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Aga Khan serves Toronto lawyer with writ


The Aga Khan.

By Salim Jiwa

TORONTO – (update 1) The Aga Khan has followed up on his lawsuit for copyright infringement of his writings by serving a writ to Toronto lawyer Alnaz Jiwa.

THE RESPONSE BY JIWA AND TAJDIN – SEE THIS STORY

The Aga Khan, one of the world’s wealthiest philanthropists and spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, is suing for copyright in the Canadian Federal Court over a book produced by Jiwa and Nagib Tajdin. The 1,500-page volume is a compilation of the Aga Khan’s written instructions and advice to his community.

The book states the Aga Khan is the author of the various articles but it is alleged they did not have permission to replicate the works.

Federal Court registry indexes now show a process server personally visited Jiwa and served him with the writ.

According to Federal Court registry, an affidavit of service to Jiwa – a necessary part of proceedings – was filed by one Christian Landeta and “sworn on 15-APR-2010 on behalf of Plaintiff confirming service of DOC 1 upon Defendants: Alnaz Jiwa by personal service on 09-APR-2010 with Exhibits A filed on 16-APR-2010.”

Jiwa and Tajdin have not filed a statement of defence in the case but are required to do so within a limited time or face a default judgment.

Prince Karim Aga Khan is seeking punitive and exemplary damages and an injunction against two of his own followers who have allegedly sold the spiritual leader’s written and oral pronouncements to the Ismaili community world-wide.

The Aga Khan claims in his lawsuit that businessman Tajdin and Jiwa and other unknown parties infringed his copyright by reproducing a book that is a collection of his written pronouncements and his speeches.

The lawsuit claims the reproduction was not authorized and that the Aga Khan personally authored the pronouncements and therefore holds sole copyright in the book entitled “Golden Edition – Kalam-E-Imam-E-Zaman.”

“The infringing material consists of a book entitled “Farmans 1957-2009 – Golden Edition Kalam-E Imam-E-Zaman” (the “Book”). This Book reproduces in substantial part a series of 589 Farmans and 77 Talikas and messages authored by the Aga Khan and delivered in various countries around the world between the years 1957 to 2009. The Book is accompanied by an mp3 audio bookmark preloaded with 14 audio extracts of Farmans read in the Plaintiff’s own voice (the MP3″). Collectively, the Book and MP3, are referred to herein as the “Infringing Materials,” according to the writ filed in Federal Court in Toronto.

The Aga Khan explains that a Farman is an address to his followers while a Talika is a brief written religious instruction to his community.

The Aga Khan’s lawsuit explains that both defendants have engaged in commercial ventures using unauthorized reproduction of material on which he owns the copyright.

The Aga Khan says he is a citizen of the U.K. but lives in France.

Nagib Tajdin is listed as a resident of Montreal and Nairobi, Kenya. Alnaz Jiwa is listed in the suit as a lawyer residing in Scarborough, Ontario.

“Ismailis live in over 25 countries across the world, mainly in South and Central Asia, Africa, Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East, as well as North America and Western Europe. It is the mandate of the Imam to interpret to his community the faith of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith that teaches compassion and tolerance and upholds the dignity of man, and also to lead the effort to improve the security and quality of life of his community and the wider societies among which the Ismailis live. The Aga Khan’s communications to his community are conveyed in this privileged context and, hence, he is concerned that their integrity should be safeguarded,” states the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by Vancouverite.

The Aga Khan states in his claim that the defendants produced and released the alleged infringing materials consisting of a book and MP3s which were recorded without his consent.

The Aga Khan states the defendants are profiting from the sales of the book in four parts with each part being sold for $50 CAD with the MP3 recording being given as a gift to a purchaser.

Bay Street law firm Ogilvy Renault filed the lawsuit on April 6. No response has been filed.

Ogilvy Renault is seeking an accounting of all profits made from the sales as well as punitive and exemplary damages.

Aga Khan lawsuit – PDF document from Federal Court.

Controversial book ad.


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160 Comments for “Aga Khan serves Toronto lawyer with writ”

  1. I am an ismaili too but after reading all of the comments it is obvious that the Imam did try solving this matter from becoming a public issue, but if the follower did not listen what can the Imam do. Yes i do agree with the fact that the Imam is a forgiving person and I am pretty sure that he will hold no grudge against such people nor will he get angry with them and one more thing you have to remember is that the Imam loves his spiritual children more than any other thing and one other thing is that the Imam does NOT need his spiritual children they need him, so go ahead lose your faith. If you lose faith in him thats your loss not the Imams, he has over thousands of followers who will give up their life for him………. I think he did the right thing.

  2. We all recognize the fact that our Imam has made significant sacrifices and made great contributions to improve the image of Islam worldwide; however, the fact remains that there is a noticeable lack of materials, which is the cause of these copyright infringements. This infringement is a cry for materials and also for more access to information. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg; we are seeing only 10% of the problem and 90% is behind the scene. LIF and IIS should get cracking and start publishing or else problems will increase.

