Aga Khan, Shia Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader addresses parliament

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Aga Khan

Ottawa:  The Aga Khan, the hereditary spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims addressed Canadian Parliament on Thursday, Feb 27.

“When you are in Canada, you are home,” Harper told the Aga Khan in his introduction before members of both the House of Commons and the Senate.

In his speech to members of both houses, the hereditary spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims blamed clashes between Islam and other faiths on political circumstances and economic ambitions of governments, rather than deep religious divides.

“Our partnership in Canada has been immensely strengthened, of course, by the presence — for more than four decades — of a significant Ismaili community,” the Aga Khan said in his speech.

The Aga Khan visits Canada regularly; he was granted honorary Canadian citizenship during the 2010 visit. The Aga Khan became the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims in 1957, when he succeeded his grandfather.