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Islam, Political Islam, and Islamophobia: An International Conference

Fri, Mar 29, 9:00 am to Sat, Mar 30, 5:00 pm
Indiana Memorial Union, Indiana University, Bloomington

Muslims representing all strata of society throughout the world face an extraordinary degree of negative attention from both public and government eyes often resulting in discriminatory practices. These practices, born of stereotypical descriptions and definitions of “Islam” and “Muslims,” are connotative of the level of fear and hatred in many parts of the world when topics concerning this religion and its adherents arise. The upcoming conference will attempt to clarify this phenomenon by examining intersections between Islam, political Islam, Islamophobia, and human rights. How does Islamophobia resemble other forms of social prejudice, and in what ways does it differ? What is the political function of Islamophobia?  To what degree and in what ways is Islamophobia fed by the actions of political Islam? To what degree does the politicization of Islam exacerbate the victimization of Muslims? To what degree do the militant operations of political Islam serve as an excuse for those who intend to legitimize and institutionalize prejudice against Muslims? To what degree is prejudice a result of ignorance or lack of understanding of Islam and its followers? This conference invites all scholars of relevant disciplines for an in-depth theoretical, analytical, conceptual, and historical examination of Islamophobia. Proposals showing signs of polemics, propaganda, conspiracy theories, binary dichotomies, such as “Arabs vs. Jews,” “East vs. West,” “Muslims vs. Christians,” “Israelis vs. Palestinians,” and the like will be rejected. The medium of the conference will be English. However, a small number of papers in Turkish will also be considered due to the advanced instructional needs of Indiana University’s Turkish Language Program.

Islam, Political Islam, and Islamophobia:
An International Conference
Indiana University–Bloomington
March 29-30, 2013
Dr. Kemal Silay
Professor of Turkish Language and Literature
Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Endowed Chair Professor
Director, Turkish Language Flagship Center
Director, Turkish Studies Program
Indiana University
Dr. Tuğrul Keskin
Assistant Professor of International and Middle East Studies
Affiliated Faculty of Black Studies, Sociology, and Turkish Studies
Portland State University
Friday, March 29, 2013
5:00–7:00 PMReception • IMU • Faculty Club • Room 250
5:30–5:45 PMOpening Remarks by Dr. Kemal Silay, Indiana University
5:45–6:45 PMKeynote Address by Dr. Deepa Kumar, Rutgers University: “Islamophobia and the Politics of the Empire: From Neoliberalism to Imperialism”
Saturday, March 30, 2013
9:30–9:45 AM • Registration • IMU • Persimmon Room
9:45–10:00 AM • Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Kemal Silay • IMU • Persimmon Room
10:00–11:30 AM • Session 1 • IMU • Persimmon Room          
Islam and Islamophobia in Comparative Perspective
Chair: Dr. Kemal Silay
“Islamophobia, Alienation and Ways Forward to Strengthen Community Cohesion:
A Comparative Case-Study” • Dr. Valentina Bartolucci, University of Pisa, Italy
“The Origins of Western Islamophobia” • Brian C. Bradford, Western Michigan University
“Why Antisemitism and ‘Islamophobia’ Are Two Different Things” • Dr. Gunther Jikeli, Germany
“Islam is the Devil… and so Is Joseph Smith: A Comparative Analysis of Anti-Islamic Blogs and 19th Century Anti-Mormon Pamphlets” • Dr. Jeff Tischauser, Triton College, USA
11:45–12:45 PM • Lunch • IMU • State Room West
1:00–2:30 PM • Session 2 • IMU • Persimmon Room
Political Islam and Islamophobia
Chair: Defne Jones
“The Wave of Arab Spring: The Impact of Political Islam and Islamophobia • Dr. Zakaryya Mohamed Abdel-Hady, Qatar University
“The Genealogy of Islamophobia in Germany: From Woodblock Prints to Contemporary Political Rhetoric” • Dr. Courtney Dorroll, University of Arizona
“Bestselling Fiction, Political Rhetoric, and Islamophobia” • Dr. Celene Ayat Lizzio, Harvard University
“Insider Islamophobia: The Role of Islamophobic Authoritarianism in the Birth and Success of Political Islam in Muslim Countries” • Dr. Ahmet Temel, University of California–Santa Barbara
2:30 –2:45 PM • Coffee Break                                                                         
2:45 PM–4:00 PM • Session 3 • IMU • Persimmon Room
Islamophobia in the United States
Chair: Dr. Kemal Silay       
“Islam and Islamophobia in Texas Textbooks” • Dr. Tamer Balcı, University of Texas–Pan American
“Something Thoroughly and Uncompromisingly Foreign” • Dr. Rian Thomas Bobal, Georgia State University
“‘All-American’ Islamophobia: Sexism, Neoliberalism, and Mainstream Media” • Melinda Brennan, Indiana University
“The Impact of Islamophobia in America on Political Discourse in Turkey and Iran” • Defne Jones, Indiana University
4:00 PM–5:30 PM • Session 4 • IMU • Persimmon Room
Territorial and Regional Islamophobia
Chair: Dr. Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi
“Islam and Islamophobia in the Post–Soviet Countries” • Dr. Lala Aliyeva, Harvard University
“Governmentality and the Structure of ‘Islamophobia’ in Turkey • Dr. Matthew de Tar, Whitman College
“The Increase of Muslim Population and the Concern of Europe: The Relationship Between Change of Population and Islamophobia” • Dr. Tuncay Güloğlu and Dr. Ahmed S. Muhamed, Cornell University
“Fata Wants the Obilić Hero, Not Daddy’s Son Bajazit: Musical Islamophilia and Islamophobia in 1980s Yugoslavia” • Dr. Maya Petrović, Princeton University
5:30 –6:00 PM • Coffee Break
6:00–7:30 PM • Session 5 • IMU • Persimmon Room
Islamophobia as a Multifaceted Concept
Chair: Dr. Tuğrul Keskin  
“Violent Discourse: Themes in Islamophobic Polemics” • Dr. Andrea E. Cluck, University of Michigan
“Towards a Multidimensional Concept of Islamophobia” • Dr. Farid Hafez, Austria
“The Reach and Influence of the Islamophobia Industry: How a Global Anti-Muslim Network Manufactures Fear of Muslims” • Dr. Nathan C. Lean, Georgetown University
“The Media’s Impact on Islamophobia” • Dr. Sabine Schiffer, Germany
“Islamophobia, Sharīʿa and the Global City: Insights from Sydney and New York” • Dr. Joshua M. Roose, University of Western Sydney, Australia, and Dr. Bryan S. Turner, City University of New York
8:00–9:30 PM • Dinner • IMU • Federal Room
The organizers are grateful to the following units and organizations
for their generous contributions:
Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair, Turkish Studies Program, Center for the Study of the Middle East, Sociology of Islam and Muslim Societies, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center