  3. divine or very necessary works sometimes, always gets out there…. one cannot control the inside of everyone.

  4. I believe the statement of defense has been filed. Be warned that judgements are based on facts not emotions. The evidence gathering will continue even after the defense is filed.

    • Patricia Campbell

      In a surprisingly rapid twist of events, both Mr Tajdin and Mr Jiwa have filed their respective statements of Defense this 29th of April 2010. They affirm to being devoted followers who will unconditionally abide by the wishes of the Aga Khan, whom they glorify in their defense.

      They also set out to establish that this lawsuit is not actually filed by the Aga Khan, but instead has been fraudulently initiated by someone close to him in his secretariat. Why the defendant Tajdin has not yet been served is linked to this aspect of the defense. The fact that extracts from letters purported to have been sent by the Aga Khan to the defendant Tajdin are NOT even mentioned in the Statement of Claim speaks for itself.

      Mr Tajdin declares that:

      He has not been served yet but the ethics imposed upon him by his faith demands that he should not keep in ignorance the public by being silent on the issue and should clarify all of the facts, pertaining to this lawsuit, of which he is aware.

      He reaffirms his allegiance to the Aga Khan, is willing to submit to any of his wishes, and is ready to surrender himself and all his possessions to the Imam.

      He has been printing Farman books since 1992 with approval and instructions from the Imam received on August 15, 1992 in Montreal.

      He has not received any communication from the Imam from 1992 to 2009 instructing him to stop publication.

      He cannot stop publication without instruction from the Imam as this would be a breach of his oath of allegiance to the Imam.

      All Farman publications were financial deficit projects done as a volunteer service and large numbers of books were distributed free of charge.

      Farman sharing is a historic Ismaili tradition which still continues today.

      The current Ismaili Constitution does not restrict the right to publish Farmans

      Mr Tajdin further declares that:

      The Lawsuit has not been filed by the Aga Khan but rather by the same individuals who forged a precursor letter to this case and who initiated a slanderous announcement by the LIF to the Ismaili community, worldwide.

      Evidence points to a slander campaign against the defendant, launched by individuals having access to both the Imam’s secretariat and the LIF

      All his attempts to contact the Imam have been thwarted by individuals at the Imam’s secretariat, and no contact has been made so far.

      The precursor letter, purported to be from the Aga khan was sent to him by email from the Aga Khan’s secretariat in January 2010

      The contents of the letter contradict the contents of the constitution, and the infallibility of the Imam.

      The contents of the letter are similar to the contents of the lawsuit

      The signature of the Aga Khan on the letter was proved as being forged by 2 leading forensic experts.

      Upon receiving evidence of the forgery, individuals at the imam’s secretariat responded with phone calls threatening to ruin his name in the community, a threat which has now materialized.

      Mr Tajdin concludes that:

      He has no choice but to await further direct instructions from the Imam.

      He reaffirms his allegiance to the Aga Khan, is willing to submit to any of His wishes, and is ready to surrender himself and all his possessions to the Imam.

      Mr Jiwa states that:

      “This action does not appear to have been authorized personally by the Aga Khan as it is contrary to the traditions of Ismailis..”

      “In distributing Farman books obtained from Tajdin to other Ismailis, he has not violated either the Ismaili Constitution or any Farmans”

      He has not violated the copyright act as “Tajdin was given express authority by the Imam” and regardless of the fact that “the limitations period provided for by the Copyright Act also bars this action as the books containing the Farmans were commenced publication in the year 1992″, he will still do whatever the Imam tells him to do.

      Mr Jiwa clarifies finances:

      He “obtains these books for C$50.00 from Tajdin and sells it for C$50.00, without any profit.

      “All monies received by him from the sale of (other) books after 2005 were delivered to the Jamatkhanas”

      Mr Jiwa further states that:

      “If the Imam edited the Farman before releasing to the Jamats, in effect he is superceding the Farman he made orally previously.”

      He “unconditionally reconfirms his oath of allegiance to his Imam” and “if the Imam does not desire his Farman books to be distributed to the Jamats (…) this defendant will submit to the instructions of His Imam without reservation whatsoever”

  5. Reply to Leader. The Aga Khan said in a published open speech in Amsterdam on 7th September 2002 in the context of expanding insights into cultures and promoting interaction between cultures and development. “..I would go even further and say that the inability of human society to recognise pluralism as a fundamental value constitutes a real handicap for its development and a serious danger for our future…”. I think most will agree that this is equally true for Ismailis as a societiy (If not more). The language of pluralism is of dialogues and encounters, of give and take, of criticism and self-criticism. Dialogue means both speaking and listening, and that process reveals both common understandings and real differences. Dialogue does not mean everyone at the “table” will agree with one another. Pluralism involves the commitment to being at the table — with one’s belifs and commitments.Pluralism requires the nurturing of constructive dialogue, including common understandings and differences. Leaders I am sure will proactively enhance pluralism quickly and widely by the process of delivering & disemminating of effective and appropriate education, guidance and programs. Leader I am sure is playing such a role already by sharing his/her thoughts..

