Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at Yale last week, and there was mild annoyance in the press section that no screaming protesters appeared to punch up the headlines. A small group distributed leaflets to people waiting outside; inside, all was quiet.
The lack of disturb-ance was in part thanks to good planning—every seat was filled, but no standing room was allowed, and the aisles were kept clear. In the main, there was no disturbance because Ayaan Hirsi Ali is hugely admired. The hundred or more people who were turned away for lack of seats, some clutching copies ofInfidel, her autobiography, had hoped only to listen respectfully (and perhaps collect an autograph). A great international thug syndicate has told Hirsi Ali that, if she keeps talking, she’s dead. And she keeps talking. That alone should win the admiration of every American.
Perhaps another reason the anti-Hirsi Ali protest fizzled is that its front-line soldiers at Yale made fools of themselves. Yale’s Muslim Students Association (MSA) was widely condemned for an open letter that argued against her appearance on campus, claiming she lacked the credentials to speak about Islam. (Never mind that she was raised Muslim and now has afatwa out against her.) The letter referred to her childhood experiences of genital mutilation and forced marriage as “unfortunate circumstances.”