In spite of controversy surrounding her invitation to campus, Ayaan Hirsi Ali delivered her speech Monday night without significant interruption or disturbance.

Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born American activist known for her advocacy for women’s rights and anti-Islamic views. Several weeks ago, she was invited to speak at an event called “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West” sponsored by the William F. Buckley Jr. Program. In response, last week, the Muslim Students Association sent a letter signed by over 30 other student organizations to all students, expressing concerns over Hirsi Ali’s lack of academic credentials to speak on Islam, as well as over the allegedly hateful anti-Islam statements that she had made in the past. These sentiments were partially born out of Hirsi Ali’s traumatic childhood experiences related to her religious upbringing, including undergoing female genital mutilation and allegedly being forced into marriage.

The talk was attended by over 300 individuals, with lines to enter the auditorium stretching more than a block. While the MSA did not organize any formal demonstration during the actual event, the organization did maintain a booth outside of the lecture hall with educational leaflets about Islam.

During her speech, Hirsi Ali reiterated her views on the religion in which she was raised, focusing on her childhood and adolescence in a Muslim community in Somalia. She said she believes her experiences are relevant to the current state of Islam, which she described as violent, intolerant and in need of reform.

Growing up, Hirsi Ali said religious teachers taught her the duties of being a Muslim, such as worshipping Allah, telling the truth, looking after those in need and being obedient and modest. She said in her community, those who neglected their religious duties were never ostracized or attacked, but rather were “left alone” or “nudged gently” at most.

When she was 15, Hirsi Ali said she encountered a different kind of religious teacher — whom she referred to as a “Preacher Teacher” — who encouraged youths to enforce the religious duty of Islam and wage jihad against those who did not obey. Witnessing this process of “indoctrination,” she said, makes her statements relevant to Islam today.

Hirsi Ali added that this “indoctrination” is at the source of radical Islam and leads to intolerance and violence. Therefore, she said, in order to fight the symptoms of radical Islam, the “core creed” of Islam — the Qur’an and hadith — must be reformed. Hirsi Ali called on Muslims to listen to their consciences and stand up to Allah, rather than bending to his will.

Hirsi Ali repeated many times that the western world acts with “restraint” when dealing with conflicts of Islamic terrorism and radical groups.

“The clash is there, but what we follow up with is restraint. And restraint is what we’ve been showing for the last 30 years,” Hirsi Ali said to the audience.

Although she said she did not blame U.S. President Barack Obama for his reservations in handling situations such as the current rise of ISIS, she also spoke in favor of perceiving her former religion as “one Islam” whose core creed involves complete submission to Allah, the Islamic god that she previously deemed “fire-breathing.”  

The MSA’s campus-wide letter last week announced the group’s worries over Hirsi Ali’s talk and brought attention to her history of anti-Islamic statements.

Hirsi Ali directly addressed the MSA during her speech, asking why the organization took the time and resources to “silence the reformers and dissidents of Islam,” including herself, rather than fighting against the violence, intolerance and indoctrination Hirsi Ali associates with Islam.

“MSA students of Yale, you live at a time when Muslims are at a crossroads,” she said. “The Muslim world is on fire and those fanning the fire are using more creed. With every atrocity [they underscore] your commitment to Allah … Will you submit passively or actively, or will you finally stand up to Allah?” 

Hirsi Ali also responded to the MSA’s critique of her lack of academic credentials by saying that even scholars with substantial credentials who have criticized Islam have been “bullied into silence.”

Rich Lizardo ’15, president of the Buckley Program, said the lecture could not have gone better, calling Hirsi Ali “insightful, eloquent and elegant.” He said he had been initially baffled by the attention given to the event, both inside and outside of campus, but he ultimately believes that it succeeded in diversifying intellectual thought at Yale.

The MSA declined to comment, pointing instead to previous statements made in the email to students, which articulated concern and disappointment over Hirsi Ali’s invitation, but ultimately conveyed hope that the discussion would be constructive and respectful.

Still, individual Muslim students interviewed expressed a variety of reactions to Hirsi Ali’s talk, but declined to attribute their names out of fear of retribution. Some said Hirsi Ali’s presence made them feel uncomfortable being on campus, and others felt that Hirsi Ali’s talk invalidated their experiences as Muslims.

Other audience members interviewed were impressed with Hirsi Ali and the contents of her lecture.

Judith Liebmann GRD ’69 praised Hirsi Ali for her bravery in speaking about these issues, as well as her past traumatic experiences.

“She is an amazingly gentle person … with a courageousness that’s incomprehensible to me,” Liebmann said, adding that she had been disturbed by the fact that students voiced opposition to Hirsi Ali’s talk.

Hirsi Ali is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

  • 72bullldog

    Kudos to the Yale community for respecting free speech and civil discussion. Let this be an example to others of how to handle views that appear to be controversial. Who knows, one may even learn something.

  • Arafat

    The following quote is something Ms Ali knows all about. She is a woman of great courage and intelligence. Shame on the MSA for trying to silence her.

    “We must educate the world about the evils of islam and if it
    means making light of it by comedy and jokes, so be it. Islam must not be given
    a pass from criticism because its muhammedan followers threaten violence.”

  • mxm123

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali or as i would call her “Green Card” Ali.

    Ayaan was caught lying on her European asylum application. Therefore she started her Islam shtick. Then she gets a Green Card from the United States. How convenient.

    Ninety Percent of the worlds muslims DO NOT live in the Middle East and do not experience any of the nonsense Hirsi Ali spews. Lets face it the goal of right wingers is to smear Muslims and hope that the smear has its effects on other areas of debate.

    There are many Christians in Africa who pursue animistic rituals. Is Rich Lizardo going to invite them over to describe Christianity ?

    • Robert Boni

      So obviously you are against all of the illegal aliens now living in the USA? But about muslims. They are so smear-able with their passivity and acquiescence in the face of the horrific actions of their brethren.

      • mxm123

        Horrific actions, I can see that in Gaza too.

    • aaleli

      “Lets face it the goal of right wingers is to smear Muslims and hope that the smear has its effects on other areas of debate.”

      Radical Muslims do a pretty good smear job on their own.

      • mxm123

        So do Radical Christians and Radical Jews and Radical Hindus and …

    • Buddy_Bizarre

      Lied on her asylum application in the Netherlands? I believe that was after she ditched her family who had her setup for an arranged marriage in Germany. She didn’t want to be found. It was many years later after her friend Theo van Gogh was murdered by a radical muslim & she was threatened that she emigrated to the US.

