‘Orientalism’ For Dummies


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Editor’s note: Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi holds the Edward Said-Noam Chomsky Linguistics Chair at Abdul Abulbul Amir University in Cairo.

Being a renowned and brilliant linguist such as I am, on October 26, I innocently, and full of optimism and good-will, had published in Front Page Magazine — a war-mongering, racist site if ever there was one, judging from its unsavory readership and ignorant authors! — a glossary of useful terms and expressions meant to help delineate and define what speakers and writers mean when they use certain, shall we say, “explosive” words and phrases when describing so complex a circumstance as, as I wrote, “today’s  (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) Mid- east.”

Inasmuch as it seems that your culture and mine are teetering on the edge of conflict, I believe that persons of good-will, such as myself, need to do what what we must to make certain that misunderstanding and miscommunication do not precipitate a disastrous war in which we will doubtlessly defeat you, not least since we, and in particular our youth, care so much and you and yours seem to care so little.

Perhaps the fact that we have raised a generation of very, very angry young men has something to do with the fact that that our young men are not allowed to have interaction with girls. (We tell them that attraction to young women is a Zionist plot hatched by evil Jews intent on capturing them in the snare of Shaytan. Talk about impressionable!)

Whatever you think of us, you have to admit that prohibition has been a sensational strategy for recruiting plenty of extremely devoted young men who actually volunteer to strap on explosives in hopes of finding unmutilated maidens waiting for them elsewhere. Pretty cool, huh?! Faith is a powerful incentivizer! And a culture that prohibits deduction certainly needs faith!

So, my only purpose was a peaceful one — to make certain that the reader would not be misled by ignorance or prejudice, or as my wise teacher and predecessor, Dr. Edward Said, coined it, “Orientalism,” the psychological disease or intellectual offense that imagines that the Western cultures are in some way “better than,” or “superior to,” as opposed to simply “different from,” Arabic or Eastern cultures.

In a nutshell, Dr. Said posited that Westerners, because they are not Orientals, can never know how Eastern people think or why they do what they do. They — Westerners — therefore must never interpret or judge the words, intentions or actions of Middle-Easterners, especially the leaders, all of whom are “Men of the People,” serving from the depths of the goodness of their hearts, what is called the Arab Street, which is nothing more than the communal roar for Divine Justice, or for the random murder of Jews or Christians or Hindus or Bahai or Sikhs or Sunnis or Shia or pigs or dogs depending on what’s cooking that day.

When Westerners do so –  that is, when Westerners think they know what they’re talking about  –, they are not merely mistaken, but also racist. And “racist” is the grand bugaboo of our era. We have learned that if we can persuade that you are racist, we can get you to do anything! Why, you people give money to Hamas and weapons to Hezbollah! What a world!

Dr. Said’s reasoning is that a person making a judgment is inherently arrogant because, by virtue of making any judgment, that person a priori believes that his judgment must be right. And since our judgments are different than yours, we must be wrong.

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  • voted against carter

    Yada yada yada. Spin it ALL you like.

    A turd is STILL a turd regardless of how many times you say it is not.

    ' TAQIYYA '
    Do your own research about it if you don't know what this means.

    islam IS EVIL. PERIOD.

    islam strives for world domination.

    The quran commands muslims to exercise jihad.

    The quern commands muslims to establish shariah law.

    The quern commands muslims to impose islam on the entire world.

    islam is NOT a religion, it IS a totalitarian ideology.

    islam IS and has remained a death cult from its beginnings.

    islam wants to dominate all aspects of life, from the cradle to the grave.

    shariah law is a law that controls every detail of life in a islamic society.

    From civic- and family law to criminal law.

    It determines how one should eat, dress and even use the toilet.

    Oppression of women is good, drinking alcohol is bad.

    The core of the quran is the call to jihad.

    Jihad means a lot of things and is arabic for battle.

    islam means submission, there cannot be any mistake about its goal.

    islam and freedom, islam and democracy are not compatible.

    They are opposite values.

    mohamed's "wife" was six years old.

    That makes mohamed a PEDOPHILE!!!

    And you want to base a "Religion" on this a z z -holes rantings?

    Are you INSANE?

    I STAND with Israel

    • SECREV

      Dr. Dasmbeb is being SARCASTIC you infernal fool.
      Read it again. He is decrying the same nonsense that you are.
      There should be a minimum IQ requirement for reading, and specially commenting on, articles such as the present one.

