We should hold all people of the world to the same standards the West holds its citizens. We should rush to judge the words coming out of the mouth of any leader no matter from where he spouts them: Free or unfree nations.
The pseudonymous Ibn Warraq writing in City Journal: (Wall Street Journal)The great ideas of the West -- rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy -- are superior to any others devised by humankind. It was the West that took steps to abolish slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in Africa, where rival tribes sold black prisoners into slavery. The West has secured freedoms for women and racial and other minorities to an extent unimaginable 60 years ago. The West recognizes and defends the rights of the individual: we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live lives of our choosing.
In short, the glory of the West, as philosopher Roger Scruton puts it, is that life here is an open book. Under Islam, the book is closed. . . .
[O]ther parts of the world recognize Western superiority. When other societies such as South Korea and Japan have adopted Western political principles, their citizens have flourished. It is to the West, not to Saudi Arabia or Iran, that millions of refugees from theocratic or other totalitarian regimes flee, seeking tolerance and political freedom. Nor would any Western politician be able to get away with the anti-Semitic remarks that former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad made in 2003. Our excusing Mahathir's diatribe indicates not only a double standard but also a tacit acknowledgment that we apply higher ethical standards to Western leaders.