By Dom Giordano
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked with Jacob Bender, the Executive Director from the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Thursday, April 10, on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about Brandeis University in Massachusetts withdrawing the offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Ali, a former member of the Dutch Parliament and a women’s rights activist has routinely criticized Islam.
Bender believes her extreme views about the religion rightfully disqualify her from receiving the award.
“She has said such things as’ there is no moderate Islam, we are at war with Islam, Islam should be defeated.’ If somebody had said this about another religion, I doubt Brandeis would’ve invited them.”
He believes Ali falsely attributes disturbing cultural practices to Islam where he insists they do not exist.
“She makes a connection between abuse of women and the religion of Islam, which is something we oppose because we say that connection is not there. CAIR, like her, and true supporters of women’s rights are against female genital mutilations, are against honor killings, are against forced marriages. None of these things flow automatically from Islamic tradition.”
While Bender and CAIR disagree with the statements Ali routinely makes, their issue is more with the University than with her.
“We have no objection to her exercising her free speech rights, being in America, but we object to a great institution like Brandeis conferring an award on her.”
He insists that if Brandeis had been more diligent in their selection process, this controversy may have been avoided.
“If they had contacted us previously or had done a minimal search on Google, they would’ve seen her whole record of Islamaphobic, bigoted statements and then they would’ve had the opportunity and the knowledge to make a reasonable decision.”