"Arabs and Muslims should be wary of anthropologists"
News of anthropologists in the US. military starts circulating on one of the largest Muslim websites, Culture Matters reports. Anthropologist Donald Abdallah Cole says to IslamOnline.net that “Arabs and Muslims should be wary of western anthropologists":
‘We should be wary of everything that is written about us, whether by local people or by foreigners. To be wary does not mean to reject. We need to read what anthropologists say about people in the developing world and what they say about Islam and Muslims,’ he explained.
‘We can expect to trust the reliability of professional academic anthropologists who are subject to peer review and evaluation. But for others who are not fully professional, we need to be more careful.’”
This reaction is no surprise, especially when we remember that Britian has recruited anthropologists for spying on muslims.
A few weeks ago anthropologist Maximilan Forte wrote that if anthropology’s role as an instrument of empire can come back into sharper focus it is no wonder that anthropology is banished from universities in the ‘decolonized’ world”.
Over at Savage Minds, a dscussion is going on if all this focus on anthropology in the Iraq war is primarily a PR game to bolster the image that the military is doing something novel to correct the errors of the Iraq occupation.