A Day in the Life of a Jamati Leader: Understanding Value Systems and Living Our Values

2014-­‐03-­‐15   A Day in the Life of a Jamati Leader: Understanding Value Systems and Living Our Values Bashir  Jiwani,  PhD   Ethicist  &  Directo...
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2014-­‐03-­‐15  

A Day in the Life of a Jamati Leader: Understanding Value Systems and Living Our Values Bashir  Jiwani,  PhD  

Ethicist  &  Director,  Fraser  Health  Ethics  Services  &  Diversity  Services   www.incorporaCngethics.ca  

The path this evening  

1.  Aahil and Khatija 2.  Some framing thoughts 3.  The idea of a value system   4.  Values in alignment 5.  Elements of the Shia Ismaili Value System 6.  Sources of tension

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Aahil  and  KhaCja’s  Saturday  

•  Aahil  and  KhaCja  have  been  appointed  as   Mukhisaheb  and  Mukhianisaheba  for  Chandraat   majlis  

Aahil  and  KhaCja  

•  At  bait-­‐ul-­‐khayal  this  morning,  an  elderly  member  of   the  Jamat  approaches  Aahil  and  requests  a  waro  to   recite  ginan  during  the  next  khushiali  majlis.  The   member  is  known  to  have  a  poor  voice  and  also  to   sing  more  verses  than  assigned   •  The  member  is  also  related  to  their  Kamadiasaheb,   Nashir   •  Aahil  is  wondering  how  to  respond  

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Khatija’s family practice •  Khatija is tired this morning as yesterday was a hard day for her •  She is a family physician •  She works two days a week so she can spend more time with her two young children •  She is growing increasingly frustrated with her practice as there are more and more seniors coming for care •  Their problems are complex, it takes a lot of time to look after them so she doesn’t earn as much, and she doesn’t find the medicine intellectually challenging •  She is considering a policy not to accept any new patients (seniors, anyway)

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Khatija’s BUI class •  As part of her effort to spend time with her children, Khatija also teaches BUI •  At BUI today, she found a boy, Rahim, crying quietly in a hallway •  With a little prodding, Rahim told her that another student was bullying him. •  He said “I don’t know why this boy doesn’t like me” •  Rahim said the boy would push him around outside BUI and at Jamatkhana, but mostly he would spread bad stories about Rahim •  Rahim says he is having trouble sleeping, is feeling scared and worried •  Khatija is trying to determine how to respond 6

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Aahil and the coach •  After BUI, Aahil took Shakeel to his son’s soccer game •  During the game, Aahil’s son Shakeel got hurt and had to stop playing •  Afterwards, Shakeel was very upset – not because he got hurt but because a coach from the other team was yelling at him that he should stop pretending to be hurt •  Shakeel looked up at Aahil and Aahil was wondering how to react

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Aahil’s care home •  At soccer, Aahil saw his cousin Tariq, whose son also plays there, this reminded Aahil of his work •  Aahil runs a small private seniors care facility •  Most of the care providers are unregulated workers •  Sometimes these caregivers feel unprepared and insufficiently trained to provide the care asked of them •  For example, sometimes residents want help with risky behaviours, like eating when they are at risk of choking •  They have asked Aahil for support and he is not sure how to respond 8

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Aahil’s care home •  Aahil is also having trouble with his partner, his cousin Tariq •  Tariq made a lot of money in the stock market about 10 years back and agreed to provide financing for Aahil to buy the care home •  For the first year or so, the relationship went well •  But lately, Aahil has noticed that Tariq has been having meetings with the accountants and bank managers without involving Aahil •  Aahil has also been suspecting that some of Tariq’s other investments have been having trouble lately •  He’s not sure what to do 9

