conflicts of politics and ignorance

I heard Philip Reeves’ report on the Aga Khan on “Morning Edition” this morning and was fasinated by the long excerpts from the Aga Khan’s speech. The first problem: education. He specifically mentioned the lack of knowledge about Islam in the west, and also in the east. He argued for pluralism, which I understood to mean a deeper familiarity with the complexities and differences of Islam. The Aga Khan spoke in a measured, highly-educated English, that was strangely neither British- nor American-accented. I was struck by his emphasis on education. He also said that the conflict today is not religious but political. And he urged nations to put those political issues on the “front-burner” and “press as hard as possible on the accelerator” (something like that). That is, political conflicts can only be resolved if they are discussed openly. And he mentioned that these conflicts have been around a long time, much longer than we had hoped they would be. He never mentioned Palestine and Israel, but I’m sure that was implied.

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