Chief Justice says Canada attempted ‘cultural genocide’ on aboriginals — The Globe and Mail com

Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in Vancouver June 6, 2013. In a speech on May 28, 2015, she referred to Canada’s treatment of its aboriginal people as a “cultural genocide” that began in the colonial period.
(John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

 

Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin says Canada attempted to commit “cultural genocide” against aboriginal peoples, in what she calls the worst stain on Canada’s human-rights record.

Genocide – an attempt to destroy a people, in whole or part – is a crime under international law. The United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in 1948, does not use the phrase “cultural genocide,” but says genocide may include causing serious mental harm to a group.

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“The most glaring blemish on the Canadian historic record relates to our treatment of the First Nations that lived here at the time of colonization,” Chief Justice McLachlin said. She was delivering the fourth annual Pluralism Lecture of the Global Centre for Pluralism, founded in 2006 by the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, and the federal government.

 

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Lessons on Pluralism: From Ashoka’s Edicts to Contemporary India — A video interview in four parts with Rajeev Bhargava on Reset Doc org

Rajeev Bhargava, a Professor at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi and a renowned scholar of issues concerning secularism, identity politics, constitutionalism and multiculturalism, looks at India during the 3rd century BCE to analyze the major social and intellectual transformation that took place under Ashoka’s rule. Bhargava contends that ritual sacrifice lost importance for a transcendental view in which the Other, the community, became of value. In his legendary edicts, Ashoka engaged in finding answers about how to live together in spite of difference. His 7th edict is a lesson about public political morality in deeply diverse societies. It encourages people to evolve in their own respective religious-philosophical perspectives towards a mutual moral growth, by which both the Self and the Other can be enriched. Today, we call this notion pluralism. But is the Indian pluralistic ethos that has since then become legendary once again under challenge by attempts to homogenize and radicalize society around dogmas and creeds?

 

Rajeev Bhargava

Part 1: The Origins of Indian Pluralism

Rajeev Bhargava, a Professor at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi and a scholar of issues concerning secularism, constitutionalism, and multiculturalism, looks at India during the 3rd century BCE to analyze the major social and intellectual transformation that took place under Ashoka’s rule. Bhargava contends that ritual sacrifice lost importance for a transcendental view in which the Other, the community, became of value. In his legendary edicts, Ashoka engaged in finding answers about how to live together in spite of difference. Bhargava was interviewed during the Istanbul Seminars 2014.

 

Part 2: Ashoka’s Seventh Edict

“We are all incomplete in some ways,” says Rajeev Bhargava. “In order to enrich ourselves and to complete ourselves, we need to mutually communicate with each other all the time.” Bhargava references the work of the Maurya Dynasty emperor Ashoka. In Ashoka’s ideal world people should mix and practice dhamma: listening to a plurality of voices, controlling the tongue, being critical – but with moderation. In the 3rd century BCE, Ashoka wrote the 7th edict, an ethical guide to pluralism, which is still valuable today. For Bhargava, interviewed during the Istanbul Seminars 2014, the edict was not about living back to back, but face to face in search for a common ground.

 

Part 3: The Limits of Toleration

According to Rajeev Bhargava, interviewed during the Istanbul Seminars 2014, Ashoka’s 7th edict is a lesson about public political morality in deeply diverse societies. It encourages people to evolve in their own respective religious-philosophical perspectives towards a mutual moral growth, by which the Other can be enriched. Today, we call this notion pluralism. Toleration, on the other hand, encourages living back to back with a lack of mutual interaction.

 

Part 4: Testing Time for India’s Pluralist Ethos

“Is the legendary Indian pluralistic ethos once again under challenge by attempts to homogenize and radicalize society around dogmas and creeds?” asks Rajeev Bhargava, interviewed during the Istanbul Seminars 2014. He contends that the threat is real, but an entrenched pluralist ethos and a democratic tradition of checks and balances should be able to contend with it. If channeled correctly, these forces may be able to be contained within reasonable limits and even serve to strengthen Indian democracy.

Source: Reset Doc org

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Kate Taylor: Why Toronto’s Aga Khan Park risks becoming a white elephant — The Globe and Mail com

The Aga Khan Park, which draws inspiration from gardens in India and Spain, won’t be as welcoming in winter.

(Click Image to view more photos on Globe and Mail)

The Aga Khan Park, which draws inspiration from gardens in India and Spain, won’t be as welcoming in winter.
(Darren Calabrese for the globe and mail)

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I wonder if Canadians understand what a huge compliment was paid to this country when the Aga Khan Development Network, to which the museum belongs, decided to locate the new institution here and move the collection, which had been housed in Geneva and London, to Toronto. The decision is testament to the gratitude Ismailis feel toward Canada for welcoming them as immigrants after many were driven from East Africa in the 1970s. Speaking at the inauguration of the park Tuesday, the Aga Khan told a joke about the visitor to an Ismaili home in Canada who was surprised to find a photo of Idi Amin on the wall. The explanation was that the family thanked the Ugandan dictator every day for sending them to Canada.

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It’s a beautiful achievement, but it took its inspiration from famed Islamic gardens in India and Spain – that is, from warmer climates. What he has created will feel like an oasis for those few months of the year when it does not feel like a steppe. I picture January winds buffeting those few hardy art lovers who know the Aga Khan Museum is worth the drive to Don Mills.

