Brandeis Gives Honorary Degree to Critic of Judaism, Refuses to Give One to Critic of Islam

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called Ms. Hirsi Ali as a “notorious Islamophobe.”


Brandeis University gave an honorary degree to leftist writer Amos Oz who described religious Jews as "Hezbollah in a skullcap"

In one speech, Oz described, "A small sect, a messianic sect, obtuse and cruel, emerged a few years ago from a dark corner of Judaism, and it is threatening to destroy all that is dear and sacred to us, to impose on us a wild and insane blood ritual... They are guilty of crimes against humanity."

In one of his essays, Oz wrote, "Israel could have become an exemplary state... a small scale laboratory for democratic socialism."

"Why didn't Israel develop as the most egalitarian and creative social democratic society in the world? I would say that one of the major factors was the mass immigration of Holocaust survivors, Middle Eastern Jews and non-socialist and even anti-socialist Zionists."

"Then there were the masses of Orthodox Jews... to whom socialism meant blasphemy and atheism."

"As for the North African Jews," Oz writes, they were "conservative, puritan, observant and family oriented and to some extent, chauvinistic, militaristic and xenophobic."

It goes without saying that Amos Oz is a repugnant human being and a vile bigot. But that didn't stop Brandeis University from honoring him anyway.

However Brandeis University gave in to pressure from terrorist-linked Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR and the Muslim Students Association to withdraw an honor from a courageous critic of Islam.

Brandeis University — an institution named after Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis, a famed defender of free speech — has canceled plans to award an honorary degree to scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is known for her scathing criticisms of Islam and its treatment of women.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter to Dr. Lawrence, referring to Ms. Hirsi Ali as a “notorious Islamophobe.”

A native of Somalia, Ali has written and spoken extensively of her experience as a Muslim girl in East Africa, including undergoing genital cutting, a practice she has vigorously opposed, and her family’s attempts to force her to marry a man against her wishes.

"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."

Hirsi Ali has called Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.”

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.

Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether obedience to Islamic teaching was a core value of the university. His statement did stress that “free expression” is central to Brandeis — except for expression that offends Muslims, it would seem, based on the rejection of Hirsi Ali.

Hirsi Ali grew up Muslim in Somalia, where she overcame genital mutilation and an arranged marriage. She emigrated to the Netherlands and eventually joined Dutch Parliament. She now lives in the United States and is a visiting fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. She considers herself a classical liberal and an atheist, and has worked to call attention to the plight of women under oppressive Islamic regimes.

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

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

Back home, Hirsi Ali had her back to the restaurant when one of the students, apparently a Dutch convert to Islam, tapped her on the shoulder. ”I turned around,” she recalls in her elegant English, ”and saw this sweet, young Dutch guy, about 24 years old. With freckles! And he was like, ‘Madam, I hope the mujahedeen get you and kill you.’ ”

Hirsi Ali handed him her knife and told him, ”Why don’t you do it yourself?”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali fled the Netherlands after years of threats and came to America in 2006.

And so the double standard on Islam and every other religion continues. Critics of Judaism and Christianity can receive honorary degrees, critics of Islam cannot.

It's time to end this special Muslim Privilege.