UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, who first came to America from the West Bank as a student and stayed on to become a professor, has two issues in his life: Those are his opposition to Israel and secondly, his never-ending charges of Islamophobia. Indeed, he is a founder of an entity at UC Berkeley called the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center.
Bazian has a long litany of inflammatory comments that have brought embarrassment to UC Berkeley, an institution that refuses to be embarrassed by anything-even the hiring of this character. Some of Bazian's reported comments, according to his critics and including this writer, have crossed the line from criticism of Israeli policies to attacks upon Jews.
In his latest screed, posted on his blog, Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, Bazian uses the Supreme Court decision affirming President Trump's travel ban to once again accuse his adopted country of being racist, or in this case, Islamophobic and xenophobic. As is his wont, he dredges up long past cases of discrimination against minorities to make the case that what is happening today with immigrants is just a continuation of what America is all about-racism.
First of all, we don't need the likes of Bazian to teach us that slavery, the Dred Scott decision, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese-Americans or the Korematsu decision were wrong, as well as the treatment of Native-Americans. Our country and our society have long acknowledged those errors. For many decades, this country has welcomed legal immigrants from every corner of the world. What we object to is illegal immigration as well as certain immigrants who have no intention of assimilating and accepting the values of our country. This latter category has nothing to do with skin color, nationality or ethnicity rather what belief system an immigrant brings. To accuse the American people of being xenophobic in the face of the above is outrageous.
As to the travel ban itself, if it truly were a "Muslim Exclusionary Act" as Bazian terms it, it would have included all 56 Muslim majority nations rather than just the handful of countries whose governments cannot or will not effectively help America vet applicants. It would not include North Korea or Venezuela. As it is, Trump's ban is an effort to save innocent lives from terrorists who are trying to come here.
For several years now, people like Bazian, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council have tried to hitch their wagon to the past injustices suffered by other minorities. One example is the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II after Pearl Harbor. Naturally, 9-11 is often compared to Pearl Harbor, but it should be noted that nobody seriously talks about interning innocent American Muslims. That idea has never entered into our discussion. Yet, after Pearl Harbor, no Japanese or Japanese-American carried out any domestic attacks against our country-as has happened since 9-11 by some Muslims in the US, such as the attacks in San Bernardino, Boston, Orlando, and Ft Hood, to say nothing of the many Islamic plots foiled by the FBI and other law enforcement.
The term, "Islamophobia" itself is one thought up by Islamist activists in the US to try and shame and silence critics. I will be the first to acknowledge that there is considerable anti-Islamic feeling all over the world in response to Islamic terrorism, the violent and intolerant nature of Islamic ideology, the vitriol being spouted by many imams in Western-based mosques, ISIS, the treatment of women, gays and religious minorities in Muslim countries, and the horrific situation today in Europe. Those of us who have taken the time to study the Koran, the hadith, the life of Mohammad and the intolerant teachings of Islam have come away with deep concerns. That does not mean we should reject all Muslims, many of whom may be secular and do not subscribe to violence and hate. People like Bazian dismiss us as "Islamophobes" (depending on how you define that tricky term) and wish to silence us.
Hatem Bazian can give speeches and write about the evils of his adopted country all he wants. It doesn't change the reality of what is happening around the world. He cannot explain away the horrors being committed in the name of a religion, and if he thinks trashing this country and its people will be effective, he is sadly mistaken.