Over the last week the story of Boko Haram has become a story that has migrated to the mainstream media.

The mass abduction of teenage girls yet again delivered on a threat that Shekau has made repeatedly. “Western education” is a prime target of Boko Haram because in the group’s view, it reinforces colonial and Christian influence and suppresses Islam.

In a July 2013 video, Shekau promised that schools would be burned and teachers killed. He has been true to his word. In February, a school in Nigeria’s northern Yobe state was attacked and burned down, leaving 29 boys dead. And last September, more than 40 students at an agricultural college were killed.

And the future remains grim for the young girls:

While boys abducted in Nigeria and other war-torn African countries face the misery of a life where they are forced to become beggars, miners or child soldiers, girls like the nearly 300 mainly Christian teens abducted by the Boko Haram last month are more likely to be dispersed throughout the continent, Russia, the Middle East and even Europe, sold for a few dollars and forced to become prostitutes. Some escape, and make it back to their villages, while others are forced into the sex trade and exposed to brutality and disease.

And now that they can’t be ignored

A new Boko Haram massacre has killed hundreds in Nigeria’s northeast, a senator said Wednesday, as police offered $300,000 dollars for information leading to the rescue of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by the Islamists.

the logical questions have to be asked:

A Daily Beast article raised the issue. It quoted an anonymous U.S. official who criticized the Clinton State Department for rejecting calls in 2012 by some in Congress, the Department of Justice and others to add Boko Haram to the terror list as a threat to U.S. interests and homeland security.

At the time, State Department officials argued such a move could cause more harm than good by enhancing the group’s standing and making U.S. and Western interests a target of Boko Haram attacks.

After Clinton stepped down and was succeeded by John Kerry, the State Department designated the group as a terrorist organization in November 2013.

The Daily Beast Piece is here but a more significant story is linked by Ed Driscoll at Instapundit:

former President Bill Clinton stated in 2013 that the terrorist organization Boko Haram acts out of poverty, not because of religious fervor.

Mr. Clinton not only stated that poverty was the cause, but that specifically, Islam and religion could not be blamed in any way. Possibly it is related to President Clinton being “discriminated” against for being black.

Perhaps is would have been better if he listened to the voices of people more familiar with the situation, say someone who has dealt directly with the oppression of women in Africa and the dangers of radical Islam there, maybe someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali

But little attention has been paid to the group’s formal Arabic name: Jam’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da’wa wal-Jihad. That roughly translates as “The Fellowship of the People of the Tradition for Preaching and Holy War.” That’s a lot less catchy than Boko Haram but significantly more revealing about the group and its mission. Far from being an aberration among Islamist terror groups, as some observers suggest, Boko Haram in its goals and methods is in fact all too representative.The kidnapping of the schoolgirls throws into bold relief a central part of what the jihadists are about: the oppression of women. Boko Haram sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated. The terrorists’ mission is no different from that of the Taliban assassin who shot and nearly killed 15-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai—as she rode a school bus home in 2012—because she advocated girls’ education. As I know from experience, nothing is more anathema to the jihadists than equal and educated women.

she asks the obvious question:

Where are the Muslim college-student organizations denouncing Boko Haram? Where is the outrage during Friday prayers? These girls’ lives deserve more than a Twitter hashtag protest

and calls for action.

I am often told that the average Muslim wholeheartedly rejects the use of violence and terror, does not share the radicals’ belief that a degenerate and corrupt Western culture needs to be replaced with an Islamic one, and abhors the denigration of women’s most basic rights. Well, it is time for those peace-loving Muslims to do more, much more, to resist those in their midst who engage in this type of proselytizing before they proceed to the phase of holy war.

Ms Ali seems to be really on top of the whole Boko Haram story and the oppression of women in Africa. If only it was a tad earlier in the year, some prestigious university could have snatched her up as a commencement speaker.

Closing thought: On a whim I did a search for “Boko Haram” on the Brandeis site turns up one masters thesis and a single reference under “international justice in the news” newsletter from Sept 2013″. No protests, no speeches, no demonstrations. No protest letters from faculty or the Muslim Students Association.

How about that!

