This is an expanded report on the visit to CESJ by Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, former Minister of Planning of Bangladesh and current Member of Parliament. Dr. Norman G. Kurland picked Dr. Alamgir up at Dulles International Airport around 9 am on Tuesday, September 29th, and went directly to visit the grave of the late Senator Edward Kennedy at Arlington Cemetery. Senator Kennedy had written letters of support during Dr. Alamgir's false imprisonment. Dr. Alamgir stayed at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Kurland as their guest during his stay.
As a result of his trip, Dr. Alamgir appears to have deepened his understanding of the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading as a possible national economic agenda for Bangladesh. Dr. Alamgir gave a very good 40-50-minute talk on his upcoming book and the events leading up to his incarceration before the CESJ core group and other guests, followed by over an hour of exchanges on the meaning of economic and social justice, its applications to Bangladesh and the need for authentic leaders to step up to the plate as advocates of Just Third Way development policy.
We also discussed how in his current position as a member of Parliament and as chairman of the Parliamentary Committee dealing with State-owned enterprises, he could test our strategy for transforming and democratizing one or more State-owned enterprises through Justice-Based Management, after identifying management and especially union leaders willing to lead the nation toward our free enterprise version of economic democracy. Dr. Alamgir, like Norman Kurland, has met with Dr. Muhammed Yunus of the Grameen Bank, and finds CESJ's proposed monetary, banking, and credit reforms under Capital Homesteading fully compatible. We provided Dr. Alamgir with one of our rare hard copies of The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) Louis Kelso's first book with Mortimer Adler, three of our books (especially Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen), and several key papers on Kelso's binary economics, the Just Third Way (especially Father William Ferree's Introduction to Social Justice), and Capital Homesteading reforms.
In the group was our personal friend Dr. Sheik Ahmad Subhy Mansour, a Quranic scholar who is in exile with his family from Egypt, after many months of incarceration and torture by the Mubarek regime. His "crime" was causing religious controversy for his advocacy of an interpretation of Islam that stirred up opposition from extremists in the Muslim Brotherhood and forced him to leave Al Azar University after seventeen years of teaching and writing. Dr. Mansour heads the International Quranic Center and has published a number of Dr. Kurland's papers on the center's website.
In common with natural law scholars of all the major faiths, Dr. Mansour believes that compulsion is incompatible with Islam and other organized religions and ethical systems and world peace can only be achieved by organizing to advance the spirit and principles reflected in such documents as the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moderate Muslim leaders and intellectuals like Drs. Alamgir and Mansour must organize other Muslims, inspire non-Muslims to support them, and together offer Justice-based strategies to neutralize Muslim hate-mongers who recruit suicide bombers to randomly kill innocent civilians. There's no better place to start than with bottom-up economic system reforms.
Dr. Mansour's exchange with Dr. Alamgir may have been useful in strengthening Dr. Alamgir's sensitivity to the need in politics for more vigorous advocacy of strategies for lifting institutional barriers to more justice in our development strategies, in our credit and central banking systems, in our tax systems, and all other parts of our economic infrastructure based on the democratization of ownership and economic power.
On Wednesday, Dr. Alamgir spent two hours in the morning doing some touch-up editing of the U.S. version of his book and approving of Rowland Brohawn's proposed cover. Dr. Alamgir seemed pleased with Dawn Brohawn's editing and marketing suggestions. (Dawn, Rowland and Michael Greaney are getting the book ready for printing here, and we're counting on Dr. Alamgir's sons to open up doors in academia to review the book for marketing to U.S. readers.) Around noontime, Dr. Alamgir was picked up at CESJ by a Dr. Kazi, a Bangladishi economist who worked at the World Bank and agreed to return Dr. Alamgir to Dulles for his return flight to Boston.
We received word from his son Joy Alamgir that Dr. Alamgir was very pleased with his visit with us. We enjoyed his company and look forward to helping him and other Just Third Way advocates in Bangladesh.