Aga Khan IV Quotes

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  • Canada is today the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe, without any doubt in my mind... That is something unique to Canada. It is an amazing global human asset.

    "Canada: 'A Model for the World'". The Globe and Mail, February 02, 2002.
  • Pluralism is no longer simply an asset or a prerequisite for progress and development, it is vital to our existence.

    Speech at the Ceremony to Inaugurate the Restored Humayun's Tomb Gardens, New Delhi, India, April 15, 2003.
  • Pluralist societies are not accidents of history. They are a product of enlightened education and continuous investment by governments and all of civil society in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of the world's peoples.

    Speech on Democratic Development, Pluralism and Civil Society delivered at the Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway, April 07, 2005.
  • None of these situations are identical. You cannot take one set of issues from one country and apply it to another. They are all different, in terms of history, and the religious compositions of the populations involved.

  • A proper home can provide the bridge across that terrible gulf between poverty and a better future.

    Home   Bridges   Poverty  
  • We cannot make the world safe for democracy unless we also make the world safe for diversity.

    Address by His Highness the Aga Khan to the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, May 15, 2006.
  • There are many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but generally we are instructed to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it.

  • There is nothing wrong with being well off as long as money has a social and ethical value and is not the object of one's own greed.

    Long   Greed   Ethical  
  • There appears to be momentum towards more and more misunderstandings between religions, a degradation of relations.

    "Islam Is a Faith of Reason". SPIEGEL Interview, October 12, 2006.
  • Canada has for many years been a beacon to the rest of the world for its commitment to pluralism and for its support for the multicultural richness and diversity of its peoples.

    Press Release: Aga Khan Welcomes Government of Canada's Partnership in New Global Centre for Pluralism, Ottawa, Canada, April 18, 2005.
  • My grandfather was a most gifted person, and amongst his many qualities, one of them had always particularly impressed me. While the past was a book he had read and re-read may times, the future was just one more literary work of art into which he used to pour himself with deep thought and concentration. Innumerable people since his death have told me how he used to read in the future, and this certainly was one of his very great strengths.

    Art   Book   Past  
    "My Beloved Grandfather: A few words by Mowlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan IV". November 1977.
  • Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other peoples' cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world.

    Speech at the Ceremony to Inaugurate the Restored Humayun's Tomb Gardens, New Delhi, India, April 15, 2003.
  • In Islamic belief, knowledge is two-fold. There is that revealed through the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) and that which man discovers by virtue of his own intellect. Nor do these two involve any contradiction, provided man remembers that his own mind is itself the creation of God. Without this humility, no balance is possible. With it, there are no barriers. Indeed, one strength of Islam has always lain in its belief that creation is not static but continuous, that through scientific and other endeavours, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation

    Islamic   Humility   Men  
    Speech at The Acceptance of The Charter of The Aga Khan University, March 24, 2010.
  • The right to hope is the most powerful human motivation I know.

    Baccalaureate Address at Brown University Delivered by His Highness the Aga Khan, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America, May 26, 1996.
  • The Muslim world, with its history and cultures, and indeed its different interpretations of Islam, is still little known in the West. The two worlds, Muslim and non-Muslim, Eastern and Western, must, as a matter of urgency, make a real effort to get to know one another, for I fear that what we have is not a clash of civilisations, but a clash of ignorance on both sides.

    Real   Ignorance   Two  
    Speech at the "Musée-Musées" Round Table Louvre Museum, October 17, 2007.
  • Canada has an experience of governance of which much of the world stands in dire need. It is a world of increasing dissension and conflict in which a significant contribution is the failure of different ethnic, tribal, religious, or social groups to search for, and agree upon, a common space for harmonious co-existence.

    Address at the Leadership and Diversity Conference, Gatineau, Canada, May 19, 2004.
  • Islam is probably the one that places the greatest emphasis on knowledge. The purpose is to understand God's creation.

    God   Islam   Purpose  
    "Islam Is a Faith of Reason". Interview with Stefan Aust and Erich Follath, October 12, 2006.
  • The search for justice and security, the struggle for equality of opportunity, the quest for tolerance and harmony, the pursuit of human dignity - these are moral imperatives which we must work towards and think about on a daily basis.

    "Cosmopolitan Society, Human Safety and Rights in Plural and Peaceful Societies". Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at Evora University Symposium, February 12, 2006.
  • The Aga Khan Award for Architecture seeks to make a better place in physical terms. This means trying to bring values into environments, buildings, and contexts that improve the quality of life for future generations.

    Mean   Awards   Trying  
    Interview with Robert Ivy, February 1, 2002.
  • There are those... who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their lot. Unless these unfortunates can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink back into renewed apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.

  • If our animosities are born out of fear, then confident generosity is born out of hope. One of the central lessons I have learned after a half century of working in the developing world is that the replacement of fear by hope is probably the single most powerful trampoline of progress.

    Aga Khan IV's address to the Tutzing Evangelical Academy Upon Receiving the "Tolerance" Award in Tutzing, Germany, May 20, 2006.
  • We try to avoid the single-building syndrome. You have to look at the big picture. If you try to put social and cultural development ahead of economic development, it doesn’t work. You have to do it all together.

    Trying   Together   Looks  
  • A secure pluralistic society requires communities that are educated and confident both in the identity and depth of their own traditions and in those of their neighbours.

    Address at the Leadership and Diversity Conference Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, May 19, 2004.
  • The Pope is only concerned with the spiritual welfare of his flock.

  • 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.

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