 

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Video: Ontario and Ismaili Imamat Agreement Signing Ceremony (Toronto) 25 May 2015 — NanoWisdoms Org

NanoWisdoms

NanoWisdoms

Published on 26 May 2015

Video and image courtesy Office of the Premier of Ontario and reproduced pursuant to the permission statement here:
http://www.ontario.ca/government/copy…

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Our history, our interpretation of our faith, is anchored in the intellect and we rejoice in investing in the human intellect. It’s part of the ethics of what we believe in and it’s part of what we believe distinguishes us, obviously, from the environment in which we live. So the agreement that we have is giving us new opportunities to widen our exposure to education in the industrialised world, but to widen that education within a context where our values are the same. And that it is very important, because it’s clear with a global community — such as the Ismaili community — we need to invest in global values, in values which can be applied to any society, at any time in any part of the world. [Emphasis original.]

Madame Prime Minister, I want to tell you how happy and grateful my community and I are for this agreement that we have just signed.

Our history, our interpretation of our faith, is anchored in the intellect and we rejoice in investing in the human intellect. It’s part of the ethics of what we believe in and it’s part of what we believe distinguishes us, obviously, from the environment in which we live. So the agreement that we have is giving us new opportunities to widen our exposure to education in the industrialised world, but to widen that education within a context where our values are the same. And that it is very important, because it’s clear with a global community — such as the Ismaili community — we need to invest in global values, in values which can be applied to any society, at any time in any part of the world. And this what we are finding in Canada — that we will have a partnership with you — and in investing in that partnership we’re investing in a profession which, I have to say, has difficulty in the developing world. [Emphasis original.]

There are three professions in the developing world which are undervalued. The first is nursing. The second is education. And the third is journalism. And yet all those professions are critical for the development of a quality civil society in the third world. And the partnership you have allowed us to create, is going to come in and assist us to reposition one of the greatest professions that we need in the third world. So I would as you to think of this not only in terms of what we will be able to achieve in terms of collaboration, but in the much wider context of the teaching profession and its position in the developing world.

But then we were discussing something else. We were discussing dialogue. We were discussing policy. We were discussing what ideas we need to move forwards in various parts of the developing world. And sharing these ideas — talking about them, openly and freely, but within the context of common values, shared values — is an absolutely wonderful opportunity. And I thank you very much for making that possible.

Thank you

His Highness the Aga Khan IV

Source: http://www.nanowisdoms.org/nwblog/10905/

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PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists — Vancouver Desi com

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with His Highness the Aga Khan at 24 Sussex Drive. PMO/Vancouver Desi

Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan.

The spiritual leader was visiting  Canada for the inauguration of the Aga Khan Park in Toronto and attend meetings in Ottawa for updates on the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network in Canada.

“It was an honour to once again welcome His Highness the Aga Khan to Canada and to renew our longstanding friendship. We both deplore the atrocities being perpetrated by violent extremists against religious and cultural minorities. Canada, along with its allies, will continue to actively support and defend human rights and freedom from persecution,”  Harper said in a news release.

The two leaders discussed the threat posed by violent extremists and their persecution and murder of religious and ethnic minorities.

They also spoke about efforts to increase support for international development around the world, including improving maternal, newborn and child health.

The Prime Minister reiterated Canada’s commitment to continuing to work with the Aga Khan on areas of mutual interest, including through partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.

Quick Facts

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Read more on Vancouver Desi com

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See also:

PM marks successful visit by HH the Aga Khan

After unveiling the plaque marking the inauguration of the Aga Khan Park

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Kabul’s oasis of peace — Duniya News TV on historic Bagh-e Babur gardens

The 11-hectare gardens have emerged as an attractive venue for plays and Western-Eastern concerts.

KABUL (AFP) – Kabul s historic Bagh-e Babur gardens are one of the few remaining vestiges of serenity in a city awash with snipers, checkpoints and post-traumatic stress.

Laid out in the 16th century by the Mughal emperor Babur and restored after the 2001 US-led invasion and fall of the Taliban, they have become a magnet for culture and art aficionados.

The 11-hectare (27-acre) gardens have emerged as an attractive venue for plays and Western-Eastern music concerts in a city with ever-shrinking space for cultural activities.

Read more on Duniya News TV

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Posts from PBSJ Blog on Kabul’s historic Bagh-e Babur Garden:

Inside the Gardens of Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan.

 

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Aga Khan University tops Higher Education Commission ranking for medical universities

AKU tops HEC ranking for medical universities

 

Aga Khan University has maintained its position as the top medical university in Pakistan in the Higher Education Commission’s latest ranking of public and private universities in the country.

The parameters considered in a comprehensive selection process included quality assurance, teaching quality, research, finance and facilities, and social integration or community development.

To demonstrate standing by subject, HEC ranked universities in six categories, which included general, engineering and technology, business education, agriculture and veterinary, medical, and arts and design.

In the medical category, AKU was ranked the best followed by the University of Health Sciences, Dow University of Health Sciences, Khyber Medical University, Riphah International University, Isra University, King Edward Medical University, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, and Ziauddin University.

Announcing the rankings at a ceremony, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, HEC, said that ranking universities was a global practice undertaken to fuel competition in education, research and innovation.

More details on HEC website.

 

Source: AKU edu

 

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