[T]he agreement that was signed during this visit [to Portugal], concerning collaboration in the diplomatic field, is a very, very important agreement.

For an institution of faith to enter into a formal, diplomatic relationship is extremely important in the sense that that agreement has to function within the faiths of both communities.

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Since some time, Portugal has been a country in which the Jamat and its institutions, and the Imamat, have been experimenting with new initiatives to see whether it would be possible in the Western world — in a strongly Catholic country — to establish new initiatives which would bring together people of Christian backgrounds and Muslim backgrounds to work together to try to solve some of the issues that are ahead of us. And the agreement that was signed during this visit, concerning collaboration in the diplomatic field, is a very, very important agreement.

For an institution of faith to enter into a formal, diplomatic relationship is extremely important in the sense that that agreement has to function within the faiths of both communities….

People come together around competence, around ability, around knowledge. They don’t like mediocrity. And this particular form of government, what you and we call democracy, has an inherent component which is meritocracy. The principle of democracy is that the most competent man or woman for a public job is elected and that judgement is made by the citizens of the country. But it is important to understand that at the base of democracy is the notion of merit, of competency, of ability to serve, and I think it is very encouraging for us to see that this notion of meritocracy is also part of the way in which the Jamat organises itself and this remarkable, remarkable outflow of time and knowledge is for all of you and for me proof of the immense wealth of competence and knowledge in the Jamat around the world

His Highness the Aga Khan IV

SOURCES

  • Golden Jubilee Souvenir Book, 2012, pp 98,99

    [Text verified and/or corrected from this source by NanoWisdoms]

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