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Published by: Coolboy Cool on Feb 10, 2011
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I was sitting in a conference room of a hotel on the outskirts of Paris. I was not sure
what would be the reaction from the Chair on that day The night before, in the shivering
cold of October, I had prepared my paper for the next day's presentation. The moment
came and Aga Khan asked me to read my paper, which was titled; "God is out of fashion
in the West - says Pope". The stress point of the paper was, if that be the case then what
should be the approach of our young and old missionaries towards the coming
generations since people of the third world eventually do catch up with the West. During
the discussions, a President of the Ismailia Association brought up the subject of sermons
delivered on ‘Divinity’. He addressed the Chair drawing attention to an incident that had
taken place a short time ago, which was as follows: A Senior Al-Waiz (missionary) had
come on a visit to Pakistan. He is reputed for his sermons on "Ali sahi (truly) Allah", that
is to say "Aga Khan is truly Allah". The visiting missionary had scheduled his program
for lectures and sermons without going through the official channel The President of the
Ismailia Association who was himself a missionary, instructed the Jamati Officers to
cancel the program. The Senior missionary knew that in Pakistan the Ismailia Association
would not allow him to preach what he propagated outside of Pakistan. He therefore
decided to by-pass the Association and change the venue of his lectures. The sermons
were now to be delivered outside of a Jamatkhana in Karachi

The said Jamatkhana is located within a huge housing complex for Ismailis. The
Housing Society is owned by a Charitable Trust. Mukhis who were directly responsible
to the Association had no jurisdiction outside of their Jamatkhanas. This could create
even greater problems than before because the entrance to the complex was not restricted
to the Ismailis only as Jamatkhana entrances.

The Federal Council for Pakistan appointed me as mediator, being a President of the
Regional Council for Karachi and Baluchistan. Finally permission was granted to the
visiting missionary for delivering sermons in ail the Jamatkhanas of Karachi. The visitor
made good of the opportunity granted and left Pakistan, leaving behind a legacy of
questions and problems for the local missionaries and the Ismailia Association

In Pakistan, "Islamiyat" (relating to Islam) is a compulsory subject, in the secular
schools at the elementary and secondary levels. Every student living in Pakistan is
familiar with the fundamental principles of Islam, Islamic history and the basic Message
of the Quran. One can well imagine the plight of the President of the Association who
addressed the Chair at the Conference in Paris, following the sermons by the visiting
missionary The object of my paper that day and that of the President's remark were to

have a definitive guideline from the Chair (Karim Aga Khan) about missionaries’
approach to the subject of "Ali Allah" and 'Divinity'.

In the past, Aga Khan was inquiring as to "Who are these missionaries?" Now a
missionary was identified and Aga Khan was also informed, by his own appointee (the
President) as to the dominating power of that missionary. All delegates attending the
conference were expecting a strong response and a positive reaction from the Chair. The
chair-person calmly suggested that the issue be left with him. Karim Aga Khan did not
advise the delegates what to do in the future, if the Senior missionary or any other
preacher came to Pakistan and wanted to preach "All sahi Allah".

Many years later, I met the Senior Al-Waiz in Canada. He laughed and said; ’I know
what happened on that day at the Conference in Paris’. His laughs told me the untold
story It was not difficult to read between the lines or rather, between the lips.

Today 15 years have passed since that Conference in 1973. The Senior missionary and
his colleagues are harping the same old tune. He goes a step further by propagating "Sahi
Allah" (true God), for not only Karim Aga Khan, but also for Hazrat Ali, Prophet
Muhammad, Hazrat Bibi Fatima, Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Hussain who are know as
"Pujtan Pak" (five holy bodies). (nauzbillah)

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