Berkeley Prof: Terrorists Good, ‘Islamophobia’ Bad

hatem_bazianWhen “interfaith dialogue,” “Islamophobia,” boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), and academia collide, there’s a good chance that Friends of Sabeel – North America (FOSNA) will be involved. Case in point: FOSNA, the “voice of the Palestinian Christians,” recently held a conference with the title, “Voices for Justice & Peace in the Holy Land” that encompassed all four factors. It took place at co-host Christ the King Catholic Church in Pleasant Hill, California, a massive complex with plenty of room for the workshops that made up the bulk of the conference. Tables displayed with anti-Israel books, leaflets, flyers, and T-shirts lined the walls of the cafeteria; approximately 100 people attended, many sporting keffiyehs, including a tall woman wearing a patchwork-style dress composed entirely of the scarves. Radical chic was all the rage.

unnamedHatem Bazian—a senior lecturer in the department of Near Eastern studies, director of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley, and a regular at Sabeel conferences and other “interfaith” events—led the workshop titled “American Muslims and the Palestinian struggle for liberation.” It focused on the alleged connection between “Islamophobia,” counterterrorism, and the pro-Israel movement.

After devoting much of his talk to defending Islamist individuals and organizations indicted in terrorism cases, Bazian went a step further by pledging the financial and legal assistance of the group for which he is co-founder and chairman, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a conference co-sponsor:

We have a total of 4,300 cases; ninety percent are Palestinian [and] regarding ‘material support for terrorism.’ . . . Right now we are in the middle of planning another appeal on the Holy Land Foundation case, which already has cost us $5 million.

However, AMP does not officially engage in legal advocacy, but, rather, “educational” efforts, rendering Bazian’s claims, particularly the inflated figure of “4,300 cases,” suspect. Bazian sits on the board of directors of the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), which filed a motion to vacate the prison sentences of the five Holy Land Foundation defendants in late 2013. He may have had this in mind when he made the above statement, but his numbers still don’t add up, as MLFA lists only 48 cases wherein they are involved. Bazian should either verify the existence of the alleged 4,300 cases or to stop repeating this falsehood to the public.

unnamedBazian also outlined AMP’s specific efforts to “put Palestine back on the agenda,” including anti-Israel bus ad campaigns, “Nakba commemorations” (radicals use the word “Nakba,” Arabic for catastrophe, to describe Israel’s founding), and “coalition building” with the anti-Israel groups Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine. Perhaps most ominously, he noted that, “We are designing a curriculum for use in 475 Muslim schools to address Palestinian issues,” a promise that was echoed by speakers at a recent AMP fundraising dinner in Chicago. Given that anti-Israel and Islamist propaganda masquerading as education has already infiltrated American public schools, Bazian’s pledge should not be taken lightly.

Bazian, who is listed in the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center’s “Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims,” claimed that there is a coordinated attempt in the U.S. to “demonize Muslims and create a reflexive hate, and [to] keep them out of civil society.” These efforts, “gain more sympathizers for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” He included “pro-Israeli groups” among the “major Islamophobic producers,” claiming that their goal was stop “debate” on “the Palestinian issue.” If that were the case, they certainly aren’t succeeding on college campuses where anti-Israel academics and activists dominate the debate.

Bazian singled out Investigative Project on Terrorism founder Steven Emerson and Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes as leading figures in the “Islamophobia industry.” In fact, both focus their work on the danger of Islamism, not Islam. Bazian accused Pipes of being “committed to the demonization of Muslims,” ignoring Pipes’s years-long contention that “radical Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution.”

Whether vilifying Israel’s supporters, advocating for Islamists and terrorists, drumming up unfounded fears of “Islamophobia,” bragging about nonexistent accomplishments, or slandering critics, Bazian’s calumnies were legion. And that is exactly what many have to come to expect from the ranks of Middle East studies. When “scholars” become nothing but political activists, truth is the first casualty.

Berkeley resident Rima Greene co-wrote this article with Cinnamon Stillwell, the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. Stillwell can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org.

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  • livingengine
  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Stop regressive progressive support of Islamofascism.

    Stop the Hate.

    Say NO to the Red/Green Axis of EVIL.

  • Tradecraft46

    Well, our Christian Tolerance will be our death.

    • masher

      If you look at history then we will either become Muslim nation, or we will have to become less tolerant. If you look around the world, as soon as Muslims show up in significant numbers there follows a civil war. It starts with terrorist attacks. We have already seen the start of this.

  • notme123

    Matthew 24

  • Hard Little Machine

    the only sane response to them is to use the tools of the trade of their heroes.

