"I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women's and girls' basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.
From Washington Free Beacon (see below)
The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.
So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy—punishable by death—to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era? Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform. I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.
Is such an argument inadmissible? It surely should not be at a university that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust, at a time when many American universities still imposed quotas on Jews.
The motto of Brandeis University is "Truth even unto its innermost parts." That is my motto too. For it is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and equality of the sexes."That, inter alia, is what Ayaan Hirsi Ali intended to say at Brandeis University had not president Fred Lawrence's made the unconscionably decision to rescind the planned honorary degree to give a woman who, in the blunt words of Canadian columnist Mark Steyn, campaigns against "the barbarous practice by which Muslim men deny women sexual pleasure by having their clitorises cut off.
(The procedure, in all its ghastly primitive barbarism, is graphically displayed in the following video from Ethiopia, which readers would probably be wise to skip, although it should perhaps be compulsory viewing for the Fred Lawrences of this world):
Steyn continued, justifiably enough:
"Lawrence and the other fellows who run Brandeis are in no danger of any equivalent procedure since it seems clear they've nothing down there to chop off anyway. The eunuchs of the American academy are the beneficiaries of western liberty, of the spirit of openness and inquiry that is the principal difference between us and the intellectually stagnant Muslim world. But they will not lift a finger to defend that tradition."It was, of course, in response to pressure from CAIR and following receipt of this petition that Dr Lawrence made his disgraceful, dishonourable, dhimmitudinous climbdown.
Now, another petition has been instituted, requesting Lawrence to do the decent thing:
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born women's activist whose work focused on the abuse of women in Islamic societies. Hirsi Ali was supposed to be the commencement speaker at the 2014 Brandeis University commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. She was also to be given an honorary degree in social justice for her human rights work. However, with little notice she was told by university officials that she would not be getting the degree nor would she be speaking at the ceremony. She didn't ask to be given an honorary degree, and now, the Brandeis' administration has used the honor to dishonor her. We, the people signed below, want it reinstated." [Emphasis added]As the petition's organiser notes:
"It took more than 6,800 signatures to get Brandeis University to rescind its honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It's going to take that and much more to let the university know Hirsi Ali had many more supporters than the marginal group who wanted her honors stripped. Please share on social media to get the word out."To sign the petition click here
Incidentally, among the many condemnations of Brandeis president Fred Lawrence's recent cowardly decision are messages on Lawrence's Facebook page. This one's a corker:
"Dear Dr. Lawrence:
.... I can’t help but think that there’s something desperately pathetic about an institution that advertises itself as a bastion of liberal thinking turning tail and running when a handful of academics squeal about the unbearable intellectual threat posed by a woman who has been on the receiving end of Islam’s generosity (female genital mutilation, a future as a child bride, and an unending barrage of death threats akin to those that her colleague Theo Van Gogh received before his brutal murder), and who is then brave enough to speak out loudly about Islam’s sordid, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-Western element.
Interestingly, you were entirely comfortable inviting (and then not rescinding invitations to) Tony Kushner and Desmond Tutu, both of whom have gone on record repeatedly mouthing grotesquely anti-Semitic statements when they took a break from attacking Israel – which, I might add, is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, one that gives fully rights to people of all races, colors, creeds, sexes, and gender orientations. (Should I also add that Louis Brandeis, the school's namesake, was an ardent Zionist?)
Could it be that you were confident that Israelis and Jews would disparage, but not kill, you for inviting to your campus two such divisive, unpleasant human beings? And could it be that, when you belatedly enlightened yourself about the reality of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s dangerous life as a crusader against the extreme elements of Islam, you suddenly realized that your comfortable little mantra that Islam is a “a religion of peace” is certainly right as to the vast majority of the world’s Muslim, but quite wrong as to a small but deadly cadre that expands its reach by threatening to kill “liberal arts” cowards like yourself, your administration, and your faculty?
Reality bites, doesn’t it? I believe it was Winston Churchill who said “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” You pretended that there was no crocodile or that, if there was, it had no teeth.
The crocodile has teeth, you and your colleagues are fools...."I think Fred needs tickling up a bit, don't you?
Let's hope that the new petition, whether or not it succeeds in changing his mind, receives all the signatures it can muster, in order to demonstrate a moral truth and achieve at least a moral victory.
Meanwhile, yet another sickening case of Islamic injustice against women is occurring in Iran, the land certain Israel-bashers of this blog's acquaintance seem to love:
Reports the Washington Free Beacon:
"The Iranian regime is slated to hang on Tuesday a 26-year-old woman charged with fatally stabbing her accused rapist ....
Rayhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old former interior designer, is scheduled to be hanged this week after serving the last seven years in prison for stabbing a doctor who she claims drugged her and attempted to rape her.
The case has drawn international outrage from human rights activists, who are fighting to stay the execution. These activists have cast a spotlight on Iran’s flawed judicial system, which executed more than 500 people in 2013 and is on pace to kill even more this year.
A petition aimed at pressuring Iran to stop the hanging has already drawn more than 126,700 signatures online, but has not appeared to sway the Iranian judiciary, the head of which recently upheld the execution order and insisted that it be carried out on Tuesday...."
To view that petition, click here
As for the treatment of (Australian) animals in Gaza, here's a report that I can't bear to read (h/t JW)