The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Malaysia may be the spark for Islamic reformation

I have long contended that the end game for the animosity between the modern West and the conservative Muslim world will not come from outside pressure, but rather from a reformation of Islam similar to that of other great religions. Such a reformation will have to be homegrown in order to be credible and the first signs of such a trend are beginning to appear. A rejection of fundamental Islam has been bubbling in places like Egypt and Lebanon, but it is in South Asia that the sentiments for a modern, pluralistic Islam is most tangible. No place is this more true then in Malaysia where modernity and Islam are struggling to find a balance between religious precepts and human liberty. Writing for the International Herald Tribune, Thomas Fuller looks at Malaysia and the struggle for reform that is taking place there. Read the article here.
The Hugo Chavez gov't continues down the path of land redistribution, stripping citizens and commercial interests of their property right in the name of some perceived social justice goal. Of course, these moves by Chavez will just lead to less food production, less economic activity and less freedom in Venezuela. This same deeply stupid and utterly self-defeating policy has led to nothing more everywhere it has been tried. From Russia to Mexico, land redistribution programs have never worked and been responsible for privation, famine and war.
Case in point -- Zimbabwe. Since Robert Mugabe initiated a land redistribution program in a case of black on white racism, Zimbabwe has seen inflation hit 623% and unemployment is estimated at 50-80%. Food Production is down across the boards and living standards are now at their lowest point since independence.
I expect no different in Venezuela. Chavez's policies with regards to property right is just one of many factors that leads analysists (including me) to conclude that Venezuela represents the greatest threat to peace and security in the hemisphere.


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