“Hats off to Brandeis University!” »« Brush up your press release, start hiding it now

Ayaan Hirsi Ali responds

A statement published by the Boston Globe:

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.

Oh looky there, that statement of theirs was even more deceitful than was apparent on the surface (which is how deceit works). I did wonder how that conversation had gone – “Hi, Ayaan, we’re taking the honorary degree back, you’re cool with that, right?” “Are you kidding me?” But I didn’t venture to speculate. So it’s good to have it spelled out that those miserable cowards wrote the statement to make it look as if she had agreed to the backsies when she did no such thing, he simply called her and told her.

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.

Thank you for doing the work.

 

Comments

  1. anbheal says

    I happen to think she is manipulative and hateful and an extremely useful tool for the neocon war machine, she’s the Clarence Thomas of Islam, the perfect self-loathing Muslim, a meticulously sculpted media creation in the service of malevolent forces, she applauds our drones under the guise of clitoridectomies. I know that a great many on FTB disagree, and fancy her a hero, because she had such a dreadful childhood and was so victimized. I’m not sure horrible experiences create sound judgments or moral people — just look at John McCain.

    But that’s not the point here. It could have been Dick Cheney or Don Rumsfeld or Condi Rice….or, I dunno, Louis CK, where someone dredged up a bad joke. The point is that once you invite a controversial figure, you stick with it, as the whole point of academic critical thinking, airing both sides, not censoring opinions you don’t care for. Let the students boo, as the have done in the past toward Alexander Haig or Henry Kissinger or the Dulles brothers. Let the parents walk out, as they did at my graduation, because Carlos Fuentes was criticizing their hero Reagan and his policy in the Caribbean Basin, and have doubtless done during many a Leftist speaker whom the students adored. Rightists offend the students, Leftists offend the parents.

    Whether you love her or hate her, she should not have been disinvited and silenced. I agree, the disgrace is on Brandeis.

  2. Omar Puhleez says

    ambheal:

    “I happen to think she is manipulative and hateful and an extremely useful tool for the neocon war machine, she’s the Clarence Thomas of Islam, the perfect self-loathing Muslim, a meticulously sculpted media creation in the service of malevolent forces, she applauds our drones under the guise of clitoridectomies…..”

    Can we take it then that you have some disagreement with her?

    “I know that a great many on FTB disagree, and fancy her a hero, because she had such a dreadful childhood and was so victimized….”

    I know one or two people personally who had troubled childhoods and who managed to sort themselves out in later life. But that does not mean that I automatically accept everything they have to say. I know OF some others, eg one A. Hitler, and believe we would all be better off if he had been dropped on his head and broken his neck at birth.

    “I’m not sure horrible experiences create sound judgments or moral people — just look at John McCain….”

    I am not sure of that either. But neither am I sure that horrible experiences always leave victims incapable of sound judgments or moral behaviour — just look at Ayaan Hirsi Ali…

    “I agree, the disgrace is on Brandeis.”

    Well, it took a bit of floundering around before you got there, but you made it in the end.

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 1. anbheal :

    I happen to think she is manipulative and hateful and an extremely useful tool for the neocon war machine, she’s the Clarence Thomas of Islam, the perfect self-loathing Muslim, a meticulously sculpted media creation in the service of malevolent forces, she applauds our drones under the guise of clitoridectomies. I know that a great many on FTB disagree, and fancy her a hero, because she had such a dreadful childhood and was so victimized.

    Or perhaps they fancy her a hero because they’ve actually read her books among others and know what they are talking about rather than engaging in poorly or mis-informed strawmonstering exercises?

    Question for you, anbheal, have you actually read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s works and do you really know – as opposed to merely thinking you know – that much about her life and ideas? If you did, I suspect you’d be in the considering her a hero camp like me although its true everyone comes to conclusions based on their own perspectives and experiences.

    Whether you love her or hate her, she should not have been disinvited and silenced. I agree, the disgrace is on Brandeis.

    On that last sentence however we are in complete agreement.

