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The Politics of Conceptualizing Islam and the West

  • Cemil Aydin


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1 Lewis, Bernard, What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (New York,: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 1.

2 See Boroujerdi, Mehrzad, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1996); Gheissari, Ali, Iranian Intellectuals in the 20th Century (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1998); and Mirsepassi, Ali, Intellectual Discourse and the Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

3 Waldman, Peter, “A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight,” Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2004, p. A1.

4 Lewis's book was criticized by several North American scholars of the Islamic world for the inaccuracies in its interpretative framework. See Juan Cole, “Review of Bernard Lewis's What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response,” Global Dialogue, January 27, 2003; available at See also Adam Sabra, “What Is Wrong with What Went Wrong?”Middle East Report Online (August 2003); available at

5 Hay, Stephen N., Asian Ideas of East and West: Tagore and his Critics in Japan, China, and India (Cambridge,: Harvard University Press, 1970); Rahnema, Ali, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shari'ati (New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2000); and Gal-licchio, Marc, The African American Encounter with Japan & China: Black Internationalism in Asia, 1895–1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

6 Duara, Prasenjit, “The Discourse of Civilization and Pan-Asianism,” Journal of World History 12, no. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 99130; Adas, Michael, “Contested Hegemony: The Great War and the Afro-Asian Assault on the Civilizing Mission Ideology,” in Duara, Prasenjit, ed., Decolonization (New York: Routledge, 2004), pp. 78100; Bradley, Mark, Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919–1950 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); and Manela, Erez, “The Wilsonian Moment and the Rise of Anticolonial Nationalism: The Case of Egypt,” Diplomacy & Statecraft 12, no. 4 (2000), pp. 99122.

7 Sayyid, Bobby S., A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism (London,: Zed Books, 1997); and Davutoglu, Ahmet, “Political and Institutional Dimensions of Secularization: A Comparative Analysis,” in Esposito, John and Tamimi, Azzam, eds., Islam and Secularism in the Middle East (New York: New York University Press, 2000), pp. 170208.

8 Ahmed Riza, a secular intellectual and a leading follower of Auguste Comte's positivist ideas, wrote one of the most comprehensive critiques of “the West” in 1922. See Riza, Ahmed, The Moral Bankruptcy of Western Policy Towards the East (Ankara, Turkey: Ministry of Culture and Tourism Publications, 1988).

9 Pollmark Polling Agency (Ankara), “Report on Turkish Public Opinion with Regard to Nato and the West” (July 2004).

10 Ramadan, Tariq, “ What Does America Have to Fear from Me? Virtue, Vice and My Visa ,” International Herald Tribune , September 1, 2004 , p. 6.

11 Daniel Pipes wrote in support of the decision in “Why Revoke Tariq Ramadan's U.S. Visa?”New York Sun, August 27, 2004, p. 9. Ramadan responded in “Scholar under Siege Defends his Record: Tariq Ramadan Responds Point by Point to the ‘Unfounded Allegations’ of a Critic,”Chicago Tribune, August 31,2004, p. C17.

12 “Letter Regarding Dr. Tariq Ramadan,” sponsored by the Middle East Studies Association of North America's Committee on Academic Freedom and the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Religion (August 30,2004), available at

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The Politics of Conceptualizing Islam and the West

  • Cemil Aydin


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