Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dis-Orientalism: When An Egyptian Copies a French Jew

Edward Said's enticement for modern intellectuals and political activists lies, in a great part, with his theory, expressed in his book, "Orientalism".

As explained:

"Said effectively redefined the term "Orientalism" to mean a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the Middle East. This body of scholarship is marked by a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture." He argued that a long tradition of romanticized images of Asia and the Middle East in Western culture had served as an implicit justification for European and the American colonial and imperial ambitions. Just as fiercely, he denounced the practice of Arab elites who internalized the US and British orientalists' ideas of Arabic culture."

As Said summarised:

"My contention is that Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient because the Orient was weaker than the West, which elided the Orient’s difference with its weakness. . . . As a cultural apparatus Orientalism is all aggression, activity, judgment, will-to-truth, and knowledge" (Orientalism, p. 204).

But, a form of dis-orientalism can occur, when Arabs presume that they should be following Western behavior patterns, as in this case:-

An Egyptian businessman has followed in the footsteps of pervy Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn - sexually abusing a maid in a swanky Manhattan hotel, police said Monday night.  Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 74, former head of the Bank of Alexandria and now chairman of a leading Middle Eastern salt company, is accused of locking the 44-year-old hotel employee inside his $900-a-night room at The Pierre on E. 61st St. off Fifth Ave.

...The incident happened about 6 p.m. on Sunday but was not reported to police until Monday morning.  "Experienced NYPD detectives found the complainant to be credible," said Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman.  Omar was arrested at the hotel Monday afternoon and was charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment, officials said. He was being held at the 19th Precinct stationhouse on the upper East Side Monday night.

Or is it a matter of being a banker?


1 comment:

Juniper in the Desert said...

Friends in high places and being a member of the marxist elite help...