Sunday, December 10, 2006

What, like that's saying anything: Not much is happening on the news wires, but Nicholas Kristof's Times column today is about the moderation of Islam in Asia. He points out, rightly so, that the vast majority of Muslims actually live in southeast Asia and share power and geography with non-Muslims. Oh, and that their democratic elections are less rough than the U.S.'s. From the column (TimesSelect required):

At the moment I'm in Brunei, a Muslim country nestled in Southeast Asia. At the University of Brunei, women outnumber men. Women here drive, fill senior offices in government and the private sector, serve as ambassadors and are pilots for the national airline. "Young women have equal opportunities now — it's up to your capability," said Lisa Ibrahim, president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei.

Brunei has gold-domed mosques in its skyline, and the sultan has two wives. But Brunei is also home to churches and Hindu temples serving a multiethnic society. Young people flirt together in the cafes, and non-Muslims are allowed to drink alcohol.

Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian deputy prime minister, says he reminds Americans that the most populous Muslim country (Indonesia) is a democracy whose elections run more smoothly than Florida's.

P.S.: How about a shout-out for a fellow Oregonian?

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