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.