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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Brandeis University withdraws honorary degree for Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Brandeis University in Massachusetts announced Tuesday that it had withdrawn the planned awarding of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staunch critic of Islam and its treatment of women, after protests from students and faculty.

    The university said in a statement posted online that the decision had been made after a discussion between Ali and university President Frederick Lawrence.

    "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," said the university's statement. "That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values."

    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."

    Ali was raised in a strict Muslim family, but after surviving a civil war, genital mutilation, beatings and an arranged marriage, she renounced the faith in her 30s. She has not commented publicly on the issue of the honorary degree.

    In 2007, Ali helped establish the AHA Foundation, which works to protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture, according to its website. The foundation also strives to protect basic rights and freedoms of women and girls. This includes control of their own bodies, access to an education and the ability to work outside the home and control their own income, the website says.

    More than 85 of about 350 faculty members at Brandeis signed a letter asking for Ali to be removed from the list of honorary degree recipients. And an online petition created Monday by students at the school of 5,800 had gathered thousands of signatures from inside and outside the university as of Tuesday afternoon.

    "This is a real slap in the face to Muslim students," said senior Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Muslim Student Association who created the petition said before the university withdrew the honor.

    "But it's not just the Muslim community that is upset but students and faculty of all religious beliefs," she said. "A university that prides itself on social justice and equality should not hold up someone who is an outright Islamophobic."

    Thomas Doherty, chairman of American studies, refused to sign the faculty letter. He said it would have been great for the university to honor "such a courageous fighter for human freedom and women's rights, who has put her life at risk for those values."

    Bernard Macy, a 1979 Brandeis graduate, sent an email this week to university President Frederick Lawrence and several members of the faculty saying, "Thank you for recognizing Ayaan Hirsi Ali for defending Muslim women against Islamist honor violence."

    But Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group, said, "It is unconscionable that such a prestigious university would honor someone with such openly hateful views."

    The organization sent a letter to university President Frederick Lawrence on Tuesday requesting that it drop plans to honor Ali.

    "This makes Muslim students feel very uneasy," Joseph Lumbard, chairman of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, said in an interview. "They feel unwelcome here."





    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/09...-critic-ayaan/
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    One of the main things Ayaan Hirsi Ali talks and writes about is the inability, under Islam, to think and talk critically about Islam. She argues that's a major difference between the advancements in the West and why many Muslim countries still feel like they're living in the 12th century. She writes about the obsession in Muslim culture over female "purity," and that Muslim culture cannot progress until they end this obsession, which of course means one must be able to think critically about his or her religion.

    From the same Reason Magazine piece mentioned above, she addresses this: "Where I come from, in Islam, the only concept of God is you submit to Him and you obey His commands, no quarreling allowed. Quarreling or even asking questions means you raise yourself to the same level as Him, and in Islam that’s the worst sin you can commit."

    She had her genitals mutilated as a child due to her parents belief in Islam, and she is an activist in the field, especially in the UK where female genital mutilation--the cutting of the clitoris and labia with a razor or knife--has become a problem, especially when families go to visit extended family in Africa. She believes that female genital mutilation in the Muslim world is a result of the purity or virginity obsession in the Muslim world.

    She wrote the film Submission, which led to the very public assassination of its director, Theo Van Gogh, who also had a note attached to him with a dagger alerting Ali that she was next. The film attempted to expose the misogyny of the Quran.

    The quote from Reason Magazine is a bit cherry-picked. Here is the context:

    Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

    Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

    Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

    Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. 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.

    Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

    Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

    ...

    Reason: George Bush, not the most conciliatory person in the world, has said on plenty of occasions that we are not at war with Islam.

    Hirsi Ali: If the most powerful man in the West talks like that, then, without intending to, he’s making radical Muslims think they’ve already won. There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don’t all follow the rules of Islam, but there’s really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.
    http://reason.com/archives/2007/10/1...le-is-the-west

    I don't agree with everything she has to say, but I do think the way she talks about Islam is important. Are we so afraid about our ideas being challenged that we can't even listen to people who challenge it? Or are the Muslim students who are protesting actually falling victim to the exact same things she talks about?