Safai  CommiUee   •  That  evening,  Aahil  and  KhaCja  are  having  dinner  with  their   Kamadiasaheb  and  Kamadianisaheba   •  At  dinner,  as  usual,  Nashir  raises  the  topic  of  the  Jamatkhana   safai  commiUee     •  The  commiUee  has  been  in  place  for  20  years  and  does  a   terrific  job   •  However  the  team,  especially  the  leader,  is  not  open  to  new   members   •  Two  new  JamaC  members  would  really  like  to  parCcipate  but   have  been  rebuffed  by  the  leader   •  The  JamaC  MKs  have  raised  this  issue  with  their  team  and   asked  for  their  advice   •  Nashir  asks  Aahil  and  KhaCja  what  they  think  should  happen   10  

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Framing  thoughts  

Tutzing  Evangelical  Academy  2006  

The  spiritual  roots  of  tolerance  include,  it   seems  to  me,  a  respect  for  individual   conscience  -­‐-­‐  seen  as  a  Gi[  of  God  -­‐-­‐  as  well  as   a  posture  of  religious  humility  before  the   Divine.  It  is  by  accepCng  our  human  limits  that   we  can  come  to  see  The  Other  as  a  fellow   seeker  of  truth  -­‐-­‐  and  to  find  common  ground   in  our  common  quest.    

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As  fellow  seekers  of  truth,       we  both  have  an  acCve  role  to  play   this  a[ernoon  

As  leaders  we  want  to  be  ethically   literate  people   who  can…  

•  reason  morally  whenever  they  analyse  and  resolve   problems,    

•  Who  can  see  the  world  through  the  lens  of  ethics,     •  who  can  ar0culate  their  moral  reasoning  clearly   -­‐  even  in  a  world  of  cultural  and  religious  diversity  –     •  and  have  the  courage  to  make  tough  choices.    

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InvitaCon  to  culCvate  skills  of   arCculaCon    

At  this  Cme…  

  1.  Please  get  the  handout  and  a  pen   2.  Please  find  a  partner     –  dispute  prevenCon  model  

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What  is  a  Value  System?  

      What  is  a  value  system?      

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Value  System  

•  The  collecCon  of  beliefs  and  values  that  define   what  is  important  and  what  is  true  about  the   world  for  an  individual  or  a  community  

    One  of  the  areas  of  alignment   between  value  systems  

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Pluralism  

Diversity:  The  fact  of  difference   Pluralism:  The  way  we  should  respond  to  diversity  

Differences  in     •  interests,     •  principles,     •  conceptual   frameworks,     •  culture  

•  language,     •  naConality   •  modes  and  styles  of   communicaCon  

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Pluralism  in  acCon   In  Canada  (Globe  and  Mail)   1. 

2. 

3. 

4. 

Universal  health  care  that  innovates   –  No.  1  determinant  of  economic  success   and  social  mobility   –  Healthcare  is  universal     –  AUracts  record  numbers  of  skilled   immigrants   Educa0on  that  integrates   –  Oxford  University  study  of  immigraCon   and  diversity  among  Western  countries   found  Canada  to  have  excelled  in   intercultural  educaCon   A  labour  market  that  mobilizes   –  2011,  more  than  half  the  employment   growth  among  landed  immigrants  was   accounted  for  by  newcomers  living  in  the   Prairies  and  BC   Ci0zenship  that  both  inspires  change  and   withstands  it   –  Canada  gives  ciCzenship,  even  dual   ciCzenship,  more  than  any  other  country   –  reduces  social  tensions,  gives  immigrants   beUer  access  to  schools,  courts,  hospitals   and  the  ballot  box  

In  Islam  (Hazar  Imam’s   address  to  parliament)   • 

• 

The  complexity  of  the  Ummah  has  a   long  history.  Some  of  the  most   glorious  chapters  in  Islamic  history   were  purposefully  built  on  the   principle  of  inclusiveness  —  it  was  a   maUer  of  state  policy  to  pursue   excellence  through  pluralism.   This  was  true  from  the  Cme  of  the   Abbasids  in  Baghdad  and  the   FaCmids  in  Cairo  over  1,000  years   ago.  It  was  true  in  Afghanistan  and   Timbuktu  in  Mali,  and  later  with  the   Safavids  in  Iran,  the  Mughals  in  India,   the  Uzbeks  in  Bukhara,  and  OUomans   in  Turkey.  From  the  8th  to  the  16th   century,  al-­‐Andalus  thrived  on  the   Iberian  Peninsula  —  under  Muslim   aegis  —  but  also  deeply  welcoming  to   ChrisCan  and  Jewish  peoples.  

