Ayaan Hirsi Ali/Magan moves to US

Controversial “Dutch” politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose true surname is Magan and not Ali, is reported to move to the United States where she will be working for The American Enterprise Institute. She is currently embroiled in a scandal because she had lied about her past to obtain a Dutch passport:

Hirsi Ali said she came clean about the lies she told to get asylum when she joined the Liberal Party (VVD) in 2002. Yet prominent VVDer (and now EU Commissioner) Neelie Kroes described Hirsi Ali as a person who had lived through five civil wars in Somalia. This was not true as Hirsi Ali lived in Kenya for over 10 years before coming to the Netherlands.

A spokesperson for the VVD said the party had been aware that Hirsi Ali lied about her name and date of birth when seeking asylum. This was not seen as a barrier to her joining the party or becoming one of its MPs.

These lies, in short, were already public knowledge. Way back in 2003, for example, the BBC published a story on Ayaan Hirsi Ali/Magan with the correct version of the facts, including her move to Kenya and stop-over in Germany.

The truly salient part of the story is, however, this:

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said on Friday that Hirsi Ali need not worry about facing repercussions for what she did 14 years ago. But she repeated she would have deported Hirsi Ali if she had been the minister back in 1992. “I don’t like lies,” Verdonk said on Friday.

Remember, Verdonk now plays tough on illegal immigrants. Yesterday evening, Monday 15th, Verdonk is reported to have made a phone call to Hirsi Ali, her colleague in the VVD party, saying that Hirsi may very well not be Dutch after all because, in 1997, she lied about her application for Dutch citizenship… Gotta love politics.

BTW, Hirsi Ali has declared to be shocked by all this, in The New York Times.

UPDATE, Saturday May 20th: Verdonk stated that Hirsi will get her Dutch passport back. The Dutch news story can be found here. Apparently they want to keep the VVD from splitting into two camps because of this affair. Huge pressure was piled on VVD member Verdonk to compromise and retract her earlier decision to strip Hirsi of her Dutch citizenship.

17 thoughts on “Ayaan Hirsi Ali/Magan moves to US

  1. The right-wing nutters in Parliament are discovering that their soddy little netherlander rules on immigration actually affect real people. Good for them. Sad for Hirsi.

  2. Perhaps it should be added that Mrs Verdonk, with her tough stance on immigration, is currently trying to get elected as her party’s leader in the next elections. In the Dutch press, Verdonk’s remarkably quick conclusion on Hirsi Ali’s citizenship status is widely associated with this leadership contest.

    Strangely enough though, the conclusion in American rightwing circles seems to be that a politically correct, leftwing, multiculturalist atmosphere is driving Hirsi Ali out of the Netherlands. Excuse me? As far as I can see, this is being done by a politically correct, rightwing, anti-immigrant minister applying her prefered policies, supported by the vast majority of her equally anti-immigrant electorate.

  3. “Strangely enough though, the conclusion in American rightwing circles seems to be that a politically correct, leftwing, multiculturalist atmosphere is driving Hirsi Ali out of the Netherlands”

    The whole country is now guilty by association, I suppose. Not that many American blogs would follow Dutch politics closely enough to notice the difference anyway.

    Perception is everything in the propaganda wars.
    Thanks for your comments, by the way.

  4. Prediction: in 2009 she’ll be on Fox News to tell everyone how her supersecret sources say Holland has WMDs and it’s only the euroweenies and the librul CIA who disagree.

    Holland doesn’t have oil, but it does have natural gas!

  5. Some Americans follow Dutch politics in the way islamophobics explain muslims out of selected Quran texts. Christopher Hitchens, a neocon (who is, besides, of British origin, but the neophytes are often the worst), published a column in Slate (8 May, before the actual events started): “Holland’s shameful treatment of Ajaan Hirsi Ali”. He cites, as proof of the incurable double-dutchness of Dutchmen in particular, and of Western Europeans in general, the Dutch authorities’ self-serving tolerance of the Amsterdam fundamentalist rabbis’ indictment of Baruch d’Espinoza … in the 17th century.
    As an expat Dutchman, I hoped so much, that the Dutch authorities would grant the “Caged Virgin” now a new asylum on humanitarian grounds and offer her a well-guarded personal think-tank in the royal gardens of The Hague. That would have ashamed the mythomaniac woman and have disturbed the neocons’ plans to exploit her as a weapon against assumed Western European doublespeak.
    But there are too many politicians in The Hague, who prefer a shameful outcome of the problem-Ali to losing their own faces. I think, they hope, that everything will be forgotten in two weeks, when the Soccer World Championships in Germany start, and half of the Dutch population, clad in tasteless orange outfits, are going to overcompensate their WW2 frustrations.

  6. Do we really want one class of citizens with guaranteed citizenship and a second class whose citizenship may be revoked?

    IMO if somebody lies on a signed document fine or jail them, but deportation is not a sensible reaction.

  7. There is something grimly amusing about it, islamophobic panderers getting hoisted by their own petard. But I don’t see how it would hurt their cause, and Hirsi Ali herself, while usnympathetic, probably doesn’t deserve this (and she certainly doesn’t dereve the death threats). So, I think I hold my laughter.

