April 9, 2014

"Brandeis University withdraws planned honorary degree for Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali."

Fox News reports.
More than 85 of about 350 faculty members at Brandeis signed a letter asking for Ali to be removed from the list of honorary degree recipients. And an online petition created Monday by students at the school of 5,800 had gathered thousands of signatures from inside and outside the university as of Tuesday afternoon.


"This is a real slap in the face to Muslim students," said senior Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Muslim Student Association who created the petition said before the university withdrew the honor.

"But it's not just the Muslim community that is upset but students and faculty of all religious beliefs," she said. "A university that prides itself on social justice and equality should not hold up someone who is an outright Islamophobic."

62 comments:

Deirdre Mundy said...

There are Muslim Students at Brandeis??? Why would they agree to go to a historically Jewish school?

PB Reader said...

Mob rules.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Wow shame on the DNC! We all nned to know if Obama condones this type of behavior.

It's disgusting and I hope they lose!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

One more way-post as American non-STEM academia slinks along its path of total irrelevancy to anything that actually matters in the world.

rhhardin said...

Philosophers were in arms about an honorary degree awarded to Derrida, a petition so amusing that Derrida included it in a book.

It supplies a convenient list of moron philosophers.

Greg Hlatky said...

What would be scandalous is if she was disinvited for being an atheist.

Tank said...

What does this Ali thing have against the religion of peace?

Ali was raised in a strict Muslim family, but after surviving a civil war, genital mutilation, beatings and an arranged marriage, she renounced the faith in her 30s.

Oh.

I did not think you could treat a black women this way. I wonder if she can trump them with a "gay" card?

augustus said...

Would it actually be irrational to be afraid of an ideology which might lead its followers to cut your head off for being an infidel? Also, if you use a "----phobic" label for people who challenge or criticize you, it makes me think you are actually afraid the "phobes" might be right.

Kevin said...


"Shut up" they explained.

Higher education in this country has truly jumped the shark. I look forward to the complete collapse of their business model. Nothing/no one deserves it more.

Brando said...

Well, now "Islamophobic" has been defined broadly enough to have no meaning.

Honorary degrees are a bunch of crap anyway.

damikesc said...

Let's see, abused by Muslims. Speaking out against that is BAD!

And the university caved into this group of apologists for savagery?

I hope no neo-Nazi club is formed to get them to repudiate Holocaust victims.

From Inwood said...

Good grief, McCarthyism redux.

The Drill SGT said...

I wouldn't have been surprised if some Mid-West Univ Board had stepped in dog poop over something like this, but Brandeis, a Jewish university on the East coast, ought to have better grasp of Islamic politics in America.

I think she would be a great speaker, but I'm not a Leftist Faculty member, and I note that BDS is alive at Brandeis and there is a chapter of "Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine"

RecChief said...

"not just the Muslim community that is upset but students and faculty of all religious beliefs"


but uniform in their political/cultural beliefs apparently

The Drill SGT said...

"Greg Hlatky said...
What would be scandalous is if she was disinvited for being an atheist."

you mean a Muslim Apostate? Get thy stones...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A rule is a rule is a rule, unless you're a Muslim.

Mr. D said...

Justice Brandeis famously said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Maybe a little sunshine on his namesake university is in order....

EMD said...

Slap to the face >>>>>> honor killings and genital mutilation.

Got it.

Drago said...

Just one more in an endless stream of examples of left-wing collaboration with islamists in violation of every principle the leftists claim to hold.

Fens Law again.

A real war on women. By islamists. Protected by leftists.

gregq said...

It's so good to see the tolerance of the Left on display.

SJ said...

Imagine Richard Dawkins were set to be honored with a degree.

Now imagine that Mormons had made similar complaints about him.

Would the complaints have been effective?

Does that put these complaints in a different light?

Bill R said...

freakin' dhimmis

Rumpletweezer said...

My alma mater increasingly pisses me off.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

This is the same as Mozilla forcing their CEO to resign and forcing photographers to take pictures unwillingly.

Liberal fascism, by government, university and businesses.

And as Plath wrote, "Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you."
Hence their affinity with Islamofascists.

Althouse has been an enabler, but thought she could stop the Progressive coercion at the seeming liberty of SSM.

