Brandeis Cancels Plan to Give Honorary Degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Critic of Islam

As the right wing blogs go ballistic
Religion • Views: 19,726

I agree with and support this decision; Ms. Ali has allowed her experiences with the worst sorts of Islamic fundamentalists to shape her view of all Muslims. She has fallen into the narrow viewpoint of the standard Islamophobe that moderate Islam can not exist, much less outweigh or overcome the extreme fundamentalist sects. Like the syndrome suffered by some reformed smokers, to some extent she has become a zealot rather than a voice for reason, and thus has fallen into the camp of the extreme islamophobes. Beyond the valuable story of her own journey she is merely restating much of what you hear people like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller spout ad nauseum.

Facing growing criticism, Brandeis University said Tuesday that it had reversed course and would not award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a campaigner for women’s rights and a fierce critic of Islam, who has called the religion “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.”

“We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values,” the university said in a statement released eight days after it had announced that Ms. Hirsi Ali and four other people would be honored at its commencement on May 18.

The university said that the president of Brandeis, Frederick M. Lawrence, discussed the matter with Ms. Hirsi Ali on Tuesday, and that she “is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue.” Universities consider it important to make a distinction between inviting a speaker who may air unpopular or provocative views that the institution does not endorse, and awarding an honorary degree, which is more akin to affirming the body of a recipient’s work.

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109 comments

2 b.d.  Apr 9, 2014 10:24:21am

Where was the upside for Brandeis doing this in the first place?

3 lawhawk  Apr 9, 2014 10:25:12am

You do not have a right to get an honorary degree. Brandeis reconsidered the invitation after looking at the totality of her record, experiences, and statements, and found her to be inappropriate.

Universities consider it important to make a distinction between inviting a speaker who may air unpopular or provocative views that the institution does not endorse, and awarding an honorary degree, which is more akin to affirming the body of a recipient’s work.

It’s rather sad that she’s fallen in with the extremist crowd of Islamophobes and Muslim-haters. As Charles Randall notes, her experience definitely shaped her outlook, but the positions she now takes ignore that many more Muslims struggle to do the right thing for them, their communities and society at large.

By falling in with the anti-Muslim extremists, she’s actually joining up with groups that are mirror images of those she fled.

4 Charles Johnson  Apr 9, 2014 10:27:26am

re: #3 lawhawk

Actually, this post is by Randall - but I do agree with him on that.

5 Backwoods_Sleuth  Apr 9, 2014 10:30:42am

O/T:

6 Justanotherhuman  Apr 9, 2014 10:31:18am

It’s just too bad that Ms. Hirsi Ali had to align herself to the RWNJs since, because of her own experiences within Islam, she would have been a terrific women’s rights advocate without the kind of baggage she’s engendered for herself.

I’m rather on the ledge about her advocacy, though, and if it’s really sincere. I’m an ex-Catholic who disagrees so much with the church and with religion in general that I have grown to be a fierce atheistic feminist, and I don’t mind criticizing any and all religions for what they foist on women, not just the ones I have experienced.

Brandeis is within its rights to deny her the honor, though.

7 Pie-onist Overlord  Apr 9, 2014 10:31:25am

I’m waiting for #tcot to go full on Juice-hating from this.

8 Pie-onist Overlord  Apr 9, 2014 10:33:10am

Here’s one from a Juice RWNJ

9 lawhawk  Apr 9, 2014 10:33:35am

re: #4 Charles Johnson

Thanks. Fixed.

10 Pie-onist Overlord  Apr 9, 2014 10:34:35am
11 Political Atheist  Apr 9, 2014 10:35:21am

It never takes much to stir up the real haters. They live for outrage.

12 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 10:40:00am

re: #6 Justanotherhuman

It’s just too bad that Ms. Hirsi Ali had to align herself to the RWNJs since, because of her own experiences within Islam, she would have been a terrific women’s rights advocate without the kind of baggage she’s engendered for herself.

I’m rather on the ledge about her advocacy, though, and if it’s really sincere. I’m an ex-Catholic who disagrees so much with the church and with religion in general that I have grown to be a fierce atheistic feminist, and I don’t mind criticizing any and all religions for what they foist on women, not just the ones I have experienced.

Brandeis is within its rights to deny her the honor, though.

She’s fine with Catholics (and Jews), at least as of 2007.

I accept that there are multitudes seeking God, seeking meaning, and so on, but if they reject atheism, I would rather they became modern-day Catholics or Jews than that they became Muslims. Because my Catholic and Jewish colleagues are fine. The concept of God in Jewish orthodoxy is one where you’re having constant quarrels with God. Where I come from, in Islam, the only concept of God is you submit to Him and you obey His commands, no quarreling allowed. Quarreling or even asking questions means you raise yourself to the same level as Him, and in Islam that’s the worst sin you can commit. Jews should be proselytizing about a God that you can quarrel with. Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love, who represents a hereafter where there’s no hell, who wants you to lead a life where you can confess your sins and feel much better afterwards. Those are lovely concepts of God. They can’t compare to the fire-breathing Allah who inspires jihadism and totalitarianism.

