BANISHED AT BRANDEIS
— BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY YANKS AN HONORARY DEGREE FOR AYAAN HIRSI ALI.
Wall Street Journal Editorial,
COWARDLY HYPOCRITIC AND PROUD OF IT TOO:
The annals of academic political submission have a new honoree in the form of Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence, who on Tuesday revoked the honorary doctorate the university planned to confer on Ayaan Hirsi Ali at its graduation.
By choosing to recognize Ms. Hirsi Ali, a courageous advocate for women and girls in Muslim societies, Mr. Lawrence and his trustees perhaps figured they run the school.
But pressure groups like the Council of American-Islamic Relations corrected that faulty impression in eight days.
In an unsigned statement (we'd also hide if we were Mr. Lawrence), Brandeis called Ms. Hirsi Ali "compelling" but added, "That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values. For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier."
IF THIS COURAGEOUS WOMAN ISN’T WORTH HONORING, WHO IS: NANCY PELOSI?
Ms. Hirsi Ali is a well known "controversialist" and lives under death threats because she does not conceal her convictions -- especially about the ties between violence and fundamentalist Islamism.
If Ms. Hirsi Ali's critics oppose the practices she has either experienced or dedicated her life to erasing, such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killings, or Shariah Law, then they should say so.
Brandeis, a school founded after World War II to defend non-sectarian religious liberty, might also ask if its "core values" now include intolerance and the illiberal suppression of ideas.
Our answer would be yes.
MY OWN RESPONSE TO THE PRECEDING NEWS STORY:
(1) If holier-than-thou opponents of Hirsi Ali -- like the Brandeis student & faculty activists, or the liberal heroes at CAIR – are such fervid activists for freedom, then why don’t these liberal thinkers all condemn the brutal treatment of “gays” in such Islamic paradises as Iran, Saudi Arabia & Taliban-occupied Afghanistan?
(2) What happened to the old liberal academic tradition – particularly espoused at Brandeis -- of exposing students to ALL viewpoints and then letting them decide for themselves how they feel about the ideas they’ve been exposed to … as well as discussing these issues with their professors & fellow students in open debate?
Surely being exposed to a speech by a true humanitarian like Hirsi Ali wouldn’t have sent them into convulsions or caused permanent brain damage.
Are students, these days, so fragile that the forces of speech suppression have to protect them from being infected by "controversial" ideas (aka anything that doesn’t agree with the radical-leftist views of their professors & activist student groups)?
AND THE MORAL OF THIS STORY:
Hypocrisy, thy name is Frederick Lawrence & the bully-boys of CAIR!