Recently, Zaytuna College, a private, Muslim, accredited four-year liberal arts college posted a congratulatory social media post regarding their co-founder, Dr. Hatem Bazian’s appointment as a City of Berkeley Commissioner on the Peace and Justice Commission.
The Commissions stated mission is to advise “the Council and the School Board on issues of peace and social justice.” Creates citizen awareness and develops educational programs.” However, Bazian’s history and background makes him a very poor candidate to be teaching about peace.
Dr. Hatem Bazian is the chairman of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and founder of Students for Justice in Palestine. AMP has a history of employing terrorist financiers, with at least five AMP officials previously served with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s pro-Hamas Palestine Committee.
In 2004, Bazian was recorded praising the “intifada in Iraq,” which targeted U.S. soldiers, and the “intifada in Palestine” and urging Muslim-Americans to begin an “intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here.”
Bazian taught students that the Islamists’ opponents and critics of Islam generally are puppets of a war-seeking, Zionist conspiracy to victimize Muslims that has succeeded in seizing the United States’ major institutions. This conspiracy theory—essentially a modernized version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion—is used to silence adversaries through demonization.
A video of a 2012 lecture at Zaytuna College shows him teaching that the “Islamophobic production industry” is a product of the malicious “military-industrial complex” seeking to profit off victimizing Muslims at home and abroad.
In November 2017, Bazian was caught retweeting blatantly anti-Semitic photos mocking Jews as entitled people who “kill, rape, smuggle organs & steal the land of Palestinians.” Another photo placed a yarmulke on top of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s head, with a caption of “NOW MY NUKES ARE LEGAL.”
City Council Member Cheryl Davila nominated Bazian for the post. Davila, an ardent supporter of the BDS Movement against Israel, was removed for six months from Berkeley’s Human Welfare and Community Action Commission, in 2015, for pushing an Israel divestment proposal. Recently, she was criticized for dismissing Commissioner Ben Gerhardstein because he refused to support an Israel boycott.