Released October 6, 1998
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: -- Press Contact: Enver Masud

Washington Post Slams "Asian Values"

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Washington Post, Sunday, October 4 editorial, "Malaysian Justice," slams the values of Asia - a large, diverse continent, and birthplace of all the major world religions.

The Post states in the opening sentences: "The true face of 'Asian values' appeared in a Malaysian courtroom a few days ago. It was the face of Anwar Ibrahim, his eye blackened from a police beating ..." Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad is alleged to be responsible for the beating.

Asia, largest of the earth's seven continents, covers about one-third of the world's total land area. It has more than 3.2 billion inhabitants, and accounts for three-fifths of the world's population.

According to Microsoft's Encarta, Asia is bounded by the Arctic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The Ural Mountains in Russia form the boundary between Asia and Europe. Asia and Africa are separated by the Red Sea.

"Asia is divided for convenience into five major realms: the areas of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); East Asia, including China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan; Southeast Asia; South Asia, including the Indian subcontinent; and Southwest Asia, including much of the Middle East."

"The continent may also be divided into two cultural realms: that which is Asian in culture (East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia) and that which is not (Asia of the former USSR, and Southwest Asia)."

Asia is the birthplace of all the major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism.

If as the Post says the face of Anwar Ibrahim, his eye blackened from a police beating, represents the true face of "Asian values," then does not the Clinton-Lewinsky affair represent the true face of "American values?"

Of course not. The behavior of one person, regardless of how prominent that person or despicable the act, do not define the values of the larger population.

Martin Jacques, "As Japan has shown, and China will too, the west's values are not necessarily universal," The Guardian, May 20, 2005

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