13 Dark_Falcon  Apr 9, 2014 10:42:53am

re: #10 Pie-onist Overlord

[Embedded content]

Nice to see the Dumbest Man on the Internet get treated as he so richly deserves.

14 darthstar  Apr 9, 2014 10:45:36am
15 darthstar  Apr 9, 2014 10:47:28am
16 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 10:47:36am

I can’t blame Brandeis too much for offering the honor in the first place. I was fooled by Hirsi Ali too, at one time. I now think she’s as destructive as Spencer in spreading misinformation and hate. (I think those two are more destructive than Geller only because Geller tends to beclown herself more, taking down her own credibility.) Hirsi Ali had the credibility of having been a Muslim, therefore supposedly knowing what she was talking about. Turned out to be false credibility. I blame myself for not being more skeptical back then. But I also resent her use of her false credibility.

17 Randall Gross  Apr 9, 2014 10:48:17am

She used to keep reign on extreme statements, so you have to wonder how much AEI becoming her meal ticket has influenced her stance the past few years. She seemed much more of a moderate before the nutjob haters in both camps caused her to have to leave the Netherlands.

18 dog philosopher  Apr 9, 2014 10:48:32am

pistorius

one good thing about not being a gun fetishist is that you’re unlikely to suddenly find yourself on trial for brutally killing your beautiful wife

what a nightmare

19 Justanotherhuman  Apr 9, 2014 10:51:47am

re: #12 wrenchwench

She’s fine with Catholics (and Jews), at least as of 2007.

Then, she’s inconsistent IMHO, since I think that religion has always been in the forefront of women’s oppression, not that women’s oppression is exclusive to it, but is found in all institutions, and all institutions have historically been colored by religion.

20 Amory Blaine  Apr 9, 2014 10:56:12am

This douchebag sounds like he’d appreciate an honorary degree. Maybe Liberty U will accommodate.

Getting college degree would encourage others, Scott Walker says

Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he wanted to get his college degree not to round out his résumé for a potential presidential run but to encourage others.

“I don’t think I needed a college degree to be in the state Assembly, to be (Milwaukee) county executive nor to be governor,” Walker told reporters after addressing students at Elm Lawn Elementary School.

“I don’t know about any other position, but in the end I think most people, for example as governor, judge me on performance and what we’re able to do. It would be for me not so much for any requirement to be governor but to send a message encouraging others.”

There’s some encouragement to the youth.

“I don’t need no stinkin’ diploma to be Guv, I’m just going to get it to hang on mah walls!!”

21 Ace-o-aces  Apr 9, 2014 10:56:39am

re: #12 wrenchwench

Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love, who represents a hereafter where there’s no hell, who wants you to lead a life where you can confess your sins and feel much better afterwards.

What Catholic Church is she talking about? Hell and guilt a pretty much the foundations of that religion.

22 Lidane  Apr 9, 2014 10:59:35am

re: #14 darthstar

Speaking of Iowa:

Among Republicans, who have been visiting Iowa routinely in recent months, there was no clear favorite.

The findings: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 11 percent; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 10 percent each; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and medical professor emeritus Ben Carson, 9 percent each, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 7 percent.

23 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 11:00:21am

re: #19 Justanotherhuman

Then, she’s inconsistent IMHO, since I think that religion has always been in the forefront of women’s oppression, not that women’s oppression is exclusive to it, but is found in all institutions, and all institutions have historically been colored by religion.

re: #21 Ace-o-aces

What Catholic Church is she talking about? Hell and guilt a pretty much the foundations of that religion.

She seems to be ignorant about several religions, not just the one she was raised in. And if she was concerned about women’s rights, I don’t think she’d still be at the American Enterprise Institute.

24 Justanotherhuman  Apr 9, 2014 11:02:19am

re: #23 wrenchwench

She seems to be ignorant about several religions, not just the one she was raised in. And if she was concerned about women’s rights, I don’t think she’d still be at the American Enterprise Institute.

Exactly.

25 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 11:03:27am

re: #17 Randall Gross

She used to keep reign on extreme statements, so you have to wonder how much AEI becoming her meal ticket has influenced her stance the past few years. She seemed much more of a moderate before the nutjob haters in both camps caused her to have to leave the Netherlands.

I think we changed more than she did. That interview I linked in #12 was done when she’d been at AEI for less than a year. It’s an interesting read with hindsight.

