Orientalism and Islam
A Saidian study of Lewis’ book: “What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response.”
The existence of numerous versions and strands in Western academia on the study of Islam and Muslims can hardly be overemphasized. Many western scholars of Islam have been in the limelight throughout history. In the present era, the western Islamologist who has gained attention is Bernard Lewis. His marathon career has gained him the position of specialist on Middle East and Islamic history. His readings on Islam and analysis has received both admiration and criticism after the historical event of 9\11. His work was very influential in the second half of the twentieth century especially after the cold war. His essay The Roots Of Muslim Rage(1990) is a living example of it .After the Twin Tower incident Lewis work on Islam especially to know the Muslim world became the favorite of Islamophobes. Lewis work on Islam has received mixed criticism ranging from Pro to Anti-Lewisist postures. This study focuses to analyze Lewis’ work according to Edward Said’s analysis of the corpus of orientalist scholarship. The focus of the present study is to discuss the Lewis’s book, “What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (2004)”. Briefly, Lewis approach towards the study of Islam is reductionist and essentialist. The present study also suggests that a researcher should adopt Inclusive approach to study “Foreign” cultures to keep harmony in the world.