In April 2008, Bernard Lewis during his keynote address to the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa warned of the limits on scholarly analysis of Islam imposed by political correctness and multiculturalism.
His address, titled “Studying the Other: Different Ways of Looking at the Middle East and Africa,” examined the development of Middle Eastern studies and the challenges it faces inside and outside of academia.
These difficulties arise mainly from post-modernist thought, the current, combined orthodoxies of multiculturalism and political correctness, and a “clash of disciplines,” primarily between historians and Arabic linguists, which have undermined the serious, objective study of Islam.
“It seems to me it’s a very dangerous situation, because it makes any kind of scholarly discussion of Islam, to say the least, dangerous,” Lewis said. “Islam and Islamic values now have a level of immunity from comment and criticism in the Western world that Christianity has lost and Judaism has never had.”
He also addressed the “post-modern idea that Middle Eastern studies in Europe grew out of a desire to exploit the culture and people of the Middle East.”
OpenCampus- Lack of Openness Makes Scholarly Discussion of Islam Dangerous, Says Bernard Lewis