One of my best Ismaili friends sent me an e-mail which he wrote to a Yahoo! group to be put on board to let the group members know about the corruption within his local Ismaili community in Ontario. His e-mail was not published because of the group’s policy to post only positives about the Imam and the Imamat.
Here is the open letter which he wrote, quoted below:
Ismailis are emotionally controlled by their leaders and Imam indirectly through the leadership of individual institutes. Those Institutes consists of religious and social groups, religious groups are Jamati Mukhi and Kamadias and also the Majalis Mukhi and Kamadias along with the Private Majalis like: Life Dedication (giving your life Symbolically to the Imam of the time), Fidai Majlis (becoming a symbolic soldier of the Imam’s Army) and Noorani Majlis (You enrich with the closest sight of the Imam’s noor, again Symbolically) ¼th or Mubarak Majlis where you give the 1/4th of your income to the Imam of the time.
Most of the appointments for the Institutes and “Private Majalis” are made by Imam. No doubt the Imam has no such time that he knows and picks the people of his choice, he delegates his work to his Institutional chairs to recommend the appropriate names with the proper background check. It is a human work therefore one can see the close friends and loved ones and financially influenced people are posted on different key positions. Like in one of the centers in Ontario the father is in-charge of the Jamatkhana fund collection team and son is the in-charge of two different institutes, while the mother is responsible of collecting and counting the daily cash from the Jamatkhana and son-in-law is the In charge of financial running of the center.
There are several petty institutes within the Jamaat like the Funeral Committee, IVC, IJV and a lot more. One can observe all the politics all over the system. The reason for writing this description is to highlight the facts that how the system works and how the facts are followed-up after these appointments. The corruption exists everywhere and in every system. But the corruption in these Ismaili Centers and particularly in one jurisdiction is beyond the imagination of the Imam’s vision.
The people appointed in different positions are not even capable to function their duties with the grace and humility. They are appointed because of their financial or personal influence. In some cases and in Majalis friends have recommended the friends and Imam approved the names on the basis of trust and lack of divine power. The center in particular I am talking about has biggest known corruption in whole Ismaili community in Canada.
The people who are the in charge of Funeral committee and some important Majalis are past and present womanizers and had lost their jobs because of the work place sexual abuse. One of the Kamadias in a Majlis is almost a Conman artist. The distant past Mukhi of the Jamat, was that he was expelled from his business because of harassing an employee at the workplace.
One of the former Jamati Kamadia and the in-charge of a private Majalis is involved in a relationship with a young single girl of the Jamat. Even after caught by the people he is still in the state of denial. A former in-charge of the volunteer group, who is married, was involved in an extramarital relation with a divorcee. The Kamadia of a private Majlis has a pending law suit with his own father and family.
The height of hypocrisy is that everybody is kind and warm with the Afghan Jamat and talks bad in their back. (The Afghan jamaat is the favorite jamaat of the Imam).
The wife of one private Majlis Kamadia is in act of adultery having intimate relation with her friend’s husband. The illegal couple was caught by their friends, entering a hotel room but they are still on the post upon which they were appointed by the Imam.
The president of the council is totally controlled by her husband and sometimes it is felt that she is a puppet on display, although this is the biggest appointment for any center. The worst is that the unsecured husband of a second ranking woman in the Imamti institute, asked her to expel her devoted assistant because the husband feels that she has an extramarital affair with her assistant.
I will end up this whole mess with only one question:
Where is the National Council’s action to clean this corruption?
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed in the above article are of the author who is a Ismaili and wanted his voice to be heard throughout the Ismaili Community, especially the Canadian Ismaili Community. The content here first appeared on Progressive Dawoodi-Bohras forum since the author was not allowed to post his views on any Ismaili discussion forum due to the lack of freedom of speech within the Aga Khani Ismaili Nizari Community.