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Scholarly or Skullduggery?

Reader comment on item: Terrorist Profs

Submitted by Alo Kievalar (Saudi Arabia), Feb 24, 2003 at 14:13

Anyone familiar or involved with Middle Eastern Studies in the West knows (but is loathe to admit) that supposedly scholarly work done by Arab academics always carries a hint of apologetics, if not blatant propaganda.

Even such a commendable work as "The History of the Arab Peoples" by A. Hourani is infected with this virus. As another example, modern Arabic literature is, for the most part, a palintive litany of "oppressive" expression that is not only tiring, but of questionable literary merit. Most Arabic poems, to exaggerate somewhat, begin with something like "O Palestine" or "O Iraq".

Therefore, the fact that most Middle Eastern programs in the US nowadays are not only populated but headed by Arab academics is disconcerting, to say the least. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that these academics seldom have the disinterested study of "Islamics" as their prime educational motive. Their agenda is in fact primarily concerned with propagating political viewpoints inimical to the foundations of the USA. Their academic work is simply a front.

Most Americans, of course, have a hard time not only swallowing this type of characterization; many have a hard time even processing this type of thing mentally.

And "they" know this: and they take advantage of it at every opportunity they can.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I agree about the Hourani book being apologetic. See http://www.danielpipes.org/article/876.


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