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Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The silence of Western feminists is still deafening

I’ve been thinking about what to say regarding the decision of Brandeis University to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali for an Honorary Degree.

It comes on the heels of attempts to keep The Honor Diaries off campus, The silence of Western feminists is deafening.

I think I’ll just quote part of her statement, via The Weekly Standard:

“Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the university’s statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called me—just a few hours before issuing a public statement—to say that such a decision had been made….

“What did surprise me was the behavior of Brandeis. Having spent many months planning for me to speak to its students at Commencement, the university yesterday announced that it could not “overlook certain of my past statements,” which it had not previously been aware of. Yet my critics have long specialized in selective quotation – lines from interviews taken out of context – designed to misrepresent me and my work. It is scarcely credible that Brandeis did not know this when they initially offered me the degree.

“What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The ‘spirit of free expression’ referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.

“Not content with a public disavowal, Brandeis has invited me ‘to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.’ Sadly, in words and deeds, the university has already spoken its piece. I have no wish to ‘engage’ in such one-sided dialogue. I can only wish the Class of 2014 the best of luck—and hope that they will go forth to be better advocates for free expression and free thought than their alma mater.

“I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me and my work on behalf of oppressed woman and girls everywhere.”

For those of you who are not familiar with her, this video demonstrates what Brandeis found unacceptable:


I can’t quote all the good commentary out there, but I will quote John Podhoretz, The Shame of Brandeis:

If you have not yet heard, Brandeis University has rescinded its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist whose work has focused on the barbaric misogyny rampant in Islamic societies like the one in which she was raised—and whose efforts to call attention to them as a legislator in the Netherlands led to a political crisis there and her eventual flight to the United States….

What [Brandeis President Fred] Lawrence has done here is the nothing less than the act of a gutless, spineless, simpering coward.

My late uncle, Marver Bernstein, served as the university’s president from 1972 to 1983. I know Marver would have been appalled beyond belief at his shameful successor’s monstrous capitulation to the screaming voices of unreason. As should we all be.


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DINORightMarie | April 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I cried when I first read this.

Disgust is not a strong enough word. These fascists need to be stopped.

“I have no wish to ‘engage’ in such one-sided dialogue. I can only wish the Class of 2014 the best of luck—and hope that they will go forth to be better advocates for free expression and free thought than their alma mater.”

What magnificent class…and what a wonderful rhetorical rapier that lady has.

The academe has again been weighed in the balance, and found vacant.

Excellent title of post, I would like to see every self-styled feminist leader go on the record with a response to this event. Where is the editorial from Ms magazine railing against this injustice to a feminist woman of color?
The actions of Brandeis have undermined the academy, further eroding the moral standing of academia with the general public.

“…gutless, spineless, simpering coward” doesn’t begin to cover this. Some faculty have spoken out. So the faculty nomination process is overridden with pressure from CAIR types? I’ve felt upset all day now. This act is what stocks should have been for, in the Puritan days. Utterly disgusting and shameful. And don’t hold your breath waiting for feminist groups to speak out.

Brandeis’ actions are disgraceful. This brave woman’s words conflict with Brandeis’ “core values”? What “core values” are those? Is silencing valid criticism of Islam a core value at Brandeis? Is repressing non-PC speech a core value at Brandeis? Is hypocrisy a core value at Brandeis?

Brandeis, to its everlasting shame, bowed to the demands of a Muslim student organization and a bunch of fascist fools on its faculty (most of whom would probably be imprisoned or executed by a Muslim government).

Brandeis “celebrates diversity” by shutting out any ideas or opinions that don’t conform to its ignorant leftist groupthink.

I recently sent Brandeis the following email:

“Pitiful, just pitiful.

It seems to matter not to you that her comments are justified that she’s a
victim of ISLAM as we all may soon be if those in places of power continue
to underestimate the hatred and violence in the heart of ISLAM towards all
those considered infidels in the countries they look to as being their
ulitimate enemy.

They won’t be withholding honorary degrees, they’ll be cutting heads off.

And you fools have rewarded their beligerent and savage behavior by
rescinding a decision because of FEAR of their anger.

You are pitiful and should be ashamed of yourselves.

Academe in the US has become a vile pit of anti-semitic and anti-christian
bigotry that will not save you from the vilolence ISLAM daily expresses
towards the West.

You are cowards and are not worthy of awarding anything to Ms. Ali. ”

Feel free to copy that and send it to them.

[email protected] is a member of the communications team.
(Bill Schaller Executive Director of Integrated Media)
Maybe someone else has a more direct line to someone higher.

I didn’t find any notation on Brandeis’ contact page for other recipients on the BrandeisNow site or the Main University site.

Seems they insulate the President of the University from critical comments very well but that technically wasn’t a statement from them anyway.

As I said; what a bunch of cowards. They can’t even speak for themselves when expressing their cowardice.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I read something about the students wonderful achievements. I wonder just what they would be.

Brilliant and beautiful, feared and fearless.

A thought for a web-savvy conservative with free time:

It would be interesting to research (quotes by) people to whom Brandeis, in its inclusive diversity-celebrating wisdom, has awarded honorary degrees.

    n.n in reply to gs. | April 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Honorary Degree Recipients

    I recognized several notable names.

    Brooks, David
    Pachauri, Rejendra Kumar
    Booker, Cory A.
    Brokaw, Tom
    Pelosi, Nancy
    Koppel, Ted

    Just a few names. There are many more. It would require a significant effort to identify a prejudice.

      JOHN B in reply to n.n. | April 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Nancy Pelosi? Nancy Pelosi?

