Abrupt Homecoming: Hirsi Ali Returns to the Netherlands after Losing Body Guards
Former Dutch legislator and Islam critic Hirsi Ali has been under state-funded protection since extremists began threatening her life in 2004. Now the Dutch government has said it won't pay for her protection if she continues to live and work in the United States.
Somalia-born critic of Islam and former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali has returned to the Netherlands to make security arrangements for herself after the Dutch government decided to no longer pay for her US security detail.
Writer and former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned to the Netherlands on Monday after living in the United States and working for a prominent conservative think tank. The move came after the Dutch government said it would no longer pay for her security needs in Washington.
According to the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, Hirsi Ali returned Monday to her adopted country, the Netherlands, where she is entitled to state-funded protection.
Sybrand van Haersmma Buma, the ruling Christian Democrat Party's security-issues spokesman, defended the government's decision, saying that the state-funded protection in the US was only meant to last through Hirsi Ali's first year abroad and that it had only been granted due to "extraordinary circumstances," the Associated Press reported him as saying.
"It was a temporary measure," van Haersmma Buma told Dutch NOS television Monday. "The responsibility for her security should be taken on by the US government," van Haersmma Buma added, arguing that handling Hirsi Ali's security arrangements in a foreign country was taxing.
From 2003 to 2006, Hirsi Ali served in the lower house of the Dutch parliament. In 2006, she resigned from her position after hardline Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk tried to revoke her Dutch passport because Hirsi Ali had provided false information when she applied for asylum in 1992. The resulting controversy led to widespread public outcry in the Netherlands and abroad, and Verdonk was forced to back down.
Since then, Hirsi Ali has been a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, DC. Her autobiography, entitled "Infidel," was released in the US earlier this year and became a best-seller. Her security in the US was increased in March after she received more death threats there.
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