On Moral Leadership

The story may be apocryphal — I’ve read several versions of it — but it’s worth retelling: a mother once brought her young son to Mahatma Gandhi and implored, “Please,” she said, “please tell my son to stop eating sugar. It’s destroying his health.”

The Mahatma then told the mother, “Come back in a month.”

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Limits of Freedom

Some Western pundits are wringing their hands, lamenting that a war is raging against freedom of speech in the UN General Assembly. In effect they are accusing Muslim leaders like President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of battling against freedom of speech.

What the president did was to propose the development of an international instrument that would prevent the unbridled defamation of any religion, and serve as a reference point for all countries in dealing with this problem. He proposed that in a speech before the UN General Assembly. That speech doesn’t qualify as a declaration of war against freedom of speech.

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