Apr 16, 2008

Aga Khan’s U.S. visit overshadowed by other religious leaders

Posted: 11:50 AM ET
(CNN) — The leaders of three world religions will be visiting the United States this week, and while the media spotlight is focused on Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama, thousands of Ismaili Muslims are celebrating a rare U.S. tour by the Aga Khan.
Sporting a typical western suit and tie, the Aga Khan doesn’t exactly fit the image that may be expected for the spiritual leader of 20 million Ismaili Muslims across the world. But his followers see him as the final authority on interpreting the Quran, and one Muslim scholar said in that regard, “he is more powerful than the pope.”
The Aga Khan, 71, arrived in Austin, Texas on Friday, where he met with Gov. Rick Perry and signed a memorandum with the University of Texas on behalf of his Aga Khan University. The two schools agreed to share research and cooperate in what was described as “a move towards narrowing the gap between the West and Islam.”
–By CNN’s Tricia Escobedo


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