History discussion question

First, answer the following questions: What is Mamdani’s primary argument? What is the primary function of what Mamdani calls “Culture Talk”? What are the primary consequences of “Culture Talk” when applied to Islam and Muslims? Paraphrase, do not quote, but do provide page references.

Second, describe at least two examples of Orientalist thinking that struck you from the interview with Edward Said. How do Mamdani’s arguments about distinctions between war and terror help us make even more sense of these examples?


  • Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 1-44. (textbook)