Despite more than 30 student organizations petitioning her appearance, Somali-American women's rights activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program's "Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West" event, during which she said the current state of Islam is in need of reform.
"You live in a time when Muslims are at a crossroads," Ali said. "Every single day there is a headline that forces the Muslim individual to choose between his conscience and his creed."
Ali spoke directly to the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose representatives approached Buckley Program President Richard Lizardo and requested that Ali be disinvited. Lizardo said that was a "nonstarter." The MSA now denies that such a request was made.
"I want to end my presentation tonight with a few questions for the Muslim students of Yale and hopefully in this age of technology, beyond," Ali said.
"I want to ask you: Why do you find energy, resources, time, and solidarity to silence the reformers and dissidents of Islam? Why don't you direct all that energy to expelling the preaching teacher who has infiltrated your homes, your streets, your neighborhoods, your mosques, your schools, and Muslim centers?"
Ali said that to fight the symptoms of radical Islam, it is necessary to first address the core of Islam.
"The Muslim world is on fire. And those fanning the fire are using your core creed," Ali said. "With every atrocity they commit, they remind the Muslim of his commitment to submit to Allah. Will you submit passively or actively or will you finally stand up to Allah?"