speech

A video released Thursday of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s recent speech at Yale University included a shocking revelation from the global women’s rights activist and outspoken critic of Islam: At one point in her young life she considered herself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

She couched this admission in a much larger explanation of how and why radical Islam is oppressive and breeds violence, and to explain how she knows personally that it does.

She’s been accused of being angry at Islam. She’s been accused of not being an expert on Islam. She’s been accused of not understanding Islam.

But in her speech that the Yale Muslim Student Association didn’t want her to give, she delves into her Islamic credentials and exposes what she calls “the cancer” of Islam:

Why is my experience relevant? Is it because I was raised a Muslim? Is it because I was married off or had my genitals cut? No.

Is my experience relevant because my citizenship in Holland was revoked? No. Is it because I am traumatized, because I am angry, and I decided to blame my family and my past? No. I am not angry, I have been happy for a very long time and I am not blaming anyone.

I’ll tell you why (my life experience) is relevant to what we are seeing now. I learned from my early teachers of Islam that to be a Muslim was to testify that there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger. I learned to pray five times a day. … To give alms to the poor and to attempt at least one trip to Mecca.

She goes on to say that the typical Muslim is peaceful and loving. But when she was 15, a different type of instructor came along who differed from the instructors of her youth. These new teachers created an “enlightened vanguard” of Muslim students who were taught that neglecting religious duty makes them an infidel, that their duty is to command right and forbid wrong. These teachers made students vigilantes, and she recalled one such “preacher teacher” in particular:

He preached like all the others, incessantly about hell. … He encouraged us to be relentless in enforcing the rules of Islam … for the stubborn who refused to obey and observe, we were to cut ties with them … he encouraged us to convert non-Muslims or cut ties with them. … Jihad – we were to wage Jihad for the sake of Islam. Martyrdom, the best thing to ever happen to us was to die while fighting for Allah. We were to strive for the establishment of Sharia law in our society and beyond … be suspicious of Christians if they refused to convert to Islam … and aspire to destroy the Jews, all Jews, not only the ones in Israel. The preacher teacher would rant against gays, they were to be hanged, and women were to know their place … their place was at home (and they were to) sacrifice everything, even life and the lives of their children for the sake of Allah. … We were supposed to cover ourselves from head to toe when running errands outside the home.

This process of indoctrination that I describe, that affected me, I considered myself once a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s this the process of indoctrination that I have seen from up close and personal that makes my experience relevant. It’s this process of indoctrination that is overlooked. We focus on the Jihad, the violence, but we ignore the Dahoa, we ignore the years and years and years of preaching.

Dahoa in the West is protected under religious freedom, but Jihad is not. We have to rethink that. Dahoa leads to intolerance, and eventually violence. This preaching teacher … is the cancer … this preaching teacher is active in our communities here in the United States and in the U.K., and in Europe and the rest of the world. This preaching teacher is embedded in homes, streets, neighborhoods, schools, colleges and mosques and Muslim centers. … His goals are clear, and he’ll use any and all means necessary to indoctrinate young and impressionable minds with the creed of Jihad.

Watch the video:

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Just as former Vice President Al Gore did recently at Princeton, president Obama chose to focus on the issue of global warming in his commencement address at the University of California, Irvine, calling those who question the scientific evidence for man-made global warming a “radical fringe” who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

“The question is not whether we need to act” on climate change, Obama said. “The overwhelming judgment of science, accumulated and measured and reviewed over decades, has put that question to rest. The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late.”

The speech and creation of the fund follow Obama’s announcement earlier this month of plans to cut power-plant emissions, the nation’s largest source of carbon dioxide, by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

“When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it,” Obama said. “But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anyone saying the moon wasn’t there, or that it was made of cheese.”

Full story here.

(Image: PeteSouza.WhiteHouse)

(Via Drudge)

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John Daniel Davidson writes for The Federalist on why novelist David Foster Wallace’s famous commencement speech wouldn’t sit well with today’s dogmatic student activists:

In a now-famous commencement speech delivered nearly a decade ago at Kenyon College, the late novelist David Foster Wallace unpacked the old cliché that a liberal arts education isn’t about teaching you what to think but teaching you how to think. Wallace said the cliché is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: “learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

We have to do this, he said, because it’s the only way to get free of our “natural, hard-wired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.” Throughout the speech, Wallace evinced an almost Roman Catholic understanding of human nature and the way that passively moving through life on our “default setting” can leave us “uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.”

The danger in such profound isolation is that it warps our perception of reality. Specifically, Wallace cautioned against a kind of selfish, arrogant intellectual dogmatism that takes the form of “blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”

Read the full article here.

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Former U.S. president Bill Clinton is scheduled to deliver a commencement address to students of NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus. NYU’s decision to open a campus in Abu Dhabi, located within the United Arab Emirates, where many freedoms and basic human rights that westerners take for granted don’t exist, was controversial to say the least.

If you are wondering why “New York” University has a campus half way around the world in the middle east, it may help you to understand that the government of Abu Dhabi contributed tens of millions to NYU’s coffers. Selling your academic brand abroad can be lucrative business.

The United Arab Emirates has a long list of abuses according to Human Rights Watch, including jailing political dissidents, criminalizing political speech, torturing prisoners, and denying women basic legal rights.