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Human Rights Activist Slams University’s ‘Deplorable’ Move to Withdraw Honorary Degree Because of Her Critical Comments About Islam

    The activist who was disinvited from receiving an honorary degree at Brandeis University because of critical comments she’s made about Islam fired back at the school for what she called a “deplorable” attack on free expression.

    The Massachusetts university disinvited Ayaan Hirsi Ali from its May commencement ceremony after complaints from students and faculty members — notably an online petition that attracted thousands of signatures, including 85 of about 350 faculty members — over her stance on Islam.

    The Somai-born Ali has been quoted as saying that “we are at war with Islam” and urged that Muslims be “defeated” in a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine.

    “For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called ‘honor killings,’ and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices,” Ali said in a statement Wednesday. “[M]y critics have long specialized in selective quotation – lines from interviews taken out of context – designed to misrepresent me and my work.”

    “What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The ‘spirit of free expression’ referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here,” she said.

    The university issued a statement Tuesday saying that it had concluded that it couldn’t overlook statements of Ali’s that “are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” Ali has described how she survived “Muslim rage” and became an advocate for women and children.

    Ali said it “is scarcely credible that Brandeis did not know this when they initially offered me the degree.”

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations was at the forefront of pushing back against Brandeis for inviting Ali, calling her a “notorious anti-Muslim extremist.” After the school announced that it was withdrawing the invitation, CAIR celebrated it as a “victory over hate.”

    Here’s Ali’s full statement, via the Weekly Standard:

    “Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the university’s statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called me—just a few hours before issuing a public statement—to say that such a decision had been made.

    “When Brandeis approached me with the offer of an honorary degree, I accepted partly because of the institution’s distinguished history; it was founded in 1948, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, as a co-educational, nonsectarian university at a time when many American universities still imposed rigid admission quotas on Jewish students. I assumed that Brandeis intended to honor me for my work as a defender of the rights of women against abuses that are often religious in origin. For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called ‘honor killings,’ and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way.

    “What did surprise me was the behavior of Brandeis. Having spent many months planning for me to speak to its students at Commencement, the university yesterday announced that it could not “overlook certain of my past statements,” which it had not previously been aware of. Yet my critics have long specialized in selective quotation – lines from interviews taken out of context – designed to misrepresent me and my work. It is scarcely credible that Brandeis did not know this when they initially offered me the degree.

    “What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The ‘spirit of free expression’ referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.

    “Not content with a public disavowal, Brandeis has invited me ‘to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.’ Sadly, in words and deeds, the university has already spoken its piece. I have no wish to ‘engage’ in such one-sided dialogue. I can only wish the Class of 2014 the best of luck—and hope that they will go forth to be better advocates for free expression and free thought than their alma mater.

    “I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me and my work on behalf of oppressed woman and girls everywhere.”




    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/...ks_786719.html

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014...s-about-islam/
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    What's sad is that the university and especially the Muslim students against this are reinforcing her overall point. Islam says you cannot question it--that's the biggest sin--and so you cannot have faith with reason in Islam.

    By shunning someone who is questioning their faith--someone who grew up that faith and had her body mutilated as a girl in the name of that faith--they are inadvertently proving her point.

    She's actually making a point on the fundamental problems with the Muslim community today, and she's doing so at risk of her life, considering she needs 24/7 protection. Maybe they should listen.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    It's shocking that in 2014 America, a predominantly Jewish university named after the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice would allow themselves to be bullied by an organization with terror ties. We are truly in the twilight zone, folks. The school's motto is, get ready, "Emet". Which translated from Hebrew to English is "Truth even unto its innermost parts".

    Unbelievable.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

 

 

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