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Kishore Mahbubani was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004 after having served 33 years in the Singapore Foreign Service (with postings[…]

With the Asian model as an example, moderate Muslims can take a middle path to modernity, Mahbubani says.

Kishore Mahbubani: The main reason why the West should welcome the rise of China and India is that the rise of China and India is now providing an alternative model for Islamic societies. As you know in the past, the perception was that the only model was to become completely westernized. Now they realize they don’t have to take that road. They can follow China and India, have economic development, develop a middle class that is modern that is open to the rest of the world, that sends its students to study the American universities and that is the integrated with the rest of the world. And that’s the much better vision for the Islamic world than the alternative one that Osama Bin laden is putting forth. And up until now the choice that the Muslim countries had was between the West which they saw as the anti-Muslim and Osama Bin laden and now comes along the China-India option and that’s wonderful and frankly when I travel to Pakistan, for example, when I went tho one of the universities called LUMS in Lahore. To see all these young Pakistanis trying to get MBAs, trying to get jobs in a modern corporations, that’s what you want to see them do and I think that’s happening.

Recorded on: 2/28/08