Thursday, May 31, 2007

What I've learned

by Tony Blair, from The Economist:

There is nothing more ridiculous than the attempt to portray “democracy” or “freedom” as somehow “Western” concepts which, mistakenly, we try to apply to nations or peoples to whom they are alien. There may well be governments to whom they are alien.* But not peoples. Whoever voted to get rid of democracy? Or preferred secret police to freedom of speech? These values are universal. We should attack the ideology of the extremists with confidence: their reactionary view of the state; their refusal to let people prosper in peace; their utterly regressive views on women. We should condemn not just their barbaric methods of terrorism, but in particular attack their presumed sense of grievance against the West. We need to support and help mobilise moderate and true Islam in doing so.

* Citizens of Saudi Arabia cannot change their government democratically. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. (from Freedom House)

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