Hirsi Ali Receives Emancipation Prize
The prize is an award given by the Dutch feminist magazine “Opzij” and editor-in-chief Cisca Dresselhuys handed her the prize. Readers of the magazine had chosen the winner: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She received the prize for her struggle for the emancipation of the Islamic woman.
Chief editor Dresselhuys called Hirsi Ali “the embodiment of the struggle for Muslim woman emancipation” and praised her style: “open and confronting, not scared”. “But Hirsi Ali receives a lot of criticism, also from her direct colleagues of her own liberal party (VVD). They say: should a politician write books, make a movie and to upset so many people? That it causes her to go into hiding and now has to live heavily guarded? How effective is such behavior her opponents ask. And most of all, is it the purpose of a politician to operate like this? In short: Shouldn’t Hirsi Ali stop with politics [and leave parliament]?”. Prominent liberals (VVD) have said she should leave and predicted she will not return after the elections.
But Dresselhuys says she is effective. To the criticasters she explains that there has now come video surveillance camera’s at woman refugee houses. That a woman wrote her and the same woman wrote that “she thanked Ayaan [Hirsi Ali] for that form of protection”. In the past their have been Muslim woman assaulted an murdered who stayed at these locations. Dresselhuys also criticizes Donner for not taking Hirsi Alis serious when she asked attention for the woman, at least 150, who are under threat of honor killings. She emphasizes that it was Hirsi Ali who revealed that minister Donner ignored the request from parliament to start registration of honor killings. She forced him to take action.
Dresselhuys tells about the horror stories she hears from the Islamic, mostly Moroccan, woman. That they are on the run for their brothers, the dead threats they receive for having a Dutch boyfriend or for simply living independent. She says she meets a lot of these Moroccan woman and they are all fans of Hirsi Ali.
Sometimes she says, Hirsi Ali her involvement with woman emancipation is “very personnel” and reveals that the threatened parliamentary representative, against the wishes of her security, on her own address in Denhaag, where she was her self into hiding, took care of a run away Muslima. Hirsi Ali had said: “If I don’t take care for her, now she is threatened by her brothers, what kind of meaning then have all those words?”.
Then to the surprise of Hirsi Ali the girl, who she had been protecting, entered the podium to thank her. The girl asked, for the sake of her security, that the press would refrain from filming or photographing her. “Every body always asks, where are those woman Hirsi Ali is talking about? Well, here I am”.
In the last book Hirsi Ali wrote and that was published last summer, she devoted a long chapter too describe a ‘run-away guide’ for Dutch Muslim girls who are threatened by their family. It is a chilling manual to read.
After receiving the prize Hirsi Ali asked in her speech that the government should do more to protect Muslim girls and woman against family violence. How radical…
Listen here to an interview the BBC World Service had with her on December 23, 2003
Sources: NRC, Opzij