‘Islamophobia’ Thought Crimes at Berkeley

Berkeley resident Rima Greene co-wrote this article with Cinnamon Stillwell, the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org.


sd[To order David Horowitz and Robert Spencer's pamphlet Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, click here.]

What’s an “Islamophobia”-promoting academic to do when there simply aren’t enough hate crimes to sustain the mythical narrative that Muslim-Americans are persecuted for their religion? The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP) at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race & Gender came up with a brilliant idea for this spring’s Fifth Annual International Islamophobia Conference: they invented a thought crime called “latent Islamophobia.”

According to the conference description and “inspired by [the late Columbia professor] Edward Said’s work on Orientalism,” “Islamophobia” can be broken into two categories: latent and manifest:

Latent Islamophobia is founded upon an unquestionable certitude that Muslims trend “towards despotism and away from progress.” They are constructed and “judged in terms of, and in comparison to, the West, so it is always the Other, the conquerable, and the inferior.” Manifest Islamophobia “is what is spoken and acted upon.”

Near Eastern studies lecturer, IRDP director, and conference convener Hatem Bazian supported this blatant effort to condemn thought, as he promised in his opening remarks that this effort would eventually be a “field [and] a distinct area of study” called “Islamophobia studies.”

This is no idle threat. In addition to producing annual UC Berkeley conferences and the Islamophobia Journal, Bazian said IRDP’s plans include:

  • Publishing papers for the Second International Islamophobia Conference to be held in Paris this December.
  • “Down the line, [to] provide funding for graduate students and fellowships” at IRDP.
  • Establish “partnerships with other research institutes, in the U.S. and globally,” to build “a global faculty network.”

The audience—much of which consisted of women wearing hijabs (headscarves)—of sixty to eighty people on the first day, was swallowed by the spacious Booth Auditorium housed in the Berkeley School of Law. In between panels, a bevy of academics and graduate students, many of them speakers, greeted each other and gabbed, while the few attendees outside the fold looked on. Bazian boasted that 6,000 people watched the conference online last year via the live stream and that this year, Duke University would be “carrying our live feed.”

Saeed Khan, a lecturer in history and Near East and Asian studies at Wayne State University, spoke on the second panel about “Islamophobia, the Conservative Movement, and the Creation of the Muslim Menace.” Khan is also a fellow at the Detroit-based Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, which co-commissioned a flawed May, 2013 study alleging “Islamophobia” in the San Francisco Bay Area, of all places, that was co-authored by Bazian. He critiqued what he called “the conventional wisdom among Tea Party conservatives and other Islamophobes” that “Muslims are infiltrating every aspect of American society, particularly education” by quoting a 2008 article on the unconstitutional insertion of Islamic curriculum into American public education written by this author. He then made a nonsensical comparison:

Cinnamon Stillwell, from here in the Bay Area. . . . She definitely takes the line that in spite of the “soft jihad” that is taking place, a soft crusade about the Christianity of the Founding Fathers is perfectly acceptable in public schools in a construct that is supposed to have separation of church and state.

Khan’s alleged concern for separation of church and state would be more convincing were he to apply it to the very real threat outlined in the article in question, not to a nonexistent Christian “soft crusade” that its author did not reference.

He later complained about efforts in “Texas and Florida” to combat the use of biased textbooks in K-12 education, mischaracterizing valid concerns over the whitewashing and falsifying of Islamic history as opposition to inclusion and objectivity:

A world history text is being reviewed to extricate Islam from the curriculum, or at the very least, to try and remove any reference to Islam that would be seen as objective or—in their estimation, the same thing—biased toward Islam.

During the question and answer period, Khan actually complained that the “backlash” against Muslims after the 2013 Boston bombing that was predicted by speakers at last year’s Islamophobia conference never happened. Referencing a Boston Globe article titled, “Inclusive Spirit Reassures Muslims After Bombings,” he concluded:

This portrays Muslims being unnecessarily and unreasonably paranoid. It showcases the magnanimity and largesse of an American society that didn’t cause a backlash.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

The next panel, which boasted the Orwellian title, “Gender, Sexuality, Class and Colonialism in Transnational Latent and Manifest Islamophobia,” dished out a great heaping of academic jargon from the realms of queer, gender, and women’s studies.

