Monday, May 28, 2007

Op-ed: real challenge for Muslim nations is economic

The author is the prime minister of Malaysia. He writes in the Financial Times:
There is a danger that today’s overwhelming focus on the Muslim world’s political relationship with the west is diverting attention from even more fundamental social and economic problems. The Muslim landscape that stretches from Morocco to Mindanao is more diverse than western commentators often suppose. There are peaceful countries where the people are wealthy, healthy and educated. However, these are sadly outnumbered by countries and regions that are under­developed, poor and in turmoil.
...
Development must, therefore, be at the top of the agenda of all Muslim countries and communities. This is not simply an issue of income levels, good housing and adequate health facilities. It must also mean a literate and informed society, a representative political system that gives effective voice to the people, the absence of severe inequalities, efficient and honest administration and a commitment to the rule of law. A country cannot be considered developed until rights are respected, women are empowered, minorities protected and corruption eradicated...
Here's the $ version at the Financial Times. More quotation from the essay is available here.

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