15 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — Liberal party MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali is leaving the Dutch parliament in September and moving to the United States.
Insiders confirmed a report on the website of Dutch newspaper 'De Volkskrant' on Monday about the move. Hirsi Ali has been on a speaking tour in the US and is due to make an official announcement on Tuesday.
She is going to work for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative Washington think tank. The institute was founded in 1943 and is seen as one of the most important advisors to the government of George Bush.
Somali-born Hirsi Ali has been an outspoken critic of aspects of Islam and she became a campaigner for freedom of speech after the murder of film director Theo van Gogh in November 2004.
Hirsi Ali and Van Gogh collaborated on the short film ‘Submission’ which featured women in see-through veils discussing ill-treatment of women in Muslim societies. Hirsi Ali’s life has been threatened several times and she is under armed guard.
She is currently embroiled in a controversy about lies she told the immigration service in 1992 to get asylum in the Netherlands. She became a naturalised Dutch citizen five years later.
Ms. Ali was recently in the US where she spoke at Harvard for the "Profiles in Leadership" conference at The John F Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership. You can listen to the conference and Ms. Ali at the following link here.
Noticeably absent from support for Ms. Ali has been the feminists of Hollywood such as Babawa Stweisand or Susan Sarandon. They were especially absent when Ms Ali's colleague Theo Van Gogh was murdered by Islamic extremists for his participation in the infamous documentary Submission, which was written by Ms. Ali.
The film's title is a direct translation of the word "Islam". The film suggests the mistreatment of women born to Muslim families. The film was shown on the Dutch public broadcasting network (VPRO) on August 29, 2004. It portrays a Muslim woman (dressed with a transparent black clothing) as having been beaten and raped by a relative. The bodies are used in the film as a canvas for verses from the Qur'an.
It is interesting to me that Ms. Ali represents the ideal of tolerance that Europe is so fond of bragging about, especially the Netherlands, yet here we have Europe doing everything they can to rid themselves of Ms. Ali out of fear of the Muslim extremists.
Not so tolerant now, are they?
Even more interesting is the fact that Ms. Ali will be working for a conservative think tank, one that is well known for supporting and advising the current US presidential administration. She should be the poster child for what women can do if they are allowed to participate in society as equals. But instead, she will be shunned by womens groups in the US. Sad, really.
Jeff over at Protein Wisdom comments-
The other day I hoped aloud that the US would, once again, act as that beacon for freedom, and send a message to the rest of the world: we shall not, as a nation, cave to the demands of the Islamists (even if our “tolerant” press and academic elite argue that it is our multicultural duty to do so if our offense is to give offense—a message that became evident during the Mohammed cartoon controversy, when the Boston Globe took the unusual position that the lesson of the Enlightenment is that everyone’s opinion is equal).
And we have not.
Today is a good day for America. Unless, that is, Congress—catching wind of this—rises up and demands that the President keep Ms Ali away from our ports.
(A reader "rls" at Protein Wisdom had this priceless comment too-"I would trade the Yale Talibani for her. And even throw in a “terrorist to be named later”.)
Welcome to the US, Ms. Ali. We are honored to count you among us.