Paola Bacchetta, an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at UC Berkeley, introduced her incomprehensible presentation with the even more perplexing sentence, “Muslims as enemy Others as queerphilia xenophobia.” She was just warming up:

By that, I mean in which their queerphobia is displaced onto the enemy Others, who they now claim are the queerphobic ones. . . . Queers are now shifted to this position which under colonialism belonged to women: that is, queers are constructed as either silent self-hating collaborators with the presumed straight and queerphobic collective enemy Other camp, or imagined as enemy Other’s victims requiring dominant saviors.

Bacchetta included “the Israeli state” in her “neo-colonial” enemies list for its supposed “pink-washing,” claiming that:

[T]he idea that Palestinian queers are being saved by Israel . . . ignores the occupation and the many years of solid work done by Palestinian queers such as Palestinian Queers for BDS [boycott, divestment, sanctions].

It’s hard to imagine that groups like Palestinian Queers for BDS are succeeding in helping their gay compatriots so much as engaging in self-preservation by attacking the preferred enemy, Israel.

Huma Dar, a Ph.D. candidate in South East Asian studies at UC Berkeley, compared “Israeli occupation” to “Indian Occupation” in her jargon-ridden presentation, “Latent and Manifest Islamophobia in Indian Occupied Kashmir: Queerphilic Imperialism and Hindu-homonationalism.” Echoing anti-Israel rhetoric, she denied that Islamism has any relevance to either conflict:

Akin to the Palestinian situation, the struggle for Kashmiri independence is not a religious or theological matter, but a political one of indigenous people’s rights to territory and sovereignty. India, like Israel, has attempted to frame it as a fight against Kashmiri Muslims . . . riding on the coattails of a wave of global Islamophobia.

Dar accused India of engaging in “queerphilic imperialism” by “projecting queerphobia onto the Kashmiri Muslims” and of “pinkwashing the Indian occupation akin to the Israeli occupation.” With all these “occupations” allegedly engaging in “pink-washing,” one would think that gays in the Muslim world were safe, when in fact persecution and capital punishment are common.

The day’s final panel included Zahra Billoo, executive director for the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been linked by the United States government to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Her presentation, “California Muslim Youth Experiences with Bullying, Harassment and Religious Accommodation in Schools,” was based on CAIR’s own “statewide survey,” yet she was unable to report on any widespread persecution. Despite citing isolated instances of “bullying” in schools, her own data forced her to acknowledge that the “complaints are not coming,” leading her to lament that:

It troubled some of our partners and allies, who said, “well, these bully figures are not as high as we think they should be.”

Instead, they found that “the figures in the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] community are far higher.” “At the federal level these complaints are handled by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights,” Billoo added, before launching into a gratuitous tirade against pro-Israel activists concerned for the safety of Jewish students on campus:

And as a side note, this office is used by pro-apartheid Israel activists attempting to silence human rights activists on campus calling attention to that nation state’s racism and violent policies—but that’s a separate conversation.

Apparently, bullying is only a concern when Muslim students are on the receiving end.

It turns out pushing “Islamophobia” trumps addressing myriad human rights challenges afflicting the Muslim world. More on this tomorrow.

Part Two of this article will appear in our next issue.

*

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.  

Subscribe to Frontpage’s TV show, The Glazov Gang, and LIKE it on Facebook.

  • roger

    The facts speak for themselves. Study after study, and especially the FBI studies show that the most targeted group in the US is Jews. The big problem is that because it is constant and endemic and the constant propaganda from anti Jewish (Anti Zionist) groups the public has become desensitised.

    • SusieBartlettedo

      as Thelma
      explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
      on the internet . more info here R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    The aim, of course, is to suppress any critical examination of Islam and its role in supporting active jihadi around the world. Where are the scholarly conferences on the role of Islam in today’s militant jihadi movement? Where are the conferences and journals on jihad? The threat of being labeled “Islamophobe” prevents any examination of Islam with respect to jihad.

    • moraywatson

      The threat of being labeled “islamophobe” only prevents examination of islam with respect to jihad, if one is a coward.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        After 9/11, Fort Hood, 7/7/05 London transport bombings, Pan Am 103, kidnapping of 300 girls by boko haram

        who isn’t justifiably “islamophobic”?

  • Underzog

    Latent islamophobia? That sounds like the old Soviet diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia. The Soviets used that diagnosis to throw people into their mental hospitals. I guess Berkley wants to do the same.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Latent islamophobia sounds like the so-called ‘institutional racism’ we have in the uk. It was ‘discovered’ by an enquiry into the London police, which failing to find any concrete cases of racism coined the term to ‘discover’ it in another way. One of the other results of the enquiry was to enshrine into uk law the principle that any crime is to be treated as racial (& thus given police priority) if the victim or witness say it is. USA beware!

