- 17 October 2007
- Sources: Primary
- Categories: Aga Khan IV ·· Aga Khan Museum (AKM) ·· Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) ·· Ambassadorial Buildings, Bridge Building ·· Audio/Video ·· Editor's Choice ·· Faith & Religion ·· France ·· Governance (National) ·· Ignorance & Clash of Ignorance ·· Invited ·· Knowledge & Intellect ·· Published ·· Society (Modernity & Tradition) ·· Society (Ummah) ·· Speeches ·· Transcription Required ·· Values
[The Islamic world’s view of its own future] is a world split into two tendencies: on the one hand, modernisers and believers in progressive change, on the other, traditionalists who might even be described as hidebound…. In this context, we thought it essential, whichever choice Muslim populations may indicate to their governments, to clarify certain aspects of the history of Muslim civilisations in order that today’s two main tendencies, modern and traditional, can base their ideas on historical realities and not on history that has been misunderstood or even manipulated….
[T]he Muslim world has always been wide open to every aspect of human existence…. The Qur’an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God’s creation. Our collection seeks to demonstrate the openness of Muslim civilisations to every aspect of human life, even going so far as to work in partnership with intellectual and artistic sources originating in other religions….
While some North American museums have significant collections of Muslim art, there is no institution devoted to Islamic art. In building the museum in Toronto, we intend to introduce a new actor to the North American art scene. Its fundamental aim will be an educational one, to actively promote knowledge of Islamic arts and culture. What happens on that continent, culturally, economically and politically, cannot fail to have worldwide repercussions — which is why we thought it important that an institution capable of promoting understanding and tolerance should exist there.