Exposing the intellectuals of empire – Hamid Dabashi interviewed by Jadaliyya

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - one of Dabashi's 'comprador intellectuals'

In an interview with Jadaliyya, the on-line magazine committed to ‘discussing the Arab world on its own terms’, Hamid Dabashi discusses his latest book Brown Skin, White Masks:

You put Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Fouad Ajami, Azar Nafisi, Ibn Warraq, Irshad Manji, Salman Rushdie, et al together on one side and Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, and Theodore Adorno on the other and you can pretty much imagine what “topics, issues and literatures” I address!

The principal topic is the role of comprador intellectuals in the ideological formations of a globalized imperialism — both in its North American and Western European contexts. The main issue is the rise of a group of exilic intellectuals who have no emotive connection to any home or moral principle by which they do what they do.

They are aye-sayers to power, as Edward Said used to categorize them, or borrowing from Malcolm X, “House Muslims,” as I call them. They have immigrated into the bosom of power. They have realized that the fastest way to cut corners and get successful and prominent is to tell the dominant imperial power something or another about their “native” culture that facilities their subjugation. They are native disinformers. They don’t tell their employers what they need to know, but what they want to hear.

Hamid also discusses the context and reactions to the shootings and bomb attack in Norway:

Now you just look at this Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik and the ideological foregrounding of his heinous crime and ask yourself who has been feeding his blind hatred of the Left and Muslims combined. Here is a clue — you just look at the title of these bestselling books in North America: Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam And The American Left (2004) by David Horowitz, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 (2007) by Dinesh D’Souza, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (2010) by Andrew C. McCarthy. The BBC, the world authority on British royal weddings whom we must also trust for accurate and fair reporting on other less royal events around the globe, is now leading a “crusade,” as they are fond of saying, to prove that this blonde Norwegian mass murderer is “insane” — meaning blocking the necessary investigative journalism that will unearth and publicize the structural link between the European terrorist and the ideological formation of right wing Christian Zionism and its systemic hatred of the Left and Muslims.

Visit Jadaliyya to read the interview in full.

Brown Skin, White Masks

Hamid Dabashi

Dabashi picks up where Franz Fanon left off, examining the negative influence of intellectual immigrants as facilitators of American imperialism.

£14.99 only £13.00 on the Pluto site

Black Skin, White Masks – New Edition

Frantz Fanon. Forewords by Homi K. Bhabha and Ziauddin Sardar

A devastating account of the feelings of inadequacy experienced by previously colonised people in a white world.

“One feels a brilliant, vivid and hurt mind walking the thin line that separates effective outrage from despair.” – New York Times

“A strange, haunting melange of existential analysis, revolutionary manifesto, metaphysics, prose, poetry and literary criticism.” – Newsweek

£12.99 only £11.50 on the Pluto site

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