Interpretation Of Orientalism

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Q1) Interpretation is one of the most standard tools used in reading religious text. Every person has a unique thought process and mode of interpretation; when reading religious text like the Qur’an, however, this poses some consistency issues and creates conflict among believers in different interpretations. However, interpretation, regardless of conflict it may cause, is critical to the entire concept of personal faith and strengthening spiritual bonds. Hadith are a mode of interpretation that aren’t necessarily always concerned with historical or literal truths. In Jonathan Brown’s “Did the Prophet Say It or Not?” he says “…I contend that ahl al-hadith did not view the historical reliability of hadiths through the epistemological lens of …show more content…
In his definition, Orientalism is not wholly concerned with anthropological or epistemological studies of the “Orient,” but with a caricatured portrayal of the people who live in these areas to demean their humanity using the powers of Western hegemony. Said states on page 6 of Orientalism “I myself believe that Orientalism is nothing more than a structure of lies or of myths… more particularly valuable as a sign of European-Atlantic power over the Orient than it is as a veridic discourse about the Orient.” The structure of Orientalist lies feeds into a system of academia which continuously pushes out new, academically-based “research,” which then generates greater interest, effectively keeping this structure that is based on horribly untrue statements and wide-sweeping generalities of Eastern culture alive, and thus even more …show more content…
A classic American feel-good film full of bad guys in the Middle East being shot by an American hero, American Sniper does not at all try to hide its Western bias. The hero’s journey trope of a white man bringing civility to country full of “savages” (which Chris Kyle, the author of the book, literally calls Iraq soldiers) is a direct byproduct of Orientalist imagery and selective history. In the movie, there is literally almost no discourse about why the Iraq war is happening; rather, it is just presumed that everyone knows the war is happening because Middle-Eastern savages decided to bomb American buildings, and the wonderfully humanitarian West decided the best way to bring peace to this region was to invade and blow up their buildings. The background knowledge of wars like the Iraq War amongst the general American pubic who are viewing the movie is probably minimal, and what knowledge these audiences do have was probably obtained through Western sources that skirt around the faults of the West to prop up an image of a society of sadistic people who have no sympathy, and are so uncivilized that even women and children (as seen in the film) are trained to kill. This is the Western Orientalist narrative: effectively destroy as much of the history, the culture, and the depth of a people to create a hollow monolith of people. This works to great advantage of the

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