February 3, 2010

Did any newspaper report what Ayaan Hirsi Ali actually said in her lecture at the University of Wisconsin last night?

If I had attended — and I'm sorry I didn't — I would have taken copious notes and reported details of the things she said. I would like to read a report like that, and I certainly can't find anything in the local papers. The stories all report what they reported before she spoke, that she's controversial and various people don't think she should have been invited at all:
The decision to invite Hirsi Ali and pay her $10,000 speaking fee drew criticism from both Muslim student organizations and other groups.

"I see this as people slowly becoming suspicious of Islam, and suspicion leads to hatred and much worse things," said Rashid Dar, president of UW-Madison's Muslim Student Association.

"You shouldn't take Muslims as a subversive fifth column group that is planning to one day take over and start cutting hands off. We're normal people, too."
I think that article has more about what the students think than what the distinguished lecturer thinks. And it's not even what the students thought of what she said in the lecture. It's what they thought all along. And, ironically, what they keep saying is that they are afraid of generalizations and stereotypes. Why don't they pay attention to specific things that she, an individual, said in the particular talk that she gave to them?

ADDED: Isthmus has some detail about the talk:
She said there is a distinction between Muslim believers and the ideology of Islam, the latter of which she finds fault with. But she said that in the West, Islam has attained a special sort of protection, with intellectuals afraid to question or criticize the religion’s beliefs.....
She said that Islam would benefit from scrutiny and criticism and looking at other cultures and belief systems. “The Muslim mind can be opened by looking outside of Islam and then retaining what people find valuable about Islam, like hospitality,” she said. “I don’t think gazing at the Koran for hours and hours can help that.”

And she, added, “The emancipation of the Muslim woman is the key to reforming Islam.”
AND: The Badger Herald embedded the video of the entire lecture, which you can watch here.

ALSO: The Badger Herald has a pretty detailed report.

57 comments:

rhhardin said...

Normal people can be considerably different.

It's called culture.

bagoh20 said...

Much of modern journalism does not require actual events occurring. If the world were to stop, journalism could continue without any noticeable change. Cut and paste. Like a bunch of college students cheating by copying each others reports leading back to the original author from a previous year.

dbp said...

"Why don't they pay attention to specific things that she, an individual, said in the particular talk that she gave to them?"

Aww, that would require effort. Why would they want to expend energy when there are only two bad outcomes: 1. They confirm their biases and therefore wasted their time. 2. Lovely, treasured biases are revealed to be false and that is unpleasant.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Why don't they pay attention to specific things that she, an individual, said in the particular talk that she gave to them?"

Pure and simple, it's because they're afraid of her - as they should be - because she represents The Macho Response.

Fred4Pres said...

You would think feminists would embrace her, yet they are more concerned about some Tebow ad in the Superbowl. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a hero who should be embraced by groups fighting for equality, for feminism, and for human rights.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"I see this as people slowly becoming suspicious of Islam, and suspicion leads to hatred and much worse things," said Rashid Dar, president of UW-Madison's Muslim Student Association.

Well maybe if Muslims would stop self detonating in marketplaces, flying planes into buildings, beheading people, and going on murderous rampages over harmless cartoons there would be considerably less suspicion.

Just sayin.

ricpic said...

Dhimmi. All academic bien pensants are dhimmi.

RobertL said...

Like little children (I'm including faculty here) they put their fingers in their ears and shout so they don't have to hear things they know might actually disrupt the narrative....

Do people go to college nowadays to expand their horizons, or just to wallow in their own nonsense?

littlebeartoe said...

I think (1) it's true that it's safer for journalists not to report what Ayan Hirsi Ali actually said, but (2) the main reason they don't do it is, as many above have suggested, simple laziness.

Consider the parallels with the current Toyota recall case (gas pedals getting stuck). This truly is a huge story, yet most of the TV time spent on it is "man on the street" interviews. I've seen several exchanges like this:

Reporter: How do you feel about this Toyota situation?

Person on street: It would be really scary if that happened to me. I think Toyota should do something immediately.

Journalists are responding to the market, which loves emotive reporting, which is cheap, and tends to tune out a bit on substantive reporting, which tends to be expensive for a wide variety of reasons.

Alex said...

