TCS Daily

A Bitter Dutch Treat

By Val MacQueen - November 14, 2007 12:00 AM

When the Dutch turned against Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Member of Parliament tipped to become prime minister of Holland one day, it was as surprising and fierce as a riptide.

Threatened with assassination by the killer of Theo van Gogh, her former partner in the making of the film Submission, coupled with her well-known Islamic apostasy, she had been accorded 24-hour a day police protection and placed in safe accommodation. This was an expensive apartment building with routine security already in place, to which the Dutch government added the same elite security squad that protects the Dutch royal family and government.. A journalist who interviewed her there noted how joyless the apartment felt. How little like a home. In a corner of the living room was a treadmill, grim evidence that All could no longer go out for a walk or a bicycle ride, or spend an afternoon shopping in Amsterdam.

The first quiet trickle of displeasure with Hirsi Ali came when her neighbors in the apartment block began to complain about the security presence around the building, claiming that their own right to privacy was being compromised. They wanted her out. It didn't take long for the trickle of resentment to turn into a swift-running flood. There were demands that she be stripped of her Dutch citizenship.

Yet the public and the Dutch government had known for years that the refugee had lied when she applied for asylum, and that she had lied again when she sought, and was granted, citizenship.

Despite freely admitting these misstatements years ago, made in desperation, she had not only been elected to Parliament, but had been viewed as a potential prime minister.

With her Dutch immigration status now at risk, Ayaan Hirsi Ali fled to the United States where she was snapped up by DC think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, where she holds the position of Fellow. She was fast-tracked for a Green Card and that should have been the end of her extraordinary adventure.

But Hirsi Ali's life took another blind corner, when the Dutch government announced that payment for her security would end on October 1 of this year. Holland had, at that point, already disbursed $2m for her security over the previous three years and, according to The Times of London, announced that "the government had agreed to pay for security during [her] first year abroad because of the 'extraordinary circumstances' surrounding her departure". Should she return to Holland, her security will kick back in, but this is cold comfort, as she intends to remain in the United States.

The modus operandi of the Dutch government appears to have fallen behind that of the British government under Margaret Thatcher, when over-excitable Muslim immigrants in the north of England called for the book The Satanic Verses to be banned and in 1989 and our old friend Ayatollah Khomeini placed a fatwah on the head of its author, Indian-born Salman Rushdie. As we know, they were threatening the wrong lady and Prime Minister Thatcher accorded Salman Rushdie a security detail for as long as he needs it. When he moved to the United States, the money followed him and apparently still does today, 18 years later, although the British government always declines to confirm or deny for fear of compromising whatever arrangements are in place..

Ironically though, during her stay in the United States, it is said that the only threats Ayaan Hirsi Ali has received to date have come from other Somalis, who have opined that she is giving their highly regarded homeland a bad name.

Meanwhile, serial protectors of Western liberty, the Danes, announced an offer of refuge in any one of the several Danish cities that had come forward. However, she has said publicly that the United States is now her home and she won't be leaving.

Meanwhile, absent any other security arrangements for her, a private trust fund has been started.


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