Thursday, April 10, 2014

Conscience: a matter on which I must take a stand

As many of my readers know, Brandeis University, caving into intimidation, unilaterally decided the withdraw the honorary doctorate they were going to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali during their commencement next month. For those who do not know, Hirsi Ali first came to prominence in the Netherlands for collaborating with Theo Van Gogh on his film Submission. As a result of making this film, Van Gogh was stabbed-to-death in broad daylight on the street by an Islamic extremist. Ever since, Hirsi Ali, who briefly served as a member of the Dutch Parliament before running into citizenship issues, has lived in danger of being killed for letting her story be told in the film. Undaunted, she has bravely persisted in telling her story. Here is part of her response to the school's disgraceful act:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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 (you can read her complete statement here)
So our early Friday traditio is Part One of Submission in English:



This makes me feel slightly better for not being able to post yesterday on the 69th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Let's not forget that Christians are not entirely guiltless in related matters. May we continue to repent and seek to live in the triumphant love of Jesus Christ, which we are preparing to celebrate at Easter. I think it's important for victims to be able to share their stories without fear of more violence. I commend Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her courage, for not being intimidated into silence, even as I upbraid Brandeis University for their reprehensible cowardice.

UPDATE: Mark Shea weighs in on Brandeis University's poltroonery- "Gutless Brandeis U Chickens Out."

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