Dick and I, for various unexpected reasons, were not able to attend the Cato Institute Benefactor Summit held this year in Naples, Florida. Among the highlights we will miss is keynote speaker Ayann Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born human rights activists, a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, founder of the AHA Foundation, and author of Infidel.
Ayann Hirsi, a vocal advocate for women’s rights in Islam, has called Islam “the new fascism” and “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” Ayann Hirsi had been invited to speak at Brandies University and to receive an honorary degree, but she was disinvited when student groups protested her appearance.
Read here from the WSJ about the “First Annual Disinvitation Dinner” sponsored by the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale. Ayann Hirsi Ali was welcomed to the Yale campus recently by the organization. Columnist George Will, who was disinvited last year at California’s Scripps College because he questioned the Obama administration’s statistics on campus sexual offenses, will keynote this April’s dinner in Manhattan.
As the WSJ writes, students involved in the WFB Program reject “the close-minded attempt to silence the exchange of ideas on college campuses across the country. Instead, we seek to restore honest debate to the intellectual life of the university.”