Wednesday, August 22, 2007

245)More excerpts and quotes by Mowlana Hazar Imam, Aga Khan IV, in Uganda(Aga Khan Academy), relating to intellect, creation, science and religion.

Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy, Kampala, Uganda – 22 August 2007:

"......The Quran tells us that signs of Allah’s Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation - in the heavens and the earth, the night and the day, the clouds and the seas, the winds and the waters. I am confident that future generations of students and teachers - who will come to this Academy from around the region and around the world - will feel a profound sense of inspiration as they look out on this superb landscape.

As you have heard, the new Academy in Kampala will be one of 18 Academies in 14 countries which will be developed over the next 15 years. Together, they will constitute an inter-related community of learning - exchanging students and teachers, sharing ideas and insights. And they will also share a variety of environmental experiences. Some, like the first Academy at Mombasa, will be in ocean-side settings, other will be placed in high mountain environments, still others will be built in desert terrains or forested areas - or, as in Kampala, at the side of a beautiful lake. As our students and teachers experience these remarkable surroundings, I hope they will develop what I would call a sense of “environmental pluralism”- to accompany the appreciation for cultural pluralism which we will also hope will be one of the programme’s hallmarks.......

.........A strong commitment to learning has been at the very root of Ismaili and Islamic culture, going back to the first Imam of the Shia Muslims, the fourth Caliph, Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib, and his emphasis on knowledge. The tradition was renewed over many centuries in many places by the Abbasids, the Fatimids, the Safavids – the Mughals, the Uzbeks and the Ottomans. During his Imamat, my late Grandfather started some 300 schools in this region. The Academies Programme is thus planted in rich historic soil........

.........One of the central precepts of the International Baccalaureate Programme is to honour world-class standards, while also respecting cultural diversity. In this respect, its approach mirrors that of the Aga Khan Academies - to help students combine a cosmopolitan spirit on the one hand, with a strong sense of cultural identity on the other........

...........This is why so many of the long-term investments we have been making, throughout the developing world, are investments in education. They have ranged from Madrasa programmes for early childhood development, to primary schools in disadvantaged communities, to leadership training programmes and scholarships for promising young professionals. At the tertiary level, we have recently launched the University of Central Asia. This is an international agreement between Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and the Ismaili Imamat to create a new institution of higher learning specialised in mountain societies. And, as you may know, we are also planning to expand the Aga Khan University - founded almost 25 years ago in Pakistan - and now an active presence in nine different countries. Just this week, the Aga Khan University announced its plans for a new Faculty of Health Sciences in Nairobi, as well as a major new East African campus in Arusha.

All of our initiatives are built around a pragmatic, experience-based, and innovative approach to education - an effort to refresh and replace narrower approaches which have sometimes mis-served the developing world. Education, in the past, has too often been a matter of indoctrination - advancing the demands of dogma instead of the disciplines of reason.

What is required today, in my view, is an educational approach which is the polar opposite of indoctrination - one that nurtures the spirit of anticipation and agility, adaptability and adventure.

To this end, the Academies curriculum will encourage its students in the practice of what I would call “Intellectual Humility, “ recognizing that what they do not know will always be greater than what they know - and launching an ardent, lifelong search for the knowledge they will need. In an age of accelerating change, the most important thing any student can learn is how to go on learning.........

...........We look forward to working with the government and the people of Uganda as we pursue these great objectives. I know we will all remember this important ceremony at this beautiful place as a special moment in this process. Again, we are most grateful to all of you for sharing it with us."


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4(2006)
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3(1952)
Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly:Aga Khan 4(2005)
All human beings, by their nature, desire to know(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, a few hundred years BC)