RE: Said and Orientalism

Date: Wed 01 Oct 2003 - 20:06:39 GMT

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    From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <> To: <> Subject: RE: Said and Orientalism Date sent: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 08:24:49 -0400 Send reply to:

    > Joe Dees continues with his anti-Muslim bigotry. Have today's Muslims
    > and Arabs become his 'niggers' of yesterday?
    Ibn Warraq is himself a former Muslim. And once again, there are Muslims of all racial and ethnic classifications, and Arabs of all religions, and my well-founded concern is with the virulent Wahhab/Qutb mutation subset of Islam, not the entire religion. Lawry seems to think that if he continues to repeat his slanderous Big Lie that I am racist when in fact I am not, that he will convince gullible others that it is true. Well, it is not. He is just incensed that I posted an obit that impugned the dubious accomplishments of his Saint Said, a person who, along with Saint Chomsky, Saint Fisk (He Whose Name Is A Verb) and Saint Pilger, quarterback his particular meme team.
    > "Ibn Warraq" is an admitted pseudonym. Relying on its views on Islam
    > is a bit like relying on Madeline O'Hare (sp?) for commentary on
    > Christianity, with one difference: we know that O'Hare was a real
    > person. "Ibn Warraq" has all the markings of a fake personna and
    > 'agent provocateur.' I wonder who the real source is? Who has most to
    > gain from bombarding the world with anti-Muslim and anti-Arab
    > diatribes?
    Actually, I have seen Ibn Warraq, in disguise, giving a speech on TV. If his identity became known, he would have a LOT to lose - namely, his life and the lives of the members of his family, as death fatwas have been laid upon him and them for his honesty, integrity and courage. Has Lawry even READ "WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM", or is this just another ad hominem slander-from-a-position-of ignorance knee-jerk memetic filter kicking in?
    > Scott asked Joe to desist, and said that he wouldn't resort to asking
    > the moderators to intervene. Derek has warned that if these diatribes
    > aren't stopped, we might loose this list. Joe ignores these requests
    > and steps up his abuse of the list.
    What diatribes? I just posted a couple of articles by very recognizeable others (Ibn Warraq and Tony Blair). The only diatribes onlist have been directed AT me, not come from me, unless you want to count my answers to the perpetrators of these diatribes.
    > Should we not be appealing to the moderators to stop this, as they
    > have before, and before we lose the list?
    Friedrich Nietszche once said that faith is 'not wanting to know." Well, radical fundamentalism, zealotry and fanaticism are much worse than this - they are wanting NOT to know, and wanting to prevent others from learning, as well, anything that might threaten cognitive dissonance with their cherished and treasured dogmas. It certainly appears as though Lawry is doing his best to cajole the powers that be to enforce his preferred list ignorance upon all and sundry.
    > > -----Original Message-----
    > > From: []On
    > > Behalf Of Sent: Wed, October 01, 2003 12:02 AM
    > > To: Subject: Said and Orientalism
    > >
    > >
    > > Said and ORIENTALISM
    > > Ibn Warraq in Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2003
    > > Late in life, Edward Said made a rare conciliatory gesture. In
    > > 1998, he accused the Arab world of hypocrisy for defending a
    > > holocaust denier on grounds of free speech. After all, free speech
    > > œscarcely exists in our own societies. The history of the modern
    > > Arab world was one of œpolitical failures, œhuman rights abuses,
    > > œstunning military incompetences, œdecreasing production, [and] the
    > > fact that alone of all modern peoples, we have receded in democratic
    > > and technological and scientific development. Those truths aside,
    > > Mr. Said, who died last week, will go down in history for having
    > > practically invented the intellectual argument for Muslim Rage.
    > > œOrientalism, his bestselling manifesto, introduced the Arab world
    > > to victimology. The most influential book of recent times for Arabs
    > > and Muslims, œOrientalism, blamed Western history and scholarship
    > > for the ills of the Muslim world: Were it not for imperialists,
    > > racists and Zionists, the Arab world would be great once more.
    > > Islamic fundamentalism, too, calls the West a Satan that oppresses
    > > Islam by its very existence. œOrientalism lifted that concept, and
    > > made it over into Western radical chic, giving vicious
    > > anti-Americanism a high literary gloss.
    > >
    > >
    > > In œTerror and Liberalism, Paul Berman traces the absorption
    > > of Marxist justifications of rage by Arab intellectuals and shows
    > > how it became a powerful philosophical predicate for Islamist
    > > terrorism. Mr. Said was the most influential exponent of this trend.
    > > He and his followers also had the effect of cowing many liberal
    > > academics in the West into a politically correct silence about
    > > Islamic fundamentalist violence two decades prior to 9/11. Mr.
    > > Said™s rock-star status among the left-wing literary elite put
    > > writers on the Middle East and Islam in constant jeopardy of being
    > > labeled œOrientalist oppressors”a potent form of intellectual
    > > censorship. œOrientalism was a polemic that masqueraded as
    > > scholarship. Its historical analysis was gradually debunked by
    > > scholars. It became clear that Mr. Said, a literary critic, used
    > > poetic license, not empirical inquiry. Nevertheless he would state
    > > his conclusions as facts, and they were taken as such by his
    > > admirers. His technique was to lay charges of racism, imperialism,
    > > and Eurocentrism on the whole of Western scholarship of the Arab
    > > world”effectively, to claim the moral high ground and then to paint
    > > all who might disagree with him as collaborators with imperialism.
    > > Western writers employed œa western style for dominating,
    > > restructuring, and having authority over the Orient. They conspired
    > > to suppress native voices that might give a truer account. All
    > > European writings masked a œdiscourse of power. They had
    > > stereotyped the œOther as passive, weak, or barbarian. œ[The
    > > Orientalist™s] Orient is not the Orient as it is, but the Orient as
    > > it has been Orientalized, he said.
    > >
    > > By the very act of studying the East, the West had manipulated it,
    > > œpolitically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically,
    > > scientifically, and imaginatively. This conspiracy of domination,
    > > he said, had been going on from the Enlightenment to the present
    > > day. But while deploring œthe disparity between texts and reality,
    > > Mr. Said never himself tried to describe what that reality was,
    > > merely sighing that, œTo look into Orientalism for a lively sense of
    > > an Oriental™s human or even social reality¦is to look in vain.
    > >
    > > Mr. Said routinely twisted facts to make them fit his politics. For
    > > example, to him, the most important thing about Jane Austen™s
    > > œMansfield Park was that its heroine, Fanny Price, lived on blood
    > > money. In his writings, verbal allusion and analogy stood in for
    > > fact, a device to reassure the ignorant of the correctness of his
    > > conclusions. Of these he found many over the years in American
    > > universities. His works had an aesthetic appeal to a leftist bent of
    > > mind, but even this now can be seen as a fad of the late 20th
    > > century. The irony, of course, is that he was ultimately
    > > grandstanding for the West--for Western eyes, Western salons, and
    > > Western applause.
    > >
    > > (Ibn Warraq [a pseudonym used to protect himself and his family from
    > > Islamists] is the author of œWhy I am Not a Muslim and the editor
    > > of œLeaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out, published by Prometheus
    > > Books in 1995 and 2003 respectively.)
    > >
    > >
    > > =============================================================== This
    > > was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of
    > > Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For
    > > information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:
    > >
    > >
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

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