The Muslim Students Association at Yale University has written a letter expressing concern that the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program on campus is hosting women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak about Islam. The Somali-born Hirsi Ali is an outspoken critic of organized religion, specifically Islam, which was used as justification for genital mutilation and attempting forced marriage.
In an email obtained exclusively by TruthRevolt, Abrar Omeish, an MSA board member, asks for campus organizations to stand against Hirsi Ali’s proposed talk. Hirsi Ali is “a speaker who is very well known for her hateful comments towards marginalized groups, especially the Muslim community. It is making many Muslims on campus feel unwelcome and uncomfortable,” she wrote.
“We would like to point out though that her main source of fame - or, rather, infamy - has been her inflammatory comments about Islam and its followers. Not only are these comments hateful, but they are also very hurtful to the Muslim community, particularly to Muslim students at Yale,” she continued.
Through its efforts, the MSA managed to recruit 35 other campus groups and student organizations to stand against Hirsi Ali's talk because she "is being invited to speak as an authority on Islam despite the fact that she does not hold the credentials to do so." Hirsi Ali is scheduled to to give a lecture titled “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West” on Monday September 15th.
Hirsi Ali, a best-selling author, drew national attention when Brandeis University infamously rescinded a previously-extended offer of an honorary degree this past April.
Omeish also privately noted that a “ number of prominent groups and publications on campus especially those of faith, have joined, and as brothers and sisters in faith we would particularly appreciate solidarity with you against hatred that we both believe God does not teach us to promote.”
In the letter, the groups wrote that "The comments Ms. Hirsi Ali has made on Islam have been classified as hate speech and have been considered unprotected libel and slander. She has been condemned for them by national organizations and universities. The Muslim community and its allies are disappointed that our own fellow Yalies would invite such a speaker knowingly and that she would have such a platform in our home."
Cosigners to the letter include: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), J Street U, The Arab Students Association (ASA), Women’s Leadership Initative (WLI), The Women’s Center, Asian American Student Alliance (AASA), Black Church at Yale (BCAY), The Slifka Center, Council on Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), and the Yale Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA).