Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Muslims “Get” Globalization, But Does It Get Them?

From YaleGlobal Online

The last half-century has seen an unmistakable rise in income levels and life-expectancy in Muslim-majority countries, but their citizens have a negative impression of globalization. International business consultant Mehmood Kazmi attributes this antagonism to the widening chasm of misunderstanding in Muslim-Western relations. With a history of cultural domination over the West followed by resource exploitation under colonialism, the Muslim world views the liberalization of financial, trade and information flows with suspicion. Globalization of the media has allowed biased perceptions to travel rapidly to the masses, opening the way for further misunderstanding. For example, Kazmi questions why US distributors decline broadcasting English-language Al Jazeera, while Muslim countries broadcast CNN, BBC and other western news channels. While economic and social benefits can often placate the critics of globalization in many developing countries, the author argues that the burdens of cultural sensitivity and political inequity may need to be prioritized before the Muslim world welcomes globalization. For understanding and relationships to improve, the exchange of ideas must go in two directions. – YaleGlobal

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