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Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s almost Brandeis speech

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s almost Brandeis speech

“I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today.”

http://youtu.be/6vrEZI5zCDk

Below is an excerpt of the speech Ayaan Hirsi Ali would have delivered at Brandeis had her invitation to receive an honorary degree not been revoked.  Our prior coverage:

Here’s What I Would Have Said at Brandeis:

…. Two decades ago, not even the bleakest pessimist would have anticipated all that has gone wrong in the part of world where I grew up. After so many victories for feminism in the West, no one would have predicted that women’s basic human rights would actually be reduced in so many countries as the 20th century gave way to the 21st.

Today, however, I am going to predict a better future, because I believe that the pendulum has swung almost as far as it possibly can in the wrong direction.

When I see millions of women in Afghanistan defying threats from the Taliban and lining up to vote; when I see women in Saudi Arabia defying an absurd ban on female driving; and when I see Tunisian women celebrating the conviction of a group of policemen for a heinous gang rape, I feel more optimistic than I did a few years ago. The misnamed Arab Spring has been a revolution full of disappointments. But I believe it has created an opportunity for traditional forms of authority—including patriarchal authority—to be challenged, and even for the religious justifications for the oppression of women to be questioned.

Yet for that opportunity to be fulfilled, we in the West must provide the right kind of encouragement. Just as the city of Boston was once the cradle of a new ideal of liberty, we need to return to our roots by becoming once again a beacon of free thought and civility for the 21st century. When there is injustice, we need to speak out, not simply with condemnation, but with concrete actions.

One of the best places to do that is in our institutions of higher learning. We need to make our universities temples not of dogmatic orthodoxy, but of truly critical thinking, where all ideas are welcome and where civil debate is encouraged. I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today. I do not expect all of you to agree with me, but I very much appreciate your willingness to listen.

I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.

The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.

So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy—punishable by death—to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era? Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform. I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.

Is such an argument inadmissible? It surely should not be at a university that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust, at a time when many American universities still imposed quotas on Jews.

I guess she didn’t really know U.S. universities.

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Comments

>>“I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today.”

Progressivism is “evolving.” You no longer get shouted down on campus, you simply never make it on to campus to get shouted down. Certainly an improvement from their point of view, and another modidication to tyranny the rest of the culture seems happy to accept.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | April 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

OT: As of this moment, both bald eagle parents are on the nest at Decorah and neither are not sitting on the three eaglets. They are preparing to feed AND there is a person remotely operating the zoom camera to give some unique views.

Not sure how long those things will be true, but as of this instant it is probably the best viewing opportunity of the season:

http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

This speech is extremely inflammatory and entirely contrary to the founding principles of Brandeis, I’m sure if students had had the opportunity to hear Ayaan, they would have run wildly into the streets, frothing at the mouth, and demanded burkas, husbandly whippings, and an end to all abortions. Piss be on Allah and Mohammed that Hirsi Ali was denied the opportunity to pollute the tender skulls full of mush at Brandeis.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation. Is such an argument inadmissible?

Above she talks about reform, but here she talks about unconditional war:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.

Has she retracted her previous rhetoric?

    LukeHandCool in reply to Zachriel. | April 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    The atomic bombs led to major reforms in Japanese society.

      LukeHandCool: The atomic bombs led to major reforms in Japanese society.

      Are you really advocating nuclear war?

        raven in reply to Zachriel. | April 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

        Hirsi Ali’s statements, which you break into supposedly inconsistent contentions, are completely consistent and sensible. We’re in a state of war with islam and nothing will change until Islam is either defeated or reforms itself. It is more likely to reform itself as the result of losing the war. Just as Japan was.

        LukeHandCool in reply to Zachriel. | April 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm

        Zachriel: “Are you really advocating nuclear war?”

        Yes, on progressive thought.

        It’s called a truth bomb.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Certainly true. Unfortunately for Islam, the source of the problem is the Koran and he Hadiths. The reform Hirsi Ali speaks of can only come with unconditional warfare wherein Islamic states are beaten into submission and forced to surrender the Koran and the Hadiths.

      Left with those books, the cycle will begin all over again.

      The only reformation for Islam is in rejection or conversion to one of the world,s Two Great Religions.

        Juba Doobai: The reform Hirsi Ali speaks of can only come with unconditional warfare wherein Islamic states are beaten into submission and forced to surrender the Koran and the Hadiths.

