Integrating Western Modernism in Postcolonial Arabic Literature: A study of Abdul-Wahhab Al- Bayati's Poetics

Saddik M. Gohar, Nidaa Nitsa Khoury (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discussing the banning of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in some Islamic countries, Vijay Mishra and Bob Hodge argue:

For the Islamic postcolonial world, the moral is clear and succinct: to write in the language of the colonizer is to write from within death itself. Postcolonial writers who write in the language of the Empire are marked off as traitors to the cause of a reconstructive post-colonialism. Postcolonial writers compose under the shadow of death (Williams & Chrisman 1993:277).

Apparently, the consequences triggered by the publication of Rushdie’s novel, in the preceding century, raised many significant questions about the relationship between East and West, colonized and colonizer. Nevertheless, the hostility toward the book in some Middle Eastern and Islamic countries is not related to the issue of language, identified by Mishra and Hodge as “the language of the empire.” The use of colonial languages rarely represents a threat to Islamic culture because unlike the literature of ex-colonies in Asia, Africa, South America, the West Indies and the Caribbean, dominantly written in the language of the western colonizers, literature in a large part of the Arab-Islamic world is composed in indigenous languages. It is important to point out therefore that the issue of language, raised above, is irrelevant because the campaign against Satanic Verses is rooted in the radical constructs of religious hegemony integral to contemporary political Islamic doctrines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
JournalMiddle East Studies Association Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


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