  4. RJW says

    @1

    What is a “self-loathing Muslim”? You may not like the company she keeps, however that doesn’t invalidate her opinions of Islam or its toxic effects. There’s far wider context than US politics involved here.
    If the Left hadn’t abandoned its social democratic principles and retreated into ideological multiculturalism and ‘anti-racism’ the Right wouldn’t have been able to fill the void.
    Ali certainly loathes Islam for its lethal misogyny and for its oppressive and sterile culture, if she was truly self-loathing she would never had the courage to escape from the Islamic prison.

  5. anbheal says

    Fair enough. She chose the side with way more guns and way more money, who welcomed her and treats her well, because it serves them. And now urges her fellow Muslims to convert to Christianity, the most violent religion in history, with easily 20 times the death count of Islam’s since 600AD or so, and easily 1000 times in the past century. But if the Richard Harris/Christopher Hitchens view of the world is considered sacrosanct here, I’ll withdraw my challenge, and leave it to you to continue her hagiography among rich industrialized educated atheists.

    Opinions vary. But dropping bombs on countries won’t free them, it will only gain access to their oil. She knows this, and yet she continues. And yes, one may be judged by the company one keeps. She could have joined up with Amnesty or HRW. She didn’t. And if I were a Muslim student, I’d resent the hell out of her, particularly if I were poor, and disenfranchised, and not living in Holland (which may not apply to Brandeis, but neither does empathy not apply).

    Bombs do not help. Full stop.

  6. dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!" says

    Any bets on how long it takes Ophelia to start reblogging Pat Condell Or Michelle Bachmann directly?

  7. RJW says

    @5

    (1) “Christianity, the most violent religion in history, with easily 20 times the death count of Islam’s since 600AD or so, and easily 1000 times in the past century.”

    Probably, in terms of the numbers of victims, and corrected for relative population levels, there wouldn’t be much difference between the two religions, particularly when the enormous loss of life during the Moslem invasions of India is included. Remember, Islam was invented by a bandit leader and his followers and, unlike Christianity, was spread by the sword from its invention in the 7th century.

    (2) “and easily 1000 times in the past century.”

    Well, I wouldn’t blame Christianity for any of the wars of the 20th century.

    (3) Moslems have been “peaceful” in regard to the West only since the 18th century when Europeans achieved an overwhelming military and technological superiority over Moslem societies.

    So whatever Ali’s moral failings, her characterisation of Islam is correct, we’re still at war and Islamisation is aided and abetted by misguided and often ignorant members of the West’s ‘intellectual elite’.

    “She chose the side with way more guns and way more money,” which is also resisting the spread of a totalitarian ideology.

  8. Bjarte Foshaug says

    There are real problems with Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, but being too critical of the people calling for her murder, or their apologists, or anyone who just wants to defend and perpetuate the same kind of culture that made her life hell in the first place, is not one of them. My problem with Ali is not what she is against, but the things she actively supports.

    Anyway, it’s not as if her views on Islam have been this well-kept secret until now, is it? It’s funny how, in case after case, Western progressives, liberals and lefties just happen to notice the offensive nature of a person’s well known views for the first time the moment religious bullying and coercion starts rearing its ugly head. I seem to remember Maryam Namazie once making the point that western leftists and liberals drove people like Ali into the hands of the American far-Right by essentially giving them nowhere else to go. I agree.

  9. Celegans says

    I am conflicted on this one because I don’t think it is necessarily wrong to campaign against the award of an honorary degree and I agree with Brandeis that there are good reasons for wanting to avoid Ali – I mean I don’t think it is obvious that they have simply capitulated to perceived threats. If Ali had made similar comments about Jews, or gays, or other marginalised groups, would this seem so wrong?

  10. Dave Hughes says

    “But if the Richard Harris/Christopher Hitchens view of the world” is considered sacrosanct here”

    I think you’re confusing Richard Harris with his brother Sam (you know, the one who sang that fantastic version of “MacArthur Park”)

    I don’t consider the Harris/Hitchens view of the world sacrosanct, just well-informed and broadly correct.

    ” But dropping bombs on countries won’t free them, it will only gain access to their oil.”

