Simerg’s Special Series on Books by Ismaili Authors: “IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE – Portrait of a ‘Cowboy’ Judge” by Azmina Suleman of Calgary, Alberta

by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

Simerg’s series entitled “Books by Ismaili Authors” continues with Canadian writer Azmina Suleman’s book “In the Name of Justice – Portrait of a ‘Cowboy’ Judge.” We follow the same Q/A format as our recent presentations of books written by Alnasir Rajan, Shafeen Ali, Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji. We encourage Ismaili authors to participate in this series, regardless of when their books were published. See details of the series HERE and submit your responses to the editor of Simerg, Malik, at Simerg@aol.com.

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Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book? 

Azmina Suleman: A man of honor, principle and great personal integrity, James Valentine Hogarth Milvain’s name was often synonymous with ‘Justice’ in Alberta. He was appointed judge of the Alberta Supreme Court in 1959 and Chief Justice in 1968. Known for his ready wit, wisdom and innate ‘horse sense,’ Milvain was also popularly dubbed the ‘Cowboy Judge’ where his ranching background kept him close to people, and where ethics and morality guided him in everything he did.

Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?

Azmina: The book reads like an ‘oral’ judgment. Its tone and text has been kept deliberately simple and free of ‘legal jargon’ so even the ordinary man on the street not necessarily well-versed in the law can appreciate Alberta’s law and its early history – the hardships, courage and tenacity of the early pioneers who helped open up the ‘old West’ in Canada.

Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?

Azmina: I actually had the privilege of knowing Milvain for a short period of time Yet, he managed to leave a lasting impression on my mind – more for his humility, compassion and ‘common touch’ than his formidable list of legal accomplish­ments. After graduating from journalism, I felt inspired to write about this outstanding human being whom I genuinely admired and respected, and simply called ‘Uncle Val.’ I may note that in 1987 Justice Milvain was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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Cover of Azmina Suleman's "In the Name of Justice -- Portrait of a 'Cowboy' Judge,"
Cover of Azmina Suleman’s “In the Name of Justice — Portrait of a ‘Cowboy’ Judge,” pp. 316, available in Hardback.

Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?

Azmina: The book is available in hardcover printed format, and can be purchased at a special discounted price by clicking on The Legal Archives Society of Alberta (LASA)

Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?

Azmina: The book was published through LASA and printed in Canada.

Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?

Azmina: The book was professionally edited, but I created the cover myself and had some help formatting the manuscript itself.

Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?

Azmina: I have written two books: My first book “In the Name of Justice – Portrait of a ‘Cowboy’ Judge,” that is being highlighted in this post, was published in 1998. My second book: “A Passage to Eternity – A Mystical Account of a Near-Death Expe­rience and Poetic Journey into the Afterlife” was published in 2004.

Simerg: How long did it take you to write In the Name of Justice — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?

Azmina: Approximately 4 to 5 years from start to finish.

Simerg: Tell us something more about the book and its main character.

Azmina: Justice Milvain was born in 1904 on a ranch in Southern Alberta during the days of the pioneers, legendary cowboy, horse-buggy and itinerant country doctor. From his humble farm beginnings to his slow rise in the legal profession in Calgary, Milvain became known for his special no-nonsense brand of ‘western’ justice and practical landmark decisions, which went beyond the mere letter of the law to invoke its true spirit while administrating justice in the ‘wild and woolly West.’ Milvain’s passing away in 1993 served as a stark reminder of the fact that a material part of Alberta’s living history was slipping away. Consequently, this book now forms a part of the oral and written history of Alberta. To put it in Milvain’s own words: “Without the written or spoken word, it is not possible that wisdom and knowledge can be passed on to others.”

Date posted: April 28, 2021.

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Azmina Suleman
Azmina Suleman

Azmina Suleman was born and educated in Nairobi, Kenya and moved to England to complete her post-secondary education, before immi­grating to Canada in the early 1980’s. She has a Master’s degree in legal his­tory and is a published author and journalist. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.

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CALLING ALL ISMAILI AUTHORS

We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as has been done in the post above. Please also see the series launch article and submit your responses to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post. All writers should include a brief profile with a portrait photo.

The Ismaili Authors’ Series so far (in chronological sequence, oldest article first):

1. “Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity” by Shamas Nanji (article published on February 10, 2021)
2. “Little One, You Are The Universe” by Zeni Shariff (February 25, 2021)
3. “Memoirs of a Muhindi” by Mansoor Ladha (March 6, 2021)
4. “To Be One With God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life” by Shafeen Ali (March 25, 2021)
5. “Invisible Birthmarks” by Alnasir Rajan (April 13, 2021)
6. “IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE – Portrait of a ‘Cowboy’ Judge” by Azmina Suleman (April 28, 2021)

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We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

Simerg’s Special Series on Books by Ismaili Authors: “Invisible Birthmarks” by Alnasir Rajan of Mississauga, Ontario

by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

Simerg’s series entitled “Books by Ismaili Authors” continues with Canadian writer Alnasir Rajan’s book “Invisible Birthmarks.” We follow the same Q/A format as our recent presentations of books written by Shafeen Ali, Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji. We encourage Ismaili authors to participate in this series, regardless of when their books were published. See details of the series HERE and submit your responses to the editor of Simerg, Malik, at Simerg@aol.com.

