She’s back. Former Dutch MP and outspoken critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned secretly to the Netherlands yesterday from her year’s sojourn in the US amid the all-to familiar blare of controversy.

This time the row is over who should pay for her protection in the US where she now enjoys permanent resident’s status. Holland said it would no longer pick up the bill.
Of course it’s not surprising that much of the noise comes from two other famous political publicity-seekers and ex-Liberal politicians, Geert ‘send her back’ Wilders and the soft-hearted Rita Verdonk who thinks the Dutch should continue to pay for her protection.
More surprising is the support from the indefatigably decent GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema who seems to have fallen under some form of solidarity-with-those-who-are-suffering spell. (She should save it for the 5.8% of the Dutch population who as Muslims are at the sharp end of increasing discrimination thanks to Hirsi Ali, Wilders and Verdonk.)
Apparently Hirsi Ali had suggested organising her own fund-raising campaign to pay for her security. Sounds just about the most sensible idea she’s come up with in a long time. Or is it a calculated ploy to win sympathy from the free market Liberal party that was once her own?
Whatever the answer to that may be, she’s sure to be able to afford gold-plated bodyguards. The million dollar question is how much has the Dutch tax-payer already paid?

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