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Speech at the Banquet held by the Speaker of the Senate in Phillipines

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Event - 1963-11-23
Saturday, 1963, November 23
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

(During the visit to the Philippines, the Speaker of the Senate, Mr. Protempore Salipada Pendatun held a banquet in honour of His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on 23rd November 1963. While proposing a toast to the guest of honour, he praised His Royal Highness’ educational efforts all over the world.

Following is the reply made by Prince Aga Khan)

“It is with the greatest sincerity that I would like to thank you for the very warm reception which I have received in the Philippines; though my visit has been short, no time has been wasted and I could not have wished for a nicer four days had the last two days not been marred by the tragic news of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

We have already paid tributes to his memory, but I do not want to let this occasion pass without saying that I believe that every man who has placed his faith and hopes in peace will deplore the loss of such an outstanding world leader. I wish to associate myself with all those all over the world who are deeply grieved by the loss of the President.

Mr. Speaker you have said many kind words about my family and myself, but I would like to take this occasion to pay tribute to the Government of the Phillippines for the initiative which they have taken in setting up institutions such as the University of Mindanao to help the Muslim community to develop itself.

If I have placed great emphasis on education it is because I have faith in the human soul and judgment. I believe that the battle for peace would be in a large measure solved if everyone is sufficiently educated to make a sound judgement on national and world issues.

I am sure at the same time that by creating a University, having given it every possibility to become one of the greatest institutions of learning in South East Asia with a most beautiful campus in the heart of the Muslim area in the Philippines, the lesson of the past has not been lost; any attack from communism or any other source on the faith of Islam will certainly be resisted by the Muslims.

The Government of your Republic has taken the initiative in creating the Mindanao State University and although I believe that the responsibility for education in the State rests with the Government, I would not wish the Government of the Philippines to feel that their efforts to raise the standards of the Muslim population will go unappreciated or unaided.

For this reason, I would like to donate the sum of one hundred fifty thousand Pesos (p-150,000) to the University of Mindanao, the terms of the donation to be worked out with President Isidro.

At the same time, I hope the University will rest assured that, subject to their continued progress, I will be more than willing to help them at a later date.

May I say once again how happy I have been to have come to the Republic of Philippines and I would ask you to stand with me to drink to the health of President Macapagal and the happiness and prosperity of the Republic.

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