Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk was compelled in the early hours of Wednesday morning to reconsider whether Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Dutch citizen.
A majority of the political parties in parliament backed two motions on the issue. One calls on Verdonk to reconsider within six weeks whether Hirsi Ali is a Dutch citizen. The second instructs the Minister to grant Hirsi Ali accelerated naturalisation if she finds she is not a citizen of the Netherlands.
Verdonk, who was being groomed for a leadership role in the VVD, is now being un-groomed, say MPs. Spiegel has more about how extraordinarily fast and arbitrary her decision to denaturalize Hirsi Ali was. But the must-read of the day comes from the Wall Street Journal, which profiles AHA, her eviction from her apartment building, and the repulsive willingness of some Dutchmen to blame her for “provoking” the jihadis. Blockquotes galore:
“Once this lady leaves, the problem is no longer there,” says Ger Verhagen, a retired executive who owns a place two floors above the hunted politician… [Hirsi Ali] says caustically: “My neighbors seem to confirm the critical view that very few Dutch people were brave enough” during the Nazi occupation.
On state television last week, a satirical talk-show host joked about it, asking a guest — the Dutch lawyer of an Islamist militant who killed filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004 — whether Ms. Hirsi Ali would be safest living in a mosque, at Guantanamo Bay or “six feet under in a garden.” The audience roared with laughter.
Many Europeans initially rallied to President George W. Bush’s “with-us-or-against-us” approach to combating extremism after the bombings in Madrid in early 2004 and the subsequent murder in Amsterdam of Mr. van Gogh, the filmmaker… Some now see Islamist violence and the ideology that fuels it as a threat that can be tamed, or at least kept at a distance, by avoiding provocation.
Make a note of that. I’ve got the perfect follow-up post coming in a bit.
The caged virgin indeed:
Fearing for their lives after Mr. van Gogh’s murder, Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. Wilders, her fellow legislator, shuttled between army barracks, other state installations and the homes of friends and supporters abroad. As the threats continued, the Dutch government began scouting for private properties in which to safely house them. For Ms. Hirsi Ali, it purchased a spacious apartment for more than $1.1 million. The Dutch counterterrorism agency installed bulletproof glass, alarms and other devices.
Her “high-security residence” was supposed to be a secret.
And now the killer:
During a slow afternoon stroll outside Ms. Hirsi Ali’s building, [Dick van Tetterode] reflected on her predicament and on his own flight from the Nazis during World War II. A student at the time, he spent two years hiding on a Dutch farm. Two of the three people he credits with saving his life were killed by the Germans. Struggling to hold back tears, he says he regrets never thanking their children properly for their fathers’ bravery.
But Ms. Hirsi Ali’s case is different, he says. He admires her conviction, he says, but thinks her rage at Islam belongs in the Middle East and Africa, not the Netherlands. “This is not our fight,” he says.
The Orwellian cherry on top: which law did Hirsi Ali’s neighbors use in court to get her evicted? Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects “respect for private and family life” from “interference by a public authority.”
Stay tuned for that follow-up post.