    Well, dropping bombs made a pretty important contribution to the job of freeing Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and more importantly the freeing of the countries and peoples tyrannised by them.

    And as regards the muslim world, we don’t need to drop bombs to “gain access to their oil” – we can achieve that, by, er…you know….buying the stuff. The stuff that they HAVE to sell us to keep their corrupt, stagnant, parasitic, mediaeval societies in existence.

  11. Tualha says

    I can’t help wondering what Justice Louis Brandeis would have thought of all this.

    If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.

    Uh huh. Not exactly living up to the name, are they?

  12. says

    Brandeis weren’t spineless in rescinding her honorary degree; they were spineless in giving it to her in the first place without checking her past history. If they had done their homework BEFORE it was due, they could have quietly decided not to give her the award, and that would have been a perfectly valid decision. Instead, they let themselves be manipulated by right-wingers and didn’t open their eyes until they were already in the ditch, and now they’re being held up by the likes of Faux News as the latest scare-story of “creeping Sharia” and Muslim takeover of America.

    …Islamisation is aided and abetted by misguided and often ignorant members of the West’s ‘intellectual elite’.

    The West’s anti-intellectual elite aren’t helping either. Seriously, what did the ‘intellectual elite’ have to do with racist thuggery, msoquephobia, two mismanaged wars against Muslim states, or the current climate of religious hysteria that makes reconciliation with Muslims next to impossible? Quit bashing Western intellectuals — their mistakes are NOTHING compared to those of their enemies.

  13. arthur says

    According to the Guardian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s degree was withdrawn after Brandeis University became aware of statements by Ali such as, “I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars”.

    Brandeis’s withdrawal seems quite reasonable to me. Should a person who goes on record saying incendiary nonsense like that be celebrated by a University?

  14. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @5.anbheal : I notice that you haven’t actually answered my question – have you actually read her books?

    Shall we take that as a no?

    What is your basis and what extraordinary evidence do you have to back up your extraordinary demonisation of this strong ex-Muslim woman?

    Facts – with citations needed – not just your unsupported opinion please.

    Christianity, the most violent religion in history, with easily 20 times the death count of Islam’s since 600AD or so, and easily 1000 times in the past century.

    Citations needed for this extraordinary claim too.

    Funny that Christianity condemns homicide suicide bombings where Islam applauds and incites them in many cases. When two-thirds of the worlds major terrorist groups are Islamists doesn’t that suggets to you that maybe Islam is at least part of the problem?

    She chose the side with way more guns and way more money,

    You really think that was her main motivation for leaving Islam and speaking out about it – getting guns and money?

    Or that the Islamists are short of money and guns? Osama bin Laden was born into a multimillionaire family remember and whilst the Taliban, AlQuaida, Boko Haram, Hamas etc .. might nothave aircraftcarriers, fighterjets and ICBMs they are hardly unarmed! Being poorer and less militarrily equipped isn’t a justification for oppressing and bullying others either as I hope you know.

  15. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @11. arthur :

    According to the Guardian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s degree was withdrawn after Brandeis University became aware of statements by Ali such as, “I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars”. Brandeis’s withdrawal seems quite reasonable to me. Should a person who goes on record saying incendiary nonsense like that be celebrated by a University?

    What’s the source of that quote and its context please?

    I suspect cherry-picking and taking out of context here. Note too that truth is a defence – and that the quote refers to”Islam” not Muslims or any specific nation of people.

    I’m not so sure its “nonsense” – and as for “incendiary” I don’t see why saying controversial provocative things should be a problem for university’s awarding honours especially when those incendiary controversial things are valid and well supported by the facts.

    @5. anbheal :

    I’ll withdraw my challenge, and leave it to you to continue her hagiography among rich industrialized educated atheists.

