Akeel Bilgrami responds to his critics at 3 Quarks Daily:

If by “Occidentalists” one means what Buruma and Margalit, for the most part, mean (‘Islamist Jihadis’ seeking to spread terror in the West), then I had said that it was “morally cretinous” to say that they were good. That is on page 405 in Critical Inquiry, 2006, vol.32, no.3. Robbins could not have missed this point, however convenient it is for his polemical compulsions to write as if it was never made. I realize that I am not obliged to display my anti-terrorist credentials to every silly person who demands to see them because he wants to cozy up to an intellectual establishment that is waging a cold war against Islam. He had asked me to display them in his last comment too, when he wondered if I would ‘reassure’ him and others that I didn’t want Occidentalists to have more power. In my response, I had tried to convey my views more subtly than I have here, hoping that he would get the point by inference. But, of course, that didn’t happen, so I thought I should hush his moralistic anxieties here by citing a page reference. I admire many moralists. However, to be a moralist of this predictable kind on this topic in the present context is perhaps better than being a bore, but not by much and it is not very different.

The ‘Islamist Jihadi’ is not the only kind of ‘Occidentalist’, according to Buruma and Margalit, and I myself had extended the reference of their term by arguing that Gandhi was an ‘Occidentalist’ by every conceptual criterion that those authors had laid down. His distinctiveness from some of the dreaded others was that his activism was non-violent.

Read the full 3 Quarks Daily exchange on Bilgrami’s “Occidentalism, The Very Idea.”