No doubt garage, Alpha, etc... will find a way to trash her as a Muslim-hater.

AllenS said...

And, ironically, what they keep saying is that they are afraid of generalizations and stereotypes.

At most universities, free speech is only speech that they will accept. Everybody else can shut up.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And let me just nip in the bud the rejoinder of ‘it’s only a tiny minority’. Ok let’s stipulate that a tiny minority of Muslims are jihadist nutcases; let’s call it one percent. That’s 10 million jihadist nut cases whose goal is martyrdom by taking as many infidels with them as possible. Then lets stipulate that another tiny minority of 1% of Muslims aren’t hip to self detonation but cheerfully support those that do. Now we’re starting to talk real numbers of nut balls that want to bring down Western civilization through active or passive participation and all I seem to see is the other 98% of the religion worried about the backlash of tomorrow’s scheduled suicide bombing.

Maybe what this retard should be speaking out against is the ‘tiny minority’ of his co-religionists that make daily headlines depicting an ever rising body count of people caught in the blast radius rather than a former Muslim who is speaking out against people who brutally murdered one person and threatened to kill her for making a movie that didn’t depict their religion in flowery terms.

People like him make me sick.

bagoh20 said...

"tends to tune out a bit on substantive reporting"

Hard to tell what people might do with substantive reporting. The last guy that tried that got arrested and a $10K bond.

MadisonMan said...

All the reporters were at the Kohl Center watching the MSU Sparkles lose.

Robin said...

At most universities, free speech is only speech that they will accept. Everybody else can shut up.

Yeah, now I'm more afraid that my daughter will go to college than that she won't.

Peter V. Bella said...

I'm with Hoosier Daddy. It is amazing- during the Sixties free speech was all the rage on campuses with no fear of offending tender sensitivities. Now instead of free speech, the tender sensitivities of a few must be protected.

brer rabbit said...

No one understands why a Somalian-Dutch feminist would rather talk about brutal Muslim misogyny than the Augusta National Golf Club

Big Mike said...

If people actually listened then they might have to change their minds.

OMG!!! They might even have to think!!!

traditionalguy said...

Intimidation works better than freedom of debate, and this Moslem tatic prooves that is true. A bebate put two at an equal standing and each must listen to the other and respond convincingly. The Moslems are too lazy to do anything except call people women and Infidels unworthy of anything except violent domination or death. The reporters are lazy too. The need for gutsy reporters is critical these days. Ayaan held up her end and the usual guardians of infidels and women were MIA. That is sad. I suspect that liberal group think attributes Pro-Israel sentiments to Ayaan, and the friend of my enemy becomes my enemy in their eyes. Sad again.

Jason said...

Heh heh heh.

Hoosier Daddy said "retard." Heh heh heh.

Michael said...

See, I told you so. By inviting her and thus soliciting her prospective negative take on Islam she has served as a recruiting tool for AQ. There must be no discussion of the rop that is not pre approved. Otherwise it is hate speech. And sad.

former law student said...

I would have taken copious notes and reported details of the things she said.

The event started late and presumably the papers had a deadline.

Further, anyone with access to a computer or a good library can find out what Hirsi Ali thinks, She's on a speaking tour -- ten days ago she was in Jaipur. Unlikely she's been saving up new insights for the Badger crowd. People in Madison are as much or more interested in what people in Madison think.

Blow by blow newspaper descriptions are long out of favor. I remember reading detailed accounts of MLB games in the 60s. Nowadays editors assume readers want to learn something different.

Michael said...

The "journalists" didn't want their heads chopped off so they refrained from "reporting" what could be offensive to the religion of peace's adherents. In the great tradition of the NYT and the WaPo they decided in favor of their heads.

Bob From Ohio said...

Wow, fls, do you dig holes when you spin like that?

Bob From Ohio said...

"First-year law student Samir Jaber"

Maybe he can take some 1st amendment law before he graduates.

Hoosier Daddy said...

People in Madison are as much or more interested in what people in Madison think.

In other words, they don't want to be bothered with information from a credible source that might prove their preconceived notions are full of crap. After all what's new? Muslims are just as nutty as Christians right? Nothing to see here.

Paul Zrimsek said...

People in Madison are as much or more interested in what people in Madison think.