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Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book? 

Alnasir Rajan: Invisible Birthmarks – This is a unique name for the simple reason that it captures the essence of the characters in my book. These characters lived through some of the most horrid times and their pain and scars are in most cases hidden from the rest of the world, they are Invisible. So, I called it ‘Invisible Birthmarks’ because pain is not a visible scar. It lives in the heart, in the eyes and in the memory. Sharing it through stories brings it to light.

Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?

Rajan: Most families have been through migration. However, the places they settled into, did not always be their destination homes, even though their families lived there for generations. Similar stories of such migrants who lived for generations in Zanzibar had to flee for their lives. However, the regimes in Zanzibar at the time were restricting any form of travel while persecuting the minorities. This resulted in loss of lives and people found creative ways of getting off the island. You will always relate to the characters as you read through my book. This is not a history of my family.

Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?

Rajan: I was always writing short stories and just let them gather dust. However, after moving from Tanzania for 18 years and residing in Kenya and studying there, fate took me back to Dar es Salaam. I had some old friends and I met some new friends who inspired me to write a book to honor people who had no choice, no voice and no hand it what transpired during their struggles in Zanzibar. I had never been exposed to real life tragedies. It was a calling.

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Simerg Ismaili authors Invisible Birthmarks by Alnasir Rajan
Cover of Alnasir Rajan’s “Invisible Birthmarks,” pp. 236, available in Soft and Hardbacks as well as Ebook formats.

Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?

Rajan: They are available in Paperback, Hard cover and eBook formats. I am contemplating to get an Audiobook version created as that seems the future of readership for me. This book is available from all online book sellers including iUniverse and Amazon.

Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?

Rajan: Traditional publishers are very difficult to please. They kept returning my manuscript saying it was not a Canadian content. I have no idea what that meant. So, I opted for a self-publishing route because it is a very fast process of getting a publication online.

Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?

Rajan: I did all the writing by myself. I hired an editor but because my book had some Kiswahili language in it, I had to make sure that it was not edited out by error. I had to read the edited version over and over for this reason. The self-publishing company that I had to pay dearly, did the cover page and some esthetics like selecting the images and preparing the book descriptions etc.

Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?

Rajan: Invisible Birthmarks is my first book about the survival of minorities in the pre and post independent Zanzibar. My second book is Unfolding Africa which is a story of my family’s migration history from India to Africa in 1897 and the shared history of the generations that followed.

Simerg: How long did it take you to write Invisible Birthmarks — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?

Rajan: When I came to Canada on 15th November 1995, I already had a hand written manuscript that was very raw. The journey to rewrite it began while I was working in Canada and it came into fruition after 15 years in 2010. I went through a learning process. I realized writing a book is just like any other job. You have to sit and work.

Simerg: Tell us something more about the book and its main character(s).

Rajan: Some of the people I met when I returned to Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania after 18 years, were originally from Zanzibar. How they ended up living in Dar-es-salaam became an interesting topic but one which was full of sadness. I listened to many people and I realized that tragedies had happened in our beloved Zanzibar that no one was talking about. It was like a dark phase no one was ready to talk about. People in Tanzania are very forgiving. But the pain still exists. I began writing down these events and the writing bug in me was awakened. I had to share these stories with the rest of the world.

Shiraz is one of the main characters who faced rejection from family and society. He is a very humble person with no bitterness as he still loves his homeland Zanzibar. In my book, I have mentioned Ramzan Bhaloo who was from Zanzibar. Before he came to Canada, he was the care-taker of the Mombasa Ismaili Rest house. A very popular and loved man. Mohammed Meghji is also mentioned in my book. He had shared some of his experiences. I used their struggles and the struggles of some other families to show in totality what the system did to harm them as a minority. I have not used any real names of my friends as characters as the characters are a combination of several characters. However, I tried to do justice by relaying a shared history of sufferings that the surviving families told me about. It is never enough to write about it, but at least it is a start.

Date posted: April 13, 2021.

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Alnasir Rajan Invisible Marks Simerg Ismaili author seriesIsmaili
Alnasir Rajan

Alnasir Rajan lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada where he and his wife, Narima, own a flower shop called Fairview Florist. They have two sons and a daughter. In his spare time, he loves to give life to the pen and paper affair. He treasures his childhood and adulthood memories as a long path of learning.

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CALLING ALL ISMAILI AUTHORS

We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as Shafeen Ali, Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji have done in their respective interviews. Please also see the series launch article and submit your responses to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post. All writers should include a brief profile with a portrait photo.

The Ismaili Authors’ Series so far (in chronological sequence, oldest article first):

1. “Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity” by Shamas Nanji; (article published on February 10, 2021)
2. “Little One, You Are The Universe” by Zeni Shariff; (February 25, 2021)
3. “Memoirs of a Muhindi” by Mansoor Ladha; (March 6, 2021) and
4. “To Be One With God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life” by Shafeen Ali (March 25, 2021)

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We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

DOORS By Shiraz Bandali, Simergphotos

“DOORS” of Morocco, Spain and Portugal Through the Lens of Late Shiraz Bandali: A Tribute to an Ismaili Photographer

Shiraz Bandali (1959-2016)
Shiraz Bandali (1959-2016)

Shiraz Bandali of Edmonton, Canada, passed away at the age of 56. A passionate photographer, he captured “DOORS” during a family trip to Morocco, Portugal and Spain, and shared them with Simergphotos. We pay a tribute to Shiraz through his beautiful collection. Please click DOORS or on the image below.

