Ayaan Hirsi Ironi

|

The American Enterprise Institute has announced a major hiring coup—Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch anti-immigration activist, will be joining the neoconservative think tank. Some are spinning that Ali was chased out of the Netherlands by "religious persecution," and indeed she's ducked years of death threats from the country's knuckle-dragging imams. But the immediate cause, apparently, is that Ali lied about her past to win Dutch asylum.

A storm erupted about her asylum application last week after a Dutch television documentary interviewed members of her family about her background. They said she had not been forced into an arranged marriage and had had nothing to fear.

Asked whether she had falsified her asylum application, Hirsi Ali told the programme she lied about her name, age and how she came to the Netherlands.

Under different circumstances this would have been a survivable scandal. But Hirsi Ali's party, the Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, has a draconian stance on illegal immigration which includes deportation for anyone who lies in their citizenship or asylum applications. The irony is delighting Hirsi Ali's enemies—it might give pause to Dutch politicians who have swung wildly to the right on immigration policy.

For a deeper look at the issues here, check out Andrew Linklater's excellent Hirsi Ali profile.

NEXT: Buyers in Bulk

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wow, talk about kismet!

  2. She the Dutch John Derbyshire.

    Of course, when he admitted being an illegal, he had no qualms about staying.

  3. “She the Dutch John Derbyshire.”

    She denounces “man-on-man” sex while writing lengthy columns describing the subject in suspiciously minute detail? Oh, wait, you meant the immigration status thing? Got it.

  4. I seem to recall her party having the slogan “The Netherlands are Full”.

    Nice.

  5. Well, I suppose it’s marginally better to shoot the messenger rather than decapitate her.

  6. This was revealed when she ran for election in 2002 and the voters seemed to be fine about it then.

    And, sadly, if there ever were an illegal immigrant who did more for her adopted country and deserved a mulligan, it’s her. Guess some folks just really don’t want to be dragged off the road to dhimmitude.

  7. “a draconian stance on illegal immigration which includes deportation for anyone who lies in their citizenship or asylum applications”

    And how is that draconian?

  8. “Guess some folks just really don’t want to be dragged off the road to dhimmitude.”

    RTFA. Her own anti-immigration party is demanding she be investigated.

  9. sounds like a great addition to AEI — perhaps she can co-write an article or two with Nick Gillespie.

  10. “A storm erupted about her asylum application last week after a Dutch television documentary interviewed members of her family about her background. They said she had not been forced into an arranged marriage and had had nothing to fear.”

    So we’re just supposed to automatically believe them? The “lies” on her asylum application she admitted to 12 years ago are minor, the latest revelations amount to “he said she said.”

    Her party’s sudden reversal of attitude just when Ali is getting alot of attention for her challenging of the imams, that’s a bit hypocritical. And cowardly.

  11. “But the immediate cause, apparently, is that Ali lied about her past to win Dutch asylum.”

    Drivel.

    European minister Atzo Nicola wished his party colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali every success on hearing she is moving to America. “It is nice if a MP does not resign directly after elections, but can move on to other things at the end of a period,” Nicola? said after a meeting of European ministers in Brussels on Monday. He said he did not have the impression the move was something that came up in the last few weeks. “I think this has been thought about for longer.”

    But of course, the ‘she lied, what a hypocrite’ line suits your snarky, smart-assness so keep reveling in it, even though it’s false.

  12. If you put Yehudit’s and Rupert’s comments together, you end up with the conclusion that we can’t trust her family at all – they are all lying, and she’s the only one telling the truth – but we can beleive the elected politician. You know, the one who’s already been caught lying on her application, and has now been charged with, er, lying on her application.

    Lemme guess, fellas, you found your way here from Free Republic, NRO, or some other Republican site. Right?

  13. Joe,

    She admitted she lied on her application. That’s fine. But to then say that this is the pressing reason for her coming to the US is bullshit. This isn’t complicated.

  14. Rupert,
    She admitted she lied on her application. Something she and her party believe is grounds for deportation. So either way she’s full of shit. She is full of shit because she says she’s above what she believes should be law or she’s full of shit for the reason she left Holland.

