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. For those who believe in *no quarter* for Muslims, they agree that a mosque should be built there? I also remembered that the Aga Khan had a project at MIT for teaching Islam around the world. Here's a press release from Governor Perry's office about a Memorandum of Understanding.
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.
In 2008 an academic partnership between Aga Khan University and UT at Austin was formed
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.
Here's an article from Austin-American statesman about their friendship.
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.”
Wonder what The Response christian cultists would make of Rick Perry saying this?
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.
I was surprised to see that a posting on a message board that indicated that Sydney Perry is married to one of Aga Khan's sons. I don't know if that's true, she certain is old enough to be married. Here's another link And another
If it is true, perhaps someone can confirm or ask Governor Perry. IF Sydney Perry married one of Aga Khan's sons, did she convert to Islam? One of the other sons married an American wife and she converted. If not, what exactly is Sydney Perry doing now?
At any rate, the message board links are interesting. Just like with all the different sects of christendom, who's REALLY a true christian, looks like the same thing happens with the different sects of islam. For example, the message board doesn't appear to believe that, even though the Aga Khan says he is a direct descendant of Mohammed, the Aga Khan is a REAL muslim.
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
Fair game for fear-mongers
Need more proof? Bradley's ad features a photo of Ewing, former teacher, social studies curriculum specialist and Friendswood city councilwoman, caught red-handed, posing in front of the Taj Mahal!
Ewing admits her guilt: Yes, the educator dared to educate herself about Islamic culture, including everything from architecture to poetry.
Why did she do it? She claims it has nothing to do with converting Texas students to Islam, and everything to do with another radical philosophy: "We've got to understand other people because we're a global economy," she says. "We've got to prepare our students for the 21st century."
Where does she get this stuff?
Apparently, ties to Islam — any ties at all — are fair game for fear-mongers this election season. No exception for this down-ballot, but pivotal race for the Southeast Texas seat on the 11-member state education board.
It's easy to dismiss Bradley's campaign handout as dirty campaigning with an unusually bigoted bent.
And his argument is further undercut by some inconvenient facts: It was Bradley's fellow Republican, Gov. Rick Perry, who worked with the University of Texas and the Aga Khan Foundation, to help arrange the trip for the social studies educators. And, Bradley admits that he voted, in his first term on the state board, for the state curriculum standards that call for students to study other cultures and religions.