"DOORS" by Shiraz Bandali Simerg
“DOORS” by Shiraz Bandali. Please click on image to see collection.

Date posted: April 2, 2021.

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Simerg’s Special Series on Books by Ismaili Authors: “To Be One With God – Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life” by Shafeen Ali of the USA

by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

Simerg’s series entitled “Books by Ismaili Authors” continues with USA based Shafeen Ali’s acclaimed book “To be One with God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life,” in the same Q/A format as our recent presentations of books written by Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji. We encourage Ismaili authors to participate in this series, regardless of when their books were published. See details of the series HERE and submit your responses to the editor of Simerg, Malik, at Simerg@aol.com.

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Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book? 

Shafeen Ali: Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s following quote was my inspiration: “A man must be at one with God. … how we stand this instant and every instant toward Him matters to us more than anything else in the universe.  That is the fundamental question:- Are you in harmony with God? If you are – you are happy.” [1]

Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?

Ali: It is my aspiration that anyone who sincerely gives themselves to this book will find oneness with God, for a moment, if not a lifetime. This has been the experience of many of the book’s reviewers. I myself read the book when I feel despair or distant from God.

Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?

Ali: I had been married for 18 months and happy materially. But one evening, late at night, I was awakened with a feeling that I was not fulfilling my purpose in life. That night began an inner search which reached one milestone in the publishing of this book, six years later.

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Cover of “To Be One with God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life” by Shafeen Ali, 254 pp, available in paperback and digital formats.

Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?

Ali: The book is available in Paperback and Digital formats (epub, kindle, etc.). One can find all the different channels to buy the book as well as preview sample readings from each of the seven journeys on my website home page at: https://shafeenali.com/. [Readers will appreciate the options Shafeen has provided on his website; please visit it. To purchase the book at Amazon please click Paperback/Digital — Ed.]

it will be very difficult to put this book down as you will keep expecting something more meaningful and deeper to unravel”

“… appealed to my heart and soul and provided me with an unforgettably transformational experience“

Review quotes from the author’s website

Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?

Ali: I published the book myself through Createspace (currently Kindle Direct Publishing for Amazon, paperback and kindle ebooks) and Smashwords (for other ebook formats).

Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?

Ali: My book cover designer was Shaila Abdullah (please see her website My House of Design), an award winning Ismaili Muslim designer and author, and my editors were two other Ismaili Muslim sisters, Rozi Banani and Sonia Nur Mohammed (email scholastic.sessions@gmail.com).

Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?

Ali: This has been my only book. I have aspirations to develop more means, including books, for people to be one with God. I have recently published a 3-Part Mini Video Series on Realizing the Inner Imam For One Humanity on my website and on Youtube.

Simerg: How long did it take you to write To Be One With God — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?

Ali: Active research, writing, editing, and publishing took around 2 years including building a website on my own to market the book.  It has now been 4 years since the book was published.

Simerg: Tell us something more about the book.

Ali: This book explores seven different journeys for man to seek oneness with God, all inspired by the inner being of the author, his “Inner Imam.” While on these journeys, readers will encounter many voices: man, God, teachers of God, and the author himself. The purpose of these voices is to harmonize the reader’s understanding and experiences of oneness with God. The teachers of God include Shri Rama, Shri Krishna, Jesus Christ, Moshe Rabbeinu, Gautama Buddha, Muhammad Rasulullah, Shri Hanuman, and the great philosopher Socrates, all of whom witnessed these journeys unfold in their own lives. 

Date posted: March 25, 2021.

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Shafeen Ali author of To be One with God
Shafeen Ali

Shafeen Ali is a Shia Ismaili Muslim who has been a faith-based teacher and speaker for the last 10+ years. He has delivered more than 150 presentations and workshops throughout the world on faith and religious education. Shafeen also has a Masters in Business Administration and has spent more than 13 years managing and executing business and technology projects and teams in the United States. The source of strength and guidance in Shafeen’s life has always been the spirit of God within, his Inner Imam. Through his book, To Be One with God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life, Shafeen is externalizing that innermost part of him with the hope and prayer that this spirit will provide strength and guidance to others just as it has done for him.

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Footnotes:

[1] Read Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s full quote

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CALLING ALL ISMAILI AUTHORS

We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as Shafeen Ali, Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji have done in their respective interviews. Please also see the series launch article and submit your responses to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post. All writers should include a brief profile with a portrait photo. The Ismaili Authors’ Series so far (in chronological sequence, oldest article first):

1. “Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity” by Shamas Nanji; (article published on February 10, 2021)
2. “Little One, You Are The Universe” by Zeni Shariff; (February 25, 2021)
3. “Memoirs of a Muhindi” by Mansoor Ladha; (March 6, 2021) and
4. “To Be One With God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life” by Shafeen Ali (March 25, 2021)

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We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

The Fragrance of Spring

By FARAH TEJANI

Open your doors and let the honeyed fragrance of Spring,
Enter your household while the seraphic birds sweetly sing,
All life is born again now that the gruelling winter is done,
Raise hands and praise Allah under the melting rays of the sun.

