27-09-03

Intellectual Terrorism

Glenn "Mac" Frazier -- yes, the man is still active, blogging slowly, but at least I can keep up with his pace now -- put me at work today by linking to the Guardian article announcing the death of Edward Said.

I didn't think I'd heard of the man before, but the same news popped up on news:be.politics, a Belgian newsgroup, when things started falling into place. The original poster only announced the news and linked to this site  and called it "an overview" of the writer's work. That may very well be, but at the top there's a quote:

"The vast majority of our people are now thoroughly sick of the misfortunes that have befallen us ... On the other hand, I have never met a Palestinian who is tired enough of being a Palestinian to give up entirely." -- Dr. Edward Said.

Now that's the kind of quote that makes me think "Something smells odd" (or it gives me the feeling that I already know which direction things are headed).

The first link on "the overview" goes to The Palestinian Chronicle and Kofi Anan saying that

"While not sharing all of Professor Said's opinions, the Secretary-General always enjoyed his company, savoured his wit, and admired the passion with which he pursued his vision of peace between Israelis and Palestinians".

Yeah well, the UN has to mourn almost everyone's death, except Stalin's, but I didn't see any official press releases on this one, and those even come with titles like "LONGER-LASTING ANTI-MOSQUITO BEDNETS IN AFRICA COULD SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES".

Anyway, wanting to keep our own very distinguished newsgroup from falling into the trap of being "too unbalanced", I felt the urge to post a reply on the original post and changed the title into "Intellectual Terrorism" (I'll tell you where it is as soon as Google has had its 12 hours to archive things -- UPDATE: you can see the thread here). The last link especially seems very interesting so all I'm going to do is copy-paste my reply here and give myself a chance to catch up on reading. Yes, that's something I do when I can't catch sleep. The other links to Winds Of Change and Blogirish should keep you busy as well.

Tomorrow's a familyday and Sunday the kite should be going up again. Have a nice read, and a nice weekend of course.

***
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE
...
Yes, the Taliban was a paranoid hallucination, Mary Robinson was deluded in thinking that they did not treat their women well, and as for their destruction of the giant Buddha statues, well, degustibus non est disputandum. Wealthy Wahabis did not fund Koranic schools that served as recruiteing grounds for Al Quaeda; and if bin Ladin pined for lost Andalus (1492!), well that was the Yanks' fault too. Saddam did not oppress the Shias, and the Shia theocracy does not employ thugs to abduct and beat students protesting for democracy in Iran. Palestinians did not dance in the streets over the Twin Towers and do not beat up pollsters who reveal that 90% of them have no interest in "returning" to Israel.
...
(Source http://www.blog-irish.com/saiddone.htm)
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...
a deeply dishonest man whose work remains one of the primary contributors to the deep incomprehension of the Mideast. He's a contributory cause of our pre-9/11 blindness, and his remaking of the Middle Eastern Studies field into its current pathetic state badly hampers our efforts to defend civilization to this day.
...
(Source http://windsofchange.net/archives/004067.html)
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...
Said admitted in the afterword of the 1994 edition of Orientalism that "I have no interest in, much less capacity for, showing what the true Orient and Islam really are." In other words, Said was not interested in advancing scholarship, but only anti-Western polemical screeds, being mostly content with hurling vitriolic and malicious invective against past and present Orientalists, such as Silvestre de Sacy and Bernard Lewis.
...
(Source http://windsofchange.net/archives/002274.html)
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And last but definitely not least:
...
The most pernicious legacy of Said's Orientalism is its support for religious fundamentalism , and on its insistence that "all the ills [ of the Arab world ] emanate from Orientalism and have nothing to do with the socio-economic , political and ideological makeup of the Arab lands or with the cultural historical backwardness which stands behind it "
...
(Source http://www.secularislam.org/articles/debunking.htm)
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04:15 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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