  15. “you end up with the conclusion that we can’t trust her family at all – they are all lying, and she’s the only one telling the truth – but we can beleive the elected politician.”

    The original falsifications she freely admitted to when she joined the party, and it didn’t bother them then. If they are doing an abrupt aboutface now, that says more aobut them than about her. I’ve read what she’s written, I saw her speak in NYC, she has an immense amount of integrity, and yeah, if her “arranged husband” says they were really in love . . . . sheeeyeah, right.

    I don’t get it. She’s a secular individualist capitalist standing up to fundamentalist statist bullies. You guys ought to love her – what’s the problem??

  16. Rupert,

    She seems to be kaput as a political figure in the Netherlands. And she seems to have her own little cheering section among neocons in the United States. No, it’s not complicated.

    Yehudit,

    I’m a liberal. You know, one of those “reality-based” types, who consider the facts of a story more important than the political narrative assigned to it. And while the political narrative is as clear and bright as a Hollywood movie, the actual facts seems a bit murky and dim.

  17. Hirsi Ali has spoken glowingly about the American immigrant entrepreneurial model in contrast to the way Islamist extremists are coddled by the European welfare state. She defends Enlightenment rationalism. She’s strikingly beautiful and articulate. In short, a Randite’s wet dream.

    But you are trashing her and defending the cowardly statist appeasers who turned on her.

    Ayn must be spinning in her grave.

  18. a Dutch television documentary interviewed members of her family about her background. They said she had not been forced into an arranged marriage and had had nothing to fear.

    But if she had been forced into an arranged marriage, and did have something to fear, would they have admitted it? I used to know a woman who worked for a child-protection agency; if you went exclusively by what parents said, you’d have to assume there has never been an abused or neglected child in all the history of this country.

  19. Not to mention her ghastly neocon carping on and on about her need for asylum from imaginary “death threats.”

    It’s just like the whining we in the reality-based community endured from theose other hideous right wing Dutch anti-Muslim hysterics, Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh.

  20. According to Dutch blogger Peaktalk, the Dutch are a bunch of Ellsworth Tooeys, so there you are.

    “And she seems to have her own little cheering section among neocons in the United States. No, it’s not complicated.”

    No it’s not. Individualism vs statism. Freedom vs repression. Personal responsibility vs scapegoating. So why aren’t you cheering too?

  21. Yehudit,
    I hate those that pull up the ladder. Climing aboard and then saying, “Sorry, the boat is full,” is vile and anti-liberal (in the classic sense). I can understand a legal immigrant opposing illegal immigration (though I think the best way to counter it is better enforcement and increasing LEGAL immigration). Yet she is an illegal immigrant who is in a party that proclaims “The Netherlands are full” and will likely do the same in the US.

    Oh and considering part of the reason she didn’t go to Hopkins was “too poor,” I wouldn’t rule out self-interest (not that there’s anything wrong with that. Besides, why would a Randian try to avoid the naked self-interest part?

  22. So if I’m understanding Yehudit and Rupert’s take on this correctly, they are claiming that somehow the Islamists got to Hirsi Ali’s own party leadership? Is that even vaguely credible?

  23. What weird and jaded people you all must be. I can’t understand such support for these bloodthirsty animals. What happened to your common sense?

  24. Yehudit,

    Ali has violated the #1 Libertarian belief with respect to religion:

    “Islam is a religion of peace and freedom.”

    Thus the “neocon” jibes.

    Never mess with a man’s beliefs. They are more sacred than his politics.