      She does not belong on the same planet as this brave woman.

    n.n in reply to gs. | April 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Breyer, Stephen
    Chavez-Thompson, Linda
    Tutu, Desmond M.
    Peres, Shimon (He’s on the left, right?)
    Goldberg, Whoopi
    Ginsburg, Ruth Bader
    Albright, Madeleine K.
    Streisand, Barbra Joan

      genes in reply to n.n. | April 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Just great, they gave a honorary degree to noted Racist and anti-Semite Tutu. Maybe they should take a look and some of the vile hateful statements he has made.

Yo, leftist institutions! How about this?—

You announce that you are awarding someone, or considering them for, recognition like…oh, I dunno…an honorary degree, or becoming CEO of a major nonprofit. Then, after “community discussion”, you announce that the individual is unworthy and publicize withdrawal of the offer.

That’s probably not how it went down with Eich and Ali, but now it may occur to the Left as a tactic.

If you want the Western feminists, you need to offer the appropriate incentives.

Scalpel. Check. Poison. Check. Toilet. Check.
Money. Check and check is in the mail.

They have their priorities.

“the silence of the feminists is deafening”

Still no comment at Ms Magazine, Mother Jones, or the Progressive.

The Little Green Crazy Pills blog is pleased, of course.

I stand with Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

War on Women!! I guess some women are supposed to shut up and take their genital mutilation like good slaves of the Horde. How disgusting!

>>”What [Brandeis President Fred] Lawrence has done here is the nothing less than the act of a gutless, spineless, simpering coward.”

Consistent with most liebral college presidents in America. I was actually shocked when I heard Brandeis even made the invitation to her. The rescinsion is what made sense. It would be act of extraordinary and scandalous unorthodoxy for any liberal arts college to have Hirsi Ali speak. It follows that she may be the intellectual and woman most deserving of an honorary degree.

Juba Doobai! | April 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm

As Rush Limbaugh would say, ‘follow the money.’ Look to see who is donating how much to whom at Brandeis.

They’re whores at American universities today, just whores.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I was under the impression for some reason this was a Jewish institution .

I have heard he speak. She is a brilliant, fearless woman and obviously has more balls than the admin at the college.

LukeHandCool | April 9, 2014 at 8:56 pm

The next time I read a poll that finds Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton “The Most Admired Woman in America” I’ll laugh and think of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Uncle Samuel | April 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

The brains of the leftists may eventually split into pieces trying to keep so many conflicting dissonant positions in tension.

Or they may stumble off a cliff with their eyes so tightly closed so they can avoid seeing the human rights abuses of their Islamist patrons and overlords.

Truth is healthy, but dissimulation, deception, rationalization and selling out to the highest bidder makes the soul and mind and eventually the body very sick.

The leftist liberals have ignored reality, evidence, facts, medicine, statistics and plain old common sense to support homo/bi/pansexuality, global warming, and Islam.

They are making themselves ridiculous, contemptible, buffoons.

Just watched her on FOX.

This is a pretty, eloquent, black woman who has survived real, criminal brutality and taken arm against it. She should be a darling of the left. Why do they object to her or her message? Because she objects to being mutilated?

Just before Ms. Ali, Megan Kelly interviewed a nut from CAIR. That man was lying outright about CAIR’s positions. She called him on it, which was good.

At a risk of sounding corny: is this the war on women I keep hearing about?

…there are an increasing number of immigrants who come to the west, who acquaint themselves with the culture of gender equality, who are appalled by it, and who’ve tried to reverse it.
These individuals start their campaigns against women in their own homes, so that their first victims are their own daughters, sisters, cousins, wives and other relatives. This rejection of women as free and equal beings is rooted in centuries of custom, as it was the practice, fifty or so years ago in some western countries, and maybe a hundred years or so in other countries.
Its practice here in the west was justified in the name of God, and today, those immigrants who want to compromise the rights and freedoms of women justify the oppression of women in the name of freedom of religion and the equality of cultures.

It is interesting that they invoke freedom to take away freedom of others.

Those who have not watched the video must at least check out the segment between the minutes 20 and 25.

If, to some of you, multiculturalism means that people of different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds can live together in a liberal society where they all uphold the rule of law, then that’s one thing. NO rational person is opposed to hat arrangement. Human diversity can sometimes be enlightening, enthralling and otherwise enjoyable. BUt multiculturalism in liberal societies has morphed into something else altogether. As a harmonious model of live and let live where every community asserts only those aspects those aspects of their identity… that are compatible with the norms, values and rule of law that exists in liberal societies is only in theory. You find that in text books of academic institutions that are out of touch. You find it in the editorial rooms of leading newspapers, radios and television channels that are even more out of touch and in the narrow minds of politicians who court immigrant self-appointed leaders so that they can mobilize the votes of thos communities who are the least likely to educate themselves on the political choices of the day.
Multiculturalism is no longer a model of racial, religious and cultural harmony, if it ever was that. Multiculturalism is indifference disguised as tolerance. It allows the free and affluent person to turn his back on those whose freedoms and rights are compromised, on the poor and most vulnerable. It gives people an excuse to claim tolerance in the face of intolerance.

Multiculturalism is modern racism disguised as broadmindedness.

Multiculturalism is apartheid disguised a pluralism.

This interview is a must read too.

This woman is truly heroic and I agreed with 98% of what she said. Since others have supplied enconia for her speech, let me state my disagreements. Ali said that it should be “celebrated” that, among other things, women in the West prevail in the labor market when they have equal qualifications in any given competition for a job vis-avis men and also that they win custody battles as against the fathers. Although those were but a small part of her speech in Australia, her statements reflect a bias which undermines her credibility in other areas. Too bad!