Bernard Lewis and Islam

“It would appear from the fulsome praise heaped by mainstream reviewers on Bernard Lewis’s most recent and well-timed book, What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (Oxford University Press, 2002), that the demand for Orientalism has reached a new peak. America’s search for new enemies that began soon after the end of the Cold War very quickly resurrected the ghost of an old, though now decrepit, enemy, Islam. Slowly but surely, this revived the sagging fort1unes of Orientalism, so that it speaks again with the treble voice of authority.”

M. Shahid Alam argues that “Lewis’s agenda is to discover all that was and is ‘wrong’ with Islamic societies and to explain their decline and present troubles in terms of these ‘wrongs’.”

Counterpunch, 27 June 2003