Hirsi Ali is safe, says Zalm

19th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 November 2004AMSTERDAM — Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has received death threats for criticising Islam, is still in hiding but is safe, Dutch deputy prime minister Gerrit Zalm has said.

19 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has received death threats for criticising Islam, is still in hiding but is safe, Dutch deputy prime minister Gerrit Zalm has said.

Zalm dismissed claims by some of her friends that Hirsi Ali is deliberately being kept away from the Dutch Parliament. He said it was her own choice to stay out of the public view and he said he understood her decision.

Hirsi Ali has been under armed guard for two years as a result of repeated threats to her life. Security surrounding her was stepped up after the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh on 2 November. Van Gogh and Hirsi Ali had only recently collaborated on a short film Submission, which suggested the Koran condones domestic violence against women in Islamic societies.

Hirsi Ali has not been seen in public for over two weeks and it is assumed she is staying at a secret safe house with her team of bodyguards. 

Two of her friends, author Leon de Winter and columnist Afshin Ellian, say they are concerned she has not called them in two weeks, while normally she would be in contact on an almost daily basis.

Ellian, news agency ANP said, suggested "forces within the government" are keeping Hirsi Ali out of the public view. He noted that she did not attend Van Gogh's cremation or the parliamentary debate about the killing.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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