Essay on Clash of Ignorance, by Edward Said

Essay on Clash of Ignorance, by Edward Said

Length: 1777 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

As we entered the new millennium, Edward Said’s article, “The Clash of Ignorance”, appeared in the October 22 edition of The Nation, in 2001. His paper was a critical response to my thesis which first appeared in 1993, “The Clash of Civilizations?”. The following years saw many adopting his argument as a valid counter to my thesis. However, I believe that his argument builds more to the notion of the clash of civilizations stated in my paper, strengthening it, rather than weakening it. In this paper, I will discuss and address the arguments that he had put forward.

If you recall my main point in “The Clash of Civilizations?”, I argued that the conflicts of the future will dominantly be due to cultural differences (Huntington, 1993). However, Said argues that instead of cultural differences, conflicts will stem from the ignorance that different cultures have when it comes to the other (Said, 2001). I defend my argument by pointing out that although Said believes the conflicts will stem from ignorance, the conflicts are still between civilizations. For Said’s argument to make sense, he has to admit that there are and always will be differences between these cultures that are of a sufficient scale, in order for one side to be ignorant about the beliefs and values of the other. The result of either civilization not understanding or accepting the practices of the other side’s culture is their eventual conflict (Huntington, 1993). Therefore, the basis of Said’s point supports my hypothesis that future conflicts will firstly, be between civilizations, and secondly, be due to their differences in culture.

Said might argue against this from a social constructivist point of view, that these differences between civilizations will be what t...

... middle of paper ...

...ternational Security, 20(4), pp. 5-41.

Gerges, F. A. (2003, March 21). “Will U.S.-Iraq War Lead to Religious War?” ABC News, Retrieved from

HaLevi, Ezra. (2005, December 27). “65% of Palestinians Applaud Terror Attacks on US and Europe,” Israel National News, Retrieved from

Huntington, S. P. (1993). “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs, 72(3), pp. 22-49.

Juhasz, A. (2013). “Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil,” CNN, Retrieved from

Said, E. (2001, October 22). “The Clash of Ignorance,” The Nation, 273(12), pp. 11-13.

Wendt, A. (1992). “Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics,” International Organization, 46(2), pp. 391-425.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis of States by Edward Said Essay

- Edward Said “States” refutes the view Western journalists, writers, and scholars have created in order to represent Eastern cultures as mysterious, dangerous, unchanging, and inferior. According to Said, who was born in Jerusalem at that time Palestine, the way westerners represent eastern people impacts the way they interact with the global community. All of this adds to, Palestinians having to endure unfair challenges such as eviction, misrepresentation, and marginalization that have forced them to spread allover the world....   [tags: alienated palestinians,eastern culture,terrorist]

Powerful Essays
1168 words (3.3 pages)

Orientalism as termed by Edward Said Essay

- Introduction Orientalism as termed by Edward Said is meant to create awareness of a constellation of assumptions that are flawed and underlying Western attitudes towards the Muslim societies. Evidence from his 1978 book “Orientalism”, states that the culture has been of influence and marred with controversy in post colonial studies and other fields of study. Moreover, the scholarship is surrounded by somehow persistent and otherwise subtle prejudice of Eurocentric nature, which is against Islam religion and culture (Windschuttle, 1999)....   [tags: Muslim Societies, Daniel M. Varisco]

Powerful Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

Essay on Introduction to Orientalism by Edward Said

- In his introduction to the term “Orientalism,” Edward Said begins by paraphrasing the writing of a French journalist’s view of the present-day Orient in order to express the major common Western misconception about the East. This misconception exists in the Western mind, according to Said, as if it were irrelevant that the Orient itself was actually sociologically affected. He then goes on to describe the basis of Orientalism, as it is rooted in the Western consciousness. Said uses the phrase “The Other” to describe the Western fascination with the Orient....   [tags: Orient Oriental]

Powerful Essays
1462 words (4.2 pages)

Categorization As A Manifestations Of Governmentality. Edward Said 's Orientalism

- ... My dispute is that Mamdani ignores other parallel and alternative narrations of Islamophobia, and, also, that he neglects to consider variables identified with more distinct Islamic discourses. In this respect, it worth to mention the African accounts of the discourses. During the colonial period, Islam in Africa was frequently recognized as a syncretistic, traditional, tolerant, and heterodox type of Islam. This specific "African Islam" was authored by the French as Islam noir, a term that became critical for colonial and additionally academic understanding of Islam in Africa (Jeppie, et al., 2010)....   [tags: Islam, Africa, North Africa, Egypt]

Powerful Essays
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Edward Said - Orientalism

- A man of great intellect and courage, Edward Said (1935-2003) taught English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. This Palestinian writer and activist was widely respected for his ground-breaking research in the field of comparative literature and on his incisive political commentary. As well, he wrote classical music criticism for The Nation and political commentary for such publications as the Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique, and al-Hayat, the Arab-language daily, which is printed in every Arab capital in the world....   [tags: Politics]

Powerful Essays
2149 words (6.1 pages)

Edward Said's Orientalism Essay

- Edward Said's Orientalism Western civilization, generally speaking, is extremely egotistical and has the view that Western culture is superior to all others. They believe they are more civilized and more educated than the rest of the world and because of this, stems the idea that it is the duty of Western civilization to take other, less developed societies under their wing. These concepts of supremacy and domination are closely related to Said's ideas of Orientalism. In his book, Orientalism, Edward Said explains in detail exactly what he believes the word Orientalism means....   [tags: History Colonialism Orientalism Essays]

Powerful Essays
894 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Edward Snowden

- Edward Snowden’s actions are Justifiable because he shines light on what the government has been doing and he feels that the people have a right to know. This paper will contain what has been happening in the Snowden case and some reasons to why Snowden did what he did and why it was justifiable and how it did in a way enhance democracy in the United States. Snowden believed that by releasing this information he is doing the right thing, he also believed that people had a right to know that their privacy has been and was being breached....   [tags: Edward Snowden]

Powerful Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Our Secret by Susan Griffin and States by Edward Said Essay

- Inevitably, all things evolve over time. From decade to decade, a person can find many differences as in slight variances between popular fads and so forth like styles of fashion and trends. Even writing takes on a new form and shape after awhile as we see in the essays “Our Secret” by Susan Griffin and “States” by Edward Said. These two reveal a more evident truth of a different use of language than it is customary to read just as it is seen in Michael Herr’s novel Dispatches, which is written in the style of “New Journalism” where real events are told in a story format or narrative to appeal to more readers....   [tags: Our Secret, Susan Griffin 2014]

Powerful Essays
1900 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about A Man Said to the Universe

- A Man Said to the Universe Stephen Crane wrote many remarkable poems, short stories, and novels throughout his short life (He lived only to the age of 29). In one poem in particular, "A Man Said to the Universe," Crane uses cosmic irony to depict an existentialist way of life. "Cosmic irony occurs when a writer uses God, destiny or fate to dash the hopes and expectations of a character or mankind in general"(2133). Crane’s use of this type of irony is seen through the relationship that the universe displays with mankind....   [tags: Man Said Universe]

Free Essays
336 words (1 pages)

Essay on Americas Ignorance

- Americas Ignorance America’s Ignorance For centuries now, men and women have struggled over their sexuality. It has been noted throughout time that several well known and highly regarded historical figures have been free with their sexuality on both sides of the spectrum. Basically, homosexual tendencies have been accepted as a normal part of life in that it has never been regarded as wrong. Only now in our new environment as Americans does the idea of homosexuality bring uncomfort and distaste to people....   [tags: Americas Ignorance]

Free Essays
1121 words (3.2 pages)