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81alumna • 3 years ago

Several comments here equate Muslims with (and link MSA at Yale to) the Islamists who murdered Foley and Sotloff and (in the Netherlands) Theo van Gogh. As one who remembers some intolerance in the U.S. back in the day about my own family's Catholicism, I say: do we equate all Christians with Timothy McVeigh, or all Jews with Rabin's assassin, or all Hindus with that of Gandhi? While I believe Ayaan Hirsi Ali of course should speak (and that her scorched-earth denunication of Islam should be respectfully confronted), there's no better example of MSA's concerns than many of the comments in her defense here. I was among a crowd disappointed not to be able to get in to the speech--but reading (if she is quoted correctly and in context) that she attributes Muslim intolerance, where it exists, to Allah, and that challenging intolerance means resisting Allah--rather than conceding that many believers see Allah in the moderate, compassionate teachers she apparently mentioned in her youth--makes me question the clarity or authenticity of her commitment to the idea that there are many Muslims and (already extant) moderate traditions in Islam. "You know you have created God in your own image when He hates the same people you do." (Anne Lamott) Also, comments that assume an organization of observant Muslim students is an example of Yale's presumed liberal elite misunderstand both.

KyraNelson • 3 years ago

You obviously have not read the "koran", "Reliance Of The Traveller," or just used your eyes, ears and brain. What will it take for you to see that all the quiet, so called "moderate" muslims all support muslim supremacy, totalitarianism, violence, and genocide?

Josh • 3 years ago

The West is beginning to wake up to the threat from Islam

geraldine • 3 years ago

Not only would I like to hear Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I'd like to hear Utman Badar speak in defence of honor killings. (A talk which was cancelled at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney earlier this year.) Not because I'm in favour of honor killings or expect to be persuaded, but because I want to know what his explanation is. It might provide valuable insight into the Muslim mind, or at least some Muslim minds. And I want this even though he likely isn't 'accomplished' or 'courageous'.

As a lifelong liberal-democrat-feminist I am appalled at the lack of support for this courageous woman. She has risked her life to speak out against horrendous abuses against girls and women: clitorectomies, arranged marriage, stoning, and now - with the cooperation of 35 Yale student organization - making them mute.
Where are the feminists? Where are the civil rights activists?
The fact that these abuses are perpetrated in the name of Islam is no excuse not to condemn them. Why doesn't the MSA concentrate on freeing their religion from its association with these atrocities instead of denouncing those who expose them?

Josh • 3 years ago

Judith, maybe you're not as liberal as you once were. Liberalism has changed dramatically in the past thirty years. Eg NSA IRS complex crushing of dissent. Or seeing perfectly normal comments here get deleted by a "well intentioned" liberal. Can't tolerate too many opinions, or people won't know "the truth."

Josh • 3 years ago

Judith, maybe you're no longer a lefty liberal. Sounds like what is left/ liberal today is actually totalitarian control, suppressing free speech, crushing dissent.

Hieronymus Machine • 3 years ago

"Where are the feminists? Where are the civil rights activists?"

Ms. Liebmann: These ARE your daughters. "Civil" rights today are couched in cries for "civility," defined today as "right" not to be made "uncomfortable" by anything (cf., e.g., fellow-traveler Mireille Miller-Young at UCSB: http://www.breitbart.com/Bi....

The forces of oppression seek to manipulate--indeed, are succeeding in manipulating--this new feel-goodism into, gads! Free Speech Zones (on campus, no less!) and "intimacy" polices (cf. Ohio State: http://www.mindingthecampus.... And for specialized rights for some at the expense of others.

'60s-era feminists and civil rights activists: witness now your works turned against you. Maybe it's time to review your relationship with David Horowitz, hear his thinking with a fresh ear.

Who is more likely to deny Hirsi Ali her voice? David Horowitz or today's Women's Center?

2013wasbetter • 3 years ago

I ultimately agree with you, but just to keep it real, neither the MSA nor any other group on campus has the financial resources the Buckley Program does to draw speakers. Every time you bring someone in, it's a full-page ad in the YDN (always staid and poorly designed, might I add, a waste of $1000). And this time around, I notice you're advertising on Facebook, too.

A sincere congrats to you and your group on this big draw, but at least be honest about what groups like the MSA can offer in opposition: a few dinky posters for some untenured schmo talking about "Islam: Religion of Peace" in exchange for a train ticket and a free meal. It doesn't begin to compare.

KyraNelson • 3 years ago

MSA gets plenty of money from CAIR, ISNA, and all the other slimy Muslim Brotherhood groups behind them.

Robert Boni • 3 years ago

All the MSA needs to do is contact any number of people in the middle east and they will have all the funds they need for whatever nefarious purpose.

