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What went wrong bernard lewis pdf

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Bernard Lewis Publication in PDF - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or Download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd What Went Wrong?. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle East Response ( London and New York, ) and idem, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and. Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (London: What Went Wrong? surveys the ill-conceived solutions and.


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PDF | On Jan 1, , M. J. H. M. Poorthuis and others published What went wrong with Bernard Lewis? Islam and Enlightenment: new. BY BERNARD LEWIS .. n the course of the twentieth century it became abundantly clear that things had gone badly wrong in the Middle East—and, indeed. When Bernard Lewis, the most highly regarded of the living orientalists, chooses to address the question that all students of Muslim history love to ask, it is.

Bernard Lewis Revisited http: This year, Aug. I do not say that the Armenians did not suffer terribly. Retrieved January 22, Furthermore, it's difficult to counter that perception 99 because it's correct.

This made the events of —the failure to prevent the establishment of the state of Israel —all the more of a shock. As some writers observed at the time, it was humiliating enough to be defeated by the great imperial powers of the West; to suffer the same fate at the hands of a contemptible gang of Jews was intolerable. Anti-Semitism and its image of the Jew as a scheming, evil monster provided a soothing antidote. The earliest specifically anti-Semitic statements in the Middle East occurred among Christian minorities, and can usually be traced back to European originals.

They had limited impact; during the Dreyfus trial in France, for example, when a Jewish officer was unjustly accused and condemned by a hostile court, Muslim comments usually favored the persecuted Jew against his Christian persecutors. But the poison continued to spread, and starting in , Nazi Germany and its various agencies made a concerted and on the whole remarkably successful effort to promote European-style anti-Semitism in the Arab world.

The struggle for Palestine greatly facilitated the acceptance of the anti-Semitic interpretation of history, and led some to attribute all evil in the Middle East—and, indeed, in the world—to secret Jewish plots. This interpretation has pervaded much of the public discourse in the region, including that seen in education, the media, and even entertainment. An argument sometimes adduced is that the cause of the changed relationship between East and West is not a Middle Eastern decline but a Western upsurge—the discoveries and the scientific, technological, industrial, and political revolutions that transformed the West and vastly increased its wealth and power.

But this is merely to restate the question: Why did the discoverers of America sail from Spain rather than from a Muslim Atlantic port, out of which such voyages were indeed attempted in earlier times? Why did the great scientific breakthrough occur in Europe and not, as one might reasonably have expected, in the richer, more advanced, and in most respects more enlightened realm of Islam?

A more sophisticated form of the blame game finds its targets inside, rather than outside, Islamic society. One such target is religion—for some, specifically Islam.

But to blame Islam as such is usually hazardous and not often attempted. Nor is it very plausible. For most of the Middle Ages it was neither the older cultures of the Orient nor the newer cultures of the West that were the major centers of civilization and progress but the world of Islam. There old sciences were recovered and developed and new sciences were created; there new industries were born and manufactures and commerce were expanded to a level without precedent.

There, too, governments and societies achieved a freedom of thought and expression that led persecuted Jews and even dissident Christians to flee Christendom for refuge in Islam. In comparison with modern ideals, and even with modern practice in the more advanced democracies, the medieval Islamic world offered only limited freedom, but that was vastly more than was offered by any of its predecessors, its contemporaries, or most of its successors. The point has often been made: If Islam is an obstacle to freedom, to science, to economic development, how is it that Muslim society in the past was a pioneer in all three—and this when Muslims were much closer in time to the sources and inspiration of their faith than they are now?

Some have posed the question in a different form—not "What has Islam done to the Muslims? For those known nowadays as Islamists or fundamentalists, the failures and shortcomings of modern Islamic lands afflict those lands because they adopted alien notions and practices. They fell away from authentic Islam and thus lost their former greatness.

