New Interview: The little known January 2002 Connaissance des Arts interview of His Highness the Aga Khan with Philip Jodidio (Paris, France)

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in America, the simmering, global discussion about Islam and Muslims gained top-of-mind presence, particularly in the West, as they sought to rationalise the causes behind the attacks. Like Muslim leaders the world over, His Highness the Aga Khan denounced the attacks as unrelated to the faith of Islam, explaining they stemmed from a “pullulation of political wounds.” In this effort, leveraging the Eighth Aga Khan Award for Architecture ward ceremony in November 2001, the Aga Khan initiated an intense round of media interviews — some 8 in just 6 months — primarily across Europe and North America, including CNN USA and Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Among the topics discussed in this lengthy Connaissance des Arts interview, published in both English and French, the Aga Khan touches on:

  • future challenges and objectives the Award must address,
  • the impact the Award is having in the West vis a vis fostering better understanding of the Islam — suggesting that perhaps this will be better accomplished if the Award was “enlarged to other domains of human endeavour,”
  • the media misrepresentation of the Taliban as typical of Islam — explaining why this is as misinformed as a Muslim suggesting the “Inquisition correctly reflects the ethics of Christianity” and
  • the ignorance of the West about Islam in general and, in particular, Islam’s plurality — noting that “education process that is at fault.”

Click to read the interview at NanoWisdoms:
January 2002 Connaissance des Arts interview of His Highness the Aga Khan with Philip Jodidio (Paris, France)

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