While the fixed vote in Iran received extensive international attention, the world paid no notice to an honest election in Indonesia -- the world's largest Muslim nation. As recently as the 1970s, Indonesia was a repressive military dictatorship; gradually it has become a democracy with a civil-society basis and freedom of speech, plus strong economic growth. And America did not force this outcome on Indonesia or, for that matter, have anything to do with what happened -- Indonesians made their nation a democracy entirely on their own. Why do the same politicians and pundits who have limitless breath to denounce the troubled Muslim nations say nothing about the success story of Muslim Indonesia? Islamist fanatics hate freedom in Indonesia as much as they hate it in the United States and Europe, and have committed awful crimes against Indonesia democracy. But the world only notices Indonesia when a bomb goes off there -- how about some notice for social and economic progress?
Quite frankly, I know nearly nothing about Indonesia. While prior knowledge is not always a prerequisite for me to blog on a subject, in this case my ignorance of Indonesian history and politics is so complete that I have nothing to say. This is stupid, since it's one of the largest countries in the world, it is the largest majority-Muslim country in the world, and has been transitioning in recent times. Indeed, the CIA World Factbook notes that Indonesia is now the world's third-largest democracy and sixteenth-largest economy (PPP). It's a big, important country and we really should hear much more about it.
ht: Daily Dish