The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

No Honor at Brandeis University


I
had planned to begin this column with: Were I fortunate enough to meet her, and
provided her security detail didn’t pounce on me and wrestle me to the ground,
I would greet her by taking her hand and kissing it. It’s not often I get to
meet a real princess, someone of the stature of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Brandeis
University decided to snub Ayaan
Hirsi Ali
by withdrawing a promised honorary degree and disinviting her
from delivering a commencement address.  Since
“honor” is virtue in visible action (and not some ethereal glow
enveloping a person or institution), Brandeis made the dishonorable choice of
placing importance on what a terrorist-linked organization said about Hirsi Ali
and by cowering in the face of real or imagined Muslim anger over the woman’s
record of criticizing Islam, and, in this instance, her role in producing and
appearing in a Clarion Project film, Honor Diaries.
Brandeis
snubbed Hirsi Ali;
others just wished to silence her. Why do these parties wish to silence her?
Because they don’t want anyone else to know what Islam is all about. That’s
called censorship, or thought control.  
Why
did Brandeis cave? Primarily, for fear of retribution by Muslims, for fear it
would be called “Islamophobic” or endorsing “Islamophobia.”
 Secondly, it caved at the behest of an
alleged “civil liberties” organization, the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas-linked organization that is
basically a business-suited front for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic
organizations (ICNA, ISNA, MPAC, MSA, etc., aside from the Saudi lobbies).  Ibrahim “the Howler” Hooper is its glib,
taqiyya-yadda-yadda spokesman. Taqiyya,
for those unfamiliar with the term, is the Muslim practice of saying one thing
in English, and laughing up one’s sleeve when the gullible press has packed up
its cameras and Ipads and left the room.  
On
April 8th CAIR issued this press
release
:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/8/14)
— The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest
Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Brandeis University
not to pay tribute to notorious anti-Muslim extremist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
with an honorary degree at its commencement on May 18.

