The Associated Press

Ali: Brandeis Turned Honor Into ‘Shaming’

BOSTON — A Somali-born advocate for Muslim women who has made comments critical of Islam says Brandeis University is turning an intended honor for her into a “moment of shaming” by revoking an honorary degree.

The Massachusetts university decided not to award the honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali after many complaints from students, faculty members and others including an online petition.

In a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Ali was quoted as saying “we are at war with Islam” and urged Muslims be “defeated.”

Ali said in a statement Wednesday her critics selectively pick these quotes and she doubts Brandeis was unaware of them. She says not letting her speak is an attack on free speech.

The university said Tuesday night it can’t overlook statements “that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Ali is a former member of the Dutch Parliament.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • J__o__h__n

    Once again, religion triumphs over the rights of women. Silencing the victims of religious extremism isn’t a solution.

  • Geheran1958

    This decision by Brandeis is indicative of academia’s ignorance, naïveté or willful blindness regarding legitimate criticism of Islam. Had Aayan Hirsi-Ali been critical of the Catholic Church or Israel there would be nary a peep from left-leaning, hypocritical academics. This courageous Somali-born women, author, former member of the Dutch Parliament is recognized worldwide as a thought leader and advocate for reform of a deeply flawed belief system and culture. In addition to her thought provoking books, Hirsi-Ali collaborated with Theo Van Gogh in a highly acclaimed short film that exposed the plight of women in the Muslim community. Van Gogh paid with his life slaughtered like a sheep on an Amsterdam street; Hirsi-Ali could no longer be protected in Holland and was secretly relocated to the US. The same forces of perpetual protest and violence responsible for these incidents brought pressure to bear on Brandeis to deny the rightful honor that this prestigious institution was to bestow on Hirsi-Ali. I doubt that NPR will be discussing this incident anytime soon.

  • Ray in VT

    Brandeis should be ashamed for having Bill Ayers, a terrorist, speak on campus, and then they kick Ayaan Hirsi Ali off.

    SHAME ON YOU BRANDEIS.

Most Popular