Graduate Theological Union

Latent and Manifest Islamophobia: Multimodal Engagements with the Production of Knowledge

Monday, April 14, 2014 (All day) to Saturday, April 19, 2014 (All day)
Join us free of charge for the Fifth Annual International Islamophobia Conference April 14-19, 2014 on the legendary Berkeley campus, the location with a reputation for activism and for challenging ideas and authority. The focus of the conference will be Islamophobia: a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure which rationalizes the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve "civilizational rehab" of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise). The concept of Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended.
Inspired by Edward Said’s work on Orientalism, the 2014 conference is focused on exploring the link between latent Islamophobia and manifest Islamophobia. 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.”  For example, the obsessive pre-occupation of everything related to Islam and Muslims, congressional and parliamentary hearings criminalizing Muslims and violations of their civil liberties and rights, domestic and international surveillance programs exclusively on Muslims and Arabs, extra-judicial use of force on Muslims and Arabs, interventions, military campaigns, and policies rationalizing its exercise, are, in essence, what we see and bear witness in the Muslim world.  
The conference will also highlight genres of scholarly and artistic production over the period of a week that explore the maintenance and extension of existing power paradigms by bringing together academics, thinkers, practitioners, researchers and artists from around the globe who engage, question and challenge the existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations.