In Islam, imams whether they are Shia or Sunni, they have a duty to serve people. That is the nature of imamat and, therefore, in countries where the Ismaili Imamat can bring support and help, it is our duty to do so and we’re very happy to do so in Central Asia, like we are doing so in the Indian sub-continent, we’re doing so in East Africa, in West Africa. So it’s part of the mandate of any Imam. But it’s a big mistake to think that you can do development only for Muslim communities. Many countries have mixed communities and therefore you have to do development for all the people within a given area whether they are Muslim or Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Sikh. You have what I would call a civil responsibility. [Emphasis original]

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Interviewer: Unknown in Central Asia

“… of the liberal arts college, but the experience of being at the frontiers of knowledge that is offered by a big research university so we say we are going to be a student centred, research university that is going to capture knowledge and generate new knowledge. So it is quite an incredible project when you think of it: to create a cutting edge intellectual community, as some people would say, in the middle of nowhere, but for the people who live here, this is not in the middle of nowhere, this is, this is it.”

In Islam, imams whether they are Shia or Sunni, they have a duty to serve people. That is the nature of imamat and, therefore, in countries where the Ismaili Imamat can bring support and help, it is our duty to do so and we’re very happy to do so in Central Asia, like we are doing so in the Indian sub-continent, we’re doing so in East Africa, in West Africa. So it’s part of the mandate of any Imam. But it’s a big mistake to think that you can do development only for Muslim communities. Many countries have mixed communities and therefore you have to do development for all the people within a given area whether they are Muslim or Christian or Jewish or Hindu or Sikh. You have what I would call a civil responsibility. [Emphasis original]

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