        Just so there’s no mistake, that’s what we thought she said. As we noted, it’s offensive to the many people who are Muslims, and to the many people who know Muslims who live in peace and faith.

    raven in reply to Zachriel. | April 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    A specious parallelism. First, an internal reformation of Islam doesn’t preclude an ongoing conflict or war and in fact often arises from it. So reformation and war are not necessarily conflicting conditions. Second, in the second instance, she is correctly characterizing the state of conflict between Islam and liberal democracy as stated by Islam in both sacred and coloquial terms for generations. We are at war with Islam because Islam is at war with us. This is a statement of fact. How and to what degree we accept or fight the war is another issue.

    She has nothing to retract as there is nothing inconstent in what she has said. And even if there was, that is not cause in and of itself for “retraction” but merely for clarification of how a view of things may change.

      raven: We are at war with Islam because Islam is at war with us. This is a statement of fact.

      There may be cultural friction, but the vast majority of Muslims are not at war with the West. The vast majority of Muslim countries are not at war with the West.

      raven: She has nothing to retract as there is nothing inconstent in what she has said.

      The U.S. is a multicultural society. She says “we” are at war, but “we” includes Muslims. That’s why she was uninvited, not because she now pretends she is only advocating reform.

        raven in reply to Zachriel. | April 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        “There may be cultural friction, but the vast majority of Muslims are not at war with the West. The vast majority of Muslim countries are not at war with the West.”

        Neither the point nor necessarily accurate. And we can presuppose that by “war” Hirsi Ali does not mean armed conflict. That would be silly. She is referring to a war of cultures which manifests itself in some part as armed violence but also in the many forms not so visible: cultural (acceptance of Islamic rituals in our institutuions), legal (lawfare and book banning); educational (the very battle here at Brandeis which the Islamics won as its proxies in the Muslim Student Union, vis a vis CAIR, prevented her from speaking). Wrap your head around that for a minute. At a liberal arts college in a liberal democracy, Islamic theocrats succeeded in preventing a black female secular intellectual from speaking to students. I call that “war” and I call it victory and not a shot was fired. That is the existential component of the war.

        >>”The U.S. is a multicultural society. She says “we” are at war, but “we” includes Muslims. That’s why she was uninvited, not because she now pretends she is only advocating reform.”

        I think we know what she means by “we.” Yes, the US is a multi-cultural society but how did it become one and how is possible to remain one? Only by e pluribus unum, that is, an acceptance of diverse views within a liberal democratic ideal enuniciated through our Constitution. So when Hirsi Ali says “we” she is obviously referring to our connection as a liberally democratic people, our shared apprecaition for one another’s freedom. She has said repeatedly throughout her career that Islam does not accept this premise. Islam is in a state of declared war with this concept. It seeks, has said that it violently seeks, the abolition of freedom, diversity and respectful heterogenity under the rule of law to be replaced with a theocratic order that does not tolerate any differences or dissent; that is, you have two choices, submit or face the penalty of unorthodoxy. That’s simply their social/religious code.

        You have evidently not read Hirsi Ali. Or you are being disingenuous. In any case, you are absolutely wrong when you assert that “she is only now advocating reform” or that she ever called for war (or this is the reason she was disinvited). You are merely providing cover for Brandeis’ statement.

          raven: She is referring to a war of cultures

          With no middle ground, and no peace short of conquest. She soft-pedaled this above, and tries to make it look like people are ridiculing her for advocating reform within Islam.

          It’s the same old xenophobia that has recurrently infected society. It used to be the Jews, the papists, the negros.

          raven in reply to raven. | April 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

          >>”With no middle ground, and no peace short of conquest.”

          The Islamist position. You’ve completely inverted the roles.

          It’s now embarrassingly obvious you haven’t read her or paid attention to the debate at all. She’s entirely clear on these points. And people aren’t “ridiculing” her for advocating reform within Islam, they’re vilifying her for it.

          >>”It’s the same old xenophobia that has recurrently infected society. It used to be the Jews, the papists, the negros.”

          Another outrageous and sick inversion. It’s the Islamists who are singling out, killing and even massacring “the other” — the Jews, the papists, the Christians, the gays, the women, any and all “infidels”. One of the greatest cognitive dissonances of modern progressivism, perhaps its fatal one, is the refusal to undersand this.

