Inventing a myth: The Medieval Islamic civilization through Western perspectives

Home / Languages & Translation - News
A research paper by Dr Gehan M. Anwar Deeb ─ Lecturer of English Literature, Faculty of Languages and Translation─ was published in the International Journal of Languages and Literature, American Research Institute. The paper traces three attitudes towards the Medieval Islamic civilization and its manifestations in some Western literary writings, fiction and non-fiction, from the Medieval times to the present. It explores how the constant distortion of the images and stereotypes against Islam and the Muslims produced a myth that was invented by the West out of fear and prejudice. The second attitude is two-fold; writers, such as Dante, Chaucer, Voltaire and Samuel Johnson displayed recognition of the merit of the Islamic civilization, but at the same time their works reflected explicit aversion Islam and Muslims through using early stereotypes. The third attitude is adopted by other Western writers, such as Sir Walter Scott, whose considerable research or direct contact with the East show a tremendous respect for the Medieval Islamic world. They give us an insight into the debt Western culture owes to the Islamic civilization; its existence.