Photo Credit: YouTube
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

On May 9, 2006, I met Ali in Harvard Square for breakfast. She was to speak at the Kennedy School that night. She would relate over toast and coffee that her adopted country, the Netherlands, was soon to withdraw her body guards; that the Dutch decided they could no longer protect her.

While in the Netherlands, Ali had co-produced with Vincent Van Gogh’s great-grandnephew Theo Van Gogh a film called “Submission” about the Islamic oppression of women. In response, CAIR’s fellow Islamic extremists stirred up so much violent hatred against her and Van Gogh that one of their followers decided to act.


The Muslim terrorist ambushed Van Gogh in a street in broad daylight, shot him eight times, sliced his neck until his head was barely hanging on by a flap of skin, and pinned a note to his mutilated body with a knife. The note was for Ali. It read: “You’re next.” Interestingly, the recent attacks against Ali by Webb and CAIR are motivated by a new film she made about suffering Muslim women called “Honor Diaries.”

Waiting in the lobby of the Harvard Inn – she was 10 minutes late – I saw strategically placed at every possible entrance three very large, athletic blonde men whose jackets bulged with muscle (or metal). A smiling giant walked up to me, said my name, and when I confirmed, led me into a private breakfast room. I had put my hand on his back as we walked. It felt sheathed in steel. He had me sit facing away from the door.

Ali entered the room and her guards left. We spoke of her situation briefly and then turned to the business of that night’s panel, sponsored by the Dutch Student Club at Harvard, some members of which had, I had to tell Ali, gotten cold feet and begged me to have her mitigate her message about Islam.

Today, I’d have to tell her that at Brandeis much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with her. It may therefore not stand up for itself. That this happened at the hands of a Jewish president of a Jewish center of learning is extraordinarily painful.

But now comes the pushback: After the shock and dismay, people are mobilizing. I see that professors, writers and intellectuals, many of them liberals, are coming to their senses. The resultant protests and discussions will be a gauge not only of have far we have fallen, but what it will take to recover.



  1. Fear, Scare mongering. Is this the religion that professes peace yet mutualizes & subjugates their women into being less than nothing. It is worse when their Imans stand from a pulpit, preach this message & no one does anything about it. What also scares me the most is there is a terrorist council right under the nose of the Anti Terrorists branch of the FBI. Go figure!!

  2. Before Americans decide what is better – Islam or Judeo Christianity- they might look to the success of each and ask themselves what they want for the future of their children… if it is Islam than they might look at 1400 years of Islam in over 50 once non Islamic countries…

    If it is Judeo Christianity they might choose to look at America’s 300 year history and related success …

    Informed reason, according to Plato, is the faculty best suited to make all the right and necessary decisions in a person’s life. As a just and healthy person is governed by knowledge and reason, a just society must be under the control of society’s most cultivated and best informed minds, its “lovers of wisdom.”

    It is doubtful that there has ever been a more miserable human refuse than Jewish survivors after World War II. Starving, emaciated, stateless—they were not welcomed back by countries where they had lived for generations as assimilated and educated citizens. Germany was no place to return to and in Kielce, Poland, 40 Jews who survived the Holocaust were killed in a pogrom one year after the war ended. The European Jew, circa 1945, quickly went from victim to international refugee disaster.

    Yet within a very brief time, this epic calamity disappeared, so much so that few people today even remember the period. How did this happen in an era when Palestinian refugees have continued to be stateless for generations?

    In 1945, there were hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors living in DP Camps (displaced persons) across Europe. They were fed and clothed by Jewish and international relief organizations. Had the world’s Jewish population played this situation as the Arabs and Palestinians have, everything would look very different today.

    To begin with, the Jews would all still be living in these DP camps, only now the camps would have become squalid ghettos throughout Europe. The refugees would continue to be fed and clothed by a committee similar to UNRWA—the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (paid for mostly by the United States since 1948). Blessed with one of the world’s highest birth rates, they would now number in the many millions. And 66 years later, new generations, fed on a mixture of hate and lies against the Europeans, would now seethe with anger.

  3. Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islamic antisemitism

    There are a few things I believe about the Israel/Palestinian situation and people’s reaction to it:

    1. The roots of the dispute are in the soil of religion, not territory or politics.

    2. The above is evidenced by the historic and sworn statements of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the profound and pervasive antisemitism of Arab countries—itself seen daily in their public media.

    3. Western liberals are willing to overlook Arab anti Semitism to concentrate entirely on the faults of Israel (and I grant that there are some of those), faults which do not include state-endorsed anti-Islamic propaganda. This double standard reflects, I think, some anti Semitism itself.…/ayaan-hirsi…/

    Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty of the Jewish People

    Howard Grief

  4. A few years ago I saw someone defend Hirsi Ali online. A Muslim on the forum who had been friendly to that time responded that she 'looked like a giraffe with the face of a baboon." Quite revealing as to attitude of a young, intellectual Muslim towards women & Africans.

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