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Orientalism, the Veil and Representations of Muslim Women - Research Paper Example

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The boundary was laid using the ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’ or ‘them’ and ‘us’ concept. The Europeans used the concept of orientalism in defining themselves. There are certain attributes that were mainly associated with the Orientals only. Such attributes could not be found among the Occidents. The Europeans defined and considered themselves superior compared to the Easterners. Their civilization was justified using this concept of orientalism. They claimed that the role of making or bringing civilization to the uncivilized societies lay squarely within their hands. Through this, they justified all their activities, including the torturing and oppressive ones. The main problem caused by this was that the Europeans generalized all the characteristics they had associated with the Orientals to every individual from the Eastern world (Trefflich, 2011 p132). They went ahead and spread the primitive and uncivilized information and idea to their western world through various means such as literary books, media, and reports. These definitely led to the creation of a certain image in the minds of the Orientals. This infused a bias and an attitude among the Europeans towards the Easterners or the Orientals. In addition to the above, the Orientals culture was explained to the Europeans by comparing and linking them to them to the European culture. A typical example of this was the conversion of Muslim religion to Mohammadism. The underlying criterion they applied in this was that Christ is to Christian religion therefore, Mohammed should represent Mohammadism. Orientalism according to George Landow Landow argues that Said’s argument and assertion on orientalism is biased. He goes ahead and chides Said for intentionally ignoring and avoiding several non-Arab Asian nations and the existing non-western civilizations. He says that Said does not touch on gender issues. Moreover, Said says that orientalism assumes and ignores countries such as Japan, South and North Korea and China (Martin, 2006 p 234). He also criticizes the homogenization of the east. Lastly, Landow says that Said overlooked the contributions of the Easterners in different fields such as Agrarian Revolution in Egypt. In summary, Landow is totally against Said’s approach and reasoning on orientalism. Orientalism according to Bernard Lewis In his response to Said’s claim, Lewis described Islam as a mass phenomenon or irrational herd applying instincts, passions, and unreflecting hatreds to rule Muslims. He says that the main point of Said’s position is to frighten the audience or readers of his work. He also says that Islam does not, in any away, develop and so do the Muslims. Lewis also rejects Said’s claim that the Western education scholarships were biased, and very few Easterners got the awards compared to students from other nations. He says that the English and French pursued Islamic study during the 17th and 16th century. The study was not an organized one and they had no hope of controlling the Middle East. He says that Said’s study did nothing in advancing the cause of imperialism. Veil and Representation of Muslim Women Orientalism and affected most people especially Muslim women in the Western world. One example of orientalism and its effects to the people is L’affaire du foulard or the affair of the scarf (Clark, 2007 p 241). The case involved three Muslim girls at adolescent stage being ...Show more
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Orientalism, the veil and representation of Muslim Women Name: Institution: Orientalism refers to the depiction or imitation of certain aspects of the Asian or Eastern cultures among the Westerners by people like designers, writers, and artists. Veil, on the other hand, refers to the dressing of a particular group of people, especially the Muslim women…
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