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The Grand Flaw is that the Westerner does not realize that he does not and can know the workings of the Oriental mind, and he does not know that he does not know. In imagining that he is right, he is arrogant, which implies that he believes he is better than an Oriental (although how Arabs or Persians, rather than, say Chinese or Japanese, came to be called “Oriental” is beyond me, even if I am a brilliant linguist), and therefore racist. This is Dr. Said’s great insight with which he was able to bamboozle … oops…I mean persuade… Western academia!
For one example, when we hijack an airplane, Western right-wing hard-liners insist this is an aggressive, hostile act. We, the keepers of Oriental consciousness, know this is an act of love. We are just trying to get passengers to their ultimate — and I do mean ultimate! — destinations sooner rather than later!!! (Note: The more exclamations points, the better the argument.)
As you must surely realize by now, we Arabs know that we are never right, or more to the point, we Arabs are right because we know that we are wrong. So, Arabs can never be thought of as “Occidentalist” or racist. We get to be the “Victims of Racism!,” which means we win!
For yet another example of such small-minded, wrongful Orientalist thinking, when Mr. Ahmadinejad says that “The Zionist entity must be wiped off the map,” Westerners and Israelis, in their sad ignorance, imagine that he is advancing the idea of a nuclear holocaust being brought down upon the heads of Israel. This is purely ignorant Orientalist hogwash. (You should excuse the expression!)
What he is really saying is that “We (‘Humanity’) are one divine entity united by the divine spark which we all share in common. Therefore, let us light a large flame — a really LARGE flame — that represents the inherent brotherhood of man.” “Wiped off the map,” in this instance, merely refers to the day when peoples will no longer be divided into nations. And since there will be no nations, we will no longer have need of boundaries and borders, and we therefore will no longer need maps. We will all be one. (Or is that, “We will have won?”)
But the point is that even though it is sad that such an idea is so difficult for the robber barons of Wall Street and their CEO cronies, and the imperialistic power mongers of the US political machine to grasp, it is not surprising. After all, what do they have to gain from peace, mutual well-being, free flow of goods, friendship, and all that stuff?
But that Dr. Said’s central tenet has been accepted so readily among the great minds of Western academia is one of the astonishing successes in the history of East – West relations. And now these professors are busy inculcating Orientalism — the concoction of such a word is sheer(ia) genius, is it not?! — into the minds of their students so that pretty soon, they’ll have to wear a kefiya on campus if they want a passing grade!
Now we are at work at getting Israeli academics to buy into this doctrine. And thus far, we are having far greater success than we ever dreamed possible. Now we are planning an Anti-Israel Apartheid Week on campuses in Israel! Imagine Jewish and Muslim and Christian students, White, Brown and Black, gay and straight, men and women, all marching hand-in-hand protesting Apartheid! How heart-warming! How inspiring!
Mysterious indeed are the ways of Allah!
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