When Dr. Hatem Bazian called for an intifada in the United States, he claimed that he was misunderstood; but other statements that he has made show him to be such a consistent foe of America that one wonders why he is still here.
“Well, we’ve been watching intifada in Palestine, we’ve been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is, what are we doing?” Dr. Bazian asked the crowd at a rally at the University of California at Berkeley, where he teaches.
“How come we don’t have an intifada in this country?” Dr. Bazian asked the crowd. Dr. Bazian teaches in the Near Eastern Studies and Ethnic Studies departments at Berkeley.
When Bill O’Reilly questioned Dr. Bazian about his call for an American intifada, the native Palestinian claimed that he was misunderstood. He was calling for a political intifada and not a violent one, Dr. Bazian said on “The O’Reilly Factor” program on the Fox News Channel.
Dr. Bazian also said that he rejects violence but could not bring himself to condemn the acts committed by Hamas and Hezbollah, even though the U. S. government has labeled both groups as terrorist fronts. O’Reilly pressed him on that one but gave him a pass on a pre-9/11 quote that most observers would label as “hate speech,” to say the least.
In 1999, The Detroit News reported that Dr. Bazian had said, “The Day of Judgment will not happen until the trees and stones will say, ‘Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’”
Dr. Bazian denies that he ever said those words. “I would never use that statement,” Dr. Bazian told O’Reilly.
“It’s a part of the Hadith collections, references to the end of time,” Dr. Bazian said. “And I in general don’t use that in any type of speech or discussions.”
This is a particularly interesting explanation that must have caught O’Reilly off-guard. According to the Muslim Student Association at the University of Southern California, “A hadith is a narration about the life of the Prophet (saas) or what he approved – as opposed to his life itself.”
Some of Dr. Bazian’s other speeches and discussions show a bent that might make many ask why he is not on an FBI watch list. He posted a stream-of-consciousness commentary in December of 2001, just three months after Al Qaeda’s fatal attacks in New York and Washington, D. C., that speculated on reasons why and methods by which Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon might try to assassinate Yasir Arafat.
“Sharon has been working earnestly to create or fomenting [sic] internal tension within the Palestinian Authority in such a way that can bring about a decision from an inside group, which no longer views Arafat [sic] actions to be in their best interests, and undertake his assassination,” Dr. Bazian wrote.
How can university deans and chancellors, in good conscience, hire professors who cannot speak or write grammatically? How do those same professors maintain credibility, let alone win Ph.D.s, when they cannot pass a standard written English test?
Really, in 20 years of reporting, I never dreamed that I would one day have to clean up the quotes of sources with doctoral degrees.
“Sharon have [sic] decided that it would be better for Israel to have the Islamic forces in charge of Palestinian affairs because he would have more sympathy in the West fighting ‘Islamic Fundamentalist’ terrorism,” Dr. Bazian explained in fleshing out his assassination scenario.
“We most certainly will hear some Israelis with the distinct N. Y. English accent remained [sic] all of us of the often used cruel statement that the ‘Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,’” Dr. Bazian predicted of the probable Israeli reaction to the Palestinian reprisals that would likely follow a potential assassination of Arafat.
Once upon a time, historians actually researched and wrote about real history. In his “O’Reilly Factor” appearance, Dr. Bazian made a reference to “Islamic Histiography.” Histiography is a field of study that is so new and amorphous that it does not make Merriam-Webster’s. The term itself has sparked a lively internet discussion in which no two correspondents could agree on the same definition.
Dr. Bazian, who went straight from the graduate program at Berkeley to his current lecturing post there, is also a favorite on the college lecture circuit.
If his other speeches warrant an FBI file, the talk he gave at McGill University should make him a candidate for America’s Most Wanted. “The Iraq occupation has more to do with ushering in a new American empire,” Dr. Bazian told the crowd.
“The empire has to be resisted both internally and externally,” he said. “The Iraqis resisted, and we must also resist, as it subjugates people around the world.”
Calls and e-mails to the good doctor to ascertain what type of “resistance” he envisions went unreturned.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.