Navroz Mubarak, the New Year begins,
We welcome it with wonder and repent for our sins,
Three hundred million of us over three thousand years,
Jubilantly celebrate with sacred songs and with cheers.

A new chapter to read, a new seed to plant,
For abundance and prosperity a sacred prayer we chant.
On Navroz we strengthen bonds and our families unite,
Exchanging human values, our wishes with foresight.

Envisioning the New Year to bring with it Peace,
And for all calamities and ill health to immediately cease.
We dance and we sing sacred Ginans from our Pirs
Qasidas and Garbis unite and cohere.

In harmony with Nature we must strive to exist,
If not pandemics like COVID-19 will sadly persist,
But if we take it in stride as a hard lesson learned
We will appreciate the respect that Nature truly yearned.

We all share a common fate and must aim to erase,
All discrimination and hatred and truly embrace,
Love, tolerance and respect for all of mankind,
So that cultural diversity will not be undermined.

We pray for global peace and international cooperation
For we are all in the Ummah from nation to nation.
Let nothing divide us and bring us to fight,
Let us instead hold and value for tomorrow is in sight.

What was dead becomes alive, let the festivities begin,
Intricate henna designs are dyed on our skin,
We receive our roji and take our Navroz wishes,
For barakat and abundance and we enjoy festive dishes.

It is that time of year, tulips spring out from the soil
A hearty true effort from a burdensome winter’s toil,
Shadowed they waited for this day to emerge,
Colors in splendour they burst and they surge.

Spring blossoms are shedding their soft petals in few,
The buds are just opening thinly covered in dew,
Moist raindrops with sunlight the perfect combination,
To bring creation forth in a renewing sensation.

Take notice of Kudrat and all the miracles of Mawla,
His Bounty is Ever-Present, Al-Hamdu l’illah.
The Spring breeze whispers through the meadows and the trees,
And there is flitting and buzzing of butterflies and bees.

The animals all awaken from a dazed winter’s sleep,
The goats, the chickens and the sheep,
The horses, the donkeys, the rabbits, and the squirrels,
All the animals arise for the Navroz’ precious pearls.

So arise and awaken to the Navroz, our New Year,
And welcome all customs with good heart and good cheer,
United we stand and divided we fall,
The Ummah prevails and respectfully unites us all.

Date posted: March 18, 2021.

Copyright © Farah Tejani, Vancouver.

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Farah Tejani graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in May of 1997 and earned top Honors for her Thesis on Short Fiction. She has published a collection of short stories “Make Your Own Chai, Mama’s Boy!” dealing with different dilemmas South Asians face. Farah also wrote and co-directed her stage play, “Safeway Samosas,” which won “The Best of Brave New Playwrights Award” in July 1995. Her short story , “Too Hot” won third place in the “Canada-Wide Best Short Fiction Award” and was read at The Vancouver Writers Festival. Currently, Farah is working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called, “Elastic Embrace” to be published in 2021.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please also read Farah’s previous contributions to Simerg and its sister website Barakah by clicking on the following links:

Mrs. Merchant;
The Light of Ali (in Barakah.com)
The Great Sacrifice
In Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Eyes (in Barakah.com);
Celebrating the Aga Khan Museum;
Mystic Moon; and
A Mother’s Plea, Forest Cries, and Heaven’s Curtain

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

Simerg’s Special Series on Books by Ismaili Authors: “Memoirs of a Muhindi” by Veteran Journalist Mansoor Ladha of Calgary

by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

This is the 3rd in our series “Books by Ismaili Authors.” The two previous books highlighted were Little One, You Are the Universe by Toronto’s Zeni Shariff and Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity by Edmonton’s Shamas Nanji. We ask each author to introduce their book(s) to our readers by answering a series of short questions. In this post, award winning journalist Mansoor Ladha of Calgary, Canada, responds on his book “Memoirs of a Muhindi.”

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Memoirs of a Muhindi by Mansoor Ladha Ismaili authors Simerg

Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book? 

Mansoor Ladha: Memoirs of a Muhindi is a story of a descendant of immigrants, brown in colour, living in a black society (Tanzania), who later became a brown immigrant living in a white society (Canada). The book, which has been endorsed by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, sheds light on the experiences felt by immigrants, the challenges of cross-cultural differences, the hurt of discrimination, and other hardships of displacement. It has received favourable reports from the media and literary journals.

Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?

Ladha: For those who lived in East Africa, the book is a historical document, providing memories of life during pre and post-colonial Africa. For those not born  during the time, it describes what their parents went through before they came to Canada. This is the story of Ismailis who migrated from India to Africa to the west. Many immigrants, including myself experienced discrimination in Africa as well as in Canada. This book contains several interesting episodes and is a valuable, well-written historical document which should be on everyone’s book shelf.

Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?

Ladha: Western writers who have published books on Africa have neglected to describe contributions made by South Asians. As a South Asian journalist, I was prompted to publish a book depicting the prevailing political situation, how Asians adapted to the changing political landscape and their contributions in developing African nations.

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Memoirs of a Muhindi Fleeing East Africa for the West by Mansoor Ladha
Front and back cover of Mansoor Ladha’s book “Memoirs of a Muhindi” published by University of Regina Press. 2017, 288 pp, available in hardcover and kindle editions.

Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?

Ladha: The book is available from Amazon.ca in hardcover and kindle and from Chapter/Indigo or can be ordered from any neighbourhood book store. You can also buy it at Amazon.com as well as Amazon’s affiliated websites worldwide. Signed copies are available at a special reduced price from mlpublish@shaw.ca but postage is extra.

Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?

Ladha: There are two types of book publishers. First type will not accept any submissions from an author unless the query comes through a literary agent. Second type are those who will accept manuscripts directly from authors, without an agent. It is very difficult to get a literary agent interested in a submission. There are authors whose submissions have been rejected by 20 literary agents; and this is not considered to be unusual. I researched for publishers who will accept unagented submissions and was fortunate to get University of Regina Press interested in publishing my book.

Those authors who have not been successful to get their books published through a traditional publisher can resort to get their books published by self-publishing companies. You do not have to pay anything if your book is published by traditional publishers while one has to pay the entire cost when self-publishing.

“Mansoor’s is a brilliant story teller and he writes very simply. I loved his narration of the Dar University days, Nyerere, his work, discrimination etc. For me the greatest contribution Mansoor has made in his memoir is the last sentence on page 249. “I do not want to be a dweller of several lands, accepted by none.”….I was actually teary as I read Mansoor’s cry for a homeland based on UNIVERSAL HUMANITY. That is a powerful message given Eric Hobsbawm’s statement: “Our world risks both explosion and implosion. It must change.” The world must be our collective homeland. Mansoor has given us some message to live for.” — Dr. Willy Mutunga, D.Jur,SC,EGH,  Former Chief Justice/President, Supreme Court of Kenya

Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?

Ladha: Once your book is accepted for publication, the publishing company would send a contract for you to sign. Under the contract, they would provide all editorial services, including a graphic designer until the book is published. The editor would suggest some revisions/alterations and seek your approval until the final document is ready. Same would go for the designer. I was fortunate in that as a copy editor on daily newspapers my job has been to correct and edit stories of reporters. Hence, this background helped me to send clean, edited submission to publishers.

“Ladha has written Memoirs of a Muhindi with a universal audience in mind. Immigrants can learn perhaps how to avoid the pitfalls of settling in a new country, and employers can learn different ways so that they can treat immigrants with fairness and equality,” he says. “One should be able to learn from past incidents and derive positive policies for future use.”– Margaret Anne Fehr, Prairie books NOW

Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?

Ladha: My first book was Portrait in Pluralism: Aga Khan’s Shia Ismaili Muslims published by Detselig. Memoirs of a Muhindi: Fleeing East Africa for the West is my second book. I was also among a group of journalists and scholars invited to contribute a chapter in a book called “The Story that Brought Me Here” published by Brindle & Glass.

Simerg: How long did it take you to write Memoirs of a Muhind — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?

Ladha: I had written bits and pieces of the above book when I was a full time publisher of Morinville Mirror and Redwater Tribune newspapers. However, I concentrated in completing it full time after my retirement from active newspapering and working diligently for about four months. I was fortunate in publishing both my books with traditional publishers, unagented, and so the publishers also took marketing duties in sending books to Amazon, Chapters/Indigo and other publishers. One main piece of advice I would like to offer is that no one but you, as the author, must try to promote your book through your contacts, friends, relatives and colleagues. My third book has been accepted by a Toronto literary agent for publication this year and I am working on my first novel.

Date posted: March 6, 2021.

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Mansoor Ladha Ismaili author series, Simerg
Mansoor Ladha

Mansoor Ladha has held senior editorial positions as a copy editor in Canada (Edmonton Journal & Calgary Herald), features editor (The Standard in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), copy editor (Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya) and was the only owner/publisher of colour of a mainstream English newspaper in Canada for 25 years. Since retiring, he has been travelling around the world as a travel writer on assignments and has published travel features in leading Canadian newspapers and magazines. He has numerous awards to his credit including being a Citizen of the Year in the Town of Morinville, Alberta; Silver Quill Award by the Alberta Weekly Newspapers for distinguished service to newspapers as well as Canada’s Caring Canadian Award for “outstanding and selfless contribution to your community and Canada” by the Governor General of Canada. He has most recently completed another non-fiction book and a novel, both of which are scheduled to be published in 2021. Ladha was also contributor to Simerg’s highly acclaimed series I Wish I’d Been There with a remarkable piece His Name is Jawhar.

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We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji have done in their respective interviews. Please also see the series launch article and submit your responses to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post. All writers should include a brief profile with a portrait photo.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

Simerg’s Special Series on Books by Ismaili Authors: “Little One, You Are The Universe” by Zeni Shariff of Toronto

by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

This is the 2nd in our bi-weekly series “Books by Ismaili Authors.” The series began with Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity by Shamas Nanji of Edmonton, Canada. We ask each author to introduce their book(s) to our readers by answering a series of short questions. In this post, Zeni Shariff of Toronto, Canada, responds on her latest title “Little One, You Are The Universe.”

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Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book? 

Zeni Shariff: The meaning behind the title Little One, You Are The Universe is that the Universe belongs to all living beings and it is incumbent upon all living beings to look after the Universe and one another.

Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?

