Conference illuminates problem of Islamophobia in today’s society

For more than seven hours Thursday, students and community members gathered at the UC Berkeley School of Law to discuss the presence of Islamophobia in culture and society.

At the Fifth Annual International Conference on Islamophobia Studies, founded and directed by UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian, attendees listened to panelists describe issues ranging from the discrimination against Muslims to the representation of Muslim women in the media.

Islamophobia is described by Bazian as “an irrational belief and hostile attitude directed toward Islam and Muslims that problematizes them as a subject matter.”

The annual conference is one aspect of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, founded in response to the rise of Islamophobia in the United States and parts of Europe around the time President Barack Obama was elected, Bazian, who directs the project, said.

The project aims to establish the study of Islamophobia as an academic discipline by engaging scholars around the world with the conference. It also aims to expand the event to other countries, including France and Austria…

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Ever wonder why there are no phobias attached to other religions? Hinduphobia? Buddaphobia? Never heard of them.  Strange, isn’t it?  If it is disguised form of racism, you would think other religions would suffer the same problem.

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