  6. There are issues but lets not say that all leadership is bad, believe me some of them are real good and sincere – most of these are dedicated volunteers who go out of their way to assist. It is only when they have no answers, we feel they are unresponsive.

    • Leaders are appointed meritrocratically because they individually and collectively have all the necessary combination of skills and experience supported by access to the best availabe resources and the very best of the best guidance they need. If any leaders are not responsive then it is not because they do not have answers but they have other reasons fornot being responsive. .

  7. Besides the legality issue of copyright which is pretty clear, murids do have access to the firmans via JK. It is our obsession for information rather than knowledge that drives the need to have firmans published. Firmans are not a matter of reading, they should be written in the hearts of the believer – the actual words (zahir) are even not the crux of the firman, it is their batin that should be experienced in heart either during didar or in jk. True, reading a firman can guide and help murids in their decisions, but the essential function of the firman is the direct communication, not the textbook version

    • Pari, With respect Farmans are not limited to spiritual matters. And, eeveryone need to revise summarise study and analyse infomation in order to enable them to convert it into knowledge and to then internalise that knowledge in their hearts & minds.. This is also true for farmans, guidance and messages from the Imam. some directly and most through the leaders. The institution leaders have said that they are in the process of publishing farmans soon. Many years ago Farmans were publised. Therefore this was and still remains a recognised need for knowledge. there are many who cannot or do not go to JK regularly for many reasons..

  8. I am wondering how did they get the copies of out Holy talikas

  9. This site is being controlled by the publisher and is not worth pursuing. Freedom of speech is being trampled on, which goes against individual freedom. Even a balanced point of view is being deleted by the publisher. This whole issues stinks sky high. What good is it to go after a couple of followers when the Imam already has so much to begin with? To all readers, watch all the dirty laundry of the Ismaili community. Copyright infringement is here to stay as long as IIS & LIF fail to publish current Farmans. I have yet to see the Farmans made by the Imam during his visit to Canada in 1992. I have yet to see the community practice meritocracy that the Imam has been preaching since his Silver Jubilee in 1982. Nepotism in appointments is extremely common in the Ismaili community, and there is too much emphasis on material possessions. If you have wealth then you are treated well by the community leaders and your name is put forward for appointments to various positions, otherwise you are a nobody.

    • Comments are moderated. If you take shots at individuals and call them names, your comment will not run. The rule is simple. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. Freedom of expression does not mean freedom to abuse others.

      • I am not taking shots at any one individual, as you can see. Please reread my comments. I am blaming groups of individuals that are responsible for making this community the way it is now. This is a messed up community that is being controlled by a few. They seem to impose their will on the rest, and unless one conforms to thier version of Ismailism, then that person is treated more like an outcast. Hazar Imam has this idealistic image of the community, but it is the leaders who are appointed are treating this community as their own little fiefdom. Attitudes of leaders have to change in the community before the rest will change.

        • I completely agree with Ali.  This was the comment I made which had been erased as well.   I don’t see where I’ve taken shots at anyone…
          “I am glad the Imam is finally doing something about people who plagiarize his work.  Its wrong and they should be punished.  On the other hand, this specific situation would have not happened if the institutions came out and provided the Jamat with farmans openly; we should have photocopy access so we can read and understand the materials at home when we want to practice our faith.  Institutions, (esp ITREB) keeps everything private and secretive so they have power, and that is a shame.”

    • ALi – yes this is a materialistic religion – if you have money and can spend then you are into the inner majlis circle and if not, you are looked down upon. You can get into leadership circle or certain prayers if you have money and not becoz you have spiritually advanced. I am not a born Ismaili but by marriage so I do not have the unquestionable faith that others have. I too am confused as no religious materials are freely available for research or study. And the leadership is not religiously qualified to answer questions. And there is no direct communication with the Imam and his farmans whichever I have heard are more worldly than spiritual. The stages of spirituality are entered into by giving money and not by religious promotions. Imam is doing great work throughout the world but there is no communication between Him and his followers and the leadership fails to satisfy the followers. Copyright or no copyright, the defendants website and materials are doing the job of the leaders in teaching the community and empowering them. My opinion let the Imam and defendant get face to face to resolve this rather than all this mudslinging . If the defendent is doing a job correct than let him have legallly access to do what the leaders have failed to do. At least confused people like me will get some answers.

      • Well said, Confused. You are not the only one confused about this religion. I am a born Ismaili and sometimes I wonder where this community is going. We don’t have access to Imam or his Farmans. We claim to be part of the Muslim Ummah, but we hardly seem to have that much in common. We are too busy trying to protect our image and ourselves that we cannot even participate in both the happinesses and sorrows of the large community.

        • No resources, you say? There are a tonne of books available online through various companies. Secondly, the Islamic community is incredibly diverse, which is great, because so are Ismailis. So if you’re looking at common denominators, the five pillars of Islam are it. Lastly, “we cannot even participate in both the…..community”. Speak for yourself.