Pluralism  defined   1.  We  should  believe  that  diversity  is  good  

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Pluralism  defined   2.  We  should  treat  all  people  with  respect:     A.  treaCng  them  with  kindness   B.  listening  to  their  perspecCves  to  understand  -­‐   without  judgment   C.  then  sharing  our  own  perspecCves  

Pluralism  defined   3.  Individuals  and  communiCes  living  and  working   together  should  seek  common  values-­‐based   soluCons  to  common  problems  without   compromising  their  deepest  values   •  We  believe  that  understanding  each  other’s  values  and   beliefs  will  enhance  our  understanding  of  the  issues   •  We  believe  that  achieving  such  soluCons  will  actually   allow  us  to  live  with  greater  integrity  

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Pluralism  defined   4.  Subgroups  should  be  able  to  maintain  their  own   idenCCes  (meaningfully  held  values,  beliefs,   pracCces)  within  the  laws  of  the  broader   community   5.  We  shouldn't  want  to  change  each  other;  we   should  try  to  build  common  foundaCons  on   which  to  move  forward  

NoCce  that  this  approach  to   difference  enables  prevenCon  of   dispute  in  addiCon  to  creaCng  a   framework  for  successful   dispute  resoluCon  

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Pluralism  defined   1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Believe  diversity  is  good   Treat  others  with  respect     Seek  values-­‐based  soluCons     Allow  others  to  maintain  idenCty   Build  common  foundaCons  (cosmopolitan  ethic)  

    Key  value  system  elements   Mawlana  Hazar  Imam  spoke  to  in   his  parliamentary  address  

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Core  Element:          

Belief  in  a   living  Imam      

•  What  does  this  mean?   •  How  do  they  impact  your  own   personal  daily  life?  

Imam  as  guide  

“The  understanding  of  the  term  imam  therefore  differs   greatly  in  Sunnism  and  Shi’ism.  In  Sunni  Islam  the  term  has   many  uses,  but  it  is  never  used  in  the  mysCcal  and  esoteric   sense  given  to  it  in  Shi’ism.  In  Shi’ism,  the  Imam,  like  the   prophets,  is  inerrant  (ma’sum)  and  protected  from  sin  by   God.  He  possesses  perfect  knowledge  of  both  the  Law  and   the  Way,  both  the  outer  and  inner  meaning  of  the  Quran.   Seyyed  Hossein  Nasr   The  Heart  of  Islam,  p.  66-­‐67  

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One value system or many? Examining our values and trying to recalibrate our lives to live these in a new reality

Hiding from our values and trivializing the incoherence between our values and our actions

One value system or many? Examining our values and trying to recalibrate our lives to live these in a new reality

Hiding from our values and trivializing the incoherence between our values and our actions

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Core  Element:          

Fusion  of  Faith   and  World  

•  What  does  this  mean?   •  How  do  they  impact  your  own   personal  daily  life?  

Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah’s Memoirs Life in the ultimate analysis has taught me one enduring lesson. The subject should always disappear in the object. In our ordinary affections one for another, in our daily work with hand or brain, most of us discover soon enough that any lasting satisfaction, any contentment that we can achieve, is the result of forgetting self, of merging subject with object in a harmony that is of body, mind and spirit. And in the highest realms of consciousness all who believe in a Higher Being are liberated from all the clogging and hampering bonds of the subjective self in prayer, in rapt meditation upon and in the face of the glorious radiance of eternity, in which all temporal and earthly consciousness is swallowed up and itself becomes the eternal.

