Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

"A Complete Collapse Of Rectitude": Brandeis decides that Ayaan Hirsi Ali will not be honoured after all ...

Began an article in The New Yorker a few years ago:
'Was the prophet Muhammad a pervert and a tyrant? Does Islam promote terrorism and enslave women? Does Islam oblige its followers to wage jihad on Westerners whose roots lie in the secular Enlightenment? Should Muslims consider converting to Christianity? For the Somali-born writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the answer to all these questions is a resounding “Yes!” Hirsi Ali, who renounced Islam in her thirties, speaks from experience of bigotry and intolerance among her former co-religionists: she was genitally mutilated as a child in Somalia, briefly radicalized by a preacher of jihad in Kenya, nearly forced into a marriage, threatened with death in the Netherlands by the Muslim assassin of her collaborator, the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and is still hounded by murderous fanatics in her new home, America. In her latest book, “Nomad: From Islam to America” (Free Press; $27), she reminds her readers of the West’s tradition of intellectual revolt against clerical tyranny and warns of the insidious, intransigent enemies in their midst. “The Muslim mind today seems to be in the grip of jihad,” she writes.
 She is not hopeful that Americans will heed her warning. Her initial job interviews in the United States were discouraging: the Brookings Institution, she writes, worried that she might offend Arab Muslims. (The conservative American Enterprise Institute, however, immediately appointed her as a fellow.) On college campuses, Muslim students accuse her of wanting to “trash” Islam, while Western feminists, convinced that white men are “the ultimate and only oppressors,” lack the “courage or clarity of vision” to help her knock down the mental “hovels” of the East....'
That article is one of the items used in evidence against Ms Ali by campaigners determined to force Brandeis University rescind its  decision to award an honorary degree to her at the Commencement ceremony in May.

Their campaign has succeeded, for Brandeis issued the following announcement today:
"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."
Naturally, campaigners against "Islamophobia" who include Brandeis students and faculty who signed a petition opposing the planned honour, are cock-a-hoop at the climb-down. (So, I imagine, is the ghastly Richard Silverstein, who had this to say about the proposed award.)

But the decision has disgusted others (update: including Ms Ali herself, whose statement I give in a comment below the line).  One prominent blogger, for example, accuses Brandeis of "a complete collapse of rectitude" and goes on to say:
".... Ali has been extremely and indeed harshly critical of the Islamic world in which she suffered, both as a child in Africa, and also as a hunted creature, in Holland, from the angry immigrants who brought with them to Europe a profound inability to accept criticism of Islam.
And now, here in America, Ali is still being hounded by those who refuse to live by the standards of the West, of tolerance, of robust confrontations, but ones not knife-edged with intimidation.The Facebook Page denouncing Ali and the decision to honor her at Brandeis’s 2014 Commencement decried her for her “hate speech.” The Muslim Students Association claimed that honoring her “is a direct violation of Brandeis University’s own moral code as well as the rights of all Brandeis students.”
Most chillingly, while the students acknowledged Ali had experienced “terrible things in her life,” their bottom line was “we will not tolerate an attack at our faith.”
And so they issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.
Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence echoed the students (and a large number of faculty members, including the Women’s Studies professors) in his statement ....
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.
 In other words, Ali’s decades of devotion to helping women enslaved by misogynistic practitioners of the Muslim faith – who dominate the governments of Muslim countries – was neutered by the pronunciamento by students that they “would not tolerate an attack on [their] faith.” And in still other words, on American campuses criticism of religion – which has been a fixture of campus life – is no longer permitted. What words, what thoughts will be deemed unacceptable next?"
One of the opponents of Brandeis's decision to rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali's planned honour makes a rather interesting point on the above-mentioned Facebook page:

See more here

Further update: a mind-boggling Facebook message from a female faculty member opposed to honouring Ms Ali! (h/t this article):


10 comments:

  1. And (h/t JD) let's not forget these other gems from Tutu:

    People are scared in this country [the US], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful. Well, so what? For goodness sake, this is God’s world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust (Source:Monday April 29, 2002, The Guardian UK)

    The Israeli daily Ha’aretz (April 29, 2002), reporting Tutu’s remarks at a recent conference in Boston, quoted him as saying: “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid”: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa

    Tutu accused Jews of exhibiting “an arrogance—the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support,”(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Daily News Bulletin, Nov. 29, 1984)

    Tutu “urged Israelis to forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 1989), a statement which the Simon Wiesenthal Center called “a gratuitous insult to Jews and victims of Nazism everywhere.” During the visit, Tutu remarked, “If I’m accused of being anti-Semitic, tough luck,” and in response to questions about his anti-Jewish bias, Tutu replied, “My dentist’s name is Dr. Cohen.” (Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Response magazine, January 1990)

    Speaking in a Connecticut church in 1984, Tutu said that “the Jews thought they had a monopoly on God; Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings.” In the same speech, he compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa. (Hartford Courant, Oct. 29, 1984)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Each time a woman is stoned to death or executed for the crime of being raped I will send a $1 donation to the president of Brandeis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He should therefore end up a rich man!

      Delete
  3. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has issued a statement:(h/tp: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ayaan-hirsi-ali-they-want-me-silenced-brandeis-complied/2014/04/09/):

    Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the university’s statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called me—just a few hours before issuing a public statement—to say that such a decision had been made.

    When Brandeis approached me with the offer of an honorary degree, I accepted partly because of the institution’s distinguished history; it was founded in 1948, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, as a co-educational, nonsectarian university at a time when many American universities still imposed rigid admission quotas on Jewish students.

    I assumed that Brandeis intended to honor me for my work as a defender of the rights of women against abuses that are often religious in origin. For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called ‘honor killings,’ and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way.

    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.”

    ReplyDelete
  4. John Podhoretz's verdict:

    "What Lawrence has done here is the nothing less than the act of a gutless, spineless, simpering coward.

    My late uncle, Marver Bernstein, served as the university’s president from 1972 to 1983. I know Marver would have been appalled beyond belief at his shameful successor’s monstrous capitulation to the screaming voices of unreason. As should we all be"

    .http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/04/09/the-shame-of-brandeis/

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is no ladder high enough for those Brandeis nazis to climb up on, in order to reach the ankles of the magnificent Hirsi Ali.

    As to that "Bernadette Brooten" a "professor????" in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies": I am very offended by her not wearing the veil yet, or better still the Burka.

    ReplyDelete
  6. On Fox
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali Kelly File Interview On Brandeis. Ayaan Hirsi Ali Fox News
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJQtDH_9Mbs

    ReplyDelete
  7. Daphne, have you seen this excellent blog about Brandeis's betrayal of women not just Hirsi Ali - http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/04/brandeis-failure-supporting-womens-rights-matters-most-when-its-politically-difficult/

    ReplyDelete