Middle East studies in the News
Calling Out Terrorist Supporters Is A Hate Crime? [incl. Judith Butler, Hatem Bazian, Joseph Massad]
Campus police have opened a hate-crime investigation into the David Horowitz Freedom Center after its informational posters were circulated around UC Berkeley exposing various radical students and faculty as "terrorist supporters."
The probe comes as Berkeley shuts down the planned "Free Speech Week" that was to have gotten underway Sunday. Free Speech Week was to be hosted by Milo Yiannopoulos, whose speech on the campus in February was shut down by the violent left-wing radicals of Antifa, the pretended anti-fascist activists. The environment on campus at that time and now is like a scene out of the science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451, in which authorities organize the extinguishing of free expression instead of protecting it. At Yiannopoulos's speech and other conservative campus events, Berkeley campus police have at times stood by and done nothing as conservatives were physically assaulted, or in some cases, made it easier for leftists to batter conservatives.
Of course the idea of "hate crimes" rests on shaky ground. If one commits a crime, what does it matter if the person did so on the basis of "hate"? A murder victim is just as dead if the murderer convinced himself he was acting out of love.
In canceling Free Speech Week campus officials cited security concerns, but those are the very concerns campus officials gave rise to by aligning themselves with the communist thugs of Antifa and By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Yiannopoulos has vowed to move forward with Free Speech Week but it is unclear how much he will be able to get done in and around the campus.
The cancelation also means the September 25 premier of America Under Siege: Antifa, the latest film from Dangerous Documentaries (a project of the Capital Research Center, this writer's employer), at Berkeley has been withdrawn.
"The disruption of the film's premier is extremely disappointing," said CRC President Scott Walter. "Worse, it is a major blow to the First Amendment right to free speech. Let's be clear: Antifa shut down a film screening criticizing their own extremism by using fear."
The posters in question name Kumars Salehi, Judith Butler, and Hatem Bazian and nine other individuals as supporters of terrorism on the consciousness-raising posters that UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ ordered torn down.
According to the Canary Mission website, Salehi is a graduate student in German literature and culture at Berkeley. Salehi supports the dissolution of the State of Israel and is a member of the terrorist front group Students for Justice in Palestine and the BDS movement. He agrees with the absurd claim of Columbia University professor Joseph Massad that "Zionism and white nationalist anti-Semitism have historically been allies."
Butler is the Maxine Elliott Professor of Comparative Literature at Berkeley, a BDS movement leader, and a member of the anti-Israel Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) advisory committee. Butler has charactered Muslim terrorist groups as legitimate political players, saying she sees "Hamas [and] Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left [that are] very important."
Bazian co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine to wage a campus war against Israel on behalf of Hamas. Bazian is chairman of the board of the Hamas organization "American Muslims for Palestine," and is on record calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and its Jews in so many words.
The founding charter of Hamas, by the way, speaks of "the Nazism of the Jews" and asserts that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." It claims that peace initiatives "are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement"; that "there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad"; and that "war for the sake of Allah" is a noble enterprise that requires the faithful to "assault and kill" on a massive scale.
Bazian was born in the West Bank city of Nablus and went to high school in Amman, Jordan. He moved to the U.S., loaded up on academic credentials, and began teaching at UC Berkeley soon after that school conferred a doctorate on him in 2002. In 2009 Bazian founded and became director of the Center for the Study and Documentation of Islamophobia, which is part of Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender. He is editor-in-chief of the Islamophobia Studies Journal which he founded. He also co-founded Zaytuna College, which became the first accredited Muslim college in the U.S. last year.
Bazian has called himself an "organic intellectual," borrowing a concept from influential Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci. Shingavi, an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, is a member of the International Socialist Organization, a Trotskyist group.
Bazian denies strenuously that he hates Jews. 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,'" he has said.
By the standard used by the Left, Students for Justice in Palestine is a hate group but it hates the right people so it is supported by UC Berkeley officials.