  • kevin24

    Five years from now we’re going to see the head of the MSA go apostate and find out the he/she was actually doing a super meta troll of the entire campus to make the MSA look like shit (they succeeded with that) and have huge turnout at this.

  • ldffly

    “Still, individual Muslim students interviewed expressed a variety of reactions to Hirsi Ali’s talk, but declined to attribute their names out of fear of retribution.”

    Retribution of what sort? Retribution from whom?

    • Hieronymus Machine

      Duh. Salaam.

    • anarchist2014

      that statement, along with the whole ordeal, was an attempt to seize the oppressive narrative

    • Veronica

      Are you serious? After Omeish has been attacked in these comments you expect others to offer their names. This is not a safe place for Muslim students to share their thoughts.

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    Ms. Hirsi Ali is a brave and impressive woman, and I recommend that everyone read her book, Infidel, which talks about her life, including when and why the death threats began. Individual Muslim students at Yale do not need to fear for their lives if they openly criticize Hirsi Ali; if, however, they openly criticize Islam, they must be careful.

    For Hirsi Ali, the death threats came because she argued that the Netherlands should not tolerate honor killings and genital mutilation in their own country, instead arguing that Muslims should end such practices, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere around the world.

    She had to leave her home and be cut off from friends to go into hiding, with a round-the-clock security team that made her move without warning every few days and warned her never to speak to anyone. Her fellow film-maker, Theo Van Gogh, didn’t get security protection and was found murdered. Two knives were left stabbed in his chest to hold in place a letter warning Hirsi Ali that she was next.

    The Muslim Student’s Association at Yale is not at risk for their criticism of Hirsi Ali, but she will always be at risk because she has spoken out for defenseless women. That’s how parts (not all, but parts) of the Islamic world handle dissent. Where is the MSA letter protesting against this?

  • Expat

    Well, thank God she was able to speak! I can’t believe so many people were against it – including the Yale Women’s Center ? Shame on them!

    • ExJAG

      Welcome to the totalitarianism of the Left. Alliances mean more than truth.

  • ldffly

    Now that the talk has gone off, I would like to ask a question about a few texts. Does anybody in any department at Yale teach Milton’s “Areopagitica” or Locke’s “A Letter Concerning Toleration?” Those two pieces, along with a number of Mill’s essays, cleared the ground for the liberties we have today. The basic positions were stated by those three authors. If you have pretensions to argue for liberty of ideas, you need to know the arguments in those texts. I hope that those essays haven’t fallen by the wayside in today’s Yale College.

    Many of us take the liberty of ideas as something akin to the air we breathe. It’s just there, we put it to work, but we barely think about it. That is a weak stance. These days, even in the universities, we need to engage in intellectual combat with those who would take away those liberties. A Yale education ought to confront every student with the arguments made by Milton, Locke, and Mill. Yes, even those students who believe in limitations on liberty of ideas should have to argue against the finest statements in favor of liberty of ideas.

    • Hieronymus Machine

      I believe Western Civ died with the return of the Bass grant in 1995.

      From the Philanthropy Roundtable: “In 1995 Yale erupted over charges that the $20 million was lost because new president Richard Levin chose to side with powerful forces in the faculty and administration who objected to elevating Western culture above other cultures. It was high time, after all, to make room for the growing claims of ethnic, gender, and minority cultural studies.”

      Said renowned professor of history and Dean of Yale College Donald Kagan of his colleagues at the time, “You can’t find members of the faculty who have different opinions.” So true, so true.

  • Bladderball2

    Two questions:
    1. How does one “stand up to Allah” without setting oneself up for a real smackdown?
    2. Hirsi Ali is a fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard. I hate Harvard as much as the next Yalie, but is the MSA really questioning her credentials to speak on anything? Islam, auto repair, you name it, she has to have at least *some* cred.

  • aaleli

    Calmer heads prevailed and Yale is the better for it.

  • Daniel Miller

    When you call for the military destruction of 1/4 of the human race, you are not making an “allegedly” hateful statement about Muslims.

    • Buddy_Bizarre


      • Daniel Miller

        Either you can’t be bothered to read why people object so strongly to Hirsi Ali’s positions, or you’d rather ignore them.

        Hirsi Ali has a long and consistent history of putting Islam and Muslims in their own category, and singling this group out for not only criticisms, but calls for violence and institutional oppression.

        She’s free to say what she likes. And humanity is free to move past her brutal, disrespectful, and archaic views.

        • Buddy_Bizarre

          Meh. She says ‘all forms’ not just militarily. She doesn’t say we need to bomb Indonesia into submission, I take it as militarily where there is violent conflict & in ideological ways otherwise. Ex-smokers are always the the most annoyed by smoking so ex-muslims are probably most disturbed by the misogyny & cultural superiority imposed by Muslims.

          “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.”

  • Science Student

    When applied to certain radical Islamic groups, Hirsi Ali’s comments make sense — and I’m sure she’s a courageous, intelligent and well-spoken person. But Islam should NOT be perceived as a single, dangerous unit. This should be evident from comparing ISIS’ recent atrocities to the beliefs and actions of students on campus. I can assure you, none of my Muslim friends are “completely submissive” to a “fire-breathing” god. As for ISIS, David Cameron put it well: “They boast of their brutality; they claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”

    • PaulStPaul

      “They boast of their brutality; they claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”
      When MORE Moslems are supporting Ms. Ali than opposing her THEN maybe we can have a conversation about “a religion of peace”. Until then I’ll refer to it as a religion of pieces.

      • Science Student

        I would be surprised to see Muslims rally behind someone who lumps them all together with the worst of their representatives. I do think, however, that the vast majority of Muslims would agree with Ms. Ali’s goals of making a better and more peaceful world. And if you don’t believe me, the following articles might prove enlightening:

        Islam, like Christianity, Buddhism, and almost all other religions, IS a religion of pieces — in that it is divided into groups who believe wildly disparate things. Yes, there are minority groups who call themselves “Muslim” and commit terrorist acts. But those very acts are condemned by the majority. Islam cannot be treated as a single unit, and thinking of it as such is a tremendously dangerous attitude.

  • Nancy Morris

    Hooray for Yale and The Buckley for inviting Hirsi Ali and listening to her as she deserves. It is remarkable that “individual Muslim students interviewed expressed a variety of reactions to Hirsi Ali’s talk, but declined to attribute their names out of fear of retribution.” That fact alone is enough to prove the urgency of her message. These students have no fear of being known as Muslims at Yale, or of disagreeing with Hirsi Ali. The feared retribution emanates from their co-religionists alone.

