Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Dr. Hatem Bazian on Colonialism, Refugees, Immigration

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Dr. Hatem Bazian on Colonialism, Refugees, Immigration

Article excerpt

Waging Peace

Zaytuna College provost Dr. Hatem Bazian delivered the first lecture of the school's 2017 Fall lecture series Sept. 13 at its Berkeley campus. His subject was the "Immigration Crisis: The Collapse of the Post-Colonial State."

Focusing on a section of his new book, Annotations on Race, Colonialism, Islamophobia, Islam and Palestine, Bazian discussed immigration and refugees dating from colonialism beginning in the 15th century to date.

"The current immigration and refugee crisis dates back to events 500 years ago, when colonial powers had a particular world view and wanted to pursue an agenda that is founded upon white supremacy," he stated. "In the beginning of the 20th century, 75 percent of the earth's surface was a possession of one colonial power or another. Today, there are approximately 65 million immigrants and refugees around the world who are a result of colonialism."

Colonialism is the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country or territory, occupying it with settlers and exploiting it economically, the professor explained. "When we speak about colonialism, there are two different types...Colonialism with a mother colonial power that sends settlers to use the resources-to extract the resources of the motherland. And settler colonials that send settlers to take over the country and push out the native indigenous population either by transfer, or the most successful type is through genocide. In the United States we can say we had the most successful settler colonial project because the native population was removed through genocide, and that's the type of settler colonialism that we witnessed in South Africa, Australia and places where the settlers took over the land, in distinction to colonialism like the British, French, Portuguese and Dutch, where they had the colonial motherland extracting the resources and having some settlers, but really the populations for the most part remained there."

While the world's attention is now focused on Syrian refugees and immigrants, Bazian pointed out that in France, for example, most of the country's immigrants came from its former colonies, such as Algeria, which was a French colony from 1830 to 1962. …

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