The Roots of Muslim Rage: Why so many Muslims deeply resent the West, and why their bitterness will not easily be mollified

Bernard Lewis.

 

In one of his letters Thomas Jefferson remarked that in matters of religion "the maxim of civil government" should be reversed and we should rather say, "Divided we stand, united, we fall." In this remark Jefferson was setting forth with classic terseness an idea that has come to be regarded as essentially American: the separation of Church and State. This idea was not entirely new; it had some precedents in the writings of Spinoza, Locke, and the philosophers of the European Enlightenment. It was in the United States, however, that the principle was first given the force of law and gradually, in the course of two centuries, became a reality.

If the idea that religion and politics should be separated is relatively new, dating back a mere three hundred years, the idea that they are distinct dates back almost to the beginnings of Christianity. Christians are enjoined in their Scriptures to "render ... unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's." While opinions have differed as to the real meaning of this phrase, it has generally been interpreted as legitimizing a situation in which two institutions exist side by side, each with its own laws and chain of authority — one concerned with religion, called the Church, the other concerned with politics, called the State. And since they are two, they may be joined or separated, subordinate or independent, and conflicts may arise between them over questions of demarcation and jurisdiction.

Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia

Milica Bakic-Hayden.

The reputation, name, and appearance, the usual measure and weight of a thing, what it counts for--originally almost always wrong and arbitrary,--all this grows from generation unto generation, merely because people believe in it, until it gradually grows to be a part of the thing and turns into its very body. What at first was appearance becomes in the end, almost invariably, the essence and is effective as such.

Friedreich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, II.58

This paper introduces the notion of "nesting orientalisms," to investigate some of the complexity of the east/west dichotomy which has underlain scholarship on "Orientalism" since the publication of Said's classic polemic, 1 a discourse in which "East," like "West" is much more of a project than a place. 2 While geographical boundaries of the "Orient" shifted throughout history, the concept of "Orient" as "other" has remained more or less unchanged. Moreover, cultures and ideologies tacitly presuppose the valorized dichotomy between east and west, and have incorporated various "essences" into the patterns of representation used to describe them. Implied by this essentialism is that humans and their social or cultural institutions are "governed by determinate natures that inhere in them in the same way that they are supposed to inhere in the entities of the natural world." 3 Thus, Eastern Europe has been commonly associated with "backwardness," the Balkans with "violence," India with "idealism" or "mysticism," while the west has identified itself consistently with the "civilized world." But, "backwardness," as Larry Wolff shows, has not just been a benign metaphor confined to the first travel diaries of the westerners into the area that the Enlightenment mapped as eastern Europe; it has also been a constitutive metaphor in the social-scientific language of influential philosophers and writers of the time, such as Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau. 4