Office of University Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2008
CONTACT: Nikolaos Johnson, Assistant Director, Media Relations, 909-621-8396
Islamic Documentary Comes to Claremont for West-Coast Debut
At a time when the divides between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds seems to be getting worse, not better, the first west-coast viewing of “An Islamic Conscience: The Aga Khan and the Ismailis,” will take place on Saturday, February 9 at the Claremont School of Theology. The 3 pm movie will be followed by a panel discussion involving Claremont Graduate University’s School of Religion: Dr. Hamid Mavani and Dean Karen Torjesen.
The film—produced by Shamir Allibhai—tells the story of the Aga Khan. Born into a world of wealth and privilege, he devotes his life to eliminating poverty and inequality. A religious leader who traces his ancestry back to the Prophet Muhammad, he struggles to balance the traditional with the modern.
The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, a Shi’ite sect with 15 million followers around the world. At a time when Islam is at odds with itself and with the West, the Aga Khan represents a voice of moderation, speaking out for pluralism and diversity, and promoting dialogue between civilizations.
The film features a rare interview with the Aga Khan, along with seldom-seen archival footage and commentary from political scholars. Founder of the largest private development agency, the Aga Khan calls the current divide a clash of ignorance – not a clash of civilizations or even a clash of religions. What does he have to say about this post 9-11 world?
Claremont’s involvement is fitting, considering the School of Religion’s mission to stress tolerance and pluralism.
“The point is to focus on a common humanity - for Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” Allibhai said. “This side of Islam hasn’t been shown accurately and fairly. Most Muslims are peaceful, don’t speak Arabic and live outside the Middle East—in places like Asia and Africa.”
The film was written and also produced by Bill Cran, a multiple Emmy-award winner. The event begins at 3 pm, Feb 9, 2008 at the Claremont School of Theology’s Mudd Theater
For more information, visit www.agakhanfilm.org.
Tel: 909.621-8396 Fax: 909.621.8029