Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Netherlands, Update

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At last we have a factual article about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s return to the Netherlands: ’We Are Making Fools of Ourselves in the Eyes of the World’.

And as I suspected, the claim published by Expatica that the United States had “refused” to pay for her security was not correct; as a Dutch citizen, she does not qualify for protection under US law. It’s the Dutch government who has refused to pay for her security.

There are exactly five people that the Dutch government has to protect against death threats from radical Islamists.

This sort of protection is expensive. Society bears the costs because freedom of opinion, a cornerstone of our culture, is on the line. The extremists, for their part, are prepared to risk their own lives to kill those under government protection.

The costs of protection are completely disproportionate to the outcome: the continued existence of our values and norms.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the sixth person granted protection by the Dutch government. She began receiving threats when, as a Dutch citizen and member of the parliament, she spoke out critically against political Islam. After the so-called “passport scandal,” when the Dutch minister of immigration and integration threatened to confiscate her passport after Ayaan had been accused of lying about her name and birth date when she first arrived in the Netherlands, she moved to the United States, which precipitated a sharp upswing in her career within only a few months. She wrote a bestseller and landed a job at the American Enterprise Institute. But as a Dutch citizen, Ayaan does not qualify for protection in the United States under US laws and regulations.

Contrary to what many in the Netherlands believe about the success of her autobiography, she is not wealthy. She could not pay for the kind of protection she needs out of her own pocket — no matter how much she would like to do so. Besides, the Dutch government apparently failed to find the right US officials with whom they could have reached an agreement. Under a decision by Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Balin, the protection paid for by the Dutch government expired on Oct. 1. Ayaan returned to the Netherlands, because without protection she doesn’t have a day left to live.

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