Where The Hard Left Says No

The Dish

The rescinding of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not exactly an act of punishment. No one has a right to any such degree and Brandeis is fully within its rights to breach basic manners and fail to do basic research about an 372px-Ayaan-Hirsi-Ali-VVD.NL-1200x1600honoree’s past work. And Ayaan has indeed said some intemperate and extreme things at times about Islam as a whole. But to judge Ayaan’s enormous body of work and her terrifying, pioneering life as a Somali refugee by a few quotes is, I’m afraid to say, all-too-familiar as an exercise in the public shaming of an intellectual for having provocative ideas. There seems to be an assumption that public speech must seek above all else to be “sensitive” rather than provocative, and must never hurt any feelings rather than tell uncomfortable truths. This is a terrible thing for liberal society as a whole and particularly…

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