Zeni: I would like you or your family members to read the book for the following reasons:

(1) It will connect you with the child within you; and
(2) It will connect you with your parents and grandparents in a very personal way.

For those of who you who have not been to different continents, I believe you will understand, through the story of the elephants, what kinds of struggles living beings go through as they are relocated from one continent to the other, overcome struggles, adjust and live in new environments, and find joys in the small things of life.

Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?

Zeni: My grandchildren and the legacy I wish to live for them.

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Front cover of Toronto Ismaili writer’s book “Little One, You Are the Universe;” published by Bublish, Inc., USA, 2020; 38 pp, available in hardcover, eBook and paperback.

Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?

Zeni: Little One, You are the Universe is available in three formats: eBook, paperback, and hardcover. Details of where and how to purchase including prices are at my updated webpage link https://little-one.ca.

You can also buy it through Amazon sites worldwide. In North America, Little One, You are the Universe is available on Amazon.ca (Canadian site) and Amazon.com (for U.S. and international purchases).

Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?

Zeni: I contacted several publishers and used the one that met my budget criteria. I went with Bublish, Inc.

Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?

Zeni: I requested our youngest son Naguib to edit my work. I did all the illustrations and writing.

“This book [Little One, You are the Universe] is a heartwarming and beautiful story kids are sure to love. It also teaches about history, geography, and the environment making it more than just a read aloud for kids — it’s a great book to grow with. The illustrations are fantastic and compliment the story perfectly.” — DD reviewer, from author’s website

Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?

Zeni: My first book is a photographic book entitled Alter Your Heart beats in an Oasis, and it is about a visitor going into and around the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada. My second book is How Things Grow. It teaches young children how things grow and where the food we eat comes from. Its inspiration was tending to a garden that grew strawberries in Toronto. And Little One, You are the Universe is my third book and, as mentioned earlier, it is published by Bublish.

Simerg: How long did it take you to write Little One, You are the Universe — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?

Zeni: It took me approximately 9 years. The illustrations were painted by myself first, and then I wrote the book. Covid-19 was one of the incentives for having the book published.

Simerg: Tell us a little bit more about Little One, You are the Universe.

Zeni: While crossing the Yamuna River in their home of northern India, elephants Lotus and Adia are separated from each other and captured by humans. Lotus is sent to Tanzania in East Africa to work on the railways.  Adia is sent to the Ashantee Forest in West Africa to carry heavy loads for the miners.

The book is an invitation to you to join Lotus and Adia on their journeys.

Date posted: February 25, 2021.

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Zeni Shariff author of Little One You Are The Universe
Zeni Shariff

Zeni Shariff completed her education at the Aga Khan Girls Secondary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and later studied at Ryerson, in Toronto, Canada. She loves to read and share stories from the journeys of her late grandparents and parents from one continent to another. Their stories and experiences have taught Zeni to be kind and decent to everyone and to never give up hope.

We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as Zeni’s book described above (or see Nanji’s post). Please also see the series launch article and submit your answers to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post. Please also include your brief profile, with a photo.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

Boundaries of Humanity Shamas Nanji Justice Bertha Wilson Supreme Court Canada

Simerg’s Special Series on Books by Ismaili Authors: “Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity” by Shamas Nanji of Edmonton

by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

Recently we invited Ismaili writers to submit a synopsis of their books for listing on this website. We asked each author to introduce their book to Simerg readers by responding to a series of questions. We begin the first in this special bi-weekly series with Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity by Shamas Nanji of Edmonton, Canada.

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Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book? 

Shamas Nanji: Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity points to Bertha Wilson breaking out of narrower monolithic interpretations of Canadian law. The Charter is new territory. The presence of a working-class, immigrant woman on the Supreme Court is indicative of new orientations that will question traditional readings of pre-Charter law.

Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?

Nanji: You will learn about the Canadian past from outside the boxes of patriarchy and whiteness. Bertha Wilson elevates the importance of plural democratic contexts compared to historical precedents in her decisions as a judge in the Ontario Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?

Nanji: A Scotswoman emigrated to Canada with her husband and went to law school despite the Dean telling her to go home and take up crochet. She went on to become one of the hardest working judges on the Supreme Court with landmark cases like Angelique Lavalle, Henry Morgenthaler, and Horseman, in addition to Pushpa Bhaduaria at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

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Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity" by Edmonton based Shamas Nanji
Cover of “Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity” by Edmonton based Shamas Nanji, 161 pp,

Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?

Nanji: The book is available in paperback at Audreys Books in Edmonton (the book is listed HERE).

Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?

Nanji: It’s self published.

Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?

Nanji: Apart from the printing and binding, I have done everything.

Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?

Nanji: My first book is Canadian Rubaiya (2003). Since then I have published nine more. This includes Meditations on Abraham (2008) Sijistani’s design for Enlightenment (with Boustan Hirji, 2013), The Visionary Quest of Nasir Khusraw (2014), and Lalla’s Courage reaches for an Infinite Consciousness (2015).

Simerg: How long did it take you to write the book — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?

Nanji: About two years.

Simerg: Tell us a little bit more about Bertha Wilson and the book.

Nanji: Bertha Wilson was a Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada 1982–1990. At the swearing-in ceremony, she observed As the fifty-eighth person to come on this court, I am also a woman. 

