Volume 8, Issue 2 (2010) Islam: From Phobia to Understanding

Proceedings of the International Conference on "Debating Islamophobia." Co-organized by Casa Árabe-IEAM and the Program of Comparative Ethnic Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies at U.C. Berkeley. Madrid, Spain, May 28–29, 2009.

In Celebration of Nasr Abu Zayd (1943–2010).

This Fall 2010 issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge includes the proceedings of an international academic conference on “Debating Islamophobia,” co-organized by Gema Martín Muñoz, Director General of Casa Árabe (and its International Institute of Arab and Muslim World Studies) and Professor of Sociology of the Arab and Islamic world at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and Ramón Grosfoguel, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Senior Research Associate of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. Grosfoguel and Martín Muñoz also co-edited this proceedings collection.

As the final preparations for the publication of this issue were being made, the editors received word that Nasr Hamed Abu-Zayd, a contributing author and renowned Emeritus Professor of Islam and Humanism at the University of Humanistics at Utrecht, The Netherlands, had suddenly passed away. On the one hand, this deeply saddened us for having lost such a prominent scholar of hermeneutic discourse on Islam and comparative religion. On the other hand, we found ourselves very fortunate to have in this collection what may well have been his last words submitted for publication, one that provides a succinct and accessible presentation of his views not only on Islamophobia and its origins, but also on the commonalities of substance and purpose across various religious traditions. It was for this reason that we broadly adopted his article’s title for the theme of this proceedings collection as well, for it expresses quite suitably the common purpose of all the contributions gathered in this volume. The present journal issue titled “Islam: From Phobia to Understanding” is hereby dedicated to the legacy and memory of Nasr Hamed Abu-Zayd, in deep respect for his Islamic Humanism and the genuine and courageous hermeneutic study of Islam and the Qur’an in a comparative world-historical perspective.

Editor's Notes



Introduction: Debating Islamophobia
Ramón Grosfoguel and Gema Martín-Muñoz


Unconscious Islamophobia
Gema Martín-Muñoz


Issue Co-Editors
Ramón Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley / Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris
Gema Martín-Muñoz, Casa Árabe-IEAM and Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain
Journal Editor
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, University of Massachusetts Boston