The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World

The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World

The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World

The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World

Synopsis

This book examines the ways in which educational institutions such as media and schools shape Western views of Islam. The nature of these constructions tells readers as much, if not more, about Western self-images as they do about Islam. Quickly emerging is a Western perspective on the "other." Economic colonialism, the oil business, and direct interference in governments in a number of Muslim nations and the way this history is related in the formal structure of schools and the informal structure of the media, are central debates in this book of fascinating and important essays.

Excerpt

Joe L. Kincheloe

In the Western tradition of writing about, researching, and representing Islam, Europeans have consistently positioned Muslims as the irrational, fanatic, sexually enticing, and despotic others. This portrayal, as many scholars have argued, has been as much about Western anxieties, fears, and self-doubts as about Islam. In this book the editors and authors are fascinated by these representations in light of the events of the early twenty-first century. After 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the ways images of Islam have been embedded in the Western and especially the American consciousness become extremely important to everyday life. With these concerns in mind the editors and authors examine the educational practices—defined broadly to include both schooling and media pedagogy—that help construct these ways of seeing.

Grounding the Miseducation: The Trouble
with Difference

Central to any description of this miseducation is the West’s effort, especially after the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to depict its own superiority. In the first decade of the twenty-first century it is high time to clean up the historical distortions developed centuries ago and passed down across the generations. If the United States is to become a great nation guided by a moral compass, it can do so only by way of its relationships with other nations and cultures. Nations, like individuals, develop a self-image in their interaction with . . .

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