Silence empowers the Neo-Nazis

As I’ve been pointing out, Ayaan Hirsi Ali gets misread by people who are convinced she’s a far-right racist, or people who want to convince others that she is. There’s “Loonwatch” for instance. Loonwatch gives a very warped version of the talk in which she mentioned Anders Breivik. The article is titled Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Sympathizes with Terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and it repeats the accusation in the text.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was invited to Germany to receive the Axel Springer Award, to recount her “escape” from Islam.

Sympathy for the Devil

In her acceptance speech, Ali expressed her sympathy for terrorist murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Her writings were included in Breivik’s manifesto and she took the opportunity of the speech to try and distance herself from his actions while squarely putting the blame for Breivik’s massacre on his targets.

That’s a lie. She didn’t express any sympathy for Anders Breivik. Here is her talk (thanks to Anthony K for the link), which is titled The Advocates of Silence. [Read more...]

We do no favors when we shut our eyes to this link

The Wall Street Journal has a condensed version of what would have been Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s talk at Brandeis had they not rudely withdrawn her invitation to receive an honorary degree. (Yes, I’m spelling it out in full every time.)

You deserve better memories than 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing. And you are not the only ones. In Syria, at least 120,000 people have been killed, not simply in battle, but in wholesale massacres, in a civil war that is increasingly waged across a sectarian divide. Violence is escalating in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Libya, in Egypt. And far more than was the case when you were born, organized violence in the world today is disproportionately concentrated in the Muslim world.

Another striking feature of the countries I have just named, and of the Middle East generally, is that violence against women is also increasing. In Saudi Arabia, there has been a noticeable rise in the practice of female genital mutilation. In Egypt, 99% of women report being sexually harassed and up to 80 sexual assaults occur in a single day. [Read more...]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “Women Victims of Islam”

I published an article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali at ur-Butterflies and Wheels way back in 2005, when she was still an MP in the Netherlands. It was a talk she gave at a UN conference in Geneva, one of three. I published all three. Here’s the background information I provided at the time:

A one-day conference was held at the United Nations in Geneva on April 18 2005, titled ‘Victims of Jihad: Human Rights Abuse in the Name of Islam’. The conference occurred during the last week of the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. On April 12, the Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution condemning the ‘defamation’ of religion. The resolution, titled ‘Combating Defamation of Religions,’ expresses ‘deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.’ The ‘Victims of Jihad’ conference cast doubt on the wording of that resolution, and the thought behind it.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Azam Kamguian, and Ibn Warraq all addressed the conference, and all kindly sent the text of their speeches to Butterflies and Wheels. Here, for your convenience, they all are.

I wrote to Ayaan at her parliamentary address and her assistant replied, with the text of Ayaan’s talk. I felt honored. 

In honor of Brandeis’s cowardly and insulting treatment of Ayaan, here is that article again.

Women Victims of Islam

Due to the sensitivity of this subject I will start by making a distinction between Islam and Muslims. Islam can be described as a civilization, as a source of spiritual guidance, as a way of life and so on. Most of all Islam is a moral framework, and central to this moral frame is the decree that a believer or follower submit his will to Allah. How this submission should be practiced is worked out in the Qur’an and hadith.

A Muslim is any one – regardless of race or sex – who subscribes to or testifies to believing, among other things, that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his prophet. Besides accepting god as Allah, and his prophet, a Muslim also believes in a host of other things like the existence of angels, a hereafter with a range of different heavens and hells, more prophets, and the view that the world will come to an end as predicted in the holy Qur’an.

Islam as compiled in the Qur’an and Hadith could be viewed as static. The way Muslims believe or practice their religion is dynamic. The individual Muslim can choose to change. As humans they are endowed with reason and, if free, Muslims can, as Christians and Jews have done in the past and still do, progress by means of critical self-reflection. I regularly criticize Islam and especially the treatment of women as prescribed in the Qur’ an and Hadith. By doing that I have annoyed many Muslims, some of whom actually want to hurt me. Despite this, rejecting some of the teachings in Islam is not the same as rejecting Muslims. Muslims deserve to be and should be viewed in Europe and elsewhere like all other humans. What I ask is not to fear Muslims or persecute them for their beliefs. What I expect – both from Muslims and their non-Muslim supporters – is to have the opportunity to think, publish my ideas and engage in societal discussion about Islam as a moral framework without having to fear for my life. [Read more...]

Further thoughts on Brandeis

And another thing.

Those two core sentences in Brandeis’s statement taking back the honorary degree it had announced it was awarding to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.

What’s this “we cannot overlook” shit? They already had overlooked it. Putting it in that stuffy self-righteous reproachful way makes it look as if Hirsi Ali had pulled a fast one. It puts the blame on her. It bleats at her because Brandeis fucked up. It’s a very sly, covert, manipulative way of putting her in the wrong instead of itself. It’s an object lesson in how to be a lying sniveling backstabbing bureaucrat. [Read more...]

“Hats off to Brandeis University!”

But of course there are people who are delighted that Brandeis University decided to publicly shame Ayaan Hirsi Ali by withdrawing its already announced award of an honorary degree. One of them is Duke University’s Muslim chaplain Imam Abdullah Antepli. He has a piece at the Huffington Post rejoicing at Brandeis’s clumsy and insulting move.

He tells us he was shocked by Brandeis’s decision to honor Ayan Hirsi Ali, and that he was all the more shocked because of Brandeis’s wonderful record of commitment to equality, diversity, dialogue and social justice.

Ok wait a second hang on. What about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s record of commitment to equality, diversity, dialogue and social justice? Does that go for nothing?

Look. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, like a lot of people, thinks Islam does not have a fabulous record of commitment to equality, diversity, dialogue and social justice. That’s the issue here. It’s not a matter of Brandeis liking equality, diversity, dialogue and social justice, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali not liking it. It’s a matter of Hirsi Ali seeing a massive tension between Islam and equality, which many people prefer to conceal or deny. It’s deceptive to pretend that all the concern for equality and social justice is on the side that hates Ayaan Hirsi Ali. [Read more...]

Somebody did something, but we can’t say who

Brandeis issued a revoltingly passive-aggressive cowardly evasive statement about its chickenshit surrender to theocrats.

Following a discussion today between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year’s commencement.

Weasels. Say it! “We rescinded our honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali scheduled for this year’s commencement.” [Read more...]

Brandeis! You’re on the naughty stool

Holy shit. Brandeis has withdrawn an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Brandeis University said in a statement that Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali would no longer receive the honorary degree, which it had planned to award her at the May 18 commencement.

That is shocking.

Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006, has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam. That includes a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine in which she said of the religion: “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. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”

Brandeis, outside Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts, said it was not aware of Ali’s statements earlier. [Read more...]