In situating [The Aga Khan Museum and Global Centre for Pluralism] in Canada, we acknowledge both a tradition of tolerance and inclusiveness as well as an environment that has permitted diversity to flourish, enriching civic life of each individual and community that has sought to make this country its home. It is to this commitment to pluralism that we will turn in seeking to make these institutions both a repository of heritage and a source of inspiration for societies the world over in the future.

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The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) today announced its intention to establish in Toronto a museum housing exceptional collections of Islamic art and heritage as well as a unique academic and cultural centre focused on the study and practice of human pluralism.

In situating these two institutions in Canada, we acknowledge both a tradition of tolerance and inclusiveness as well as an environment that has permitted diversity to flourish, enriching civic life of each individual and community that has sought to make this country its home. It is to this commitment to pluralism that we will turn in seeking to make these institutions both a repository of heritage and a source of inspiration for societies the world over in the future….

Over the past twenty five years, I have been seeking to develop physical spaces in major cities in the Western world that can contribute towards an improved understanding of the many cultures and civilisations of the Islamic world. The high-profile Ismaili Centres in London, Vancouver and Lisbon, each designed by an architect of international repute, each reflecting an interplay of civilisational influences from across the East and the West, and each looking to contribute to civic life in their respective countries, have been a first step towards this objective.

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