I normally hate The Economist for its condescending, pro-capitalist slant – even this article shows the lengths that this publication is willing to go to present the “other” as bereft of morality or common sense or ethical government (these charges are never leveled at the West as a whole, it is much easier to wag our finger at the poor nations of the world).
That said, there was one point made in this article that caught my eye.
“If ultraradicals are in retreat, and bold moderates are finding their voice, that reflects several converging factors. There is a fading of the anxiety, which reached a peak under the Bush administration, that Islam itself was the target of a concerted Western campaign. Barack Obama’s outreach to Muslims, and America’s intent to withdraw from Iraq, have reduced the pressure on clerics to posture as tough defenders of the faith who excuse jihadism.”
What this says to me is that American voters did far more for world peace – and most importantly the so-called “divide between Islam and the West” – by electing a conciliatory cosmopolitan leader than Bush’s bombs and troops ever could have.
As for the article itself, I agree in spirit. But there are far too many cases where free speech is suppressed in the first world too – simply by being shut-out and shut-up by large pools of capital.
But The Economist would never admit that.