    Hooray for Harvard for hiring her. There’s still some real life left in Cambridge.

    And hooray for Hirsi Ali … which is not the same as endorsement or blanket agreement.

    Shame be on Brandeis for disinviting her, always. Always.

  • PaulStPaul

    Great! Can we expect that the tide in the U.S. may turn to allow Ms. Hirsi Ali to speak in more venues? Can she speak in MN, their community sometimes referred to as Mogadishu on the Mississippi, the location of the largest quantity of Somalis outside of Somalia? After reading this article tears nearly came to my eyes. Then, I wondered are they tears of sorrow due to the enormous evil from Islamists or tears of joy for people such as Ms. Ali who can bring hope for humanity. Maybe both.

    • Hieronymus Machine

      Brandeis, perhaps? Oh, wait…

  • HenryCt

    If the “west” acts with restraint toward states with large Muslim populations, what do you call killing a half million Iraqi children and an equal number of adults during Clinton and Albright’s 1990’s blockade and another million or so during Bush’s war on Iraq starting in 2003, along with untold wounded and mutiliated and 3-5 million forced to flee their homes for their lives, not to mention the destruction of an ancient civilization? Restraint? Add the restraint shown Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and if we want to go back into the 1960’s the hundreds of thousands slaughtered with US connivance in Indonesia. Restraint? Is that what we call restraint by the mostly Christian “west?” I place “west” in quotes because that term is constantly used as a euphemism for the brutal imperialism of the US and its NATO allies.

    • ExJAG

      Then, of course, there is your “point of view.” I put “point of view” in quotes becauase that term is constantly used as a euphemism that empowers sophists everywhere, merely because they have a “point of view.”
      “Brutal imperialism”? Hmmmm. You sound like a Marxist I once knew. You know, Marxism? A spectacularly failed “point of view.”

      • mxm123

        ExJAG, Great of you to ignore/avoid the facts that HenryCt has posited.

        • Buddy_Bizarre

          They are not facts, they are claims with no substantiation.

    • Bettenguy

      This is ignorance at its finest. The only one responsible for anyone dying from the sanctions placed on Iraq in the 90’s was Saddam Hussein. Humanitarian aid was never embargoed, so there were more than enough imports of necessities to help feed, clothe, and provide medical care for the people of Iraq. Of course, you give Saddam a pass for the 20k plus he had to murder each year in order to maintain his despotic rule.

      As for the invasion, the vast majority of those killed were murdered at the hands of radical Islamists such as AQ in Iraq, not US forces.

    • Pamela Wright

      Really, you tink we weren’t restrained enoug in te Iraq War? Really? Saddam hussein bought and paid for that war and brought it to his people with a big bow on it. The monster was torturing, murdering, gassing, and starving his own people and invaded a neigboring country because he wanted their riches. Old fashioned piracy. We went in because we were specifically requested to by their govt in exile. Then when people like you cried because we were destroying them on the highway back to Iraq with their stolen goods in tow, America withdrew. (Restraint.) And a few years later hussein just couldn’t restrain himself again and violated the agreement in place by entering no fly zones, proibiting entry to UN weapons inspectors, amassing weapons, threatening everyone in the world (credible treats no less), and again attacking his own people. We followed some of the most restricted ROE/ in the history of war. (Restraint again.) We refrained from destroying mosques even when being fired upon from them and helped to save and restore national treasures to their museums. (Restraint. No pillaging, no hoarding or stealing.) We rebuilt much of what was destroyed in a war we did not start, including schools, utilities, and factories. We gave the oil wells which we saved from the fires Saddam’s men set, back to the people of Iraq with all the money from them staying with Iraq. No war reparations. No “take” for the conquerers. (Restraint.) Then we withdrew and let the Iraqis take over their own country again. (Restraint) We didn’t even insist on writing their Constitution for them like we did in Japan. (Restraint) And what did it get us? ISIS/ISIL. So I’m sorry to inform you that most Iraqis don’t even agree with your sentiment. But the terrorists sure do.

  • alum2001

    A great win for free speech at Yale! Congratulations Buckley Program for putting this on, and for standing up to the liberal fascism on campus that would silence any speech they disagree with. I’ll be sending in my donation today.

    • Johnny


    • Hieronymus Machine

      Why should freedom of speech have to “win?” Why is there even a battle?

      • Kevin R. Cross

        Becuse some are foolish, some are stupid, and some are malevolent.

      • alum2001

        Of course there shouldn’t be a battle. But conservative voices, or those that don’t toe the line of political correctness, are more often than not shouted down on college campuses. Just what the MSA tried to do. The Buckley program’s stated goal is to increase intellectual diversity on campus.

      • rickflick

        There has always been a battle and probably always will be. Jefferson:
        “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

  • GulfPundit

    “…expressing concerns over Hirsi Ali’s lack of academic credentials to speak on Islam,”

    Since when has academic credentials been a requirement for someone to speak on any subject? You want to go down that road? Is her personal experience worth nothing? The leader of ISIS has a doctorate in Islamic Studies from Baghdad University. Does he have more credibility?

  • Speaksvolumes

    The MSA are totalitarians, which just proves Ms. Ali’s point.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Last year, MSA could have stopped her altogether. It was beheading Foley on Youtube that cost the MSA the moral suasion necessary for a successful campus movement. Pictures can change the world.

  • theantiyale

    A God of peace or a God of war?
    A God of love or a God of punishment?
    Christianity has had both. So has Islam.
    The problem is faith itself —–the willingness of frightened, lonely humans to BELIEVE a Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid
    apocalypse, or an Osama bin Laden’s anti–capitalist apocalyptic jihad, or ISIS and fantasies of a Islamic caliphate.
    Why are human beings so afraid to be alone in history and alone in the universe?
    What a fertile field for exploitation loneliness makes.

    • Johnny

      Well said.

  • adc714

    “Still, individual muslim students interviewed expressed a variety of reactions to hirsi ali’s talk, but declined to attribute their names out of fear of retribution.” and that ladies and gentlemen is all you need to know about islam!

    • ElRay

      and for those of you keeping score, the same can be said of christianity when non-christians have to stay anonymous because when they don’t, they receive threats for pointing out 1st Amendment violations. And non-Christians receive death threats because they published a book illustrating the some of the many violent, misogynistic and hypocritical passages of the bible. And that christians have beaten LGBT people to death and near death. And that christians have firebombed medical clinics and clubs resulting in deaths. That’s all you need to know about christianity.

