Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch politician who became a world-renowned critic of Islam, is to leave parliament and move to America after admitting that she had lied to win asylum in the Netherlands.
Ms Hirsi Ali, 36, who, with Theo Van Gogh, the murdered film-maker, produced a film on domestic violence in Islamic societies, is reported to be taking a job with the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think-tank that has played a prominent role in advising the Bush Administration on foreign policy.
The articulate and charismatic feminist, who describes herself as a former Muslim, has become popular in the Netherlands by denouncing European governments and liberals for not standing up for Western values against Islam.
She has repeatedly attacked multiculturalism, and this year supported the publication of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that prompted violent protests across the Islamic world. She has lived under constant police protection since an Islamic extremist murdered Van Gogh in 2004, impaling a note on the body that pledged to kill her.
The news of her move to the US emerged after the Dutch Government said that it would investigate her asylum application once a TV documentary revealed that she had repeatedly lied to claim asylum in the Netherlands and to win naturalisation as a Dutch citizen five years later.
Ms Hirsi Ali was granted asylum in 1992, claiming that she had to flee war-torn Somalia to escape an arranged marriage. However, she had spent the previous 12 years living an affluent lifestyle in Kenya. Ms Hirsi Ali, who became a Dutch citizen in 1997, accused her critics of a smear campaign, but confessed to reporters: “Yes, I did lie to get asylum in Holland. I invented a story that would be consistent with the conditions for asylum.”
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