Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, May 14, 2010

UC Berkeley Conference Conjures Up An Imaginary 'Judeo-Muslim Civilization'

In an article written for Campus Watch and posted today at Frontpage Magazine, Rima Greene reports on a conference at UC Berkeley on the imaginary concept of a "Judeo-Muslim Civilization." It begins like so:

A conference at the University of California, Berkeley, on April 28-29, 2010 (and continued at UC Davis on April 30), "Muslims and Jews Together: Seeing From Without; Seeing From Within," was billed as a major international symposium for "the inauguration of the Program for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations at UC Berkeley and the establishment of a UC-wide and West Coast working group for the study of Muslim-Jewish relations ."

The conference was a collaborative effort between the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at UC Berkeley and the Jewish Studies Program at UC Davis. Its stated purpose was to use the frameworks of traditional Middle East studies and Jewish studies to develop a new academic field focused on the historical interaction between Muslims and the Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews who once lived among them. Most of the participants were historians or anthropologists specializing in North African Jewry, particularly Morocco.

CMES chair Nezar AlSayyad introduced the conference with a discussion about "building bridges" by re-framing the term, "Jews of Islam," into something that could be equated with Judeo-Christian civilization: something he called "Judeo-Muslim civilization."
Continue reading "UC Berkeley Conference Whitewashes History in Positing a 'Judeo-Muslim Civilization'"