26 The Mountain That Blogs  Apr 9, 2014 11:14:08am

Hey Hoft—go fuck yourself

sincerely,
this Deis alum

27 lawhawk  Apr 9, 2014 11:51:20am

More Hoft:

Ummm… Ahmadinejad wasn’t getting an honorary degree. Brandeis was initially going to give Hirsi an honorary degree but thought better of it. Big difference.

28 charles_simmonds  Apr 9, 2014 12:00:48pm

I think it is a real shame that Brandeis chickened out of giving Hirsi the degree.

Hirsi is a very brave individual who has put her life on the line for her beliefs.

29 klys  Apr 9, 2014 12:03:25pm

re: #28 charles_simmonds

I think it is a real shame that Brandeis chickened out of giving Hirsi the degree.

Hirsi is a very brave individual who has put her life on the line for her beliefs.

Putting one’s life on the line for one’s beliefs does not necessarily make those beliefs something good.

Brandeis looked at the views she has advocated for and found that, overall, they could not endorse them through giving her an honorary degree.

30 goddamnedfrank  Apr 9, 2014 12:18:33pm

re: #28 charles_simmonds

Hirsi is a very brave individual who has put her life on the line for her beliefs.

Timothy McVeigh also fit this criteria. Having strong beliefs isn’t a great qualifier in the abstract.

31 charles_simmonds  Apr 9, 2014 12:22:50pm

it is true that putting one’s life on the line for one’s beliefs does not necessarily make the beliefs good ….
however, her thesis that Islam is not reformable is at the very least arguable and should be heard. All the more so, as people who argue this position are at risk of being assassinated (Theo Van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn).

it is all very well yelling islamophobe but not all fears are irrational

finally some posters in this thread seem to have an issue with the company Hirsi keeps..perhaps she has been forced into it by the cowardliness of the mainstream as evidenced by Brandeis’ decision.

32 charles_simmonds  Apr 9, 2014 12:24:24pm

re: #30 goddamnedfrank

mohammed atta and osama bin laden are also examples

33 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 12:27:09pm

re: #31 charles_simmonds

it is true that putting one’s life on the line for one’s beliefs does not necessarily make the beliefs good ….
however, her thesis that Islam is not reformable is at the very least arguable and should be heard. All the more so, as people who argue this position are at risk of being assassinated (Theo Van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn).

it is all very well yelling islamophobe but not all fears are irrational

finally some posters in this thread seem to have an issue with the company Hirsi keeps..perhaps she has been forced into it by the cowardliness of the mainstream as evidenced by Brandeis’ decision.

Islamophobia is not based on fear, it is based on hate and ignorance. You are showing yours.

34 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 12:27:56pm

re: #31 charles_simmonds

it is true that putting one’s life on the line for one’s beliefs does not necessarily make the beliefs good ….
however, her thesis that Islam is not reformable is at the very least arguable and should be heard. All the more so, as people who argue this position are at risk of being assassinated (Theo Van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn).

it is all very well yelling islamophobe but not all fears are irrational

finally some posters in this thread seem to have an issue with the company Hirsi keeps..perhaps she has been forced into it by the cowardliness of the mainstream as evidenced by Brandeis’ decision.

You tend to be judged by the company you keep. That being said, I agree that her premise is arguable, and that off all people she certainly has the right to be a critic of Islam (she is an atheist as I recall). I have never held that all belief systems deserve the same consideration. Still, she tends to paint with a very large brush and her own (very very bad) experiences with fundamentalist Islam may be obscuring her judgement.

35 goddamnedfrank  Apr 9, 2014 12:29:58pm

The idea that Jews have horns is also, technically, arguable.

By idiots.

36 Charles Johnson  Apr 9, 2014 12:30:15pm

37 Bubblehead II  Apr 9, 2014 12:34:12pm

re: #31 charles_simmonds

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Lies Exposed Part 1-4

Ayaan Hirsi ali real name Ayaan Hirsi Magaan is a liar who left somalia when she was 7 year old and never went back to somalia since.Her family never threaten her life she was in contact with her family even in Netherland she also met her ex husband in Netherland

Youtube Video

She admits it at the 2;10 mark

38 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 12:37:51pm

re: #35 goddamnedfrank

The idea that Jews have horns is also, technically, arguable.

By idiots.

Islam never experienced a 300 year “Western Reformation” that validates the idea of government apart from the religious institutions. That means that your and my assumptions on governance and liberty are not at all the same as those in many Islamic nations. That does not make them bad people at all. It just means that they have a very different standard of what role religion plays in the civic sphere. Hirsi may be correct that Islam is not conformable to Western notions of governance and freedom of thought (I have seen published opinions from Islamic scholars stating that democracy and Islam are compatible only in the context of an explicitly Islamic constitution and body politic)...but we do not know that for sure.

