Edward Said: The Origin of Islamophobia

Edward Said on Orientalism

Directed by Jeremy Smith, Sanjay Tairej, and Sut Jhally

Film Review

This documentary, produced and narrated by University of Massachusetts (Amherst) professor of communication Sut Jhally, is based on a 1998 interview with late Palestinian-American Dr Edward Said. Prior to his death from leukemia in 2003, Said was a professor of literature at Columbia University. The interview primarily concerns his 1978 book Orientalism.

Said, who was born in Palestine, became homeless and stateless in 1948 when his family home was seized by Jewish terrorists. He grew up in the US.

His book Orientalism would give birth to a new field of study called post-colonial theory, as well as having a a profound effect on the academic study of English, history, anthropology, and political science. The filmmakers embellish the interview with numerous works of art and film clips illustrating important concepts Said introduces.

The basic premise of Orientalism is that the West, dating back to Napoloean’s 1798 conquest of Egypt, operates under a preconceived image of Middle Eastern peoples. This image, which permeates nearly all pertinent Western art, history, literature, and film, portrays them as mysterious, backwards, barbaric, fanatical, and threatening.

In France and the UK, who were the main colonizers of the Middle East and North Africa, this distorted perception grew out of the conventional tendency to de-humanize the colonized.

In contrast, American-style orientalism derives mainly from the special relationship the US enjoys with Israel. The latter aggressively promotes the ideology that all Arabs are natural enemies.

Said traces strong anti-Islamic sentiment in the US to the 1978 Islamic revolution in Iran, which, in removing the pro-US totalitarian government, cost Wall Street oil interests substantially.

The most interesting part of the interview concerns the 1997 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City – which both the FBI and US media blamed on Middle East terrorists in the immediate aftermath.

 

3 thoughts on “Edward Said: The Origin of Islamophobia

  1. AM I ISLAMOPHOBIC?
    It is NATURAL to have a rational fear of Islamic Jihad!
    There are 164 Quranic teachings on violent Jihad.
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Pre-Pubescent Child Rape (65:4)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Rape (Quran 4.3)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Gang Rape (Quran 24:13)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Sex Slavery (Quran 4:24)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Torture (Quran 22.19-22)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Whipping (Quran 24.2)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Amputation and Crucifixion (5:33)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Beheading (Quran 8:12, 47:4)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Wife Beating (Quran 4:34)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Inferiority of Women (Quran 2.228, 4.11, 4.176)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Women as Sex Objects (Quran 2.223)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Murder (Quran 2:191, 9:5)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Killing kafirs (Quran 47.4)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Terrorizing kafirs (Quran 8.60, 3.151)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Immoral Paradise guaranteeing accession to Paradise for Muslim men who kill kafirs or who die in the process of trying to kill kafirs (Quran 9.111)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Massacre (Quran 8.67)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Genocide (Quran 8.17)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Theft and Robbery (Entire Quran Chapter 8 called Booty)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of All other religions must submit to Islam (Quran 2.103, 2.286, 3.19, 48.16)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Your children are your enemies (Quran 9.23, 64.15)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Revenge (Quran 5.45)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Hate (Quran 5.60, 2.61)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Slavery (Quran 2.178)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Extortion (Quran 9:29)
    It is NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC to have a rational fear of Lying (Quran 3:28, 5:51)

    The real Islamophobes are the leftist PC Islam appeasers, because it takes real fear to pretend that a religion whose believers slaughter each other daily is supposed to be bringing the world peace. Islam the religion isn’t intellectually respectable. Political Islam should be classed as a world crime, including Sharia and even the shouting of Allah Akbar. The Muslim World is in its last days, and knows it, but won’t go quietly.

    Like

  2. Dave, I respectfully disagree, though I doubt I will convince you. There is a world of difference between Islamic Jihad and the Islam practiced by the vast majority of Muslims. The latter is a religion of peace that regards killing as a sin.

    According to extensive research by intelligence whistleblowers and scholars, Islamic Jihad is essentially an instrument of US and British foreign policy, dating back to 1940s when US and UK intelligence first began secretly funding the Muslim brotherhood. The primary goal even then was to undermine the leadership of pan-Arabic officials like Egyptian president Gamal Nasser.

    The CIA significantly escalated its support for Jihad in the late seventies when it funded Osama bin Laden’s mujaheddin against the Soviet-backed Afghan government.

    Unfortunately the CIA also controls the editorial content of most of what you read in the US media (which is why they’re so uniformly anti-Trump), so it’s understandable that most Americans think the way the CIA wants them to think about Islam.

    I would recommend you check out these links and the references they link to. They will support what I’m saying.

    https://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2011/02/cia-and-muslim-brotherhood-versus.html

    http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=western_support_for_islamic_militancy_202700&scale=0

    Michel Chossudovsky notes that:

    “Britain’s support of the Brotherhood instrumented through the British Secret Service dates back to the 1940s.

    “Starting in the 1950s, according to former intelligence official William Baer, ‘The CIA [funnelled] support to the Muslim Brotherhood because of the Brotherhood’s commendable capability to overthrow Nasser.'”

    1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood Ally to Oppose Egyptian President Nasser.

    “These covert links to the CIA were maintained in the post-Nasser era.”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.