Category Archive 'William F. Buckley Jr. Program'

15 Sep 2014

Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Speak at Yale

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Hopefully she will be allowed to speak this evening at Yale, but you shouldn’t count on that.

The Muslim Student Association at Yale and 35 other groups signed a letter objecting to Ayan Hirsi Ali being invited to speak at Yale tonight.

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. …

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).


The Yale Daily News reports that Mr. Omeish and the AMA were demanding to limit the topics Hirsi Ali could address and wanted their own speaker included in the program to rebut her remarks.

[Abrar] Omeish [’17] said that the group and their Islamic values uphold freedom of speech.

“The difference here is that it’s hate speech, [which] under the law would be classified as libel or slander and is not protected by the First Amendment. That’s what we’re trying to condemn here.”

After becoming aware of the Buckley Program’s plan to bring Hirsi Ali to campus, Omeish met with [Buckley Program president Rich] Lizardo [’15] last week to discuss Hirsi Ali’s speaking engagement and the MSA’s requests. According to Omeish, the MSA never intended to disinvite Hirsi Ali, but instead requested the invitation of a second speaker with academic credentials on the subject. The MSA also asked that Hirsi Ali’s speech be limited to her personal experience and professional expertise.

But Lizardo responded that the Buckley Program would not adopt the MSA’s requests and would not change the format or content of the lecture.


David Gelernter (who was persuaded by the Unibomber to become openly conservative) responded yesterday with some nifty sarcasm to the Muslim students’ demands.

Your inspired suggestion, having Official Correctors speak right after Ali to remind students of the authorized view of Muslim society, is the most exciting new development in Free Speech since the Inquisition — everyone will be talking about it! You have written, with great restraint, about “how uncomfortable it will be” for your friends if this woman is allowed to speak. Uncomfortable nothing. The genital mutilation of young girls is downright revolting! Who ever authorized this topic in a speech to innocent Yale undergraduates? Next thing you know, people will be saying that some orthodox Muslim societies are the most cruel and benighted on earth and that Western societies are better than they are (better!) merely because they don’t sexually mutilate young girls! Or force them into polygamous marriages, countenance honor killings, treat women as the property of their male relations, and all that. Can’t they give it a rest? You’d think someone was genitally mutilating them.

We all know that Free Speech doesn’t mean that just anyone can stand up and start spouting. Would you let your dog talk for an hour to a Yale student audience? What’s next, inviting Dick Cheney? Careful study of contemporary documents makes it perfectly clear that when the Bill of Rights mentions Free Speech, it is alluding to Freedom of Speech for the Muslim Students Association at Yale. We all know that true free speech means freedom to shut up, especially if you disagree with your betters. And true free thought means freedom to stop thinking as soon as the official truth is announced by the proper Authorities — and freedom to wait patiently until then.

Read the whole thing.

08 Sep 2014

Not Everyone at Yale Likes Free Speech

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Helen Price’s Twitter page

Yale’s William F. Buckley Jr. Speaker Program announced recently that, in its third year of operation, it would be expanding its speaker program to host 8 speakers in the Fall semester. The most interesting guest speaker scheduled this Fall will probably be Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born victim of genital mutilation famous for her public criticism of certain Muslim practices.

The Oldest College Daily’s article, however, noted that not everyone approved of the speaker program.

Students who are not involved in the program have mixed feelings about its presence on campus — especially its conservative bent.

Helen Price ’18 said that although she appreciates the effort the program makes to promote intellectual diversity, in practice such an effort can be problematic.

“When you invite very conservative speakers here who perhaps have controversial views on Islam or homosexuality, you essentially make Yale a very uncomfortable place for a large percentage of the people here on campus, and everyone should feel at home at college,” Price said.


The freshman Ms. Price received national attention for her expressed discomfort at the airing of controversial, i.e. politically incorrect, views.

Eric Owens, at the Daily Caller, pounced all over her.

Who is Helen Price? According to her Twitter profile, she’s quite a ritzy, jet-setting princess. She describes herself as a “Yale student, leftie, Berliner, Brit, blogger” with not one and not two but three locations: ”Berlin, New Haven, England.”

She thinks incredibly highly of herself, too, let her just tell you:

    Since my last birthday I’ve got into Yale, Oxford etc, been published in the Guardian, captained my national debating team & moved to Berlin

    — Helen Price (@HelenPrice1994) November 5, 2013

Her Twitter profile also includes language from a May 17, 2014 tweet she composed:

    And I’m wearing a tee that says “My Marxist Feminist Dialectic Brings All The Boys to the Yard”, so that isn’t going down well.

    — Helen Price (@HelenPrice1994) May 17, 2014

It’s not clear if Price understands how such casual mentions of Marxism might make someone — from, say, Cambodia, or North Korea, or Ukraine — “very uncomfortable.”

The young Marxist’s 15-minutes-of-fame has clearly occasioned some further discomfort as the young lady’s Twitter feed has since become “Protected,” meaning that access to her current and older tweets is now specifically limited to followers she approves.

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