      I’m not defending Islam, I’m just pointing out that christians as a group are only less institutionalized and merely have government complacency and not full-on support for their for their hypocritical and often violent anti-christian actions.

      • jamesdakrn

        How many “Christian” nations have laws to execute people for apostasy?
        And how many Islamic countries do the same?

        • ElRay

          Massacres in Africa executed by Christian majorities against Muslims and individual LGBT citizens. You’re arguing degrees. Should we ignore a murder who kills only one person because they’re not as bas as a mass murderer? If it’s wrong, it’s wrong.

          NOT ALL Islamic countries have these problems and absolutely ZERO Christian dominated countries lack these problems. Look at the religiously motivated violence we have already in the U.S. — It’s almost 100% Christian motivated. Remember the bombing in Ireland between two different sects of Christianity?

          Mathew 7:3, Mathew 7:5, Mathew 7:3-5, Luke 6:41, Luke 6:42, etc (depending upon which of the 200+ versions of the supposedly immutable and inerrant christian bible you read) talks about splinters, specks of sawdust, beams, motes, timbers, etc. (depending upon which of the 200+ versions of the supposedly immutable and inerrant christian bible you read) in your own eye. It goes both ways. Please don’t be hypocritical.

      • Janonomous

        Yes, there are crackpot Christians that may behave like this, but they are criticized by the majority of Christians for that behavior. When Muslims behave like crackpots they are held up as a model for emulation. Your comparison falls flat.

        • ElRay

          Wow. You are seriously ignorant about both christians and muslims.

      • kevin24

        yeah dude, you’re full of sh***. Sorry, but you’re just condemning jerks in general. Describing Christians most any where in the world as “often violent” when it comes to “anti-christian actions” is just garbage. I mean I’d say you get anti-abortion maniacs, the very, few and far between serious skinhead (I’m Jewish, we have our own problems with these issues), and really nothing else. Your comparison is comparing Mt Everest to Death Valley and saying that they’re both roughly the same elevation because they’re both on dry land. In a perverse cosmic sense there is an iota of truth to what you’re saying, but any sort of serious analysis reveals your comparison to be totally wrong.

        • ElRay

          First of all, you’re arguing degrees. Killing nonbelievers is still killing nonbelievers. Second, the difference between Everest and Death Valley is still great when compared to the Marianas Trench. Third, the difference isn’t that great. Remember the Christian led massacres in Africa? Remember the Christian on Christian bombings in Ireland?

          Remember Mathew’s & Luke’s (but not Mark’s or John’s) retelling of the story of the speck/splinter and mote/beam (depending on which of the 200+ “official” christian bibles you hold as the inerrant & immutable correct one) in your eye?

          Religiously motivated violence is religiously motivated violence and hypocrisy is hypocrisy. Please don’t cherry-pick from your chosen version of mythological tomes.

          • kevin24

            You make no sense, firstly when you’re talking about Christian led
            massacres in Africa, are you talking about Sudan, the CAR? because those
            were reprisals for attacks started by Muslims. Secondly the troubles
            were intersectarian conflict that ended 20+ years ago, and although they
            were ended by an agreement brought about by the combatants and regional
            players. Thirdly, if you wanted a half decent version you could talk
            about the Serbs going to war on Albanian Muslims, But that was stopped
            by collective action from their neighbors, and we don’t see any of that
            in the Middle East. Fourthly (questionable enumeration I know, but I’m
            enjoying it) If you take the height of Everest and add the elevation of
            Badwater basin in Death Valley you get about 9000 meters. Challenger
            Deep is about 10,900 meters deep. 1,900 meters is the difference between
            a cold water continental shelf environment which contains the most
            productive fishing grounds in the world and well, the bottom of the
            Mariana trench, so yeah, there is a big difference there.

            Religiously motivated violence is religiously motivated violence,but religiously motivated violence which the co-religionists says a whole lot about everyone in that religion. Not just the violent ones.

      • Foxwolfen

        You are absolutely right, and as atheists, I think many of us view Christianity with narrowed eyes every bit as much as we do Islam. Christians in the US are chomping at the bit to create a Christian State, as many feel that is what America should be. They throw out constitutional amendments to support their own brand of theocracy. They use violence and would rather we die, than respect us for our lack of faith in their belief. And they are not a small minority.

        But as one pundit put it, if 10% of Muslims hold radical views… that is 120million people. That is not an insignificant threat.

        I have not experienced any of this so called peace and love from any religion. As long as you tow the line and bow to authority, you will be a good sheep. Do not tow the line, you have no value. Lamb to the slaughter. This holds true in any religion.

        Reform Islam? … probably the only actual way, but ideally, I would like to see all religions go the way of the dinosaur. It wont happen in my lifetime, it may never happen, but hopefully one day they will only be tiny fringe groups of nutcases as mainstream society matures beyond the need of a parent god and rejects religious dogma of any sort.

        • ElRay

          People also have to remember that Islam is only approaching year 1400. How violent were christians 700 years ago?

          It would be nice if modern mythologies were treated like ancient Norse, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Native American/1st Nation, other indigenous, etc. mythologies, but given the ignorance of The Constitution, demands/expectation of special privilege/exemptions, demands for indoctrination of revisionist history and mythology in place of reality/science, etc. we see in the U.S., it will be a long way off.

    • Daniel Miller

      Hirsi Ali and her supporters call for singling Muslims out for political oppression, legal harassment, and state violence.

      The Muslims declining to give their names may not be worried about the reaction from other Muslims.

      • adc714

        anything’s possible

  • theantiyale

    Credentials? Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School isn’t good enough for Yalies ? C’mon.
    Stop trying to discredit someone before they speak.

  • James Smith

    Where’s the standing ovation part? Personally, I think a standing ovation speaks volumes about how the audience perceived the speech.

    • Yalie

      The room was over two-thirds full of hand-selected Buckley guests (they had a sign-in sheet). Students filled less than 100 seats.

    • Veronica

      It also tells you a lot about who was in the audience.

  • Dekker Van Wyk

    The Muslims keep shooting themselves in the foot this way. Recall the Danish Mohammed Cartoons in 2005-2006. If those cretinous Danish imams had just kept their pie holes shut, instead of fomenting outrage across the Islamic world, nobody outside Denmark would have ever known about them.

  • James_IIa

    Nice article, but I had a hard time parsing this paragraph:

    “MSA students of Yale, you live at a time when Muslims are at a crossroads,” she said. “The Muslim world is on fire and those fanning the fire are using more creed. With every atrocity [they underscore] your commitment to Allah … Will you submit passively or actively, or will you finally stand up to Allah?”

