Reza Aslan and Orientalism

For some reason I just keep getting into conversations lately about Reza Aslan’s now infamous Fox News interview.   Of course, after once again doing some reading from Edward Said’s Orientalism and Said coming up in conversations, something that always seems to come to mind is the idea that when we speak of the “other” we are often times speaking more about ourselves.

In the first few minutes of this radio interview, Reza actually talks about his particular faith experiences and how it led him to an interest in his studies.  So apparently talking about Reza’s own personal religious experiences isn’t explicitly faux pas.

Even in this interview with MSNBC, Reza seems to imply that it was about what he thinks as Fox News’ commercially driven anti-Muslim bias.  I would instead try to move past the insider/outsider politics that inevitably pops up and posit that the interview might have something to do with Reza’s own experiences and preconceived ideas about Fox News.  I’m not really in it to debate whether or not Fox News is racist, but I at least wonder if that’s all any of us can do when we speak about the “other.”  Does the “other” actually exist, or is it all ever just ideas we imagine constructed out of our own experience that we then just reify and reinforce through the politicsof language as Said might say.  Are we all and ever can be Orientalists?

If you are now wondering if the picture at the top says something about my own particular views on Fox News I would find that interesting.  To me it says more about the fact that I’m a Star Trek nerd. (Quark was my favorite character from my favorite Star Trek series Deep Space Nine afterall)  So I will leave you with this experience to further complicate your own construction of Fox.


About Zach Price

Religious Studies major; Black Belt in Isshin Ryu; student of Shen Lung Kung Fu; Avid Guitar, Banjo, and tin whistle enthusiast; Episcopalian; professional choral singer; gamer; Whovian; etc. etc. etc. and so forth and so on.

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