April 10, 2014
The Shame of Brandeis University
By John Podhoretz
If you have not yet heard, Brandeis University has rescinded its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali is 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.
Given that it only takes a Google search to find out everything one would need to know about her, including the controversial aspects of her views, it is disgustingly laughable for Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to claim he had to withdraw the degree because of information he had only lately discovered. Ayaan Hirsi Ali said this afternoon that she was not surprised she came under attack from demagogic apologists like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR): She has come to expect such things.
“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 Lawrence has done here is the nothing less than the act of a gutless, spineless, simpering coward.
Women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali appeared on The Megan Kelly File, Fox News TV program, to discuss her response to the “regrettable” decision by Brandeis University to cow to Islamic pressures and not give her an honorary degree and speaking platform at the graduation ceremony.
The Somali-born Ali has spoken out against such atrocities as honor killings and genital mutilation and been the subject of intense criticism by Muslims. She called the idea that Brandeis was suddenly made aware this week of some of her past controversial statements “a feeble excuse.”
Video of Ayaan Hirsi Ali being interviewed by Megan Kelly on Fox News, April 9, 2014
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