Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ayaan Ali Hirsi's Dutch Citizenship Revoked

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has ruled that Hirsi Ali was never a legal citizen of the Netherlands in the first place and revoked her citizenship.
Outspoken Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has reacted with shock to the news she was never a citizen of the Netherlands. If true, she was not entitled to be a member of parliament since 2002.

"I am speechless," the native of Somalia told the New York Times. Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk informed her by telephone on Monday evening that a preliminary investigation has found she probably never attained the status of a naturalised Dutch citizen. This is because she lied to get asylum five years earlier. She has six weeks to reply to the Minister's ruling.
Apparently, not everyone is thrilled by Minister Verdonk's preemptory move. Not even everyone in Verdonk's liberal party.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali's fellow members of the VVD free-market party are in an uproar. The normally hugely loyal Dutch VVD MP Bibi de Vries has said that 'if anything happens to AHA, her blood will be on the hands of members of my party'. Former party leader Van Aartsen appeared on television with his face looking like a freshly boiled lobster. European VVD MP's as well as Geert Dales, the VVD mayor of Leeuwarden, have condemned secretary Rita Verdonk's preliminary decision to revoke AHA's citizenship.
This has now led to a firestorm within the Dutch government, as various parties split into pro-AHA and pro-Verdonk positions and the Dutch Prime Minister keeps out of the firefight, in order to salvage his government.

It would be ironic, indeed, if Verdonk ends up having to resign as a result of her belligerent actions.

UPDATE: The Free West's weblog quotes an anecdote from France and applies it to the current situation:

In May '68, during the Paris riots, the French police planned to arrest Jean-Paul Sartre.

When De Gaulle was informed about the plan, he reacted: 'On n'arrete pas un Voltaire.'
One does not arrest a Voltaire.

One does not strip a Voltaire from his citizenship.

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