Zaytuna College Blog

Dr. Hatem Bazian

Dr. Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and faculty member at Zaytuna College. He is also a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, Dr. Bazian is also a visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California and advisor to the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley. In 2009, he founded the Center for the Study of Documentation of Islamophobia at UC Berkeley. Dr. Bazian is on the board of several organizations, including the Islamic Scholarship Fund and Muslim Americans for Palestine, for which he is also the founding president.
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Recent Posts

The Age of the Perplexed

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 11, 2016 11:18:43 AM

A statement by Prophet Muhammad spoke of a future time that would cause the wise, sagacious and learned to be totally perplexed by unfolding events to an extent that they would not be able to make any sense of it. From the earliest post-prophetic period, the notion of the age of the perplexed has existed in Islamic literature with each calamity and difficult episode theorized as representing the beginning of the prophesied time. Earlier periods of Islamic history that were described as ushering in the age of the perplexed include the Mongol invasion, the Crusades, the Inquisition and the colonial era.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Communication

Muslims are Most Studied and Least Understood

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 10, 2016 4:08:11 PM

My inbox is filled daily with hundreds of studies, academic journals, new books and articles from numerous publications focusing on Muslims. Everything about the Muslim subject is studied and parsed to the minute detail with volumes upon volumes of subsequent publications citing and re-examining what everyone had said on every topic. The volume of studies produced about the Muslim subject is mindboggling and the list expands beyond anyone’s own ability to keep up with it. Yet, the volumes of studies available at our fingertips have not made it possible to know Muslims  any better;  rather they have  added to the structural and compounded ignorance of the subject matter. It seems that when more studies of the Muslim subject are undertaken, the less knowledge of Muslims we have! Why are studies of the Muslim subject leading to less knowledge and awareness of the Muslim him/herself?

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Colonialism, hijab

Islamophobia and Women’s Hijab in Public Spaces

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 9, 2016 1:20:23 PM

Take the case of seven Muslim women in Hijab in Southern California that were escorted out of a restaurant by police officers for supposedly over-staying the 45-minute limit in the eatery. The seven Muslim women are suing Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach because of this action since they felt targeted due to a number of them wearing the headscarf. Supposedly, the manager was expecting a busy evening and asked the group to leave despite the place having a number of empty tables and no observable mad rush for pizza was underway.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, hijab

Revisiting Al-Ghazali: Revelation and Reason

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 9, 2016 1:37:03 AM

On March 4-5, 2016, Zaytuna College hosted the Revisiting Al-Ghazali: Reason and Revelation Conference , which examined the work and contribution of one of the most influential scholars in Islamic history. Research papers and discussions revolved around a number of issues in Al-Ghazali’s works with an eye toward understanding and appreciating the unique approach present in his intellectual contribution and the reconciliation between reason and revelation.  In the contemporary period and among Muslims, Al-Ghazali is often approached in debates concerning Sufism but his influence and contribution in Islamic law and jurisprudence is as critical and more impactful at his time as it is in the present period . Critically, Al-Ghazali is maliciously blamed for a supposed antagonism toward reason and free inquiry in Islamic tradition , an idea that was debunked by a number of scholars at the conference.

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Topics: Islam, al-Ghazali, Muslim Scholars, al-Ghazali conference, Islamic History

Confronting Fear and Taking Stock of Islamophobia in the US

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Jul 12, 2016 2:48:58 PM

The Islamophobia network operatives have been able to infect every aspect of society and their footprints are present in the media, political circles, education and law enforcement training.

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Topics: politics, Islamophobia, trump, how to confront islamophobia, how to confront fear

Always a Land with People

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on May 10, 2016 2:34:04 PM

While visiting my mother, who was recuperating from a major operation in Jordan this past December, I took the time to go through family photos and documents. Aside from the usual collections of early childhood photos and funny faces at events, my late father’s Palestinian passport from the British mandate period captured my attention. It was still in excellent condition and full of stamps and travel details. I had seen, held, and examined it while growing up; however, this time, I approached it as a historian who writes on colonialism and Palestine. His passport is both an important family possession and a piece of history that verifies Palestine’s presence on the map before Zionism began to erase it. Issued in 1943, it is a British passport bearing the number 169390, which is designated for the Mandate of Palestine.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Palestine, Colonialism, Plaestinian People, muslim identity, Palestinian Passport, Palestine's identity

Call for Papers | Revisiting Al-Ghazali: Reason and Revelation

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Dec 15, 2015 12:10:35 AM

Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali is among the most brilliant intellectuals in human history and arguably the Islamic tradition’s most influential scholar. He has been called the Mujaddid (Renewer of Islam) of his time, and later scholars also gave him the honorific title Hujjat al-Islam (Proof of Islam). Al-Ghazali’s scholarly contributions were immense: he authored more than 70 books and countless treatises, his methodological approaches influenced generations of students, and his engagement in his era’s critical debates continues to inform contemporary discourse. Al-Ghazali wrote on Neoplatonism and Hellenistic philosophy, theology, Sufism, and jurisprudence and legal theory, with each contribution having an impact on, if not defining, Muslim thought up to the present.

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Topics: Muslim Community, al-Ghazali, al-Ghazali conference

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