    • nomoretraitors

      Too late. It’s already here

  • RANDY DOUGLAS MILLER

    I’M ISLAMOPHOBIC AND DAMN PROUD OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cecil91

    I would call it a load of academic rubbish but to do so would be an insult to academia. There isn’t anything intellectual in what these people are saying, it’s made-up, fiction from people whose heads are screwed on backwards. Few rational people will pay attention to these nuts, and thankfully the rational outnumber the irrational—for the time being.

    • nomoretraitors

      I’m not so sure. Look at the results of the past 2 presidential elections

      • Douglas Mayfield

        Nomo – The Republican nominees treated those campaigns as nothing more than smiling contests. And O. will win that kind of contest every time.
        Seriously, until the Republicans learn to oppose the Democrats, and their socialist poison, on moral basis, they’ll remain losers.

    • tamimisledus

      With islam what matters is not how many rational people pay attention, but who has the most weapons at their disposal and who is prepared to use them. And as we all know, warfare can take many forms. Propaganda and deception, for example as here using the smear of islamophobia. Economic undermining of society. Infiltration into positions of power. Actual warfare, not currently pre-eminent, but it will come. islam will use all these weapons, and more, in its aim to subjugate the world. In these circumstances it would be folly to rely on people’s rationality.

  • therealend

    It’s just more anti-intellectualism thrown out there to shore up a collapsing facade and block valid criticism.

  • dndgaddy

    islam attacks Christianity everyday and killing Christians everyday… they are an idol god religion… just the facts…period! Not the same God as Jehovah God whose only TRUE Prophet is Jesus Christ and not mohammad!

  • nomoretraitors

    Yeah, let’s put all the Muslim crimes against humanity down that memory hole

  • hlwegley

    Latent Islamophobia? Hey, my latest book isn’t selling like I’d hoped and 1 reviewer even made a slightly disparaging remark. He must be wegleyophobic.
    When are we going to start honestly evaluating worldviews by their coherence, correspondence to reality, and the actions of their adherents?

  • zoomie
    • iluvisrael

      I learned pretty much all I need to know about this ‘religion’ on 9-11.

  • Lysander Spooner

    I rebuke islamophobia and support our wise and fearless leader:

  • http://ironburka.blogspot.com/ Mullah Lodabullah

    “Better blatant than latent”, from memory.

  • garyfouse

    There is a whole new lexicon being born in academia. It was probably inspired by “Climate Change” being substituted for Global Warming. If you can’t prove global warming, scream climate change. Likewise if you can’t prove white discrimination, scream “white privilege”. If you can’t prove homophobia, scream pink-washing. Now if you can’t prove hatred and discrimination against Muslims, scream latent Islamophobia”

    • Feet2Fire

      Well said. Thanks for the insights.

  • Douglas Mayfield

    Since hopefully I am far more than just a ‘manifest Islamophobe’ (I hate the cheap, evil bearded scum who run Islam), let’s spell it out.
    People become Islamophobes because they are first rape-phobes, murder-phobes, child abuse-phobes, and atrocity-phobes.
    It is crystal clear, to anyone who is not evading on a such a grand scale that it approaches self-induced psychosis, that these crimes are committed daily, absolutely everywhere around the world where Islam is pervasive, by followers of that evil belief system in order to establish a world wide Islamic slave state.
    Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, there is no excuse for tolerating the evil that is Islam. If you value your life and the lives of those you love, point an intellectual finger at Islam and its followers and state loudly and clearly ‘You are vile and to be properly morally condemned as such by any decent human being.’

  • Robbins Mitchell

    With me it isn’t so much “islamophobia” as it is “islamodisgustia”

    • liz

      Hear, hear.

  • Drakken

    It will be a great day when we can finally line these leftist and muslim traitors against the walls and swing them from the lamp posts.

    • Viktoria26

      let’s not descend to their level.they love the slaughter. they love death more than live. But ‘Vengeance is mine saith the LORD’ let’s leave this in His
      hands

    • tamimisledus

      Actually it is the treacherous capitalist organisations who have sold us down the line to the musims – all in search of the mighty dollar, with no concern for the citizens of the Western democracies. How noble of the lefties, who in their ignorance swallowed the capitalist propaganda, to cooperate with the capitalists in the destruction of progress by islam and its adherents.
      So what do you propose to do to the chairman of Ford who transferred all production of Transit vans (almost a symbol of the independent English working man) from the UK to the islamic Republic of Turkey?

