- Lecturer at UC Berkeley
- Has called for an “intifada” in America
Dr. Hatem Bazian is a native Palestinian who is currently a lecturer in the Near Eastern Studies and Ethnic Studies Departments at UC Berkeley. During his academic career, he has taught courses on Islam, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic, and Politics of the Middle East at Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Berkeley Graduate Theological Union, and Diablo Valley College. He is also a co-host and assistant producer of "Islam Today," a weekly California radio program devoted to Muslim issues around the world.
In 2002, when he was still a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley, Bazian founded the campus organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
At an April 10, 2004 anti-war rally in San Francisco, Bazian told the cheering crowd, “we’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here.” He added: “They’re gonna say, ‘some Palestinian being too radical’ — well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!”
At the same event, a Catholic priest addressing the crowd gave pronouncements “in the name of Allah.” Signs were sold proclaiming “Support Armed Resistence [sic] in Iraq and Everywhere,” next to tomes of Marx, Trotsky and Che Guevara. A student marcher carried a sign saying “Long Live Fallujah,” and another held a Bush effigy aloft on a noose.
Bazian is an outspoken anti-Zionist. In May 2002 he was the sole speaker at a two-day Middle Eastern “cultural assembly” at San Francisco’s George Washington High School -- an event whose rhetoric was so inflammatory that it generated formal letters of apology from the school administration to the public. The proceedings featured, for instance, a student singing a rap song comparing Zionists to Nazis while other students paraded with Palestinian flags in the background.
In October 2002 at the University of Michigan’s annual Palestine Solidarity Movement conference, Bazian shared a forum with revisionist historian Ilan Pappé and the now-incarcerated academic and terrorist fundraiser Sami Al-Arian of Florida Atlantic University.
Steven Emerson, in his book American Jihad, quotes Bazian sermonizing at an American Muslim Alliance conference in May 1999, promoting the Islamic State of Palestine. Excerpts from the quote read, “In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews . . . and the stones will say, ‘Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!’”
After a 2002 Students for Justice in Palestine rally at UC Berkeley resulted in the arrest of 79 protesters, Bazian spoke at a follow-up rally protesting the arrests. "If you want to know where the pressure on the university [i.e., to prosecute the demonstrators] is coming from, look at the Jewish names on the school buildings," he said.
Denying charges that he is an anti-Semite, Bazian says, “[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.’”
In the post-Saddam Hussein era, Bazian has attended numerous Muslim Student Association (MSA) events decrying the war and blaming Israel for American foreign policy decisions. In February 2004 in Montreal, Bazian gave an MSA-sponsored lecture at McGill University titled, “The New American Empire and its Adventures in the Middle East.” In this address, he cited neo-conservative think tanks, “Israel-centric” public officials, the Christian Right, and the oil industry as the four major forces driving American foreign policy. “The New York conservatives wanted to make the Middle East a safe neighborhood,” said Bazian “but not for Arabs; they wanted to make it a safe neighborhood for Israel.”
In August 2014, Bazian announced that an “International Day of Action” (IDA) calling for a complete academic and cultural boycott of Israel would be held on the UC Berkeley campus on September 23 -- the Eve before the Jewish New Year. The date also coincided with the anniversary of the day that Auschwitz guards had killed 200 members of the Sonderkommando (all Jews) with "Zyklon B" gas. Under the slogan "Free Palestine and end the siege on Gaza," the IDA event would feature the use of teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and "support for BDS activities" as means of condemning Israeli "apartheid" and "occupation."
Bazian chairs the national booard of American Muslims for Palestine. One of his more notable colleagues on the UC Berkeley campus is Professor Hamid Algar.
This profile was adapted, in part, from the article "A Berkeley Prof's 'Intifada' Against America," written by Jonathan Calt Harris and published by FrontPageMagazine.com on April 15, 2004.