I would like to take the opportunity to announce the launch of the Near Eastern and Semitic Studies Information Archive (NESSIA), a digital library which aims to provide a collection of documents, books and images that are related to the Near East as well as Semitic studies. Our goal is to position ourselves as a useful resource for students, academicians as well as the average person interested in these subjects to visit our site and use our collection as a source for their references.
Between the 17th century and early 20th century, Orientalism was too clearly tainted by Judeo-Christian polemics. The term “Judeo-Christian” in itself is a term that ignores nearly a millennium and a half of Semitic history by its exclusion of Islam as a Semitic religion that today out-populates the “Judeo” by over a billion and is nearly equal to the “Christian” in that most inappropriate term. Though much valuable scholarship was found in that era, the sense of paranoia towards Islam was unambiguous as Orientalist scholarship attempted to discredit Islam upon every level as some illegitimate child of the Semitic tradition.
However, in the 21st century we see a new fresh dose of sincere research and analysis as the intentions of old are discarded in the Orientalist scholarship of the Western world. Along with this sincerity is an attempted resurrection of the 18th and 19th century anti-Muslim discrimination under an academic disguise. The sincerity must be encouraged and the discrimination dismissed through exchanges of knowledge and definitive evidence.
It must now be recognized that the Muslim world is an integral component of the Semitic tradition. For too long have the 1.5 billion Muslims who make up 1/4 of this planet’s population been excluded due to either lack of understanding or outright religious discrimination. The Near Eastern Semitic Studies Information Archive (NESSIA) is a pioneering step from the Muslim world into the sphere of Orientalism. The primary goal of NESSIA is to promote understanding of the Muslim world, the religion of Islam, the Arabic language all in the context of the Semitic linguistic, religious and cultural tradition.
It is here that understanding will be promoted, and it is here that misinformation will be thoroughly dismissed.