Monday, January 17, 2005

Tomorrow Hirsi Ali returns

Representative Ayaan Hirsi AliTomorrow, Tuesday 18 January 2005, Ayaan Hirsi Ali will return to Dutch parliament. After the slaughter of Theo van Gogh, Dutch government held her in hiding in the USA. But while she was in hiding, politicians from nearly all political parties have critiqued her. Even politicians from her own political party the Liberal VVD, are now critiquing her more and more.

A week a go, VVD party prominent and ex-party leader, Hans Wiegel, who is still quite influential, questioned her tactics. He said in the political TV show Buitenhof that, "she makes a hostage of the VVD fraction in parliament with her appearance". He also said a liberal should not ask children to choose between Koran and the Dutch constitution, as Hirsi Ali once did on television. He openly questioned if there still was room for her in parliament.

An other ex-leader of the VVD and now governor of the Queen in the province of Friesland, Ed Nijpels, did not like it either that she asked Muslims to choose between the constitution and their religion. "I think that is unjust. She mixes things up. It's not the constitution or the Islam. The one does not have to exclude the other".

The ex-leader of the JOVD, the VVD's youth organization, Jeroen de Veth, says he thinks the VVD sounds to hard and that could have negative consequences. He does not like terms as "liberal jihad" [others put that label on Hirsi Ali her actions] and "Shortcut to enlightenment" the title of an upcoming book of Hirsi Ali. Because religion in principle is a private matter, he thinks that politicians should not continuously speak out about Islam. The arguments of Hirsi Ali are not balanced enough, although balance is an attitude that belongs to the VVD. He thinks party leader van Aartsen should make it clear to Hirsi Ali that she is not a columnist who can say what she want, but that she should be a politician who should support the party line.

The current leader of the JOVD, Hans de Backer, thinks the VVD will be overshadowed by all commotion around Hirsi Ali. He thinks she should not only focus on Islam and woman emancipation. The VVD already took some of the political competence area's away from Hirsi Ali's her responsibility.

VVD member Edwin van de Haar and board member of conservative think tank the Edmund Burke Foundation opposed to the proposed solutions of Hirsi Ali. These would result in too intrusive state control on private life. As an example he refers to her proposal to make it mandatory to medial examine young Muslims girls from risk countries in order to prevent genital mutilations, a common ritual in some Muslim communities. In the proposals he recognizes Hirsi Ali's background, who earlier worked for the socialist think tank of the Pvda. He says:"As a liberal you shiver" about solutions like these. He hopes that the party leaders will "correct" her, but he recognizes that could be in vain as he thinks "she is the darling of the party leaders".

Indeed VVD partly leader van Aartsen does not publicly critiques Hirsi Ali. Even now, when many media, report negative on Hirsi Ali. Recently, after the Attack on Theo van Gogh when an other minister (D66) attacked her, he said: "Who touches Ayaan, touches us". But according to a story in newspaper Parool, Hirsi Ali is one of the least popular politicians under VVD voters. That is strange, because according to earlier poles she was accounted for nearly half of the votes on the VVD.

Source: Parool

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