Orientalism's Role in the West and Arab Conflict

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Orientalism's role in the West and Arab Conflict What effects has Orientalism played in between the West and the Arab/Muslim worlds? Well to answer this question we must first understand what Orientalism actually is. Orientalism is a term used by art historians, literary and cultural studies scholars for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Middle Eastern, and East Asian cultures (Eastern cultures) by American and European writers, designers and artists. So, in a basic sense, Orientalism is how the western media depicts the Middle East and East Asian cultures. Now that we know what Orientalism is essentially, we can effectively discuss what role Orientalism has played between the West and the Middle. Orientalism has developed a sort of Racism from the West towards the Middle East. This is seen all throughout most of the Western media. From movies and TV, to even new broadcasts the view of the Muslim and Arab people are skewed to the American public. A perfect example of this is the movie "Team America: World Police", by Trey Parker and Matt Stone 1. While I personally find this movie hilarious, I also find it somewhat offensive in many ways. For 98 minutes throughout the whole movie middle eastern people and Arabs are ridiculed. Their respected language boiled down to only the words "Durka" and "Muhammad Jihad" 1. At one point in the movie an American citizen is "disguised" as a middle eastern or Muslim person and covered in patchy facial hair with thick and angry looking eyebrows, as if every person of middle eastern or Arab descent had this appearance1. To make matters worse, this film was released shortly after the tragic events of September eleventh, and so the view of the middle east and Muslim world was already a negative one in the eyes of the American people. This film coupled with the events of September 11th created some stereotypes and racism

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