Doug • 3 years ago

2013wasbetter: So what? I don't understand your point at all. Your claim seems to be that (a) radical leftists have insufficient support on campus and (b) therefore they can't afford to bring in their favored speakers (which is a ridiculous notion to begin with, given that Yale is dominated by lefties), and (c) therefore, there's something wrong with a conservative group bringing in a speaker? I'm just not following you.

2013wasbetter • 3 years ago

My point is as nuanced as what I wrote. Radical, huh?

SamuraiGuy • 3 years ago

I applaud you for this. I remember interacting with MSA members at UCLA back when I was an undergraduate. They are extreme, anti-Semitic and very political.

Kathleenicorn • 3 years ago

oh, good :)

Jess Rice • 3 years ago

Wow. Way to go. I happen to enjoy the role Hirsi Ali plays in conversations around religion and women's rights. But even if I didn't, I admire the principle of free speech that you defend here and the unwillingness to be manipulated into shutting someone up.

mxm123 • 3 years ago

" If one actually examines Hirsi Ali’s work, one sees that she does present well-reasoned arguments, even if disagreeable, and that she doesn’t provoke merely to provoke, which should be evident by the many death threats she has received throughout the years."


"The Economist in its review of her autobiography called her a "chameleon of a woman", referring to her "talent for reinvention"."

A convenient chameleon for right wingers to espouse "free speech".

Deke_Brodie • 3 years ago

That article, for whatever reason, manages not to mention the knife left in Theo Van Gogh's chest, and the note impaled to it with a direct threat to Aayan Hirsi Ali, in the name of Islam.
But it's a mystery why the inverted commas were required around the term "free speech" in your comment or why the adjective 'convenient' was needed... unless you espouse some facile conspiracy theory that has barely made it out of the playpen.

mxm123 • 3 years ago

Cause right wingers espouse "free speech" only when it comes to Islam. Ask Rev. Shipman.

ShadrachSmith • 3 years ago

The irrational shouting down of evidence that Islam is not a religion of peace is, for some reason, an unexplainable reaction by many left leaning media sources, Wiki and The Economist among them.

timsteele • 3 years ago

Ah yes, and the target of liberals scorn for daring to take on fundamental Islam. And the Economist is the end all be all when it comes to book reviews, of course!

timsteele • 3 years ago

Leave it to a group of self-important, rebel-rousing fringe groups to stir the pot and muddy the waters here. Hardly deserving of the attention it's receiving but I applaud the Buckley program for not backing down in the face of this misguided intimidation campaign to silence Ms. Hirsi Ali. As for the Yale Chaplain jumping into the fray with her statement, Ms. Kugler should know as well as anyone the importance of free speech on a college campus. Shame on her!

And let's not tar the entire student body because of "35 campus groups" when accounting for overlapping membership we're only talking about a handful of students representing a small percentage of the student body. Sadly, "student associations" have become, in practice, little more than campus 'activism unions,' and their methods, tactics and desired results are virtually indistinguishable from those of labor unions. And the tenured, unionized and intellectually lazy faculty are naturally the prime enablers. Grievance and victimization culture at its disgusting and pathetic best. These people don't want to debate Ms. Hirsi Ali on the merits of her ideas, they simply want to silence her. Nowadays, the concept of 'university' has completely lost its foundational meaning, bearings and mission, and America will be paying the price in more ways than one far into our future. When something like this happens at Yale, it makes me ashamed to call myself a Yalie.

As for the claim that Ms. Ali is not qualified academically to discuss these issues, can we once and for all dispel the notion that there are any experts in Islam who have "representative scholarly qualifications"? There are different factions and different interpretations, and the ones with the biggest sticks generally get to make the rules in Islam. But ultimately it comes down to what individual Imams and their followers choose to believe, teach and act on. And of course everyone thinks their interpretation is the correct one. And what we see today is the rise of the most virulent, oppressive, fanatical, and barbaric interpretations of Islam (look no further than the rise of ISIS and their religiously-motivated goal to establish a worldwide caliphate). And any more moderate voices are being swept aside as irrelevant. This is the reality we face, and the one we must deal with, so kudos to Ms. Hirsi Ali for tackling this issue head on.

If there's one thing that needs to be said about her, she is one brave woman.

Speaksvolumes • 3 years ago

Hear! Hear! "Freedom of speech, but only if we agree." Never! Defend her right to freedom of speech, lest you lose your own in the face these theocratic totalitarians that come in the sheep's clothing of "be nice."

ShadrachSmith • 3 years ago

Those beheadings lowered the moral standing of the University pro-Islamist movement. The Abu Ghraib pictures were bad, but the Foley pictures were eviler by several orders of magnitude.

