Berkeley’s Churchill

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Liberal colleges and universities are canceling scheduled lecture appearances by outspoken University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill in the wake of his rerun comparison of victims of the 9-11-01 attacks on the World Trade Center to “Little Eichmans”—a reference to the notorious Nazi war criminal. Meanwhile, professors offering up even more incendiary rhetoric operate relatively unmolested on their home campuses.

Dr. Hatem Bazian [pictured], who wondered aloud why we don’t have an intifada in the United States, would certainly merit this distinction. He teaches at the University of California at Berkeley. Earlier last year, he asked a San Francisco audience, “We’ve been watching intifada in Palestine, we’ve been watching uprising in Iraq, and the question is, what are we doing?”

“How come we don’t have an intifada in this country?”

I wrote about Dr. Bazian’s California call to intifada and his return to the Iraqi uprising theme on three separate occasions. Before I posted the first of these articles last June, I attempted to contact Dr. Bazian by phone and e-mail.

He finally contacted me, eight months later. “If you are wearing the mantle of accuracy while getting it wrong by miles then you should hire someone to go over your work,” Dr. Bazian wrote to me.

“If your statement that I was ‘wrong by miles’ is meant geographically, I must admit that the record shows that you delivered the Intifada talk in San Francisco, not Berkeley [about 11 miles away, but I had cited it as the locale of the speech in my article],” I wrote.

Although he had told Bill O’Reilly that he was encouraging a political, rather than an armed, intifada, Dr. Bazian made no such protestations to me. He also never answered the questions that I had posed to him in a separate e-mail about his speech at McGill University.

Here are the points that I asked Dr. Bazian to clarify:

 In an appearance at McGill, the school newspaper quoted you as saying, “The empire has to be resisted both internally and externally. The Iraqis resisted, and we must also resist, as it subjugates people around the world.” The rest of the story makes clear that the empire you refer to is the United States. Was the Iraqi resistance you referred to that of the people against Hussein or that of Hussein’s forces against the U. S. military?

 Were you recommending political or armed opposition to U. S. policies in your reference to Iraqi resistance?

 Who were you urging to resist the U. S.?

Dr. Bazian did take the time to address another question I asked him. This one was really
a follow-up to a query posed by Bill O’Reilly.

The Detroit News quoted Dr. Bazian as saying, “The Day of Judgment will not happen until the trees and the stones will say, ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” Dr. Bazian told O’Reilly that he did not give the Day of Judgment quote but that it comes from The Hadith.

The Muslim Student Association of the University of Southern California describes the Hadith as “a narration about the life of the Prophet (saas) or what he approved—as opposed to the life itself.” The very possibility that Mohammed would have anything to do with the aforementioned citation, save to condemn it, strains credulity. I asked Dr. Bazian if this meant that the Day of Judgment quote from The Hadith, then, came from The Prophet himself. His answer was less than reassuring.

“As to the quote that you ask about ‘the Day of Judgment,’ it is a Hadith of the Prophet which appears in the collection of al-Bukhari,” he wrote.

“A Hadith is a statement, action, consent on the statement or action of someone else by The Prophet,” Dr. Bazian explained. “I don’t engage in discussions or talk concerning the ‘Day of Judgment’ as it is not an area of research or interest for me,” Dr. Bazian insisted.

The lack of interest in the Day of Judgment is a curious one for someone so devout. The origin of the statement attributed to Dr. Bazian by The Detroit News remains a point that begs for clarification.

Most westerners understand that Muslims view those of other faiths as “People of the Book” to be treated with every consideration and courtesy. Certainly, westerners have seen nothing to disabuse them of this conception in their own encounters.

Nonetheless, the apparent view of genocide implicit in the Day of Judgment quote should earn the condemnation of people of all faiths.

Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia