Dr. Hatem Bazian, Director of CRG Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, contributed a post to the UC Berkeley blog about a recent study that considers how Islamophobia is employed as a political "divide and conquer" tool in US elections. Here is an excerpt:
In 2011, the Center for American Progress published a groundbreaking report, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” which managed to expose for the first time the funding sources behind the bigotry producing Islamophobic industry, the individuals responsible and the effective strategies that made possible to impact the mainstream. CAP’s report managed to shift the focus and correctly highlighted the infrastructure behind the growing Islamophobia phenomena and provided empirical evidence that until then was only theorized.
The “Fear Inc.” authors identified seven foundations that provided a total of $42.6 million between 2001 and 2009 to fund organizations and individual spreading anti-Muslim bigotry in the country. What the report clearly documented is that rather than there being a large grouping and widespread anti-Muslim popular movement, the researchers discovered a small network of organizations, scholars and activists that are well-funded and committed to misinformation, machination and bigoted rhetoric. The 2011 report concluded that “the efforts of a small cadre of funders and misinformation experts were amplified by an echo chamber of the religious right, conservative media, grassroots organizations, and politicians who sought to introduce a fringe perspective on American Muslims into the public discourse.”
Read the full post here: http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2015/02/25/islamophobia-an-electoral-wedge-issue/