    “creed”? And did she really challenge the Muslims to stand up to Allah? It’s hard to see how she could have thought that would go anywhere.

    • rickflick

      English is not Ali’s first language. By “using more creed”, I think she meant that instigators of violence use Islamic faith to justify themselves (rather than critical thinking). I could be wrong.

  • James_IIa

    I see my earlier post is in moderation, which is kind of amusing, since the only potentially questionable language is in the form a a cut-and-paste from your article.

  • Gloria Pearce

    MSA should welcome this conversation and as Hirsi Ali says their time would be more productively spent seeking reform of this religion. By their very silence and unwillingness to acknowledge the violence and barbarity which much of the world associates with Islam and their ”hurt feelings’ whenever there is criticism of this ghastly religion, no progress can be made in bringing the Muslim world into the twenty first century. One assumes that these students are intelligent people and therefore must understand that for change to occur, there must be criticism which in turn will encourage debate and lead to change. No criticism, no debate, no change!

    • Science Student

      As a student, I think that criticism — whether of a religious entity, a government, an idea, or anything else — is vital for change and mutual understanding. However, not all criticism is constructive. Applying blanket criticisms of violence and depravity to a religion of billions is not constructive. It only increases the hostility which, as this comment section makes clear, is faced unjustly by so many Muslims. Hirsi Ali’s remarks, when directed at the minority extremists of radical Islam, are sensible. When applied to Islam as a whole, they are grossly misleading.

      • rickflick

        “Applying blanket criticisms of violence and depravity to a religion of billions is not constructive.”
        The number of adherents is not at issue. The issue is if the criticisms of violence at the core of Islam are true. If you step back from your blinkered view, you will see what she, and the rest of us see.

        • Veronica

          If you see no issue with generalizations, we have much bigger problems.

      • PaulStPaul

        It sure doesn’t seem that she is applying terrorism & violence to ALL Islam. She asked why is MSA trying to “silence the reformers and dissidents of Islam” rather than fighting against the violence, intolerance and indoctrination Hirsi Ali associates with Islam. I, of course wasn’t @ her speech but I did read the article assuming it is roughly accurate in what she said. I did NOT see that she is condemning ALL “Islam as a whole”. BUT when Moslems are NOT willing to denounce the violence they deserve scorn, mocking and defeat! BTW, did you attend her speech?

      • Ed_Burroughs

        Which parts of Islam should do you think she shouldn’t criticize? Isnt a religion which separates the world into the “house of Islam” and the “house of war” extreme by its very nature?

        • Daniel Miller

          “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

          – Matthew 10:34

          • Ed_Burroughs

            Clearly that is a piece of Christian scripture. Are you stupid or just deliberately obtuse?

          • Daniel Miller

            Huh, wait… are you suggesting that extreme or violent rhetoric exist in the scriptures of other faiths?

            Then people probably judge the spectrum of views within any faith in the larger context of a diverse range of peoples and scriptural interpretations, yes?

            Oh, wait? You say that only Islam should be judged as an extremist religion while we ignore violent extremism and acts of state or individual terrorism inspired by other faiths and their own violent scriptures?

            Huh, that’s odd.

        • Deanjay1961

          A religion is its members. Tens of millions of Muslims do not think that. Q.E.D.

          • Ed_Burroughs

            A religion is not “its members”. Just because “tens of millions” don’t think something doesn’t mean that tens of millions of others do. Quod erat demonstrandum – what was to be demonstrated – requires you to tell us what you were trying (and failing) to demonstrate; you didn’t.

      • Science Student

        To respond to these comments: I think Hirsi Ali is absolutely right to criticize the targets of her speech. She should be applauded for condemning violence and hatred, whatever the source. The part of her speech I take error with is the one in which she says Islam should be perceived as one unit. No, she isn’t calling all Muslims terrorists — but she implies that all Muslims follow the same system of beliefs, and that those beliefs are dangerous to the core.

        Both of these things are ones I disagree with. There are certainly statements in Islamic religious texts that could be perceived as violent and dangerous — but there are similar statements in virtually every religious text. The Bible declares stoning an appropriate punishment for, as an example, engaging in premarital sex or worshipping “pagan” deities. Does this make the Bible inherently dangerous, and Christianity an inherently violent religion? I don’t think so.

        In fact, I don’t know a single Christian who would stone somebody, for any reason — and I don’t know a single Muslim who would follow the more violent commands of Islamic religious texts. Most people don’t take the Quran — or the Bible — in a completely literal way. They find the moral teachings in those books to be enlightening — teachings that, for the most part, promote peace and love.

        By all means, Hirsi Ali should criticize those who use Islam to promote violence. By all means, she should criticize the literal interpretation of any violent statement to be found in any religious text. But I think it’s important to acknowledge that not all Muslims share a fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran, and that most by far disagree with the way ISIS views it. In fact, contrary to one comment below, Muslims leaders across the world ARE openly condemning ISIS and the horrific crimes it represents. The actions of terrorists do not match with their version of Islam.

        • Rebekah

          Muslims are dying to protect themselves and others from radicals. Why is there an incessant demand for “more condemnation”? Every legitmate Muslim organization has issued fatwas and spends time and money on countering extremism. It seems you are hiding something in your intentions with your demands for condemnation. It seems you might want to justify bigotry against Muslims as a whole.

          Oh I would like to say that I grew up in an abusive Christian home and have experienced injustices in a Judeo-Christian country and now I would like to tell the world that what I experienced is the in fact the core of Christianity. By the way, I have an Ivy league graudate degree so that makes me credible.

          Also missing from Hirsi’s speech is perhaps any evidence at all that she understands Middle Eastern politics, let alone post-colonialism. Let alone classical Islam. Let alone the manifestation of Islam in Somalia versus Turkey versus Uzbekistan versus India. And to all those who found her speech insightful, could you please explain to the crowd how Wahabism arose in King Saud’s kingdom with the help of the West of course? Could you please explain its relationship to Arab nationalism and extremism?

          If you cannot answer these questions, you may have identified a major intellectual deficit. Yalie, more is expected of you than that! 

          • Arafat

            Every single Muslim nation is some degree of radical. What are you talking about?
            Saudi Arabia and Qatar practice and export massive hatred of “others” including women like you.
            Tell me about a Muslim nation where vitriol is not the call of the day and widely accepted. Let’s not forget that this vitriol often comes from elected officials.