          Last point, if you’re looking for day-to-day guidance from illicit materials, you’ve pretty much lost the whole point of the faith, which is personal growth. Please don’t spread fallacies about some wealthy conspiracy….money is a powerful tool in EVERY society, but it’s not a determinant for anything. To find the answers you’re looking for: pull up your socks and crack open some books!!

          • I am not seeking day-to-day guidance from illicit materials, but merely trying to point out that the underground economy benefits when there is a serious lack of materials. I stand by my word that we Ismailis are quite distant from our brothers and sisters from other sects. Yes, this issue is all about money. No one can stop the flow of such infringements; it is all over the world, and now we have it in our religion. It will not help to kick up a fuss over it; we should deal with it internally.

      • The way to follow Ismailism is put blinkers on. Dont ask any questions? accept things the way they are, so much for “intellect being another fact for our faith”

        • You really should read some of Nasir Khusruw’s work or Ismaili history in depth! Otherwise, your comment has pretty much no factual basis.

    • Aga Khan has not issued this lawsuit to punish or for the money. If so this would have been done years ago.. Maybe this unprecedented action is the begining of a new era of institutional openness. H H is making claims in the lawsuit such as the mandate in accordance with which he delivers and is claiming ownership & copyright of messgaes delivered to Ismailies for Ismailies..These will be challenged as to whether in this case they infringed copyright and in the wider context in establishing the mandate . Ismailies are a part of Islam which is a way of life encmpassing, the spiritual, secular, legal, political, social & the economic.. The great Fatimid Ismaili jurist Qadi Noman wrote that “the Imam never utters a word which is light, superfluous or meaningless.” This profound passage was one of the key sources of inspiration for Mr. Mohib Ebrahim to analyze over 300 pages of speeches that the current Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, had delivered between 2000 and July 2007. Imam knows best.

      • I never said that this is only about money; Hazar Imam has every right to his own words. However, given the lack of printed materials, it has created a vacuum and the underground economy has started to flourish. This is not uncommon but is expected from a business point of view, and this should be dealt with internally rather than bringing out in public. Times have changed and this kind of infrigements come as no surprise and is expected to grow. Bring official materials out and you can stop this kind of issues in the future.

        • Look at it another way., By taking this action the Imam has brought out in the open much more that just copyright. The leadership will have to share Imam’s farmans, guidance and information within the community much more and more quickly. Thereby uniting and strenghtening the community in their individual and collectinve ethics, values, trust, meritocracy, pluralism. and faith.

          • After reading all these comments, you feel that this law suit is uniting the community? You must be joking. We all listen to all of the Farmans in Jamatkhana, but mostly the leaders are the ones who don’t follow any of them.

            • There have always been bad apples in leadership…everywhere. You can’t let that be a reason for making illegal copies. I should add (again) that there are legitimate books that discuss these issues and the ideas behind Ismailism and Islam…so yeah. Do research (again).

              There is so much MORE in those…firmans arguably only scrape the surface.

  10. If what Didar Ali and Patricia are sayiing is all true, then this case will proceed in court and the defendants will file a defence. This case should be extended to all related materials and websites. This may of course be the intention There is therefore no truth When Alnza Jiwa has said about the Imam to the Law Times I quote . .“I still follow him, absolutely, without any doubt.” This case and the debate is begining to go global as anticipated in the impact legal assessment before the case was filed.

    • Yes, agree on this extending to all materials and websites. Everyone who carelessly email PDFs of Farmans, photographs and all materials without providing proper acknowledgment and permission should be alert going forward.

    • Patricia Campbell

      Hello Soulmate, from your comments above, ghosh! you really appear to be a gorgeous looking hunk of a man! Hope you do not look like broccoli!
      Well you can say whatever that pleases your mind of a lavatory. I guess real issues like these are a little too much to handle without enough soft loo paper near you.
      You see, there are those in higher places who think they have power to rule but they want to make it feel like it is their pound of flesh. But it isn’t!
      My hot air to you may be burning your intelligence as I smell smoke! If you look at the case, I WOULD SUGGEST THE DEFENDANTS JUST GO TO COURT WITHOUT DEFENCE STATEMENT AND HAND OVER ALL THE CASH THEY HAVE, THE TITLE DEEDS TO THEIR CARS, HOUSES, LANDS, BUSINESSES, SPOUSES, KIDS AND FINALLY OFFER THEIR LIVES!
      They are facing the most powerful person or persons’ representatives. Why mess with His Highness The Aga Khan or his representatives? He or they want to take it all back as anyone can see from the claim sheet that he is asking for court costs, punitive damages, etc. What will the defendants remain with after all said and done? Yes, I know how much wrong they could be in but I thought Islam was a faith of kindness, caring and sharing! Perhaps the representatives or the 2nd commander has his own 10 commandments? I am very familiar with those who think they can handle the heat when flying high in a hot air balloon but cant land without a bang!
      So soulmate, take a few chill pills 3 times a day after meals for 10 days and a bud light to land on planet earth and try hard to think facts not fictions! Think, Think and think again. What is the real issue? Stolen items can be recovered by real dialogue.
      Please shave next time you see this screen!

