David Calling

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the True Values of Brandeis

Brandeis University awarded Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree and has now withdrawn it. In a peculiarly disgusting statement, Frederick Lawrence, the president of Brandeis, claims to have uncovered opinions of Ayaan’s that are not in accord with the values of Brandeis. Adding insult to injury, he invites Ayaan to a debate.

Where do they find these weasels? I know Ayaan, and I am familiar with her writings. She is a steadfast champion of human rights. She suffered genital mutilation as a child in Somalia and thinks this is a rite that must be abolished for the sake of common humanity. Millions of women are misled into thinking that this mutilation is Islamic, and Ayaan puts the record straight.

Any objections so far? Ah, Ayaan has renounced Islam. I am not at Brandeis and now would never go there, but I can visualize faculty and students huddling in little groups and caucuses to say that she betrays the Third World, is un-Islamic, and if people have a custom of cutting up the genitals of little girls, who are we to stand in their way? To call customs like that barbarous and ignorant is nothing short of racist. Pens out, everybody, sign a petition to President Lawrence.

Ayaan tells the truth, quietly but irrefutably, and that is why the Left hates her. As a Somali and a born Muslim, she is supposed to be militant, anti-West, and fist-clenched in a caricature that is actually close to racist. Let them sign their petitions, these people are beyond the reach of argument and intelligence. But this President Lawrence is another matter.  Wastepaper baskets are made for petitions got up like this. We are lucky to have Ayaan, and this disgraceful moral and intellectual defective cannot stand up for her. Not in accord with the values of Brandeis, indeed. If those values mean anything, he should be withdrawn from office, right here and now.    

David Pryce-Jones — David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

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