Kenneth Cragg on the dishonsty of Edward Said

Here is what Kenneth Cragg had to say on Edward Said:

There is, it would seem, a degree of Palestinian nationalism in Edward Said's approach. He insists that all knowledge turns on power and there is no western orientalism not funded by political, commercial, or imperialist interests. It would seem, on this count that only insiders to it can know a culture, seeing that all outsiders bring unsurmountable prejudice. The dishonesty lies in propounding this view from within an eastern insidership, which has so eminently demonstrated a capacity to know the West and its ethos and literature on the part of one, by origin an outsider. It would have been generous to acknowledge similar capacities in reverse on the part of those orientalists, e.g., Hamilton Gibb, whom he mostly castigates.
The Arab Christian, page 302

The irony of this is that Said presents himself as an insider who can really know an understand Oriental cultures from the inside, but as I have mentioned elsewhere, he was not an insider. He was a wealthy Christian who grew up in Cairo!


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