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Truth, even unto its innermost parts

Brandeis University Motto

As you likely know Brandeis University has withdrawn an honorary degree from Ayaan Hirsi Ali and uninvited her to speak at next month’s commencement.

 I’m old enough to remember the days when a Black African  atheist feminist as a recipient for an honorary degree would be a gimme for any liberal university.

Not anymore

I’m old enough to remember when a woman who critiqued a religion that doesn’t allow women to be ministers, that allows a man to divorce a woman by simply say “I divorce you” three times and that counts a woman testimony as half the value of a man’s would be cheered by any liberal faculty.

Not anymore

For Brandeis University those values can’t compete with their fear of offending Islam and the Saudi dollars that fund CAIR.

Now if she had critiqued the Catholic Church in the way she has hit Islam,  the faculty would have carried her to the  commencement day podium on their shoulders but when your convictions involve no risk it’s easy to critique an organization, a religion or an individual.

Ms Ali is not of that sort

Mark Steyn told us the sort she is

She lives under armed guard and was forced to abandon the Netherlands because quite a lot of people want to kill her. And not in the desultory behead-the-enemies-of-Islam you-will-die-infidel pro forma death-threats-R-us way that many of us have perforce gotten used to in recent years: her great friend and professional collaborator was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam by a man who shot him eight times, attempted to decapitate him, and then drove into his chest two knives, pinning to what was left of him a five-page note pledging to do the same to her.

 

Most people would run and hide under such a threat, not Ali

After the threats against the Comedy Central show South Park the other week, Ms. Hirsi Ali turned up on CNN to say that the best defence against Islamic intimidation is for us all to stand together and thereby “share the risk.” But, around the world, every single translator of her books has insisted on total anonymity. When push comes to shove, very few are willing to share the risk.

In London, the historian Andrew Roberts calls her “the bravest woman I know”. I agree. There’s nothing hypothetical about the danger she lives with.

so it’s no surprised that she has nothing but disdain for Brandeis’ cowardice: 

What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The “spirit of free expression” referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.

Some have asked the obvious question:

Who will speak for Morsal, a German Afghani young woman of 16, stabbed twenty-times in a parking lot by her brother? Who will speak for Rasha Abu Arra killed in the West Bank in a so-called “honor killing.” She was a mother of six children and her body was left hanging on a tree. She could not exercise her right to free speech. She could not exercise her right to disagree. She could not exercise her right to freely express. So who will speak for her? Will you speak for her? Or are the petty hurt feelings of dissenting naysayers worth more than her life?

Ah the innocence of youth.  Our friends on the left aren’t interested in who speaks for these ladies, certainly not when those calling for silence are backed by Saudi oil dollars and the physical threats that radical Islam brings.

Rather as Michael Graham notes the left will only learn one thing from this:

If the era of Obama, liberals have embraced their inner fascists. The only lesson they’ll learn from Brandeis’s shameful behavior is that it worked.

The greatest irony of the radicals of the 60’s is this.  They disdained the values of their father and grandfathers, the greatest generation that saved the world from a tyranny that would have engulfed it because they convinced themselves they were better, smarter and more enlightened that the generations that came before them.

Instead given the seats of power that they once protested against, they have proven themselves at best the cowards that their grandparents never were and at worst no better than the totalitarians that they fought.

I suspect the irony is not lost on them and that they will continue to spend the rest of their lives trying to convince themselves it isn’t so.

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A few weeks ago Tina Brown has that rarest of rate moments, a time when an issue of her magazine Newsweek actually made money, there was a catch however the issue’s cover was conservatively themed and produced consternation among the left.

The resulting overwhelming sales, profits and buzz from the issue put Ms. Brown in a bind:

And you KNOW if would work, you could have conservative covers on a regular basis, have one or two a month, keep the rest of the mag liberal and appeal to BOTH sides of the aisle, create buzz, maybe even turn the mag into a print & internet version of Crossfire with a regular feature of two of your writers going at it online…

…Who will you be Tina Brown? Will you be your own women or a kept woman for the left? Will you be the Dutch Sea Begger declaring your independence from your ideological chains, change from being a faux journalist to being a real one? Will you like the De la Marek declare your independence and hold the line against the inevitable counterattack …

…or will you be the Washington Generals, getting one win because nobody was paying attention and the next time dutifully and submissively never making that mistake again?

