“I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today. I do not expect all of you to agree with me, but I very much appreciate your willingness to listen.
“I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. …
“Is it blasphemy — punishable by death — to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era? Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform. I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.
“The motto of Brandeis University is ‘Truth even unto its innermost parts.’ That is my motto, too. For it is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and equality of the sexes.
Perhaps Brandeis should change its motto to something more in line with its current “core values” — spineless and intolerant as those may be. Alternatively, the university could initiate some diligent and in-depth research on why America’s Founders believed in free speech, and why so many academics today betray that heritage.
Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.