    Especially when you hear the yearning for a man of peace in the White house:

    Neville Chamberlain Was A Man of Peace

  25. To add a bit more perspective: Ever since the assassination of politician Pim Fortuyn, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s VVD-party has taken over as a standard bearer of ‘zero tolerance’ towards asylum seekers and immigrants.
    Election campaign after election campaign, politicians of the VVD have peppered voters with this ‘zero tolerance’. The Immigration minister who has now rescinded her citizenship is of the same party.
    The government – with the VVD a part of it – has deported asylum seeker after asylum seeker the past 4 years for lying during their citizenship application procedure, just as Ayaan Hirsi Ali did in 1992.
    So what is an average Dutchman, who has been confronted with nothing but ‘zero tolerance!’ from those quarters, to think now that it turns out that while all those politicians loudly shouted ‘zero tolerance!’ into television cameras had, in their midst, someone who lied during her citizenship application?
    How can those voters, who now repeat the call for ‘zero tolerance’, because no animal can be more equal than other animals, to be judged?
    In fact, who *can* judge those people?

  26. So what is an average Dutchman, who has been confronted with nothing but ‘zero tolerance!’ from those quarters, to think now that it turns out that while all those politicians loudly shouted ‘zero tolerance!’ into television cameras had, in their midst, someone who lied during her citizenship application?

    Rudy Giuliani’s father had mob ties.

    Should we have kicked Rudy Giuliani out of office when he was effectively prosecuting the men his father may have worked with? Should we have abandoned his ‘zero-tolerance’ policies and watched the New York Crime rate skyrocket back to previous, record-breaking rates?

    I always thought libertarians were pragmatists.

  27. @ Mary:
    Only those without dogmas have the freedom of mind to be pragmatists. You seem to be filled with dogmes, however.
    Unfortunately, there’s too many dogmas around these days, too many people who think they own the truth – just like you. And just like me.
    And still – I will have NONE of the usual Europeans-bashing. Before the start of this month – May – US pundits bashed Europeans for their so-called “anti-immigrant” stance. Welp, I seem to recall certain mass-demonstrations by a lot of people…

    But then, it’s easy to forget. It’s Newspeak, after all.

    The truth of the matter is that almost all Dutch politicians said: “RULES ARE RULES! BEFEHL IST BEFEHL!”
    And those politicians set the example.
    And now that a majority of the people here in the Netherlands have agreed to their ‘befehl ist befehl!’, suddenly thats all wrong…?
    Please.
    Wake up.

  28. To add even more perspective:
    Verdonk has demonstrably LIED on at least two occassions. The opposition asked for her removal, but was outvoted by the governement parties.
    Verdonk lied about:
    1. Giving information to Congolese secret police. She strongly denied, in no uncertain terms, that her Immigration Services EVER gave information about Congolese asylumseekers. More specifically, she denied that they informed the Congolese Secret Police that these people were indeed asyslumseekers. This is important because Congolese returnees who have sought asylum in the West are severely mistreated, beaten up by the Congolese Secret Police, and there are strong rumours about killings.

    2. She lied about giving the same info to the Syrian authorities. It seemed that Syrian govt officials were given the complete file on everyone who the Immigration Service wanted to sent back to Syria.

    She didn’t lie, but was extremely harsh in the following cases:

    1. She wanted to deport homosexual Iranians and converted to christianity Iranians, BACK to Iran. These are capital offenses in Iran. It’s the law there. She said they wouldn’t need to have problems as long as they didn’t overtly stated their sexual or religious preference.

    2. She didn’t want to speed up naturalization of Ivorian footballer Kalou. He will have his citizenship anyway in 2-3 years or so, but the WHOLE football community, including Hollands national manager Marco van Basten, legend Johan Cruijf AND the minister of Sport advised to speed up something which is gonna happen anyway in 2-3 years. Realize that in similar cases a British seasailor, a badminton player and some other practitioner of some insignificant sport, were fast-tracked into naturalisation. Also, he’s not likely EVER to ask for some kind of dole or something, he’s earning way too much for that.

    3. A Bosnian student who wanted a meer extra 4 weeks to complete her Dutch high school (prep-)exam, was kicked out by her because Verdonk claimed she had lied. Verdonk branded her publicly a liar (and not civilly, but on the front page of the biggest Dutch newspaper, with a headline covering one THIRD of said frontpage).

