May 17, 2006


Critic of Islam to quit Holland after lies are exposed (David Rennie, The Telegraph, May 16th, 2006)

Holland's most strident critic of Islam, the Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is today expected to announce she is quitting politics and moving to America, amid allegations that she lied to gain asylum.

Miss Hirsi Ali faces penalties up to and including the potential loss of her Dutch citizenship, after a leading member of her own political party, the VVD, pledged a formal investigation of her actions.

The Dutch immigration minister, Rita Verdonk, who is running for the parliamentary leadership of the VVD, said she would order a probe of her colleague's case, saying: "Laws and rules are valid for everyone".

Miss Hirsi Ali, 36, lives under constant police guard, after receiving death threats for her criticisms of the treatment of women in Islam (her own religion), a stance that won her many fans in Europe and America.

A film she scripted about abuse of women, Submission, led to the brutal murder of its director, Theo van Gogh, in 2004, by a Muslim extremist.

The MP has in fact long admitted lying to the Dutch authorities in 1992 about her name, her age, and the fact that she did not flee directly to Holland from Somalia.

She presented those omissions as necessary lies to obtain refugee status. Asylum seekers are expected to seek shelter in the first safe country they come to, and she would have been automatically deported if she had owned up to spending more than a decade outside Somalia, in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and, briefly, Germany.

She obtained Dutch citizenship in 1997, and was elected to parliament in 2003.

However, the controversy has been stoked by a television documentary last week, which showed members of her own family striking at the very heart of her dramatic life story - her claim that she fled a forced marriage to a cousin she had never met.

Relatives, including her brother, said she had not been forced into marriage, and had nothing to fear. The documentary showed images of her family's comfortable middle-class home in Kenya.

Miss Hirsi Ali, who cut short a book tour in America to return to Holland and address the media storm, is expected to announce she is moving to Washington DC, to take up a post at the neo-conservative think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute, the newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

Self-reference alert. In the early 1990's I was trying to establish a law practice and did low-paid duty once a week at a legal-aid clinic. At the time, Canada and Ottawa were receiving a large and very visible number of refugees from war torn Somalia, which was applauded by a left flying full tranzi colours and viewed by many conservatives like me as dangerous madness. At my first clinic, I was asked by a Somali who could barely speak English to help him prepare and swear an affidavit he needed to get him into night school at university. They wanted proof he had graduated from high school, but his school had been destroyed in the war, the staff was dead or dispersed and there was no effective government, so obtaining proof was impossible. Much moved by his tale, I happily fulfilled his request.

I was only slightly less moved when two hours later another Somali told me the same tale about a different school, but after several months, I had heard the tale so many times about so many schools that I thought about preparing a template. I accommodated them all, as my job was simply to attest to their oaths and there was no basis for refusing because their stories mirrored those of so many others, but the experience made me contemptuous and certainly fueled my prejudices. I harboured these in sanctimonious secrecy for several more years until I began to notice that, far from being the socio-economic burden I feared and expected, Somali kids were starting to win all the school prizes and Somalis were proving to be far more pleasant, informed and diligent in stores than the clueless young native-born Canadians who seemed irritated that you were bothering them and appeared never to have been taught the word “thank-you”. The story isn’t trouble-free–immigration never is-- but that the city has been enriched by the hard-working Somalis is plain for all but the wilfully blind to see.

One young boy of Somali immigrants plays on my son’s hockey team, which I coach. He is smaller than his team mates and more enthusiastic than talented, but he plays his heart out, is unfailingly cheerful and does whatever is asked of him. His entire family comes to all games, including his mother and sisters in traditional dress. The other night he scored our winning goal and the sheer innocent pride and joy he and his family expressed was a wonder to behold.

I will never know, but I would sure like to believe I swore his father’s ridiculous affidavit many years ago.

Posted by Peter Burnet at May 17, 2006 9:57 AM

She had the misfortune to be oppressed by the wrong sort of people. Now if she had been an indigenous Guatemalan, well your talking Nobel Peace Prize territory instead.

Posted by: Rick T. at May 17, 2006 10:49 AM

Um, that would be "you're."

Posted by: Rick T. at May 17, 2006 10:50 AM

She, in addition to other quee.. oddities, hates Western Christian Civilization ( link ) as shown in the following quote

I would ban the VB because it hardly differs from the Hofstad group [a Jihadist terror network in the Netherlands, involved in the assassination of Theo van Gogh]. Though the VB members have not committed any violent crimes yet, they are just postponing them and waiting until they have an absolute majority. On many issues they have exactly the same opinions as the Muslim extremists: on the position of women, on the suppression of gays, on abortion. This way of thinking will lead straight to genocide.

VB is the largest conservative party in Belgium. If we are a proposition nation, and an immigrant is in favor of banning political parties, should we have the option of rejecting that immigrant.

Posted by: h-man at May 17, 2006 11:11 AM

What was she thinking? If she had instead been a member of a radical Islamic terror group she could have claimed that she feared persecution back home, and she would have been let in without any further questions. You've got to know the correct story that the authorities want to hear...

Posted by: b at May 17, 2006 11:29 AM

"Necessary lies"--that must be sort of like "higher truth."

So that is what it comes to. They are going to pretend that telling the truth about immigration is the equivalent of telling the SS the truth about Anne Frank hiding in your attic.

We are used to it by now. They are going to say that we are all liars and cheats, so what's a little more lying and cheating.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 17, 2006 12:20 PM

h-man: the MSM in the Netherlands keep pointing out that Vlaams Belang (used to be Vlaams Blok) is an extreme right-wing party. OTOH that is also what they say about the GOP and GWB.