She prioritized her universal humanity before her specific gender. It set the tone for future judgments in the Court and in her speeches at several universities where she fostered Charter literacy.

After a foreword in prose, the book uses poetry to illustrate her life and to explore her accomplishments as an unabashed and enthusiastic supporter of the Charter. There are maps and extensive notes for further reading.

Date posted: February 10, 2021.
Last updated: February 10, 2021 (CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, Justice Bertha Wilson was left out from the title of the book in both the heading of this post as well as in the body of the text. The book title said Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity instead of Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity. A correction has been applied; the editor apologizes for the oversight).

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We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as Nanji’s work above (or see article) and submit the details to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

An Important Reminder to Ismaili Authors/Artists to Submit Information About Their Books and Artistic Endeavours by February 15, 2021

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher-Editor, Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos

We shall be commencing our special series on books by Ismaili authors at the beginning of February 2021, followed by the publication of a revised version of our beautiful artists compendium at the end of March.

First edition of Simerg’s artists compendium

These are major initiatives by Simerg and we want as many authors and artists to be represented on our website series on Ismaili authors as well as our artists compendium that was published a few years ago — it is in need of a major update, and we need artists not recorded in the publication to submit their profiles as shown in the compendium. Please see our earlier announcement on this initiative by clicking HERE and submit the information that we require by February 15, 2021.

Date posted: January 20, 2021.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few.

SALT LAKE CITY SIMERG

A Personal Reflection on the 2020 USA Election: How the People of the Beautiful State of Utah Let Me Down

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos

In the summer of 2011, I finally fulfilled a pledge I had made to my 19-year old daughter, an animal and nature lover, who was aspiring to become a veterinarian; her dream finally fulfilled in 2019.

The promise I had made to her when she was in her early teens was that I would take her to see two of my favourite places in the world, that I had either lived in or visited as a tourist. In my mind, they were not going to be Lourenço Marques, (now Maputo) in Mozambique, Dar es Salaam, Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro, all in Tanzania, nor to the majestic mountains and national parks in Canada and the USA such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, Glacier National Park, the Rockies in Alberta and Colorado and the Grand Canyon. She wondered what those two places might be, and my reply to her was, “I will take you to Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park”. (Since then, as it will be obvious to my regular readers, I have added to my favourite list His Highness the Aga Khan’s magnificent projects in Toronto — namely the Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Park, all three located at one site).

Yellowstone National Park, Minerva Terrace
Minerva Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Photo: © Simerg.

I will not say much about Yellowstone, except that I found it to be the most thrilling of all the parks in North America I have visited. It is a 5-in-1 park with its incredible geysers, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, rivers and lakes, forests as well as superb and varied wildlife, including grizzly bears and wolves. It is truly rich and diverse! I had stopped there some 22 years ago during my 4,500 km road trip from Ottawa to Vancouver via the USA, and vowed to one day return with my daughter and share with her the beauty I experienced.

But what about Salt Lake City, and why?

In 1979, while in London, I was recruited by a New York software firm to work as a trainee computer programmer in the USA under the H3 visa program. Upon my arrival at the company’s headquarters in the Big Apple, I began to familiarize myself with the IBM JCL (Job Control Language), a suite of steps that are necessary to execute computer and related utility programs. My experience in the UK had primarily been on ICL (International Computers Limited) computers.

Then after about a week, as I was taking some in-house JCL tests I was summoned into the director’s office late in the afternoon. He told me that one of company’s two clients in Salt Lake City had dismissed two consultants due to poor representation and performance, and the company was in danger of losing the project altogether. He handed me $300.00 in cash, an airline ticket to fly to Salt Lake City the following day, and firmly asked me to do well and salvage the highly profitable project for the company!

That evening I went to the Jamatkhana in New York only to learn from the Mukhisaheb that there were no Ismailis that he knew lived in Salt Lake City. I nervously travelled to Salt Lake City and was greeted at the airport by the consulting company’s project team lead, an Irish Catholic. He calmed my fears down at the hotel, where he dropped me off.

Within 24 hours I was on the client’s site. I was assigned to an in-house systems analyst, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, who presented me with specifications to develop an intricate file manipulation program that in his view “was the most complex program on their new payroll-personnel system”.

I was a Muslim of South Asian descent, who had grown up in Africa and then completed my college computer degree in the UK. My heart was that of an African, and I loved Africans. In Sandy in the outskirts of Salt Lake City, and then closer to work in Salt Lake City, I shared a home and apartments with Catholics and Protestants. On the project, I worked with members of numerous Christian denominations, Mormons in particular. As a non-smoker, I loved the smokeless office environment; in London I’d shared a small office on Tottenham Court Road with 2 chain smokers! 7-Up had become my favourite drink in the UK, and that became a daily treat for me in the cafeteria in Salt Lake. In the mid 1960’s Sprite had been introduced in Tanzania, close enough.

Project team members showed me immense courtesy and respect, and the country’s ethic of hard work and motto that anything is possible in the USA was true. I myself experienced it. Americans were fantastic people. Everyone who passed me at Salt Lake’s Main Street would give a friendly nod. Yes, America had that ability to inspire, instill confidence and make one courageous! I became self-confident and fearless. My new friends took me to Park City, Snowbird and Utah Jazz basketball games the franchise was quite new. Adrian Dantley became my favourite player. Mormon missionaries, in pairs, came to places where I resided to indoctrinate me with the faith’s teachings, and I respectfully discussed faith matters with them, and in turn told them about Islam. We realized how common our ethics were. It was wonderful. I can honestly say that Salt Lake City made me a strong and confident person.

