Hirsi Ali vows to fight on against radical Islam
18 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned to the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday, declaring under intense media scrutiny that she intended to continue her fight against Islamic extremism despite repeated death threats.
18 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali returned to the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday, declaring under intense media scrutiny that she intended to continue her fight against Islamic extremism despite repeated death threats.
She appeared in the Lower House shortly after 2pm for her first Question Time since she went into hiding some two months ago after the brutal murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The Somali-born MP was hotly followed by Dutch and foreign media journalists and camera crews.
Hirsi Ali was also escorted into the parliament chamber by a horde of protection officers from the Royal and Diplomatic Security Service, and several bodyguards from a private security company.
Lower House chairman Frans Weisglas welcomed Hirsi Ali back prior to the start of the parliament's first question hour after the end of the Christmas recess. "Dear Ayaan, welcome back among us. We have missed you," he said.
Weisglas also said he hoped that Hirsi Ali — who moves on a daily basis from safe house to safe house — can soon resume her normal work outside of the parliament. "We hope to soon hear your voice here in the House again," he said, to loud applause from the public tribune.
The Liberal VVD had earlier arrived at the parliament in an armoured Mercedes just before 9.30am on Tuesday, proceeding immediately to a meeting with Weisglas and VVD parliamentary leader Jozias van Aartsen. She then attended her first party meeting since Van Gogh's death.
Hirsi Ali said she was pleased to be back and Van Aartsen said her return represented a joyful and fantastic day.
Soon after the brutal killing, it was discovered that Islamic extremists were planning to murder Hirsi Ali. She was then flown by the Dutch military from the airbase Valkenburg on 10 November to the US base Brunswick in the state of Maine.
The two terrorist suspects arrested after a 14-hour stand-off in The Hague on 10 November are accused of planning the Muslim-born MP's murder. It has since been revealed that the murder was planned for New Year's Eve, when fireworks would disguise the sound of shooting.
Hirsi Ali is known for her strong criticism of the Islamic faith, having previously called the prophet Mohammed a pervert by modern standards for taking a child bride. She also co-wrote with Van Gogh the film Submission, which took a critical look at domestic violence in the Islam faith.
The film is believed to be the prime motivation behind Van Gogh's murder and a note left plunged into the filmmaker's body with a knife warned that Hirsi Ali was next.
But speaking at a press conference at about 4pm, Hirsi Ali said she had discussed at length with Van Gogh the possible dangers of making the film. She also said it was terrible that others had resorted to violence.
Nevertheless, Hirsi Ali also declared to the world that she would continue with her fight against the radical side to the Islamic faith: "Ladies and gentlemen, I will continue".
[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2005]
Subject: Dutch news