In an article for Campus Watch posted today at Frontpage Magazine, I examine the University of California, Berkeley's highly politicized Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project and its latest vehicle, the Islamophobia Studies Journal:
Scholars of the Middle East would do well to follow the lead of the Associated Press (AP), which last year struck the political term "Islamophobia" from the new edition of its widely used Stylebook, explaining that "'-phobia,' an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness should not be used in political or social contexts, including 'homophobia' and 'Islamophobia.'" Given that the word was invented in the early 1990s by a Muslim Brotherhood front organization, the Northern Virginia-based International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), in order to silence critics of Islamism by branding them as irrational racists and hate-mongers—according to former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad who was present at the time—AP made a wise decision.
In contrast, the field of Middle East studies—in partnership with organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist outfit linked by the United States government to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood posing as a defender of civil rights—has become one of the key proponents of the myth that "Islamophobia" is sweeping the nation. Professors of Middle East studies regularly use the phrase in both public lectures and the classroom, while producing books, op-eds, reports, and programs devoted to the promulgation of this deliberately misleading term.
At the forefront of this effort is the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP), a program of the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender directed by Near Eastern studies senior lecturer and notorious anti-Israel activist Hatem Bazian. Bazian, co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), has links to Hamas through his work with KindHearts and through SJP's sister organization, the Muslim Students Association. In addition to annual conferences devoted to the subject beginning in 2010 (information is available here and here), the IRDP produced the inaugural edition of its Islamophobia Studies Journal in late 2012.
To read the entire article, please click here.