Ayaan Hirsi Ali to seek protection in France

11th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Former Dutch member of parliament and critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to seek protection in France, reports said Sunday.

11 February 2008

PARIS - Former Dutch member of parliament and critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to seek protection in France, reports said Sunday.

Speaking to the French Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia, said, "I hope to gain French citizenship with the support of French intellectuals."

Claude Gueant, general secretary in the presidential Elysee Palace, had assessed her dossier a few weeks ago, she said.

Hirsi Ali, 38, has been subjected to death threats since making critical remarks about political Islam. The Dutch government suspended her police protection a few months ago.

"My personal situation has recently become increasingly dangerous. Bernard Henri-Levy contacted me and said that I had a right to naturalisation and not only for personal reasons, but because the issue was the right to freedom of opinion," she said.

Levy and other French intellectuals received Hirsi Ali Saturday in Paris. She is believed to have contacted French Justice Minister Rachida Dati last December.

According to Rama Yade, secretary of state for human rights, President Nicolas Sarkozy was concerned about the fate of Hirsi Ali.

On the evening of his election, Sarkozy said during his victory speech that it was France's duty to stand by "the world's tormented women."

In view of the costs of constant police protection and Sarkozy's tough immigration policy, allowing Hirsi Ali to become a French citizen is bound to be difficult.

For this reason, the Elysee Palace was considering establishing a European fund to help people like her, the newspaper reported.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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