"As I observe the world, I am struck by the insufficiency of well-informed debate, of richer dialogue, of deeper education in our quest to avoid human conflict. That insufficiency often plagues relations between the North and the South and increasingly between the North and the Islamic world. Some have called this a clash of civilisations. I think it is, essentially, a clash of ignorances. What it means, in any case, is that institutions such as the North-South Centre have never been more important.

A related problem is the failure of so many to recognise that pluralism is not only a growing fact of life but also a blessing for their communities — an opportunity to be welcomed rather than a threat to be feared.

Since ancient times, great cultures have thrived because of their openness to diversity, and not because of their exclusivity."
- Imam Shah Karim al-Husayni, Aga Khan IV
Acceptance Address – North-South Prize Award (Lisbon, Portugal), 12 June 2014

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