Neglectful Editorial

The editorial “The knockout of Ali” (April 18) states that Brandeis University made the right decision and could have avoided the contretemps just by doing due diligence before inviting [outspoken critic of Islam] Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was clearly unacceptable. It suggests falsely that Daniel Pipes [also an outspoken critic of Islam] and Ali are at odds, that only the “right” protested the disinvitation and ignored Brandeis’ history of inviting anti-Israel honorees.

It makes no mention that Ali has been under a death threat since 2004, when the murderer of Theodoor Van Gogh [a Dutch film producer/director who worked with Ali to produce “Submission,” a movie that criticized the treatment of women in Islam] wrote on a note attached to Van Gogh’s chest with a butcher knife that Ali would be next.

The editorial also neglects to mention that CAMERA just honored her at its April meeting, but then the Baltimore Jewish Times probably considers CAMERA one of those right-wingers.

Jeff Levin


  1. truth-teller says

    It is Jeff Levin, not the Jewish Times , who has failed to exercise due diligence (Your Say, May 8) with regard to the Brandeis- Ayaan Hirsi Ali imbroglio (“Knockout of Ali” editorial).

    Ms. Ali’s stand on numerous feminist issues is laudable, but her roundhouse criticism of Islam is bogus. Her cause celebre is female genital mutilation (fgm), of which she herself was a victim. But that abominable practice is, unfortunately, common in the part of Africa from which she hails. She blames fgm on Islam. But in doing so, she conflates local custom with Islamic law (as do, stupidly, even some Muslim clergy). Local custom may dictate fgm, but Shari’a categorically does not. Indeed, in her home country of Somalia, it is practiced by both Muslims AND Christians. And, in Ethiopia, by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    Dare I say: Ms. Ali’s equating fgm with Islam, is like the Satmars’ equating halacha with their practice of forbidding women from driving; or the Haredi claim to be devout followers of unchanging tradition (”Mesora”) while dressing in the mortician-chic black garb of 18th and 19th century gentile European origin – rather than donning, say, the more authentic Middle Eastern kaftan and kaffiyeh presumably favored by the Biblical patriarchs, Moses and the prophets.

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