.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 5862

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thestarphoenix.com/life/Khan+lauds+Canada+diversity/9562389/story.html

Aga Khan lauds Canada's diversity

Views of Muslim leader warmly received

By Jessica Barrett And Andrea Hill, Postmedia News February 28, 2014

The spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims praised Canada on Thursday as an international role model of civil society, diversity and religious freedom with a vital role to play in overcoming international crises.

In a rare address to Parliament, the Aga Khan said religious hostility and intolerance are on the rise internationally, which means countries that embrace diversity have an increasingly important role.

"Sadly, the world is becoming more pluralist in fact but not necessarily in spirit," he said, adding that Canada's contributions to development aid and its commitment to cultural dialogue and religious freedom provide an example to the world. "I know that many Canadians would describe their own pluralism as a work in progress, but it is also an asset of enormous global quality."

The Aga Khan signed a protocol of understanding Thursday with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, committing the two to holding annual high-level consultations on global issues. Harper said the document will "solidify the important partnership" that has existed between the Canadian government and the Aga Khan since the 1970s when many Ismaili Muslims fled to Canada to escape political turmoil in Uganda.

The Aga Khan is the first nonhead of state to address Parliament since then-United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan in 2004 and, before him, Nelson Mandela, who spoke in Parliament in 1990, four years before he was elected president of South Africa.

The Aga Khan was asked to address Parliament because of the "exquisite symmetry" between his values as a religious leader and the Canadian people, said Harper, who introduced the speaker by quoting him: "'We cannot make the world safe for democracy without first making it safe for diversity.' This is a most Canadian way of seeing things."

The message of the Aga Khan, who is a member of the Order of Canada and an honorary Canadian citizen, appears to have resonated deeply with Harper, who lauded his "lifelong advocacy for humanitarianism, pluralism and tolerance."

"When you are in Canada, you are home," the prime minister said.

In the Aga Khan's 45-minute address to a House packed with parliamentarians and guests, he stressed the importance of civil society - the non-governmental organizations and institutions that work in fields as diverse as education, culture, science, engineering and environmental matters - and said Canada is "uniquely able to articulate and exemplify" a quality civil society.

He said Canada's recognition of its diversity should be extended to the international community, particularly when it comes to acknowledging variations within the Muslim world.

"Muslim demography has expanded dramatically in recent years and Muslims today have highly differing views on many questions," he said. "Central among them is that they do not share some common, overarching impression of the West."

He said very few Muslims believe there is an inherent clash of values between the industrialized West and the Islamic world, and that an international effort to understand the diversity within the Muslim community is "central to the shape of global affairs in our time."
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
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