Those known as modernists or reformers take the opposite view, seeing the cause of this loss not in the abandonment but in the retention of old ways, and especially in the inflexibility and ubiquity of the Islamic clergy, who, they say, are responsible for the persistence of beliefs and practices that might have been creative and progressive a thousand years ago but are neither today. The modernists' usual tactic is not to denounce religion as such, still less Islam in particular, but to level their criticism against fanaticism.

What Went Wrong?

It is to fanaticism—and more particularly to fanatical religious authorities—that they attribute the stifling of the once great Islamic scientific movement and, more generally, of the freedom of thought and expression. A more common approach to this theme has been to discuss a specific problem: In this view a principal cause of Western progress is the separation of Church and State and the creation of a civil society governed by secular laws. Another approach has been to view the main culprit as the relegation of women to an inferior position in Muslim society, which deprives the Islamic world of the talents and energies of half its people and entrusts the other half's crucial early years of upbringing to illiterate and downtrodden mothers.

The products of such an education, it has been said, are likely to grow up either arrogant or submissive, and unfit for a free, open society.

However one evaluates the views of secularists and feminists, their success or failure will be a major factor in shaping the Middle Eastern future. Some solutions that once commanded passionate support have been discarded.

The two dominant movements in the twentieth century were socialism and nationalism.

Both have been discredited—the first by its failure, the second by its success and consequent exposure as ineffective. Freedom, interpreted to mean national independence, was seen as the great talisman that would bring all other benefits. The overwhelming majority of Muslims now live in independent states, but this has brought no solutions to their problems. National socialism, the bastard offspring of both ideologies, persists in a few states that have preserved the Nazi-Fascist style of dictatorial government and indoctrination through a vast security apparatus and a single all-powerful party.

These regimes have failed every test except survival, and have brought none of the promised benefits. If anything, their infrastructures are even more antiquated than those of other Muslim states, their armed forces designed primarily for terror and repression. At present two answers to the question of what went wrong command widespread support in the Middle East, each with its own diagnosis and corresponding prescription. One attributes all evil to the abandonment of the divine heritage of Islam and advocates return to a real or imagined past.

That is the way of the Iranian revolution and of the so-called fundamentalist movements and regimes in various Muslim countries. For the oppressive but ineffectual governments that rule much of the Middle East, finding targets to blame serves a useful, indeed an essential, purpose—to explain the poverty that they have failed to alleviate and to justify the tyranny that they have introduced. They seek to deflect the mounting anger of their unhappy subjects toward other, outside targets.

But growing numbers of Middle Easterners are adopting a more self-critical approach. The question "Who did this to us? And the question "What did we do wrong?

Bernard lewis pdf wrong what went

During the past few weeks the worldwide exposure given to the views and actions of Osama bin Laden and his hosts the Taliban has provided a new and vivid insight into the eclipse of what was once the greatest, most advanced, and most open civilization in human history. American historian Joel Beinin has called him "perhaps the most articulate and learned Zionist advocate in the North American Middle East academic community Lewis's policy advice has particular weight thanks to this scholarly authority J 1 5 U.

Vice President Dick Cheney remarked: Although his early Marxist views had a bearing on his first book The Origins of Ismailism, Lewis subsequently discarded Marxism.

Bernard pdf went wrong what lewis

His later works are a reaction against the left-wing current of Third- worldism, which came to be a significant current in Middle Eastern studies. Modern Turkey holds a special place in Lewis's view of the region due to the country's efforts to become a part of the WestJ 1 He is a Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Turkish Studies, an honor which is given "on the basis of generally recognized scholarly distinction and In his essay The Roots of Muslim Rage , he argued that the struggle between the West and Islam was gathering strength.

According to one source, this essay and Lewis' Jefferson Lecture on which the article was based first introduced the term "Islamic fundamentalism" to North AmericaJ 34 This essay has been credited with coining the phrase "clash of civilizations", which received prominence in the eponymous book by Samuel HuntingtonJ 44 However, another source indicates that Lewis first used the phrase "clash of civilizations" at a meeting in Washington in where it is recorded in the transcript In , Lewis read in a London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi a declaration of war on the United States by Osama bin Laden.

