“Occidentaiists”: <i>Engaging the Western “Other,” Medieval Perceptions, and Modern Realities</i>

in Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780226471075
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226471099 | DOI:
“Occidentaiists”: Engaging the Western “Other,” Medieval Perceptions, and Modern Realities

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This chapter covers the manner in which orientalist scholarship has been used to further the political aims of Western powers and their surrogates. Orientalists were regarded as complicit in colonizing foreign territory and time-honored cultures. Occidentalist referred to Muslims and Muslims alone. William Lane was an early British traveler to Egypt. He embraced the study of the Arabic language with great passion and energy. He also undertook an English translation of the Thousand and One Nights and a massive Arabic-English dictionary. All orientalists, whether Christian or Jewish, combined their acquired prowess in Islamic languages with textual skills inherited from their Renaissance forebears. As in the past, Muslims did not study history to interrogate and reshape their understanding and expectations of human action, but to reaffirm the tried and true.

Keywords: orientalist scholarship; Western powers; occidentalist; William Lane; Egypt; Thousand and One Nights; Muslims

Chapter.  10799 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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