Akberally Meherally is causing a furore among Ismailis. The 61-year-old Burnaby writer says he has received death threats since he published a book critical of Ismailis’ spiritual leader, the Aga Khan.
Meherally – who paid to have 5,000 copies of the book “Understanding Ismailism” (click to download) published – takes issue with Ismailis “worshipping the Aga Khan as a God” and other practices he calls “unislamic”.
“I was born as a Ismaili in a very devout family,” Meherally said yesterday. “But I am not now a practicing Ismaili because I do not approve of the prayers.” Meherally said the Ismaili Council of B.C. slapped a ban on his bok less than two weeks after it was released lat November. The council also ordered B.C.’s 8,000 Ismailis to shun Meherally.
He said his life has been threatened and he’s been summoned to appear before a council hearing in April to answer charges that his book is sacrilegious.
“Ismailis are professionals and businessmen but every community has its crackpots and fanatics,” he said. “One (telephone) threat was serious.”
But Ismailis say Meherally si just out for publicity to boost his book sales. “Some of his facts are quite valid,” said Ismaili Anwar Jeffra, a Vancouver optician. “But he’s just after publicity.”
Lawyer Don Houston, prepresenting the Ismaili council, said the Meheraly case is “an internal affair.” The hearing will be held before the arbitration and reconciliation board, a quasi-judicial Ismaili body.
Credit: The Province, Wednesday, March 15, 1989