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'Islamophobia' in the Bay Area?
by Stephen Schwartz
According to "The Bay Area Muslim Study: Establishing Identity and Community," (BAMS) the San Francisco Bay Area, long known for its tolerance towards minorities and adherence to multiculturalism, is a hotbed of "Islamophobia."
Its principal author is Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley's Near Eastern Studies Department, director of Berkeley's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, which advertises BAMS at its website, and "Academic Affairs Chair" at Zaytuna College in Berkeley. Bazian's co-author is Farid Senzai, an assistant professor of political science at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school, and a faculty member (subject undisclosed) at Zaytuna. Senzai is also director of research at a little-known entity originating in Detroit, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which co-commissioned the May, 2013 Bay Area study.
BAMS is the latest effort by Islamists to use their stature in academe to deceive the Western public about their extremist agenda and the interests of Muslims in general. It is fatally flawed in its methodology, the evidence it musters does not support its conclusions, and it is little more than propaganda to use as a political bludgeon against anyone who objects to radical Islam. No scholarly tool for understanding the Muslims of the Bay area, it will be used to silence critics and stifle debate.
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