You would swear that Brandeis
had planned to confer an honorary degree on Jesse James, or Al Capone, or even
on David Duke or George Wallace. Below that statement is a “Take
Action” button. And, indeed, buttons were pushed, the
anti-“Islamophobia” ones. On the same date, the Brandeis student
newspaper
“acted” and also urged the school to banish Hirsi Ali:
When the University announced
this year’s honorary degree recipients, one choice stood out—Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
As a Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for
Science and International Affairs and the John F. Kennedy School of Government
at Harvard University and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute,
Hirsi Ali has raised awareness of violence against women, focusing on honor
killings and female genital mutilation.
Hirsi Ali, however, has been
outspoken about her Islamophobic beliefs. We urge University President
Frederick Lawrence to rescind Hirsi Ali’s invitation to receive an honorary
degree at this year’s commencement.
After
paying reluctant recognition of Hirsi Ali’s campaign against Islamic
persecution and oppression of women, the school, the editorial went on to say:
….Yet, her derogatory comments
toward Islam warrant a closer look at the administration’s choice to award her
a degree. In her 2010 memoir Nomad: From Islam to America, Hirsi Ali states
that Islam is “not compatible with the modern Westernised way of living,” that
“violence is an integral part [of Islam],” and that “Muhammad’s example is
terrible, don’t follow it.” These comments ignore the fact that there are
multiple views of Islam, insist that violence is inherent in Islam and that one
culture is fundamentally better than another. 
On
cue, the student editorial simply regurgitated
what CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote to Brandeis President
Frederick M. Lawrence. That also qualifies as dishonorable “action.”
“Authorities” are alleging that faculty and students alike pushed for
Lawrence to disinvite Ali.
Lawrence,
undoubtedly cringing in a sauna sweat in his sumptuous office, issued the
obligatory statement
on April 8th:
Following a discussion today
between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name
has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year’s
commencement. 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. That said, we cannot overlook
certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s
core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these
statements earlier.
Commencement is about celebrating
and honoring our extraordinary students and their accomplishments, and we are
committed to providing an atmosphere that allows our community’s focus to be
squarely on our students. In the spirit of free expression that has defined
Brandeis University throughout its history, Ms. Hirsi Ali is welcome to join us
on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.
On
Pamela Geller’s Atlas
Shrugs
site, Ali states that the revocation was not a result of a consultation
between her and President Lawrence:
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.
The
Brandeis submission to Islam has generated numerous condemnations of Lawrence
and Brandeis, from the Wall
Street Journal
, to Robert Spencer on FrontPage
to Breitbart.
Fox’s Megyn
Kelly
cleans Ibrahim Hooper’s clock twice, having to repeatedly remind him that
her program is not offered as a platform for his high dudgeon piety about CAIR’s
“civil liberties” record, and having to correct his manners, as well.
CAIR,
in the meantime, issued another
press release
on April 9th, as a kind of victory lap of gloating
triumph for having made Brandeis cry “Uncle Hooper!” In it Awad names
his co-culprits.
In its statement announcing the
withdrawal of Ali’s invitation
,
the university said: “We cannot overlook that certain of her past
statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s
core values.”
We welcome the recognition by Brandeis University that honoring an anti-Muslim bigot like
Ayaan
Hirsi Ali
would amount to an endorsement of her
hate-filled and extremist views,” said CAIR National Executive Director
Nihad Awad.
“We would like to
thank all those who took part in the effort to expose Ali’s extremism and to
convince the university to take corrective action.”
Awad added: “This victory
over hate was achieved because the American Muslim community joined with
interfaith partners in presenting a unified front to challenge Ali’s
intolerance.”
He offered specific thanks to the
Brandeis Muslim Students Association, the
editors of The Justice student newspaper at Brandeis,
Tikun Olam blog editor Richard Silverstein,
Imam Suhaib Webb of the Islamic Society of
Boston Cultural Center, the Islamic Council of New England, Brandeis Professor Joseph Lumbard, and the many
Jewish activists and academics who joined in demanding that Brandeis
University
withdraw its invitation to Ali.
Awad said the issue was not
one of First Amendment rights
because “Ali remains free to spew her
anti-Muslim venom in any other venue,” but was instead about a prestigious
university not honoring a purveyor of religious bigotry.
Steve
Emerson’s The
Investigative Project
, Reuters,
the Associated
Press
, and even the New
York Times
thought the revocation was significant enough news to report,
albeit with varying tones of surprise and/or outrage or absence of outrage over
Brandeis’s “corrective action.”
One
aspect of CAIR’s “outrage” was the Clarion Project’s film, Honor
Diaries
, which it not only claimed was “Islamophobic,” and
because it was partly funded by “Jews,” but also because Ali’s AHA Foundation
helped to produce it. I have watched it, and frankly do not understand why
Hooper and his cronies object to it so strenuously. It is not in the least
“Islamophobic.” In fact, it is quite accommodating to Islam, because none
of the panelists or participants in it, including Ali herself, condemn Islam and
call for its repudiation. This is surprising, given Ali’s books Infidel
and Nomad.
As reported by Fox
News
, CAIR was instrumental in having showings of the film cancelled in a
number of universities.
But
in no instance do any of the women in the film repudiate or renounce Islam. Islam
is the chief subject of their discussions, and occasionally Hinduism. One of
the women is a Sikh. Most of the stills depict Muslims. The participants even
fearlessly pronounce “Islam” and “Muslims.” But many of the
women are practicing Muslims. While often their descriptions of their and
others’ treatment under Islam are horribly graphic and true, not once did I hear
them unreservedly condemn Islam.
Islam
is a totalitarian ideology. They suffered under it. Yet they do not condemn it.
They talk as though Islam can be “reformed” or recast as a tolerant,
humane creed. It can’t. It is, root, trunk, and branch as evil an ideology as
Nazism and Communism. I don’t think they were afraid to condemn Islam. I think
their statements about it reflect a profound ignorance of its ends, or a collective
delusion. To a woman, they stress that Islam’s depredations against women are
“cultural,” not “political.” They do not see that those
crimes – forced marriages of children and adult women, female genital
mutilation (FGM, or, what a friend prefers to call it, “female
castration”), the role of “honor,” and the ubiquity of “honor
killings” in Muslim and Western countries – are intrinsic to the ideology,
not aberrations or anomalies.
Two
segments of Honor Diaries impressed
me, and not positively. One indicated just how accommodating the film is to Islam.
This segment featured one of the participants, an American, Raquel Saraswati. She
had a pierced nose and a pierced lower lip. Her eyebrows looked painted on. She
wore the whole “approved” Muslim garb for women, including an
unflattering hijab, most of it
outlandishly decorated. The overall impression was that she could’ve been a
dancer for the Star Wars villain, Jabba
the Hut. At one point, the film showed her preparing to pray and praying. That segment
underscored the film’s, and the participants’, acceptance of Islam as a
legitimate creed.
The
second segment concerned a statement by another woman (who did not participate
in the group discussion), Dr. Qanta Ahmed, author of In
the Land of Invisible Women
. She claimed that FGM was not mentioned in the
Koran or in any of the related
scriptures. Perhaps not. But it is the subject in a principal ancillary work, The
Reliance of the Traveller
, a two-and-a-half pound, 1,232-page manual on
Islamic or Sharia law. A Wikipedia entry on this work describes it:
Umdat as-Salik wa ‘Uddat
an-Nasik
(Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper,
also commonly known by its shorter title Reliance of the Traveller) is a
classical manual of fiqh
for the Shafi’i
school of Islamic jurisprudence. The author of the main
text is 14th-century scholar Shihabuddin Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn an-Naqib
al-Misri
(AH 702-769 / AD 1302–1367). Al-Misri who based his work on the
previous Shafi’i works of Imam Nawawi and Imam Abu Ishaq
as-Shirazi
. Ibn Naqib follows the order of Shirazi’s al-Muhadhdhab (The
Rarefaction
) and the conclusions of Nawawi’s Minhaj at-Talibin (The
Seeker’s Road
). This work consists of the soundest positions of the Shafi’i
school.
Andrew
McCarthy, in his April 5th NRO article, “CAIR’s
Jihad against Honor Diaries
,”
cites the work, which, covering honor killings, the dress code for women, forced
marriages, wife-beating, and other nasty Islamic practices, definitely discusses
FGM. McCarthy cites the relevant section:
Female “circumcision”
is obligatory (although only recommended or considered “a mere courtesy to
the husband” in some Islamic legal schools); it consists of “removing
the prepuce of the clitoris.” (Reliance,
e4.3)
In
case you doubt McCarthy’s citation, here it is from the horse’s mouth,
Answering-Islam.org:
 