  • TeachESL

    If only they knew how Christians are being treated in the areas controlled by the PA and in Gaza. A few days ago a Greek Orthodox church was attacked in ‘west bank’

    • Notalibfool

      If the left knew they would follow their normal procedure: blame Israel.

    • Ken Kelso

      There’s a Palestinian Christian woman named Christy Anastas who heroically talks how Palestinian Muslims are persecuting Christians in the West Bank.
      She fled the West Bank to London after Fatah threatened her life.

      Click on the link to see her video
      http://thefederalist.com/2014/05/01/what-happens-when-a-palestinian-doesnt-hate-israel-enough/
      What Happens When A Palestinian Doesn’t Hate Israel Enough?
      By Luke Moon
      May 1, 2014

      A video was uploaded onto YouTube which featured a young Palestinian Christian woman describing what it was like to live under Israel military occupation. If that was all the video was about, it would have simply been added to the thousands of other YouTube videos which describe the same thing. What made Christy Anastas’ video unique was that she bravely revealed how Palestinian Christians have and are being treated by Palestinian Muslims and nationalists.

      Breaking through the silence and fear faced by so many Palestinians, Christy described how her uncle, a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem, had to pay the al-jizyah, protection money that is often levied against non-Muslims. After some time her uncle refused to pay the protection money because he noticed the militants would shoot and launch rockets near the Christian homes so that the retaliation would come on the Christians. Because of his refusal to pay up he was murdered in front of his house.

      She painfully describes the sexual harassment she faced as a young woman, “I used to get sexually harassed while walking to university. I used to get to university and turn around feeling so disgusted.”

      She wondered why it is that the Palestinian Christians are fleeing traditionally Christian areas like Bethlehem, whose Christian population has fallen from 85 to 7 percent in the last two decades, for supposedly economic reasons, but they have been replaced by Muslims.

      While still in the Palestinian Territories, Christy was encouraged to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum. She also visited a popular Christian church in Jerusalem where Jews and Palestinians worship together. Learning more about Jewish history and the Bible she began to speak about her rejection of dhimmitude (second class status for non-Muslims) and her right for the Jews to have a nation.

      Because of this, a member of her family said to her, “I have a gun, I have a bullet, I will put it in your head and end your life. You’re playing with big fire you’re going to burn your family before you burn yourself and I was sent to stop you.” Under significant pressure she fled to the UK where she received political asylum.

      So what happened when the YouTube video began to go viral?

      In the first video released by Christy on April 16th which featured the presentation she gave at a university in Sweden. In the video Christy described where she grew up in the Palestinian Territories and the unique position of her family’s home in that it is surrounded on three sides by the separation barrier. It did not take long before people began to identify who her family was.

      Almost immediately Christy’s family began to receive death threats and visits by security and intelligence officials from the Palestinian Authority. Even the churches in her home town asked for the video to be pulled down because of fear of attacks from Muslims.

      After a week of intense pressure and just 6500 views the video was pulled off YouTube.

      But it was too late. Word had spread that the daughter of the Anastas family was a traitor to the Palestinian cause. Christy’s sister was afraid to go to school. Christy even received death threats in the UK. Tragically the only option left for the Anastas family was to publicly disown Christy. The family went on Palestinian radio stating:

      We as a family reject fully and completely and remove ourselves from any word that has rolled off of Christy’s tongue in her speech. We denounce and express disapproval of what she has done and believe that what has happened is a result of direct duress currently imposed upon her. We were surprised, as we heard what she said just as you have heard it, and we have no connection to what she has said. We consider what has happened to Christy to be an act of entrapment and exploitation perpetrated by the Israeli occupation in an attempt to weaken us and remove us from our home, which has been targeted ever since the apartheid wall has been built. The occupation has exploited Christy in an attempt to grab us by the hand and cause us further pain. We plea with all of you to understand our point of view, as we are trying to follow up on this issue and learn more on what is happening to her in Britain.

      Following the release of this statement by her parents, Christy released a second video that includes a promise made to her by Dr. Saed Erekat, Chief Negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, on Al Jazeera, that he would protect human rights, freedom of speech, and the rights of women.

      Sadly, what has happened to Christy is not limited to Palestinian Christians. It is becoming increasingly evident that anyone who speaks out in a way contrary to the party line will be publicly reprimanded and disowned. Just last week, Mahmoud al-Habbash, the Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, was disowned by his family for stating that Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood.

      According to Khaled Abu Toameh, from the Gatestone Institute, al-Habbash was speaking to journalist about the killing of a, Israeli police officer in Hebron. al-Habbash said, “We reject all forms for violence, whether they are directed against Israelis or Palestinians. Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed.”

