Senator Mobina Jaffer introduces Aga Khan Museum to the Canadian Senate

Honourable senators, the true appeal of the Aga Khan Museum lies not in the meditative gardens, glass domes or reflective pools that surround it. The true beauty lies in the concepts and ideologies the museum promotes, and in the message it sends to the world.

Although Muslims constitute over a quarter of the world’s population, knowledge of Islam, particularly in Western societies, is extremely limited and often misinformed.

During the opening ceremonies, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, the brother of the Aga Khan, touched upon this lack of understanding and explained:

Despite the advances we have witnessed through improved technology and through globalization, a knowledge gap continues to exist and perhaps even grow, and the result of that gap is a vacuum within which myths and stereotypes can so easily fester, fed by the amplification of extreme minority voices.

. . . I believe strongly that art and culture can have a profound impact in healing misunderstanding and in fostering trust even across great divides. This is the extraordinary purpose, the special mandate, to which this Museum is dedicated.

The Aga Khan Museum seeks to inform, educate and inspire audiences about the arts, culture and contributions of Muslim societies. It fosters understanding and demonstrates the plurality within Muslim civilizations.

Honourable senators, September 12 was indeed a proud and joyous day for Ismaili Muslims across the country. We Canadian Ismailis will be eternally grateful that the Aga Khan chose Canada to build this museum.

However, it was also an important day for Canada as we have once again demonstrated to the world that diversity and pluralism are important parts of the Canadian identity.

At the Ismaili Centre, Toronto Inauguration - Canadian Senator Mubina Jaffer, 4th from left with her husband and other dignitaries.
At the Ismaili Centre, Toronto Inauguration – Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer, 4th from left with her husband and other dignitaries.

via Senator Mobina Jaffer at the 2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Thursday, September 25, 2014


Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer: 2014 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award Winner
Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer

Senator Mobina Jaffer represents the province of British Columbia in the Senate of Canada, where she chairs the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. Appointed to the Senate on June 13, 2001 by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, she is the first Muslim senator, the first African-born senator, and the first senator of South Asian descent. Senator Jaffer also sits as a member of the Senate’s Anti-terrorism and Legal and Constitutional Affairs committees.

The Women’s Executive Network named Senator Jaffer among Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2003, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Open Learning University.

Learn more about Senator Mobina Jaffer – Senator for British Columbia:

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All stories from Ismailimail reporting from Toronto:

Noorani Family at Ismaili Centre, Toronto and Aga Khan Museum inauguration - Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Amyn, Prince Rahim with Princess Salwa, and Prince Hussain

Contemplation and Reflection - Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre, Toronto – Beacons of Light

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