A RECENT report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reiterates what we already know: sectarian violence in Pakistan has risen to unacceptable levels. The HRCP counts 687 killings in more than 200 sectarian attacks in 2013, up 22pc from 2012.
With each attack — targeted assassinations on busy street corners, mob violence in far-flung tehsils, massacres in Hazara ghettos, carnage in churches — we think we have seen the worst and that nothing more brutal can happen. And then it does.
It doesn’t help that religious divides are infinite — Shias, Deobandis, Barelvis, Ahl-i-Hadith, Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis, Ismailis. Everyone on social media loves quoting the line by Martin Niemöller, “and then they came for me”, but the true scale of the horror does not seem to have sunk in. As Pakistanis are shot in their neighbourhoods, murdered while at prayer, falsely accused of blasphemy and dug out of their graves, the country’s social fabric is being shredded. Continue reading “Sectarian monster – DAWN.COM”
Excerpt: The Shia Ismaili community led by their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, has played a major role in Tanzania’s development. Tanzania has received aid through The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the largest International, private, non-denominational international development agency founded and chaired by the Aga Khan. The community’s presence in East Africa has seen a steady growth and today it employs 18,000 people, mostly indigenous Africans, and is the largest investor in economic, social and cultural development initiatives in … Continue reading Asians in Tanzania – Article by Shamlal Puri
via http://www.indianexpress.com/ – After toiling for over a period of six years, the workers entrusted with the restoration of the Humayun’s Tomb Complex, a World Heritage site, can now be proud of the result. The complex is almost spanking new. The refurbished 16th century garden tomb will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday in the presence of Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch, The Aga Khan, chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust chairman Ratan Tata. This is the first restoration and conservation project assigned by the Centre to a non-government agency. Continue reading “Ruchika Talwar: After six years of painstaking restoration, Humayun’s Tomb opens to public”
This is the conclusion of a two-part story written by journalist Ayesha Daya for AKDN and TheIsmaili.org, exploring the purpose and impact of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Read the first part here.
During the 36 years since its establishment, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture has become a forum for a professional and academic discussion of developments affecting the built environment. The debates that take place during the seminars, the breadth of articles published, and the variety of projects honoured point at the real purpose of the award, which is a commitment to seek out the best solutions for architecture to improve the world Muslim communities live in, rather than simply recognising a job well done. Continue reading “Sustainability over spectacle: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture – Part two: Impact”
via TheIsmaili.org This is the first of a two-part story written by journalist Ayesha Daya for AKDN and TheIsmaili.org exploring the purpose and impact of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The conclusion will follow in the coming days. The twenty-first century has begun with a wave of new construction projects reshaping the landscape of many Muslim countries. From the shores of the Arabian Peninsula to … Continue reading Sustainability over spectacle: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture Part one: Purpose
Via TheIsmaili.org’s Nutrition Centre: According to the United Nations, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were the cause of some 36 million deaths around the world in 2008. That represented an astounding 63 per cent of deaths world-wide that year, making NCDs “responsible for more deaths than all other causes combined.”
Continue reading “Recognising and combatting the threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)”
Excerpt: Since it was established by the Fatimids in 972 to promote Ismaili doctrine, and then turned to a university three years later, Al-Azhar has been involved in Egyptian affairs under the watchful eyes of the state. Abbas Hilmi, the last Khedive of Egypt, demanded that Al-Azhar refrain from political activism, “riots” and “chaos of thought”, and instead dedicate itself to “useful religious knowledge because … Continue reading Al-Azhar and The Demise of Islamic Centres of Moderation
By Dr. Jalaledin Ebrahim, LMFT, PhD – Integral Psychotherapy It was July 11, 1957 when a young 20 year old Iranian citizen of Arab, Persian and English ancestry, then still a student at Harvard University, became invested with the authority of ‘Imamah’ over a far flung community of over 12 million Muslims. A direct descendant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) … Continue reading “What Really Went Wrong? – A Shi’i Response to Bernard Lewis” By Jalaledin Ebrahim
Economies in Europe and many other parts of the world have been suffering for some years now, but how do these difficult times affect our mental wellbeing? Mental health is a vital component in socioeconomic progress. The shift to a knowledge society underscores the importance of stable mental health for sustaining productivity from the household level to a national scale. Stable mental health is not … Continue reading Erum Bana: Maintaining mental wellbeing in times of economic difficulty
I first left my native Kenya in 1973, when I came to the United States to attend Harvard College. In Kenya, as a young man of South Asian ancestry, I was considered “Asian.” But since my ancestors had lived in Africa for nearly two centuries, I considered myself African as well. At Harvard, however, many of my peers were quick to question my identity. Since … Continue reading Professor Ali Asani writes for Harvard Crimson: Learning From Difference
As Canadians, we are fortunate to be living in one of the best countries in the world. We have access to great healthcare and education programs, and our government is responsive to our needs. Unfortunately, many people in other countries do not have access to the same benefits as we do. To show gratitude for what we have as Canadians, we should extend our helping … Continue reading Why should Canadians care about International Development?
Hasan and Husayn in the Prophet’s household According to most reports Husayn b. ‘Ali was born on 5 Sha‘ban 4/10 January 626 CE; another report mentions the middle of Jomada al-awwal 6/beginning of October 627 CE as his date of birth. Jointly with his brother, he was at first brought up in the household of Muhammad. Many of the accounts about Prophet Muhammad’s treatment of … Continue reading Husayn B. ‘Ali: Life and Significance in Shi‘ism – Article by Professor Wilferd Madelung
The much talked about restoration plan for the Qutb Shahi tombs seems to hang in balance. Hopes of the domed structures getting a new lease of life look remote, with the A.P. Wakf Tribunal staying the repair work. After years of dilly-dallying, the government signed an MoU on January 9 with the Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), the world’s leading conservation body, for restoring … Continue reading Restoration plan for the Qutb Shahi tombs has a stay order – The Hindu
When Ratish Nanda, projects director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, India, threw open the doors of the newly restored 16th century tomb of Isa Khan on World Heritage Day, visitors and guests took turns to marvel at the ornate ceiling and to applaud Nanda and his team for having restored it beautifully. Everyone except a lady in salwar kameez who seemed to have … Continue reading The art of restoration: After two years of conservation efforts, a 16th century tomb opened its doors to visitors in New Delhi