    I’d rather you stayed and answered the questions and considered the points that and others have made. BTW. I’m not especially rich, I am educated but I’m not sure what relevance that or the fact that I live in an industrialised nation has here. Do you think any of that in some way invalidates my logic or the points others have observed against your demonisation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali? If so, how?

    if I were a Muslim student, I’d resent the hell out of her,

    Probably. Also if you were a member of an Islamist Jihadi group you’d go even further and seek to murder her. Alternatively if you were neither of those things but a Hindu or Jewish or Atheist student or teacher or passer-by maybe its most likely that you’d be interested in hearing from Ayaan Hirsi Ali and maybe moved and encouraged by her story and works. So, why should we privilege the resentfulness or even the hatred of the Muslims in this audience or even broader world above the feelings and thoughts and wishes of the non-Muslims?

    Bombs do not help. Full stop.

    That depends on who you are and what circumstances you are in. If you are surrounded by enemies with your friends, family and self coming under deadly fire and without the option of surrender because you know you will just be slaughtered then bombs that save your life and the life of many of your friends and family will be considered very helpful indeed.

    Now I am NOT saying this is always the case and I’m not advocating bombing anyone but I will just point that reality out to you. There really are seriously nasty groups and people out there – like the Taliban, Hamas, Al Quaida – who cannot reasonably be appeased or negotiated with. I wish it were not so – but it is.

    @ 6. & 4. RJW : Well said, agreed.

  16. Celegans says

    What’s the source of that quote and its context please?

    It was in an interview with, I think, a Swedish news outlet and was quite widely publicised at the time. It is the sort of thing that a university might well want to distance itself from, I think, or at least not appear to endorse. Just replace ‘Islam’ with ‘Judaism’ to see why.

    You can be a strong woman and a reactionary and/or wrong one at the same time.

  17. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @10. Raging Bee :

    Brandeis weren’t spineless in rescinding her honorary degree; they were spineless in giving it to her in the first place without checking her past history. If they had done their homework BEFORE it was due, they could have quietly decided not to give her the award, and that would have been a perfectly valid decision.

    Would it have been eh? That’s your opinion – and unsupported assertion. How do you know they *hadn’t* checked her history and decided she was still worthy of the honour?

    Instead, they let themselves be manipulated by right-wingers and didn’t open their eyes until they were already in the ditch, and now they’re being held up by the likes of Faux News as the latest scare-story of “creeping Sharia” and Muslim takeover of America.

    Way to minimise what’s happened here and miss the point, Raging Bee.

    Firstly, your claim that the university was “manipulated” into their choice of Ayaan Hirsi Ali : Got any evidence to support that conspiracy theory or is it just your personal jaundiced opinion? Can I put it to you as an alternative that, hey, just maybe the university judges aren’t complete idiots and do know what they are doing and made their choice independently on their own assessment of merit?

    Secondly, you claim they had their eyes opened and are now in the ditch? Well, again, the rational alternative instead would be that they caved to undue and unfair pressure from the Islamic lobby that was worse than they expected. That they started with a spine which was weakened and has been broken by threats and pressure that isn’t reasonable or right.

    Thirdly, about Fox news and the perceptions possibly generated by them and their likely reactions to this shameful episode : Is this really a valid reason to make a wrong decision and rob Ayaan Hirsi Ali of her award and place on stage? Disappear her in Soviet style from the history even? Just because Fox says something doesn’t automatically make it wrong, a stopped clock is right once or twice a day ..

    “…Islamisation is aided and abetted by misguided and often ignorant members of the West’s ‘intellectual elite’.”

    The West’s anti-intellectual elite aren’t helping either. Seriously, what did the ‘intellectual elite’ have to do with racist thuggery, msoquephobia, two mismanaged wars against Muslim states, or the current climate of religious hysteria that makes reconciliation with Muslims next to impossible? Quit bashing Western intellectuals — their mistakes are NOTHING compared to those of their enemies.

    Well, that makes their mistakes just fine now and not at all worth pointing out as mistakes don’t it? (Eyeroll and sarcasm.)

    Nobody’s perfect – and I’m not “bashing” Western intellectuals just criticising legitimately some of the things I see and consider very much worth noting so they can be avoided or fixed.

  18. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @Celegans :

    It was in an interview with, I think, a Swedish news outlet and was quite widely publicised at the time.

    Okay thanks for that info, appreciated.