          • Rebekah


            “What are you talking about?” That is exactly my point. The reason why critics of Islam and the majority of Muslims cannot come to understanding is because the critics do not understand the historical mindset of the Muslim. What you and all others on this post are criticizing is Wahabism, not Islam as it was practiced before world war I. Traditional Muslims see Wahabism, i.e. the religion of thr Gulf that is exported elsewhere, as the result of British colonialism which supported Arab nationalism. In many traditional Muslim minds, the Wahabism of Saudi Arabia is the Western infiltration into destroying the Muslim lands and creating nation states. Saudi Arabia is seen as a disgrace and completely divorced from authentic Islam.Yes, I am directly referencing the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Arab nationalism. The dictators of the middle east, King Saud’s kingdom especially, is not seen as belonging to the classical Muslim. It is the puppet which divides and conquers the sophisticated ummah of traditional Muslims.

            Even the injustice committed against women is only “bait for western intervention” into Muslim lands. Hirsi Ali is perhaps only a manifrstation of this. She is bait for philosohical and armed war both. Yet her sisters in traditional Islam are screaming, “stop killing us in order to liberalize us! ”

            So really, people, all the shouting “Islam is bad!” will never change anything. The Mus

          • Deanjay1961

            There are 46 majority-Muslim countries. Are you sure you want to stick with your story? Do you think that’s a fair description of Bangladesh? Senegal? The Gambia? Bosnia?

          • Veronica

            Arafat, may I ask what is your obsession with Islam? All you comment/write about is Islam and in an incredibly islamophobic way.

          • Veronica

            I really appreciate this comment.

        • Gloria Pearce

          Which part of the Quran states that Islam is a “religion of peace”? Which “violent statement” one should NOT interpret “literally”? Muslim leaders across the world are indeed condemning ISIS but only because they and their regimes are at risk. Only recently, at least a few were giving financial support to ISIS. Indeed, all religious texts promote hatred and violence and this is why there is a desperate need for Islam to reform itself as other religions have done (if humankind must have religion). And since we do not see similar violence and barbarism emanating from other religions and indeed from any sect of Christianity to use an example, the MSA would do better to take a good look at their religion and work as an Islamic body to reform all sects of their religion.

          • Veronica

            Arabic speaking Muslims literally greet each other by saying may peace be upon you.

            How have other faiths ‘reformed’ themselves? Are you serious? You see no violence emanating from other religions?

          • Gloria Pearce

            Mainstream Christianity has indeed reformed itself. Mainstream Christianity does not execute ex-Christians for leaving the religion, it does not hang someone for the crime of ‘heresy’, it does not dictate a dress code for its adherents, and prosecute those who do not follow suit, it does not execute anyone for insulting the religion or burning the bible, and Christians do not go on a rampage when Christianity is criticized, made fun of or amusing cartoons are drawn of Jesus or Christian prophets, or call for the prosecution of the cartoonists. And last but not least, people who might do any of the foregoing do not have to hire bodyguards 24/7 to protect them because of threats to their personal safety as Ayaan Hirsi Ali does.

          • Veronica

            you don’t know how to talk about Islam … you’re using a few examples of extremist Islam and using them to talk about the entire faith, all the 1.5 billion believers.

          • Gloria Pearce

            Many Muslim countries which are governed by Islamic law either partially or fully are not a “few examples of extremist Islam”. With this said, I refer you to a Pew Research Poll titled: “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society” and dated April 30/2013.

          • Veronica

            Did you even read the report you just sent me to?

          • Gloria Pearce

            Clearly, that’s the reason why I referred you to the Pew Report!!!

          • Veronica

            read it again, bc it does not prove your point

          • Gloria Pearce

            Since you appear determined to ignore the facts and distort those you might acknowledge, I shall terminate this discourse. Goodbye.

          • Veronica


      • Gloria Pearce

        This science student is somewhat naive. And I am speaking from experience. I have met so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims who will not go out and commit the violent and barbaric acts but certainly approve of them and believe that jihad is the only method. Many were jubilant after 9/11; and I’m speaking of the ‘moderate’ Muslims. Has this student read the Koran?! Very likely the answer is ‘no’. These jihadists are only following the dictates of their holy book. That is not to say that the bible is much better. Certainly no Christian would want to follow the dictates of the Old Testament. But Christianity has liberalized itself so that it can function within the framework of a secular society with humanist values rather than religious values. The majority of the Muslim world continues to live under religious law which I’m sorry to say is unenlightened, backward and barbaric e.g. The death penalty for apostasy, amputation of hand for stealing, stoning for adultery, hanging for homosexuals. …….and I can go on and on. The MSA and those who wish to stifle criticism and debate would do better to spend their energies working on promoting an Islam which can function in a world with humanist values.

        • Science Student

          I agree with you that the MSA was mistaken in trying to prevent Hirsi Ali from speaking — that’s not how Yale ought to treat controversy, and it certainly isn’t the best use of energies. But I do want to caution again against grouping all Muslims together. Even if the “Muslim world” condoned the terrorist actions of Al Qaeda and ISIS (which most of it does not, as sources below indicate), that does not mean that all or most Muslims do. There are Muslims all over the world, including millions in highly-liberalized first-world nations. A quarter of the world’s population follows Islam — and most of them live outside the Middle East. The governments of countries like Saudi Arabia — which enforce the death penalty for apostasy — absolutely require enormous change. Such punishments should have been left in the middle ages. But the government of Saudi Arabia represents “all Muslims” no more than ISIS does — and no more than the Vatican represents all of Christianity. The idea of “one Islam” is a myth.

          • St. Hahn

            The silent majority of ‘peaceful’ muslims are irrelevant. We should not fear their feeling maligned by criticism of their faith, they will accept a reformed islam. The only ones we have to fear are those who will not accept any criticism for they are the extremists, the enforcers of the sharia and the ones who wish to maintain the Islamic status quo. They stand in the way of the would be reformers. The MSA with their muslim brotherhood roots are part of the problem. Any reformers in their midst will be expelled. I think if you read PEW polling you will find vast numbers of Muslims support sharia law and so the problems liberal democracies face are substantial but not insurmountable.

        • Veronica

          Christianity has liberalized itself??–you are naive.

      • Janonomous

        When criticism of the violence of Muslims is responded to, as it nearly always is, with violence it only serves to prove Hirsi Ali’s point. They are not open to criticism of any sort, from within or outside of its ranks. She is not merely talking about a small minority that support violence, but a great majority in nearly every survey shows that Muslims support violence and death to those that criticise Islam. They behave differently to criticism than every other religion. These are facts, not opinions.

