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Hatem Bazian is a Palestinian-American academic at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies,[1] and an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law. He teaches courses on Islamic law and society, Islam in America, religious studies, and Middle Eastern studies. In addition to Berkeley, Dr. Bazian is a visiting professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary's College of California and adviser to the Religion, Politics and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley and Zaytuna Institute.[2]

Contents

Early life and education

Bazian is originally from Nablus in the West Bank and attended high school in Amman, Jordan. He arrived in the United States to attend university. He finished a double major in International Relations and Speech and Communication at San Francisco State University as well as working on an MA in International Relations. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Islamic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Student activism

At San Francisco State University in the late 1980s, Bazian became the first Palestinian to be elected president of SFSU Associated Students and the Student Union Governing Board. He was the first student to win a second term as president in the history of SFSU. The election came as a result of a united front formed under the Progressive Coalition that brought together all the students of color organizations on a common platform and a joint political strategy.

At the national conference United States Student Association (USSA) held at UC Berkeley in 1988, Bazian co-lead a major walk-out that culminated in the organization adopting a progressive board of directors structure granting by a 2/3 vote at least 50% of the Seats to Students of Color.

Bazian was elected as a Chair of the National People of Color Student Coalition (NPCSC) and an executive board member of the USSA. In both, he took the lead on affirmative action, access to education, anti-apartheid efforts on college campuses, and the Central American Solidarity Movement. He authored resolutions, which were adopted by the USSA national conference in 1991 calling for cutting US aid to Israel and imposing sanctions for its sales of military equipment to apartheid South Africa.

Academic and public work

Dr. Bazian is known for being an organic intellectual, a term used for academics directly connecting their research to the people, rather than utilizing speculation alone. Dr. Bazian's most recent book, Jerusalem in Islamic Consciousness, is a reflection of his desire to contribute to a better understanding of Muslim attachment and informed political attitudes toward Jerusalem and Palestine in general.

As an activist, Dr. Bazian has played a significant role in many human and civil rights movements in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally including: the defense of affirmative action in California; the Americans With Disabilities Act; the anti-apartheid and anti-globalization movements; and Central American solidarity.

Bazian worked as editor-in-chief of Discourse, a monthly progressive publication in San Francisco.

Since the September 11 attacks in 2001, he has appeared in many TV and Radio interviews, offered frequent commentary on current affairs and is a regular consultant for the San Francisco Chronicle on stories relating to Palestine, the Arab world, Islam, Muslims and world politics. He co-hosted Islam Today, a KPFA weekly radio magazine show covering Islam and its diverse people around the world.

Controversy

According to the San Francisco State University campus newspaper The Golden Gater, Bazian was appointed to the paid Discourse position by a lame-duck student-body administration that had recently been defeated in elections.[3]. He was paid a significant sum at a time when there were no publications and when there were no plans to continue publishing the magazine.[4].

A rise in incidents of anti-semitism as reported by Jewish students at San Francisco coincide with Bazian's rise to power on campus[5], and contemporaneous Jewish students have said that Bazian was a critical player in fomenting this environment [6]. Throughout the early 1990s at San Francisco State, Bazian continued his involvement in student politics at San Francisco State even after he was no longer a student, where he publicly obfuscated the difference between Jews and proponents of Zionism.[7]

When a controversial mural of Malcolm X containing dollar signs surrounded by Jewish Stars was painted on the student union building at San Francisco State, Bazian helped to organize students in support of the mural. Furthermore, Bazian was an organizer of and a featured speaker at a press conference in support of the mural held in the public Student Union building. According to the campus newspaper, The Golden Gater Jewish students were forcibly excluded from this press conference despite it being held in the public Student Union building.[8]

Bazian has been accused of anti-semitism. American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us quotes him at a 1999 conference of the American Muslim Alliance as saying:[9]

In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews. They are on the west side of the river, which is the Jordan River, and you're on the east side until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him! And that's in the Hadith about this, this is a future battle before the Day of Judgment.

Bazian said on The O'Reilly Factor that this statement was falsely attributed to him, and that he was considering legal action as a response.[10][11]

A former SFSU student has alleged that Bazian prevented his appointment to the Student Judicial Council on the grounds that he supported the state of Israel and was therefore a racist.[12].

References

  1. ^ "CMES Affliated Faculty Profile: Near Eastern Studies: Hatem Bazian, Lecturer". CMES, UCB. http://cmes.berkeley.edu/about/FacultyProfile.asp?ID=523. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  2. ^ "The Religion, Politics and Globalization Program: Steering Committee". RPGP, UCB. http://rpgp.berkeley.edu/?q=node/62. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  3. ^ "---". Golden Gater. May, 1993.  
  4. ^ "Discourse missing in action". Golden Gater. May 18, 1995. http://www.journalism.sfsu.edu/www/pubs/gater/spring95/may18/disc.htm.  
  5. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2VINAAAAIBAJ&sjid=aG4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6728,3811102&dq=history+of+anti+semitism+at+san+francisco+state
  6. ^ The Golden Gater May 6 1993. Letter to the Editor from Andrew Daniel
  7. ^ As a guest columnist in the campus newspaper, "The Golden Gater" from May 13, 1993, Bazian states that, "Zionism (is) the ideology of the Jewish people."
  8. ^ The Golden Gater, May 26, 1994
  9. ^ Emerson, Steven (2003). American Jihad. Simon & Schuster. p. 214. ISBN 0743477502.  
  10. ^ Kline, Malcolm A. (4 June 2004). "Berkeley “Intifada”". campusreportonline.net. Accuracy in Academia. http://www.campusreportonline.net/main/printer_friendly.php?id=109. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  11. ^ al-Bukhari, Sahih. "Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 52: Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihaad)". Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, USC. pp. Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177. http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/052.sbt.html#004.052.177. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  12. ^ Miller, Alan D. (27 April 2004). "Horovitz on Bazian". zionist.org. http://www.zionist.org/archives/000026.shtml. Retrieved 2008-12-05.  

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