      • Hey Patricia…You babble a lot and your postings are full of hot air. It seems that you have lost your mind. Did you buy your brains at your neighborhood dollar store at the price of 2 for 99c? Your postings are totally void of rationality and are filled with personal attacks against Mr. Salim Jiwa. I think you need psychological evaluation as I sense paranoia in your postings. My advice to you is that you should mind your own business and stop defending that which is not defendable. Stop being a mouthpiece and/or alias for Mr. Nagib Tajdin and Alnaz Jiwa. Will you follow my advice? I doubt it!

        • Please observe proper communication etiquette. Everyone has an opinion and no one is being a mouthpiece for any one. This whole mess is our own (Ismaili’s) doing and this exercise of bringing out our dirty laundry in public is certainly a source of great shame. IIS never published the materials when needed, which created a demand. The underground economy saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. Too many red tapes in the community prevented the official publication, and now we have not just these two individuals but many more across the globe publishing materials. Is Hazar Imam going to file law suits against everyone? Welcome to the new world of copyright infringements; talk to the entertainment industry that has spent millions and failed to stop such infringements. Please respect everyone’s opinion; we have free speech in this country.

          • If the Imam wanted you to have the guidance in written form, do you honestly think you wouldn’t have it?? Tired of elders around here who have big suspicions of the Institutions. If HE wanted US to have the guidance in written form, WE would have it.

            I can”t believe you are questioning Hazar Imam on the lawsuit. No one is above the law. Freedom of speech is always allowed. Freedom of ignorance and paranoia shouldn’t be.

      • Patricia, your post has now really convinced me that you are full of hot air. The last sentence in your post asking me to “shave” (my beard) convinces me that you are either Nagib’s alias or his follower. In the past Nagib and his followers have always labelled all the other Ismailis who do not follow their brand of ismailism or who follow the Holy Quran in letter and spirit as “Mullahs”. (Bearded clerics). End of communication

        • yeah, i got that feeling too….haha hey there “patricia campbell!”…how youuuuu doin?

          it’s funny because “she” sounds more like a dude.

          • It’s the comment that is important and not the gender. Laugh all you want but the issue remains an embarrassment to our community. Although it may look like it is based on principle and not money, it is beginning to look more and more like money. LIF – get farmans printed and make them available to the jamat or face more infringements. You can’t sue everyone of them.

  11. MISTAKES IN MY PREVIUS POSTING. I read the LIF message carefully, and especially the Imam’s statements. I could not believe that Nagib and party could be so indifferent to multiple messages from the Imam himself and Prince Amyn. I have never felt more sad in my life than I did after I had read the message numerous times. I became speechless, and to be honest, despite what another writer has said “we love you our spiritual brothers”, for me no, I don’t love them any more. By now I would have liked to have seen (1) a bold declaration, first and foremost, to the Imam for their gross mistakes, errors, disobedeyance, defiance and shame; (2) a bold statement of apology on his (their) Web site(s); and (3) a bold apology to the Ismaili leadership and the millions of Ismailis around the world which would be read in Jamatkhanas throughout the world. It is after these premiminary steps are taken that I shall be able to evaluate my lost respect for them and decide whether I want to build an affection for them. I am not interested about the discussion of the book. That’s not my worry. I am concerned and aghast at their behaviour now. And I hope that is changing for the better as I speak now. Thank you.

  12. To Patricia Campbell:
    I have been observing from your posts on this as well as other websites that have been trying to cloud the issues by questioning the legitimacy of this lawsuit. This is exactly what the defendants in this case have been trying to propogate. Most of your questions appear to be irrelevant, do not make any sense and have no bearing on this case. Based on such obsevation, would I be wrong in concluding that you are either a spokesperson and/or an alias for one or both of the defendants? If one takes a moment to reflect on their past activities when they used the platform of ILM-NET to continually disparage our Holy Book and launch attacks against the Ismaili leadership, one could conclude that these people were fanatics who practiced and preached their own brand of the Ismailism. They were warned several times to stop these activities but they did not heed. There were also several appeals that were made in writing that they should stop printing, publishing and circulating Farmans because such actions were in breach of the Ismaili Constitution and encroached upon the Imam’s prerogative. Not only did they not comply with such appeals but they also labelled those who were making such appeals as “enemies of faith”. Things haven’t changed much since then. Even now when they are faced with this lawsuit in which His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan is the plaintiff they continue to remain rebellious. Their insolence knows no bounds. The truth is that they are not capable of distinguishing between fact and fiction. My plea to them is to wake up from their ill-conceived notions, let go of their ego, accept that they are wrong, and face the consequences of their own creation.

