Ayaan Hirsi Ali responds to Brandeis snub
Former Muslim and human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali has issued a statement in response to the action by Brandeis University in withdrawing an honorary degree they were going to present to her at the 2014 commencement ceremony.
Ali called out the school's administration who would "so deeply betray its own founding principles."
“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.”
Challenging liberal orthodoxy is always fraught with danger - especially to one's career and livelihood. Ms. Ali will continue working and speaking around the world, carrying her empowering message to Muslim women and girls. This is a true kind of feminism that exposes leftist women to be the charlatans and partisan hacks they truly are.
It appears that this truth was simply too much to bear for liberals at Brandeis.