Brandeis University had planned to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali at its commencement ceremony this year, but after a smear campaign led by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamic supremacist groups, on Tuesday the university issued a statement announcing the predictable result: the honorary degree would not be given.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brandeis assured the world, “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.” However, as compelling as Brandeis may have considered that work, ultimately it didn’t matter: “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.”
The Brandeis statement did not mention CAIR, and probably university administrators are unaware of its Hamas ties or its record of opposing any and all counter-terror efforts. Nor did the statement specify exactly what in Hirsi Ali’s past statements was “inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” CAIR, however, did so in its press release (also issued Tuesday; Brandeis snapped into line quickly) which quoted Hirsi Ali from a 2007 interview saying: “I think that we are at war with Islam.”
Ironically, CAIR spokesmen have said the same thing: “The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself,” said then-CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed in July 2007. The only difference is that Hirsi Ali and CAIR are on opposite sides of this war. Is it unacceptable at Brandeis, a contradiction of its core values, to oppose the global jihad? Apparently so.
In the same interview, Hirsi Ali also called for the closing of Islamic schools in the United States. While that is indeed a severe and questionable recommendation, it should be remembered that Ayaan Hirsi Ali attended Islamic schools in her native Somalia. She no doubt also has seen the reports from all over the world showing hatred and violence being taught in all too many Islamic schools. In that same interview she said: “Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties; it’s an attempt to save civil liberties. A nation like this one is based on civil liberties, and we shouldn’t allow any serious threat to them. So Muslim schools in the West, some of which are institutions of fascism that teach innocent kids that Jews are pigs and monkeys—I would say in order to preserve civil liberties, don’t allow such schools.”
Is calling for the schools that teach hatred and contempt of an entire group of people against the core values of Brandeis University? Apparently it is.
CAIR’s press release also smeared Hirsi Ali with the Norwegian neo-Nazi mass murderer whose false-flag operation of associating himself with counter-jihadists has proved so useful for Islamic supremacists: “In her acceptance speech for the Axel Springer Award, Ali seemed to express sympathy for mass murderer Anders Breivik, who included her writings in his manifesto.” In reality, in that speech Hirsi Ali referred to “the neo-fascism of a Breivik” as “abhorrent” and noted that Breivik “may have cited the work of those who speak and write against political Islam in Europe and America – myself among them – but he does not say in his 1500 page manifesto that it was these people who inspired him to kill.”
CAIR, however, has never cared to report the facts accurately and fairly. All it wants is to shut down any and every individual who opposes jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, in any venue. Generously funded and well-staffed, it pounces on anyone and everyone who dares raise a critical word against jihad terror, and mounts a smear campaign intending to get the Islamocritical speaker canceled and discredited.
In acceding to these smear campaigns, event organizers and – in this case, Brandeis University administrators – apparently make no attempt, even a simple Google search, to discover the intentions of the people behind the campaign. They appear indifferent to CAIR’s unsavory connections or its advice to Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. The organization’s own claims that it is merely a civil rights organization are accepted uncritically and without examination. As I show in my new book Arab Winter Comes to America, CAIR routinely blindsides officials and places on the defensive by its attacks, and so simply to avoid controversy they usually gave the “civil rights group” what it wants: the cancellation, demonization and marginalization of every speaker who is remotely critical of Islam.
The cancellation of Hirsi Ali at Brandeis demonstrates yet again that there is no one who opposes jihad terror who is acceptable to CAIR and its allies. A report on Islamophobia in the U.S. that CAIR produced in conjunction with the Center for Race & Gender at the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 stated:
“It is not appropriate to label all, or even the majority of those, who question Islam and Muslims as Islamophobes. Equally, it is not Islamophobic to denounce crimes committed by individual Muslims or those claiming Islam as a motivation for their actions. ‘A critical study of Islam or Muslims is not Islamophobic,’ former CAIR Research Director Mohamed Nimer wrote in 2007. ‘Likewise, a disapproving analysis of American history and government is not anti-American… One can disagree with Islam or with what some Muslims do without having to be hateful.’”
These were empty words. The report offered no examples of what it would consider to be acceptable and legitimate criticism of Islam and jihad, and neither CAIR nor the University of California Center for Race & Gender have ever done so anywhere else. Nor has any other Leftist or Muslim group. In reality, anyone and everyone who dares to oppose jihad and Islamic supremacism will become a target for a CAIR smear campaign. The real agenda of Islamic supremacist groups in the United States is clearly not to distinguish legitimate resistance to jihad from bigotry and hatred, but to stigmatize all resistance to jihad as bigotry and hatred, and clear away all obstacles to the advance of that jihad.
And they have made great headway, stigmatizing resistance to jihad in the eyes of large segments of the general public, and even of government and law enforcement officials, as “bigotry.” Yet while it has become generally accepted that standing up to jihad terror is “bigotry,” no one has ever clearly explained why. A highly tendentious and politically manipulative perspective has been foisted upon the American people as accepted wisdom, in which opponents of jihad terror are cast as bigots and efforts increased to rule their perspective altogether out of the realm of acceptable public discourse.
The one certain result of this will be more jihad terror in the U.S. – some of it emanating from hate-preaching Islamic schools that Ayaan Hirsi Ali so heinously suggested should be closed.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.