The Corner

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Receives Warm Welcome at Yale

The decision of Yale’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program to invite Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on campus attracted significant controversy last week, with more than 30 student organizations signing a letter protesting her appearance, but her speech on Monday went off without confrontation or interruption. 

Hirsi Ali, an activist for women’s rights in Islamic societies who was disinvited from speaking at Brandeis University earlier this year, received multiple standing ovations from the large crowd gathered at Yale. Hirsi Ali went after claims by the school’s Muslim Students Association that she lacked the scholarly credentials necessary to speak authoritatively on Islamic issues.

“Why is my experience relevant? Is it because I was raised a Muslim? Is it because I was married off or had my genitals cut? No,” she said.

“Ladies and gentlemen of Yale, every creed has a core and the core of Islam is to submit to the will of Allah,” Hirsi Ali said. “You can’t fight the symptoms of radical Islam, without addressing the core of Islam.” Over the last decade, she said, the U.S. has refused to face the source of the problem.

In advance of Monday’s event, the Yale MSA said Hirsi Ali’s past comments were libelous and slanderous and sought to have another speaker present to challenge Hirsi Ali’s statements. MSA board member Abrar Omeish declined to comment to NRO after the event, and pointed to a letter circulated by MSA and an opinion column she wrote in the Yale Daily News as representative of the group’s views. 

Rich Lizardo, president of the Buckley Program, told NRO he thought the event went smoothly and jokingly apologized for the lack of conflict at the actual event. Hirsi Ali did not speak to reporters after the event, but did stop by a group of them to thank a Brandeis student for attending.

Most Popular


It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More