Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Statement in Response to Brandeis University’s Craven Cancellation of Her Honorary Degree

ByPamela Geller on April 9, 2014
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ayaan hirsi ali

Last night I reported on the craven capitulation by Brandeis University to Islamic thugs in their mind blowing cancellation of the honorary degree they bestowed upon the fierce defender of women’s rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Not only did they betray their namesake, Louis Brandeis, but they gave legs to the vicious smears and defamation that stealth jihadists and sharia thugs traffic in. Today she responds and exposes just what cowards they really are.

We need to he just as vocal and fierce in the defense of freedom. Politely write to:
rockhammer732@yahoo.com
lawrence@brandeis.edu,
cdharris@brandeis.edu,
mlwalsh@brandeis.edu,
elisa@brandeis.edu,
mswig@brandeis.edu,
obrien@brandeis.edu

Donors to the university should withdraw any current and future pledges.

The university’s namesake, Louis Brandeis, once said, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Brandeis University has all but abandoned his principles and their mission. Yes, Brandeis is in dire need of some disinfectant.

Kudos to the usually weak and spineless TIME magazine for running this:

TIME Magazine, April 8, 2014

On Tuesday, officials at Brandeis University backed off granting an honorary degree to Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Alian, a staunch women’s advocate and fierce critic of Islam, due to many faculty members’ requests and a large online petition. Here is Ali’s statement in response to the university’s actions:

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

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