Malala wins Nobel Prize, Crimea is putting pressure on Russian economy, government surveillance in South Korea, African Union forces, why Muslims don't need to apologize for extremists

This week's round-up of commentaries covers Malala winning the Nobel Peace Prize, why the annexation of Crimea is hurting the Russian economy, the rise in government cyber surveillance in South Korea, African Union's new response force, and why Muslims shouldn't have to apologize for extremists. 

Matt Rourke/AP
Malala Yousafzai, who is this year’s recipient of the Liberty Medal, walks across the stage ahead of a ceremony at the National Constitution Center, Tuesday, Oct. 21, in Philadelphia.

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner stands for freedom

“You can’t help but smile when you ... listen to her. She doesn’t just get it; she is it.... What Malala [Yousafzai] says and what Malala wants is for you to be free. To have a choice and the right to exercise that choice...,” writes Cyril Almeida. “If Malala is an idea, so are the Taliban. And in that battle of ideas, much as it’s obvious that Malala is on the right side – on our side – it’s hard to believe that her idea is winning here. But that makes her fight all the more worth fighting.”

The Moscow Times / Moscow
Annexation of Crimea is putting pressure on Russian economy 

“Economic considerations could prove the main factor in forcing Russia’s foreign and domestic policy to gradually normalize and evolve toward greater caution and responsibility...,” writes Vladimir Ryzhkov. “[The annexation of] Crimea will cost Russia one percentage point in economic growth, or 360 billion rubles ($9 billion) in unpaid wages and accelerated inflation due to the weakening ruble. In fact, Crimea will contribute about three percentage points to inflation this year.... Although the Russian people continue celebrating the annexation of Crimea and giving the authorities sky-high ratings, the first signs of trouble are now appearing.... As Russia’s Crimean-Ukrainian project incurs an increasingly heavy expense, the economy itself will provide an unerring litmus test of the soundness of Kremlin strategy.” 

The Korean Times / Seoul, South Korea
Government increasing its cyber surveillance

“[The] stepping up of ‘cyber surveillance’ to prevent the spread of false rumors is emerging as a hot social and political issue. According to revelations by opposition lawmakers ... [the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has] decided to conduct ‘real-time’ monitoring of mobile messenger services, and demand the deletion of problematic writings, such as ‘groundless defamation’ of the government and political leaders...,” states an editorial. “All this shows why the prosecution should drop its controversial plan to turn Korea into a ‘cyber security state.’ Law enforcement officers should minimize their Internet monitoring to cases that can seriously hurt national security and social stability – not the top leader’s image.”

The Sunday Times / Johannesburg, South Africa
African Union should use caution before deploying new response force

“For too long Africa has been forced by the inadequacy of its resources to stand by while the West intervenes in our crises...,” states an editorial about a new African rapid response force. “But military intervention can never be undertaken lightly, or unilaterally, particularly in a country such as Somalia, where al-Shabab is engaged in a raging insurgency against a government that exists in name only. Kenya’s participation in the [African Union] military campaign in Somalia triggered reprisals in the form of terror attacks in Kenya. It could be argued that the attacks were going to happen anyway – such is the nature of terror – but they underline the point that the AU and South Africa need to tread extremely carefully.”

Yemen Times / Sanaa, Yemen
Muslims shouldn’t have to apologize for extremists

“[President Obama said in a speech to the United Nations] that ‘it is time for the world – especially Muslim communities – to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology’ of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.... Those who make [such demands] are either bewilderingly oblivious to the plethora of vocal Muslim rejection of jihadism and terrorism, or they conveniently ignore this to suit their own agendas...,” writes Sharif Nashashibi. “The implication is that if Muslims are not constantly shouting out their opposition from the rooftops, they support militants and are therefore a potential threat, one that warrants suspicion and retribution – in other words, guilty until proven innocent.... As such, American presidents ... and ... commentators are not the best-placed figures to tell Muslims what they should and should not reject.” 

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