Orientalism Questions and Answers
by Edward W. Said

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In what way can orientalism help lead to American imperialism in the Middle East? In what way can orientalism help lead to American imperialism in the Middle East?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The developed countries have always had a western focus.  This western-centric worldview leads us to beleive that Western Europe and the United States have an advanced culture, and all other countries are more primitive.  An example of this is our view toward India and China.  We see them as threats, but we also ridicule them.

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I think that Western stereotyping of the Arab or Muslim worlds can help advance the cause of American Imperialistic thought.  The problem here is that this does not help America.  If one thing has become clear in the deemed "War on Terror," it is that American impressions of the Arab or Muslim world have to be differently constructed.  One way would be to clearly distinguish between both realms.  Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are to be found in the Arab world.  I think that American impressions of "orientalism" do not help in trying to understand the root causes of terrorism.  It is...

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