MP pepper sprays political elite in restaurant

19th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 March 2004, AMSTERDAM — Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, probably the most outspoken parliamentarian in the Netherlands, has scored another political first by pepper spraying several patrons in a restaurant for the well-to-do in The Hague.

19 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, probably the most outspoken parliamentarian in the Netherlands, has scored another political first by pepper spraying several patrons in a restaurant for the well-to-do in The Hague.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A member of the right-leaning Liberal VVD party, Hirsi Ali was dining in Le Bistroquet — a popular haunt with the country's political elite — when she sprayed some of the contents of a small can of pepper spray.

Several patrons in her immediate vicinity suffered tears and irritation to the eyes as a result of the spray that is sometimes carried by people as a defence against mugging or rape.

Hirsi Ali's bodyguards — who accompany her everywhere because her life has been threatened — were eating their dinner a few tables away. They intervened and took the can of pepper spray from the MP, explaining it is a banned weapon.

Realising what she had done, Hirsi Ali went to each table in the restaurant and apologised to the guests for her strange behaviour. Her bodyguards also notified the local police.

It is unclear from reports in newspaper De Telegraaf and elsewhere why she did so or when the incident took place. Reports refer to it happening "onlangs", which can mean lately, recently or the other day.

The incident is an embarrassment for Hirsi Ali who constantly stresses the need for immigrants to integrate into Dutch society.

Brought up as a Muslim, she has received death threats for her outspoken stance that Islam oppresses women and breeds intolerance among Muslims.

During an interview in January 2003, she described the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a "perverse tyrant" who took a girl, 12, as one of his wives.

The VVD party is a strong supporter of the preventative search (preventief fouilleren in Dutch) law which allows police to stop and search everyone in a designated risk-area for weapons.

Over the last 12 months, such searches have turned up an assortment of weapons, including guns, knifes, batons, knuckle-dusters and cans of pepper spray.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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