Ira Stoll: A Conservative Defense of Brandeis University
Many conservatives are furious at Brandeis University for rescinding its honorary degree invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali over her controversial remarks about Islam. The Weekly Standard's William Kristol, for example, called it "shameful" and wrote that absent a satisfactory explanation, Brandeis donors "shouldn't support an institution that's displayed such pathetic cowardice and moral bankruptcy." The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, editorialized that Brandeis's decision demonstrated that the Waltham, Massachusetts-based institution's core values "now include intolerance and the illiberal suppression of ideas." But Ira Stoll takes a different view. Hirsi Ali's right to speak was not "suppressed," Stoll maintains, and Brandeis has every right to decide what is in its institutional best interest.