- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences a Muslim dissident
Academics cave to CAIR, denying graduates a teachable moment
Question of the Day
America is a tolerant and expansive nation, having taught the world that a variety of beliefs and lifestyles can thrive across a diverse and prosperous fruited plain. It’s also a nation where tolerant folk are frequently called on to tolerate the intolerant, the price we pay for the right to speak freely. But the abusers of tolerance must be called to account.
Apologists for certain primitive practices of the Islamic faith have recently demonstrated the power of intolerance. They cowed Brandeis University to withdraw an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic of mistreatment of women and abuse of little girls in the name of Islam. Ms. Hirsi Ali, who fled her Muslim-dominated native Somalia, is the object of worldwide attention for her criticism of female genital mutilation, forced marriage and other barbaric practices common and commonly defended in the Islamic world.
This should have been a good teaching moment for Brandeis, but the teachers took a holiday. On April 8, President Frederick Lawrence rescinded the honorary degree that would have been conferred on her at the university graduation on May 21, caving to pressure from bloggers and online petitioners who say Ms. Hirsi Ali is unduly critical of Muslim “traditions.” Said a statement in the name of the university: “We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” Some values. Some core.
Ms. Hirsi Ali doesn’t mince words when she lectures and writes from her position as a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank. Calling her native religion “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death” isn’t meant to make friends, but to awaken the naive to the nature of Islamic excesses. Her critics on the campus and in the faculty lounge at Brandeis have likely never seen the flash of a sharp knife meant for their own private parts.
Similar intolerance forced Brendan Eich to resign as the CEO of Mozilla, the software company and creator of the popular Firefox Web browser. Mr. Eich made the unforgivable “mistake” of donating $1,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, the 2008 referendum to amend the California Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He was in good company; a decisive majority of Californians approved Prop 8.
Detractors of Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. Eich beat down reason with lies. When Mark Twain observed that “a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” he couldn’t have imagined that in the 21st century lies travel much faster than that. Bloggers took up the campaign that started on the Brandeis campus, and intolerance “went viral.”
The tolerance of other views that is held a virtue in America enables bigotry a voice, too. Like opposing armies, apologists for radical Islam and homosexual privilege chip away at the forbearance and good will that made America the great melting pot, transforming “the huddled masses yearning to breathe free” into a nation and society of free men and women.
About the Author
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trump-Carson a 2016 dream ticket
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama fundraises as the world burns
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No U.S. support for Christian peril
- EDITORIAL: Gun-shy Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Get Breaking Alerts
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- ISIL captured 52 U.S.-made howitzers; artillery weapons cost 500K each