I read in "Orientalism" by Edward W. Said:

For his Islamic enthusiasm, on the other hand, Whiston was expelled from Cambridge in 1709

William Whiston was an English theologian, historian, and mathematician, who contributed to the popularization of Isaac Newton's ideas. Like Newton, he was a fervent anti-trinitarian but I find nothing relating him directly to Islam, which would justify the above statement. Internet searches lead back to this fragment of Said's book. I find here a statement that this is a quotation from A.J. Arberry's "Oriental Essays", but I don't have access to that book.. Arberry is a an explicit reference, but Said is not using any quotation marks with his aforementioned phrase.

What is the exact meaning and source of that statement?

Given that Islam was considered in the past by Christian theologians as a kind of Arianism, that Whiston (like Newton) was professing a theology that was not far from Arianism, and that the accusation of heterodox Arianism was behind Whiston's expelling from Cambridge. the phrase can be understood in that context, somewhat ironically. But, as it is, it seems to suggest more than that.

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    I doubt this is on-topic here as it has nothing to do with Islamic teachings and neither the book nor the author nor the theologian have any significance in Islam. Maybe this belongs on history or somewhere else. – UmH May 18 at 14:17
  • @UmH - "Experts in Islam" is in the description of this English-language site. I think a such expert who speaks English would be familiar with Said's book. The tags I found and added also encouraged me to post here. I also have seen a tag on history of Islam. The quoted phrase mentions "Islamic enthusiasm", which doesn't mean the guy was a Muslim, but the question involves the problem of people being perceived as Muslim by some etc. - If we take that phrase literally, Whiston was a "wannabe" Muslim in a way. I want to understand that phrase. – cipricus May 18 at 14:36
  • You are Expecting too much Edward W. Said is a no name for the majority of Muslims and Muslim scholars. Especially as he is a Christian Palestinian cultural critic not a known orientalist himself. Why should anybody care about what he has written about another rather unknown person? – Medi1Saif May 19 at 11:58
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    @cipricus it is a much criticised book AFAIK and there's no connection between William Whitson and Islam expect his anti-trinitarian pro arianism thoughts. This men is irrelevant to Islam or orientalism itself. Quoting him in a book called "Orientalism" itself is weird. – Medi1Saif May 20 at 11:37
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    I’m voting to close this question because there's no link between this "romantic" book about orientalism and the personality OP is asking about and Islam – ياsr May 25 at 19:27