But she was wrong. The West is dead, the Constitution is dead. It's all over but the shouting.

Signed,
Depressing old man.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I read her first two books, in which she recounts her life. Some pretty horrific things happened to her, most of which were inflicted by her family, who are Muslims.

Her mistake seems to have been born into a Muslim family. Too bad she didn't have the good taste to be born into a fundamentalist Christian family. Then she could have been celebrated for overcoming the atrocities inflicted on her and exposing the Christians' cruel practices to the world.

You need to think about these things before you are born people.

CatherineM said...

does that Sarah Fahmy even know what she is talking about?

David said...

What's interesting to me is that 85 of 325 faculty members signed the letter. That means that 240 did not sign.

Yet of the 240 non signers, apparently nobody decided to mount a counter campaign. Not a single faculty member seems to have stood up against this.

Apathy, meet intimidation. The two of you can make a dangerous team.

Unknown said...

Letter I just sent to Brandeis:

I feel closely connected to Brandeis, because my daughter and my cousin are both alumni. I am ashamed that Brandeis canceled an appearance by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. If the real reason were fear, that would be bad enough, but at least I would understand. After all, Ms. Hirsi Ali must live with body guards, because she rightly fears being murdered by extremists. I could understand that Brandeis might not want to risk a fatwa being declared against them.

However, according to the article, the real reason was that Brandeis didn’t want to hear valid criticisms of aspects of Islam. In this area, Brandeis opposes knowledge and favors denial. That’s the opposite of what I would hope a great university would represent.

David in Cal

lgv said...

Perhaps they should switch and give the honorary degree to Brendan Eich.

Being against gay marriage should make the Muslim students happy.

lgv said...

We should publish every name on the petition and attack them for their WAR ON WOMEN!!!

Demand the faculty members resign for supporting misogynistic belief systems.

Richard Dolan said...

Bill Kristol posted an article on the WS website addressed to supporters of Brandeis, urging them to let the university know, in a direct way, how they react to developments like this. The thing that terrifies a university president more than anything is seeing some decision of his lead to a lot of unhappiness among the big donors -- money raising being the main job of university presidents these days. And there is no better way to get a prseident's attention than publicizing the events widely, where the key givers are likely to see it. The decision to rescind the invitation to Ms. Ali is, in addition to Kristol's piece, reported today in the NYT, the Guardian, the WSJ, Fox, ABC, and pretty much everywhere in blog-land.

I suspect that many of the major supports of Brandeis will not be happy about this, and that Prsident Lawrence will come to regret his astonishing act of cowardice here.

rcommal said...

A piece I (as reader_iam) wrote back in 2006 about Ayaan Hirsi Ali and [evicting] moral courage.

The Drill SGT said...

Yet of the 240 non signers, apparently nobody decided to mount a counter campaign. Not a single faculty member seems to have stood up against this.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

- Edmund Burke

Peter said...

If we won't defend ourselves even verbally then perhaps we deserve to be over-run.

Sam L. said...

I have asked why they did that, but no reply as yet.

elkh1 said...

Tyranny of the minority Nazis: 85/350, 24% of the faculty signed, 76% did not disapprove, and dhimmi Brandeis, founded by Jews, kowtowed to the minority extremists.

Ali is black, female, an anti-Islamist Muslim.
A triple minority is no match to militant leftists.

FleetUSA said...

America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Sadly

jr565 said...

SHe's a CRITIC of islam. You'd think that the left would be ok with criticizing religion.
Why would you deny her access but allow for anyone who might criticize the religion that the left is allowed to criticize?
I bet you she has a more enlightened view on gay marriage than a fundamental muslim that's for sure.

jr565 said...

When its an attack on christianity then of course the libs can make it and they are to be faulted for their religious bigotry.
When it's an attack on Islam then the perosn making the attack is intolerant even if she is a black woman and even if she is making the same criticisms of Islam that the left is making of Chrisitianity.
Only one religion can be criticized, don't you know.

EDH said...

Poof, she's gone.

Illuninati said...

You can't have both Islam and women's rights or gay rights. The left are total hypocrites to favor Islam over women's rights or gay rights after pretending to champion them for so many years. When one accepts that the left is really about power, and uses human rights as a tool to achieve power, this hypocrisy is understandable.

hombre said...

