Thursday, October 04, 2007


Little Green Footballs finds that the Expatica article from earlier was inaccurate - it wasn't that the US authorities had actually refused to pay for Ayaan Hirsi Ali's protection, but that she didn't have the proper legal status to receive it, and the Dutch government was the one refusing to pay for her security:
There are exactly five people that the Dutch government has to protect against death threats from radical Islamists.

This sort of protection is expensive. Society bears the costs because freedom of opinion, a cornerstone of our culture, is on the line. The extremists, for their part, are prepared to risk their own lives to kill those under government protection.

The costs of protection are completely disproportionate to the outcome: the continued existence of our values and norms.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the sixth person granted protection by the Dutch government. She began receiving threats when, as a Dutch citizen and member of the parliament, she spoke out critically against political Islam. After the so-called “passport scandal,” when the Dutch minister of immigration and integration threatened to confiscate her passport after Ayaan had been accused of lying about her name and birth date when she first arrived in the Netherlands, she moved to the United States, which precipitated a sharp upswing in her career within only a few months. She wrote a bestseller and landed a job at the American Enterprise Institute. But as a Dutch citizen, Ayaan does not qualify for protection in the United States under US laws and regulations.

Contrary to what many in the Netherlands believe about the success of her autobiography, she is not wealthy. She could not pay for the kind of protection she needs out of her own pocket — no matter how much she would like to do so. Besides, the Dutch government apparently failed to find the right US officials with whom they could have reached an agreement. Under a decision by Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Balin, the protection paid for by the Dutch government expired on Oct. 1. Ayaan returned to the Netherlands, because without protection she doesn’t have a day left to live.
I think the subject for debate now is to provide Hirsi Ali with proper legal status within the US that can enable her to get protection from US security sources, if she wants to continue to work and live in America. She should be given legal status, even if she does want to return to work in Holland.

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