    However, it doesn’t address the context of those words and what she was actually referring to there. “Quite widely publicised” doesn’t necessarily mean accurate or not cherry-picked or taken way out of context which I suspect to be the case here.

    It is the sort of thing that a university might well want to distance itself from, I think, or at least not appear to endorse. Just replace ‘Islam’ with ‘Judaism’ to see why.

    Taken at face value, yes.

    Of course war is also often used as a metaphor (eg. war on poverty,drugs, crime etc ..) and as pointed out earlier Ayaan Hirsi Ali is referring to Islam – the ideology – not any specific nation, individuals or Muslims, i.e. people.

    So how can you successfully “war” with an ideology? One way is education* and debate not bombs – deconverting people from it rather than physically killing people. It occurs to me, and I’d expect others also, that that’s what those words in context may well have meant. I hope so and how I’d choose to taken them.

    Could also potentially be referring to a specific current conflict such as Afghanistan, Syria or one of the African ones. (Libya, Nigeria, Mali, take your pick, sadly plenty to choose from.) In which case “war” may well mean actual war in the violent sense but referring to Jihadist groups who, if left unfought, will wreck unfathomable suffering, torment and murder on others and create no end of oppression and misery and international terrorism in Allagh’s name until they *are* ultimately fought and defeated. That’s also got to be another reasonable interpretation given the lack of context in that quote – and don’t forget possible editing and “jounalistic liscense at work too.

    You can be a strong woman and a reactionary and/or wrong one at the same time.

    That’s true enough. I don’t think it applies here to Ayaan Hirsi Ali but fair point.

    * In Islam’s case especially education and liberation of women.

    PS. Must get some sleep tonight so I’m signing out for now. Will check this thread tomorrow or next day depending on time available. G’night y’all.

  19. Omar Puhleez says

    Arthur @ 11: “I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars”. This is the quote you supplied from Hirsi Ali.
    Hirsi Ali herself is quoted on this thread as being impressed by the offer of an honorary degree from Brandeis, given that non-sectarian institution’s association with religious freedom. And you add: “Brandeis’s withdrawal seems quite reasonable to me. Should a person who goes on record saying incendiary nonsense like that be celebrated by a University?”
    “Incendiary nonsense”, I put it to you, is in the sensibility of the beholder. The real question is this: can Brandeis tolerate a person who is openly critical of at least one of the world’s major religions? One moreover, whose adherents include many people likely to respond to criticism of the religion with extremely violent acts, and which religion’s sacred texts are taken by its followers to justify response to blasphemy etc against it with such violence?
    In short, is Brandeis in favour of freedom of thought and of freedom of speech? (One hell of a question to ask about a university.)

  20. Anoia says

    @ #1 anbheal
    “the perfect self-loathing Muslim,”

    Ali is no muslim, self-loathing or otherwise. She’s an atheist.

    @ #11 arthur
    “According to the Guardian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s degree was withdrawn after Brandeis University became aware of statements by Ali such as, “I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars”.

    Brandeis’s withdrawal seems quite reasonable to me. Should a person who goes on record saying incendiary nonsense like that be celebrated by a University?”

    That “nonsense” comes straight from islamic sources. Islam devides the world into Dar-Al-Islam and Dar-Al-Harb. Dar-Al-Harb means house of war. Look it up. You might also inform yourself what being a Harbi means:

    “A harbi has no rights, not even the right to live.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbi

  21. says

    One point out of many I could make –

    The bar for withdrawing a degree is much higher than the bar for deciding to give one in the first place. A big part of what is so disgusting about this is that it amounts to a public shaming of Ayaan Hirsi Ali by Brandeis University. Not offering her an honorary degree in the first place would not have been a public shaming, or an anything; awarding her one and then taking it back is a whole different ball game.

  22. Tessa says

    For everybody looking for the context of the quote, here’s the whole article:
    http://reason.com/archives/2007/10/10/the-trouble-is-the-west
    For the quote specifically:

    Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

    Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

  23. splen says

    “According to the Guardian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s degree was withdrawn after Brandeis University became aware of statements by Ali such as, “I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars”.