  13. As an Ismaili, I feel that this entire situation is very sad. The Imam’s words are the Imam’s words and nobody has the right to publish it without his permission, just as nobody has the right to take the words of any author and publish them without permission. It is true that farmans are no longer being published however they are read on a daily basis in Jamat Khana. I am not sure how it works in other Jamat Khanas but in mine, if you ask to see the text of a recently made farman, it is given to you to read inside the prayer hall and once you are done reading you simply return it. I have done this many times and have found it very useful. As for those who say this information is not readily available, I strongly disagree with that statement. Farmans are read daily in both morning and evening Jamat Khana. As far as I know, all Jamat Khanas have religious education centers available to them. As for parents who say they do not have the resources to teach their children about religion, I say take advantage of the religious education centers established, they are there for a reason. There really is no reason to complain that our teachings are not available to us because it is in fact all there. As for the lawsuit, these people had it coming. They had been asked by leaders of the Jamat to stop but they didn’t and now they can face the consequences of their actions.

    • ALI you are right and regarding the lawsuit because Alnaz and Tajdinwere contacted personally by the Imam and also Alnaz has reportedly said in the last few days that he will continue to follow the Imam without doubt. Alnaz and Tajdin is this not true? I am sure they are reading all the posts. This is the reason why maybe the Imam is claiming punitive & exemplary damages. Punitive or exemplary damages are generally only available in Canada where there is proof of malicious conduct on the part of the defendant. Canadian courts are generally careful in exercising their discretion to award these damages, which are an exception to the time-honored principle that civil damages seek to compensate the victim. As the term implies, “punitive” damages are meant to punish the offending parties rather than to compensate the plaintiff.

  14. This is also a breach of ismaili constitution by defendents. shame this constitution has been ignored by defendents. ofcourse together with other copyrights.

    • Long Live Our Beloved Imam.
      And the message for the Defendants. We love you our spiritual brothers and for the sake of all do not file the Statement of Defense. Let this issue be nipped in a bud. My prayers are for you to do the right thing.

    • In the law times Canada It is reported that The Aga Khan and his brother personally communicated with the defendants before the lawsuit was filed. And Alnaz says his defense will tell all and that “I still follow him, absolutely, without any doubt.” This makes no sense and Azim , Nazy, you are so right, Alnaz and Tajdin can and should put a stop to this madness which is not in anyone’s interest. The very farmans they have printed and the very websites which has resources – have so much guidance which they are conveying and diseminating for so many years. Should be the guidance they should follow since he is saying he will follow the Imam without doubt. So what are your doubts and concerns in stopping and listening?

  15. Hi, just wanted to respond quickly to AZ and to Patricia as well. The old addage “don’t question your Imam…just accept him” is being taken out of context. Firmans, many, have always promoted the independent thought and reasonableness of Ismailis (tempered of course with the interpretations of the Qu’ran). In other words, we are to act and conduct our lives in accordance with Ismailism (Islam). No one said, especially Hazar Imam, that we be robots to him. He has always promoted independent and reasonable approach to life, business and family situations. My interpretation is that one also has to think critically about any situation…closing our eyes, and hoping blind faith will take us through our problems, is a naive view, and certainly one has to help oneself.
    The challenges now with this copyright – in my view – brings to light excercise of the realistic application of the Firmans – and to a larger extent brings into question Ismailism (religious /spiritual beliefs vs. independent thoughts/critical analysing) to the forefront. I am sure this move from Hazar Imam is unprecedented. He is NOT trying to be a bully (as someone suggested in these posts), but protecting his people from any unlawful copyright infractions – of what belongs to our institutions. If our institution lose the revenue for these tapes, then we lose as as a community in some sense because all revenue goes to benfits to funding and programmes, and towards our places of worship. This is Hazar Imam’s business and he will handle it accordingly. At the same time, we are taught not to judge others in the business of religion. I am sure these individuals are not bad people, I would imagine its a misunderstanding (or misinterpretation of some sort). I am sure, once its cleared up between them (or in the courts) they will do the right thing. If they are Ismailis and believers.

    • Hi S, could you please stick with one issue and address individuals separately instead of getting all over the dialog? This isn’t an issue of blind followers or robots. This is an issue of following Imam’s guidance. He does not want you to take his Farmans home. A simple and straightforward guidance. Accept it by accepting his authority. You can’t pick and choose. Nagib Tajdin of ismaili dot net and Alnaz Jiwa of ilmnet listserv thinks otherwise. They want us to think they know better than Imam. Well, that’s not how Ismailis think. Ismailis follow Imam’s guidance and not a guidance of some mere mortals who have absolutely no authority over Imam’s followers and are acting according to their whims and fancy.

    • Also note that both of these individuals have been running their independent websites for long time all defying the authority of the Imam. Running an independent website is not a problem but they’re running it the way that it counters the authority of the Imam. Ask yourself what is Virtual Jamatkhana? Isn’t that defying the authority? Much of whatever they have published on their website is copyright violation. Contents picked up from all over the places without giving proper acknowledgment or seeking permission. These folks are totally in violation of the laws and that is the main problem. We are free to use our independent judgment and intellect, nobody is denying that, but when your independent intellect cross the boundary and it hurts someone else, it becomes a problem (take as much freedom of speech as you want but don’t yell ‘fire’ in the auditorium, you’d be thrown in the jail).

