Thursday, February 06, 2014

  • Thursday, February 06, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Tarek Fatah in The Toronto Sun:
Two weeks ago, I received a panicked message from a student enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley.

He wrote: “I’ve been told by one of my professors I will be required, as part of my grade, to start a Twitter account and tweet weekly on Islamophobia. I can’t help but feel this is unethical. This is his agenda not mine.”

The professor conducting this exercise was Hatem Bazian as part of a course titled, “Asian American Studies 132AC: Islamophobia”.

When I asked him to elaborate on his concerns the student wrote: “There are 100 students in the class, all of us forced to create individual Twitter accounts. I’m not wholly clear on what our final project is yet (I find it very interesting that he excludes both the Twitter account requirement AND the final project from his official syllabus), but we have to meet with a group in San Francisco, and our class will be surveying people of color on the impact of some ads put out by (anti-Sharia blogger) Pamela Gellar. Now I’m no Pamela Gellar fan, I think she’s nuts, but I feel ... between the Twitter stuff and the final project he’s basically using us as unpaid labor to work on his agenda.

I wrote to Prof. Bazian, who co-founded “Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)” at Berkeley, asking why he was using his students to pursue what appeared to me to be a political exercise meant to propagate a specific message to the Twitterverse.

Bazian replied, without referring to Islamophobia:

“My course is designated as an American culture community engagement scholarship class … Students are asked to send at least one posting per week on something related to the course content, be it from the actual reading or anything they read or came across.”

When I asked him why all the tweets by his students so far are about Islamophobia, he replied:

“The class is titled De-Constructing Islamophobia and the History of Otherness … (Students) are asked to post based on … examining Islamophobia through looking at earlier historical examples.”

The fact remains Prof. Bazian appears to be using his position of authority to make 100 students — mostly non-Muslims — tweet about Muslim victimhood in America, irrespective of how it’s defined or whether it exists.

No student I have seen on Twitter has yet posted a tweet saying Islamophobia is a myth, nor has any student challenged the validity of the term.

Here is a sampling of tweets by Prof. Bazian’s students:

One tweeted: “How difficult it is to be a Muslim woman in America”; Another wrote about “Islamophobia in Canada”; while a third tweeted, “One perspective of Islam is to view it as inferior to the West. Where does this notion of cultural superiority come from?”
Bazian's history should make him ineligible for any academic position whatsoever - even Berkeley -  in a sane world.

In May 2002, Bazian was the sole speaker for a two-day event at San Francisco's George Washington High School so inflammatory as to generate formal letters of apology from the school administration to the public. Advertised as a Middle Eastern "cultural assembly," the event featured a rap song by a student comparing Zionists to Nazis as students ran back and forth with Palestinian flags. Student and faculty observers called the supposedly multicultural event "pure pro-Palestinian propaganda."

In October of 2002, at the University of Michigan, at the Palestinian Solidarity Movement's annual conference, Bazian shared a forum with revisionist historian Ilan Pappé and the now-jailed academic and terrorist fundraiser Sami Al-Arian of Florida Atlantic University. At Michigan and elsewhere Bazian consistently denies being an anti-Semite, calling the accusation a ploy of opponents. "(The charge of) anti-Semitism is used as a means of neutralizing the opposition so the mainstream American public will distance itself from the 'extremists.'"

Yet, Steven Emerson, in his book American Jihad, quotes Bazian sermonizing at the American Muslim Alliance conference in May 1999 in Santa Clara, California, promoting the Islamic State of Palestine. Excerpts from the quote read, "'In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews ... and the stones will say, 'Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!'" 
Also:

At an April 10, 2004 anti-war rally in San Francisco, Bazian told the cheering crowd, “we’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here.” He added: “They’re gonna say, ‘some Palestinian being too radical’ — well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!

After a 2002 Students for Justice in Palestine rally at UC Berkeley resulted in the arrest of 79 protesters, Bazian spoke at a follow-up rally protesting the arrests. "If you want to know where the pressure on the university [i.e., to prosecute the demonstrators] is coming from, look at the Jewish names on the school buildings," he said.
Isn't that interesting that a leading expert on "Islamophobia" has an anti-Jewish agenda?


(h/t Ishai)

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