Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the Dutch Government

It seems that the Dutch government, and in particular former deputy PM Gerrit Zalm and current PM Jan Peter Balkenende, really know how to keep their promises:
Hirsi Ali was persuaded to run for Parliament, and to become the world's most visible and imperiled spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women, on the understanding that she would be provided security for as long as she needed it. Gerrit Zalm, in his capacity as both the deputy prime minister and the minister of finance, promised her such security without qualification. Most shamefully, Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, has recommended that Hirsi Ali simply quit the Netherlands, while refusing to grant her even a week's protection outside the country during which she might raise funds to hire security of her own. Is this a craven attempt to placate Muslim fanatics? A warning to other Dutch dissidents not to stir up trouble by speaking too frankly about Islam? Or just pure thoughtlessness?
Some other points of view have been aired (this is Dymphna at Gates of Vienna):
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a formidable woman, but she isn’t perfect. Her mistakes have been costly to herself and others. I do not think any government has an obligation to provide security for her — this protection would not be necessary if she had not, of her own free will, made that mediocre movie. Actions have consequences, and this one is hers.

Though I don’t agree with her socialist political philosophy and I find her militant atheism without nuance, I would be willing to donate money to a private fund designated for her protection. However, it is not a government’s job to protect its citizens from their own folly. If any such fund is started, I’ll be glad to publicize it and to make a donation.

Personally, I don't agree. Perhaps, if she was allowed to bear arms, I might.

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