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Volume :16 Issue : 46 2001      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Modern Orientalistic Conferences On Islam and Muslims

Auther : Dr. Mazen ibn Muhammad Mutabbaqani

 

Orientalism has a long history. France was its first capital, where “ The Institute of Oriental languages” was established in 1795. No Western capital happened to be without an Orientalist institute. Their scholars used to have meetings to exchange information about the mission of Orientalists. They used to hold an international conference every five years, Islamic studies used to be the core topic of their studies.

The international Federation of Orientalists held its first conference in 1873 and continued up to 35 conferences. Many Orientalist societies, American, French and British, were established and received support and financing from Western countries.

The most important themes common among Orientalist societies and unions were:

  1. Establishing ties and relations under the title of friendship and cooperation.
  2. Exerting efforts in order to destroy or develop Islam so as to turn it into a tool of propaganda aiming at protecting the interests of big powers.
  3. Knowing the reality of Muslim peoples’ affairs, their power and weakness, the aspects of their life such as belief, morals and behavior in order to destroy or weaken them. To achieve these targets, they worked out the following tools:
    1. Establishing missionary schools in Muslim countries.
    2. Providing medical and support services, particularly in villages and remote areas.
    3. Establishing cultural and press clubs to propagate through them their ideas and objectives.

Jews practiced effective influence in directing Orientalism to serve their targets and ambitions. Moshe Dayan Center and its program of symposia and conferences is a clear example of that. It held in March 30 a symposium on “ Jihad and Peace: Muslim Allies in a Changing Middle East”. It was recommended in that symposium and others that the Jewish state should be depicted as an oasis of democracy in an area ruled by nationalistic and Islamic despotic regimes. The same targets were stressed also in the conference of Moshe Dayan Center held in December 1995 on Islam, Individualistic Rule and Modernism in the Middle East.

Orientalism did not overlook the historical importance of Muslim states. A number of symposia and conferences were held on the importance of historical writings about the Middle East. The most outstanding among them was that conference held by School of Oriental and African Studies in 1957.

Muslim woman issues were very early under concentration by Orientalism. Symposia and workshops were held since 1934, when the International Women Conference was held in Cosantinah, Algeria, which was followed by a number of symposia and conferences whose studies and writings had the worst effect upon Muslim woman’s life.

Muslim governments and thinkers are required to follow up Orientalistic activities, particularly recent ones, refuting distortions and answering such writers and thinkers so as to clarify religious, historical, educational and social facts distorted by Orientalists.

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