Now what is it that this woman did wrong?
And who is claiming the moral high ground?

ricksantorum2016 • 3 years ago

When did disagreement stop being acceptable? Is discussion even possible at Yale anymore? Well written Lizardo.

Caleb Powell • 3 years ago

"If the MSA or another student organization would like to invite another guest of their own, the Buckley Program will not stop them."

Exactly. Why don't they challenge Hirsi with words and exercise their freedom of speech? Aren't they confident in their beliefs? Why would they try to silence? It seems like if they had the power to ban Ali, they would, and doesn't that seem fascist?

Thank you for a sane view, Rich. Groups like CAIR and all those opposing Hirsi Ali are causing Islamophobia by acting in a fascist manner. Since they cannot censor, they protest: The Islamophobia of CAIR

roccolore • 3 years ago

Muslims hate free speech. And of course, the "feminists" come in support of female genital mutilation and honor killing.

puffthejapanesedragon • 3 years ago


While I strongly believe that Ms. Ali's criticisms of Islam are somewhat reactionary, they are in fact based on legitimate concerns relating to the dignity of women. When Ms. Ali is construed as a bigot, her critics forget the reprehensible manifestations of Islam that still exist throughout the world...while Ms. Ali's blanket characterizations of Islam are indeed over-broad, there is an essential truth behind Ms. Ali's beliefs. Insofar as Ms. Ali--however misguided her views may be--comes from a unique perspective that legitimately undergirds her beliefs, Yale should engage with Ms. Ali, not silence her.

timsteele • 3 years ago

"The comments Ms. Hirsi Ali has made on Islam have been classified as hate speech and have been considered unprotected libel and slander."

Hate speech? PUH-lease. And just which organizations have classified it as such? Please enlighten us. FACT: something that offends you and your sensibilities is not automatically "hate speech." Second, "unprotected libel and slander"? The authors of this silly letter should spend less time concocting their next self-righteous, misguided adventure, and more time speaking to law experts on the definition of libel and slander before embarrassing themselves like that.

Speaksvolumes • 3 years ago

Reactionary? I suppose having your clitoris removed against your will, being forced into an arranged marriage, having your friend and colleague stabbed to death in a city street for making a movie, and receiving constant death threats from the followers of Islam would make you slightly perturbed. And then of course to have institutions of learning in the United States disinvite you for criticizing said religion.

Yes, I suppose that's "reactionary" and "over-broad."

puffthejapanesedragon • 3 years ago

Yes, that is reactionary and over-broad. Ms. Ali's extreme life experiences don't change the standards by which I evaluate her opinions, nor should they.

ShadrachSmith • 3 years ago

The Foley beheading certainly changed the way I evaluate Islamists.

mxm123 • 3 years ago

Or being ethnically cleansed based on your religion. And have institutions of learning in the United States disinvite you for criticizing said policy,

theantiyale • 3 years ago

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ZY_nq..." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>

If William F. Buckley, can call Gore Vidal a "queer" and threaten to "sock him in the goddam face" under the banner of free speech on national television (see YouTube clip above; articles below) then Yale should certainly allow the Buckley Foundation, under that same banner, to present a speaker who has renounced Islam.

Captured in a vintage black-and-white YouTube clip, the two can be seen and heard
engaging in a nasty word brawl. Mr. Vidal pins the label “crypto-Nazi” on
Buckley, who testily responds by calling Mr. Vidal a “queer.” The epithets were
ugly then, as they are today. But what is most striking to the contemporary
viewer is how much the combatants resemble each other, beginning with their
languidly patrician tones. The phrases come from the gutter, but plainly Mr.
Vidal and Buckley do not. They exude the princely confidence once associated
with well-born Americans of a certain pedigree. (Google “ Buckley Vidal Master


theantiyale • 3 years ago

Go to 10:42 on video above for the juicy confrontation.

doggywog • 3 years ago

What do these two comments have to do with the price of eggs?

theantiyale • 3 years ago

I find it sad that the Buckley Foundation at Politically and Paralytically Correct Yale in 2014 needs to defend freedom of speech given Mr. Buckley's well known temper tantrum with Gore Vidal which aired without a whiff of censorship by NBC News in 1968.

aaleli • 3 years ago

This is well written. Sadly because the YDN cannot get it'a act together- no one will be able to read the reactions to the piece until tomorrow, when it's no longer visible.

ShadrachSmith • 3 years ago

A university internship in political censorship?

gabineta • 3 years ago

Amen! Where are the Yale Women denouncing female genital mutilation?

Speaksvolumes • 3 years ago

Too busy denouncing the word "bossy."

Vincenzia • 3 years ago

yes, where are the women's groups or social justice groups to support this woman who suffered severe brutality under a third world patriarchy. Have they even read her books? "Infidel" should be required reading for feminists.