69 million page views

ME Studies and Propaganda

Reader comment on item: The Problem with Middle East Studies
in response to reader comment: Problems with ME studies

Submitted by Lifeguard (United States), Aug 8, 2009 at 07:25

Your question is a good one. In the West, most schools have rushed to build up Middle East studies departments. To do this, they have called the local masjids and recruited anyone with a degree and belief in Allah. In effect, it would be as if they went to any Pentacostal or Evangelical church and decided to recruit from that congregation anyone with a degree teach a course in Christianity. It seems more prone to proselytizing than to critical reflection, and one where the value is diminished by the tendencies of the ME studies to bias their instruction to gloss over the inconsistencies and faults of the Middle East and of Islam, and to sugar coat the virtues of Islam.

Bottom line -- expect nearly every M.E. department in any 2nd tier or lower school -- and in many Ivy League schools, too -- to be biased and filled with propaganda. Since most schools have a drop policy, ask a M.E. study professor about the jihad and what forms it tkes, and what its goals are. If he says that jihad is an inner struggle to purify one's own soul, and only one's own soul, throughreflection and prayer and studying the Quarn -- don't believe hin. That is propaganda and not the view of jihad in the streets of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. If you ask the instructor or professor how many muslim women are professors in the department, he'll probably say none -- because there is little way to hiide the sexism of Islam and the M.E. If you ask him if he will discuss the terrors of Hakim against Christian pilgrims in the era before the Crusades -- an unprovoked series of atrocities that eventually led to the Crusades, and if he says he does not know who Hakim was, then expect the course to be biased and sugar coated propaganda.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)