1Sahil B = ""Today in the Occident, the Muslim world is deeply misunderstood by most. The West knows little about its diversity, about the religion or the principles which unite it, about its brilliant past or its recent trajectory through history. The Muslim world is noted in the West, North America and Europe, more for the violence of certain minorities than for the peacefulness of its faith and the vast majority of its people. The words 'Muslim' and 'Islam' have themselves come to conjure the image of anger and lawlessness in the collective consciousness of most Western cultures. And the Muslim world has, consequently, become something that the West may not want to think about, does not understand, and will associate with only when it is inevitable.... "it must be made utterly clear that in so far as Islam is concerned, this violence is not a function of the faith itself, as much as the media would have you believe. This is a mis-perception which has become rampant, but which should not be endowed with any validity, nor should it be accepted and given credibility. It is wrong and damaging. The myth that Islam is responsible for all the wrong doing of certain Muslims may well stem from the truism that for all Muslims, the concepts of Din and Duniya, Faith and World, are inextricably linked. More so than in any other monotheistic religion of the world. The corollary is that in a perfect world, all political and social action on the part of Muslims would always be pursued within the ethical framework of the Faith. But this is not yet a perfect world. The West, nonetheless, must no longer confuse the link in Islam, between spiritual and temporal, with that between state and church. "It was during the 15th century that Muslim civilisation began a period of decline, losing ground to European economic, intellectual and cultural hegemony. Islamic culture began to be marginalised, and worse yet, its horizons narrowed until it lost its self-respect, and pursued no further the cultural and intellectual search on which it was embarked. Even as Muslim learning was studied in the greatest universities in Europe, La Sorbonne, Oxford, Bologna, it was being forgotten in all Muslim societies from the fourteenth century on. Little of what was discovered and written by Muslim thinkers during the classical period is taught in any educational institutions. And when it is, due credit is not given. This gap in global knowledge of the history of thought, and the faith, of a billion people is illustrated in innumerable ways, including in such diverse worlds as that of communication and of architecture. Our cultural absence in the general knowledge of the Western world, partially explains why your media sees Islamic world and its thought as an ideological or political determinant in predominantly Muslim cultures, and refers to mere individuals affiliated with terrorist organisations as Muslim first and only then by their national origin or ideological or political goals." His Highness the Aga Khan's 1996 Brown University Commencement Ceremony address (Providence, Rhode Island, USA)"