By Jonathan Lyons
Despite the West's transforming into involvement in Muslim societies, conflicts, and cultures, its lack of ability to appreciate or learn the Islamic international threatens any prospect for East–West rapprochement. Impelled through 1000 years of anti-Muslim rules and photographs, the West has did not interact in any significant or effective manner with the realm of Islam. Formulated within the medieval halls of the Roman Curia and courts of the ecu Crusaders and perfected within the newsrooms of Fox information and CNN, this anti-Islamic discourse determines what can and can't be acknowledged approximately Muslims and their faith, trapping the West in a perilous, dead-end politics that it can't afford.
In Islam via Western Eyes, Jonathan Lyons unpacks Western conduct of considering and writing approximately Islam, engaging in a cautious research of the West's grand totalizing narrative throughout a thousand years of historical past. He observes the discourse's corrosive results at the social sciences, together with sociology, politics, philosophy, theology, diplomacy, defense reviews, and human rights scholarship. He follows its effect on study, speeches, political technique, and executive coverage, fighting the West from responding successfully to its most important twenty-first-century demanding situations: the increase of Islamic energy, the emergence of non secular violence, and the transforming into rigidity among verified social values and multicultural rights between Muslim immigrant populations.
Through the highbrow "archaeology" of Michel Foucault, Lyons unearths the workings of this discourse and its underlying influence on our social, highbrow, and political lives. He then addresses problems with deep drawback to Western readers―Islam and modernity, Islam and violence, and Islam and women―and proposes new methods of wondering the Western courting to the Islamic world.
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Additional info for Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism
Jurists, theologians, and traditional Muslims have debated this question on and off for hundreds of years. additionally buried less than the burden of the discursive formation of ladies in Islam are a few very genuine alterations within the method of intercourse within the Christian and Muslim traditions. not like the Christian view, Islam doesn't blame ladies for the expulsion from the backyard of Eden, nor does it colour human sexuality with an concept of unique sin. Sexuality, then, is a part of God’s order, and delight for its personal sake is inspired and rewarded, yet purely inside of a strict social order designed to control right habit (el-Guindi 1999:31; Bullock 2002:162). The Christian global, for its half, has proved not able to deal with Muslim attitudes towards intercourse, starting with what Foucault has referred to as the “monotonous evening of the Victorian bourgeoisie” (1978:3), which because it occurs coincided with the nice interval of Western colonization of Muslim lands. The ensuing conflict of those very diversified methods to human sexuality, writes Fadwa el-Guindi in Veil: Modesty, privateness, and Resistance, feeds at once right into a Western discourse that insists on seeing the veil and comparable associations as inherently repressive and degrading to Muslim ladies: either Islam and Christianity supply ethical structures to restrain unsuitable and disorderly habit that threatens the sociomoral order: Christianity selected the trail of desexualizing the worldly setting; Islam of regulating the social order whereas accepting its sexualized atmosphere. the ethical criteria of Islam are designed to house delight in worldly existence, together with a sexual setting. It posed no rigidity among faith and sexuality …. of their bills of travels, students and writers with a Euro-Christian historical past had trouble comprehending the problem Islam had taken upon itself in making a choice on the latter direction. The fertile mind's eye that adorns bills of “baths and harems and veils” is woven out of an internalized tradition of a desexualized society. (1999:31) modern specialists and commentators hardly ever do higher, as might be obvious by means of following the general public debate over Islam and girls or by way of glancing on the mainstream Western media. For years now, the veil has been a staple of probably unending information articles, books, and documentaries, and it really is captured in journal and tv images—all as shorthand for a society, a civilization, or a procedure that's backward, alien, motionless, and inherently antithetical to human rights and dignity. working all through this public discourse is the continual binary competition of oppression and freedom, veiled and unveiled, undesirable and solid. Islam qua Islam is once more neglected in desire of an unquestioned Western development. by way of the fall of 2005, the status and impact of the us world wide and especially between Muslims had plummeted to checklist low degrees amid extensively held sentiments that its conflict on terrorism used to be particularly a conflict on Islam. Surveys by way of the Pew international Attitudes undertaking express that the centerpieces of the George W.