Orientalizing Ourselves

I've focused on the five pillars, and I can drill down and talk about the assumptions involved in each pillar. I can also talk about literature, music, painting, etc. However, the pillars represent a good case study in the fundamental failure of understanding about the faith. I suppose actually learning about Muslims and Islam is asking too much of some authors, because they clearly had the means and opportunity and chose not to do so. Perhaps, instead, I can plead with them that instead of turning their life experiences into a universal Muslim history, they could just write an autobiography and leave "Islam" out of it.


This article was first published by ReligionDispatches, a Patheos Partner site, and is reprinted with permission.

Hussein Rashid is a Ph.D. candidate in Harvard University's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations focusing on racial and ethnic self-identification in South Asian immigrant communities in the United States.  In 2006, the World Economic Forum named him one of the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow.

12/16/2009 5:00:00 AM