Aga Khan Interview

Good and thoughtful interview with the Aga Khan:

Some people refer to it as Islamification. I can’t think of one single country where that has succeeded. The reason is the diversity within Islam, the different types of attitudes towards inheritance, towards zakaat. The attempt to bring a Muslim country that has a multiple of interpretations of Islam around one single interpretation of Islam has never worked. They may try to force it. That’s a different issue. I’ve never seen it work where it wasn’t followed by some form of dictatorial government.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/aga-khan-without-a-doubt-i-am-seriously-worried-about-the-world/article17185492/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-exemplary-leader-in-unity-and-pluralism-aga-khan-says-1.2553527?cmp=rss

Text of speech before Parliament here:

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….

Address of His Highness the Aga Khan 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

Only unfortunate aspect was partisan exclusion of other political parties from Toronto event. The Government never seems to learn that when it rises to the occasion, as in the residential schools apology and the Mandela funeral, it benefits; when it plays partisan games, like the Toronto event, the mission led by Minister Baird to Ukraine etc, it loses. It is not the only government to play such games, but seems to show less sense of when and where.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/aga-khan-praises-canadas-commitment-to-pluralism-and-education/article17135632/

And the quasi-trolling of event attendees for political follow-up, while an understandable temptation (not convinced that other parties would behave better) does cheapen the Government:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Conservatives+send+email+blast+addresses+harvested+from/9579134/story.html

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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