Middle East studies in the News
Covert Watchdog Calls Founder of Students for Justice in Palestine 'Most Dangerous Professor in America' [on Hatem Bazian]
by Rachel Frommer
Anonymous campus watchdog group Canary Mission named the founder of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) movement "The Most Dangerous Professor in America" on Wednesday.
The announcement came with the release of a new dossier on Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley's Department of Ethnic Studies and founder of the school's Center for the Study of Documentation of Islamophobia, citing his "antisemitic" actions from as far back as the 1980s. At that time, Bazian was a student leader at San Francisco State University (which was hit last month by a lawsuit brought by students claiming the school has a decades-long record of "anti-Jewish animus.")
The report includes two videos in which Bazian is shown repeatedly calling for an intifada, or violent uprising, in America and Israel.
"Are you angry? Are you angry? Are you angry? We've been watching intifada in Palestine, we've been watching an uprising in Iraq," Bazian chanted at a rally Canary Mission identified as taking place in April 2004 in San Francisco. "[A]nd the question is that, what are we doing? How come we don't have an intifada in this country...and it's about time that we have an intifada in this country, that change fundamentally the political dynamics in here [sic]. And we know...they're gonna say it's some Palestinian being too radical, well you haven't seen radicalism yet!"
"The only language that the slave master understands is the language of violence," Bazian said at another event, according to the footage.
Canary Mission told The Algemeiner, "Bazian is a chameleon. In the academic world, he is slick and intellectual. In his writings he has a sophisticated anti-Zionist narrative that delegitimizes the Jewish people's history, identity and connection to Israel...[A]t rallies the veneer falls away and we see his crude racist rhetoric — a rhetoric that is aggressive and pro-violence."
Canary Mission told The Algemeiner that it considered Bazian to be so threatening because he has a singular "mesmerizing influence over many students," due in part to "his brainchild SJP" — a group identified in at leastthree studies as correlating with heightened antisemitism on campus — through which he "seeks to dominate the campus discourse."
The Canary Mission report also brought footage from a May 2017 lecture Bazian gave, in which he said, "the institutional backbone of the Islamophobic production in our country has the Israel advocates' footprints all over it." He then showed a slide in which he listed "the individuals behind Islamophobia," including Middle East scholar Martin Kramer, Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes, the Weekly Standard co-founder William Kristol and terrorism expert, and frequent Algemeiner writer, Steven Emerson.
Kramer commented to The Algemeiner about his being included in this roundup.
"Bazian uses the disreputable tactic of the blacklist," said Kramer. "He brings not a quote or a link or a footnote to substantiate my inclusion on his list. How do you spell 'McCarthy' in Arabic?"
Canary Mission also compiled footage of SJP chapters from around the country chanting, "Intifada, intifada, long live the intifada," and said the students are "practic[ing] exactly what [Bazian] preaches."
In response to request for comment, Bazian wrote to The Algemeiner: "[C]ould you tell me exactly who is behind the Canary Mission — an anonymous hate site that seeks to smear Muslim activists... What is the name of the person at Canary Mission making this allegation and what is their academic standing to assess who is or is not the most dangerous professor in America?"
Bazian did not respond to questions about his calls for an "intifada" or the methodology behind his list of those "behind Islamophobia."
Watch one of the Canary Mission videos on Bazian below:Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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