In his essay "A License to Kill", Lewis indicated he considered bin Laden's language as the "ideology of jihad" and warned that bin Laden would be a danger to the WestJ 44 The essay was published after the Clinton administration and the US intelligence community had begun its hunt for bin Laden in Sudan and then in Afghanistan. Freedom, for example. Or democracy. Democracy is a very strong medicine which has to be administered to the patient in small, gradually increasing doses.

Otherwise, you risk killing the patient. In the main, the Muslim s have to do it 4 of 10 themselves. Buruma ultimately rejects suggestions by his peers that Lewis promotes war with Iraq to safeguard Israel, but instead concludes "perhaps he Lewis loves it the Arab world too much": It is a common phenomenon among Western students of the Orient to fall in love with a civilization.

The rage, in this instance, is that of the Western scholar. His beloved civilization is sick. And what would be more heartwarming to an old Orientalist than to see the greatest Western democracy cure the benighted Muslim? It is either that or something less charitable: In August , in an article about whether the world can rely on the concept of mutual assured destruction as a deterrent in its dealings with Iran, Lewis wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the significance of August 22, in the Islamic calendar.

The Iranian president had indicated he would respond by that date to U. Lewis wrote that it would be "an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and, if necessary, of the world.

Bernard lewis what went pdf wrong

What is the significance of Aug. This year, Aug. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back cf Koran XVIL1. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug.

He also takes issue with Lewis' suggestion that Ahmedinejad "might deploy this weapon against Israel on August 22, ": Of course, nothing came of his ridiculous prophecy, which said more 99 about the irrational anxieties of Western ultra-Zionists than about Iranian political reality.

Bernard Lewis Publication in PDF

Said, the Palestinian- American literary theorist whose aim was to deconstruct what he called Orientalist scholarship. Said, a professor at Columbia University, characterised Lewis's work as a prime example of Orientalism in his book Orientalism. In an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly, Said suggested that Lewis' knowledge of the Middle East was so 5 of 10 biased it could not be taken seriously, and claimed "Bernard Lewis hasn't set foot in the Middle East, in the Arab world, for at least 40 years.

He knows something about Turkey, I'm told, but he knows nothing about the Arab world. Rejecting the view that western scholarship was biased against the Middle East, Lewis responded that Orientalism developed as a facet of European humanism, independently of the past European imperial expansion.

Furthermore, it's difficult to counter that perception 99 because it's correct. Lewis responded: But in both cases what made the conquest, with the Barbarians in Rome and the Mongols in Iraq, what made it possible was things were going badly wrong within the society so that it was no longer able to offer effective resistance Chomsky's views on Middle Eastern history are about as reliable as my views on linguistics Obviously imperialist powers are not blameless in this respect.

They did contribute, but they are not the cause of what went wrong. What went wrong is what enabled them to come and conquer these places. And the record of the Imperialist powers is by no means uniformly bad.

Bernard Lewis Publication in PDF

They did some bad things, they also did some good things. They introduced infrastructure, they introduced modem education, they established a network of high schools and universities that previously did not exist, and many other things. They even tried to introduce constitutional government, parliamentary and constitutional government. It didn't take in the Islamic lands, but it worked quite well in India Let them have tyrants as long as they're friendly tyrants rather than hostile tyrants.

Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing. Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. A James L. Retrieved 6 March Slate magazine. March 14, Retrieved A a h The Banality of Denial: A a h La province de la mort, p. Davis, Yves Temon, 6. A a " Revolution and Genocide: From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting The Middle East http: Oxford University press, pp. ISBN A "Bernard Lewis Cleveland E. A Lewis , pp. A Jefferson Lecturers http: Retrieved January 22, An Appreciation" http: Humanities 11 3: A Karsh, Efraim.

Islamic Imperialism: A History, page A [1] http: A Dadrian, VahaknN. Warrant for genocide: A Vryonis, Speros, Jr.