39 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 12:38:40pm

re: #31 charles_simmonds

Islam is just another religion, dude. As history shows us, it’s had times of extremism and moderation. As a look at the world shows us, too, it can exist in moderate or extreme forms, with people fervent or barely observant.

Making it into some sort of uberreligion is weird.

40 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 12:39:08pm

re: #38 Aunty Entity Dragon

Islam, like any religion, can and does change.

41 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 12:42:02pm

re: #40 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

Islam, like any religion, can and does change.

Quite so. The nature of that change is unknowable to us, of course, and that is why Hirsi oversteps in her assertions, IMO.

Islam may make certain accommodations with western thought or it may not, but this will take centuries to play out.

42 jvic  Apr 9, 2014 12:44:28pm

re: #31 charles_simmonds

finally some posters in this thread seem to have an issue with the company Hirsi keeps..perhaps she has been forced into it by the cowardliness of the mainstream as evidenced by Brandeis’ decision.

1. Yes, that’s my impression. My upding is for the paragraph I quoted. I’m not entirely onboard with the rest of your post(s).

2. That said, afaic Brandeis has doubly discredited itself: first, by inadequately researching a dubious decision beforehand; second, by buckling to intimidation after announcing the decision.

43 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 12:45:17pm

re: #41 Aunty Entity Dragon

Quite so. The nature of that change is unknowable to us, of course, and that is why Hirsi oversteps in her assertions, IMO.

Islam may make certain accommodations with western thought or it may not, but this will take centuries to play out.

You do realize there’s plenty of Muslims living here in the West, right?

44 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 12:45:51pm

re: #42 jvic

1. Yes, that’s my impression. My upding is for the paragraph I quoted. I’m not entirely onboard with the rest of your post(s).

2. That said, afaic Brandeis has doubly discredited itself: first, by inadequately researching a dubious decision beforehand; second, by buckling to intimidation after announcing the decision.

If you recognize the decision as dubious, then why do you say they buckled to intimidation, rather than simply recognizing the decision for being bad?

45 CuriousLurker  Apr 9, 2014 12:50:14pm

From a 2007 Reason interview with Ali:

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed. […]

reason.com

I don’t understand how anyone could consider such an attitude consistent with Enlightenment values in the secular Western tradition in general or with our U.S. Constitution in particular.

46 goddamnedfrank  Apr 9, 2014 12:51:08pm

re: #44 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

If you recognize the decision as dubious, then why do you say they buckled to intimidation, rather than simply recognizing the decision for being bad?

I never get that line of reasoning. It’s the same one that acknowledged going into Iraq was a terrible idea, but that we had to stay in so as not to “lose.”

It’s the sunk costs fallacy as applied to reputation.

47 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 12:52:32pm

re: #41 Aunty Entity Dragon

Quite so. The nature of that change is unknowable to us, of course, and that is why Hirsi oversteps in her assertions, IMO.

Islam may make certain accommodations with western thought or it may not, but this will take centuries to play out.

Islam is neither monolithic nor hierarchical, so a ‘Reformation’ is necessarily a very different idea. ‘Accommodations’ with ‘western thought’ have certainly been made by some.

48 dog philosopher  Apr 9, 2014 12:54:16pm

re: #31 charles_simmonds

it is true that putting one’s life on the line for one’s beliefs does not necessarily make the beliefs good ….
however, her thesis that Islam is not reformable is at the very least arguable and should be heard. All the more so, as people who argue this position are at risk of being assassinated (Theo Van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn).

it is all very well yelling islamophobe but not all fears are irrational

finally some posters in this thread seem to have an issue with the company Hirsi keeps..perhaps she has been forced into it by the cowardliness of the mainstream as evidenced by Brandeis’ decision.

as a jewish person by the same token i would have every right to fear violence from christians even more than you fear violence from muslims

49 jvic  Apr 9, 2014 12:55:18pm

re: #44 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

I didn’t say the initial decision was bad. I said it was dubious, i.e. doubtful. I said it was inadequately researched beforehand.

50 Varek Raith  Apr 9, 2014 12:55:21pm

Sigh.

51 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 12:55:26pm

re: #45 CuriousLurker

It’s weird how aggressive her language is, and yet she shirks back from actually calling for anything concrete. It’s also rather cowardly.

52 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 12:56:12pm

re: #49 jvic

I didn’t say the initial decision was bad. I said it was dubious, i.e. doubtful. I said it was inadequately researched beforehand.

Okay. Why do you think that they buckled to intimidation rather than acknowledged that Hirsi talks about crazy-ass shit like defeating all of Islam, and that doesn’t exactly fit with Brandeis’ spirit?

