Thursday, 10 April 2014 - 12:16
Hirsi Ali not surprised Brandeis U backed off honoray degree
Former VVD Second Chamber member Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she is not surprised that the Brandeis University in Boston had backed off from plans to grant her an honorary doctorate. "I was surprised they wanted to give me an honorary doctorate to begin with," she told Fox News. "In this country, if you insult Christians or Jews, you'll receive angry letters. And they think that if you insult Muslims there will be violent reactions. Probably that's why Brandeis decided not to give me the honorary doctorate anymore." Hirsi Ali was a member of the Second Chamber from 2003 to 2006; she was raised in a strict Muslim family, but renounced the faith and has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam. "She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women's rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world," Brandeis University's said in a statement on Wednesday. "That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values." More than 85 of about 350 faculty members at Brandeis had signed a letter asking for Hirsi Ali to be removed from the list of honorary degree recipients. And an online petition created Monday by students at the school of 5,800 had gathered thousands of signatures from inside and outside the university as of Tuesday afternoon.