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Western Policies have Lead to Islamic Fundamentalism - Book Report/Review Example

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This paper "Western Policies have Lead to Islamic Fundamentalism" discusses the book ‘Orientalism’ by Edward Said, which main purpose was to highlight how Western scholars have traditionally portrayed the Orient, and how they used this portrayal to gain ascendancy…
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Western Policies have Lead to Islamic Fundamentalism
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Download file to see previous pages It was used to producing a generation of colonialists’ tutored primarily to take over the lands that they were being taught about. The purpose of their academics was to make them familiar with the land and the people, and in turn, bring about their conquest.

Second, Edward Said discusses how by defining ‘Orientalism’ the Western scholars were actually defining themselves. By constantly pointing out the differences between the ‘East’ and the ‘West’, Orientalists themselves produced a divide. The West being liberated, open, and innovative; while the East is portrayed as backward, confined, and superstitious. This continuous brainwashing gave the future ‘liberators’ of the East a belief in their own superiority which led to the further estrangement of the two.
And finally, he turns to the portrayal of Arab and Islamic culture by the Orientalists. The stereotypical Muslim was a product of these very Orientalists, who believed that they could embody all the qualities of Islam into one body. Thus they began to look at Islam as a means of ‘arrested development’ meaning that a society n which Islam played a fundamental role as a society that did not allow innovation, change, and progress. They began to believe and to propagate the belief that Muslims, in all parts of the Islamic world, would be essentially similar in the basic characteristics. This oversimplification led them to believe that entering and then taking over their lands was a necessary move, to bring progress, liberation, and redemption to such a degenerate people.

In this study, he further implied to the Native American, and African people, how by implementing the belief of their own superiority had led the European to the subjugation and oppression of the natives. In Said’s own words, he means simply to show, “the metamorphosis of a relatively innocuous philological subspecialty [the study of Orientalism] into a capacity for managing political movements, administering colonies, making nearly apocalyptic statements representing the White Man’s difficult civilizing mission.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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