  8. “her supersecret sources say Holland has WMDs”

    The Netherlands are weeks away from nuclear weapons as is most of western Europe.

  9. Can anybody over here tell me why are you lefties in love with islam? Why don’t you loudly protest against muslim intolerance, violence, supression of women’s rights, female mutilation, honor killings, censorhsip in islamic countries, overall lack of democracy in the muslim world, death threats to apostates, not to mention terrorism? Why do you keep on bashing Israel instead, the only democracy in the Middle East? Why do you love so much the pseudoreligious violent mediaeval cult called islam?

  10. Ayaan Hirsi Magan also claimed to be Ayaan Hirsi Ali when she stood for election to Parliament.

    According to Article 128 of Dutch Criminal Law, she could face up to 1 year in prison for that.

  11. It’s getting better and better: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4989582.stm

    But the issue is being seen as a political risk to the government. (…) Mrs Verdonk, has agreed to review the possibilities of re-considering Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s asylum application. (…) Ms Hirsi Ali’s political downfall has caused much controversy in the Netherlands. If the hard-line immigration minister decides not to bend to parliament’s demands, many fear the centre-right coalition could face serious problems.Forget about principles, this is a classic case of ass-saving. Yuck.

  12. Completely OT, @PK

    Can anybody over here tell me why are you righties in love with vegetables? Why don’t you loudly protest against vegetarian intolerance, violence, supression of carrots’ rights, lettuce mutilation, hunger killings, censorhsip in vegetarian countries, overall lack of hamburgers in the vegetarian world, death threats to apostates, not to mention veganism? Why do you keep on bashing McDonalds instead, the only fast-food chain in the Middle East? Why do you love so much the pseudoreligious violent mediaeval cult called vegeterianism?

    I love trolls. They’re cute.

  13. Neither I or Guy, or most of the commenters I think, would describe ourselves as lefties.

    One can be right wing without being a bigot.

  14. “One can be right wing without being a bigot.”

    One way of looking at the political landscape is as a plane rather than a line, where the horizontal left-right axis indicates traditional socio-economic differences whereas the vertical axis is for personal freedom vs. bigotry.

    I would be fairly centrist on the left-right axis (but that depends on location: I would be definitely right-wing in France and definitely left-wing in the USA). But I would be way up on the personal freedom axis in almost any country.

    Perhaps we should stop doing what I did in my comment above, i.e. applying left-right labels to issues that actually are up-down.

  15. “IMO if somebody lies on a signed document fine or jail them, but deportation is not a sensible reaction.”

    Deportation of A.H.A. is not and has never been under consideration. Her Dutch residence is undisputed, because she has a refugee (“A”) status and passport.
    A.H.A. herself is by all means a prominent Dutch citizen and few people would feel different, however there is a technical issue over the legal validity of her citizenship. This issue went unrecognized in its legal ramifications until last week, when the TV program Zembla aired an investigation of A.H.A.’s past.

    The uproar is about the apparent illegality of A.H.A.’s Dutch citizenship because it’s based on false personalia, but more and more about how “straightshooter and hardliner” Minister Rita Verdonk of Immigration and Integration Affairs went on and handled the situation without taking much liberty of time to investigate every aspect of the situation. This gives her response the appearance of being extreme, rushed, unconsidering and -in the light of her active media campaign for VVD party leadership- driven by political self-interest.

    From today’s perspective, it appears that because of the faked personalia in A.H.A.’s application for citizenship, her citizenship is lacking in legal validity. This formality can and probably will be fixed by means of reapplication, but there’s quite a catch, because in absence of Dutch citizenship, A.H.A.’s position in government may have compromised the Dutch constitution. In the worst scheme of things, this could render the current government unconstitutional, with all consequences.

    If the Dutch push any further in their literal line of thought, the Netherlands may find itself retroactively erased from existence for a period of just about three years. And you know what? Considering everything, I think it could actually happen.

  16. This whole episode has been a national shame, but might still have some positive consequences:

    – 95% of parliament supported Hirsi Ali. She is quite likely to be granted citizenship by hook or by crook
    – This might even generate positive spin-off for refugees with less powerful friends
    – Verdonk has been heavily damaged within her own party. It could get worse once her amazing claim ” not to have known” about AHA’s fake i.d. until recently is scrutinized. Some well placed leaks should clear up wether this is a lie or simply incompetence.

    The anglo meme that multicultural appeasers hounde AHA out of the country is bizarre. Lefty, multicultural types like Femke Halsema of the Groenlinks party were *more* likely to insist on the importance of protecting Hirsi Ali. In fact, even old and mellowed feminists and gay activists like Ayaan; she reminds them of their radical youth. Her career for a conservative American think tank should be highly interesting to follow 🙂

  17. The whole episode is pretty absurd to me. Hirsi Ali already resigned. It seems to me that she has acted in a way, which Dutch authorities want all of their immigrants to act, that is by accepting the Dutch laws and customs. By focusing on the lie instead of what followed it, the message that it sent is that integration within Dutch society is next to impossible and that redemption for foreign-born citizens is next to impossible.

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