|Title||The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis|
|Year of Publication||1999|
|Publisher||Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University|
Edited by Martin S. Kramer, Ph.D. 1982
“Jewish scholars," writes Bernard Lewis, "were among the first who attempted to present Islam to European readers as Muslims themselves see it and to stress, to recognize, and indeed sometimes to romanticize the merits and achievements of Muslim civilization in its great days." Lewis's premise is explored in ten studies prepared in honor of his eightieth birthday. Contributors include Benjamin Braude, Lawrence I. Conrad, Joel L. Kraemer, Martin Kramer, Jacob M. Landau, Jacob Lassner, the late Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, Minna Rozen, Shulamit Sela, and David Wasserstein
Starting in 1976, Edward Said has argued that Western scholars of the Middle East are continuing "an unbroken tradition in European thought of profound hostility, even hatred, toward Islam," and he singles out Bernard Lewis as their de facto leader. Strangely, when Lewis in turn argued in favor of the Orientalist tradition - that unique effort by members of one civilization to understand the outside world in depth - his colleagues with near-unanimity abandoned him. Still, the battle is not entirely over. While Lewis himself retired from the fray, his highly talented ex-student, Martin Kramer continues the not-entirely-lonely effort to defend several centuries of Western scholarship on the Middle East.