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Islam critic: Brandeis turned honor into 'shaming'

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PAIGE SUTHERLAND | April 9, 2014 05:00 PM EST | AP

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BOSTON (AP) — A Somali-born advocate for Muslim women who has made comments critical of Islam says Brandeis (BRAN'-dys) University is turning an intended honor for her into a "moment of shaming" by revoking an honorary degree.

The Massachusetts university decided not to award the honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali (ah-YAHN' HUR'-see AH'-ee) after many complaints from students, faculty members and others including an online petition.

In a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Ali was quoted as saying "we are at war with Islam" and urged Muslims be "defeated."

Ali said in a statement Wednesday her critics selectively pick these quotes and she doubts Brandeis was unaware of them. She says not letting her speak is an attack on free speech.

The university said Tuesday night it can't overlook statements "that are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values."

Ali is a former member of the Dutch Parliament.