  16. I am wholeheartedly without a doubt on my Imam’s side. Him being a lawyer really surprises me that he would pull a stunt like that. We don’t need people like that in our society. They are disgrace to Ismaili community and have no sense in direction.
    Long live our Imam.

  17. There is an email from – (purportedly) one of the parties in which the person claims If he was asked by the Imam he would have stpped. and adds “………………….and that one fact convinces me that the Claim, although names the Imam as the plaintiff, is NOT from the Imam but from the (some) leaders.
    After you read my defence, you will be able to make up your own mind – is the claim actually by the Imam. (Hint: Would the Imam turn back on His own words? I doubt it.) ……..” If the email is from Alnaz Jiwa and responses to it which are circulating are from those parties, then this I hope means the matter could have been, can now and should and will be resolved very quickly. Sarah is out of order we should not blame the media or reporters for conveying news but must respect them and their views even if they dont agree with our own. Pluralism !

    • Dear Mr. Chatur: You are very kind. And thank you for coming to rescue of the editor of Vancouverite :)
      My name is Salim Jiwa. I am the owner of Vancouverite, editor, publisher and reporter (and we have several reporters and writers.) I am a veteran journalist and an Ismaili. I have worked as a senior investigative reporter for 33 years in Canada. I have been nominated for or won eight major awards within the Canadian media scene. One of those was the Aga Khan High Achiever’s Award – which I am very proud of. I have also won the Webster Award for excellence in Legal writing and been nominated for the National Newspaper awards. At various points in my work for the Vancouver Province – (25 years), Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star (freelance), terrorism consulant to ABC News New York – people have tried to intimidate me into submission. I don’t back down. I don’t bactrack. Terrorists have threatened me, others have warned me – but I take my job as a journalist seriously and I have never turned my back on truth, facts and honest journalism. I am the author of two books on terrorism and have investigated terrorists from here to London to Arizona. The reason I have allowed debate on this site is that I am a firm believer in the democratic right of people to debate issues – so long as that debate remains civil. People have been led to believe – and an attempt has been made to discredit the information on the fact that the Aga Khan has personally authorized the lawsuit to be filed. We have verified that the Aga Khan authorized the filing of this lawsuit. We stand behind that fact. We also await the filing of the response to the lawsuit which we will carry as we would follow stories that we break. For further information about the editor of Vancouverite you can go to http://www.salimjiwa.com. The reason this statement is being made is that some people have commented here without understanding who the author and owner of this site is. Thank You.

  18. In response to Patricia Cambell’s (?) questions:1) How do you all know the letters were written by His Highness The Aga Khan? ANSWER By now the Aga Khan would have known about this case and would have advised his followers about the false nature of the letter. Listen even the French Foreign Mnister was up in his chair and on the phone in less than 24 hours, when the NY times published a letter that was falsely published under his name. Please don’t underestimate His Highness 2) Have you or any of your community leaders read the contents and have you had the chance to compare the temperature of the language? ANSWER: The Imam can write in whatever form he wishes to write the letter in. He is addressing his spiritual follower. My own father writes to me in different tones depending on how I behave! The recipients behaviour reached its limits that any fatherly figure would tolerate
    3) Have you or any of your community leaders understood who His Highness The Aga Khan really is to you all? ANSWER: Many of us understand who he is, others may not, but then do all North Americans know and understand their own countrries that well? Does the publisher (of books) understand who he is, really, I ask him to be honest with himself
    4) Do you all think that His Highness The Aga Khan would physically find the time from his ultra busy schedule as many other high profile personalities to actually file a complaint instead of personal approach to the case? ANSWER He tried a personal approach by writing. Regarding busy schedule, let me say to you that he finds the time to reply to many of the letters that members of his communuty send him. He has encouraged members of his community to write to him if they have a concern about any matter.
    5) There will be so many questions you will not be able to answer. ANSWER Every question is answerable and has been answered. But the publisher (you are not him are you, Patricia) has a fixation. He has reached a mental state where he has blocked off advice from virtually everyone. I am of the opinion now that he will not even be satisfied if he gets to meet Highness face to face. This is a sad fact, but true! AND NOW MY QUESTION TO YOU Would a Federal Court entertain a case from stray party whose identity is not authentic. Would a law firm assume a case like that? What are you and the publisher trying to suggest? It seems everybody is an idiot except Mr. Tajdin. Come on Mr. Nagib Tajdin.
    It will take you a long way and it will put the community in its proper track. You need to do what is required of you at the present time. Do not keep on deluding youself. Follow good advice that has come to in the form of pearls and in the form of brotherly affection and love! I am very sorry he is not listening!

