Create a 6 pages page paper that discusses arab views of europeans 1578-1727. And given the fantasy and the Orientalism that marked early modern and modern European perceptions of Arabs and Muslims, did Occidentalism evolve in Arab-Islamic thought? Did the military polarisation that marked the two shores of the Mediterranean produce an Arab fantasy and invention similar to that characterizing a large amount of Europeans about Muslims? (p. 127)
From the start, Matar has recognized that the majority of the historians and scholars believed that the degree of interest of the Arabs and Muslims in Latin Christendom is significantly lower than what was shown by the Europeans in the Far East. He pointed to two prevailing schools of thought that explain this attitude: First, the Europeans are generally viewed as barbarians because of their heathen religion that teaches theology, which, according to Quran, is false and distorted. Second, the European society has been seen as inferior to the Arab world because of the Muslim belief that the heritage of the Middle Ages has given them the edge over the Europeans. The corpus of the Islamic literature on the subject has shown a degree of hostility towards the West which clouds the existing curiosity over the other civilization. This hostility would further grow as the West asserted its hegemony in the course of its colonization efforts.
Matar, however, added an interesting insight into this variable. According to him, the disinterest, as has been comprehensively illustrated by the various sources, permeated in the Ottoman territory and those within the reach of its influence. He cited the case of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria who, in their history and literature, have spoken about the Europeans quite extensively, displaying a level of interest that is unprecedented elsewhere in the Islamic world. He took note of the fact that the Moroccan elite was educated and have in their disposal a high level of literacy that have made up with the lack of printing machines that could have made the mass production of .books possible. .
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