53 EPR-radar  Apr 9, 2014 12:56:56pm

re: #51 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

It’s weird how aggressive her language is, and yet she shirks back from actually calling for anything concrete. It’s also rather cowardly.

Reminds me of how Charles Murray never spells out how his racist pseudo-science is supposed to affect public policy.

54 goddamnedfrank  Apr 9, 2014 12:57:26pm
Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed. […]

Either / Or Fallacy.

55 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 1:02:38pm

re: #53 EPR-radar

Reminds me of how Charles Murray never spells out how his racist pseudo-science is supposed to affect public policy.

From yesterday, this guy was live-tweeting a speech by Murray:

56 Randall Gross  Apr 9, 2014 1:03:28pm

re: #28 charles_simmonds

I think it is a real shame that Brandeis chickened out of giving Hirsi the degree.

Hirsi is a very brave individual who has put her life on the line for her beliefs.

Ken, is that you?

57 Varek Raith  Apr 9, 2014 1:05:12pm

re: #55 wrenchwench

From yesterday, this guy was live-tweeting a speech by Murray:

[Embedded content]

Massive understatement is massive.

58 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 1:06:41pm

re: #56 Randall Gross

Ken, is that you?

From there:

LGF

Submitted by Kenneth Charles Simmonds on Mon, 2008-05-12 08:38.

I made the following comment on Johnson’s absurd vendetta on LGF. Apart from being subjected to gratuitous insults by anonymous LGF goons, my account was promptly blocked.There is no room for genuine debate on LGF.

Charles Simmonds 4/22/08 2:46:04 pm

This vendetta that Charles Taylor is conducting against Belien and the
Brussels Journal is the height of self-indulgence. What does Taylor
know or care about Flanders or Flemish self-determination? Dear Taylor,
please stop making a sanctimonious twit out of yourself… it’s
embarrassing.

Render 4/22/08 3:17:38 pm

Ahem.
Embarrassing is not knowing the name of the person you’re attempting to insult……..
Our fearless leaders name is Charles JOHNSON. Don’t forget it.

Sharmuta 4/22/08 7:24:18 pm

Dear Simmonds, please stop making a sanctimonious twit out of yourself… it’s embarrassing.

Just thought I’d fix it for you. Welcome to LGF- where we fact check your fascist lovin’ ass

Charles Simmonds 4/22/08 11:58:01 pm

Yes, I admit it. I got Charles Johnson mixed up with Charles Taylor,
the homicidal Liberian warlord, and I would like to apologize sincerely
to the latter for any offense caused….

59 CuriousLurker  Apr 9, 2014 1:10:59pm

re: #47 wrenchwench

Islam is neither monolithic nor hierarchical, so a ‘Reformation’ is necessarily a very different idea. ‘Accommodations’ with ‘western thought’ have certainly been made by some.

This. There are millions of Muslims living in the west, the vast majority doing so without any apparent inner conflict. Many of us are children of the West, so “western thought” is not some alien thing we have to slowly adjust to, FFS. In fact, according to this 2007 Pew study, 35% of American Muslims are native-born—we don’t need anyone to explain America to us. Sheesh.

60 Charles Johnson  Apr 9, 2014 1:11:29pm

re: #58 wrenchwench

Hey now!

61 Varek Raith  Apr 9, 2014 1:12:46pm

re: #59 CuriousLurker

No, but you do need to explain NJ roundabouts to everyone else.
;)

62 CuriousLurker  Apr 9, 2014 1:13:34pm

re: #61 Varek Raith

No, but you do need to explain NJ roundabouts to everyone else.
;)

LOL, now those I still don’t understand.

63 EPR-radar  Apr 9, 2014 1:15:37pm

re: #59 CuriousLurker

This. There are millions of Muslims living in the west, the vast majority doing so without any apparent inner conflict. Many of us are children of the West, so “western thought” is not some alien thing we have to slowly adjust to, FFS. In fact, according to this 2007 Pew study, 35% of American Muslims are native-born—we don’t need anyone to explain America to us. Sheesh.

Another simple fact to bring to the table is that in the US, the threat to separation of religion and state is pretty much entirely from Christians.

So it is really absurd for RWNJs to natter on about the evils of Islam and their desire to implement sharia in the US, while simultaneously wanting to implement some kind of Christian ‘natural law’ in the US.

65 klys  Apr 9, 2014 1:15:51pm

re: #61 Varek Raith

No, but you do need to explain NJ roundabouts to everyone else.
;)

Easy. I see lots of evidence every day that people shouldn’t be trusted to judge when it is safe to make a left hand turn.

NJ simplifies life.

//

66 Charles Johnson  Apr 9, 2014 1:17:02pm

This guy’s a real weirdo. I think it’s best for everyone involved if his account is suspended again.

