Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Good Riddance!
The American Right has a new darling: the now notorious Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to take up a post in the neocon American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Clearly the AEI doesn't look a gift horse in the mouth, Hirsi Ali is after all a popular Islam-basher and in Far Right Christian circles you just can't have enough of these.
Much was made of Ali's notorious stance on Islam's submission of women, which she epitomised in the script for a short film, "Submission". But Calvinist Holland forgot that if a mirror image of this film had been made, showing a half-nude Christian woman with Biblical scribblings on her body, the uproar would also have been guaranteed.
Ali has always struck me as a flip-flopping, ambitious self-promoter, much more interested in personal advancement than an actual cause. And Ali is highly intelligent and an attractive woman, she's likely to go far. But a truthseeker she ain't.
Right now some are already trying to downplay the lies she told to obtain Dutch citizenship but these falsehoods don't strike me as little white lies:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Fiction and facts
Fiction: she said her name was Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Fact: her real name is Ayaan Hirsi Magan. She said she changed it to prevent her family from finding her after running out on her new husband during a visit to Germany.
Fiction: she told Dutch authorities she was born in 1967.
Fact: she was born in 1969. She said she lied to prevent Dutch authorities from tracking her real identity.
Fiction: she claimed to have fled to Holland from war-torn Somalia.
Fact: she caught a train from Germany, following her marriage to a Canadian cousin, after spending more than a decade in Kenya. She spent only seven years in Somalia as a young girl.
More on Ali Hirsi's past exploits and her undoubtedly bright career in the cesspool of American neoconservative Islamophobia, here:
Critic of Islam to quit Holland after lies are exposed
By David Rennie in Brussels
Holland's most strident critic of Islam, the Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is today expected to announce she is quitting politics and moving to America, amid allegations that she lied to gain asylum.
Miss Hirsi Ali faces penalties up to and including the potential loss of her Dutch citizenship, after a leading member of her own political party, the VVD, pledged a formal investigation of her actions.
The Dutch immigration minister, Rita Verdonk, who is running for the parliamentary leadership of the VVD, said she would order a probe of her colleague's case, saying: "Laws and rules are valid for everyone".
Miss Hirsi Ali, 36, lives under constant police guard, after receiving death threats for her criticisms of the treatment of women in Islam (her own religion), a stance that won her many fans in Europe and America.
A film she scripted about abuse of women, Submission, led to the brutal murder of its director, Theo van Gogh, in 2004, by a Muslim extremist.
The MP has in fact long admitted lying to the Dutch authorities in 1992 about her name, her age, and the fact that she did not flee directly to Holland from Somalia.
She presented those omissions as necessary lies to obtain refugee status. Asylum seekers are expected to seek shelter in the first safe country they come to, and she would have been automatically deported if she had owned up to spending more than a decade outside Somalia, in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and, briefly, Germany.
She obtained Dutch citizenship in 1997, and was elected to parliament in 2003.
However, the controversy has been stoked by a television documentary last week, which showed members of her own family striking at the very heart of her dramatic life story - her claim that she fled a forced marriage to a cousin she had never met.
Relatives, including her brother, said she had not been forced into marriage, and had nothing to fear. The documentary showed images of her family's comfortable middle-class home in Kenya.
Miss Hirsi Ali, who cut short a book tour in America to return to Holland and address the media storm, is expected to announce she is moving to Washington DC, to take up a post at the neo-conservative think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute, the newspaper De Volkskrant reported.
Since the allegations surfaced, Miss Hirsi Ali has said she is the victim of a "smear campaign".