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London, October 19th 2003 In this context, would it not also be relevant to consider how, above all, it has been the Qur’anic notion of the universe as an expression of Allah’s will and creation that has inspired, in diverse Muslim communities, generations of artists, scientists and philosophers? Scientific pursuits, philosophic inquiry and artistic endeavour are all seen as the response of the faithful to the recurring call of the Qur’an to ponder the creation as a way to understand Allah's benevolent majesty. As Sura al-Baqara proclaims: ‘Wherever you turn, there is the face of Allah’.

Din  &  Dunya  

AKDN  Ethical  Framework  

•  “A  person's  ulCmate  worth  depends  on  how   he  or  she  responds  to  these  Divine  favours.   Din  is  the  spiritual  relaConship  of  willing   submission  of  a  reasoning  creature  to  his  Lord   who  creates,  sustains  and  guides.  For  the  truly   discerning,  the  earthly  life,  dunya,  is  a  gi[  to   cherish  inasmuch  as  it  is  a  bridge  to,  and   preparaCon  for,  the  life  to  come.  Otherwise  it   is  an  enCcement,  distracCng  man  from  service   of  God  which  is  the  true  purpose  of  life.    

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Din  &  Dunya  

AKDN  Ethical  Framework  

•  “Service  of  God  is  not  only  worship,  but  also   service  to  humanity,  and  abiding  by  the  duty   of  trust  towards  the  rest  of  creaCon.   Righteousness,  says  the  Qur’an,  is  not  only   fulfilling  one's  religious  obligaCons.  Without   social  responsibility,  religiosity  is  a  show  of   conceit.  Islam  is,  therefore,  both  din  and   dunya,  spirit  and  maUer,  disCnct  but  linked,   neither  to  be  forsaken.”    

The  Muslim  worldview:  

  God,  humanity,  pre-­‐existenCal  agreement...  



God





abd/ servant

khalifa/ trustee



Creation

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Core  Element:          

The   connec0on   between   human  beings    

•  What  does  this  mean?   •  How  do  they  impact  your  own   personal  daily  life?  

Mawlana  Hazar  Imam,  Annual  MeeCng  of  the  InternaConal   Baccalaureate  April,  2008     • 

• 

• 

• 

•  • 

As  a  point  of  departure  in  addressing  these  quesCons,  I  would  turn  to  those  words  from  my   Grandfather  which  were  quoted  in  two  earlier  Peterson  Lectures.  He  included  them  in  a  speech  he   gave  as  President  of  the  League  of  NaCons  in  Geneva  some  70  years  ago.  They  come  originally  from   the  Persian  poet,  Sadi,  who  wrote:     “The  children  of  Adam,  created  of  the  self-­‐same  clay,  are  members  of  one  body.  When  one  member   suffers,  all  members  suffer,  likewise.  O  Thou,  who  art  indifferent  to  the  suffering  of  the  fellow,  thou   art  unworthy  to  be  called  a  man.”     You  will  readily  understand  why  such  words  seem  appropriate  for  a  Peterson  Lecture.  They  speak  to   the  fundamental  value  of  a  universal  human  bond-­‐  a  gi[  of  the  Creator  -­‐  which  both  requires  and   validates  our  efforts  to  educate  for  global  ciCzenship.     I  would  also  like  to  quote  an  infinitely  more  powerful  statement  about  the  unity  of  mankind,  because   it  comes  directly  from  the  Holy  Quran,  and  which  I  would  ask  you  to  think  about.  The  Holy  Quran   addresses  itself  not  only  to  Muslims,  but  to  the  enCrety  of  the  human  race,  when  it  says:     “O  mankind!  Be  careful  of  your  duty  to  your  Lord  Who  created  you  from  one  single  soul  and  from  it   created  its  mate  and  from  them  twain  hath  spread  abroad  a  mulCtude  of  men  and  women.”     These  words  reflect  a  deeply  spiritual  insight  -­‐  A  Divine  imperaCve  if  you  will  -­‐  which,  in  my  view,   should  under  gird  our  educaConal  commitments.  It  is  because  we  see  humankind,  despite  our   differences,  as  children  of  God  and  born  from  one  soul,  that  we  insist  on  reaching  beyond  tradiConal   boundaries  as  we  deliberate,  communicate,  and  educate  internaConally.    

