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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Unless I’m confused, Said (the main critic the author is defending against) does not present a specifically Muslim critique of Kipling.

He instead presents an essentially leftist critique, based on Leninist anti-imperialism, of what he popularized referring to as “Orientalism.”

An Islamist or truly Muslim critique would be made on quite different grounds.

BTW, I enjoyed the article, but can’t absolve Kipling of racism quite as thoroughly as the author. Kipling wrote the most appalling things at times. While he is certainly not the white supremacist cartoon he is generally seen as, his attitudes are close enough to it to be unacceptable in polite society today. Even mine.

Kipling is much more complex than a short essay can really discuss.


5 posted on 03/01/2010 8:20:28 AM PST by Sherman Logan (Never confuse schooling with education.)
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To: Sherman Logan
You are correct. Said was a founder of postcolonialism, a neo-Marxian doctrine that attempts to lever history into the usual tiresome model of oppressed and oppressor classes. It is from this that we get the rather odd notion that proliferated essentially unquestioned on campus during the 70's, that the outrageously imperialistic Soviet Union was actually a liberator if one only had a grasp of "advanced" political thought: one part amnesia, two parts self-inflicted blindness.

The difficulty with the position is that Said himself, not an Indian but a Palestinian, had far less acquaintance with India than did Kipling. Underlying this is the assumption that a grasp of postcolonialism, like all Marxian and neo-Marxian doctrines, elevates the thinker above the model, transcending the old oppressor/oppressed dialectic into a new enlightenment. One finds, however, that its adherents constitute some of the most prejudiced, least tolerant, least enlightened intellects on the planet.

Hence we have Said, arguing with a superficial grasp of India and an incomplete acquaintance with Kipling, that it all fits into his neat intellectual model of imperialism. And so it does, if you're willing to twist it enough.

10 posted on 03/01/2010 10:54:19 AM PST by Billthedrill
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