As John Perazzo reports in the DHFC pamphlet, "Students for Justice in Palestine: a campus front for Hamas terrorists":
SJP is the most influential and most radical anti-Israel organization in American higher education, with chapters at approximately 200 U.S. colleges and universities. SJP defines its mission as "promoting the cause of justice," "speaking out against oppression," and "educating members of our community specifically about the plight of the Palestinian people" at the hands of alleged Israeli depravities, in hopes that "one day [the Palestinians] will be free from occupation, free from fear, free from poverty, and ... able to determine their own fate.
The decision to investigate the Freedom Center posters and shut down Free Speech Week are part of a disturbing, increasingly familiar pattern.
Disagree with the Left and you are a hater, a fascist, an enemy of the people. Agree with them, and you are an upstanding member of the community.
The campus administration in Berkeley has predictably caved in to the radicals of Antifa at every turn. Antifa thugs who dress in black from head to toe, wearing masks, wielding bats, and hurling bottles of urine while chanting "No Trump, No Wall, No USA at All!" The mainstream media-backed communist movement has grabbed the attention of the nation, gaining infamy after violence earlier this year in Berkeley and in places like Charlottesville, Virginia.
The so-called Free Speech Movement launched by Mario Savio at Berkeley in 1964 was not about free speech but about permitting recruitment for political organizations on campus. It was a clarifying moment for the activist Left that launched a new era of radical, destructive activism. As David Horowitz has written, it was an "eruption that had culminated in the occupation of the university administration building, Sproul Hall and the arrest of 800 student trespassers."
It was the first "takeover" of a campus building in the history of American higher education and set the stage for political actions on college campuses for the next generation. It had done more than that. It had reshaped the very idea of the university. A year before my scheduled appearance, the university's chancellor, Robert Berdahl, had presided over the dedication of a "Free Speech Café" to commemorate the achievement that university officials had once condemned as a criminal act.
At the dedication back then the chancellor showed how the campus administration had unreservedly endorsed the goals of the FSM radicals, rhapsodizing about the "the timelessness and power of the FSM -- a power that transcends generations," and "the rich legacy that the FSM left for this university and other campuses across the nation and worldwide."
Today the Berkeley administration has similarly capitulated to the phony anti-fascists of the Antifa movement. When conservative speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz, and Ann Coulter are scheduled to speak on campus the administration typically doesn't forbid their appearances. Instead, it makes the speeches inconvenient to the point of impossibility, requiring the use of venues a mile off campus at times when students can't attend.
It pretends to adhere to the First Amendment's speech protections.
The so-called Free Speech Movement was a declaration of war against the norms of society in which campus radicals proclaimed themselves above the law and not subject to the usual constraints on conduct in the American democratic process. All forms of leftist agitation, including physical violence, became regarded as legitimate forms of protest, so long as the actions advanced the fundamental transmogrification of America. Legitimate force used by the authorities to combat leftist mayhem was deemed fascist or whatever descriptor was fashionable at the time. Today the thugs of Antifa self-righteously assault their opposition, cloaking themselves in the same moral garments as their forebears.
It should surprise no one that days before Milo's scheduled appearance the Southern Poverty Law Center was invited to campus and hosted by Berkeley's diversity administration. In introducing the SPLC's spokesman at the event " which was organized by the campus's Division of Equity and Inclusion," Oscar Dubón, Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion, described the SPLC address as evidence of the university's commitment to open dialogue on campus.
"This is a group of people that wants to piss you off; this is a group of people that wants to trigger you, as they say," SPLC told an audience of around 100 people in the Multicultural Community Center.
Administration mouthpiece Dan Mogulof piously insisted last week that the university was going above and beyond what was required to provide security for Free Speech Week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The group sponsoring the planned events, the Berkeley Patriot, protested to the U.S. Department of Justice, stating that the campus "has become downright physically dangerous this past year for conservative students," and that campus officials failed to safeguard students' free speech rights.
Mogulof claimed the "exact opposite" was true. "Never in anyone's recent memory has so much time and money been spent to support the First Amendment rights of a student organization. Any reasonable person can see that."
Conservatives aren't reasonable people, as Mogulof sees it.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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