Brandeis U withdraws invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive honorary degree
An offer to award former Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree during commencement at Brandeis University has been rescinded because some of her past statements are "inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values."
What's truly amazing about this decision is that the liberals who forced the issue are praising Ali for her work in exposing genital mutilation, forced marriages, and honor killings - but now want to ban her because apparently, her statements exposing those horrors hurt the feelings of Muslims.
Here's the university's statement from last night announcing the decision:
Following a discussion today between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year's commencement. She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values. For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.
Commencement is about celebrating and honoring our extraordinary students and their accomplishments, and we are committed to providing an atmosphere that allows our community's focus to be squarely on our students. In the spirit of free expression that has defined Brandeis University throughout its history, Ms. Hirsi Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.
What the university was likely not aware of was that inviting Ali would lead to a backlash from Muslim students and their leftist sympathizers. One professor seemed as confused as the administration about why Ali should be barred: (Via Weekly Standard)
Bernadette Brooten As one of your professors at Brandeis in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department, Natasha, I strongly endorse your call for civil discourse on this site. I am deeply saddened by all that this selection has meant for Muslim students, faculty, and staff at Brandeis and for your non-Muslim allies. A group of 86 faculty members has signed a letter to President Lawrence, asking him to rescind the invitation. We stressed that we recognize the harm of female genital cutting, forced marriages, and honor killings, but that this selection obscures the violence against women that happens among non-Muslims, including on our own campus. I recognize the harm of gendered violence wherever it occurs, and I applaud the hard, effective work of the many Muslims who are working to oppose it within their communities.
Wha? How does awarding Ali an honorary degree "obscures the violence against women that happens among non-Muslims, including on our own campus"? This is nuts - praising Ali for her work exposing Muslim violence against women and then denying her an honor because...she exposes Muslim violence against women. The poor liberal's head is ready to explode trying to reconcile her views.
I'm sure Ms. Ali is used to this sort of thing. It's amazing how cowardly the left can be when faced with a challenge to their supposed belief in tolerance and diversity of thought. Ali's criticisms of Islam are powerful because she experienced the violence herself. It's a shame that the people who need to hear Ali's message the most - Muslim women - are going to be denied that opportunity at Brandeis.