        • Veronica

          Please tell me what your sources are because these are not facts. show me sources where there aren’t lurking variables or skewed surveys. please let me know how someone was able to survey a great majority of the Muslim population

      • Veronica

        Thank you Science Student.

  • Salanor

    Religion is a cultural artifact. Criticizing religion is like criticising the use of knife and forks over chopsticks. It is meaningless. Highlighting violence in ‘holy books’ is highlighting violence in a mythical text, also a fairly stupid, futile activity.

    If people do bad things, we should hold them, not their religion responsible. The cause of their actions can be any one of a dozen drivers, which ought to be what we address, rather than make specious links to their cultural identity, as if it caused them, zombie like, to do bad things.

    Hirsi-Ali, like most racists, finds that a blanket condemnation of a whole group of people premised on the actions of the few is easier than proper analysis of their motives and actions. Her’s is lazy thinking, which is the natural domain of racists.

    She ought to be silenced, as surely as we would expect Goebbels to be silenced in a civilised society. Hate speech is speech that fuels hate, not that just sounds hateful.

    • Andio

      Wait, what race is Hirsi Ali against?

  • 81alumna

    A comment I made yesterday is gone (along with a number of others, which equated MSA at Yale and Muslims overall with the murderers of American journalists Foley and Sotloff, and (in the Netherlands) Theo van Gogh; I sympathize with the moderators). Of course Ayaan Hirsi Ali should have been able to speak (and her scorched-earth view of Islam respectfully confronted). Her life story is remarkable and her courage unquestionable. However, if she is quoted correctly and in context within the article, that courage was not demonstrated by challenging MSA or Muslims overall to confront Allah. Where does that leave the Muslims she said (acc. to the article) taught compassion and duty in her youth? There are many Muslims and traditions in Islam whose Allah is not an Islamist. Does anyone ever demand that Christians resist Christ because of Timothy McVeigh? or equate all Jews with the assassin of Rabin, or Hindus with that of Gandhi? The common strain in these crimes is fundamentalism, not an entire religion. There are still comments here (and made elsewhere) that make MSA’s point for them: “disgusting religion”; “shameless”; “lil miss jihadist” (or, at the other end of the spectrum: “sheeplike,” “passive”). Smearing an undergraduate student, via her father, no less, is beneath contempt–though, again, it helpfully makes the context of MSA’s concern clear. “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do.” (Anne Lamott)

  • Alum’10

    Fascinatingly, while the MSA gets lambasted for simply writing an email to fellow students stating only their disappointment (no protests, no call for Hirsi Ali to not speak), and while the Buckley Program makes wild claims about defending itself against the enemies of free speech and states promoting “intellectual diversity” is its mission, here is what the Buckley program’s founder and executive director, Lauren Noble ’11, had to say in the New Haven Register just a few weeks back with regards to a New Haven Public Library staffer giving a small talk on Thomas Piketty’s widely acclaimed masterpiece “Capital” :

    “I do not contest that inequality is real, but I do question the intellectual credibility of a Communist Party booster like Mr. Perlo. This affiliation makes it clear that he can add history expert to his list of non-certifications. He and his comrades would do well to read up on the Soviet Union and the millions it counts among its victims.
    While I am sure the New Haven Free Public Library has many resources on the violence committed by communism in the 20th century, the actions of library staff seem to suggest they may be unaware of them. Mr. Perlo noted in his talk that he was invited to speak. While the library is a public place and I do not challenge his freedom of speech, as an institution funded with taxpayer dollars, the library exhibited questionable judgment in inviting him in the first place. Instead of advancing real debate and thoughtful discussion, the organizers gave a platform to a political activist of a discredited and destructive ideology.”

    Talk about respecting intellectual diversity and freedom of speech! Lauren Noble really knows how to channel her inner McCarthy and put the most dangerous elements in society in their place!

    FURTHER illustrating the extraordinary lack of integrity and extreme hypocrisy of Lauren Noble and the Buckley Program, when I posted the above quote on the Buckley Program facebook page, it was deleted within hours and i was banned entirely from the page. When I posted it as a review of the page, the option to review the page was removed entirely.

    In contrast, the Yale MSA facebook page has allowed EVERY SINGLE one of the dozens and dozens of absolutely vile, racist, violent comments coming from the supporters of the Buckley Program, and has allowed all empty one-star reviews to remain. The comments are too vulgar to be reposted here — I encourage you to go read some of the filth to get a sense of who the Buckley Program and Lauren Noble fine their strongest support from.

  • phil

    The belief that Islam is the true religion and that Judaism and Christianity are false religions is a basic tenet of Islamic faith worldwide. The belief that Islam can and must rule the world is shared by many millions of Muslims. The belief that militant jihad is a legitimate tool for achieving Islamic supremacy over the world is anchored in Islamic history and the biography of Mohammed. The belief that a Muslim must mete out the revenge of Allah against every infidel that dares to lift his hand against a Muslim is a natural part of Islam. The belief that “Islamic State”, the goal of the entire mission, reflects the real, pure and original Islam is shared by millions of Muslim worldwide.

    Anyone who thinks that destroying “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria will solve the problem had better think again, because the problem is not this or that organization or country. The problem is the ideology that today motivates one and half billion people who believe that the “religion of Allah is Islam” (Qu’ran chap.53, v.19). This ideology will not be eliminated even if we get rid of the jihadists in Iraq and Syria down to the last man. Their followers are to be found in most parts of the world and that world must be prepared to change the rules of the game, otherwise it will find itself putting out fires instead of apprehending the pyromaniacs.

    • PaulStPaul

      It would be good to go against their ideology by simply insisting that they have NO right to impose their ideology on others. “By nature all men (people) are created equally free and independent”. (This has been nearly extinguished in the U.S.) Recall when critics of the previous U.S. admin. were confronted and they tried to suggest that their patriotism was being questioned? And the response was no, we do NOT question your patriotism but rather your judgment. (Nobody wants their patriotism called into question as no one wants their religion called into question.)

    • Veronica

      You have a deeply flawed understanding of Islam.

      • phil

        Kindly point out the ‘flaws’ of my comment and we will see whose understanding of Islam is ‘flawed.’

        • Veronica

          It is not a basic tenet of Islamic faith worldwide that christianity and judaism are ‘false’ religions. Like people who practice any other faith, Muslims believe that Islam is what they should be practicing. I can’t walk down a city block without having a Christian give me a pamphlet saying that I need to convert to christianity and can only find happiness with Jesus in my life–so even if you’re trying to call this a tenet, there are clear parallels in other faiths.

