Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Text of Gov. Rick Perry’s Remarks at the Dinner Hosted by His Highness the Aga Khan

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Saturday, June 22, 2002  •  Speech

(Note: The Governor frequently deviates from prepared text.)

Thank you.

On behalf of the people of Houston, and 21 million Texans, I want to extend our great appreciation to His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary imam of the Shia Muslims, and Her Highness the Begum Aga Khan, for your visit to our state and nation.

As your faith teaches love, charity and peace among men, certainly no one embodies those goals more than His Highness and Her Highness.

In Christian doctrine, there is an important principle that you shall know a tree by its fruit.

As practiced by His Highness and the Ismaili people, your faith is one that bears good fruit.

You foster a climate of dialogue and understanding, you seek harmony and peace, and you dispense love and show your enduring character through acts of charity.

To know the beauty of your faith is to know the deeds and vision of one of its great voices…His Highness, the Aga Khan.

His Highness comes from a family with a long legacy of humanitarian service.  The Aga Khan’s grandfather was president of the League of Nations.  His father was Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations.  And his uncle has served as the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees.

This great family has built a tremendous network of charity.  The Aga Khan Development Network reaches out to the people of many nations to meet the most critical of human needs, and to improve living conditions in some of the poorest nations around the globe. 

By pouring great resources into humanitarian assistance, the Aga Khan Development Network is recognized worldwide as an organization that has done much to lift up those who have little hope.

When it comes to the assistance of people in developing countries, the Aga Khan Development Network does not ask the question, “what is your faith,” but “what is your need?”

Your actions are the greatest evidence...the greatest testament to your faith.

You have welcomed peace while shunning discord.  You have practiced love while speaking out against hatred.  Your faith has been a reservoir of hope for those seeking light.

Too often, differences lead to misunderstanding.  All men and women of faith must recognize that peace cannot be achieved through divisive dialogue.  It can only be found on common ground, based on our common hopes, and recognizing our common humanity.

May we all seek common ground in a new century, putting aside the differences that entangle us to pursue the cause of peace and unity among men.

Thank you, and God bless you.

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