Ex-Dutch Lawmaker to Stay in Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — A Somali-born former member of parliament who resigned this week after admitting she lied on her asylum application 14 years ago will stay in the Netherlands until her citizenship is reviewed, her spokeswoman said Friday.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was in her apartment in The Hague under orders from her lawyers not to speak to the media or appear in public, said the spokeswoman, Ingrid Pouw.

She remains under constant police guard, as she has been for several years since receiving death threats for speaking out against Islamic radicalism.

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said Hirsi Ali’s naturalization was invalidated by her lying about her name and birth date, but she acceded to demands by parliament to reconsider the ruling. That process could take several weeks, and Pouw said Hirsi Ali would stay until then.

Hirsi Ali acknowledged fabricating her application, saying she feared retribution from her family when she fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage.

But she said she had confessed the lie publicly years before, even though Verdonk claimed she had not been aware of it.

Telling Fact

The television broadcast that aired a program ‘exposing’ Ayaan Hirsi Ali is run by a network associated with Holland’s labor party. That party, which has a large number of Muslim voters, has been losing in the polls. Rita Verdonk is a member of the popular liberal party, the same party Hirsi Ali worked for. The mother of murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh is reported to have said, “Labor set a mouse-trap for Rita Verdonk, with Ayaan Hirsi Ali as bait.”

Hirsi Ali previously had been offered a position with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, in September, according to AEI President Christopher DeMuth.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said Thursday she would be welcome in the United States.

In addition to her Dutch naturalization problems, Hirsi Ali must leave her apartment in The Hague by Aug. 27, after her neighbors sued the Dutch government last month and alleged that her presence endangered the neighborhood.

Hirsi Ali’s free-market VVD Party named Laetitia Griffith, a former member of parliament now serving on Amsterdam’s city council, to fill Hirsi Ali’s parliament seat. Griffith, 40, was born in the former Dutch colony of Suriname and immigrated legally to the Netherlands in 1987.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AP, via The Washington Post, USA
May 19, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday May 20, 2006.
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