Degrees of separation: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brandeis

Today, Brandeis University announced that it was reversing its decision to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, following complaints from faculty, an online petition, and pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which represents nobody but is flush with Saudi cash. The biases of the academy are well known: Robert Spencer is in no danger of getting an honorary degree any time soon, nor Douglas Murray. Nevertheless, in this instance, Brandeis University is stiffing someone who’s black, feminist and from Somalia. Which makes their decision the most explicit recognition yet that, in the hierarchy of identity-group politics, Islam trumps everything, including race and gender…

So getting an honorary degree at Brandeis, like serving on the board at Mozilla, is open only to those who make sure they never cross the Conformity Enforcers. And apostates to Islam, as Ayaan is regarded, must accept that they are apostates to American campus conformity, too, and be prepared to lead a life without the consolations of honorary degrees. Accepting the loss of A-list commencement gigs doesn’t take a lot of courage, but it still takes more than Frederick Lawrence has displayed. And ultimately, as I said re Brandon Eich, such a land will be bloody boring – and a society in decline.