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David Hale or Tariq Ramadan?

David Hale, chairman of Prince Street Capital Management, had an article in the Nov 29 issue of Barron's titled An Economic Opening: Promoting free markets would help spread democracy in the Muslim world. I will quote it at length because the article isn't on the public area of the Barron's website:
The Bush administration launched an initiative a year ago to promote both democracy and free trade in the [Middle East] through bilateral trade agreements. . . . If the Bush administration can follow up with several more countries, it could set the stage for the most far-reaching economic reforms in the Middle East since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

The administration's proposals are ambitious, but based on the experience of East Asia and Latin America, they make sense. . . . The Arab countries became isolated during the modern era because they had authoritarian political regimes that restricted trade and investment. If the Bush administration can move them to liberalize their economic policies, it wouldn't be hard to imagine pressure developing for political reform as well.

The Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa are reminiscent of the state-dominated economies of Eastern Europe before the end of the Cold War. They have large public sectors and weak private sectors. . . . The entire Arab world translates only 330 books annually, compared with 1,500 for Greece alone. Despite great oil wealth, the 300 million people in the Middle East and North Africa have a gross domestic product less than Spain's 39 million people. Economic isolation has been one of the primary factors inhibiting the region's economic development.
. . .
A few Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, are highly integrated into the global economy, but the great majority has long pursued policies restricting foreign trade and investment. . . . The result is a very large imbalance between Muslims' share of world population and of global trade and investment.
. . .
Governments have restrained trade. Half of the 22 members of the Arab league [] do not yet belong to the World Trade Organization. As a result of a decline in oil prices and lack of other export industries, the Middle East's share of world trade fell from 13.5% in 1980 to less than 3.4% in 2000. . . That countries representing about 18% of the world's people account for such a modest share of global trade and foreign direct investment isn't an accident. Many Muslim countries have been suspicious of global economic integration and have pursued policies to isolate themselves. Except for Turkey, Malaysia, Senegal, Mali and Indonesia, there are no democracies in the Muslim world. Anti-globalization economic policies have been associated with regimes hostile to political competition and open elections.
. . .
If the trend toward economic opening continues, it should encourage more tolerance of political freedom and democracy in the Muslim world. Anti-globalization activists refuse to accept the link between trade and democracy. But the history of Latin America and East Asia since the 1970s demonstrates the strong link between political and economic liberalization. The Bush administration should broaden the war against terrorism by pushing ahead with its proposals to end the Muslim world's economic isolation.
(Granted, Hale is not the first person to promote the idea that economic liberalization leads to political liberalization, and of course a person can point to the PRC as a seeming exception to this theory.)

Contrast to Hale's opinion to Tariq Ramadan, a staunch ally of the anti-globalization crowd and a critic of what this group calls neo-liberalism. Of course neo-liberalism has its own flaws (Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises would probably flip out at the idea that a market economy can be imposed "top-down" instead of "bottom-up"), but one can likely infer that free market capitalism is still a target of the anti-globalization crowd.

Tariq's rants re: globalization take up a big chunk of a 24 page chapter in the 226 pages of Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. His analysis is essentially a hysteric version of Immanuel Wallerstein. Tariq's analysis looks even less original considering that Wallerstein included the Muslims of North Africa in The Capitalist World Economy.

If one accepts Hale's argument as true - that integrating Muslim nations into the world economy will promote freedom and reduce extremism - one may conclude that failing to integrate Muslim nations into the world economy may continue to foster the growth of radicalism and Islamism. Tariq Ramadan's anti-globalisation efforts are the path opposite that of Hale. If Hale is correct, then this "moderate" isn't doing much to promote the economic - and hence political - freedom of Muslim nations, which may lead to a further rise in Islamist radicalism.

December 8, 2004 | Permalink


french justice said Tarik Ramadan

T Ramadan and French justice T RAMADAN SHOWS SPEECH INTEGRISTES BY the FRENCH COURTS Tuesday October 14, 2003, by lili L Islamism encourages with terrorism, say the French courts (POI) 02/07/03 Here a fundamental judgement whose press N did not return account to France, except close relation-orient.info, of which here the bond, and the summary of L article. C is however enormous, because the courts recognized the responsibility for the speech integrist in L incentive with terrorism. Nobert Lipszyc http://www.proche-orient.info/xjour... d_article=14610 Show offence of slandering, the director of the Books of L Orient, Antoine Sfeir, A gains his lawsuit against L university near to L U.O.I.F.(Union of the Islamic organizations in France), Tariq Ramadan. Â "fundamentalist charmer, specialist of the double language", grandson of the founder of the Moslem Brothers, has ete deboute in call, and the court S is watch particularly severe in its awaited. The press, as for it, has master key under silence this judgement politically capital. Recall of the facts and precision on the decision returned by the Court D Call of Lyon on last 22 May. The Court D Appel of Lyon A affirms in its decision that

the islamist speeches, like those of Tariq Ramadan, Â "can exert an influence on the islamist young people and to constitute an inciting factor being able to lead them has to join the partisans D violent actions.

"the judges have additions that,
by its speeches, Tariq Ramadan can take a responsibility, can, by making naitre in certain spirits a terrorist vocation or by consolidating some D different in their resolution has to follow such a policy  ".

This decision of court intervenes in a context very tended in France, after L election of the French Council of the Moslem Worship, which saw the victory of the integrists, and then qu it is a question of legiferer about the port of the scarf. But henceforth, journalists, authors and writers who wish it can affirm that Ramadan, whose Xavier Ternisien of  " World" is the best support mediatic, be indeed  "a fundamentalist charmer, specialist of the double  language". Put on line on July 03, 2003 on the site http://www.upjf.org

Posted by: sitbon | Dec 9, 2004 4:11:48 AM

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