Tom Facchine – Minute with a Muslim #262 – What Is Orientalism

Tom Facchine
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the importance of understanding the history of Islam and the culture of the United States. They emphasize the need for a conversation among themselves and for the development of their own culture. They also mention the need for more sophisticated discussion among themselves and for their own clarification.
AI: Transcript ©
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If someone asks the question, what is Orientalism? I hear this term kind of popping around was it mean? I remember the statement of our shape and Medina Sheikh Abdullah Shan PD, he would say whom you had rasuna. When asked no laminate rose, he would say they study us. And as for us, we don't study. So it refers to the process and the institutions of other people, non Muslims producing knowledge about us. We're an object of study, we're an object of study for other people, and they produce knowledge about us that's not based on our beliefs that's not based on submission to Allah subhanaw taala. That's not based on believing that the Quran is divine guidance, not based on

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believing that the Hadith, or the authentic statements of the Prophet alayhi salatu salam, and they're producing knowledge about Islam and knowledge about the Muslims, there's conferences, there's papers, there's journals, there's institutions, there's universities, their speaker circuits, there's conferences and conventions and all this sort of thing. Why? Why does it exist? Is it just that people are curious? No, it's that historically, producing knowledge about Islam and producing knowledge about Muslims was essential to the project of conquering Muslims and changing Islam, they had to know about us, in order to conquer us, they had to know about Islam in order to

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try to trick us and convince us that some of the things they wanted to do to us were right, and okay. And part of our tradition, like we mentioned before, about the look system, when they had oriental scholars producing information in French Algeria, that, that the web system was better was an innovation. This is the playbook. And now Now, the names have changed. You know, it's not the Oriental School of this or, you know, you know, the Department of Oriental Studies, they've changed the name. Now, it's, you know, Near Eastern Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic studies, but this is the, the legacy. And this is the heritage of these departments. And these disciplines, it

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goes back to and it's not separable from the colonial project. And it starts with the kind of epistemic foundations of wanting to know in order to conquer in order to subject so when we're talking about Orientalism, that's what we're talking about. This is why it's essential that we have a conversation amongst ourselves. This is why it's essential that we have academic discussions amongst ourselves. This is why there's a big, big, big difference between somebody who studies Islam in an authentic way, in a traditional way, a big difference between that and somebody who studies it in a department of Islamic Studies, not that it's impossible, a lot of these departments have

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changed, some of them have changed more than others. From university to university, there's different individuals, some people are doing very good work, but the overall foundations of these sorts of departments and universities, and many of the scholars who operate within them are operating with assumptions that are not only outside of our faith, but actually undermine our faith to say that if one wants to go and educate themselves, or participate in such a program, or benefit from the works, I mean, I read books from people who are in these sorts of departments and things like that, but you have to be aware, you have to be awake, you can't take everything at face value,

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you have to take it with a grain of salt, and you need to understand sort of the ideologies and the projects that are that are at play. So it should be an understanding. And this is what back to Sheikh Abdullah statement. This is what he was trying to get us to see and to motivate us. So what are we doing right? Look at how hard these people are working to undermine us and what are we doing? What are we study, we need to study our own tradition. We need to study our own scholars, we need to develop and enhance and make more sophisticated this conversation that's going on in our realm in our own minds and reach the point where we don't have to feel like we rely on this sort of

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scholarship which is tainted or feel that that sort of scholarship has any sort of superiority just because it comes from the big name universities and they've got the libraries and they've got all the artifacts that they stole from us.

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