By Abraham H. Miller, Originally published in The Hill
Taking time off from the crucifixions and decapitations to burn a Yazidi woman to death for refusing to perform a vile sex act, Islamic State’s home-field hard jihad is alive and well, while back at the University of California, Berkeley, the more palatable soft jihad is also alive and well.
The sixth annual Islamophobia conference was underway in a lecture hall sparsely populated by a complement of the usual suspects, women in hijabs and panel presenters working diligently to turn Islamophobia into another respected academic field based on oppression studies.
The gadfly of the movement is Berkeley instructor Hatem Bazian, a self-proclaimed authority on the subject. When not justifying Islamist violence in the streets of Europe as a response to Islamophobia or calling for an American Intifada from the streets of San Francisco, Bazian can be heard rattling off the names of Jewish donors to the Berkeley campus to show the alleged disproportionate influence of Jews in campus affairs. Bazian maintains a studied silence about the Saudi largess that sustains his own department of Near Eastern studies.
But then Bazian has seldom let facts intrude on an emotional appeal grounded in prejudice. Despite the fanfare about the supposed legitimacy of Islamic studies in the Oppression department, neither the presence of Islamophobia courses nor the data on ant-Islamic hate crimes seems to bear that out.