  29. “And still – I will have NONE of the usual Europeans-bashing. Before the start of this month – May – US pundits bashed Europeans for their so-called “anti-immigrant” stance. Welp, I seem to recall certain mass-demonstrations by a lot of people…”

    Which really takes the cake on this one is Francis Fukayama, who stated more or less that 9-11 is to blame on the Europeans, since they failed to integrate their Muslims properly, and most of the hijackers lived for some years in Germany.

  30. It amazes me that so many people are willing to disregard everything this brave woman has done to defend enlightened political principles against the most blatant, Fascist, self-righteous and anachronistic ideology on the face the Earth . . . simply because, years ago, in a state of fear and anxiety, she lied on a bit of paperwork. The nauseating hypocrisy of those on the Left makes me want to vomit.
    If Ayaan Hirsi Ali has belonged to an anti-immigration party, it is because she understands, on a visceral level, what the real Islamist agenda is for the gradual infiltration of Europe, and the radicalization of an increasing and widely-secretive Muslim population. Where are these multitudes of “moderate” Muslims we keep hearing about? Why are they not making their numbers known in the streets as often as those who are rioting, burning embassies and proclaiming their intention — on their own websites and in their own communities — to increase the Muslim population, so as to create a new “Caliphate” in Europe and America, no matter how long it takes . . . all while smiling and talking about how even fundamentalist and militant Islam is a religion of “peace and tolerance”. Anyone who cannot see that these people really are, in a collective sense, a “Fifth Column”, does not deserve the intellectual respect that we would give to a turnip.
    It is absurd to waste time arguing about how many “moderate” Muslims there are, because it is not the moderate Muslims who are controlling the worldwide Muslim agenda. It is not the moderates who are in control of most of the hundreds of madrassahs and mosques, throughout the world, which have been paid for by Saudi money, and which have, for decades, been serving as indoctrination schools to produce an endless stream of mindless true believers.
    It is inconceivable how anyone with an ounce of analytical ability could read the Quran and still believe that it carries a consistent message of “moderation” toward those who are not Muslims. There is nothing moderate about it . . . especially in the later Suras that came from the time of Mohammed’s years in Medina. The “Prophet” was, above all, a very skilled opportunist and plagiarist. He knew how to speak with a smile and say pretty words while still subject to the power of the authorities in Mecca. But, when he had an army behind him, he bared his fangs and was, manifestly, responsible for ordering the executions and slaughter of thousands of “non-believers”. When he finally ordered his followers to kill the non-believers “wherever you may find them”, it was not a statement of “defensive” war, it was an encouragement of naked expansionist conquest.
    More than a thousand years ago, Muslims tried to take all of Europe by force. They failed. Now they are being indoctrinated and trained to take it gradually by stealth, through a higher birthrate and immigration, and their fanatical puppet-masters do not care if takes 200 years to accomplish the task. After all, if you have “God” on your side, how can you possibly fail?
    The Dutch, along with many other Europeans, are obsessed with being “sensitive” to and tolerant of another culture, even if the culturally-influenced behaviors of the people of that other culture represent a value system which should not be tolerated within the borders of a civilized democratic society, and even if those behaviors frequently express contempt for the values of individual freedom that any just society must live by. Such toleration for a theological agenda which is manifestly totalitarian will eventually prove the undoing of Constitutional government. If and when Muslims become a majority in any nation of Europe, let us then see how “tolerant” they will be to the rest of the population.
    It is a pathetic sight to read the blogs of those who wax poetic about the need to be “compassionate” — even toward those Muslim immigrants and radicals who willfully break the immigration laws of their host country by sneaking across borders without any permission at all — yet who express outrage and sarcasm that a peaceful woman simply lied on an asylum application in order to find refuge from her previous oppressive environment. Why should we place more trust in the testimony of her estranged family members than we do in her? Her lie on a piece of government paperwork pales in comparison to the good she has done. Doesn’t that count for an ounce of forgiveness?
    The accusation that she is “full of bullshit” for such a comparitively minor offense is, itself, a slander of the worst and most despicable kind, and reflects the character of a jackal.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.