Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | Ben Shapiro | Brandeis | Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Editor Ben Shapiro: Brandeis Giving in to 'Totalitarianism'

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 05:55 PM

Brandeis University's reversal of its decision to give Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree — after pressure groups claimed she is rabidly anti-Islam — is an "unsettling sign" of totalitarianism creeping into society, Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of TruthRevolt.org says.

"[It's] disgusting. The fact is that Brandeis basically said, we know more about Islam than a woman who was … genitally mutilated and has had several fatwas put on her by Muslims … so we're not going to allow her to receive an award and speak here," Shapiro told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"They, by the way, have given awards to Tony Kushner, who believes the state of Israel should not exist … to Richard Goldstone, the author of the infamous Goldstone Report implying that Israel was behind every wrong in the Middle East.

"They give awards to a wide variety of people ranging from Barbra Streisand to the rest of these folks. So, it's shocking that this is where they chose to draw the line."

On Tuesday, Brandeis, a private research university with a liberal arts focus, said it would not award an honorary degree to women's rights campaigner Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who called Islam "a destructive, nihilistic cult of death."

In a statement, the school, located in Waltham, Mass., said: "We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values."

Shapiro, who is also an editor-at-large with Breitbart.com, said Brandeis folded because of intense pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The council "wants to silence Ali. Now let's be realistic about this. Ali is an atheist. It's not like she's only anti-Islam. She thinks that monotheistic religion is problematic," Shapiro said.

"She says exactly the same things about monotheistic religion that Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins do. The only difference is she has the guts, unlike the other two, to say it about Islam itself, and that gets her in trouble with the PC left, and that means she has to be shut down.

"They're not going to give her an award. Are they allowed to do that legally? Of course. Is it a violation of the First Amendment technically? No, because it's all done privately. [But] it is an unsettling sign of a totalitarianism that has crept up in our culture...."

TruthRevolt, dedicated to holding the media accountable, has kicked off a petition to pressure Brandeis to re-invite Ali.

Shapiro said that, unfortunately, groups like the ones that pressured Brandeis, are often more organized.

"There are significantly more of us then there are of them.... We all have jobs, families, and things to do. Whereas the left, this is business to them, and they've got to make their money," he said.

And "we have an ideological aversion to using boycott tactics and pressure tactics in order to achieve our ends. Well, we're going to have to get over that aversion if we want to create what I have termed mutually assured destruction.

"The only way to get them to stop using those tactics is to [make them]... so politically unpalatable, even for the left, that everybody [would decide to] just stop using them altogether."         

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