Perry’s Islam-friendly policies do not bode well for his ability or lack thereof to deal with our Muslim enemies around the world.
SALON (H/T Diane)I noticed the other day that Rick Perry came to help put in the cornerstone for a mosque in Plano, connected with the Aga Khan. He also indicated on NPR that he had no problem with putting a mosque at Ground Zero. I also remembered that the Aga Khan had a project at MIT for teaching Islam around the world.
Gov. Perry has been a long-time supporter and friend of the Ismaili community as Texas is home to tens of thousands of Ismaili Muslims who contribute to the social, economic and cultural fabric of the state. The governor and the Aga Kahn opened the Ismaili Jamatkhana in Sugar Land in 2002; Gov. Perry has welcomed His Highness to Texas on two occasions, and met with him in France to share ideas and common philosophies. To further inform Americans about the historical and cultural roots of Muslim societies, the University of Texas established the Muslim Histories and Cultures Project, training secondary school teachers in a curriculum on Muslim civilizations.
The MOU brings together the University of Texas and Aga Khan University in a collaborative effort to reach an additional 180 teachers in the Texas school system in the next three years. The Aga Khan University is a higher education institution with faculties, institutes, centers and other teaching facilities in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. It is part of the Aga Khan Development Network established by His Highness. The Aga Khan, is the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, the spiritual leader of 16 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide.
William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, and Firoz Rasul, president of Aga Khan University, signed the agreement on Saturday, April 12 at a private ceremony hosted by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Powers was joined by His Highness the Aga Khan, a descendant of the prophet Muhammad, and Richard Flores, senior associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, who facilitated the agreement.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to host a private dinner followed by fireworks near Austin on Saturday to honor the Aga Khan, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad celebrating his 50th year as the spiritual leader of a Muslim sect.
Earlier in the day, the leaders are expected to be on hand as the University of Texas signs an agreement with Aga Khan University, which has campuses in Pakistan and other countries, fostering student and teacher exchanges between the institutions.
Khan, a wealthy, Harvard-educated businessman and philanthropist, leads the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, an offshoot of the Shiite branch of Islam, claiming 12 million to 16 million believers in 25 countries including tens of thousands in Texas.
Perry, 58, and Khan, 71, struck up an improbable friendship nearly a decade ago, resulting in a UT program exposing schoolteachers to Muslim beliefs and culture….
Asked if Ismaili Muslims liken the Aga Khan’s standing to the stature of the pope for Catholics, Jehan said. “He’s not a pope, who’s elected by cardinals. The Aga Khan is not elected by anybody. … He is a very special leader.”
Jehan was referring to the Aga Khan becoming Imam or spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims in July 1957, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III, a former president of the League of Nations.
Here, from the Office of the Governor is Rick Perry’s speech from April 12, 2008 praising Aga Khan He even quotes the Koran
Rare is the religious leader whose vision is so extraordinary that his appeal transcends nationality, ethnicity and faith traditions. His Highness, the Aga Khan, is one such extraordinary leader. If the history of civilization is filled with chapters concerning the strife borne of differences over religion, race, tribe and language, then blessed indeed are the peacemakers who have heard a higher calling of unity, who have recognized our common bonds of humanity, and who have had the courage to say that: “Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other people’s cultures, social structures, values and faiths are essential to the very survival of an independent world”.
The Quran says: Truly those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabeans – whoever believes in God and the Last Day and is virtuous – surely their reward is with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve.”
In more ways than one, I have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary vision of His Highness, the Aga Khan. First, and most prominently, I have seen His vision of peace and unity reflected in the charitable lives of His followers in Texas, who contribute greatly to the fabric of our society, who have made many sacrifices for the sake of a brighter future for all of our children.
It is with great excitement that we welcome the first Ismaili Center in America. The new Ismaili Center will contribute to the rich cultural tapestry of the City of Houston and the State of Texas. We all believe and hope that it will be a demonstration of the Muslim values and ethics of which you have spoken so frequently. If it is even just a pale image of the center I visited last year in Dubai, then I am certain it will be an architectural and spiritual marvel.
P.S. as a Side note, apparently the issue of Rick Perry’s collaborations to teach islam in schools was there in one of the last SBOE elections. From Houston Chronicle