I’ll Give You A Piece of This Arab Mind

According to a recent New Yorker article, Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind was used by some neo-cons to justify the meme that Arabs can only be handled through violence and may have served as a pretext for some of the practices at Abu Ghraib.

[Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind], it is said, gave these hawks in Washington the idea that the Arabs understood only force, and their greatest weakness was shame and humiliation. The daughters of Mr Patai, a Hungarian who moved to the US and taught at Princeton and Columbia universities, have condemned how their father’s work is treated. In a statement, they said: ‘There’s nothing new about written work, including scholarly work, being put to uses its authors never dreamed of. But still it rankles when it’s an esteemed family member who is being maligned.”

See, they’re generous. They classify it as academic work, whereas it really belongs under the heading “Caricature.” But, then again, what the hell do I know, I’m supposed to only understand force. Read the Independent article here.

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