Succumbing to pressure from vocal Muslim students and misguided progressives, Brandeis University has cancelled a planned honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fierce but fair critic of Islam.
Hirsi Ali has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam, including a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine in which she said of the religion, “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.”
Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006, and the bestselling author of Infidel and Nomad, is a powerful witness to the crimes against humanity committed in the name of Islam.
The Somali-born Hirisi Ali is a prominent women’s rights and atheist activist, writer and politician who is well known for her views critical of female genital mutilation and Islam.
She wrote the screenplay for Theo van Gogh’s movie Submission, which criticized the treatment of women in Islamic society. After which she and the director both received death threats, and the director was assassinated.
In 2005, Hirsi Ali was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has also received several awards, including a free speech award from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the Swedish Liberal Party’s Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for commitment to conflict resolution, ethics, and world citizenship
Brandeis University said in a statement that Hirsi Ali would no longer receive the honorary degree at the May 18 commencement. In its statement, Brandeis said, “For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of” Ms. Hirsi Ali’s record of anti-Islam statements, though those comments have been fairly widely publicized.
The statement is ridiculous, disingenuous, and reflects a disgusting moral cowardice. It is impossible to believe that no one at Brandeis was aware of Hirsi Ali’s fierce but fair criticism of Islam.
The fact is Brandeis caved to some over zealous, misinformed, politically correct bullying.
Hirsi Ali is a hero, a brave voice willing to speak truth to power, and condemn the abuses rampant in the Islamic faith. She deserves better.