      For equating Palestinian and Israel blood al-Habbash’s family issued a statement, “We are proud of the heroic operation in Hebron and of every man and child fighting against the occupation. We disown him and anyone who embraces the despicable Israeli enemy.”

      Fatah leader Mansour al-Sa’di blasted al-Habbah, “We call for lifting his diplomatic immunity and for prosecuting him for administrative, financial and political corruption. We also call on President Abbas to fire him immediately from the Palestinian cabinet.”

      During the recent Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem there was a breakout session where student delegations from the US and Europe could interact with students from Bethlehem Bible College. One of the foreign students asked how the Palestinian Christians were treated by the Muslims. One student began to describe how he and his fellow Christians were treated as second class citizens, but before he could expound further he was silenced by one of the professors.

      It seems rather clear that whether a Palestinian supports Israel or doesn’t hate Israel enough the outcome is the same. Last week’s reconciliation between Fatah and the terrorist organization, Hamas, should not be seen as a move towards a unified Palestinian state where democracy and basic human rights, like freedom of speech, flourish. Instead, it seems more likely that if a Palestinian state were established tomorrow it would just be another hard-fisted autocracy–one that we helped create.

      • TeachESL

        I know about her but it’s very good you posted this in order that more people know about this very brave woman.

  • Drakken

    There is only one way these islamaniacs will understand the error of their ways, a heavy dose of lead poisoning. These sub human savages are our enemy period, end of story, it is time to treat them as such.

    • masher

      Look at US immigration policy. They are all coming here. And neither party is willing to change our insane immigration policies.

    • tickletik

      I like to think of it as “invasive lead surgery”

  • Terrence Jeffrey Johnson

    Close all the mosques in America, then bomb Mecca and Medina into rubble.The sooner the cancer of Islam is eradicated from the planet, the better.

    • masher

      We just need to end liberal immigration, end work visas, and end student visas. All the 9/11 terrorist entered the US on student visas. Work visas are just wage suppression. Immigration is just a type of colonialism.
      And of course, we need to secure our borders and stop the Mexican invasion.
      If we don’t then we will just see more terrorist attacks, a civil war with Mexican separatist, and continued wage suppression.

  • garyfouse

    As one who teaches part-time at UC Irvine, I have heard this clown speak several times. I could say that he is an embarrassment to UC Berkeley, but that’s like saying the Dawg Pound is an embarrassment to Cleveland Browns fans.
    The guy is a joke.

  • antioli

    Those who defend the Murderers are the Murderers.

  • liberalism is a mental illness

    OMG there is actually an islamophobia research project??!! Hmm I wonder where islamophobia comes from… Is it from muslims flying jumbo jets into the world trade center towers?? Is it from muslims raising their children to be suicide bombers?? Is it from the muslim on muslim war in Syria?? Is it from the fact that Islam has been a menace to civilzation for 1,400 years?? Hmm I think we need a research project. Give me a break!! Researching the cure for cancer seems like time well spent but researching islamophobia is a joke. What is wrong with the left??

  • AzzaSedky

    Here is another article that does not support the speaker but supports Islam.

    See “Innate Brutality” http://azzasedky.typepad.com/egypt/2014/05/islamist-gate-innate-brutality.html

  • http://ironburka.blogspot.com/ Mullah Lodabullah

    “Allah” and the false prophet have done all that is necessary to “demonize” the unfortunate muslims caught up in islam.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Nakba good.

    Islamophobia sensible.

  • Guest

    Nuke Mecca

  • Atheist Aardvark

    Nuke Mecca now

  • AlgorithmicAnalyst

    Par for the course in Berkeley. This has been going on for a very long time.

  • Johnny Palestine

    1. US Foreign aid to Israel jumped after 1976, the year Herr Peanut Dhimmy Carter helped separate Israel from the Sinai. Israel was foolish to enter in these talks BUT the USA cannot welch or squirrel away from its deal. Drop Israel from US toilet paper and Israel is allowed to take back the Sinai and its oil reserves and trap the Gazonians and begin deporting 1 minute after midnight.
    Israel.

    2. How can an Arab Muslim living on expropriated soil from natives be taken seriously? Natives of the new world have an excellent case for independence. Do they have rights Mr Islam?

  • Tanker74

    End the occupation … by Muslims of Constantinople, north Africa, the Balkans, the Levant …

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    I am struck by the number of books and curricula that emphasize peace studies and conflict resolution through the UN. These do not apply to conflicts that pit a backward class-rigid society against the modern world that emancipated women, Jews, and ordinary people from repressive elites.