For what "core values" is Brandeis protecting? Denial. Orthodoxy. Cant. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, writing in The Jewish Press, excerpted Facebook comments by Bernadette Brooten, a Brandeis professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, in which Brooten described the anti-Hirsi-Ali letter she and 85 other Brandeis professors signed. "We stressed that we recognize the harm of female genital cutting, forced marriages, and honor killings, but that this selection obscures the violence against women that happens among non-Muslims, including on our own campus," Brooten wrote. "I recognize the harm of gendered violence wherever it occurs, and I applaud the hard, effective work of many Muslims who are working to oppose it in their own communities."
Whether Brandeis counts as a hotbed of "gendered violence" aside (let alone the predominantly Islamic phenomena of female genital mutilation, forced marriages and honor killings), Brooten has underscored the source of animus against Hirsi Ali. Her "selection" for university honors "obscures" non-Muslim violence against women, Brooten writes, but what I think disturbs the professors more is what Hirsi Ali has done -- what her whole life experience signifies -- to highlight the violence against women and children that is legitimized and inspired by specifically and authoritatively Islamic sources. Thanks in part to Brandeis, such sources are increasingly relegated to the list of post-9/11 taboos.
Never say Islam has anything to do with terrorism. Don't ever, ever draw a cartoon of Mohammed. Oppose "gendered violence" (there's no such thing as Islamic-rooted violence against women). Ostracize or humiliate "apostates" like Hirsi Ali (at least until real Islamic apostasy law becomes applicable here). In other words, protect, coddle and swathe Islam from the barbs and scrutiny that all other religions receive -- or else. Or else what? Citizens might decide to halt Islamic immigration or "refugee resettlement" because it brings Islamic law to the West.
Then again, those laws are already here -- and in force at Brandeis.