Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sohail Daulatzai, Junaid Rana and Their "Big Book"

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Sohail Daulatzai

Having taught part time at UC Irvine for 18 years, I had the "opportunity" to attend two speaking events on campus by UCI Professor of Film Studies Sohail Daulatzai. I videotaped both of them, must to the displeasure of Daulatzai and the Muslim Student Union. After reviewing his background and hearing him speak the first time (2013), I asked him frankly which (country) he hated the most, Israel or the US. While not giving me a direct, albeit very long, answer, I left with the inference that the answer was the US. You can that event here and  the second event here (if you are a glutton for punishment.)

Daulatzai was born in the hinterlands of Pakistan and came here as a child where he grew up somewhere in California along the Mexican border. He is a big fan of Malcolm X, a Malcolm X wannabe in my opinion. He presents an image as some sort of angry guy railing against the imperialism and racism of the United States. He is also available for hire if you want a speaker to rail against Israel.

When he's not absorbed in Hip Hop, Daulatzai occasionally writes or edits books. His latest effort (2018) is a book edited in concert with University of Illinois Professor Junaid Rana. The title of the book is, With Stones in Our Hands, Writings on Muslims, Racism, and Empire, University of Minnesota Press, 2018

With a title like that, who needs to read the book? Yet, let's look at the teaser for the book:

"Bringing together scholars and activists, With Stones in Our Hands confronts the rampant anti-Muslim racism and imperialism across the globe today

After September 11, 2001, the global War on Terror has made clear that Islam and Muslims are central to an imperial system of racism. Prior to 9/11, white supremacy had a violent relationship of dominance with Islam and Muslims. Racism against Muslims today borrows from centuries of white supremacy and is a powerful and effective tool to maintain the status quo.

After September 11, 2001, the global War on Terror has made clear that Islam and Muslims are central to an imperial system of racism. Prior to 9/11, white supremacy had a violent relationship of dominance with Islam and Muslims. Racism against Muslims today borrows from centuries of white supremacy and is a powerful and effective tool to maintain the status quo.
With Stones in Our Hands compiles writings by scholars and activists who are leading the struggle to understand and combat anti-Muslim racism. Through a bold call for a politics of the Muslim Left and the poetics of the Muslim International, this book offers a glimpse into the possibilities of social justice, decolonial struggle, and political solidarity. The essays in this anthology reflect a range of concerns such as the settler colonial occupation of Palestine, surveillance and policing, blackness and radical protest traditions, militarism and empire building, social movements, and political repression. With Stones in Our Hands offers new ideas to achieve decolonization and global solidarity.
Contributors: Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Abdullah Al-Arian, Arshad Imtiaz Ali, Evelyn Alsultany, Vivek Bald, Abbas Barzegar, Hatem Bazian, Sylvia Chan-Malik, Arash Davari, Fatima El-Tayeb, Hafsa Kanjwal, Ronak K. Kapadia, Maryam Kashani, Robin D. G. Kelley, Su‘ad Abdul Khabeer, Nadine Naber, Selim Nadi, Sherene H. Razack, Atef Said, Steven Salaita, Stephen Sheehi."

Seen enough?

Going back through the Fousesquawk archives I found one mention of Junaid Rana. Last September, a Maryland professor named Anila Daulatzai was hauled off a plane at Baltimore airport when she loudly objected to a couple of passengers with dogs. I found that Rana, in a previous book he had written, "Terrorizing Muslims", had listed Anila Daulatzai and Sohail Daulatzai in the acknowledgments section. All coincidences I am sure.

Here is what Canary Mission, a group that exposes campus anti-semitism has to say about Mr. Rana.

Let's take a look at some of those contributors. I will not comment on the ones I don't know anything about, but several of them I have written about before, in some cases having heard them speak. Let's just say based on the ones I know, the editors are really scraping the bottom of the barrel though they didn't have far to reach.