I've lived in Madison, and I'm sorry to have to report that, for once, FLS is absolutely right.

Michael said...

You know, I think I would actually say that Christians are not as nutty as Muslims. I think I would say that Christians didn't take to the streets lopping off heads when the sensitive Christ Piss and other modernist works of anti-Christan genius were inflicted upon us. I would say that all in all the Muslims are thinner skinned, less tolerant, more bigoted, more homophobic and anti-feminist than Christians. But that is just me.

LordSomber said...

I think that article has more about what the students think than what the distinguished lecturer thinks.

More likely it's what the reporter thinks the students think about what the lecturer thinks.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS said..Blow by blow newspaper descriptions are long out of favor. I remember reading detailed accounts of MLB games in the 60s. Nowadays editors assume readers want to learn something different.

The writer managed to say this about her. Why couldn't he summon the journalist integrity to ask the local MSA PR guy about what their position was on Honor killings, Genital mutilation, and Sharia? too tough? or wrong answers?

"Hirsi Ali took refuge in the Netherlands in 1992 after escaping an arranged marriage. She now takes aim at what she sees as mandated beatings, segregation and female genital mutilation under Islam and has authored the book "Infidel.""

PatCA said...

The reporter probably did not even attend the talk, just stopped by for quotes later. After all, the narrative is already written, isn't it?

I'm glad the students decided to go for it and get a substantial speaker instead of a sports writer! It's pathetic that they "didn't want to be associated with her." Did they even read anything she wrote before this??

Paul said...

"It is amazing- during the Sixties free speech was all the rage on campuses with no fear of offending tender sensitivities. Now instead of free speech, the tender sensitivities of a few must be protected."

It's quite simple. The push for free speech in the Sixties was all part of the effort to move academia to the far left. Once that was achieved they needed to preserve the status quo and "close the gate" so to speak.

holdfast said...

Alex said...

"No doubt garage, Alpha, etc... will find a way to trash her as a Muslim-hater."

Maybe she does - Allah knows she's earned the right.

former law student said...

Compare the WSJ's coverage of Hirsi Ali's Jaipur speech -- it is no more detailed than the Capital Times' report. The URL is too gigantic to type here, but it should be easy to find. The report was written by Sadanand Dhume, and it's at online.wsj.com

F15C said...

FLS, your attempt at spin is incredibly weak and really says more about your mindset than it does the subject of this post.

fls: The event started late and presumably the papers had a deadline.

You know this how? Without knowledge that this is the case, why even conjecture?

Further, anyone with access to a computer or a good library can find out what Hirsi Ali thinks

But this isn't really about googling for Ms. Ali's positions is it? It's about cowardly, lazy reporting that tows the line of the islamist-supporting leftist mindset - and those who try to justify it...

Pogo said...

No need to report what Ayaan Hirsi Ali actually said in her lecture, because the appropriate PC multi-culti response was already written the day before.

Plus, you don't want to encourage her, what with the murders in Denmark and all. Best be quiet until it all passes.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will pretend 'til your death you did not say it."

Michael said...

FLS: The quote below is from the WSJ article you referred to (try cut and paste versus typing). Perhaps I read the wrong JS article but this is significantly more about what she had to say than about what others had to say about what she had to say.
"Speaking to a packed hall, with her burly bodyguard unobtrusively off-stage, Ms. Hirsi Ali spoke about Islam—and its problems with individualism, women's rights and sexuality—with a frankness unfamiliar to most Indians. She described the faith she was born into as "a dangerous, totalitarian ideology masquerading as a religion." She argued against the moral relativism that has prevented Western intellectuals from scrutinizing Islam as they do Christianity and Judaism. She asked why it seemed impossible to have a sober discussion about the Koran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad without riling Muslim sentiment, and made the case for bringing the Enlightenment to the blighted lands of the Middle East and Muslim South Asia. Ms. Hirsi Ali touched upon India only briefly, to contrast the country's success with the dismal state of neighboring Muslim-majority Pakistan."

JAL said...

"She now takes aim at what she sees as mandated beatings, segregation and female genital mutilation under Islam"

Love the "at what she sees as"

I 've watched more than one Muslim administered "mandated beating" courtesy of youtube.

