[lit-ideas] Re: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

  • From: "Judith Evans" <judithevans1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 21:37:57 +0100

I'm not saying she won't be safer in the US.  A lot of people would be.  But 
they would find it difficult to get into the US particularly if they'd lied -- 
on major points -- on an immigration application for another country (where 
there were no extenuating circumstances).

It's also true that she has fallen foul of a very right-wing very 
anti-immigrant Immigration
Minister -- a member of her own party -- and indeed it seems of her own
party; which is increasingly anti-immigrant.  (And "immigrant" is in the 
Netherlands defined more
widely than elsewhere.)

>(de Jong)"You could argue that everyone liked her as a token... 
>but maybe they weren't willing, because she was a woman and 
>an immigrant, to accept her as an intellectual force

That may well be.  I deplore both sets of prejudices -- anti-woman and

Judy Evans, Cardiff

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lawrence Helm 
  To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 8:40 PM
  Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ayaan Hirsi Ali


  Apparently different passages jumped out at me than at you.  Here are some 
passages you didn't include below that influenced what I wrote: 

  Primarily, "The controversy comes at a time when Ms Hirsi Ali was already 
reportedly making plans to leave the Netherlands for the US."   You emphasize 
that she couldn't stay in the Netherlands.  Perhaps that's true but perhaps 
not.  Since she seems to have given up on the Netherlands we'll never know.  
The fact that "She has received repeated death threats over her challenges to 
Islam's treatment of women and has been living under 24-hour police guard," 
probably influenced her more than the documentary.  

  Also, "Ms Hirsi Ali's case may not have been helped by her attempt to 
intervene in another high-profile asylum case.  the MP, known for promoting the 
integration of immigrants into Dutch society, has certainly received little 
support from other members of her party since the storm broke. 

  "Mr de Jong suggests that while the VVD benefited from the publicity Ms Hirsi 
Ali brought them, some within the party found it difficult to accept her 
outspoken views. 

  "You could argue that everyone liked her as a token... but maybe they weren't 
willing, because she was a woman and an immigrant, to accept her as an 
intellectual force - someone with her own agenda who would speak out," he said.

  "A court had also recently ruled that Ms Hirsi Ali must move from a 
state-owned "safe house" in The Hague, after neighbours complained of a 
security risk. 

  "She may expect a warmer welcome in the US, where Time magazine has named her 
one of the most influential thinkers of our time."

  She was treated badly by a nation that doesn't know how to integrate 
immigrants.  She received death threats.  A good friend was assassinated and a 
note affixed by a knife stabbed to his chest warning that she would be killed 
as well.  She was living as a prisoner in a safe house, but being told her 
prison would no longer be available because her neighbors were afraid of 
collateral damage when assassins came after her.  Shoot, I'd fight to stay in 
that kind of situation. I can't think why she didn't.


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