First of all, Rabab Abdulhadi is Palestinian professor at San Francisco State University. In recent years, she has brought many negative headlines to SFSU. One problem area has been her mentoring of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), some of whose members have made expressions advocating the murder of Israelis. She has also been accused of using university funds to travel to the Holy Land, where she reportedly met with some, shall we say, bad hombres

In May 2015, she was scheduled to speak at UC Irvine, where I was teaching part time. The event was delayed the better part of an hour while the Muslim Student Union tried unsuccessfully to get a university official present to get me to turn off my video recorder. Meanwhile, three chairs sat on the stage reserved for Abdulhadi and two of her Guppies. Finally, when the MSU realized they had lost the effort to stop me from filming, they announced that they would be speaking via Skype with some Palestinian guy in the Washington DC area. Abdulhadi and her Guppies never entered the room. 

Presently, Abdulhadi is having a war of words with SFSU president, Leslie Wong, who used to be her protector. Wong has finally had to acknowledge that Jews and even Zionists should be welcome on his campus. Abdulhadi has reacted angrily with letters that Wong has denounced.

Abdullah  al -Arian, a professor at Georgetown University's Qatar campus is the son of Sami al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida and member of the terror group, Islamic Jihad who was deported from the US in September 2015. (Hat tip Investigative Project on Terrorism)

Robin Kelley is a professor at UCLA. Normally involved in black issues, he has jumped on the anti-Israel bandwagon. I saw him at UCI when he appeared with Daulatzai. Kelley impressed me as someone who had little to say and did not have a firm grasp on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Basically all he did was tell us about his "fact-finding" trip to the Holy Land and show a few slides of Palestinian villages. To be candid, he was overshadowed by the blustery Daulatzai.

Steven Salaita, as far as I know, has never appeared at UC Irvine. In 2015, he was in the process of moving from Virginia Tech to the University of Illinois. During that period he obtained notoriety when three Israeli teenagers were abducted and went missing in the West Bank. Solaita went on social media to express the wish that "all settlers would go missing". The boys were found murdered. The University of Illinois rescinded their job offer. Salata wound up teaching in Beirut, Lebanon, a more suitable place for him. He now makes the campus speaking tour telling audiences how he is a victim.

And then there is Hatem Bazian, professor at UC Berkeley. Born in Nablus (West Bank) and educated at SFSU and UC Berkeley, this character is a professor at UC Berkeley, where he is arguably UCB's biggest embarrassment. Ever since he was a college student he has often been accused of being an anti-semite and why not? As recently as January, Jewish students at UCB were complaining to the chancellor about his anti-semitic expressions. This is the guy who reportedly once encouraged his student audience to count the number of campus buildings with Jewish names on them. He also reportedly once publicly recited that famous hadith of hate about how on the Day of Judgment, the Jew would hide behind the tree, and the tree would call out, "O Muslim. There is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him." He is on videotape calling for an intifada in America. I have seen Bazian speak on three occasions. The first time I saw him speak at UC Irvine (2010), I pointedly asked him about the above three quotes. All I got was a run-around, and he never did give me a straight answer.

Bazian is a two-trick pony whose only areas of interest are Israel and Islamophobia. He is the co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) a nation-wide student group with chapters on some 150 campuses. They routinely use brown shirt tactics of disruption and intimidation against supporters of Israel on campus. Yet they always seem to escape any meaningful campus sanctions due to weak-kneed administrators like those at UC Irvine. In addition, Bazian co-founded American Muslims for Palestine, which provides much of SJP's funding. As if that were not enough, Bazian is founder of the impressive sounding Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center, which occupies a broom closet in room 638 of Barrows Hall. Of course, all one needs these days for research and documentation is a computer, and room 638 has enough space for that, but not much else.

So they they are, a rogues gallery of so-called professors and academics, whose only role in academia is to preach their hate toward Israel and Western civilization while they advance their Islamist agenda. For the Daulatzais and Ranas  of the world (and their "contributors"), Islam and Muslims are victims of white racism. They don't care about the victims of Islam, like the victims of 9-11, Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East, Jews, and everyone else put to death in the name of Allah. These people represent a  despicable, blood thirsty ideology, and yet they cry victimhood when others stand up to them and show outrage.

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