Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Abandoned To Fanatics

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been let down on the promises of protection offered to her by the Dutch government. Sam Harris (author of Letter To A Christian Nation) and Salman Rushdie (who has much experience of being in hiding from Islamic fanatics) have written this deeply moving and very frightening article.


katarina said...

Wait! There's something not quite right here.
In her autobiography Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she wanted to leave Dutch politics. She explains her decision to go and work for the American Enterprise Institute. She makes it clear she didn't leave Holland because of the death threats.
She also makes it clear in her autobiography that Dutch government housed and fed her and gave her an allowance as soon as she went and applied for refugee status.
She says it continued to support her for years. I think she even says it paid the phone bill after a fellow Somalian flatmate ran up a huge bill and skipped town.
She did various jobs, but they were casual and temporary. It was Dutch social security that kept her housed and fed. Later she worked as a translator for the state. It was well-paid, she says, and there was plenty of work translating for refugees.
In omitting all that and begin their letter by saying Ms Ali worked as a cleaning lady when she arrived in Holland, Sam Harris and Salman Rushdie are being deceitful. I'm not sure why. Are they trying to help their case that the Dutch government is doing wrong?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali she did a degree at a Dutch university, socialist style, paid for by the Dutch taxpayer. After what she's achieved with that degree, she'd be a poster girl for the welfare state, if it wasn't that she opposes the very unemployment benefits and the minimum wage that she benefited from.
Now that Ali is living and working in the US, which she calls -- without irony -- the leader of the free world, it seems a bit rich to expect the Dutch government to keep stumping up.
When celebrated writers are reduced to deceitful, clich├ęd references to former jobs in order to imply that Ali pulled herself up by her bootstraps, their demands for more government spending seem very odd indeed.

Cruella said...

I don't think you can blame Hirsi Ali for all the policies of the party she is a member of - she says in her book (the first one) that she joined the party only because of their position on Islam in the west.

I don't think there's any need to fudge the facts to suggest that she worked hard and did some brave things to get where she is. Leaving her family, moving to a new country, speaking out. Dangerous times.

And I don't think that whether or not someone chooses to move countries, supports certain political movements or has had a hard live should affect whether or not they are eligible for protection. It's about human rights.