  • johnnie the jew

    What a load of new age deluded leftie psycobabble with a healthy smidgen of french marxist deconstructionism to boot. And to think people get doctorates and more out of espousing this crap. I’de rather listen to a cosmologist any ruddy day than these dhimmi sympathising deluded dolts. It can’t happen quick enough!

  • LarrySingleton

    You’re not really “educated” until you read “The War Against Boys” by Christina Hoff Sommers. Do Not knock this book as irrelevant until you have read it. (I would STRONGLY urge you, if you’re a dad, or even if believe in freedom, to read “Taken Into Custody” by Stephen Baskerville. Go to Amazon and read the Preface and Introduction to these two books.) The reason I mention Baskerville’s book is because it seems as if there are books best read in pairs. As in The Haj by Leon Uris and Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel which I always say should be sold as a gift set to those you want to understand the “right of return” sham and start their “education” on this issue. These are the kinds of books that you kick yourself after reading for not having read them. Indoctrination U by Horowitz is a perfect example for me. Come to that, this would also be a perfect “companion” book to War Against Boys”. Another little “Bible” I often refer to is “Slavery, Terrorism and Islam” by Peter Hammond. This is a GREAT little reference for both the neophyte and people who think they know it all. And speaking of kicking myself I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a “last but not least”: “Ivory Towers On Sand” by Martin Kramer. If you don’t have these books in your library, as Mr. T would say; I pity the fool. Again, I can’t stress this enough, if there is any book from any of the above that you’re going to choose; (Even before Indoctrination U.) Get yourself a copy of The War Against Boys. I promise you, if you’re like me the pages will be filled from top to bottom with hi-lites and notes.

    • LarrySingleton

      The bottom line to this whole issue, as far as I’m concerned, is the “right of return”. THE book to read to understand this is The Haj by Leon Uris. Even though it’s “just” a novel, this is the book to read.

      Subscribe to Jihad/Campus Watch and the Middle East Forum/Quarterly, Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Gatestone Institue, FrontPage Magazine, Cross Muslims: Muhammad unveiled and read Raymond Ibrahim, Efraim Karsh, Patrick Poole, Caroline Glick, Bat Ye’or and others.

      And:

      Martin Kramer:

      Gaza is a place with no Israeli settlements, from which Israel has totally withdrawn to the 1967 lines, and which nonetheless has become a Hamas terror state. That’s what happens in conditions of Gazafication. So when people say that in a two-state solution, Palestinians would have a “right of return” to the West Bank and not Israel, I do not find that particularly reassuring either. Any influx of Palestinians across the Jordan poses a problem for Israel, and it is naive to dismiss it. I would like to hear how, in a two-state scenario, Gazafication of the West Bank can be prevented. I haven’t heard it yet.

      Neither have I.

      Read The Haj by Leon Uris. And ask these questions:

      What year did the nation of Palestine come into existance?

      What were its national borders and what year did it cease to exist?

      What currency did the nation of Palestine use and why is there no history of it?

      Name one leader to the “nation of Palestine” prior to Yasser Arafat.

      • LarrySingleton

        I reposted the info below to ask if anybody knows why my comments come out like gobbledeegook unless I first paste and copy on WordPad. I can’t figure it out. I apologize for putting irrelevant material but in the last few years I have been plagued with problems I didn’t have when the Internet first came out. I hear a lot of other people complaining too. I’m using Windows 7. I had the same problem with XP. I do a lot of posting. (I like to shoot my big mouth off.) And this problem was driving me nuts because I had to re-edit everything I posted. Compare this with my comment above that I “filtered” through WordPad. Again, I apologize but Disqus “Help” has been no help and I figure I’m not the only one having this problem and readers and patriots should share information.
        Subscribe
        to Jihad/Campus Watch and the Middle East Forum/Quarterly, Middle
        East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Gatestone Institue, FrontPage
        Magazine, Cross Muslims: Muhammad unveiled and read Raymond Ibrahim,
        Efraim Karsh, Patrick Poole, Caroline Glick, Bat Ye’or and others.

