Talk:Raphael Patai

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Untitled[edit]

While Wikipedia is supposed to be NPOV, I do not interpret that as meaning that the knowledge that certain topics inflame many people should be suppressed.

In view of the role of "The Arab Mind" in the discussion (and perhaps the planning) of the Abu Ghraib abuses, I think that the Imputation of bias to Raphael Patai should be mentioned on the page for him. Seymour Hersh writes, in the New Yorker:

The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation became a talking point among pro-war Washington conservatives in the months before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. One book that was frequently cited was The Arab Mind, a study of Arab culture and psychology, first published in 1973, by Raphael Patai, a cultural anthropologist who taught at, among other universities, Columbia and Princeton, and who died in 1996. The book includes a twenty-five-page chapter on Arabs and sex, depicting sex as a taboo vested with shame and repression.… The Patai book, an academic told me, was "the bible of the neocons on Arab behavior." In their discussions, he said, two themes emerged—"one, that Arabs only understand force and, two, that the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation."

Seymour Hersh, "The Gray Zone," The New Yorker, May 24, 2004.

which I found at

http://www.meforum.org/article/636#_ftnref1

Bonifaceaw 21:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

The Arab Mind[edit]

No mention of The Arab Mind and The Jewish Mind? The former is probably his best known book now, considering its role in the present torture controversy in the present US administration. Peter G Werner (talk) 05:02, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater[edit]

It is certainly true that Patai's book on an ethnicity that he no doubt (if unconsciously) considered as hostile to his own (with some historical justification) is not without bias and misunderstanding. Does this make it valueless and 100% false? Of course not. Does it need to be approached with caution, compared to other sources, and read with a full awareness of critics' objections? Naturally, as does any other work of scholarship. Should a balanced and nuanced account of the controversy be presented in the article? Absolutely, without question! But let us also remember with respect the valuable contributions to knowledge he has made in the past. Heavenlyblue (talk) 01:35, 2 September 2012 (UTC)