Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the controversial former MP and outspoken critic of Islam, returned to the Netherlands on Monday, according to media reports. The news comes just a week after Hirsi Ali was presented with her American green card in Washington.
According to the NRC, Hirsi Ali has been forced to leave her new home in the US because the Dutch state is no longer prepared to pay for her protection abroad.
The GroenLinks party has demanded an emergency debate into the problems around the Hirsi Ali’s security.
Last year the justice ministry said that according to international practice, each country is responsible for the safety and protection of people on their territory. According to GroenLinks the question now is whether the Dutch government should make an exception to this rule similar to that made by the British government in the case of writer Salman Rushdie.
The ruling Christian Democrats feel it is ‘going somewhat far’ to expect the Dutch government to pay for long term protection of Dutch people abroad. They are supported by the opposition Liberal VVD part while the government coalition Labour Party sides with GroenLinks in calling for a parliamentary debate on the issue.
In a press release from the US immigration service on September 25, director Emilio Gonzalez welcomes Hirsi Ali to the US as a permanent resident. ‘We welcome her to the protection provided by the U.S Constitution and encourage her to continue speaking our regarding those issues she feels passionate about.’
He describes her as ‘a courageous woman who is exercising her right to free speech’.
Hirsi Ali herself responded by saying she was ‘overwhelmed with emotions and filled with great pride and gratitude to be counted as one of the many immigrants to the US… who came seeking freedom, refuge and the right to speak without fear of persecution.’
Hirsi Ali has been under heavy guard for several years because of the short film Submission which she made together with the film maker Theo van Gogh murdered by an Islamic extremist in November 2004. The Americans are unable to provide Hirsi Ali with protection for legal reasons, the NRC says.
Hirsi Ali is to continue her work for the right-wing think-tank American Enterprise Institute from a secret address in the Netherlands. She moved to the US last year.
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