Term Paper: The Power of Orientalism

Sample Term Paper

Words 2,140

This term paper discusses the power of orientalism. The power of Orientalism is that it makes Muslims unintelligible yet conventional. In addition, its perseverance in history and modern times means that Islam and the West have been occupied in a clash of cultures since Prophet Muhammad began preaching his Message.

The power of Orientalism is that it makes Muslims unintelligible yet conventional. In addition, its perseverance in history and modern times means that Islam and the West have been occupied in a clash of cultures since Prophet Muhammad began preaching his Message. The question is, is today’s ‘war on terrorism’ the preface to a conflict of civilizations? The question is resounding in media repeatedly. The idea has never really gone away. There is a sense in which Osama bin Laden is absolutely predictable, since he symbolizes so many of the essential details of the long-established image of what the West expects from a Muslim iconoclast in ideas, rhetoric and action. And therefore the steps taken by President Bush also are just a link in the “mystic legend” where he is the proverbial David out to get the Goliath that is Islam, which can be symbolized as Osama on one hand and Saddam on the other.

Merryl Davis  states in a article in the internationalist:

In recent years Orientalism has become an even greater problem. …. Because Orientalism, or its latest buzz word Islamophobia, has been demonstrated to exist, then, from the Muslim perspective, by definition that which is offended against must be defended. That which is the subject of discrimination, prejudice, oppression and all manner of wrongs is thereby established as both innocent and good, no matter what its actual imperfections in practice. (Davis 22)

The targets are the Muslims and most importantly Islam. Conor Cruise O’Brien is quoted as saying “Arab and Muslim society is sick and has been sick for a long time. At the heart of the matter is the Muslim family, an abominable institution. It looks repulsive because it is repulsive.” (Ahmed 188) Here what the west fails to observe, or more likely feels threatened, that a religion can be so powerful to hold millions of people together, and the universality of the religion which is not just limited to the east, it is the fastest growing religion in the world, and one of the three monotheistic religions, which has so many ideas and traditions common with both Christianity and Judaism. Ralph Coury asserts.

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