Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hatem Bazian's Message to US Muslims: Don't Work to Enhance Security

UC Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian, an Islamist activist from the West Bank, has written another absurd article on his own blog. Here he draws a parallel (which Islamists love to do) between Muslim Americans and Japanese Americans who were interned during WW II. Bazian gives us the story of one Japanese American who fought with the US Army's famed 442nd Regiment as an example of how he and others contributed to what Bazian calls our "securitization". He then goes on to advise American Muslims that it is not in their interest to take similar action.

Where to begin? First of all, in the current war on terror, there is no American or Western equivalent to the 442nd Regiment. It is true that certain Middle Eastern armies have their forces fighting against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban, but there is no Western Muslim 442nd. In fact, as we wonder about how many hundreds of US Muslims and thousands of European Muslims have gone off to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS, we have yet to hear of one American or Western Muslim who has gone to fight against ISIS.

The relocation of Japanese and Japanese Americans who resided on the West Coast during WW II after Pearl Harbor was an injustice, which almost everyone recognizes. Yet. there has been no talk about interning Muslim Americans. No matter how bad the situation gets, innocent people will not be rounded up and interned due to their religion. Arrests for engaging or aiding terrorism? Yes. Deportations or denial of immigration visas? Sure. I maintain that innocent American Muslims have nothing to worry about. Is it possible that the FBI will knock on their doors asking for cooperation and information? Sure. So what? It is shameful (as CAIR in San Francisco has already done) to advise Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. That was the suggestion of their local director, Zahra Billoo.

"In today’s America, Muslims and Islam are securitization subjects. This process is not unique to Muslims as African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos are in distinctive ways and structures, experience the same securitization regime. African Americans in crime and drugs, Latinos on immigration, Native Americans for land rights and sovereignty claims, and Asian Americans on spying for technological secrets, all are treated as securitization subjects by the State."

What is this man talking about? We have a system of justice in this country that says only the guilty shall be incarcerated or otherwise punished by the law after a fair trial.  Bazian has no understanding of our social and legal structures. And does he really think that Asian-Americans are under some kind of siege because of cyber-spying? What kind of stereotyping is he engaged in?

"Immediately after the attacks of 9/11, I wrote of Muslims being subject to a ‘virtual internment’ structure, whereby collectively the community is subject to the same monitoring and controlling conditions found in WWII camps while not being confined within a space."

He didn't waste any time blaming the victims, did he?

“Integration” becomes meaningless within securitization since membership in society is curtailed by security structures and a system of “negotiated” rights and privileges are used to control and modify behavior. Here, citizenship is equivalent to an inmate’s cell and citizenship rights boil down to controlled conduct in the prison which is governed by the guards."

This from one who came to the US to obtain his higher education. From his previous writings I assume he is a naturalized US citizen. One wonder why he bothered to obtain citizenship. What is he doing here?

Are US Muslims under suspicion? Sadly, yes. Without disparaging patriotic Muslims who have joined the armed forces, we have the unfortunate examples of Major Nidal Hasan and the Muslim convert, Hasan Akbar, who killed 2 fellow soldiers and wounded 14 others in Iraq. However, American Muslims still enjoy Constitutional rights that cannot be infringed. Suspicion of a group is not enough to warrant arrest of any individual.

I infer from this piece that Hatem Bazian's message is essentially that Muslims should self segregate. This goes hand in hand with Zahra Billoo's suggestion that Muslims should shut the door on FBI agents. Bazian should not wonder why Muslims are under suspicion. He contributes to that suspicion much to the detriment of innocent Muslims in America.

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