Edward Said: The Clash of Ignorance (Oct 4, 2001)
The Clash of Ignorance
by Edward W. Said
Labels like "Islam" and "the West" serve only to confuse an already
disorderly reality. Edward W. Said explains.
But we are all swimming in those waters, Westerners and Muslims and others
alike. And since the waters are part of the ocean of history, trying to plow
or divide them with barriers is futile. These are tense times, but it is
better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular
politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and
injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give
momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis. "The
Clash of Civilizations" thesis is a gimmick like "The War of the Worlds,"
better for reinforcing defensive self-pride than for critical understanding
of the bewildering interdependence of our time.
(Note: Very Long)
Chomsky vs. Hitchens
by Christopher Hitchens & Noam Chomsky - Debating the roots of the September
11 terrorist attack.
Christopher Hitchens's October 8 Nation magazine column provoked a spate of
mail, both pro and con, which led to Hitchens's elaboration for the Nation
website, in which he took many progressives to task, including Noam Chomsky,
for being soft on what he calls "Islamic Fascism." Chomsky then replied. and
a further exchange ensued. All of this follows below.
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