April 10, 2014
We’re only 10 days into April, but 2014 already is shaping up to be a banner year for those who consider any criticism of Islam, radical or otherwise, to be something unfit for public consideration.
The decision by Brandeis University to withdraw its plans to bestow an honorary degree on Ayaan Hirsi Ali came after one day of protests from groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Students Association. Both groups have documented roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks global Islamic dominance, a reality neither is willing to acknowledge.
Hirsi Ali, born and raised into a Muslim family, renounced her faith and chronicled her reasons why in two best-selling books. She has been targeted for death by radical Islamists, including in a note pinned onto the body of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh after he was shot and stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street.
The two collaborated on a short film, “Submission,” which was critical of the way women are treated in Islam. Hirsi Ali has made many statements critical of the religion, and her foundation works to protect women from physical abuse like honor violence, genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Such a life, such a dedication to improving women’s lives, is deserving of an honor like the one Brandeis planned. But the school reneged, issuing a statement which said it could not fulfill its promise due to “certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”
The move comes on the heels of ABC Family’s decision to scrub a new series about a teenage girl forced to live with extended family in Saudi Arabia. CAIR led the charge against “Alice in Arabia,” saying it “may engage in stereotyping that can lead to things like bullying of Muslim students.”
Never mind that something quite similar to the show’s premise actually happened. And never mind the show creator Brooke Eikmeier’s belief that “Alice in Arabia” could be “a step in the right direction for all cultures and all women, sparking greater tolerance, understanding and empathy.” CAIR squawked and ABC yielded.
And just last week, screenings of the documentary “Honor Diaries” were scrubbed at two University of Michigan campuses and at the University of Illinois-Chicago after CAIR and other Islamist groups protested.
“With this act of censorship,” wrote practicing Muslim physician Qanta Ahmed, a participant in the film, “the movie has become a metaphor for its message. Just like the women and girls it portrays, the movie has been silenced and its progenitors shamed.”
Criticism from Islamists has focused on the film’s producer and financers, not on its content. One Islamist critic, Linda Sarsour, honored as a White House “Champion of Change” in 2011, inadvertently made a point that shows the vacuous nature of the argument. If the finances were relevant, a Twitter poster suggested, perhaps the sources of CAIR operations warranted attention.
“CAIR,” Sarsour responded, “is not making domestic violence documentaries saving women.”
No one else is either. The one party who took up this legitimate issue has been pilloried for doing so.
In none of these cases has CAIR or other Islamist critics expressed willingness to debate the issue.
Instead, Brandeis is joined by a television network and two state universities in cutting off opportunities to challenge views on all sides of the issues involved. Isn’t that the kind of intellectual pursuit universities are supposed to foster and embrace?
Muslim reformist Irshad Manji thought so, too, commenting on Twitter that, “At too many universities, ‘respect me’ has come to mean ‘don’t challenge me.’“
So the Islamists are on a roll. […./more details]
So much hypocrisy it should make anyone sick, except Brandeis, but just like the Left they don’t care. (Cair doesn’t care) So one group can claim it speaks for Islam and all, and it is not challenged within. Then it steps up to become the speech police for the country.
When they start condemning their Mo-Bro brothers, they might have a microbe of credibility. That will happen on the first day of never. But people that haven’t progressed in centuries don’t show much promise. They make a strong case against evolution. But its just as hard to believe academia would empower them as the speech police. And progressives and the Left fall right in line with it.
They can honor Harry Belafonte, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite with degrees… but they have to draw the line at Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s over the top. Someone really should have tipped them off who she was before they invited her. Hope they don’t replicate that mistake.
They also honored Thurgood Marshall. One wonders what he would think of their erratic decision to reverse their invite? Perhaps one of their illustrious recipients will be prompted to return his/her degree in protest. I doubt it but if it happened to be a certain notable ‘progressive’ who was slighted, it would be a different story.
Now that is something everyone should be able to get behind: standing up for centuries old attitudes of inequality and discrimination of women. I’m glad that many of our youth are taking up that banner. There is hope for change after all. They should be more careful about such mistakes in the future. (pardon sarcasm)