The Center for Race and Gender (CRG) is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of California Berkeley that fosters explorations of race and gender and their intersections. Specifically, they facilitate on-going research projects through hosting working groups and cutting edge projects, such as the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project.
Dr. Hatem Bazian is the founder and director of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP), which is housed at UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender. In 2012, Dr. Bazian founded and currently is the Editor in Chief of the Islamophobia Studies Journal, a global resource for academic and applied research on Islamophobia. In addition to IRDP, Dr. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. Dr. Bazian between 2002-2007, also served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.
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The challenge for understanding the current cultural and political period centers on providing a more workable and encompassing definition for the Islamophobia phenomenon, a theoretical framework to anchor present and future research, and a centralized mechanism to document and analyze diverse data sets from around the U.S. and in comparison with other areas around the world.
The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP) focuses on a systematic and empirical approach to the study of Islamophobia and its impact on Muslim communities. Today, Muslims in the U.S., parts of Europe, and around the world have been transformed into a demonized and feared global “other,” subjected to legal, social, and political discrimination. Even at the highest levels of political discourse, the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, Islamophobia took center stage as a sizeable number of Americans expressed fear that Barack Obama, the first African American president, is somehow a closet Muslim. Newspaper articles, tv shows, books, popular movies, political debates, and cultural conflicts over immigration and security produce ample evidence of the stigmatization of Islam within dominant culture.
The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project has the following goals:
- Support graduate and undergraduate research and documentation focused on issues of Islamophobia through mentorship and intellectual exchange
- Establish an advisory group of a diverse community of faculty working on issues related to Islamophobia
- Provide seed funding for specific research projects on Islamophobia
- Publish an annual report documenting the status of Islamophobia within the United States (here)
- Publish a bi-annual peer reviewed academic periodical focusing on emerging research on Islamophobia (here)
- Host an annual conference to discuss and analyze research outcomes
The research agenda is centered on Muslims in the Diaspora and the intersection between two categories of inquiry: 1) race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and religion, and 2) the global “war on terror,” its impact on Muslim communities and American culture, and the use of the war to reintroduce long discredited Eurocentric paradigms.