Introduction: Ł’Orient n’existe pas

  • Bülent Somay
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial Series book series (STIP)


The ‘clash of civilisations’ and the asymmetrical contest between the Occident and the Orient have always been the subject matter of much theorising, speculation, research and learned and not-so-learned arguments. Until the end of the 20th century, this contest and the opinions and discussions thereof were an important but limited part of so-called Western thought, and a considerable, almost obsessive, part of Oriental ideologies. The 21st century and its ‘grand opening’ of the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon radically changed all this: the West was now totally obsessed with the Islamic East, not only theoretically, but also as a matter of life and death, mirroring the obsession of the East prior to that event. The term ‘Orient’ also shifted meaning and came to refer to ‘Islamic East’, almost totally bypassing non-Muslim China and Japan, throwing a cursory glance at Russia (not ‘communist’ anymore), and showing only an ounce of interest in India insofar as it was partly Muslim. Almost the entirety of Western thought concerning the Orient was to be overhauled and pushed to the centre stage in order to justify this reversal. The Western media seemed to gather all narratives, myths and plots formerly used in anti-Semitism and reshuffle them with a twist in order to lay down a foundation for the current Islamophobia.


Western Thought Border Patrol Road Plan Feudal Society Oriental Culture 
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Copyright information

© Bülent Somay 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bülent Somay
    • 1
  1. 1.Istanbul Bilgi UniversityTurkey

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