The sultan recently imposed Sharia on the citizens of this small country in Southeast Asia with a population of less than 500,000. The law includes the punishment of death for any who engages in the "crime" of homosexuality or adultery. Jay Leno, one of the celebrities attending a rally in front of the hotel, said: "It's people being stoned to death. Hello!"
Meanwhile, Bill Maher, another member of the almost-all-Hollywood left, discussed the kidnapping of mostly Christian Nigerian schoolgirls by a radical Muslim group. But, Maher added, "There's no mention here of connecting this to the religion, which is always what I am seeking to do because I think that's the elephant in the room." Maher, unlike the Hollywood lefties protesting the hotel, insists Islam itself, not merely Sharia, is the issue.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born critic of Islam. She, too, argues that Islam itself mandates a second-class status for women. She restricts her objection not to Sharia, but also Islam itself. She thinks reform may be possible, but receives death threats and is the subject of a Fatwa -- a religious decree that, in her case, commands that she be killed.
Hirsi Ali was recently invited to speak at Brandeis University, where she would receive an honorary degree. But after Hirsi Ali received the invitation, the Council on Arab Islamic Relations sent Brandeis a list of "offensive" things Hirsi Ali said about Islam. Brandeis retracted her invitation. The University called some of Hirsi Ali's opinions "inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values."
Brandeis had no problem bestowing an honorary degree on playwright Tony Kushner, who admits he has "a problem with the idea of a Jewish state." And Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke at Brandeis despite having characterized Israel as an "apartheid state." Brandeis' tolerance of a variety of opinion, apparently, doesn't apply to those critical of Islam.