    Also according to the guardian that quote came from an interview in Reason magazine back in 2007. If that’s true why has it taken them 6/7 years to notice?

    I haven’t been able to track down the interview it came from, but just from the quote it doesn’t seem clear whether she’s talking about a literal or metaphorical war.

  24. Al says

    No, she is not talking about a ‘metaphorical war’

    http://reason.com/archives/2007/10/10/the-trouble-is-the-west/2

    When asked about whether Islam should be crushed military, she responds ‘In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed’.

    When questioned about wherther she means Islam or radical Islam she responds ‘Islam preriod’. When asked about whether she feels ‘moderate Islam’ is a solution, she responds that Pipes is wrong.

    Sorry but this hatemongering. Plain and simple.

  25. says

    Firstly, your claim that the university was “manipulated” into their choice of Ayaan Hirsi Ali : Got any evidence to support that conspiracy theory or is it just your personal jaundiced opinion?

    Why is my allegation of spinelessness on Brandeis’ part more suspect than yours? (And no, it’s not a “conspiracy theory.”) At least mine is supported by comments on Hirsi Ali’s part that Brandeis should have known about, or looked up, before granting her an honorary degree.

  26. says

    Raging Bee – there is an actual record of people demanding that Brandeis withdraw the honorary degree: the Action Alert by CAIR and the Change.org petition to name two. Is there any record of right-wing manipulation of Brandeis to give the degree to Hirsi Ali? The claim is not particularly plausible on its face.

  27. RJW says

    @9

    “If Ali had made similar comments about Jews, or gays, or other marginalised groups, would this seem so wrong?”

    You’re confusing categories, Islam is a totalitarian ideology, like Communism or fascism, of course we are at war with Islam.

    @12

    “Seriously, what did the ‘intellectual elite’ have to do with racist thuggery, msoquephobia, two mismanaged wars against Muslim states,”

    To avoid any misunderstanding, I agree with your reference to those “mismanaged wars”. The point that I (@4) and other commenters have made is that, the “Left”, such as it is, has abandoned its progressive position and allowed the Right to assume the role of ideological opponents of Islam. So, indeed the ‘intellectual elite’ can probably be assigned some of the blame for the rise of Right wing parties, particularly in Europe. Whatever overblown rhetoric Ali uses, the fact remains that Islam is inimical to liberal democracy, anyone who doubts that should consider the state of contemporary majority Moslem countries and the development of Islamic enclaves in major European cities. The issue is not about race or multiculturalism.

    StevoR,

    “So how can you successfully “war” with an ideology? One way is education* and debate not bombs..”

    Agreed, however I’d include resistance to the current PC practice of accommodation to Moslems’ demands.

  28. Tessa says

    Al #25

    When questioned about whether she means Islam or radical Islam she responds ‘Islam preriod’. When asked about whether she feels ‘moderate Islam’ is a solution, she responds that Pipes is wrong.

    Sorry but this hatemongering. Plain and simple.

    I really dislike simple quotes like this because it’s part of a conversation. So often what one says is based on something said earlier. Here…

    Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

    Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

    Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

    Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

    The statement “no, Islam period” is based on her assertion that “Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.”

  29. Al says

    @Tessa

    Which makes absolutely no sense. If she acknowledges the existence of peaceful Islam, in the form of the Sufis and the Ismailis, then why should all Islam need to crushed? Do you support her call for military action before Islam crushes us all?

  30. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Al : I think you’re not getting the gist of her argument here. Ayaan Hirsi Ali si saying islam is now dominated by its agressive, war-mongering strain or school and that they are controlling the “narrative” (if that’s the right word), the zeitgeist, the direction of it. Defeat Islam as it is now – and let it learn and change as a result of that defeat into something less destructive and menacing to everyone.

    @Tessa – #29 & 22 : Thankyou for that. Much appreciated and agreed.

    @28.RJW :

    StevoR, “So how can you successfully “war” with an ideology? One way is education* and debate not bombs..”
    Agreed, however I’d include resistance to the current PC practice of accommodation to Moslems’ demands.

    Yes. Definitely true.

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