        And:

        Martin
        Kramer:

        Gaza
        is a place with no Israeli settlements, from which Israel has totally
        withdrawn to the 1967 lines, and which nonetheless has become a Hamas
        terror state. That’s what happens in conditions of Gazafication. So
        when people say that in a two-state solution, Palestinians would have
        a “right of return” to the West Bank and not Israel, I do
        not find that particularly reassuring either. Any influx of
        Palestinians across the Jordan poses a problem for Israel, and it is
        naive to dismiss it. I would like to hear how, in a two-state
        scenario, Gazafication of the West Bank can be prevented. I haven’t
        heard it yet.

        Neither
        have I.

        Read
        The Haj by Leon Uris. And ask these questions:

        What
        year did the nation of Palestine come into existance?

        What
        were its national borders and what year did it cease to exist?

        What
        currency did the nation of Palestine use and why is there no history
        of it?

        Name
        one leader to the “nation of Palestine” prior to Yasser Arafat.

        • LarrySingleton

          See? It even “bunched” up the paragraphs that weren’t even in the original post; a complete mess.

      • Viktoria26

        The Haj, Exodus and MIchner’s The Source – my favorite trilogy!
        a whole heap a learnin’
        and let’s not forget Robert Spencer’s books. Should be considered course work for the above.

  • herb benty

    Can any sane American imagine a “professor of Islamophobia”! Our universities are leading the decline of the USA.

    • Drakken

      We already have anti-American African and man hating womens studies.

      • herb benty

        How the universities have fallen!

  • American1969

    No surprise that this would be coming from the People’s Republik of Berzerkeley.

  • wileyvet

    The prophet Muhammad condoned lying to protect Islam, particularly to gain the trust of intended assassination victims, enemies of Mo. All these so called Muslim academics are liars. But what is worse are the pathetic liberals that side with them and take the Muslim narrative as factual, when in fact it is pure deception and deflection. Even a cursory look at Islamic history is enough to show that supremacy and subjugation are its hallmarks. Do these simpletons with degrees, really believe that Islam offers equality to women and condones gays? If one wishes to see what Islam does to a country, look no further than Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan. Or what it does to a people look at the “Palestinians”. Nothing but excuses from Muslims while distracting with the phony condition of “Islamophobia”. Another effort from the Muslim Brotherhood in their relentless pursuit of Islamic domination everywhere. It is time to say to Heck with Muslim sensitivities and start outing these frauds for the murderous intolerant turds they are. Put them on the defensive by exposing their lies, instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt, or giving legitimacy to their specious claims. I have said it before, there is No such thing as a moderate Muslim. Islam is itself extreme, and to follow it makes one the same. If you do not subscribe to the tenets, doctrine and dogma of Muhammadism, then you are not a true Muslim. These liars know this only too well, which makes them enemies of all mankind, and their Koran is the declaration of war against ALL humanity.

  • Elizabeth Cape Cod

    [It turns out pushing “Islamophobia” trumps addressing myriad human rights challenges afflicting the Muslim world. More on this tomorrow.]

    That couldn’t be more truthful.

  • Elise

    How about a study of the Christianphobia and Judeaphobia that goes on in Muslim majority countries. Even so called moderate Indonesia denies Christians a permit for a church, protests outside permitted churches for corruption money and burns churches as well. In Indonesia it is haram to wish a Christian Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, or Happy New Year. In Indonesia, Judaism is not one of the 5 recognized religions allowed and if your passport has a stamp from Israel, they may not permit you to enter their country.

    • liz

      I think this is what you call “swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat”.
      They should be trying to correct their own enormous “phobias” against Jews, Christans, and everybody else, but instead they ignore that and nurse their precious little persecution complex.. Poor babies.

    • Lost_Lenore

      Better yet, perhaps someone needs to endow a university chair for Christianophobia studies. There is, not doubt, plenty of material to keep graduate students in the area busy!!

  • Hard Little Machine

    They really need to start their own universities and go off be happy with that.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Down with Islamofascismphilia!

    End the fascist occupation of Academia by socialists.

  • Tom Quiggin

    A Canadian report on the Muslim Brotherhood in North America has just been released at: http://www.tsecnetwork.ca See the sections on CAIR USA and CAIR CAN for more info on this subject.

  • popseal

    I’m not Islamophobic. Islam is a primitive dangerous superstition started by a known killer 1400 years ago. I’m aware of what it is. For the leftists trolling around, I think homosexuality is a perversion. I reject the sorry attempt at intimidation coming from the politically correct cowards that approve of anything rather than stand for the truth,

  • pansycritter

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/now-thought-crime-is-terror-in-u-s/

    And Eric Holder helps out all he can. Thought spee h is a crime!