By Ed Carty

Tuesday July 01 2008

HIS Highness the Aga Khan was yesterday honoured by the National University of Ireland, Maynooth for his work combating poverty and in promoting religious understanding.

The renowned racehorse breeder and spiritual leader of the world’s Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims received an honorary doctorate from NUI Chancellor Dr Garret FitzGerald. He is pictured (left) with his daughter Princess Zahra and Dr FitzGerald at yesterday’s ceremony.

The Aga Khan is the first member of the Islamic community to be honoured by the NUI.

He was cited by the university for “outstanding contributions to the elimination of global poverty, the advancement of women, the promotion of Islamic culture and the furthering of pluralistic values in society”.

NUI Maynooth President Professor John Hughes said: “The college is honouring an individual who has made a significant impact in the developing world.

“He has championed religious pluralism as a way of building a common understanding among millions of people throughout the globe.

“We in Ireland readily identify with this view given, that it brought peace to this island.

“This university is very proud to honour the Aga Khan.”

The Aga Khan Development Network is one of the world’s largest private development groups and is chaired by the Aga Khan, who is the 49th hereditary Imam leading Ismailis in 25 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North America and western Europe.

– Ed Carty


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