More left wing fascism

Brandeis University has disinvited  Somalia-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary doctorate and speak at the university's commencement exercises.

None of her great achievements, in her fight for human rights, women's rights and free speech, counted in her favor because she had expressed an opinion that some people found "offensive." Her offense was going after violent Muslims.

Brandeis caved after receiving petitions from 6,000 people demanding her cancellation. The "liberal" university explained its reverse by saying that the invitation did not conform to its "core" values. In other words, I guess one of its core values does not include free speech and the give and take of controversial ideas.

Here's an earlier post on more liberal fascism.

What was America's greatest come-from-behind war? Go here to find out.

To subscribe to The Barbershop, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.



Leave a comment
  • More "fascism." Do you actually know the meaning of the word? It is interesting to see a Jewish-sponsored university called fascist.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Right, it's not government-run censorship. But Brandeis sure has captured the spirit of an authoritarian institution that doesn't tolerate differing viewpoints. I'm curious what you might have said if Notre Dame University had decided to disinvite President Obama from speaking because he disagreed with the university's "core values."

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I would criticize Notre Dame for its decision, but I would respect its right as a private entity to invite and disinvite anyone it chose. I would certainly not accuse it of fascism.

  • Oh come on. "Free speech"? You are a journalist and should really know better.

  • In reply to Jenna Karvunidis:

    What are you suggesting? That as a journalist that I should endorse the stifling of free speech and thought?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    That you should not abuse the term "free speech", knowing full well the government hasn't silenced anyone here. Are there honestly people who take you seriously?

  • In reply to Jenna Karvunidis:

    Jenna, you have a surprisingly narrow definition of free speech. Yes, the Second Amendment protects Americans from government-imposed censorship, but is that the only arena for free speech? Certainly, universities ought to be a welcoming place for intellectual diversity, free speech and discourse. On top of that, she has spotlighted the human rights violations routinely committed against women. Certainly, that alone should be it worthwhile for her to be heard.

    You might be interested in reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's response to Brandeis University's decision to rescind her invitation to receive an honorary degree:

    “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.

    “When Brandeis approached me with the offer of an honorary degree, I accepted partly because of the institution’s distinguished history; it was founded in 1948, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, as a co-educational, nonsectarian university at a time when many American universities still imposed rigid admission quotas on Jewish students. I assumed that Brandeis intended to honor me for my work as a defender of the rights of women against abuses that are often religious in origin. For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called 'honor killings,' and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way.

    “What did surprise me was the behavior of Brandeis. Having spent many months planning for me to speak to its students at Commencement, the university yesterday announced that it could not “overlook certain of my past statements,” which it had not previously been aware of. Yet my critics have long specialized in selective quotation – lines from interviews taken out of context – designed to misrepresent me and my work. It is scarcely credible that Brandeis did not know this when they initially offered me the degree.

    “What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The 'spirit of free expression' referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.

    “Not content with a public disavowal, Brandeis has invited me 'to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.' Sadly, in words and deeds, the university has already spoken its piece. I have no wish to 'engage' in such one-sided dialogue. I can only wish the Class of 2014 the best of luck—and hope that they will go forth to be better advocates for free expression and free thought than their alma mater.

    “I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me and my work on behalf of oppressed woman and girls everywhere.”

  • It appears even the liberal LA Times agrees with you. If this woman were Catholic your detractors would have this woman gilded and would be singing her praises.

  • I recommend Robin Abcarian's opinion piece in the L.A. Times:,0,7940815.story#axzz2yyANwbR8

    Once you read it, you'll see the serious flaws in logic in the petition that demanded that Ayaan Hirsi Ali be muzzled. Here's the petition:

    Now read the speech that she would have given:

    She dares to speak out against the many crimes of radical Muslims against women, for God's sake. She called this evil by its real name and for that she gets pilloried. I'm aghast that anyone would defend this, especially anyone who claims the liberal tradition to be his or hers. This is not the "idea of a university" that I learned about when I went to one.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    That is the article I read this morning when I said the L.A. Times agrees with you. The article said she went thru genital mutilation at the age of 5 and this appears to be a problem in the Muslim community. I would like to hear why those on this thread are critical of your post, they would have no problem criticizing Catholicism. And far as respect goes, the Progressives that post here do not respect anything that isn't spoon fed to them by their party.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Personal attacks and strawmen do not constitute an intelligent argument.

    Brandeis is a private institution and it can invite and disinvite anyone it chooses.

    Dennis, aren't you getting a little extreme by calling everything you disagree with fascism?

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Visit my new website

    I'm a freelance writer, editor and author. I can help you with a wide variety of projects. Check out my new website at

  • Subscribe to The Barbershop

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Dennis Byrne’s Facebook Fan Page

  • Like me on Facebook

  • Our National Debt

  • Twitter

  • Tags

  • Recent Comments

  • /Users/dennisby/Desktop/trailer.mp4
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: