Quote of the Day:
I love your new free-speech concept! Obviously this woman should have been banned from campus and had her face stomped in; why couldn’t they have just quietly murdered her in Holland along with her fellow discomfort-creators?
—David Gelernter’s open letter to Yale’s Muslim students, who protested Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s lecture on campus
Unlike Brandeis University, which ignominiously cancelled a talk by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Yale was braver and didn’t step in and force Yale’s Buckley Program to disinvite Hirsi Ali. She spoke there last night, and it seems to have gone well:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, known worldwide for her crusade on behalf of women’s rights in Muslim regions, brought her message to Yale University Monday night and received a standing ovation at the end of her talk.
Her warm reception came despite a protest in the days before her visit by Yale’s Muslim Students Association. They criticized Yale’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program for inviting her to campus, saying she lacks the “credentials” to speak authoritatively on Islam.
Speaking of credentials, Hirsi Ali, a Muslim turned atheist, was born in Somalia, suffered genital mutilation, escaped Somalia to avoid a forced marriage and became a member of the Dutch parliament. She and Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh were making a film about the treatment of women in Islam when he was murdered. A note attached to his mutilated body, said that Hirsi Ali was next. She fled to the U.S. and is now affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute. Because of the numerous threats to her life, she lives under guard.
Congratulations to Yale for not being as pathetic as Brandeis and to Hirsi Ali for her constant bravery.
The New Haven News Register has a good report on Hirsi Ali’s Yale speech and the reception. David Gerlernter’s sarcastic open letter to the Muslim students who protested Hirsi Ali’s speaking is worth a read. IWF’s old friend Jennifer Braceras also had a good piece in the Boston Herald on the Muslim students’ challenge to freedom of speech.
And one more question for Yale: Was that so hard?
By the way, Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be a guest at IWF's Woman of Valor dinner in November, and we are all looking forward to playing host to this brilliant and brave woman.