Orientalism : An Exchange | by Edward W. Said | The New York Review of Books
Lewis’s verbosity scarcely conceals both the ideological underpinnings of his position and his extraordinary capacity for getting everything wrong. Of course, these are familiar attributes of the Orientalists’ breed, some of whom have at least had the courage to be honest in their active denigration of Islamic, as well as other non-European peoples. Not Lewis. He proceeds in his usual mode by suppressing or distorting the truth and by innuendo, methods to which he adds that veneer of omniscient tranquil authority which he supposes is the way scholars talk. The fact is that the present political moment allows him to deliver ahistorical and willful political assertions in the form of scholarly argument, a practice thoroughly in keeping with the least creditable aspects of old-fashioned colonialist Orientalism.