Bernard Lewis and Islam

I haven’t gotten through the whole thing, but if you don’t know who Bernard Lewis is, you should. … p?ID=22780

Wednesday May 31, 2006 online edition of The Weekly Standard, coincided exactly with his 90th birthday. Gerecht, in his lavish praise, maintains that Lewis,

Crikey. I was convinced he was dead.

[quote]Bernard Lewis possesses an enormous fund of knowledge regarding Islamic civilization accrued over a distinguished career of more than six decades of serious scholarship. A gifted linguist, non-fiction prose writer, and teacher, Lewis shares his understanding of Muslim societies in both written and oral presentations, with singular economy and eloquence. These are extraordinary attributes for which Lewis richly deserves the accolades lavished upon him in the recent spate of 90th birthday homages. And even Lewis’ detractors cannot deny his deep seated affection and genuine concern for the Muslim world. For example, Ian Buruma sees Lewis’ cheerleading role in relation to the war in Iraq as a manifestation of this phenomenon:

…perhaps he loves it too much. It is a common phenomenon among Western students of the Orient to fall in love with a civilization…His beloved civilization is sick. And what would be more heartwarming to an old Orientalist than to see the greatest Western democracy cure the benighted Muslim?[/quote]

Interesting take.