67 EPR-radar  Apr 9, 2014 1:17:49pm

re: #65 klys

Easy. I see lots of evidence every day that people shouldn’t be trusted to judge when it is safe to make a left hand turn.

NJ simplifies life.

//

I’ve been in CA for decades, and I pretty much refuse to make any left turns that are ‘interesting’. At least in CA u-turns are legal, so 1 right turn and 1 u-turn will do the job, as opposed to the three right turns I learned growing up in NJ.

68 Varek Raith  Apr 9, 2014 1:18:25pm

re: #62 CuriousLurker

LOL, now those I still don’t understand.

I was yelled at once when I called them a ‘roundabout’.
They’re ‘CIRCLES’ I’m told.
Okely dokely.
XD

69 Charles Johnson  Apr 9, 2014 1:18:50pm

Unless you folks want to toy with him for a while, of course. (He’ll probably get nasty though.)

70 klys  Apr 9, 2014 1:19:15pm

re: #69 Charles Johnson

Unless you folks want to toy with him for a while, of course. (He’ll probably get nasty though.)

I for one think we’ve had enough trolling recently.

71 Varek Raith  Apr 9, 2014 1:19:36pm

re: #69 Charles Johnson

Unless you folks want to toy with him for a while, of course. (He’ll probably get nasty though.)

Drop the hammer!

72 CuriousLurker  Apr 9, 2014 1:20:26pm

re: #70 klys

I for one think we’ve had enough trolling recently.

re: #71 Varek Raith

Drop the hammer!

Seconded.

73 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 1:23:52pm

The argument “No really, Islam is somehow fundamentally from all other religions because of reasons, srsly guys” is not exactly fresh and new, and the rebuttals to it are pretty simple: Islam, like all other religions, is taken more or less fervently by some than others, and the actual practical form of it can range from killing everyone who isn’t as fervent as you to feeling vaguely guilty when you eat sausage on your pizza and thinking that you might go to Mecca one day.

74 Bubblehead II  Apr 9, 2014 1:28:37pm

re: #72 CuriousLurker

Seconded.

Third. Anyone who thinks it’s cool to hang with the gnome and Harpy doesn’t really understand this blog and Lizards.

75 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 1:31:42pm

re: #43 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

You do realize there’s plenty of Muslims living here in the West, right?

Yes. We all know western Muslims who have the same basic cultural assumptions as other post-Christian westerners.

Some other Muslims here do not share those assumptions. For that matter, neither do some Christians.

76 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 1:33:30pm

re: #45 CuriousLurker

From a 2007 Reason interview with Ali:

I don’t understand how anyone could consider such an attitude consistent with Enlightenment values in the secular Western tradition in general or with our U.S. Constitution in particular.

Yep, that is some pretty rough stuff there. Not good. You have to learn accommodation to some degree…and she doesn’t see it.

77 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 1:36:25pm

re: #75 Aunty Entity Dragon

Yes. We all know western Muslims who have the same basic cultural assumptions as other post-Christian westerners.

Some other Muslims here do not share those assumptions. For that matter, neither do some Christians.

So can you clarify this?

Islam may make certain accommodations with western thought or it may not, but this will take centuries to play out.

“Islam”, or rather, Muslims, has made accommodations with western thought, as is obvious from the Muslims living in the West.

78 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 1:39:33pm

re: #69 Charles Johnson

Unless you folks want to toy with him for a while, of course. (He’ll probably get nasty though.)

We can seek him out elsewhere if needed:

charles simmonds • 9 days ago

both Britain and Germany are undergoing rapid islamization. Reasons: very low birth rates of indigenous population (too many gays and career women), high immigration from Muslim countries, high fertility of Muslim women, conversions to Islam, import of female breeding stock from the Muslim countries of origin via arranged marriages…solutions, dunno but something to do with rediscovering our belief in God

79 EPR-radar  Apr 9, 2014 1:40:54pm

re: #78 wrenchwench

How nice. I bet that sounded better in the original German.

80 CuriousLurker  Apr 9, 2014 1:42:51pm

re: #78 wrenchwench

We can seek him out elsewhere if needed:

Oh, ick.

81 CaDW  Apr 9, 2014 1:48:33pm

Wouldn’t it have been prudent of Brandeis to be more familiar with Ms Ali’s views before they extended the offer of an honorary degree? It doesn’t take much time on the Internet to know where she stands on issues.

82 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 1:53:28pm

re: #77 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

So can you clarify this?

“Islam”, or rather, Muslims, has made accommodations with western thought, as is obvious from the Muslims living in the West.

