To understand the Middle East we must also understand how the West produced a temporal narrative of world history in which westemers placed themselves on top and all others below them. In a landmark reinterpretation of Middle Eastern history, this book shows how Arabs, Muslims, Turks, and Jews absorbed, revised, yet remained loyal to this Western vision. Turkish Kemalism and Israeli Zionism, in their efforts to push their people forward, accepted the narrative almost wholeheartedly, eradicating what they perceived as 'archaic' characteristics of their Jewish and Turkish cultures. Arab nationalists negotiated a more culturally schizophrenic approach to appeasing the colonizer's gaze. But so too, Samman argues, did the Islamists who likewise wanted to improve their societies. But in order to modernize, Islamists prescribed the eradication of Western contamination and reintroduced the prophetic stage that they believe - if the colonizer and their local Arab coconspirators hadn't intervened - would have produced true civilization. Samman's account explains why Islamists broke more radically with the colonizer's insult. For all these nationalists gender would be used as the measuring device of how well they did in relation to the colonizer's gaze.
Preface; Part I: Seeing Through the Colonialist Gaze; Chapter 1: The Colonizer's Time Machine and the Discourse of "Becoming Modern" in the Middle East; Part II: The Rise of the Modernizing/Occidentalizing State; INTRODUCTION TO PART II: Anticolonialism in the Middle East and the Allure of the Eurocentric Project of Modernity; Chapter 2: The Anti-Semitic Gaze and the Making of the New Jew; Chapter 3: Turkish and Arab Time-Travelers from Ataturk to Nasser; Part III: The Other Side of the Colonialist Gaze: The Islamist Challenge; INTRODUCTION TO PART III: Anti-Eurocentric Islamism and the Persistence of the Colonizer's Gaze; Chapter 4: Muslim Time Travel Is Only Possible If We Cleanse the Orient From Western Toxins: The Islamist Strategy; Chapter 5: Time Travel is Only Possible if We Remake Our Women: Gender Identities Traveling East and West; Part IV: Producing New Ways of Seeing Global Difference; Chapter 6: Time Out: Letting Go of Occident/Orient Binaries.