Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In Search of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center

On Monday, I was on the campus of UC Berkeley for the first time, and one of my goals was to visit the famed Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center.

It proved to be easier said than done.

The listed address is Barrows Hall room 638, actually located in the Gender and Women's Studies Dept. (Rather odd, I thought.)

Barrows Hall is home to lots of those identity-based departments, like queer studies, Hispanic, African-American studies, and all that. As you walk down the corridors you can see all kinds of flyers about police shootings, discrimination against this and discrimination against that. Finally, we found room 638, just another tiny cubbyhole of an office big enough for one person.

Could this be the world famous Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center? I mean, where do they put all those files? My intent was to introduce myself as an adjunct teacher and researcher from UC Irvine and arrange to spend a few hours going through their extensive files to see who all the Islamophobes were. Alas, nobody was home. I hung around a few minutes hoping that their founder, Hatem Bazian, would show up, but he was nowhere to be seen. All there was was a flyer for the just-completed Islamophobia Conference.

"Kilroy Was Here."

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