The bulk of Islam…at least in a number of countries…appears to be experiencing some sort of cultural backlash to westernized media influences and secularism. To some degree, this may be healthy as it protects local cultural mores from western media hegemony. That being said, somer of the backlash has been violent in many areas (not at all helped by our drone campaigns, GITMO and Abu Ghraib) and our association with democracy has poisoned the well for democratic government in the eyes of much of the developing world. The lack of real organization in Islam and variety of cultural differences makes it difficult (if not impossible) to see how westernization will take hold if at all, or if rejection of western values becomes ascendant over time. Again, giving primacy to local cultural values is probably healthy to a certain degree, but parochialism can also be damaging and dangerous.

83 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 1:53:59pm

re: #79 EPR-radar

How nice. I bet that sounded better in the original German.

yep. :(

84 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 1:55:11pm

re: #80 CuriousLurker

Oh, ick.

The guy is a frakking loon.

85 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 1:56:47pm

re: #82 Aunty Entity Dragon

The bulk of Islam…at least in a number of countries…appears to be experiencing some sort of cultural backlash to westernized media influences and secularism.

This sounds like a complicated thesis that’d require a lot of research before you asserted it.

That being said, somer of the backlash has been violent in many areas (not at all helped by our drone campaigns, GITMO and Abu Ghraib) and our association with democracy has poisoned the well for democratic government in the eyes of much of the developing world. The lack of real organization in Islam and variety of cultural differences makes it difficult (if not impossible) to see how westernization will take hold if at all, or if rejection of western values becomes ascendant over time. Again, giving primacy to local cultural values is probably healthy to a certain degree, but parochialism can also be damaging and dangerous.

You’re treating Islam like a monolithic entity. You keep qualifying it, but then going back to just saying “Islam”.

It’s also a false dialectic to go Western/anti-Western. The “west” isn’t the only source of secularizing ideas in the world.

86 Aunty Entity Dragon  Apr 9, 2014 2:16:28pm

re: #85 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

This sounds like a complicated thesis that’d require a lot of research before you asserted it.

You’re treating Islam like a monolithic entity. You keep qualifying it, but then going back to just saying “Islam”.

It’s also a false dialectic to go Western/anti-Western. The “west” isn’t the only source of secularizing ideas in the world.

That is why I am keep using qualifying language. However, the backlash phenomenon has been documented by a number of observers (the “bleeding edges” effect) and Saudi Arabia specifically endorses “Modernization without Westernization” while exporting austere Wahabism to schools throughout the developing world…which contributes to an increasingly monolithic ‘brand’ of Islam.

of course, YMMV and I am not a SOAN major, lol…

87 Bubblehead II  Apr 9, 2014 2:17:06pm

Bye Bye Troll

Karma: -29

charles_simmonds

This user is blocked.

Registered since: Apr 9, 2014 at 11:53 am
No. of comments posted: 5
No. of Pages posted: 0

88 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 2:18:42pm

re: #86 Aunty Entity Dragon

That is why I am keep using qualifying language.

But then you stop using it, and go back to talking about “Islam” as a whole.

However, the backlash phenomenon has been documented by a number of observers (the “bleeding edges” effect) and Saudi Arabia specifically endorses “Modernization without Westernization” while exporting austere Wahabism to schools throughout the developing world…which contributes to an increasingly monolithic ‘brand’ of Islam.

Please demonstrate that Islam is increasingly monolithic.

89 RealityBasedSteve  Apr 9, 2014 2:25:19pm

re: #67 EPR-radar

I’ve been in CA for decades, and I pretty much refuse to make any left turns that are ‘interesting’. At least in CA u-turns are legal, so 1 right turn and 1 u-turn will do the job, as opposed to the three right turns I learned growing up in NJ.

When I was stationed in Monterey CA, I got really used to being able to make a U-turn in the intersection as long as it wasn’t marked “No U-Turns”. When I got transferred up to Washington state I had driven by the place I wanted, and when I got to the intersection, I looked, no sign that said “No U-Turns”, so I figured it was ok. I could tell by the other drivers reactions that this was NOT ok.

I also loved going to New Orleans, no Left turns at a lot of the intersections, but mid-block they have a dedicated “U-Turn lane”, so you go a 1/2 block past your intersection, make a U from the protected lane, then go back and make your right.

RBS

90 The War TARDIS  Apr 9, 2014 3:04:06pm

re: #88 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

Not sure on the monolithic part, but I do know that Saudi spends an obscene amount of money exporting the vile Wahhabi ideology.

It is getting a lot of followers. But at the same time, there has been resistance the Saudi as well, and a lot of it too. The Saudi Government is not thought well of in most of the Muslim world.

Sorry for the TL; DR.

91 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 3:09:29pm

re: #90 The War TARDIS

You didn’t type anything long.

92 EPR-radar  Apr 9, 2014 3:20:08pm

re: #91 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

You didn’t type anything long.

