It has become a very confusing time for those who wish to appease the latest and the loudest and the brashest arbiters of human rights priorities.
Brandeis University is only the latest and most painfully public example of western institutions losing their moral moorings.
Earlier this year, Brandeis offered to bestow an honorary degree on Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an African woman who spent the early years of her life as a victim of her native African Muslim culture. It inflicted upon her, first, the physically painful and permanent agony of female genital mutilation. Later, she fled the emotional and permanent agony of a forced marriage. Eventually, Hirsi Ali arrived in Holland – the bastion of liberalism and modernity. And there, Hirsi Ali thrived. She learned the language – several, in fact – and become an unflagging and outspoken human rights advocate, eventually achieving the exalted status of a member of the Dutch Parliament.
But Hirsi Ali stumbled in the eyes of a previously adoring world when she dared to name and openly criticize the religion which had physically maimed her, and which sought to emotionally enslave her.
When Hirsi Ali, based upon her personal, brutal, experience, named Islam as an enemy of freedom, a door slammed shut. The Human Rights Priority Police have decided that the name of Islam is the highest and greatest good, the virtue of which must be preserved at all costs.
So Hirsi Ali was forced, once again, to flee. She left Holland and settled in the United States: Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. At least, it used to be.
When certain fringes of the American branch of the Human Rights Priority Police learned that Hirsi Ali was about to be given a public honor at a university – the home base of those whose position is obtained by judging the actions of others, but never actually acting on the public stage themselves – they whipped their forces into a frenzy of spitting, swirling defiance.
Brandeis faculty members and students – few if any of whom have done more to advance the cause of human rights than sign an online petition or write a research article – decided that they could not permit their home base to honor someone who had insulted Islam, no matter how much good Hirsi Ali had done for persecuted women.
And so, caught broadside by the feverish outrage hurled at him by faculty and students, Brandeis University’s president, Fred Lawrence, stumbled and fell. He chose to embarrass himself and his administration by claiming not to have known about Hirsi Ali’s “extreme statements” – not her actions, mind you, nor the actions of those who, in the name of Islam, have tortured, mutilated and murdered scores of women across the globe. He withdrew the honor he had extended to the honorable Hirsi Ali, causing still more harm by feeding the insatiable hunger of the Morality Arbiters.
In fact, the death sentence he uttered was not for the honor of Hirsi Ali, but for his own honor, and that of his university’s, and perhaps for so much more unless people are shaken out of the death march away from truth and justice.
Everyone should listen to what Chloé Simone Valdary, a college junior from New Orleans, has to say. Imbibe the information provided in her video. And allow her to help you remember how to stand firmly on solid moral ground. Pull yourselves and those you know up out of the abyss of moral relativism, of equating words with actions, of punishing truth and rewarding intimidation.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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