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Study of world cultures will help contain violence: Aga Khan-2009-09-22

Tuesday, 2009, September 22

The clash between the Islamic world and the west had its origins in "ignorance" that could be contained through a broad study of world cultures including Islamic civilisations, the Aga Khan, the spiritual head of Ismaili Muslims, said today.

"It is a clash of ignorances...There is a need to study and understand Muslim civilisations, a subject which is often overlooked in some parts of the world today," he told a gathering here after laying the foundation stone for the Aga Khan Academy in neighbouring Ranga Reddy district.

Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary spiritual leader and a descendant of Prophet Mohammed, said his ancestors had founded the Al-Azhar University and the Academy of Knowledge in Cairo almost 1,000 years ago. This tradition of "pursuing knowledge has been a central element in our tradition".

The Aga Khan Academy, to be built at a cost of 50 million dollars on a 100-acre plot donated by the Andhra Pradesh government, will prepare students to meet world-class standards while emphasising the value of pluralism, the ethical dimensions of life and knowledge of global economies and political systems, he said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekara Reddy, who was chief guest at the function, complimented the Aga Khan Development Networks for taking up such projects where the talents of teachers and students will be nurtured.

He said his government has taken many initiatives to encourage literacy among rural people and assured he would extend all possible support to the Aga Khan Academy.

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