Ever seen a picture of the men bowing down in Mecca? Looks segregated to me.

Ask some docs in areas with higher Muslim populations. Haven't seen any female genital mutilation photos, but it isn't a fairy tale and it sounds brutal and ugly.

But hey -- Ali just thinks these not-good-things (which are found in Islam by others!) are worth pointing out as problems. But she just "sees" them as a problems. (And we all know that disgruntled ex members aren't reliable.)

wv alsablog
Anybody know the URL?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Clearly, there is something about Ayaan Hirsi Ali that annoys, rankles, irritates. ...what seems to rankle Europeans most is the enthusiasm with which Hirsi Ali has adopted their own secularism and the fervor with which she has embraced their own Western values.
...Typical is the British feminist who complained that not only does Hirsi Ali paint "the whole of the Islamic world with one black brush," she also "paints the whole of the Western world with rosy tints," which is, of course, far more objectionable."

http://www.keshertalk.com/archives/2007/03/ayaanhirsiali5.php

A detailed review of a talk between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Philip Gourevitch at the NYPL a few years ago:

http://www.keshertalk.com/archives/2006/05/ayaanhirsiali.php

former law student said...

I know the event started late because the article said so. I know newspapers have deadlines after which no news can be printed because I have read delayed ball game results in the paper for decades.

From the J-S article: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken feminist who is critical of Islam and its treatment of women, spoke to an overflowing crowd of 1,300 people as part of a lecture series.

"We must use intelligence and reason to confront what I perceive as one of the world's greatest inequalities - the treatment of Muslim women," Hirsi Ali said at the event, which started late because of airport-like security.

Hirsi Ali took refuge in the Netherlands in 1992 after escaping an arranged marriage. She now takes aim at what she sees as mandated beatings, segregation and female genital mutilation under Islam and has authored the book "Infidel."

Hirsi Ali works at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, in Washington, D.C., after her Dutch citizenship was brought into question, and she travels with bodyguards.

The author called for an inspection of Islam and its practices cast against a modern society, accusing Muslims of using scripture to commit crimes against women and homosexuals.

When asked about her beliefs on the hijab, or headscarf, she said the symbol invokes criticism.

"By wearing it you're bringing your religion into the public sphere and invite questioning," Hirsi Ali said at a small meeting before the event. "It would be like carrying a huge cross down the streets of Madison."

Hirsi Ali referenced the stance of the university in bringing her in and applauded the Wisconsin Idea, educating people to influence lives beyond the classroom.

She referred to examples of flogging and beating as prescribed by the Qur'an and urged feminists and other activists to scrutinize the religion practiced by 1.5 billion people across the globe.

"Islamic doctrine is incompatible with American theory," she said.

MadisonMan said...

I will be interested to see if anything is printed in tomorrow's paper (local WSJ) or in Isthmus.

And if (when?) they are, I hope althouse links.

MadisonMan said...

There are reports, by the way, that are out there. For example, from the local paper, the WSJ: link ; not a news article, however.

The two student papers, the Cardinal and the Badger Herald, also have reports. Cardinal's; BH's.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Rashid Dar, president of the campus Muslim Student Association, says Ali is not giving an accurate picture of Islam or of Muslims, and fears possible ramifications of her speech.
“She’s trying to make it seem like Muslims ignore human rights violations. Well, we don’t.


Yes I keep forgetting what bastions of freedom and progressivism Muslim nations are.

I also like how she's called a 'controversial feminist'. I bet she wouldn't be controversial if she was criticizing Christianity. Then she'd be brave and courageous.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I should point out some other sloppy journalism.

....Hirsi Ali, is a Muslim woman who fled her home country of Somalia and devoted her life to speaking against Islamic doctrine and what she calls the “sanctioned abuse of women.”

Actually she's not a Muslim woman. She's a Somali who became Dutch and an atheist after renouncing religion. I know former Catholics who are now atheists who would be quite peeved to be referred to as Catholics.

Muslims are followrs of Islam. They're not an ethnic group. It would be nice of people grasped this simple fact.

The Crack Emcee said...

When asked about her beliefs on the hijab, or headscarf, she said the symbol invokes criticism.