      • Nina

        Bravo! I am ashamed that persons of such low intelligence are even allowed to comment. As you said, a minimum IQ should be required for commenting. I am also in awe of Dr. Dasmbeb's brilliance. His existance gives me hope.

  • aspacia

    Unfortunately, many will misread the author's sarcasm. Before any of you jump to conclusions read the definitions provided with this farcical piece

    • intrcptr2

      Consider THAT another result of our diseducating ourselves, yes?

      Dr Dasmabebi sounds like he would be great company over a beer, or coffee, with some good tobacco; LSMFT.

      • aspacia

        Yes, and unfortunately I am an English High School teacher whose new superintendent has just directed the entire district not to give more than 25% D and F grades regardless of the work completed or incorrectly completed. Students simply will not come in after school or even lunch to pick-up missing assignment, and even when they do, they cannot do it correctly because they were absent.

        Geez, and everyone blames the teacher. I am sick of this bs.

        • intrcptr2

          Wow.

          I'm sorry.

          I'm finishing up my student teaching here in Philly right now at a charter school. It seems they have a similar policy regarding the dregs. I am also still working out how I might try dealing with it…

  • StephenD

    Of course they don't teach the opposite in their schools because it cannot be true! They know the truth is that "They are the best of peoples." After all, a 7th century trade route bandit told them so.
    I can almost hear them: “You…silly little infidel, just because you live with advanced science and technology; just because your women are equal to men in your society; just because you have bestowed more on the world in compassionate giving than any other people in history, doesn't make you superior to us. You are racist to think you are above us and it simply cannot be! You are fools to think anything but that WE are superior. Now then, pay your Jizya Tax and acknowledge that you are subordinate!”

  • Wingy

    Interesting article…but then I always had a soft spot for 1,001 Arabian Nights and other fairy tales….
    They should stay out of politics and stick to Sinbad and other stories. As entertainers they are really good; at anything else they suck.
    What the world fails to understand that they are responding to islamics as though they were rational people…HOW rational is the 36th generation of intermarriage with first cousins hanging off their family trees???

    NOT VERY.

  • 080

    This is really old stuff. Plato did away with it in his discussion of Sophism. It says that truth is relative to culture or sometime biology or sometimes a scientific paradign. After the desconstructionist plague truth also became relative to culture in the West. Buit the truth about anything is only the truth. In the West we seek it out.

    • aspacia

      "After having solved all these puzzles, that is to say the interrelation between being, not-being, difference and negation, as well as the possibility of the ‘appearing and seeming but not really being’, the Visitor from Elea can finally proceed to define sophistry. In other words, sophistry is a productive art, human, of the imitation kind, copy-making, of the appearance-making kind, uninformed and insincere in the form of contrary-speech-producing art."

  • joy52

    The guy is being sarcastic while believing what he is saying. He would not be in that job otherwise. Can't listen to them anymore. We want democracy, they don't. End of story. Sorry if they don't like it, but I'm not willing to march off the cliff. Let them kill each other.

    • aspacia

      U.S. citizens live in a Republic which differs from a democracy.

  • http://www.stolinsky.com David C. Stolinsky

    I wonder if Dr. Dassmabebi would be interested in being appointed a visiting professor at the Ivan Skavinsky Skavar Institute of International Peas. I am certain this could be arranged. Please ask him to contact the rector, Professor I. M. Furzlasser..

    • yasserd

      Dear Mr Stolinsky,

      Shukran.

      How kind of you to offer. It was many years ago when I first met Ivan Skavinsky Skavar. Who could forget, as he had the temerity to step on my toe. We had a fight. One thing led to another…

      In any event, I would be delighted to accept such an appointment, provided it is located in one of the numerous and growing Parisian suburbs, also known as "Sharia Controlled Zones."

      If you should see Dr. Skavar, tell him he'd better watch out!

      Dr. Y. Dasmabebi

  • Fred Dawes

    Islam is total evil ask why the NGC Is helping islam with good looking muslims who say what you want to hear.

  • Ronald W. Carnine

    I got a good chuckle from this article. Sometimes I miss read articles like this (but am reminded of what the author is trying to do by other writers) and think the author is being serious. Not this time! A brilliant column indeed. I would like to remind others that Islam, though totalitarian, is a religion. That's one of the reasons it is so dangerous. When someone thinks they are doing God's will by killing others it becomes something to brag about. This we see in Islam. But the Bible tells us that anyone who kills, steals and destroys is actually doing the work of Satan. There is none so blind as one who kills for God.