Brandeis University’s 2014 commencement ceremony was marred by Brandeis President Fred Lawrence’s disgraceful decision to deny Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born fearless champion of Muslim women’s rights an honorary degree. Hirsi Ali is one of the most prominent fighters against forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and honor killings in the Muslim world.
Student activist Chloe Valdary expresses her outrage at Brandeis President Lawrence’s hypocritical decision in a short video produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance.
Brandeis President Lawrence gave in to radical faculty who insisted that: “We cannot accept Ms. Hirsi Ali’s triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples.”
Lawrence has been severely criticized in the press and by Brandeis graduates and students for this decision. Chloe’s powerful indictment provides the clearest contrast yet between Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s moral courage and Fred Lawrence’s lack of it.