          Hirsi Ali has not called for “conquest” of Muslims. She’s pointing out the Islamic’s adamantine incompatibility with Western values. It’s built right into their belief system: the state and the religion are one. That’s theocracy. You condemned it when you thought it applied to Jerry Falwell. Now you’re the ones “soft-pedaling” it if not outright embracing it.

          And how can she be xenophobic when she was a Muslim herself?

          You have no argument here because 1. you haven’t read her and 2. you’re not thinking, you’re emoting. Maybe it’s hopeless in your case. But if she’d been able to speak at Brandeis, maybe some young people would have emerged with a more liberal understanding.

          raven: And people aren’t “ridiculing” her for advocating reform within Islam, they’re vilifying her for it.

          She is being criticized for saying there is a war with no middle ground.

          raven: It’s the Islamists who are singling out, killing and even massacring “the other” — the Jews, the papists, the Christians, the gays, the women, any and all “infidels”.

          Yes, there is an extreme element in Islam.

          raven: And how can she be xenophobic when she was a Muslim herself?

          She’s an atheist, not a Muslim.

          raven: you haven’t read her

          We read this: “Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”

          We asked if she retracted this unfair characterization. Apparently not.

          Zach, unfair to whom?

          raven in reply to raven. | April 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

          >>”She is being criticized for saying there is a war with no middle ground.”

          No, she’s being vilified for offering an honest and first-hand critique of Islam (as a former Muslim herself who suffered and whose creative partner was murdered at the hands of Islam).

          >>”She’s an atheist, not a Muslim.”

          She was a Muslim. Did you read what I wrote? By definition she cannot be xenophobic. Xenophobia is fear of the stranger. She is not a stranger to Islam; Islam is not strange to her. And she is not afraid of it. Fail on every count.

          >>”We read this…”

          So you concede you haven’t read her and have no understanding of the breadth of her writings on Islam and its immovable hatred of liberal democracy? But even your selected quotation vitiates your entire premise. She is making a series of assertions: that ISLAM is not interested in peace and with ISLAM there is no middle ground and we are at war with ISLAM because ISLAM is at war with us. Until ISLAM reforms and mutates into something peaceful, there can be no peace because ISLAM will not accept it. This needs to be understood, and our institutions need to internalize the information, not deny it. These are verifiable moral and practical assertions — even facts.

          She was disinvited for the simple and intolerable fact that her speech would include a harsh critique of Islam from a human rights perspective. She has nothing to retract or apologize for.

          It is Brandeis which needs to retract and apologize in order to restore its claim to liberalness.

          raven in reply to raven. | April 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm

          >>”We asked if she retracted this unfair characterization. Apparently not.”

          Because it’s not unfair. It’s piercingly truthful. Which is why it outrages the Progressives.

          jennifer a johnson: unfair to whom?

          Inaccurate, as well as considered by many as unfair to the millions of Muslims who lead peaceful lives in community with other people.

          raven: No, she’s being vilified for offering an honest and first-hand critique of Islam

          Let’s look at the quote again: “Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”

          So she claims there is a war, even though the vast majority of the Muslim community is not involved, including the Muslim community in the United States. She claims millions of peaceful Muslims are not interested in peace. She claims there is no middle ground. She claims there can be no peace until Islam itself is defeated.

          raven: So you concede you haven’t read her and have no understanding of the breadth of her writings on Islam and its immovable hatred of liberal democracy?

          We’ve read many screeds against Islam. We provided a specific quote that many people found objectionable, and asked whether it had been retracted.

          raven: Until ISLAM reforms and mutates into something peaceful, there can be no peace because ISLAM will not accept it.

          And many Muslims reject that characterization.

          Zachriel: So she claims there is a war, even though the vast majority of the Muslim community is not involved, including the Muslim community in the United States.

          You are in denial. But constant repetition of a lie does not turn it into the truth, and your hate is preventing the cries of the oppressed from reaching your ears.

          There is indeed a war waged by Muslims against non-Muslims (and Muslims who are deemed apostates). Your statement is on the same moral level as those who claim the Holocaust never happened. And the “vast majority of the Muslim community” either ignores this war (as you do), or finances it, or publicly encourages it. You know this as well as I do, and your denials simply diminish you and bring shame upon Islam.

          Throughout this thread you have written many things that have been shown to be falsehoods, yet you persist. This is not some kind of funny game that you seem to think it is. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has done nothing except tell the truth, and it is shameful what you have written about her. I call upon you to apologize to her for your untrue comments. If you truly believed in what you have written about Islam you would not hesitate to do so.

