Hirsi Ali - reactions

15th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

She's no loss to Netherlands - Wiegel

She's no loss to Netherlands - Wiegel

The coming departure of Ayaan Hirsi Ali from the Dutch parliament is "no loss for the Liberal Party (VVD)" or for the Lower House of Parliament, former VVD leader Hans Wiegel said on Monday. He was commenting on the news, Hirsi Ali is moving to the US to work for a political think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Wiegel, who is known for speaking his mind, told a radio programme Hirsi Ali is a "brave woman" but her standpoints are polarising. He cited her views on the freedom of education and minority groups as examples. "I did not agree with this line," he said. Wiegel said he did not think much will be heard of Hirsi Ali again once she takes up her job in the US. "That I don't find so bad," he said.

Departure is painful - Van Aartsen

Former VVD political leader Jozias van Aartsen expressed regret at Ayaan Hirsi Ali's decision to go to America. "It is painful for Dutch society and politics that she is leaving parliament," Van Aartsen said in a statement. "The Netherlands complains all the time about grey politicians who don't dare speak their minds. Here we had someone who does and did that, and we were very negative about that."

Muslim group not mourning

The Contact Organisation for Muslims and Government (CMO) indicated on Monday it was not sorry that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is going to American to work. Her strong attacks on Islam have caused "a lot of damage", CMO secretary Nasr Joemman said. "I celebrate that she is leaving the Netherlands," Joemman said. "I hope that by her departure we can move forward with building a harmonious society."

European minister wishes MP well

European minister Atzo Nicolaï wished his party colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali every success on hearing she is moving to America. "It is nice if a MP does not resign directly after elections, but can move on to other things at the end of a period," Nicolaï said after a meeting of European ministers in Brussels on Monday. He said he did not have the impression the move was something that came up in the last few weeks. "I think this has been thought about for longer."

Hirsi Ali 'out of place at AEI'
Researcher Peter van Ham of the Clingendael Institute said Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be out of place at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). "You would sooner expect Geert Wilders to be there than Hirsi Ali," he said in reaction to the news she is leaving the Netherlands to work for the AEI. According to Van Ham the AEI is a very conservative institute that has flourished since President George W. Bush came to power. "It is definitely not a liberal bastion," he said. Hirsi Ali, he predicted, will not be encouraged to express liberal views about euthanasia, homosexuality and abortion. "The people who work there have a very religiously-tinted worldview. I think Hirsi Ali will feel totally claustrophobic there." 

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news + Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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