'"This is a real slap in the face to Muslim students," said senior Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Muslim Student Association ...."'

Better if she and her ilk thought of it as a wake up call honoring a woman who knows whereof she speaks.

SOJO said...

Dunno about that. If my female Middle Eastern-derived college friends were anything to go by, they might be privately thrilled. Lots of daddy issues.

Alexander said...

So just so we're clear:

We're running Christians out of town while silencing those who would speak against Islam.

You know what's cute? The secularists, modernists, feminists, and progressives think they're winning. Might want to invest in popcorn stocks, it's going to be a hoot and a half when they realize that they didn't remove the western Christian tradition but replaced it.

YoungHegelian said...

Don't you wonder just how stupid the administration of Brandeis has to be to make Ali the offer of an honorary degree?

It's not like she's "quietly" controversial. She's very up-front about her views on Islam. It is, in a word, part of her "brand". Criticizing Islam is what she does for a living. How could Brandeis have not known what they were getting?

For Brandeis to be cowardly is one thing. But to be both stupid & cowardly, is to, quote Dean Wormer "...no way to go through life, son".

Mitch H. said...

money raising being the main job of university presidents these days.

I've been reading that new biography of Woodrow Wilson, and from that, it seems like raising money from the alumni has *always* been the primary job of university presidents. Or perhaps it was, and now is again, excepting only those days of wine and roses between Pearl Harbor and the Fall of the Berlin Wall when the military-industrial-CIA complex firehosed tax money into American higher education.

Phil D said...

There was a clip on Fox with Megyn Kelly about the "Honor Diaries" and the demand by CAIR that Fox retracted their covering of the film.
CAIR pretended not be against the content of the film but the fact the the film was made by a "hate-filled" organization. They demanded an apology of Fox.
I must say the representative of CAIR got her head handed over to her.
What is interesting is that CAIR was represented by a fairly recent convert, Agnes Karoluk.
I did a search on her and found a post of 8/2012 on a defunct blog by her where she tackles the question why she hadn't converted to islam yet. She comes from Poland, went to DePaul University (Jesuits, figures). She had left the Catholic Church because of the "Catholic Patriarchy"!? But she had given the CC a second look because she found that the CC beside the "patriarchy" also had saints and stuff like that ( lefties are soooo intelligent).
I also did found an article that mentioned her as a convert. The article contained a picture of her 'at work' were she was clothed in full muslim garb. Only a face mask was missing to make it a full burqa. On fox she was without any head covering and with make-up, just like she is represented on the web-site of CAIR-Chicago (some serious taqiyya and/or schizophrenia going on there, I think).
On the website I found a link to some interfaith initiatives. They seemed rather to be a one way street but the participants were interesting, for example, they were partnered with female "reverends".
So it seems that islam is top dog with the "feminists" and assorted progressives, fellow travelers and other overprivileged complete morons.
You really don't expect that people like that will stand a, no doubt "hate-filled", Ayaan Hirsi Ali? It might bruise the sorry excuse they have for a soul.

Transpolitical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtrobertsattorney said...

Well, those moronic philosophers were precient. There can't be any more than three or four people left alive today who take Derrida seriously.

Although this fool owed a great debt to Professor Irwin Corey, he never once acknowledged his mentor.

Transpolitical said...

I am 63 years old. In the 60s I called myself a liberal. Believed in free speech, freedom of religion, limited government interference in private lives, etc. My political views haven't changed but my "label" has. Now I am a conservative. What happened? Now a University denies people the right to make up their own minds about an issue of domestic violence perpetrated on some women by some extremists in the name of religion. In the 40s this type of behavior was known as fascist. If a Christian group were involved this would be front page headlines and University officials would denounce the activities. No one is denouncing every segment of Islam, just some of the folks who are engaged in these types of extreme and abusive practices toward women. The University has shown itself to be a collection of cowards, not an institution of integrity denouncing hatred of Islam. They join the other schools that refused to show the film so intelligent people could make up their own minds about its content. And by the way this is a call to all the feminists. Where are you? Have you become so irrelevant that the only headlines you can create are the demand for free birth control? Right on Sisters! Brandeis should stop trading on the name of Angela Davis unless she too is on board with this kind of repression.

Marty Keller said...