    • Patricia Campbell

      In response to MA: The right position for you or anyone to understand this filed case would be to reason out why this has all happened. Why is it that a matter lands into pblic outcry instead of dialogue. Why is it that eh unauthorised book publisher and those party to it have been at it? why would anyone want to steal in religious circumstances. How is all the material made availabel in the first place and why were there such individuals involved in pulications? Perhaps many of these answers will come out in court for the open public to view. Why? From the many comments, many of you love your leaders and His Highness The Aga Khan so why arrive at this point in such? It appears that Mr Alnaz Jiwa and Mr Nagib Tajdin and parties involved have their work cut out to decide how to defend. Well, we will see how everything unfolds in court. This matter seems to have gone off the handle with very poor CRISIS MANAGEMENT CONTROL by those responsible for leading such a large community office. It should have been sorted out in a small sound proof room and negotiated for closure LAPD style. Very sad indeed to see such out proportioned situations in all minds. When I pray, I feel Jesus knows my sins but he is not here to sue me! Even at the confession box, my priest will listen and advise, perhpas ask me to go to hell or heaven! But it does not mean that I will go scot free. I will pay for my wrong. Do you guys have it like that too?

  19. Whats the name of the website where the tapes were being sold?

  20. Patricia Campbell

    Mina, from your comments; let’s ask ourselves;
    1) Why would anyone suspect such an esteemed direct communication from His Highness the Aga Khan to be a forgery?
    2) When the second letter was written, is it normal for His Highness to execute such a weak letter the first time that, the first one has to be reinforced by the second one?
    3) Why the need for a third attempt by his brother?
    Mina, His Highness the Aga Khan is a highly honourable figure with respect from many International dignitaries. From reading his AKDN speeches and watching his AKDN videos, His Highness at many times does not have ready made speeches but he delivers them with precise instructions. All of his words are commanding aren’t they? Example: President Obama speaks English with his one tongue to execute instructions without any second chances. Vice President Joe Biden also delivers clear instructions. Their letters contain humility, demand, target deadlines and conviction. There is never a second letter to correct the first one. This is high level communication. Something did not fit here!
    Therefore, I strongly ask, does it appear so not real? His Highness spends an enormous amount of time for his followers by going to many places away from his home and being around many different types of international communities for development and setting up his projects for the betterment of global humanity.
    Therefore, does he really have time for this?
    It seems he may be losing millions of dollars annually in fixed operating ventures and yet there may have not been any charges or prosecutions. Thus, his forgiveness and kindness is expressively taken advantage of by those who may not have any scruples. Have they received direct communications? Is that not obtaining profit by theft?
    We all believe firmly to take to task anyone who would violate copyright laws. Copyright infringement is a serious case especially when it is advantaged with the wrong intentions, no arguments. The Aga Khan’s works in religion and global philanthropy is highly regarded worldwide and must be kept intact for future or long term social undertakings. In fact, I would recommend harsh judgements to the defendants if found guilty!
    I would also like to reflect upon my time investigating thousands of files during the Famous Salim Damji’s STS Tooth Whitening scam. You may recall, over $220,000,000.00 were defrauded from the global Aga Khan Community members by a supposedly devoted follower known as Mr. Salim Damji. I recall from my interviews with the many complainants, there was never a letter or letters issued to notify either party with any cautions. Instead, there were many senior community leaders involved in promoting and profiteering from this fake debenture and it was publicly known that there was a large scale fraud over few years. This sad situation plagued the entire community with immense financial losses. However, His highness the Aga Khan never took this man to court for using the AKDN brands and to utilise the many community high profiled leaders to gain and build Trust factors to strengthen his glorious scam reaching the old and the weak that were literally on the streets after it all collapsed. No cash recoveries were made but many of the high profiled brokers purchased new homes and cars, etc. Fact: This case was in court by the Canadian court and found the defendant guilty. But the Complainant was not the Aga Khan! Should it have been?
    Now ask, why did the parties choose to ignore the letters addressed to them in time?
    Fact or Fiction?

    Mina, with my lab forensic experience in other similar high profile cases, the questions to you all in including Salim Jiwa-the sole publisher of the Aga Khan Lawsuit;
    1) How do you all know the letters were written by His Highness The Aga Khan?
    2) Have you or any of your community leaders read the contents and have you had the chance to compare the temperature of the language?
    3) Have you or any of your community leaders understood who His Highness The Aga Khan really is to you all?
    4) Do you all think that His Highness The Aga Khan would physically find the time from his ultra busy schedule as many other high profile personalities to actually file a complaint instead of personal approach to the case?
    5) There will be so many questions you will not be able to answer.

    • Answer to question 1: We don’t need to know who wrote the question, the authority of the Imam is enough.

      Answer to question 2: we don’t need to read private letters of others and we don’t care about the temperature of the contents.

      Answers to question 3: what do you care what we believe who Aga Khan really is to us?

      Answer to question 4: Yes he will find the time when someone tries to compromise his authority in such a grand way.

      Answer to question 5: Ismailis don’t question their Imam, they follow him. Nagib Tajdin, Alnaz Jiwa and few other anonymous folks have decided to question the authority of the Imam. They are effectively being handled by the court of law. They have allegedly broken a law and it will be dealt with accordingly.

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