I would encourage you guys to check out this article on Vanity Fair. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends lately about what “being Ismaili” means. I’ve done my best to explain it and though this article doesn’t go into a lot of the core beliefs or distinctives of the Ismaili community, there is tons of information to be found. It’s an interview with the Aga Khan, who is the Imam and leader of the Ismaili community and it’s quite a rare glimpse into his life, his beliefs, and his direct take on some pivotal moments from his life.
The reason I’m putting this out there is because in the past few years I’ve seen a lot of resistance towards and fear of Muslims. When I put forth words stating that every religion has extremists and that it might be ignorant to say all Muslims are dangerous and evil, a friend loaned me a book to “debunk” Islam and teach me the “truth” that all Muslims supposedly hold to. After one chapter, I gave the book back, so sickened by the rhetoric my friend was so easily subscribing to.
So I’m encouraging everyone to read this.. even if just to get a glimpse at a group of people who fall under the umbrella of Shia Islam and do things much differently than what we see on the television. Enjoy! :)