Orientalism of studying the cultural aspect of the Muslim

Orientalism
is the manner in which the differences between the Arab people, their culture
and that of Europe and the United States is compared having the differences exaggerated,
emphasized, imagined and distorted. Orientalism has been structured in such a
way that the Arab culture is backward, exotic, uncivilized and in some
instances, it is viewed as dangerous. In his book, Orientalism, Edward W. Said has asserted that Orientalism is a set
of institutionalized differences between the East and the west and also a way
of trying to dominate parts of Middle East (Said 14).

It
should be noted that European countries including geomancy commenced a
tradition where conducting research on Muslim society was the norm. The studies
were not limited to the society’s imperialism, their history, culture and also
their way on which they conducted their politics. It was established that the
aims and ideas that were rooted in the enlightenment of the Middle East,
depicted a critical analysis towards the society. The critics of Edward W. Said
focused in such direction especially the German scholarship. Individual
accounts in writing of the Middle East between the world wars show a mixed personality
between the two camps.

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Cultural
scholarship in regard to the Middle East became a thing of the past after there
was a general interest to study the contemporary Middle East. The sudden rise
of political movements in the Muslim world and the Islamic revolution in Iran
changed the trend of studying the cultural aspect of the Muslim society. For
this reason, the demand for specialists in Muslim culture, politics, and
religion rose in different parts of the world. This led to the cooperation of different
disciplines in studying the Muslim part of the world. Research on the Middle
East has increased at a high rate over the last two decades.

In
September 2002, Germany hosted The World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies
(WOCMES). The meeting was held jointly by the association of Middle East
Studies which was inclusive of eighteen European countries. This ceremony was
held in respect of what happened in the United States where the twin towers
collapsed due to terrorism. Edward W. Said was honored during this event for
his tremendous contribution to Middle East studies. Edward W. Said asserted
that the German philological scholarship greatly influenced his book in the bid
to make the world realize the reality about the Middle East as opposed to
baseless assumptions.

There
was a dispute between the Islamic studies and the media and Oriental studies
which was caused by the coming up of new Journal of Information on the Near and
Middle East, called INAMO. The journal was founded by journalists and
specialists in a bid to provide adequate information on Middle East’s current
political.  Socio-economical and current
cultural development. This journal was aimed to fill the knowledge gap between
the journalists and academic specialists. The differences in informational
knowledge brought a lot of problems among the groups.

One
of the major changes in Islamic research in regards to Orientalism is the
general perspectives. Research on the Middle East has greatly expanded where
Muslims from Africa and Asia have been considered with projects and area
studies. This has greatly enriched the understanding of the Muslims not only
from the Middle East but those who come from other parts of the world.

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