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8. The Ismaili Community

Plight of the Ismaili Community – Part 3: Ismaili Demographics

Whether it is family, society or a nation, only 10% of the masses are critical as they are the only movers and shakers and make things happen for the rest. They have a skill to think outside the box, view things from a wider perspective, and can read between the lines instead of taking things at their face value. The rest of the masses are just the followers who can see only up to their nose tip and remember only the last thing that they heard. They include professionals who know more and more about less and less, and make noise as if they know all. Hence deemed educated masses in North America do not know that democracy in North America is a myth as it is controlled by only five individuals through media power.

If the Ismaili second-tier leadership such as Mr. Sachedina and the ILF had brains that could look at things critically, they would have been aware of pathetic plight of community and created a campfire for awareness. For instance, AKU/AKUH Nairobi is good example of shocking wastage of $125m resource that is entangled in it. Sadly, Ismailis do not derive a dime of benefit from the hospital as it is a prestigious hospital reserved for the richest of the rich. As highlighted in Part 2, if this amount is invested diligently, just from the interest income, all 9,000 East African Ismailis could have free medical cover up to $1m. This is indeed not a tiddly but a very grave issue. It should have hit like a thunderbolt to both ILF and Sachedina who basically wields absolute power and is a lifeline of the Ismaili community. If such a grave wastage did not strike to them, it is apparent that either they are unable to think logically, or are totally indifferent about plight of the Jamaat and are holding the position for the prestige it brings them. Sadly, Kenya Council while not realizing that hospital was like an oil field in its backyard from which oil was draining or wasted away, set up a token medical scheme for Kenyan Jamaat, which to the lack of their knowledge, is more beneficial to Jubilee Insurance and the Hospital itself rather than the Jamaat.

If the Jamaati authorities know that the Jamaat is concerned about certain a certain issue pertaining to the Ismaili beliefs and practices, the Jamaat can be instantly enlightened by being issued a clarification on the issue through a Tālika. For example, for years the Jamaat has been speculating regarding a basic tenant of belief, that whether Hazar Imām is God or not. Even though that this question goes to the core of our belief, there has not been one single official Tālika Mubarak with just two lines for this clarification stating that: “My spiritual childnen, I am not God”. Due to no such Talika, many members of the Ismaili community, mostly seniors, equate Hazar Imam to a living God.

The above is just an example of how much the Jamaat is left guessing about important and obvious issues.

 Actual Size of the Ismaili Community

For any entity, business, society or a country, it is extremely important to know and also to periodically publish actual official data, statistics and report, despite being mentioned in the media. Such statistics should include the size of population, natural resources, economy, type of political structure, GDP, per capita income, annual budget and more. This official data is usually readily available publicly. If it is not officially published, it means that there is some degree of intentional lack of transparency. Why would the Jamaat have to speculate on such basic data such as the size of the community and their income profile slabs so that adequate planning can be done for helping the deserving segment of the community.

As far as the statistical data regarding Jamaat is mentioned, each Jamaat’s Mukhis/Kamadias would naturally have such statistics about own Jamaat on their fingertips, and it is a question of gathering the data from these sources that any person with the right resources can do.

90% of Canadian Ismailis would not know that there are only 70,000 Ismailis in Canada of which 45% are either on welfare or the verge of welfare. They would not know that total world budget of Ismailis is barely US$1 billion of which only US$175,000 is derived from non-Ismaili entities. Of this budget, 65% is contributed by US and Canada with the US being the major contributor of the two.

There are 90,000 Ismailis in US, mostly Pakistanis who came to US illegally without a dime and went on to establish themselves without any help of Institutions and Councils.

The total world population of Ismailis is actually 2.2m (and not 15m as falsely portrayed) as shown below:

World Population of Ismailis (2014-15)
01 Afghanistan 650,000
02 Pakistan 625,000
03 Tajikstan 325,000
04 Syria 125,000
05 India 140,000
06 USA    90,000
07 Canada    70,000
08 Africa    12,000
09 China    70,000
10 UK and Europe    15,000
11 Iran      5,000
12 Others *    23,000
Total Worldwide 2,150,000
* including Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Russia

Poverty Level of 85% of Ismaili Majority

The above table clearly gives the profile population of Ismailis worldwide. It can be seen there are only 10% in first world countries.

In India, with a huge population of 1.3 billion, there are hardly 140,000 Ismailis. Even with the Indian and Chinese economies progressing, 70% of the populations barely earn $2-a-day. Other than these two countries, 85% Ismailis are in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikstan and Syria where they could not have been earning more than $2 a day. In fact there are 325,000 in Tajikstan who were middle class during the era of Russia. Though most are in the state of Badkhshan, a lot of them were scattered everywhere in Tajik. While Ismailis are historically persecuted, by community poking its nose in local politics with Russia portraying as affluent, they also got persecuted politically. As a result in 1990s they were pushed into Badakhshan which is mountainous barren state. In the course 10,000 were killed. Since national government has quarantined Badakhshan, most do not have even food to eat. As US supply route to Afghanistan was via Badakhshan, with Hazar Imam’s initiative, Silk Road has been constructed. While Toronto with Ismaili pop of 35,000 has about 35 Jamatkhanas, Tajikistan hardly has a couple of Jamatkhanas disguised as cultural centers.

Since such pathetic is situation of Ismailis in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, logically 110% resources should directed towards those areas. In fact, the entire second-tier leadership should be stationed there who are currently enjoying fame and prestige of high-profile positions in egoistic Institutions.

While the Jamaat is not informed about the basic population statistics of Ismailis, has any glossy monthly Jamaati magazine or the Rays of Light event mentioned about the tragic plight of Tajik Ismailis?

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About Akbar Khoja

Giving out free #LessonsInIsmailism.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Plight of the Ismaili Community – Part 3: Ismaili Demographics

  1. so where did 15-20 million figure come out for ?

    Like

    Posted by XYZ | February 6, 2015, 3:24 pm
  2. Thanks a ton for this writeup, very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Abid Virani | May 7, 2017, 11:33 pm

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