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an example of "orientalist approach" to the "orient"
on September 15, 2008
The book, particularly the chapters regarding the origins of Islam, fully represents a Western view of Islam and the prophet of Islam, and this is competible with the name of the publisher of the book: "Westview." Advocating that there is a competition between Islam and Christianity, the author seems to take one of the two sides eventhough he tries to avoid this bias. Thus, he appears to stay away from the objectivity criterion and look at the phenomenon from a narrow perspective only, that is "orientalist" in Edward Said's term.
In addition, it is clearly understood that the writer is not qualified to write on this topic, and his limited interviews with people from the Middle East societies seems problematic. It seems that these interviews were made with some people from the elites (probably seriously influenced by Western ideas) of those societies he encountered as a journalist rather than with experts on Islam. Consequently, his assumptions and allegations reflect one side's perceptions only, without providing adequate evidence to support his arguments.