Clearly there’s a problem here: How does a western university built on the notion that the free exchange of ideas is sacred, operate a campus in an oppressive nation where basic free speech rights are not guaranteed and political corruption is rampant?

Shortly after NYU opened its Abu Dhabi campus, I wrote the following at National Review Online:

By leasing out their names, academic prestige and credibility to some of the most repressive governments in the world, our leading universities are showing that they place ultimate value not on the principles of liberty or the free expression of ideas, but on corporate-style expansionism, power, and the almighty dollar.

The morally suspect nature of the whole operation is made all the more stark by the presence of Bill Clinton at this year’s commencement. The former U.S. president will address a graduating class of 140 and their families.

That’s right. The former leader of the free world with fly across the world to it’s less-than-free nether regions all for the purpose of talking to 140 kids. That’s quite a commitment for a guy in Clinton’s position. Makes me wonder how much oil money the sheiks of the United Arab Emirates are throwing at him. $200,000? $500,000? $1,000,000?

Clinton, who makes tens of millions of dollars every year from paid speeches, earned $500,000 for a speech he delivered in Abu Dhabi in 2011. Stands to reason he’s getting that much or more this time around.

So what you got is a little pet university, funded by untold millions from the corrupt government of the UAE, rubber stamped by NYU, inc, and further legitimized by a fly-in pay day for Clinton where he will talk to a small room full of students, no doubt, about the importance of integrity, liberty, accountability, and all the other characteristics epitomized by his political career and by the cadre of oil barons who rule the UAE with absolute authority.

If you follow the money, it all makes sense.

Then again, if you genuinely care about human rights, maybe the NYU/Bill Clinton/Abu Dhabi partnerthip doesn’t make any sense at all.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: bootbearwdc.Wikimedia Commons)

How do you improve a nation? Do you start by amending its laws? Not so, according to our nation’s most famous conservative jurist.

A nation’s character is a reflection of its citizens’ character, more so than its laws.

During a recent speech before the Baton Rouge chapter of the Federalist Society, a national organization of conservative lawyers and law students, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia addressed topics ranging from Duck Dynasty to Obamacare. But perhaps his most poignant remark had to do with the character of our nation’s citizens:

“To the extent that the country is in a downward spiral, Scalia said, “it’s not because of the law, it’s because of the people. You can’t have a good country without good people. I fear we have lost some of the virtues that characterized Americans in the past.”

Read more of Scalia’s remarks here.

A little over a week ago, NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly visited Brown University to speak about his efforts to reduce crime in the Big Apple. Efforts that have been remarkably successful by most any measure, with drastic reductions in violent crime across the city.

How did Kelly do it? That’s what, presumably, most students in the audience at Brown wanted to know. However, thanks to a group of rowdy leftists protestors who made a point of shouting Kelly down repeatedly until the event had to be cancelled, no one in the audience heard a word from Kelly.

Just take a look at the video clip below, and look at the sheep-like actions of these misguided students, reading their “protests” off of note cards because–obviously–they didn’t know enough about what it was they were protesting to be able to do it without the aid of a written note. Such a knockout combination of ignorance and arrogance can be found perhaps nowhere else other than the halls of our nation’s elite universities–chock full of wealthy liberal kids who have never dealt with the threat of urban crime for a second of their lives, yet are convinced that they are champions of justice.

 

Over at Minding the Campus, Heather MacDonald analyzes the awful spectacle above with laser-like precision:

Kelly had come to Brown to talk about the New York Police Department’s unmatched success in lowering New York’s crime rate.  The students, however, heckled him off the stage, shouting that Kelly had “institute[ed] systemic racism” in the city through the NYPD’s contested stop, question, and frisk tactics.

The protesters of course take for granted that they can go about blithely squandering their parents’ tuition money at Brown without fear of getting shot, robbed, or raped.  Nor do they have to navigate through a gauntlet of drug dealers on their way to the store or while picking up their mail.  Residents of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods by contrast endured just such constant fear and disorder until the NYPD embraced proactive policing and other revolutionary reforms in the early 1990s, reforms which Kelly perfected.  When every criminologist predicted that the NYPD’s 1990s crime drop had bottomed out, Kelly drove crime down another 31%, in the process saving another 5000 minority lives.

The Brown students have zero understanding of the massive disproportionality in crime commission in New York and other American cities… The police focus on minority neighborhoods in order to protect the many law-abiding residents there; if the police ignored those areas, only then could they rightly be accused of racism…

The Brown protesters disgraced themselves and their school in silencing a selfless public servant who has done more in twelve years for New York’s poorest neighborhoods than decades of the big government redistribution programs that the Brown hecklers most certainly support…

Read MacDonald’s full commentary here.

A critical point here is that the display of close-mindedness and self-righteousness put forward by the students at Brown is about more than this one issue of policing New York. Rather, that close-mindedness points us to the underlying problem of liberal bias on campus. Because students go through four years of education without having their far left political views challenged even once, it’s no wonder that they end up unable to think clearly, critically, or for themselves. If there’s an opposing viewpoint out there, they don’t want to hear it. They are interested only in the cliches of class warfare and racial grievance.

After years of elite education, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition, they end up shouting words off of a note card with a black power fist held weakly in the air.

These days, that’s what they call an Ivy League education.