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THE VALUES OF THE SHIA ISMAILI VALUE SYSTEM ARE ROOTED IN METAPHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL BELIEFS  

           

Core  Element:          

Voluntary   Service  to   improve  the   lives  of  others    

•  What  does  this  mean?   •  How  do  they  impact  your  own   personal  daily  life?  

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    Understanding  history  through  art  

Is not a great work of art, like the ecstasy of the mystic, a gesture of the spirit, a stirring of the soul that comes from the attempt to experience a glimpse of, and an intimacy with, that which is ineffable and beyond being?

Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Ismaili Centre London, 19 October 2003"

QuesCons  to  ask   1.  What  is  the  subject   maUer?   2.  What  does  it  say  is   important  in  life?   3.  What  does  this   artwork  say  about   “that  which  is  ineffable   and  beyond  being”?   46"

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Madonna and Child in Majesty Surrounded by Angels, Cimabue, 1270, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France



End  of  Medieval   period  (15th  16th  C)" Religion"

ChrisCanity"

Culture"

Dominated  by  the   church"

Economy"

Feudalism   Direct  producCon"

Social   Arrangements"

informal"

IdenCty"

Social  Hierarchy"

PoliCcs"

Monarchy  with   church  influence"

Purpose  of  life"

SalvaCon  in  the   a[erlife" 48"

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"Madonna and Child with Two Angels" - Fra Filippo Lippi - 1465, Galleria Uffizi - Florence"

 15th-­‐16th  C  ReformaCon

•  Luther  breaks  hegemony  of  Catholic  Church   –  Luther  (famous  95  theses)  breaks  with  Catholic  Church   –  Prince’s  of  Northern  Europe  side  with  Luther  for   poliCcal  reasons   –  Begins  100  years  of  ChrisCan  struggle   •  30  years  war  (1518-­‐1548)   •  100  years  war  (to  1648)  

–  Ends  with  treaty  of  Westphalia   •  Religion  of  the  Prince  will  determine  religion  of  the  people

50"

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Protestant Reformation

End  of  Medieval   period  (15th  16th  C)" Religion"

ChrisCanity"

Culture"

Dominated  by  the   church"

Economy"

Feudalism   Direct  producCon"

Social   informal" Arrangements" IdenCty"

Social  Hierarchy"

PoliCcs"

Monarchy  with   church  influence"

Purpose  of  life"

SalvaCon  in  the   a[erlife"

Renaissance  (14th   17th  C)" Catholic  and   Protestant   ChrisCanity" Church  losing  grip,     laity  gaining  influence"

Several  legiCmate   perspecCves" 51"

Enlightenment

•  Need  to  “purify”  our  understanding  of  truth  –   to  show  religious  ideas  as  prejudices  without   foundaCons   •   SCll  religious  society,  but  public  life  to  be   governed  based  solely  on  reason  by  pure   thinking,  enlightened  leaders  –  not  priests

52"

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ScienCfic  RevoluCon

•  From  15th  to  18th  C   •  1543  Copernicus  demonstrates  earth  goes  round   the  sun   •  1687  Newton  publishes  laws  of  moCon  &  gravity   •  “…outshines  everything  since  the  rise  of   chrisCanity  and  reduces  the  reformaCon  and   renaissance  to  the  rank  of  mere   episodes…”  (BuUerfield)

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Sociological  Shi[s • 

• 

CentralizaCon  of  the  populaCon  

–  –  –  –  – 

Technology,  industrializaCon,  people  move  to  ciCes   CiCes  become  cultural  powerhouses   200  years  ago  -­‐  97%  in  rural   Today  less  than  half   In  next  50  years  20%  in  rural  populaCon  