"By wearing it you're bringing your religion into the public sphere and invite questioning," Hirsi Ali said at a small meeting before the event. "It would be like carrying a huge cross down the streets of Madison."


Keeping your religion to yourself - what a unique idea! I remember Malcolm X suggesting that a long time ago.

Why, if a bunch of black muslims - led by Louis Farrakhan - hadn't killed him, that guy would've been a great atheist one day.

Anyway, I can see (further) why we all admire Ayaan Hirsi Ali so much:

She makes good sense!

gardeningasylum said...

My book group read Infidel, and at our meeting we watched the film she made with Theo van Gogh before he was killed. We all came away impressed. They won't report her life story or her actual words because she is a non-leftist feminist and those are not allowed - you might have some experience with that :)

Ari Tai said...

There must be a student or three that attended who also follow Ann's blog. They should write up a report and offer it to Anne to publish. There's always something unique in every interaction that a good (even novice) reporter can pull out, research, sharpen and convey to the readers (else we'd have empty sport's sections). And if it’s well written, maybe GlennR will notice.

The issue of “What should we, must we do about Militant Islam?” is one of the top challenges for this generation. Not a lot different than the hot issue of 150+ years ago that divided the country (because freedom and ability to exercise one’s free will is THE issue). Where (Madison and) Wisconsin did not just “stand by and talk to one another.”

I believe Richard Fernandez observed (roughly) that Militant Islam is a political movement pretending to be a religion (and the Democrat Party is a religion pretending to be a political movement). Oh my yes.

We need an appropriate response (to both).

Methadras said...

"You shouldn't take Muslims as a subversive fifth column group that is planning to one day take over and start cutting hands off. We're normal people, too."

Why not? 100 million fanatical muslims the world over think this is exactly how they should behave while making the other 900 million cower like sheep. Your Koran already makes it permissive to become a subversive 5th columnist against anyone you point the finger at and call or perceive to be an infidel. Who do these people think they are fooling? Leftists, that's who.

former law student said...

http://www.bucknell.edu/x49237.xml

Here's an account of Hirsi Ali's speech to students at Bucknell last spring.

former law student said...

Here's a series of videos from a Hirsi Ali speech at Vanderbilt in 2008:

http://www.youtube.com/vandytorch#p/u

MadisonMan said...

Keeping your religion to yourself - what a unique idea!

There's a problem with keeping your religion to yourself: Your religion won't gain many followers and the leaders of the Religion, who by their very nature are hungry for followers and the ability to influence them, aren't going to like that.

Only by growing can a religion acquire the funds needed to pay for the religious leaders' extravagances.

PatCA said...

I think liberals lionize radical Islam not only because it's anti-American but because it represents the Noble Savage idea of the first Romantics. Hippies, leftists, progressives are all heirs to that tradition, and they cling to the romance of the "other" still.

rhhardin said...

I don't think sheep cower. Cows cower, if anything.

Sheep bunch. Three sheep equals one sheep, I think the threshold is.

You can direct three sheep more easily than two.

Maybe it's four. My gift subscription to Sheep! expired long ago. One or the other.

El Pollo Real said...

The two student papers, the Cardinal and the Badger Herald, also have reports. Cardinal's; BH's.

Kudos to the Badger Herald for linking video of the entire speech.

The Cap Times and The Daily Cardinal have scarcely changed in 30 years.

pst314 said...

"Keeping your religion to yourself - what a unique idea!"

Should people keep all their moral and philosophical ideas to themselves? Or ought strictly secular ideologies to be exempt from this ban?

William said...

Mark Steyn observes that the women in the 1978 class at Cairo University did not wear hijabs in their graduation photos. Now they do....I can understand why an Islamic way of life would be attractive for men. But women? It doesn't make sense, but there it is. You would think an attractive, intelligent woman would have a kind of Che appeal among disaffected Muslim women, but it's not happening.

former law student said...

Mark Steyn observes that the women in the 1978 class at Cairo University did not wear hijabs in their graduation photos. Now they do

Yes, 1978 was before what I call the Islamic Reformation -- a renewal of religious fervor among the believers.

You would think an attractive, intelligent woman would have a kind of Che appeal among disaffected Muslim women

Sure, like the Concerned Women of America secretly want to live more like Madonna Ciccone.