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April 18, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 18, 2014 By Sean Savage After facing growing pres- sure from faculty members, students, and an outside Muslim advocacy group, Brandeis University said that it is rescinding its decision to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a women's rights activist and critic of Islam, over her "past state- ments that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values." But in light of the school's past decisions to honor American playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner and South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, who have both made anti-Israel or anti-Semitic remarks, some are now accusing Brandeis of applying a double standard over the move to rescind Hirsi Ali's honor for her remarks on Islam. In a 2004 interview with Haaretz, Kushner called the creation of Israel a "mistake." Yet in 2006, former Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz defended Kushner's honor- ary degree, saying, "Just as Brandeis does not inquire into the political opinions and beliefs of faculty or staffbefore appointing them, or students before offering admission, so too the university does not select honorary degree re- cipients on the basis of their political beliefs or opinions." At the time, a prominent campaign led by the Zionist Organization of America and other Jewish groups called on Brandeis to pull Kushner's honor, to no avail. "That Brandeis with- stood Zionist unhappiness in 2006, andwent ahead to award an honorary degree to Tony Kushner, points to who today really has power in the United States--and even in the Jew- ish community," Middle East Forum President Dr. Daniel Pipes, whose daughter at- tended Brandeis, told Born in Somalia to a strict Muslim family and raised in Kenya, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female genital mutilation, abuse, and an arranged marriage. She fled to the Netherlands in the early 1990s. After renouncing her Mus- lim faith, Hirsi Ali became an outspoken proponent of women's rights, especially in the Muslim world, and a staunch critic of Islam, which she views as being at war with the West. She also served as a member of the Dutch par- liament from 2003 to 2006, founded the AHA Foundation to protectwomen's rights, and is now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conser- vative think tank. Daniel Maei, a junior at Brandeis University and co- founder of Brandeis Students for Accuracy about Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, said he is "appalled by the hypocrisy of the university administration and their inability to distin- guish between [Hirsi Ali's] view on Islam and her efforts in this world." "This highlights [Brandeis's] shallow com- mitment to [its slogan] 'Truth, even unto its innermost parts,' which has been replaced with the empty buzzword 'social justice,'" Mael told In a statement Hirsi Ali said, "The 'spirit of free ex- pression' referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of pre- venting me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my crit- ics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced." Hirsi Ali has been accused of Islamophobia for calling Islam a "backwards religion" and a "destructive nihilistic cult of death" that legitimizes murder. Pressure against her honorary degree had mounted from Brandeis fac- ulty members and students, as well as from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). More than 85 out of 350 professors at Brandeis wrote to university President Frederick Lawrence, and students launched a petition that garnered nearly 7,000 sig- natures, urging the university to rescind Hirsi Ali's award. Middle East Forum's Pipes accused Brandeis of capitulat- ing to "Islamist pressure." "Hirsi Ali's body of work is well known, so for the Brandeis administration, after it had decided to grant her an honorary degree, to say that it only latterly discovered her views is disingenuous. Clearly, Brandeis capitulated to Islamist pressure, spear- headed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization founded by Islamic terrorists," Pipes said. In a letter to Lawrence, the CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said that honoring Ali is "equiva- lent to promoting the work of white supremacists and anti-Semites," and called on the university to rescind the honorary degree. But CAIR, which claims to be America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, has come un- der fire in the past for its ties Source International Students' Committee via Wikimedia Commons Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks at the May 2011 St. Gallen Sym- posium at the University of St. GaUen in Switzerland. to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation, as well as for being a platform for "conspiratorial Israel-bashers and outright anti-Semites," according to the Anti-Defa- mation League. Hirsi Ali said her critics "have long specialized in selective quotation--lines from interviews taken out of context--designed to misrep- resent me and my work." "For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called 'honor killings,' and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating," she said. "Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way." Asked about the decision to rescind Hirsi Ali's honor, Brandeis told that it did not wish to comment beyond the online statement it issued to announce the de- cision. In that statement, the university claimed its decision was reached after a discussion Brandeis on page 15A S '7 ~By Ron Kampeas ~' WASHINGTON (JTA)-- The suspect in deadly shoot- ings at two Jewish institutions in suburban Kansas City made no secret of his hateful views, but nobody anticipated the at- tack that claimed three lives on April 13. The shooter was identified as Frazier Glenn Miller, a 73-year-old white suprema- cist. The attack illustrates the dilemmaofhow best to protect Jewish institutions from the threat of deadly violence by extremists acting alone. "Lone wolves are really by far the most dangerous phenomenon. They are vastly more difficult to stop in ad- vance of their actions," said Mark Potok, the publications director for the Southern Pov- erty Law Center. "You can't simply follow around all the people in the United States who have noxious views." Vigilance on the part of communal institutions is key, said Paul Goldenberg, who di- rects the Secure Community Network, the security arm of national Jewish groups. "The only way is to stop the lone wolf is prevention and hardening a soft target," Goldenberg said. Miller, who was scheduled to appear in court on April 14, is suspected of killing a man and his grandson on Sunday in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Cen- ter