France supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch Minister who has received death threats for her views on radical islam. Paris is examining how to accord the Somalian born feminist, no more under Dutch protection once outside the territory, a French nationality.
“I need help”. This is how Ayaan Hirsi Ali summed it all up in a meeting that took place in Paris last Sunday. It was in reference to death threats made against her after she criticised islam. The Netherlands warned her that she was not going to be under the country’s protection once outside its territorial borders. The United States where she is presently exiled cannot secure her physical protection for “legal reasons”.
We are your friends
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Price at Sunday’s meeting, organised by the media, european parliamentarians and human rights groups. Writer-philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy called on French President Nicolas Sarkozy to remember his declaration “whenever a woman is matyred anywhere in the world, France needs to be supportive of her”. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, repeated this same sentence in French before saying that “she’ll be honoured to have a chance to become a French citizen”
The secretary of state for Human Rights, Rama Yade, assured her of France’s support. “We are your friends, The eternal France, the France of 1789, of Hugo and of De Gaulle has heard you … we are thinking of a way to help you attain French citizenship”. She also read a message from the French Presindent in which he mentions his determination to “act together with Europeans to create a fund for the protection of those who live under such threats”.
Monday, UMP, the ruling party, gave its stamp of approval in support of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Yves Jego, the party’s spokes person said “this courageous woman living under such a threat has appealed to us to help her obtain French citizenship in the least possible time”.
Laconic reaction from the Netherlands
“We are ready to consider a proposal on an european fund for people under death threats. In the meantime, The Netherlands continues protecting those who deserve it” declared the spokesperson of the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs, Maxime Verhagen, to AFP. Commenting on the former Dutch parliamentarian’s naturalisation, Bart Rijs said without making any further comments that “it is a private matter” “i am irritated by the broad international misundertanding, whereby everyone thinks that the Netherlands does not want to protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali”. Talking about the same issue, the Finance Minister and Vice President of the Netherlands, Wouter Bos, said that according to an agreement with Hirsi Ali, her protection in the United States was supposed to be “ temporary”.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is expected in Brussels on Thursday where about 60 European MPs will be presenting a bill. If the MPs are able to collect 393 signatures, the document will help in releasing enough funds for the protection of Hirsi Ali, whose safety is currently undertaken by private donors and activists.
The Dutch woman angered muslims when she took part in a film titled “submissions part one”. A red-hot film that talked against islamic fundamentalism and its consequences on women. The producer, Theo Van Gogh was assassinated in 2004 by a morocan born dutch fundamentalist who is serving a life sentence.