Lewis served as a soldier in the British Army in the Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps during the Second World War before being seconded to the Foreign Office. After the war, he returned to the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and was appointed to the new chair in Near and Middle Eastern History.
Lewis is a widely read expert on the
Lewis' views on the Armenian Genocide have attracted attention. He acknowledges that massacres against the Armenians occurred but does not believe it meets the definition of genocide. He is also notable for his public debates with the late Edward Said concerning the latter's book Orientalism (1978), which criticized Lewis and other European writers.
Views and Influence on Contemporary Politics
In the mid-1960s, Lewis emerged as a commentator on the issues of the modern
A harsh critic of the
Lewis advocated closer Western ties with
Lewis views Christendom and Islam as civilizations that have been in perpetual collision since the advent of Islam in the 7th century. In his essay The Roots of Muslim Rage (1990), he argued that the struggle between the West and Islam was gathering strength. According to one source, this essay (and Lewis' 1990 Jefferson Lecture on which the article was based) first introduced the term "Islamic fundamentalism" to
In 1998, Lewis read in a London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi a declaration of war on the