While it has been common for modern ideologues to argue that “the West” is essentially opposed to Islam, the notion of a
timeless “Muslim world” utterly detached from Europe and America does not have a historical basis. Yet there is a long legacy of distorted representations of Eastern countries as the foreign “other”, associated with Orientalist scholarship. Conversely, exaggerated stereotypes of Europe and America can be considered as Occidentalism. This presentation explores the ways that critiques of East and West have been intertwined with one another, particularly when the issue is framed as a conflict between religion (Islam) and secularism. The conceptual and ethical shortcomings of these oppositions demonstrate the need for holistic concepts that go beyond restrictive identities.
This presentation will be hosted by the Iranian Student Organization and will feature specialist in Islamic Studies, Dr. Carl Ernst.