Wilders’ case has drawn comparisons to another Dutch opponent of Islamic extremism: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who served in the Dutch parliament before being removed in 2006 over inaccuracies in her asylum application from Somalia. She has lived with constant threats on her life ever since she wrote a short feminist film critical of religious subjugation of women in Islam. The film’s director, Theo Van Gogh, was brutally murdered by a Muslim zealot over the film, sparking an international debate over assimilation and free speech in Europe. I called Hirsi Ali to ask her what she thought of Wilders’ politics.
“I think that’s ridiculous, and I’ve been very hard on him for that,” Hirsi Ali said when asked about Wilders’ call for a ban on the Koran and mass deportations. “He and I are not friends at all.”
Hirsi Ali nonetheless said she was glad Wilders was bringing attention to Europe’s poor record of assimilation. She opposes Britain’s decision to bar him.