Editorial: Middle Eastern governments would do well to follow China’s example

From The Daily Star:

The Prophet Mohammed, in conveying the divine word to Muslims, commanded them to search for knowledge "even though it be in China," calling such a pursuit a "duty" for the faithful. Ironically today, we should be learning a lot from our friends in the Far East. There has been a recent push for the application of a certain knowledge in China that would be useful to the survival of regimes in the Islamic world. In the past few years, China has made great strides to define and develop a justice system that will protect and uphold the legal rights of its citizens. In 2001, the Chinese Justice Ministry invited International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), a non-governmental organization that works to ensure that citizens of all countries have access to basic legal rights, to help develop legal aid and defender services. Through the work of the ministry and NGOs on legal reform, China is now poised, as IBJ's President Karen I. Tse put it, for "a revolution in legal rights."

Here in the Arab world, we are still lagging behind in this global revolution. We are still living under military dictatorships, totalitarian regimes and unconstitutional monarchies. While China is enjoying the development of a society built upon the rule of law, our societies are stagnating under the strangling grip of security regimes.


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