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The Commencement Speech that Won’t be Heard at Brandeis

April 11, 2014 | Karin

Ayaan Hirsi Ali won’t be speaking at Brandeis University’s Commencement ceremonies this year. You can read the text of what she would have said in the Wall Street Journal, including her criticism of universities.
Yet for that opportunity to be fulfilled, we in the West must provide the right kind of encouragement. Just as the city of Boston was once the cradle of a new ideal of liberty, we need to return to our roots by becoming once again a beacon of free thought and civility for the 21st century. When there is injustice, we need to speak out, not simply with condemnation, but with concrete actions.

One of the best places to do that is in our institutions of higher learning. We need to make our universities temples not of dogmatic orthodoxy, but of truly critical thinking, where all ideas are welcome and where civil debate is encouraged. I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today. I do not expect all of you to agree with me, but I very much appreciate your willingness to listen.

Read the rest here.
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