Estee WardMESA 2019/17/071.Edward Said, in his review article, “Arabs, Islam, and the Dogmas of the West” briefly spells out his arguments against Orientalism and its underlying principles. Until the late 18thcentury, the Orient—defined as Arab, Indian, Chinese and Japanese civilizations—was seen as the “Great Asiatic Mystery” (Said, 104). Orientalism was the western solution to solving this mystery. In the second paragraph, Said lists the main dogmas—and/or problems—within this field of study. All four dogmas portray the Orient in a negative light and treat Orientals as isolated specimens rather than human beings. Said argues that modern stereotypes (wogs, Semites, babus, gooks etc.) are based on Orientalist principles. Oriental prejudice thrives today because Orientalism was founded by “respectable” persons such as Friedrich Schlegel, rather than “some crude Bavarian beerdrinker” (Said, 105).
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Edward Said, concisely summarizes Orientalism