Edward Said, Michel Foucault og det essentialistiske islambillede

  • Dietrich Jung
Keywords: Michel Foucault, Edward Said, omvendt orientalisme, Ernest Renan, islamisk reform

Abstract

Edward Saids Orientalism blev kendt som en anvendt udgave af Michel Foucaults diskursteori. Said hævdede at være inspireret af især Foucaults Archaeology of Knowledge og Discipline and Punish i sine analyser af det essentialiserede islambillede i orientalistikken. Med udgangspunkt i Saids hævdede inspiration fra Foucault kritiserer denne artikel Orientalism’s teoretiske ramme fra et sociologisk perspektiv. Dermed følger artiklen Sadik al-Azm’s argument, at Said ikke havde øje for det fænomen, som al-Azm kaldte ”orientalism in reverse”: Islamistiske og arabisk-nationalistiske tænkeres anvendelse af orientalistiske begreber i deres egne ideologiske konstruktioner. Artiklen argumenterer for, at Said som selv-erklæret foucaultianer burde have været opmærksom på diskursers reciprokke magt. Efterfølgende vises hvordan orientalister og islamister var tæt forbundne i den diskursformation, hvorfra det essentialiserede islambillede opstod. ENGELSK ABSTRACT: Dietrich Jung: Edward Said, Michel Foucault and the Essentialist Image of Islam Edward Said’s Orientalism became known as an applied version of Michel Foucault’s discourse theory. In analyzing the essentialist image of Islam as a core feature in Orientalist scholarship, Said claimed to be inspired by the work of Foucault, in particular by his Archaeology of Knowledge and Discipline and Punish. In using Said’s claim as a point of departure, this article criticizes the theoretical framework of Orientalism from a sociological perspective. Doing so, it examines Sadik al-Azm’s argument that Said had a blind eye to a phenomenon which al-Azm called “Orientalism in reverse”: the self-applications of Orientalist concepts in the ideological constructions of both Islamist and Arab Nationalist thinkers. The article argues that taking Foucault’s theoretical position seriously, Said should have been aware of the reciprocal power of discourses in shaping this essentialist image of Islam. The article then analyzes the phenomenon of “Orientalism in reverse” from a Foucauldian perspective, and shows the ways in which Orientalists and Islamists were closely knit together in a discursive formation from which the essentialist image of Islam emerged. Key words: Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Orientalism in Reverse, Ernest Renan, Islamic Reform.
Published
2009-09-03