Edward Said's Definition Of Orientalism

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Orientalism is a term which indicates how the West perceives the East as the ‘other’. Edward Said published his controversial book Orientalism in 1978, which talks about how Orientalism forms an inferior Orient, in terms of knowledge and domination.
Edward Said opens his introduction by mentioning the Western’s misconception about the East arguing that “The Orient was almost a European invention” (Said 1). The Orient played a significant role in the creation of the European culture and it helped to become the powerful “other”. Said explains that “The Orient has helped to define Europe (or the west) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience” (Said 1, 2). Said defines Orientalism with three related and critical definitions. First, He states that “Anyone who teaches, writes about, or researches the Orient […] is an Orientalist, and what he or she does is Orientalism” (Said 2). This definition leads to the second definition, which is more general. Orientalism is “a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction between “the Orient” and “the Occident”” (Said 2). Orientalism is everything that it is not considered West. Said then presents a third definition of Orientalism in which it transforms into an instrument of domination that the Western applies to have authority over the
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The Ismaiilis are depicted in the book as a minority fighting against the dominant. The Assassins in the medieval myths were perceived from an Orientalist tradition, and then they were enhanced by some ideological implications; to be seen later as predecessors of the modern Islamic terrorism. The Muslim society needs some committed scholars like Bernard Lewis to present the right image of Islam, instead of the distorted image that the Orientalists give about the Orient and

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