It’s not just the universities stifling free expression: students are all too often ready to do the thought policing themselves.

Jake New at Inside Higher Ed has the story:

Following Yale president’s plea for free expression, student groups protest speaker

At Yale University’s Freshman Assembly last month, Peter Salovey, Yale’s president, urged students to avoid the kind of speaker policing that has happened at so many other campuses of late.

“Invitations to provocative speakers have been withdrawn; politicians, celebrities, and even university presidents invited to deliver commencement addresses have — under pressure — declined to speak to graduates; student protesters have had their signs destroyed by other members of a campus community,” Salovey said. “Although we have not seen these kinds of episodes at Yale in recent decades, it is important on occasions like this one to remind ourselves why unfettered expression is so essential on a university campus.”

Now, a little over two weeks after the assembly, Yale is facing just that sort of episode — and the guest in question is one of those Salovey alluded to in his remarks.

In the spring, Ayaan Hirsi Ali — a women’s rights activist and a vocal, often controversial critic of Islam — was invited to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis University. Following outcry on campus and beyond, and a student-created petition that generated thousands of signatures, the university rescinded its invitation. Hirsi Ali will speak tonight at Yale as part of the William F. Buckley Jr. Program, and about 30 campus groups are voicing concerns similar to those raised at Brandeis.

In a letter to the program signed by the groups, the Muslim Student Association wrote that it felt disrespected by Hirsi Ali’s invitation. While the association did not ask that the event be canceled, it did ask that the event include other speakers. Hirsi Ali has received praise for her work fighting for women’s rights and against female genital mutilation, but has been criticized for what some consider to be overly broad critiques of Islam and Muslims that ignore the geographical and political context.