The entire affair is an enormous disgrace for the Netherlands.

Posted by: Daran at May 17, 2006 1:13 PM

Pull your thumb out, Lou. Immigrants have been saying what they have to say to get in and get established since Ellis Island was built. No, you can't countenance lying and if they are caught before citizenship, they bear the consequences, but let's not lay standards we don't expect of ourselves or the gross debasing of sworn statements by public and private officialdom on the immigrants' shoulders. Expatriation is necessary in rare cases to keep war criminals, terrorists and Mafia dons from acquiring legal protections, but if you are going to tell me the status of a new citizen is subject to lifelong review based upon whether he was honest about his schooling when he arrived, then the charge Orrin has been laying is merited. If that is what the modern nativist means when he/she claims to have no objection to the "honest immigrant", I see no difference between them and their grandfathers who also claimed to welcome immigrants provided they didn't speak anything but English or use garlic.

Look at h-man, here. He didn't even notice this woman was no longer an immigrant and thinks it is just a peachy idea to expatriate a citizen of ten years because her original asylum claim was dicey and he doesn't like her politics.

The whole situation is a horrible mess replete with very tough issues, but all the arguing over illegal/legal, queue respecting/queue jumping, honest/dishonest isn't hiding the difference between those who see immigrants as a welcome key to our future and those who just fear dark skins and strange smells and want to keep their presence subject to scrutiny and second-guessing forever.

Posted by: Peter B at May 17, 2006 1:26 PM

FYI: a Dutch Canadian blog:


in Somalia, this is my name: Ayaan Hirsi Magan Isse Guleid Ali Waiays Muhammad Ali Umar Osman Mahamud.

Now for the questions about my forced marriage... The allegations that I willingly married my distant cousin, and was present at the wedding ceremony, are simply untrue. This man arrived in Nairobi from Canada, asked my father for one of his five daughters, and my father gave him me... Still, I refused to attend the formal ceremony, and I was married regardless.

(I see a best selling autobiography. No movie though, Hollywood is too chicken to make anything that says anything bad about the Religion of Peace. Their courage is reserved to speak truth to Bush's power.)

Posted by: ic at May 17, 2006 1:59 PM

I most certainly was not arguing that we expatriate fellow "citizens". I asked if we the Unitied States, a proposition nation, can have the option to reject the immigration of a person who is in favor of banning conservative political parties because they oppose homosexuality. (btw Valaams belang is not an extremist party as far as I know contrary to Daran, if I'm wrong then sorry)

The article you posted said she is coming to the US. You don't have to answer the question, but there is no reason to mistate the question.

Regarding the bickering between you and Lou, apparently you agree with Lou that lying should not be countanced. Good

Posted by: h-man at May 17, 2006 2:28 PM


You bet lying can't be countenanced. I'd hit them so fast with $100 fines it would make your eyes spin.

Posted by: Peter B at May 17, 2006 2:37 PM

Excellent, but you only said that to correct my spelling.

Posted by: h-man at May 17, 2006 2:43 PM


The U.S., like any other nation, has the right to reject whomever it wants. It's who you should want to reject that is at issue, no?

Posted by: Peter B at May 17, 2006 3:05 PM

What a nice story about Somalians. I'm a real sucker for stories like that. It appears that non-Arab Moslems are able to live with others and learn what to do "when in Rome."

Lying is wrong, but what kind of people would we be if we didn't temper justice with mercy when the occasion demands it.

Posted by: erp at May 17, 2006 3:09 PM

Are you sure Peter is not just some liberal wolf in Conservative sheep clothing? What on earth has happened to law-and-order, rule-of-law Republican conservatives. As it stands now Hirsi Ali is found to have lied and subverted Dutch law (don't forget one of our few allies in the war against terror). Having then been sanctioned for lying how come she gets a free pass past US immigration with a free starring role in the AEI pantheon? Oh, silly me! She is a Condoleezza Rice conservative, a rare prize mouthpiece in the war against terror, an aspirant who says the kind of things AEI types would not and could not dare. AEI can't upset oil interests you know. Instead import the show-and-tell'em Ali, and she can channel how dubious we think Islam is on our behalf. Ali is nothing but an opportunist mouthpiece for rent for indefensible right wing causes. She is a veritable Dora the Right Wing Explorer this one. When we've had our fill where on earth will she go next? The Likud party perhaps?

Posted by: ah-ha at May 17, 2006 3:11 PM


What on earth has happened to law-and-order, rule-of-law Republican conservatives.

Most of them found out their grandfathers faked their health records to get in. As good conservatives, they respect tradition.

Posted by: Peter B at May 17, 2006 3:24 PM

Peter B.

Okay, I just have to laugh at that. Quite good really.

I hope you'll be consistent in your admiration of the equally venerable tradition of Mexican border hopping.

Posted by: Ah-ha at May 17, 2006 4:01 PM

Sounds like ah-ha found his way here via a link and hasn't actually read any postings on immigration at this site.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 17, 2006 4:23 PM

There was a documentary on a Somali faminly moving to Australia on SBS a few years ago, as luck would have it the business they were setting up was in my suburb and I walked past it every day (never went in though). It was a feel-good tale of decent people arriving in a new country and making a go of it.

I wonder how those guys are going these days, good I hope.

Posted by: Amos at May 18, 2006 5:16 AM