Ayan HirsiAyaan Hirsi Ali had been invited to receive an honorary degree.

Somalia-born feminist author Ayaan Hirsi Ali has every right to criticize Islam, the faith into which she was born. But this right should not be confused with an entitlement to receive an honorary degree. Brandeis University, a nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college, recently rescinded its invitation to honor her after understandable complaints by Muslim students who were offended by her blanket condemnation of their faith. Hirsi Ali is justified in feeling whipsawed by the university, which should have looked into her more extreme statements before now. But it made the right call in the end.

There is little doubt that Hirsi Ali has experienced the worst that religious fundamentalism has to offer: female genital mutilation, abuse in an arranged marriage, and death threats. After she wrote the script to a screenplay that portrayed the suffering of women in Islamic societies, an assassin killed the film’s producer and stabbed a note through his corpse threatening her life. These experiences, along with her eloquence and her status as a former Dutch parliamentarian, place her among the most compelling critics of Islam alive today. She argues that Islam, as practiced today, is inherently violent and that the Koran should be amended to comport with modern values. She has the right to make this argument, and has done so forcefully, declaring that Islam needs to be “defeated” before it “can mutate into something peaceful.”

While Hirsi Ali is rightly celebrated for her work investigating the religiously justified abuses of women and girls, the university should have known that she is far more famous for her unstinting critique of Islam as a religion. Indeed, Hirsi Ali expressed surprise at the university’s decision to honor her in the first place. It would have been far better to invite her to campus to participate in a debate about the future of political Islam than to receive an honorary degree.

Source: Boston Globe



  1. I am amazed by the lack of comments on this article. Normally anything to do with Islamism attracts the ever-furious hornets nest of islamists threatening hellfire on all and sundry.
    Anyway Ayan Hersi does not deserve recognition or respect. The woman is a self-publicist and a proven liar. Sure Isalmism deserves criticisms from the Brotherhood type to the salafists puritannism currently dismantling Somaliland’s ancient form of Isalmism. But one should criticise Islamism and Muslims out of love for one’s people. It should be because you are on your peoples’ side and wish to improve their lives. Mrs Hersi turned herself into an enemy of Muslims by siding with those in America and elsewhere who viscerally, dogmatically, biblically hate Muslims just for being muslims. That puts her beyond the pale and makes her into a traitor and an enemy of the people.

  2. A man made religion needs man to spread it. Allah spoke to a man in a cave, one single man in a cave.
    Religion = when the first con man met the first fool

  3. Brandis university made a very wise decision to reverse the invitation and deny the lone loose canon of Ayan-daran hirsi. I don’t like this evil woman not because she left Islam, but because of her arrogance and big lies. Like FGM is from Islam, while Islam didn’t condone such practice at all but predates Islam. Thanks Brandis