Hirsi Ali expected to keep Dutch nationality
21 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — 'Reliable sources' in The Hague say Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali will not be stripped of her Dutch nationality despite giving a false name to get asylum in 1992, RTL Nieuws reported on Wednesday.
21 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — 'Reliable sources' in The Hague say Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali will not be stripped of her Dutch nationality despite giving a false name to get asylum in 1992, RTL Nieuws reported on Wednesday.
Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk of the Liberal Party (VVD) provoked a backlash in the international media in May when she suggested Hirsi Ali may not hold Dutch citizenship.
Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia, quit the Dutch parliament and announced she was accelerating her move to the US to take up a job with a neo-conservative think tank. The Netherlands was accused by the media of silencing Hirsi Ali because of her claims Islam is not compatible with Western democracy.
Parliament passed a motion calling on Verdonk to allow Hirsi Ali to keep Dutch citizenship, no matter what. Verdonk said in light "of the new political reality" she would ensure Hirsi Ali retained her Dutch passport.
The six-week deadline for a decision runs out this week. Responding to RTL's story, the Minister's officials insisted a decision had not yet been taken.
Hirsi Ali applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. She claimed to be fleeing from Somalia after a forced marriage. She was naturalised in 1997 and was elected an MP for the VVD in January 2003.
She admitted shortly before the election and several times afterwards that she was born Ayaan Hirsi Magan and had been living as a refugee in Kenya for 10 years before coming to the Netherlands.
Verdonk suggested in May the use of the 'Ali' rather than her surname 'Magan' may have invalidated her naturalisation. Several other former asylum seekers have lost their Dutch nationality for giving false names.
But RTL cited sources in The Hague as saying from a legal point of view Hirsi Ali had not told a lie as her grandfather's name was 'Ali'. She was therefore entitled under Somali law to use this name, even if she did not know this at the time.
RTL said the announcement of the decision has been put on hold while officials work out an elegant formulation of words to prevent a major loss of face for Verdonk.
Verdonk, the broadcaster said, also wants to have a document showing the name of the grandfather. But this is proving difficult to find in Somalia.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch News, Ayaan Hirsi Ali