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Ayaan Hirsi Ali with parts of the Brandeis University seal.

Who will speak up for her and thousands more?  Is the decimation of thousands of women’s lives worth anything? Should the cries of those abused at the hands of their fathers and significant others be heard by the Western world, which prides itself on preserving and promoting liberty? Or must their tears instead be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and the assurance that people’s feelings aren’t hurt?

What of the children forced into marriages, considered to be property and cattle, what will you say to them! That a woman who stands up for them and champions their rights cannot be honored because a few morally obtuse individuals are upset that the philosophical ideas to which they adhere can dare be questioned! Is your conscience not pricked, sir! Indeed it should be.

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Can it be that you value popular opinion over the freedom and sanctity that every woman so richly deserves?

There is comfort in going with the flow, President Lawrence, but standing for human rights even in the face of dissenters takes great courage.

But I believe you have that courage, sir. So I ask you, I beg you to reconsider your position on this issue. You do not have to agree with every thing Ms. Hirsi Ali believes. I certainly do not. But that is the beauty of Western society. That is the beauty of democracy. That is the beauty of the university. One does not always have to agree with everything one hears. One will not be murdered or raped or lynched or abused if one dares to disagree with a prevailing thought in society.

But the answer to my question posed above is of the utmost importance. Who speaks for the thousands of women oppressed and abused every day. Ayaan Hirsi Ali will speak for them. Ayaan Hirsi Ali does speak for them. Ayaan Hirsi Ali stands for them. Ayaan Hirsi Ali fights for them. And for this reason alone, she should be lauded by every free and democratic institution that purports to stand for the freedom and dignity of women everywhere.

So I ask you to do the courageous thing. The hard thing. The noble thing. I ask you to promote the principles set forth by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis: “…of courage, of willingness to risk positions, of the willingness to risk criticism, of the willingness to risk the misunderstanding that so often comes when people do the heroic thing.”

Like Ayaan Hirsi Ali has done for most of her life, I ask you, President Lawrence, to do the heroic thing.

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Chloe Valdary is a pro-Israel activist at New Orleans University, where she founded "Allies for Israel."
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