Stemming the tide of Islamophobia focus of CIMES panel discussion on Thursday, May 23, at CSUSB
Office of Strategic Communication
The rise of populism and Islamophobia will be the topic of discussion when the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Cal State San Bernardino hosts a panel discussion, “Rise of Populism and Islamophobia: How Can We Stem the Tide?” on Thursday, May 23.
The program, which is free and open to the public and will feature panelists Hatem Bazian and Ahlam Muhtaseb, will be held in the College of Education building, room CE-105, beginning at 6 p.m. Parking at CSUSB is $6. “Rise of Populism and Islamophobia: How Can We Stem the Tide?” is co-sponsored by the CSUSB Department of Communication Studies and the College of Extended and Global Education.
Populism and nationalism are on the rise in the United States and worldwide, and along with that, an increase of reported bias incidents against people of color, Jews and Muslims. Additionally, CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reported in its study, “Final U.S. status report, hate crime analysis & forecast for 2016/2017:” “Recent polls show sustained levels of anti-Muslim prejudice in the high thirty to mid-forty percent range in the United States, a level higher than after 9/11.”
In its description of the program, CIMES said, “The current rise of populism across the globe is directly linked to the spread of Islamophobia, as policy and radicalized funnel, that candidates and political parties utilize to draw voters to the ballot box. Here, rightwing populism has used Islamophobia, xenophobia and racial discourses to repackage people’s real economic pain, social and political instability in Western societies and posit itself as the solution to these complex and long-standing problems. This panel seeks to deconstruct the current confluence of populism and Islamophobia to understand its growing manifestation and utility in political discourses domestically and abroad, and to assess the role of mass media in advancing racist and Islamophobic agendas.”
Panelist Hatem Bazian is co-founder and professor of Islamic law and theology at Zaytuna College, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a lecturer in the departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on Islamic Law and Society, Islam in America: Communities and Institutions, De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam, religious studies, and Middle Eastern studies. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Boalt Hall School of Law (now Berkeley Law School) at UC Berkeley from 2002-2007.
In the spring of 2009, Bazian founded at Berkeley the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of Othering Islam and Muslims. In 2012, he launched the Islamophobia Studies Journal, which is published bi-annually through a collaborative effort between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the UC Berkeley, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative for the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University; the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, and Zaytuna College.
Panelist Ahlam Muhtaseb is a professor of communication studies at CSUSB and director of CIMES. Her research interests include digital communication, social media and diasporic communities. Her most recent project is the award-wining documentary “1948: Creation & Catastrophe,” which she co-directed and co-produced. The film focuses on the year 1948 and its catastrophic consequences on the Palestinian nation, which has originated from her field work in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. She won the 2019 Rebuilding Alliance “Story Teller” Award.
In addition, most of her recent research focuses on digital media and social movements online (cyber activism), and Arab and Muslim images in the media.
The panel will be moderated by David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history and associate director of CIMES.
For more information on “Rise of Populism and Islamophobia: How Can We Stem the Tide?” or on CIMES, visit the center’s website.
For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the CSUSB Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit inside.csusb.edu.