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Birey ve Toplum Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi

Yıl 2013 , Cilt 3 , Sayı 1

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Başlık :

Early american perceptions of muslims

Yazar kurumları :
Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies1
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This paper briefly surveys the early American perceptions of Muslims as reflected in the Barbary-related literature, and follows some of the traces of that past in Today’s American culture. The four themes of traditional European Orientalism can be easily found in the early American literature on Barbary: Islam is portrayed in this literature as the religion of political tyranny, antiChristian darkness, sensual pleasures, and oppression of women. What is new in this study is the American context in which these themes function. Timothy Marr believes that Islam was used by the early Americans as a “cultural enemy”, an “oppositional icon” that helped the new nation build its own identity. This rhetorical use of Islam against internal and external enemies seems to have responded to an American need for creating a new nation’s self-consciousness. Marr called this internalization of Islam “domestic Orientalism” and its external projection “imperialism of virtue”.

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