of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., and then shooting to death a woman at Village Shalom, a Jewish assisted-living facility a few blocks away, where she was visiting her mother. After Miller was placed in a police vehicle, he was heard to yell "heil Hitler." The family of the victims killed at the JCC were William Lewis Corporon, a retired physician, and his r l4-year- old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood. Corporon and Underwood, members of an area Methodist church, were hit by bullets as they were in a car. Underwood, an aspiring singer, was at the JCC for a talent show, family told local media. "My son and I were walking into the Jewish Community Center this afternoon for an umpire clinic, around the west side, and all of the sudden we heard a gunshot, a pretty loud gunshot," Mike Metcalf, an area resident, told Fox News. "I turned to look to my right and I can see a man standing outside a car with a shotgun, what to me looked like a shot- gun, and there was somebody laying on the ground." AJCC member, Mark Brod- ky, told a KSHB photographer that the gunman shot the windows out of his car after pointing the gun at him. The third victim, Terri La- Manno, a Catholic mother of two, was killed in the Village Shalom parking lot. This was not the first time a JCC has been targeted by a lone gunman. In 2006, Naveed Afzal Haq, motivated by anti-Israel views, killed one woman and wounded five others when he attacked the Seattle Jewish Federation building. In 1999, white: supremacist Buford Furrow vaounded five people, includintg three chil- dren, when he opened fire on the North Valley Jewish Com- munity Center in suburban Los Angeles and shortly after killed a mail carrier. The Southern Poverty Law Center was the first to iden- tify the gunman as Miller, of Aurora, Mo. The center said he was the grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s and subsequently a founder of the White Patriot Party, and served three years in prison on weapons charges and for plotting the assassination of its founder, Morris Dees. Miller had not been in- volved in criminal activity for decades, but he kept his views known and publicized them avidly. He maintained a website, (for "whitey") and posted links to his media appearances, including one on a black radio show. In 2012, he appeared on a panel of extremists organized by a professor at Missouri State University and reveled in the encounter. In a post on the Vanguard News Network, a white supremacist site, he de- scribed sparring with Jewish students from the audience, whom he described as "two kikes." Mark Pitcavage, the direc- tor of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League, said lone wolves tend to operate on the margins of extremist communities, which makes it harder to detect when they may be plotting actions. This was true of Miller, who had alien- ated much of the movement in the 1980s when he had his sentence reduced in exchange for testifying against co- conspirators. Pitcavage said monitors can sometimes detect planning for violence, as extremists often will report in online forums private exchanges with individuals seeking co- conspirators for a violent act. "When we see extremists start warning other extrem- ists about someone, we pay attention," he said. "The way the vine works, they think 'he's a government plant who's trying to get me in trouble.' They have a skewed Shootings on page 15A Si By Joshua Levitt (The Algemeiner)--Alum- ni of Vassar College, an elite, liberal arts school in Pough- keepsie, N. Y., struck back against the rising anti-Israel tide on campus, protesting in a widely-read letter to the campus newspaper against recent moves by a group of faculty and students to vilify the Jewish state and intimi- date pro-Israel voices. The open letter, initially signed by 66 alums, was print- ed by the Miscellany News, the campus newspaper of record since 1866, and quickly at- tracted dozens of comments from alums worldwide who agreed with the content of their protest. In their letter, the alum- ni said that "faculty and student supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel have hijacked campus discourse and im- posed an anti-intellectual atmosphere in which profes- sors are ranting activists, not scholars, and students who disagree with the prevailing 'progressive' ideology are intimidated into a deafening silence." They said that their letter was "submitted on behalf of Fairness to Israel, a growing group of Vassar alumni, par- ents of Vassar students, and others, who are deeply con- cerned with this sorry state of affairs. We will vigorously support Vassar's president in her efforts to restore sanity, tolerance and civil dialogue to campus." The alumni said they were responding to a letter, published a month earlier and signed by 39 school faculty, who were protesting the decision by Vassar College President Catharine Hill to condemn the December vote by theAmerican StudiesAsso- ciation to approve a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, a move that was condemned by over 250 universities in the weeks following the decision. In the faculty letter, headlined 'Open letter in defense of academic freedom in Palestine/Israel and in the United States,' they threw the academic freedom charges back at the school administration, saying they had to "dissent because, rather than upholding the principle of academic free- dom in its most expansive sense, their condemna- tory statement could have a chilling effect on the free exchange of ideas and opinions on our campus and across the broader society." The faculty claimed that the world was ignoring the Arab fight for "self-determination, freedom, and basic human rights" in Israel. "While Pal- estinians have been fighting for their freedom since their dispossession in 1948, the world has remained largely silent with regard to this humanitarian crisis." The alumni responded to the content of the fac- ulty letter, which they said "constitutes propaganda against the Jewish state. Whether intended or not, it shows a blatant bias against Israel, a glaring attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state and yes, outright anti- Semitism." "Our group, Fairness to Israel, supports academic freedom in the true sense of the term -- the freedom of all sides to present their views and the facts that support them, and to honestly and open-mindedly discuss con- tentious issues," the alumni wrote. "We oppose academic freedom that is really aca- demic brainwashing, where students are exposed only to the views of activists posing as professors, who pretend there is a 'chilling' of their speech when the only chilling is of voices that dissent from their anti-Israel agenda. The latter type of 'academic freedom' is a disgraceful misnomer unworthy of Vassar's great traditions."