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."