          “The belief that militant jihad is a legitimate tool for achieving Islamic supremacy over the world is anchored in Islamic history and the biography of Mohammed.” This is blatantly incorrect, no non-radical Muslim thinks that jihad is a tool for achieving Muslim supremacy. Not all Muslims are trying to achieve ‘supremacy’–I’m not sure where you picked up that notion. How about instead of scanning the Koran for Jihad, scan the Koran for passages about other people of the book, i.e. people who are Jewish or Christian. The Koran says that all humans must live balanced and moral lives. And that when it comes time for judgement day, that all people of the book shall go to heaven. You can’t tell me the Koran does not say this–it does. So if supremacy is the goal, why would non-Muslims be ‘allowed’ to enter paradise?

          “The belief that a Muslim must mete out the revenge of Allah against every infidel that dares to lift his hand against a Muslim is a natural part of Islam” What about this is natural?? I’m not sure what this means? But no Muslim has to “mete out the revenge of Allah”

          “Anyone who thinks that destroying “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria will solve the problem had better think again”

          Again, your understanding of what Islam is deeply flawed. You are conflating two separate issues. ISIS is not representative if Islam–don’t make it so. Let history teach you the dangers of generalization.

          “Their followers are to be found in most parts of the world and that world must be prepared to change the rules of the game, otherwise it will find itself putting out fires instead of apprehending the pyromaniacs”

          What exactly are you claiming here? Are you waging a war against all 1.6 billion Muslims? Again, I can’t believe I have to explain this to an adult, you can’t let the actions of a few represent an entire faith, especially one with such a large following. Every group has their crazies. Should I think that all white men are going to shoot up elementary schools? No because I am not judging a group by the actions of a few. Apply your logic to other groups/issues and I think it might be clearer what is wrong with your understanding of a religion.

          Also, I highly doubt that you took the time to read the entire Koran to pick out that nice little quote in your comment. What are your sources for this kind of information? Who taught you about the tenets of Islam? You mentioned one idea that you think is a tenet, what are the others? Where are you getting your information? I recommend you try looking at a diverse array of sources. Read some books by actual Muslim scholars. I think you’ll find them enlightening and will stop writing ignorant comments.

          • phil

            Who do you think you are dealing with, one of the many uninformed Westerners who know nothing of Islam or its theology? I have forgotten more of Islam than you will ever know. Never mind what I say, let’s read what the man who knows as much about Islamic history and theology, Bernard Lewis says…” the overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists, and traditionalists (specialists in the hadith) understood the obligation of jihad in a military sense.” Furthermore, Lewis maintains that for most of the recorded history of Islam, from the lifetime of the Mohammed onward, the word jihad
            was used in a primarily military sense.

            There’s not enough room here to list all the Qu’ran and hadith which call for militant, violent jihad against the ‘unbelievers’ like the following.

            “Fight against those who
            (1) believe not in Allah,
            (2) nor in the Last Day,
            (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger
            (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth ( Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

            This modern era spin by muslims shifting the meaning of Jihad to mean the ‘inner struggle’ is a dishonest attempt to deceive the many clueless and uneducated Westerners and deflect the historic and traditional meaning of Jihad. Although those familiar with the writings of Sayid Quttub, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ibn Tammiya are aware that these 20th century renowned muslim thinkers and writers,reaffirmed the historic meaning and application of violent Jihad against,not only ‘unbelievers’, but fellow muslims who were not their kind of muslim.

            As an ex-muslim friend of mine told me many years ago,’if intelligent people actually knew what was in the Qu’ran, they would no longer be muslim.”

          • Veronica

            Who reads holy texts and takes them literally? come on! And yes I do know who I’m dealing with, another ignorant man claiming to know the Koran because he has a handful of quotes he can throw around. You can take that somewhere else. If you’re going to quote an expert on Islam, at least quote someone who is actually Muslim, and not someone who perpetuates the ‘barbarian’ image of MENA. You have no idea who you’re dealing with.

          • phil

            So Bernard Lewis, the pre-eminent expert on all aspects of Islamic history isn’t qualified in your estimation because he isn’t muslim….Yes, I have a very good idea of whom I’m dealing with and I have no doubt any person who has been following this thread with an open, unbiased mind also has a very good idea.

          • Veronica

            this is hopeless. you think you are open minded lololololol

          • ge co

            There is no comparing Judaism or Christianity with Islam for holy texts being taken literally by the majority of its believers. Anyone arguing that fact truly knows nothing about Islam.

          • Veronica

            what makes you a credible source for information on Islam? What exactly have you learned anything about Islam? by reading books written by old white christian men?

          • Andio

            Many, too many, people read holy texts and take them seriously. The ugly results are playing out all over the world and have been for centuries. How is that a surprise to you? Further, why does an Islam expert have to be Muslim to be legitimate?

    • jon493

      “The belief that Islam is the true religion and that Judaism and Christianity are false religions is a basic tenet of Islamic faith worldwide.”

      Doesn’t every religion think every other religion is false?

  • Thorsted

    In many ways was Samuel Huntington right. it is also the west obsession with its values being universalistic that is a problem. We see people as individuals and that perception is in the “Human rights declaration”. Basically that is western family values as the late Christoffer Lasch pointed out that shall be extended to the whole world. Many muslims and asian cultures has a more collective family types were the individual is secondary to the family. When it comes to family types where Islam took root was a certain type of family – with a tribal kinship, loyalty is extended to close kin a other members of the tribe with shame and honor mentality. The same family type is found in south Italy and Corsica. There is not the values of a civil society that can make working modern institutions and democracy. Alexis de Tocqueville said that; ” the culture is the mother and the institutions are its children “. The basis for western order in the world is not there because the “mother is not there” South Italy has a chronic problem and might be a picture of a “secular” muslim world future.

  • Observerandthinker

    Islam means “submission”.
    Can they make it any clearer?

    • Veronica

      What does that make clear?

      • ge co

        You ask some very foolish questions. If you don’t understand what submission means in the context of this discussion you’re paddling your boat with one oar.

        • Veronica

          You are making foolish points.

          • Deanjay1961

            Because Christians don’t believe in submitting to God, eh?

        • Veronica

          and your foolish points are perpetuating a dangerous image of all Muslims that is untrue

  • Joan Shostak

    The father of the head of the MSA has made statements approving of suicide murderers. Is that grounds to make many on campus “uncomfortable” and call for his being prevented from visiting?

  • NatsMan1

    Islam must be reformed and brought into the 21st century.