I'd say "Poof! There goes academic freedom and true liberal education" but I'd be 40 years too late. Wish I didn't have to, but I agree with Pogo.

Patrick O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick O said...

The Liberal war on women continues.

Michael K said...

It is just amazing that a Jewish university would do this. There is an old canard about self-hating Jews but then you see what looks a lot like it and wonder.

Big Mike said...

It would happen at Wisconsin, too, would it not Professor?

Jupiter said...

"A real war on women. By islamists. Protected by leftists."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a better woman -- and for that matter, a better man -- than anyone at Brandeis. They aren't fit to shine her shoes.

Jupiter said...

Her courage, honesty and grace is a standing rebuke to the craven nobodies who signed that letter. They would need a long ladder just to lick the soles of her shoes.

William said...

Who would have paid attention to this speech? The good people at CAIR have done more than publicize Ali's books. They have dramatized her accusations. In the battle of the narrative, Ali wins and CAIR loses. Brandeis doesn't come out covered in roses either.....I will be interested to see if any university in America has the balls to step up and offer her an honorary degree. Maybe some Texas school could offer a twofer with Wendy Davis.

William said...

I recently saw a movie directed by a Saudi female and filmed in Saudi Arabia. It's called Wadjda. The film dramatizes the plight of a ten year old Saudi girl who wishes to own and drive a bike. The movie is done with a light touch. There are many harrowing scenes, but it's not polemical. The men are not presented as brutes, but that just makes the plight of the women even more distressing.....It's a good movie and well worth checking out.

Eeyore Rifkin said...

On Derrida, see Peter Benson, Beware of Truth!. Taking Benson's advice, I read the interview from Points called "Honoris Causa: <<This is also extremely funny>>".

It's also dismaying, especially now, in 2014, since (a) although the new media is more accessible than the media Derrida discusses, and it offers the possibility of a more direct communication between academics and the public, the pernicious influence of the factoid, and in particular its power to quell thinking--to suck out its life force and reanimate its corpse with the juices of brutality--has only grown; and (b) it seems that Brandeis in 2014, operating under the sway of a more democratic media, is less democratic than Cambridge was when it openly debated whether or not to award Derrida an honorary degree.

So why should the latter dismay me? To say that the mob has the power to shout people down, or to drown out critical thought, would be an ancient platitude. Les Intellectuals!, as William James rather ironically lamented. Would that critical thinking had the sway of a slogan! (No, not really, but we can readily understand the allure, which reflects not simply the lust for power, but the romance of the abjured, as well as a faith in humanity that's generally admirable.)

What if the trend in democracy is worse than James' worst nightmare, roughly that the history of Western democracy would be written in dimestore novels? <<Jemand mu├čte Josef K. verleumdet haben...>> Less than 140 characters! And it's so maleable, you can even it apply it the rightly accused! Who's going to tell you not to? Certainly not the adjunct who taught you twit crit.

It's not the brevity that's dismaying, and it's not the sarcastic tone, not in itself. Everybody knows that the Enyclopedia Galactica is a little dry. What fills me with dread--and if you've read this far, you may sympathize--is the prospect that the snarkopalypse is upon us, and it's, well, also a little dry.

Normally when a slogan loses its force, people abandon it. The slogans that originate in the academy--recognizing the academy as a primary source of popular insults and jibes is crucial here--don't they linger just a little too long? Presumably they were intended to last, to be not merely real, but actual, historical. But linger? This moment, when we sense their dryness, this is when we can say, critically, that there's something weirdly officious about these denunciations. "Islamophobe!" How Vibrant! How Forward! How Justice! How Brandeis!

Brando said...

This is the totalitarian mindset. They have not earned the right to call themselves "liberals" as they clearly have given in to fanaticism and ignorance. The sad part of this is that this mania has infected so-called institutes of higher learning.

It's infuriating that our tax dollars go to subsidize such institutions that have become cesspools of totalitarianism. I'm all for actual academic freedom and open dialogue, but clearly those are outdated concepts at today's glamorous universities.

eric said...

This sorta racism by the Democrat party is a terrible thing to behold.

When will they distance themselves from this sort of Racism against black women? It's terrible. Just terrible. The optics here are also terrible.

It's not wander blacks are fleeing from the Democrat party. It's because of this. Clear cut, straight up, racism.

Right Crack?