|I set out to find an answer to the question, "How has western Imperialism and post-colonial decolonization
after World War I and World War II influenced political, social, and economic policy of
countries in the Middle East and how have these policies subsequently
affected the Middle East and the western perception of Islamic culture
I feel like at the end of this, I have only scratched the historical surface of studying such a big question. Parts of the question are answered, but there are some parts which I feel I can only speculate on and let time tell the difference. If God wanted us to know everything up front, than there would be no point for faith and life would be boring. I was able to trace the effects of British colonial policies in the politcal betrayal of Syria and how Britains political and social policies of providing a Jewish homeland in Israel has led to the uprise of the Muslim, particularly arab-muslim world. I suggested that the reason Turkey may have turned to secularism was because they were an imperial empire themselves through the Ottoman Empire, and saw no need to revert back to Islam because they did not loose their culture and religion through colonial occupation as many other countries of the Middle East did. However, Egypt's move towards nationalism after the influence of the distilled Islamic anti-western religious movement of the Muslim Brotherhood would lead me to believe that though there was a need for safe haven in non-western cultural identity through the path to Islam. However in some cases, like Egypt, a countries national identity ultimately prevails over religion as a necessity for economic competition and recognition from western world in order for the post-colonial countries to demonstrate their ability to compete on a world scale. I examined and exposed the motivation behind the economic policies and benefits of French politcal and economic neo-colonialist policy in the decolonization of Algeria. I looked at the United Arab Emirate's ability to turn the tables on the west and wield the power of oil by regulating output and determining prices in defense effort against those previous hegemonic powers that would come to exploit the Middle East financially. I then cast my gaze on Muslim feminism to determine to diagnose the modern conceptions/misconceptions of Islam through the perception of Muslim women. I found that there's more than one way to look at things and perspectes must always be broad and open mined as I learned that religion is diffused in the various differentiated cultures of the Middle East and that Islam carries a similar, yet different definition and perception that is fueled by tradition within every Middle Eastern country. I further broadened my understanding of western culture and perception of Islam and the Middle East by eloborating upon Edward Said's and Wendell Berry's works. There are some things, such as the Palestinian/Israeli conflict that it seems only God can decide. I learned that there are ideologies and views based on opinion that have a greater range than the color spectrum of light that the human eye can percieve. It is in detecting the undercurrents of those gray shades inbetween the black and white, that I have begun my journey into the understanding of humankind. As a citizen, I will take would I have learned and speak freely to others that I know. I will right wrongs were heard, and bring about the truth in humility and common conversation. This world lacks understanding, and if I listen close enough, I can hear simplest things in life, the whispers in the wind that carry me onward, it is the simple things in life that hold the keys to my undertanding and enjoyment of the beauty and diversity of the world around me.