Hirsi Ali Moves to U.S.

Yasin Yagcı
Holland, until recently, was known as ‘the most tolerant country’ in the world; however, due to the political and social upheavals that have taken place in the last few years, the country is about to lose this title.
Following the trauma of 9/11, in many countries, including Holland, the big question was: ‘Have we become over-tolerant?’ The question was repeated so many times and followed by such serious debates that it set off a new social transformation. The parties fostering the dispute made their way into the political arena, and drawing upon the psychology of fear that already permeated society, they enlarged their scope of maneuvers day by day. This approach tends to divide a society into camps, maintains a distance in approaching the ‘other,’ sees foreigners as responsible for every single problem, and portrays Islam as a danger. This anti-tolerant attitude has damaged Holland’s image as the country of tolerance and caused many upheavals, such as the country has never witnessed before in history.

On November 2, 2004 the murder of film director Theo van Gogh in the middle of a street shook people profoundly. As the suspect was of Muslim origin, all reactions were focused on this section of society. Right after the murder, people talked in the heat of the moment accused the Muslim community as a whole. Thus was the cast die; Muslim buildings were sabotaged, schools were set on fire. Holland, though it was renowned for its tolerance to the ‘other,’ immediately became almost a center of intolerance.  

It is true that the 9/11 attacks have laid a foundation for conflict all over the world; nevertheless it would not be accurate to see this as the only reason for the conflicts in this country. In Holland there were also other actors involved who pushed the society into such a deep depression. They made use of the ‘clash of cultures’ psychology and brought the country to the brink of disaster. Conservative right wing leader Pim Fortuyn, who was also killed in a homicidal attack, director Theo van Gogh, and two parliament members, Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, were among those people. However, the most interesting of these actors was Somali-born Liberal Party member Ayaan Ali Hirsi.
In the last five years, Ali has been a focus of attention with her statements targeting Muslim society and with her offenses against Islam and its prophet. The scenario of Theo van Gogh’s movie ‘Submission,’ which insults the Muslim religion, also belonged to Hirsi Ali.  

Ayan Hirsi Ali is once again in the public eye, but this time for another reason: for her lies.  Ali, who comes from a Muslim family in Somali, gave false declarations to the Dutch authorities in order to be granted asylum. When this was revealed, she once again became the focus of public attention. She resigned from her post as a member of parliament and her citizenship was revoked. Hirsi Ali now states that she will move to the U.S.

Ali was on Time Magazine’s list of ‘The Most Effective 100 People of the World’, and she was awarded the 2006 Bravery Award by the AJC (American Jewish Committee); she was also a Nobel Prize candidate. Ali, who came to a dead-end in Holland after her lies were revealed, started her new advisory post for the think-tank organization “American Enterprise Institute” (AEI) on September 1. AEI is one of the most important advisory agencies consulted by President Bush.

Hırsi Ali’s lies not only forced her to flee and go to the U.S., they also destabilized the balance of power in Holland. The heated debates concerning Hırsi Ali resulted in the breakdown of the government in the country. The three-party coalition dissolved because of the Integration Minister’s attitude in Hirsi Ali case and early elections were announced.

American Enterprise Institute is known as the home of Neo-conservatives and it is one of the agencies that advise President Bush. There, many of the U.S. international policy decisions have ripened in the last few years. Indeed, what made AEI so important was its attitude in the days preceding the Iraqi war. The report that the organization prepared about Iraq was highly influential in the declaration of war.

(October 2006, 22nd Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07