On the Facebook page demanding Brandeis University rescind an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali — the Somali-born activist who brought attention to the barbaric practices against women within Islamic fundamentalism, such as honor killings and female genital mutilation — commenters are reminded, “We expect tolerance of anyone who comments/participates with this page.”
That tolerance does not extend to victims of Islamic oppression. Ali was subjected to genital mutilation as a young girl and has received numerous death threats since renouncing her faith. This, of course, makes her an Islamophobe, according to Brandeis’ ironically named student newspaper, The Justice.
Not surprisingly the university’s administration caved to the indignation council’s demands. It’s part of a growing trend on college campuses to suppress anything that might offend the traditionally oppressed. As Michelle Goldberg writes in The Nation,
It’s increasingly clear that we are entering a new era of political correctness. Recently, we’ve seen the calls to #CancelColbert because of something outrageous said by Stephen Colbert’s blowhard alter ego, who has been saying outrageous things regularly for nine years. Then there’s the sudden demand for “trigger warnings” on college syllabi, meant to protect students from encountering ideas or images that may traumatize them; an Oberlin faculty document even suggests jettisoning “triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.” At Wellesley, students have petitioned to have an outdoor statue of a lifelike sleepwalking man removed because it was causing them “undue stress.” As I wrote in The Nation, there’s pressure in some circles not to use the word “vagina” in connection with reproductive rights, lest it offend trans people.
Instead of influencing converts and changing the world, the anti-liberal left seems more focused on “creating protected enclaves and policing speech,” Goldberg writes.
Just listen to Suey Park, the humorless brat who started the #CancelColbert movement. Her goal: “to dismantle the state,” one petty grievance at a time.