          If you do not apologize, we have nothing more to say.

          raven in reply to raven. | April 13, 2014 at 1:00 am

          >>”Let’s look at the quote again…”

          Look at it as many times as you like, it says the same thing: Islam is instransigently dedicated to war against the unbeliever (and to societies which provide for the freedom of the unbeliever) and nothing will change — there can be no peace — until it reforms. Hirsi Ali is only reflecting what countless clerics and Islamic leaders have said about their own movement for generations.

          >>”We’ve read many screeds against Islam…”

          Have you read any Islamic screeds? Interesting that you cite Hirsi Ali’s statement or “screed” but make no mention of the disproportionately outright militant screeds and manifestos of violence that pour daily from screed-crazy Islamic precincts. I guess I’m not surprised.

          >>”We provided a specific quote that many people found objectionable, and asked whether it had been retracted.”

          (“We”? Is this the collective talking?) In any case, you were answered: it hasn’t been retracted and won’t be because it’s the truth.

          >>”And many Muslims reject that characterization.”

          Then I guess it’s a peaceful religion, after all. You’ve got me there. But I wonder why they don’t stand up to the violence and covert and overt war waged against free societies? Since 9/11 the world has seen over 15,000 acts of terror 100% of which committed by Islam. Muslims may “reject the characterization,” but they don’t seem to be doing much to stop it.

          By the way, I think your epistemic closure is showing.

          raven in reply to raven. | April 13, 2014 at 1:16 am

          Recovering Lutheran is right. You owe Ms. Hirsi Ali an apology. We ask for a retraction and an apology.

          Recovering Lutheran: You are in denial. But constant repetition of a lie does not turn it into the truth, and your hate is preventing the cries of the oppressed from reaching your ears.

          Not an argument.

          Recovering Lutheran: There is indeed a war waged by Muslims against non-Muslims (and Muslims who are deemed apostates).

          By some Muslims, not by most Muslims.

          Recovering Lutheran: Your statement is on the same moral level as those who claim the Holocaust never happened.

          The Holocaust happened, and it was perpetrated by the German government and their allies.

          Recovering Lutheran: And the “vast majority of the Muslim community” either ignores this war (as you do)

          Your ignorance of the Muslim community is also not an argument.

          raven: Islam is instransigently dedicated to war against the unbeliever (and to societies which provide for the freedom of the unbeliever) and nothing will change — there can be no peace — until it reforms.

          The vast majority of Muslims are not at war. Nor are they part of an organization that is at war. You are conflating radical Islamism with Islam.

          raven: Interesting that you cite Hirsi Ali’s statement or “screed” but make no mention of the disproportionately outright militant screeds and manifestos of violence that pour daily from screed-crazy Islamic precincts.

          We grant their existence. That doesn’t address the point.

          raven: it hasn’t been retracted and won’t be because it’s the truth.

          A faithful Muslim student is in the university audience, and is told that he is at war with the rest of the community, a minority being singled out for ridicule. It’s untruthful and unfair.

          raven: But I wonder why they don’t stand up to the violence and covert and overt war waged against free societies?

          Of course we do. We also reject the erosion of social tolerance from within.

          raven: Since 9/11 the world has seen over 15,000 acts of terror 100% of which committed by Islam.

          That’s false. Try to consider your statement skeptically. Look for evidence to disprove it.

        Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to Zachriel. | April 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        Please remind us again: How many angels can fit on the head of a pin? Is it 12.001 Q’zillion, or is it 12.001002 Q’zillion?
        😉

We Americans are losing the will to defend ourselves, and the Ayaans of the world will suffer more because of this. We failed in the 1950’s to hold the line against Communists, and now our universities are full of defenders of Lenin and Mao. Ayaan would speak against the murderous Muhammadan Horde, but Brandeis prefers the murderers. Barack Obama surrounds himself with a cadre of folks who support murderers, both Communists and Islamists, but only a few courageous Americans spoke out against him in 2008.

It should be policy that anyone who defends murderers or advocates murder should not be allowed to participate in the political process, either as a candidate or a voter. They should not be allowed to build indoctrination centers, e.g., mosques. They should not hold tenure at universities. Again, this should apply to those who defend murderous regimes such as Communist Russia, Cuba, China, etc., or defend jihad and terrorism. (Why is this clear when the murderers are Nazis, but not when they’re commies or jihadi?)

But no, Brandeis prefers murderers to Ayaan.

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