Moreover, Salt Lake City was surrounded by the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. It is where I also deeply started appreciating nature. The night sky, as I watched the stars and the full and new moons, inspired me. Surely, this would be a place I would like to one day return. My daughter made that wish happen.

Mormon Temple, Salt Lake City, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Simerg, Malik Merchant. ©
The spiritual centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormons, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: © Simerg.

When I returned with my daughter to Salt Lake City some 32 years later, I had already approached a Mormon missionary I knew to give us an extended tour of the Mormon Temple. He drove from Provo and spent hours with us. My daughter was impressed with the ethic of teachings of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) that he shared with us, including the faith’s tithing principle as well as the honorary time members devote to the dissemination of LDS Christian teachings around the world.

In 2008, 3 years before our trip to Utah and Yellowstone, Barack Obama became the 44th USA president, and extended his term in 2012. Hillary Clinton, in 2016, lost to Donald Trump. Utah in large numbers gave him the Presidential vote. That, I said to myself, was fine as it was Trump’s first time!

Then, throughout his 4-year tenure as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world as well as the period following the recent 2020 election, President Trump insulted decent hard working human beings, accused them of cheating and corruption, made condescending remarks to loyal and patriotic citizens of the USA including iconic leaders such as the late Republican Senator John McCain, told lies, divided children from their parents, insulted Muslims and immigrants, backed out of important world treaties, instigated seeds of division and hatred, stopped distinguishing good people from bad, undermined science and scientists, and couldn’t bother to care about American lives being taken due to Covid-19; these were only some of his character traits besides being selfish, insultingly prideful, and profoundly arrogant! He did not accept his defeat in the US elections, and never conceded to President-elect Joe Biden. On November 5th, upon hearing his speech after he knew he was losing the election, I had tears in my eyes and sought solace from my mum thousands of miles away in Vancouver. She too was deeply hurt.

And yet Utah’s citizens, who having heard and read the sickening Trump for a 4 full years, still went and voted for him in 2020, in even larger proportion than in 2016 (from 45.5% in 2016, increasing it to 58.4% in 2020 vs Biden at 37.7%).

Has a faith that I have been raised to respect by my own parents, who were both teachers and missionaries, lost its moorings or have the people of Utah stopped recognizing worthy and perennial Christian and LDS values? I note that the LDS church is in an expansion mode as it has been for decades   around the world, and yet by voting for Trump the citizens of Utah forgot some cherished and revered perennial values that all GOOD global citizens must have, such as (1) the necessity of an abundant capacity for compromise; (2) more than a little sense of patience; (3) an appropriate degree of personal humility and honesty; (4) a respect for others; (5) having a good measure of forgiveness; as well as (6) genuinely welcoming human differences. Many of these values that I have noted were shortlisted by His Highness the Aga Khan when he was presented with the Adrienne Clarkson Global Citizenship Award in September 2016. They are also values common to all faiths and I would therefore expect religious minded people to be championing and upholding these values and behaving in accordance with them.

As a Muslim, I hold some conservative values too, but my expressions of them would be for support of the rule of law through the members of the Congress, the House and the Senate, and not by blindly handing over my votes and voice to a divisive leader like President Trump. Let a better Republican candidate show-up, and vote for the person then.

Being a Muslim I have to state that the Holy Qur’an makes it very clear on the unity of mankind, beautifully articulated by His Highness the Aga Khan in an address he delivered to both the Houses of the Canadian Parliament on Thursday, February 27, 2014. He said:

“As you build your lives, for yourselves and others, you will come to rest upon certain principles. Central to my life has been a verse in the Holy Qur’an which addresses itself to the whole of humanity. It says: ‘Oh Mankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women.’ I know of no more beautiful expression about the unity of our human race — born indeed from a single soul.”

Utahns voted ignoring key ethical values which I thought were dear to the hearts of those I came to know and cast their voices in support of a divisive president.

So now I carry with me only distant memories of the great city and people I came to know in 1979-1980, where my experiences were such that I promised to take my daughter to Salt Lake City in 2011, to meet people I thought I knew and trusted. I will not make that same promise to anyone else again!

As a footnote let me say there are three Mormons I deeply respect today: My Mormon missionary friend, Andrew Kosorok, who was our tour guide at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah for seeking to speak out honestly and asking his fellow Republican colleagues to be truthful and, last but no means the least, former Republican Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona for standing up to the president of the USA, who has completely relinquished his duties to his country and the revered Constitution of the USA that has been an inspiration to Americans and the world for 233 years. On January 6, 2021 the outgoing president clearly incited his supporters to a destructive march on the citadel of democracy, the Capitol of the USA, to prevent President-elect Biden’s confirmation as president. How could the people of Utah have voted for such a person?

Date posted: January 12, 2021.
Last updated: January 19. 2021.

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Reproduction of material posted on this website without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited. For permission to reproduce in full or part, please write to Simerg@aol.com.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few.