Ayaan Hirsi Ali loses bodyguards and returns to the Netherlands

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali loses bodyguards and returns to the Netherlands



Former Dutch legislator and Islam critic Hirsi Ali has been under state-funded protection since extremists began threatening her life in 2004. Now the Dutch government has said it won't pay for her protection if she continues to live and work in the United States.

Writer and former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned to the Netherlands on Monday after living in the United States and working for a prominent conservative think tank. The move came after the Dutch government said it would no longer pay for her security needs in Washington.

The Dutch government has provided Hirsi Ali with police protection since the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a radical Islamist. Hirsi Ali became internationally prominent because of her uncompromising criticism (more...) of Islam in the wake of the slaying -- a position which has made her the subject of repeated death threats. In 2006, she left the Netherlands at the center of a scandal that would eventually cost the country's then-integration minister, Rita Verdonk, her job.

According to the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, Hirsi Ali returned Monday to her adopted country, the Netherlands, where she is entitled to state-funded protection.

Sybrand van Haersmma Buma, the ruling Christian Democrat Party's security-issues spokesman, defended the government's decision, saying that the state-funded protection in the US was only meant to last through Hirsi Ali's first year abroad and that it had only been granted due to "extraordinary circumstances," the Associated Press reported him as saying.

"It was a temporary measure," van Haersmma Buma told Dutch NOS television Monday. "The responsibility for her security should be taken on by the US government," van Haersmma Buma added, arguing that handling Hirsi Ali's security arrangements in a foreign country was taxing.

Hirsi Ali first entered the international public spotlight in 2004 when she collaborated with Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Submission, a short film highly critical of Islam's treatment of women. The film led to van Gogh's murder by a radical Muslim angered by the film's depiction of Islam. A note the murderer, now serving a life sentence in prison, left attached to van Gogh's body with a knife threatened Hirsi Ali's life. She was forced to go into hiding temporarilyand only emerged later under police protection.

From 2003 to 2006, Hirsi Ali served in the lower house of the Dutch parliament. In 2006, she resigned from her position after hardline Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk tried to revoke her Dutch passport because Hirsi Ali had provided false information when she applied for asylum in 1992. The resulting controversy led to widespread public outcry in the Netherlands and abroad, and Verdonk was forced to back down.

Since then, Hirsi Ali has been a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, DC. Her autobiography, entitled "Infidel," was released in the US earlier this year and became a best-seller. Her security in the US was increased in March after she received more death threats there.

Everyone should also read this article for an idea of what this heroic woman has gone through to fight for the freedom to criticize Islam. The best quote ever comes from this article:

"Democracy also includes legitimate intolerance. The intolerable cannot be tolerated. We must declare war on Islamist propaganda." -Hirsi Ali



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A few thoughts...  This

A few thoughts...

 This woman is, hands down, the bravest and most inspiriring individual I've ever had the pleasure to meet. If you have not heard her story or read her book, or seen the film her death sentence derives from, I encourage you to get informed.

Honstly, it gave me tremendous hope and motivation to know that the bravest and most empowering atheist in the world isn't a stodgy white intellectual, but a very humble, very intlligent, unbelievably brave young woman from Somalia. Her story is heart wrenching, but her courage is so inspiring.

She's ridiculously beautiful as well - especially in the ways that matter most.

I went from welling up with tears to standing and cheering at least a half dozen times during her speech.

If there are any people left deserving of being deemed of being called a hero in this world, she's at the top of the list.


At the same time though, I don't see how the Dutch are under obligation to provide her security. The gave her asylum, and it really should end there. I'm certainly willing to chip in to protect this beatiful jem of a woman, and I'm certain many of you are too.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'm certainly willing to chip in to protect this beatiful jem of a woman, and I'm certain many of you are too.

I had a conversation with her assistant again yesterday.  I told her I would employ all of RRS to service for her should she ever need it and gave examples.  They are very private, and I fear they are very scared therefore having to limit the relationships they build. (she didn't really know us yet - had't been to site)

I had worried they didn't come interview with us at the Convention because they were just too scared.  It's fucked up what she deals with.



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The Petition

Hey everybody, this is my first time on the forums. I met some of you at the AAI Convention (I was the young dandy from New York who was constantly smoking.)

Last week I started an online petition for this issue at http://www.petitiononline.com/hirsiali

The petition has been steadily growing, and buzz is gradually increasing. So far Sam Harris is the only prominent Atheist "face" to sign it, but we're hoping some more do as well. If we can't actually put our lives on the line for her, let's at least raise our voices in support. Thanks.

--Nathaniel Adams.