Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul presented a book talk on Hamid Dabashi’s recently published work, The End of Two Illusions: Islam After the West, with Safwan M. Masri. Dismantling the myths that divide Islam and the West, Dabashi’s book offers the reader new ways to reread Islamic and world histories. Dabashi shows how the civilizational divides imagined between these two cosmic binaries have defined their entanglement and explores the motivations that produced this global fiction through detailed historical and contemporary analysis.
In the book talk, Hamid Dabashi and Safwan Masri conversed about the so-called binary opposition between Islam and the West and how to dismantle it. This false binary’s creation, according to Professor Dabashi, connects to the bourgeois phenomenon of uniting the West, consecutively creating a united self-image for European countries. Since one of the huge commonalities across European nation-states was Christianity, Islam - being located at the East geographically and carrying ideological differences - became the perfect foil in the creation of unity for the West. These aspects, for Professor Dabashi, make the construction of this binary not only philosophical but also political.