Social  control  becomes  formal     –  People  less  concerned  about  belonging  to  a  given  community  -­‐  communiCes  are  porous   –  Shaming  and  shunning  don’t  work   –  Move  to  bureaucracy  -­‐  administraCve  agencies,  professional  police,  courts  etc.  administer   jusCce  formally  in  the  name  of  the  state  

• 

Economic  producCon  becomes  indirect   –  Market  economy   –  People  become  specialized,  &  produce  goods  that  we  don’t  need,  but  that  we  can  produce   for  cash  that  we  use  to  meet  my  needs   –  Not  focused  on  own  needs  -­‐  rely  on  others  for  producing  our  own  needs   –  Based  on  trust  that  with  capital  will  be  able  to  meet  needs   –  Disconnected  from  purpose  for  which  working

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"Gold Marilyn Monroe" - Andy Warhol- 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York"

Renaissance  (14th  17th  C)"

Enlightenment & Scientific Revolution

Protestant Reformation

End  of  Medieval   period  (15th  16th  C)"

Modernity  (17th  20th  C)"

Catholic  and  Protestant   ChrisCanity"

Religious  pluralism"

Church  losing  grip,    laity   gaining  influence"

secularist"

Begin  manufacturing  -­‐   industrial"

Capitalism,  rise  of   knowledge  economy"

Religion"

ChrisCanity"

Culture"

Dominated  by  the   church"

Economy"

Feudalism   Direct  producCon"

Social   Arrangements"

TradiConal  society   Informal  control"

IdenCty"

Social  Hierarchy"

PoliCcs"

Monarchy  with   church  influence"

republicanism"

Purpose  of  life"

SalvaCon  in  the   a[erlife"

Several  legiCmate   perspecCves"

From  serfs  to  workers"

Global  society   Formal  control" Individual" Liberal  democracy" Up  for  grabs"

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All that matters is God and the afterlife"

This life matters too"

Mary is replaced by Marilyn

commercial beauty intrigues"

Four  “isms”  implicit  in  the   Western  ethos  

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Materialism   •  All  there  is,  is  maUer   –  God  and  souls  are  figments  of  our  imaginaCon   •  Science  has  the  answer  to  everything   –  Religion  is  only  a  way  to  inappropriately  grab   power   •  You  want  to  understand  the  world?  Turn  to  science   –  don’t  need  revelaCon   •  You  want  to  control  the  world?  Turn  to  technology   –  don’t  need  prayer   •  You  want  to  be  happy?  Go  to  the  mall   –  don’t  need  salvaCon  

Individualism   •  You  come  before  the  community   •  We  are  separate,  isolated  creatures,  independent  of   one  another   •  We  just  bump  into  each  other  in  this  world   •  You  want  to  distribute  power?  Turn  to  democracy   –  don’t  need  religious  authority   •  You  want  to  exchange  goods?  Turn  to  the  market   economy   –  don’t  need  government  

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RelaCvism  

•  Your  ideas  about  that  which  we  can’t  prove   scienCfically  are  just  as  good  as  mine   •  Let’s  just  go  with  the  flow   •  I  won’t  criCcize  you  and  you  don’t  criCcize  me  

Secularism  

•  •  •  • 

Faith  and  life  are  separate   Keep  religion  private  and  out  of  public  life   Focus  on  neutrality   Single  principle  of  separaCon  of  church  and   state   –  Ill-­‐equipped  to  handle  diversity   –  Arose  in  Cme  with  less  diversity  

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“And say, ‘Lord grant me a good entrance and a goodly exit, and sustain me with Your power.’”



Surat al-Isra’ (The Night Journey, 17:80)

“The calligrapher has made masterful use of his elegant thuluth murakkab script to create a calligraphic composition resembling a boat filled with a crew, their

long oars dipping into the water that is the skeleton of the leaf.”

chestnut leaf. Ottoman Empire (Turkey), 19th century. Aga Khan Museum"

Thank  you!  

www.incorporaCngethics.ca  

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