Toronto, 25 May 2015 — Mawlana Hazar Imam and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne signed a historic Agreement of Cooperation between the province and the Ismaili Imamat today.
“I want to tell you how happy and grateful my community and I are for this agreement that we have signed,” said Hazar Imam during the signing ceremony, which took place at Queen’s Park.
The agreement envisions the Ismaili Imamat and the Province of Ontario working together to leverage diversity and culture as an economic driver. It emphasises a pluralistic approach to education, a value that’s shared between both groups.
Acknowledging the tragedy that affected the Ismaili community in Pakistan earlier this month, the Premier conveyed condolences on behalf of the Province of Ontario. But she expressed certainty that Mawlana Hazar Imam and the institutions of the Ismaili Imamat will continue to work towards peace and reconciliation.
“Our history, our interpretation of our faith is anchored in the intellect and we rejoice in investing in the human intellect,” noted Mawlana Hazar Imam. “It’s part of the ethics of what we believe in and it’s part of what we believe distinguishes us.”
In her remarks, Premier Wynne recalled a meeting with the Ismaili community while she was the Minister of Education. “I was so touched and so impressed at the energy of the community at all ages,” she said. “So I have known for some time the depth of commitment to education and to community involvement and to intergenerational sense of responsibility within this community,” said the Premier.
The agreement reflects the shared concerns of the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Ontario for society’s most vulnerable populations, and a desire to support the advancement of people and collaborate in fields of mutual interest such as education.
Noting that the professions of nursing, education and journalism are undervalued in the developing world, Mawlana Hazar Imam said that the agreement will offer new opportunities to widen the Imamat institutions’ exposure to education within the context of shared values. He emphasised the importance of investing in global values that can be applied to any society at any time in any part of the world.
Describing the partnership with the Ismaili Imamat, Premier Wynne commented that she hopes “we will be an ideal partner in Ontario in return, in developing this relationship and exploring some issues that will be of benefit not just to those of us who are most immediately touched by it, but [that it] will be of benefit to the world.”