Hatem Bazian, Berkeley University

Conférence inaugurale : Confrontation ou dialogue de civilisation ?

He is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In Spring 2012 he launched the Islamophobia Studies Journal, which is published bi-annually through a collaborative effort between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California at Berkeley, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative for the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University ; the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, and Zaytuna College.
The often-cited clash of civilization thesis that is promoted by rightwing politicians and public figures is centered on extending and reformulating the already discredited notions of “scientific/biological racism” into new categories based on culture and ethnic norms, a nebulous and difficult to define terms like race itself. These cultural and ethnic norms are given fixed, sophisticated colonialist and Orientalized meanings that then get promoted in popular and political discourses. The cultural and ethnic differences are utilized to consolidate empire’s hegemonic control and unleash total war on the global south or the populations from the global south living on the margins in the global north. A clash of civilization is a prerequisite for empire’s expansion, rationalization of violence and constant direct and indirect interventions. A clash of civilization discourse makes it possible to re-configure and re-program the racialized colonial epistemic in the post-colonial period while affirming a hierarchy of human values based on a fictitious assertion of Euro-Centric universalism and uniqueness. How to view the immigration and refugee crisis, securitization policies, interventionist wars under the rubric of open-ended war on terrorism, economic and political interventions as well as social and educational projects as an extension of clash of civilization discourses ? More importantly, who, when, how, and by what methods will a response and a counter narrative be constructed that does not only respond with a critique but offer an inclusive, diverse, truly multi-epistemic in approach, that de-center the Euro-centric center, sustainable and non-hegemonic ?

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