Well I’ve just seen the latest cover for Newsweek and it looks like we have our answer:

A cover featuring one of the great warriors in the fight against Islamo-fascism, displayed in a positive light is a watershed moment. It is a story by a woman embraced by conservatives, a person the left hates. It’s a story that espouses views that cause the left to react thus:

It is also a cover that is going to sell a ton!

Mind you as predicted, the rest of the issue is pretty much indistinguishable from a normal Newsweek issue, but that doesn’t matter for the left will continue to attack and vilify Brown and Newsweek over this cover and her decision to go ahead and publish it. After all nothing is more dangerous to the left than for their acolytes to read the right unfiltered and unchallenged, it’s a potential game changer.

As for Tina Brown herself, we might be one cover too soon to say it but it appears that she has seen the numbers both financial and demographic and decided to go where no liberal has gone before.

She has decided to go where the customers are.

One of my few disappointments at CPAC was being unable to interview Ayyan Hirsi Ali .

Ayaan at the table
I attended her book signing but her security would not let me approach for an interview despite repeated requests. Given the danger she is in regularly I certainly have no business complaining.

I was slightly surprised that there wasn’t a longer line for her. Of course her books have been out for a while so a fair amount of people have already seen them. I also found it ironic that the book signing area was right next to the Muslims for America booth and the gentleman running it while I was there seemed a tad uncomfortable when she was there. Of course that could be entirely my perspective.

As soon as the base signing was done she was hustled out of the area via a back spot, stoping only to greet John Bolton.

John bolton and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
They talked for a bit and I had some hope of approaching again, but her security came to me again and rejected the idea of a short interview. Normally one would press the issue and I made it a point to stay close enough so that if anything changed or if through some quirk she headed into the main area I would be ready but alas it was not to be. What I did instead was interview one of the people in the line waiting for the chance to have her book signed.


I actually should have thought of bringing my own copies from home but I was carting enough stuff as it was.
Ayaan signs for a fan

Yglesias links and quotes Ayaan Hirsi Ali on what is coming in Egypt

Ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali warns us to be very afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Egypt. And maybe she’s right. But it’s difficult to take her word for it. After all, she thinks that Islam in general needs to be extirpated from the planet:

He then quotes her piece, bolding certain bits:

“I’ll tell you why: because Islam is the new fascism. Just like Nazism started with Hitler’s vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate – a society ruled by Sharia law – in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to death, homosexuals are beaten, and apostates like me are killed. Sharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism. Young Muslims need to be persuaded that the vision of the Prophet Mohammed is a bad one, and you aren’t going to get that in Islamic faith schools.”

Now of course bolding a piece is meant to draw your eyes to the bolded section and to avoid the unbolded sections. Yglesias having a liberal audience is trying to stress Ali “intolerance”. How dare she be intolerant of Islam. Now lets look at the same piece with different words bolded:

I’ll tell you why: because Islam is the new fascism. Just like Nazism started with Hitler’s vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate – a society ruled by Sharia law – in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to death, homosexuals are beaten, and apostates like me are killed. Sharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism. Young Muslims need to be persuaded that the vision of the Prophet Mohammed is a bad one, and you aren’t going to get that in Islamic faith schools.”

Now I would think that these things about Islam and Sharia law would be significant to liberals. After all if I as a believing Roman Catholic am repressive because I oppose sex before marriage, gay marriage and believe in God, how much more would they oppose Sharia, which stones women, beats (and kills) gays and slays apostates.

But we can’t stress these facts, because it promotes “intolerance of Islam”. Maybe it’s just me but I think we shouldn’t tolerate Sharia law, stoning of women, beating of gays, and killing of apostates.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali “intolerance” of Islam is based on a standard of Islam’s actions. Yglesias critique of Ali and defense of Islam is based on a standards of her thoughts.

That to me is the perfect illustration of how liberalism works.

My review of the Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations is available here.

This book is one of the most conservative books I’ve read. If you take a look at the some of the cultural practices described in the book you almost understand why liberals are so ok with Islam.