A Critical Analysis of Terrorism Discourse and Orientalist Thinking Introduction Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism revealed to the world the ‘imaginative geography’ where in the West and East are divided; a division, though, that is “less a fact of nature than it is a fact of human production” (Battersby, 2007, p…
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Furthermore, it conveys an entire range of ‘interests’ to identify, rule, and manoeuvre the Orient (Ashcroft, 1995, p. 90): ... it is above all a discourse that is by no means in direct, corresponding relationship with political power in the raw, but rather is produced and exists in an uneven exchange with various kinds of power, shaped to a degree by the exchange with power political (as with a colonial or imperial establishment), power intellectual (as with reigning sciences like comparative linguistics or anatomy, or any of the modern policy sciences), power cultural (as with orthodoxies and cannons of taste, texts, values), power moral (as with ideas about what “we” do and what “they” cannot do or understand as “we” do). Within this perspective, Orientalism is an ‘intended’ and ‘determined’ human effort. Through it Western civilisations became dominant both within and outside the Western hemisphere. The notion of supremacy of the West vis-a-vis all non-Western civilisations formed the basis of the relationship between the Occident and the Orient (Birkenstein, Froula, & Randell, 2010). What makes the relationship between the West and the East important is that “Europe was always in a position of strength not to say domination” (Cirakman, 2002, p. 11). Because the perception of the Orient was produced out of power, it also establishes the Oriental and the Orient. The texts concerning the Orient, which gained popularity and victory, have not simply produced ‘knowledge’ but also the core set of truths they seem to express. Said refers to this practice or structure of thinking a ‘discourse’ (MacKenzie, 1995). What makes Orientalism a discourse is the fact that it is largely ‘textual’. Texts regarding the Orient shape its core reality. Hence, Said believes that reality does not subsist outside or separately from human thoughts; in essence, it is a creation of the text. Orientalism as a mode of thinking also comprises the practical consequences of such textual interactions (MacKenzie, 1995). Because it is the texts that generate the Orient’s reality, western cultural and political systems are unavoidably influenced by the arguments of such texts, rather than by the observable or actual reality of the Orient in a particular place and time. Thus all cultural or political interactions are actually attributes of a textual interaction (Schmid, 2011). Hence, Orientalism as a structured ‘knowledge’ is not only portraying the Orient’s reality ‘misleadingly’ or ‘incorrectly’ but it produces acknowledged realities about the Orient upon which Westerners analyse, study, and control. Analysing Terrorism: An Orientalist Discourse Gaining popularity in Britain as a defence of colonialism, Orientalism argued that people of the Orient are immersed in a form of perpetual childhood, endowed with supernatural faith but deficient in the modernisation that the Western world would be capable of providing. To a great extent, the U.S. has taken the dominant role once possessed by France and Britain in regions of the world where Muslims make up the majority (Boehmer & Morton, 2011). And to a much greater extent, the U.S. has adopted an Orientalist thinking. Americans, in an Orientalist manner, particularly tend to consider every resistance originating from these regions of the globe as
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Jonathan D. Romero in his article “Detainee Ethics: Terrorists as Research Subjects” (The American Journal of Bioethics 2003) takes a look back on the history of psychological profiling as first used by Nazi Germany psychologists during the reign of the Third Reich.
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blic lamented over the fatalities of military and attitudes towards the Japanese people and their Asian descendants began a trend of hate that would last for decades. In the same way, the events of 9/11 that blamed on Islamic terrorists caused a powerful household backlash
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