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Aga Khan laments West's bias against Islam - 2002-03-13

Wednesday, 2002, March 13

Prince Karim Aga Khan on Tuesday said the West needs to improve its understanding of Islam and also recognise the issues that are agitating the mind of the Muslim Ummah. Prince Karim Aga Khan, who is on a visit to Pakistan, said this while talking to a group of editors.Aga Khan deliberated upon the various facets of US' understanding of Islam and lamented the bias against Islam in the West. Commenting on the post-Sept 11 developments, he emphasised the need for a better understanding of Islam and the issues perturbing the Muslim mind around the world by the West.
He said the West needs to realise that the majority of the Muslim Ummah was never in favour of the policies of the Taliban.
Aga Khan, who was all praise for the present government, said President Pervez Musharraf was a man with a vision. He said the present government had corrected a lot of distortions in the economy that the civilian governments in the past had allowed.
He said Pakistan's economy had improved in the last two years which was reflected in its healthy foreign exchange reserves. In reply to a question about sluggish domestic economy, he said the domestic economy would also improve but slowly. He said patience was needed because if the overall economic indicators were healthy their positive impact would in some time be reflected in an improved local economy.
Aga Khan said Pakistan's institutions were not ready for the sort of democracy that the West has in mind and for the western ideal of democracy to take root in the system, jurisprudence and governance should be taught as a subject to students.
Talking about the projects run by the Aga Khan Foundation, Prince Karim Aga Khan said their organisation was focusing on developing social institutions for the progress of the people and the local communities. He said the benefit of their projects was not confined to any one community.
During his stay in Pakistan, Prince Karim Aga Khan also formally inaugurated Serena Hotel and Micro Finance Bank.

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