By Lee Kaplan Contributor to Shoebat.com, May 4, 2015:
Hatem Bazian is a senior lecturer in Near East Studies at UC Berkeley. A Palestinian Arab, Bazian is also a supporter of Hamas and one of the terrorist group’s apparatchiks in the United States. Bazian was the founder of the Students for Justice in Palestine which has chapters on over 80 campuses in the United States and that operates as a Hamas support network in the United States. Bazian also co-founded American Muslims for Palestine which also links to Hamas and functions as a propaganda and fundraising mechanism to Hamas in Washington and is active with the Muslim Students Association on over 150 campuses in the United States and Canada. As an organizer, Bazian is tough to equal and he has used the California college educational system and its taxpayer-funded deep pockets to help facilitate massive propaganda events and fundraising not only for the Palestinian terrorist group, but for pro-jihadist groups across American campuses and Europe as well.
It is through his bully pulpit at UC Berkeley that Bazian also created his Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender Project. Racism and Sexism are hot topics on college campuses today. The fact that Islam is not a race, nor is a concept of Palestinian nationalism one, both of theories are being sold by Bazian and his acolytes in the university sphere worldwide. Thanks to UC Berkeley and surrounding colleges like San Francisco State (where Bazian did his undergraduate studies and led a Palestinian takeover of that campus as class president), Bazian’s campaign keeps gaining legitimacy as it aids the endless war against both the United States and Israel by militant Islamists including those who are fighting U.S. troops abroad.
A perusal of the websites for Baizan’s “documentation project” and the Center for Race and Gender events page at UC Berkeley reveals endless programs, lectures, events and other promotions dealing with alleged prejudice against all Muslims and “Islam” in America as endemic racism. On May 7th, the Center offers a book signing and lecture by a colleague of Bazian’s at Cal who claims American racism is the result of a refusal to establish a Palestinian state that would be led by notorious terrorists who support America’s and Israel’s downfall, such as Hamas.
“Islamophobia” refers to an irrational fear of Islam. It is supposedly to counter this irrational fear that Bazian staged April 23-25, 2015 his sixth annual “International Conference on Islamophobia: The State of the Islamophobia Field.” As done last year, the event was staged at UC Berkeley’s prestigious Boalt Hall Law School. Aside from providing a free venue at a distinguished law school, the event gets the entire imprimatur of one of the most distinguished universities in America. Other “sponsors” of the event included the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who members of congress and terrorism experts have declared a Hamas front group in America. The “Ethnic Studies” department at San Francisco State was also a sponsor, a professor of “Resistance Studies” named Rebab Abdulhadi in attendance and one of the conference lecturers who had gained notoriety by spending $6,000 of California taxpayer’s money for a sabbatical to visit female terrorist Leila Khaled in jail in Jordan to “show solidarity.” It should also be noted Hatem Bazian posted personally the conference’s schedule on the website of Bay Area Intifada, a blog that claims to promote “News, Updates, Analysis & Action Alerts for 3rd World Liberation & Decolonization from the Bay Area & Beyond.” An Intifada refers to Palestinian terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of Israeli civilians. The blog features photos attacking Israel and the United States.
I attended this latest conference with a video camera and tape recorder. I did the same thing last year and sat almost next to Hatem Bazian the entire time. Bazian was very cocky back then during last year’s event and joked about my having recorders. I wrote an article about that event. Only last March, Bazian staged yet another “Islamophobia” conference where he claimed Muslims were being denied a voice for their “studies” in the American university system despite his constant conferences and demonstrations to the contrary that I previously reported on and recorded.
Things were to be different at this conference. Bazian had me watched closely. On the second day, he approached me in the audience and told me I had to turn off my recorders. On two more occasions during that day, two goons came to my seat and ordered me to turn off my recording equipment , the last one threatening to “call the police.” It is against state law in California universities to hold private meetings and prevent recordings and a quick cell call to the Chancellor’s Office who contacted the campus police prevented any problems. I noted this occurred after one of the attendees during a question and answer period addressed the current panel and asked to discuss how the “Zionists” (Jews) were responsible for contributing to Islamophobia in America and how a Jewish organization was sending people to Israel to learn public relations that could be deemed as contributing to Islamophobia and how the New York police department was being propagandized by Jews.
From the get go, the accusation that criticism of Islam was racism was a central theme of the entire conference. Discrimination of women was also frequently discussed, but never in the context of Islamic exclusion of women or issues such as honor killings.
Bazian kicked things off accusing certain reporters and writers of contributing to Islamophobia. He dropped the names of Steve Emerson, Frank Gaffney and Ayan Hisri Ali, Brigette Gabriel and Pamela Geller as well as Fox News as being responsible for what he claimed was a smearing Islam to the public. Ayan Hirsi Ali’s speeches on discriminatory practices against women were all branded as “lies.” All the opening panels suggested that Islam is in no way linked to terrorism and it is the misrepresentation by such “Islamophobes” and it is racism to suggest so. What struck me was that as the conference progressed over three days it became more like a meeting of the German-American Bund in support of the Third Reich before the Second World War.
Baizan and company discussed only fleetingly the attack on 9/11 and how the Patriot Act supposedly had a deleterious effect on Muslims in America. But there was no logic to this. The fact is, the day after 9/11 the President and the US government declared that Islam is a peaceful religion and that the US was not at war with Islam itself, only militant Islamists and terrorists. This is still the US government’s position, yet the “academics” at this conference chose to suggest that any opposition to terrorism at all was just another manifestation of “Islamophobia.”
Of interest also was that Islam was not defined as a major religion, or idea, with different sects at this conference . What about Wahhabism? Or Sufi Islam, Shiism or Sunni Islam? None of these differences were discussed or explained, nor the fact that different sects of Islam sometimes fight wars between themselves. The entire conference was a “them v. us” event where any criticism or negative discussion of Islam was branded “Islamophobia,” particularly in the US or Western Europe. Terrorism wasn’t discussed at all unless to accuse the US and West of terrorism, or of false accusations against all Muslims, and no mention was given of terrorism where Muslims killed other Muslims. ISIS was not discussed at all. The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris were mentioned, but not in terms of their relationship to Islam as much as something westerners brought upon themselves.
Almost fifty presentations were made as examples of Islamophobia from presenters from across the United States and some even from Europe. But not all were academics or college professors or PhD candidates. Some, like Ramah Kudaimi from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which is the renamed International Solidarity Movement in the US, another pro-Hamas organization whose activists devote their full-time calling for the destruction of Israel and who support terrorist groups, promoted what she called the Adab, or Muslim-American etiquette to promote Islamic activism against the West and American support for Israel. Sana Saeed, a producer for Al Jazeera, the television network funded by Qatar, a Hamas funder, lectured on “The New American Muslim and Faithwashing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in which she called for Muslims to meet their obligations to call for the continued attacks on Israel rather than outlining Islamophobia in the US. Bazian followed where he lectured on “How does it feel to be a Muslim? Thinking through the present colonial perspective. His speech was hardly an example of Islamophobia as much as an adversarial approach by Muslims in America to be at odds with the US government and those fighting militant Islam.
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