CAIR Participates In Berkley "Islamaphobia" Conference


The University of California Berkley newspaper has reported that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood was scheduled participant in the recent conference held at the University titled “Deconstructing Islamaphobia.” The announcement described the conference as:

Deconstructing Islamophobia,” a two-day conference at the University of California, Berkeley. A wide-ranging lineup of scholars will discuss the rising local, national and global fear of and prejudice against the religion of Islam and of Muslims, as evidenced by actions including the curtailment of civil rights in the name of post-9/11 national security. Panel topics will include “‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Muslims: Youth Citizenship and Dissent in the U.S. Empire;” “The Wall Street Journal’s Muslims: Representing Islam in American Print News Media;” “Islamophobia and Anti-Blackness: A Genealogical Approach;” “Islamophobia, Jewish Intellectuals and the Question of Arab Jews;” and “Do U.S. Policies Fuel Islamphobia?” The conference is being sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender.

A local media report said that participating professors hoped to turn Islamaphobia into a “new field of academic research”:

The professors hope to foster a. While Islam has been examined as a religion, and Muslim nations have been scrutinized in political science departments, it has not been placed within the context of ethnic studies. Those departments often focus on gender issues as well as specific ethnic groups, like African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.

The same report cited remarks by UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian who

….defined Islamophobia as “unfounded hostility toward Muslims and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims.” As a result, Muslims are painted as monolithic, unable to adapt to modernity and dissimilar to other major faiths. Islamophobes present Muslims as inferior to the West, archaic, barbaric and irrational, Bazian said.

Video from an April 2004 antiwar-rally shows Bazian making the following remarks:

“Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Well, we’ve been watching intifada in Palestine, we’ve been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don’t have an intifada in this country? Because it seem[s]to me, that we are comfortable in where we are, watching CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox, and all these mainstream… giving us a window to the world while the world is being managed from Washington, from New York, from every other place in here in San Francisco: Chevron, Bechtel, [Carlyle?] Group, Halliburton; every one of those lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving individuals are in our country and we’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s]fundamentally the political dynamics in here. And we know every– They’re gonna say some Palestinian being too radical — well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!”

More video from the same conference show Bazian talking about the “Arabs who are coming to help” in Iraq.

The term “Islamaphobia” appears to have been first used in a report by the British Runneymede Trust. One of the members of that commission was Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistani ambassador a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, an organization with many ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The term has since become a critical part of the global Muslim Brotherhood lexicon, frequently used against Brotherhood critics.

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