e4.3    Circumcision is
obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the
prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the
clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis
hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis
consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)”
Circumcision is obligatory for (every male and female) by cutting off the piece
of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris (this
is called HufaaD). {bold emphasis ours}
The Arabic word bazr does
not mean “prepuce of the clitoris”, it means the clitoris itself (cf.
the entry in the Arabic-English
Dictionary
). The deceptive translation by Nuh Hah Mim Keller, made for
Western consumption, obscures the Shafi’i law, given by ‘Umdat al-Salik,
that circumcision of girls by excision of the clitoris is mandatory.
This particular form of female circumcision is widely practiced in Egypt, where
the Shafi’i school of Sunni law is followed.
It’s also practiced
in all Muslim countries, and even in the West. Andrew Bostom, on the other
hand, also cites official, accepted Islamic doctrine on the subject of FGM. In his
April 6th article, “Mainsream Islam Sanctions female ‘Circumcision/Genital
Mutilation of Muslim Women to Reduce Their ‘Concupiscece’
,” He wrote:
Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah said: A
woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: “Do not
cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.”
[Sunan Abu Dawud, Chapter 1888, “Circumcision of
Girls”, Number 5251, from Sunan Abu Dawud, one of the six canonical
hadith collections, English translation with Explanatory notes by Prof. Ahmad
Hasan, 2007, Volume III, p. 1451]
The
great Muslim polymath al-Jahiz (d, 869) noted that female circumcision was
specifically employed as a means to reduce female “concupiscence,” unbridled
lust—or mere sexual pleasure, derived from a fully intact clitoris:
[Al-Jahiz,
Kitab al-hayawan, Vol. 7, pp. 27-29] A woman with a clitoris has more
pleasure than a woman without a clitoris. The pleasure depends on the quanityt
which was cut from the clitoris. Muhammad said, “If you cut, cut the slightest
part and do not exaggerate because it makes the face more beautiful and it
is more pleasing for the husband
.”
So,
FGM is nowhere mentioned in the Koran?
What about in the Hadith? Does it
matter which? Apparently, the U.S. Muslim Jurists Association endorses FGM. Mr.
Bostom has reported on that interesting development in his April 10th
article, “Mainstream
U.S. Muslim Jurists Association Sanctions Female Genital Mutilation
.” 
Now,
Dr. Ahmed may not be an authority on Islam or on any of its principal texts. However,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is. In her own
segments, she does not correct Dr. Ahmed. It was incumbent upon her, as
executive producer, to contradict Ahmed. This is not a correction that could
have fallen through the cracks while editing the film. And, on her own AHA Foundation
site, it is noted on this page
that:
“FGM has no foundation in
Islamic scripture or law; however, in the West it is mainly practiced in Muslim
communities.”
Ali
did not correct Dr. Ahmed. I do not know what could be going through her mind.
This
is also why Honor Diaries is a
disappointment. This is also why CAIR can’t be that upset about the film.
There
was one noteworthy observation in the film, by clinical therapist Zainab Khan:
“How do you weaken people,
or handicap them? You take away their ability to make decisions for themselves.
You take that ability to decide what is right and wrong…”
Dear
Ladies: That is what Islam is all about – root, trunk, and branch.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Isn't the purpose of education to bring forth controversies and study many sides of the agument? Honory degrees always seemed to be either about college politics or personality.
    Oscar

  2. Edward Cline

    Oscar: Whether or not honorary degrees are a matter of politics, personality, or genuine recognition for one's achievements, Brandeis withdrew its offer from Hirsi Ali as a result of political pressure from Islamic groups, a prejudice against Ali for her opposition to Islam, and docile student conformity to political correctness. This is the same thing as German universities firing Jewish teachers because of pressure from the Nazis, the same thing as Russian universities firing non-Communist Party member teachers, and so on. And the purpose of education is not to instigate controversies for the sake of "studying many sides" of an issue, but to impart knowledge. Debating sides of issues is a secondary function, not a primary one. The sad fact is that most American universities do not permit discussion of issues or the propagation of opposite positions, because they are dominated by the Left, in faculties and in administrations. They are dominated by the Left, and now conformance to Islamic views is beginning to govern university policies on freedom of speech.

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