Seconded. Religion + politics is not a combination that can be dealt with in tweets or sound bites.

93 BroncD  Apr 9, 2014 3:20:16pm
too many gays and career women

WHAT

94 Bubblehead II  Apr 9, 2014 3:24:58pm

re: #93 BroncD

WHAT

Good question. Now who are you quoting?

95 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 3:26:16pm

re: #93 BroncD

WHAT

This message brought to you by the 16th century.

96 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 3:26:59pm

re: #94 Bubblehead II

Good question. Now who are you quoting?

It’s in here.

97 Bubblehead II  Apr 9, 2014 3:36:10pm

Thanks. Hey BroncD. Pro Tip. Two buttons next to a posters name. Reply and quote. Using them (instead of a cut/paste from the post) cuts down on confusion about what’s in your post.

98 jvic  Apr 9, 2014 3:49:52pm

Here is Ali’s response to Brandeis’s announcement.

99 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 4:05:15pm

re: #98 jvic

Here is Ali’s response to Brandeis’s announcement.

Wow, she won’t even go there and talk now. She doesn’t address her nutty statements that got it revoked. Sad.

100 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 9, 2014 4:05:49pm

re: #98 jvic

Here is Ali’s response to Brandeis’s announcement.

You never responded to my question above, by the way.

101 palmerskiss  Apr 9, 2014 5:23:59pm

one of the more interesting things about Mrs. Ali, is that she is married to Niall Ferguson! which i did not know until today.

102 wrenchwench  Apr 9, 2014 5:27:13pm

Unfollowed.

103 palmerskiss  Apr 9, 2014 5:27:41pm
Ferguson is critical of what he calls the “self-flagellation” that he says characterises modern European thought.
“The moral simplification urge is an extraordinarily powerful one, especially in this country, where imperial guilt can lead to self-flagellation,” he told a reporter. “And it leads to very simplistic judgments. The rulers of western Africa prior to the European empires were not running some kind of scout camp. They were engaged in the slave trade. They showed zero sign of developing the country’s economic resources. Did Senegal ultimately benefit from French rule? Yes, it’s clear. And the counterfactual idea that somehow the indigenous rulers would have been more successful in economic development doesn’t have any credibility at all.”

I really enjoyed ‘War of the World’, even if it is a long winded attack on Keynes, I wonder if he and Ayaan discuss this irony of ‘self-flagellation’

104 Ming  Apr 9, 2014 11:13:47pm

re: #45 CuriousLurker

From a 2007 Reason interview with Ali:

I don’t understand how anyone could consider such an attitude consistent with Enlightenment values in the secular Western tradition in general or with our U.S. Constitution in particular.

The quotes from Ali in the Reason article do qualify as extremely anti-Islam.

From what others are saying in this thread, Ali has fallen in with RWNJ’s, and that’s a major mistake on her part.

I would like to note, before I became aware today of these negative things about her, I always thought of Ms. Ali as sincere, with a valuable perspective based on her experiences. I’d already heard about her lying to get Dutch citizenship, but I didn’t strongly hold that against her. Of course, that’s not good, but maybe it was understandable, a little.

I just read the Wikipedia on her, and it confirmed my previous positive impressions of her, e.g. it quoted her as follows about the Middle East: “The crisis of Dutch socialism can be sized up in its attitudes toward both Islam and Israel. It holds Israel to exceptionally high moral standards. The Israelis, however, will always do well, because they themselves set high standards for their actions. The standards for judging the Palestinians, however, are very low. Most outsiders remain silent on all the problems in their territories. That helps the Palestinians become even more corrupt than they already are. Those who live in the territories are not allowed to say anything about this because they risk being murdered by their own people.” This is a rather thoughtful statement on her part.

I was actually planning to read her books one of these days, but never got around to it.

It’s a shame she’s fallen in with the RWNJ’s, and I don’t disagree with any of the criticisms of her in this thread. I thank other commenters for teaching me these new (to me) facts about her. Nevertheless, I would like to say, I don’t think she should be viewed as equally worthy of contempt of RWNJ’s who, for example, actively court neo-Nazis! (Frankly, her feelings about Islam should be considered in the context of the clitoral removal that was done to her as a child. But even that is no excuse, if she’s indeed currently associated with some bad right-wing people.)

I will definitely research her in the future! I obviously know very little about her at present.

105 [deleted]  Apr 10, 2014 2:51:18am
106 [deleted]  Apr 10, 2014 2:53:49am
107 [deleted]  Apr 10, 2014 2:56:39am
108 [deleted]  Apr 10, 2014 3:09:09am
109 Charles Johnson  Apr 10, 2014 8:47:29am

Sorry, asshole, you’re not allowed to spew your twisted white nationalist rhetoric here. Fuck off.


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