I’m one of those who views ”honorary degrees” as inconsequential, if none were handed out, society would be none for the worse. Since however universities and colleges have take it upon themselves to bestow these type of honors for this or that reason, so be it. What Brandeis University did however, to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was disgusting, cowardly and bound to stain its reputation long after the principle players in the drama have passed on.
It will be a future generation at Brandeis, unfettered with a politically correct leadership beholden to the loudest voice in the room in its decision making process, that will apologize for the absurd disgrace, and award Ali, posthumously, the honor which was denied her while she was alive.
- Islam critic and feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali hits back at Brandeis University after they withdraw planned honorary degree (H/T: EDL Buck)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: They Want Me Silenced. Brandeis Complied.
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 [Brandeis University] should today so deeply betray its own founding principles.
The Weekly Standard provides the following:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has just released (as of 4:30 p.m. E.T. Wednesday, April 9) this statement in response to Brandeis University’s decision to rescind her invitation to receive an honorary degree:
“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.