Islam, Orientalism and Intellectual History: Modernity and by Mohammad R. Salama

By Mohammad R. Salama

Because the occasions and aftermath of September 11 have proven, the connection among Islam and the West is deeply stricken. right here Mohammad Salama demands a brand new knowing of Islam as a old that has existed in courting to the West because the 7th century. Salama compares the Arab-Islamic and eu traditions of ancient idea because the early glossy interval, targeting the watershed moments that knowledgeable their rules of highbrow historical past and perceptions of each other. Islam, Salama argues, has performed an immense position in permitting and positioning Western historiography at key issues, leaving palpable imprints on Islamic historiography within the procedure. concentrating on Ibn Khaldun, the complexities of orientalism and modernity, and up to date ecu in addition to Arab writings on such issues, this ebook is vital for all these attracted to Islamic and heart jap stories, Western and Islamic philosophies of background, questions of modernity,  colonial Egypt, in addition to the postcolonial stipulations of the Arab international

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Often considered a ‘benchmark of civilization’ and a ‘road to human progress,’ modernity has been regarded by many as essentially European. While this is a heated debate in itself, it was at the acme of its modernity that Europe’s “scramble for Africa” took place (to be discussed further in Chapter 5). This scramble was justified by an oppressive structure of attempted legitimation, one that employed many disciplines that ranged from anthropology to historiography in order to create documents in support of Europe’s socalled mission civilisatrice in Africa.

31 Add to this the fact that there is a Western fashion of defining the term modern departmentally: in philosophy, modernity is a rejection of mainstream logic of thought from Descartes through Kant to the epistemological trajectory of German idealism. Philosophical modernity celebrates Nietzsche in its rejection of metaphysical realism. 32 In literature, modernity is generally a reaction against mimeticism and functionalism, one that troubles the terrain between literature and life by making it difficult to say whether art represents, exaggerates, or deforms reality.

Regardless of Said’s work, anti-Western sentiments have been and continue to be an essential internal component of fundamentalist Arab-Islamic politics in general, one for which Said should not be given credit. This being said, there are some inescapable generalities and risky intellectual adventures in Said’s argument. For example, Said specifies three interconnected types of Orientalism: first, Academia (as a discipline supposedly concerned with detached and scientific study of a particular area of the world, historically, geographically, and anthropologically); secondly, a predominant épistémè or mode of thought premised on a flat binary opposition between the ‘Orient and the Occident’; and thirdly, existing corporations and institutions working from a position of power to promote this opposition and influence the objectivity of the academic work.

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