Shoebat Hits Sioux Falls

 

And here’s that “Message of Love” in full, from Shoebat’s website (advertising a book by his son):

The Elmen Center is part of Augustana college. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader,

A spokesman said Augustana has a long history of hosting speakers with diverse views. The college sponsors some. For others it rents space.

The list includes Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and former Sen. James Abourezk, a frequent critic of Israel. Al Gore spoke at Augustana, as did the elder George Bush, Queen Noor, Rudy Guiliani, Mexico’s Vincente Fox, Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, Mikhail Gorbachev, Newt Gingrich and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

 The day after, Shoebat will be speaking at the Central Baptist Church, on the topic of “Islam and Bible Prophecy”. Here’s a taster (background here):

Sarah Stern on Edward Said: an EMETic

A stupid throwaway line from Sarah Stern, who heads the Washington-based think-tank EMET (“Endowment for Middle East Truth”), speaking on Israel National Radio and reported by Arutz Sheva (emphasis added):

Stern explained that Title VI was legislated in 1958, “in the midst of the Cold War, when it was felt that American youngsters did not know enough to deal with the Communist threat or to be succesful in the global market. So they set aside a pot of money, which has now grown to something like $120 million of taxpayers’ money, to fund college campus programs for regional studies, such as African studies, Asian studies, Middle Eastern studies, etc. That was fine, but in 1978, Edward Said of Columbia University wrote his simplistic and lies-filled book Orientialism, which stated that only people from a given region can talk or write about that region. And that became the prevailing dominant trend of thought in academic circles…”

From Edward Said, Orientalism, p. 326 (emphases added):

Today there are many individual scholars working in such fields as Islamic history, religion, civilization, sociology, and anthropology whose production is deeply valuable as scholarship…An excellent recent instance is the anthropology of Clifford Geertz, whose interest in Islam is discrete and concrete enough to be animated by the specific socieites and problems he studies and not by the rituals, preconceptions, and doctrines of Orientalism…[S]cholars and critics trained in the traditional Orientalist disciplines are perfectly capable of freeing themselves from the old ideological straitjacket. Jacques Berque’s and Maxime Rodinson’s [1] training ranks with the most rigorous available, but what invigorates their investigations even of traditional problems is their methodological self-consciousness…

It should be noted that the whole thrust of Said’s book is anti-essentialist; therefore being from a given region is no more an guarantee of producing valid scholarship than being from the West (and Said rejected the “anti-Western” label) is a barrier to it. 

Of course there are problems with Said’s book, and scholars have complained that the last few pages championing “humanistic” scholarship are hardly an adequate counter-balance to his deconstructive efforts. And of course it’s also the case that the charge of “Orientalism”, like the charge of “racism”, can be bandied about by those wanting to shut down criticism of Islam or oppressive regimes in the Middle East, although anyone who has read and understood the book would not be able to use it that way in good faith. However, such a preposterous and ignorant vulgarization from Stern must preclude her – and EMET – from being taken seriously in any discussion of the book’s merit and in any discussion of Middle East studies in America.

It should be noted that EMET’s advistory board includes Walid Shoebat, who believes that the Bible predicts a coming “Muslim anti-Christ”.

 [1] Alas, Rodinson rejected Orientalism and the two men fell out, resulting in an abusive re-assessment from Said.