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Orientalism, Edward Said, the Works

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#16 [Permalink] Posted on 18th November 2017 08:09
Bismillah
Alhamdulillah your posts show tremendous effort from your part and at least in my perspective and I hope one day I start writing something with Allah's SWT help.
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#17 [Permalink] Posted on 16th November 2018 07:20
A few days earlier I once again read through Edward Said's 1995 Afterword to his famous, seminal and path breaking book Orientalism.

This time it made me sad. The afterword is absolutely on the same level as the original book but his clarifications left me in slighly cold weather.

But that was just as well. Said was saying that his intention was not to write an anti-west book and nor the book is anti-west. Plus he was not making a case for Islam as many Muslim readers took it to be. This one I am familiar with. On facebook Muslims after Muslims flock to any writer writing even a single post critical of Saffron. What is more they, the Muslims, assume that the writer is making a case for Islam while such thoughts are nowhere near his or her mind.

So why should it leave me in the cold. The matter of fact is that on these accounts this is how the things should have been. Said was a Palestinian Christian and he delineated the contours of orientalism and that was all. To defend Islam is a task that can best be done by the Muslims and that should be done by the Muslims.

What left me in cold was that in is pursuit of nuance said completely absolves the west of any wrong doing. Now that does not match with the perspective that I feel is more closer to reality.
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#18 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd July 2019 10:04
S. Ameer Ali, Ali Mian, Edward Said, John L. Esposito, Mahmood Mamdani, AG Noorani, Pankaj Mishra


S. Ameer Ali wrote a book called the Spirit of Islam. It summarizes glorious past contributions of Islam and Muslims to the world civilization. The book is by now one and a quarter of a century old.

Has the world accepted that Islam is glorious religion and the all that the western civilization has contributed owes an overwhelming debt to Islam and Muslims? No. What went wrong? We may go into the details later on. For the time being let us move on.

The west tried to create an image of Islam as a negative ideology and a destructive force. The onslaught was extremely devastating.

Then in early fifties of last century Ali Mian RA wrote a book called the Effect on World of Decline of Muslims. And many a Muslims came out of that depression that was inflicted upon them by the west.

Then in 1978 Edward Said wrote a book called the Orienlaism. In a single book he mercilessly destroyed the west's skewed view of the orient. The west made some cosmetic changes in the syllabi of the universities and got busy with life as usual.

Then Mahmood Mamdani wrote a book called Good Muslim, Bad Muslim. West did take a notice that this was a timely, remarkable and very pertinent book and then went back to its usual ways, as if the book was not even published.

Then there is John L. Esposito who has been routinely observing Muslim related political developments and commenting and writing books in a very mundane style. What did the west do? They bestowed upon him the title of the person who is justifying terrorism.

Then AG Noorani wtote a very slim monograph called Islam and Jihad putting the things in perspective. What did the west do? Well they simply did not notice a 96 pages book published by LeftWord Books in an oriental country called India.

Then there is Pankaj Mishra who surprised the world by his books like the Age of Anger. The west has taken a little note and he is being hailed as a successor of Edward Said.

Phew....a lot of work and just a ripple.
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#19 [Permalink] Posted on 8th July 2019 10:12
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#20 [Permalink] Posted on 10th July 2019 08:35
My Old Notes on the Book Orientalism by Edward Said : Part 1


November 6, 2011


Orientalism, Edward W. Said, Second Printing 1995, Penguin India

(1) There is an Afterword to this printing written in 1995. Original book : 1977, published in 1978. For such monumental work the world must be ready to wait for one year before the word reached the intended audience.

(2) For a significant portion of the topic that Said calls Orientalism there was already a lot of literature by very well known scholars for quite some time. The works of Muir, Margoliaouth, Watt and others were punctured long back by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Shibli Nomani, Syed Sulaiman Nadvi and others.

Said indeed took the subject matter to a new level and a dispassionate discourse. Plus he said the things in Englsih while the Muslim writers were mostly writing in Urdu.

In 1982 there was a workshop conducted by the Dar-ul-Musannifeen in Azamgarh, UP, India in which there was a detailed discussion on the topic. Subsequently the Shibli Academy (the current name for Dar-ul-Musannifeen) published eight volumes of the proceedings.

(3) This reminds us that the work of the Urdu writers should reach the English audience as soon as it can.

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