May 16, 2006
Odd - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
A very queer bit of reporting on Somali-Dutch MP and possible immigration services deceiver Ayaan Hirsi Ali aka Ayaan Hirsi Magan, who appears to have not been quite in the situ she claimed re forced marriage when she won Dutch citizenship. The article is perhaps a lesson in the madness that is immigration laws and debates at present across the Developed-Developing world divide. It may, if the facts are right, also be a somewhat sad lesson in media hype as well.
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Curious timing, particularly since the falsified asylum claim wasn't a secret to her party.
Wondering about the slant of the tv show. Any Dutch readers around?
From what I understand, she had admitted several years ago that she had changed her name and birthdate (supposedly so her father and brother couldn't find her). But she stood by her story that she was a refugee fleeing from hardship in Africa and from a forced marriage that she didn't want any part of. This TV program showed the comfortable home in Kenya where she had been living, and said that the story of the forced marriage wasn't true.
Her party has argued that any immigrant who is found to have falsified that kind of information should be stripped of their Dutch citizenship.
As someone who had previously described her as a 'new hero' of mine, I have posted, on both of my blogs, a repudiation of the words. She had admitted changing her name and her age, but apparently the story of her fleeing from an arranged marriage is equally false, yet on her site she continues to print articles referring to this. She also has posted a poll showing 98% of the votes stating that people would 'not think less of her for her falsifications.' What she does not mention is that, until LGF mobilized its readers (in classic Limbaugh fashion), the vote was 75% the opposite way. There were 11 more votes against her, and over 8,000 'in her favor.' (Check the link to LGF on the site to see how this happened.)
Finally, I find someone who is capable of applying to work at both American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Foundation to be of somewhat elastic principles, to say the least.
Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) at May 16, 2006 02:29 AM
It is her own part who devastated her. Along with a ultra-nationalist MP called Nawijn.
The lefties even warned that she must keep her nationality but one of her own mentors Rita Verdonk, who is responsible for immigration, announced that she has to give back her Dutch citizenship.
She also lost more credit in Holland when it came out that she refused a place at John Hopkins University because they couldn't pay her enough.
It made her look like a money-loving, lying politician instead of a liberator and fighter
Posted by: Hollandi at May 16, 2006 05:13 AM
Well during the show in Kenya it came out that she lied about other things as well. Things she never confessed.
And here in Holland, we love it to start a witch-haunt when a politician didn't tell everything about his/her past.
And in the case of Ayaan, there was also a political battle within her own liberal-rightist party.
Rita Verdonk ( the minister of immigration) is battling Mark Rutte for the partyleadership.
And Rita Verdonk in fact sacrified Ayaan to show that she is real tough on immigration.
Posted by: Hollandi at May 16, 2006 05:37 AM
I would be moderately interested in learning more, but my gut tells me there is a typical immigrant tale including some lies to immigration authorities, some post-facto exageration, then in a media limelight, then politics....
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 16, 2006 11:46 AM
What would Pym Fortuyn say about this?
Posted by: matthew hogan at May 16, 2006 11:48 AM
Pim Fortuyn would have granted her asylum, just like the other 26.000 people who are still waiting for their asylumprocedure for 3 years.
Posted by: Hollandi at May 16, 2006 01:40 PM
Well, never a dull moment, apparently. Haven't read Dutch legislation on the subject, but U.S. law, which is based on international law/treaties, generally holds that one cannot have been firmly resettled in a third country and still be eligible for asylum.
Now I'm really curious who is going to do her U.S. visa app, and whether she is stateless at this point...the 2 logical categories for a position like that would be H-1B, which is unavailable until Oct. 1, and J-1, which requires showing intent to return to one's home country at the end of a temporary stay. I sure wouldn't want to be her U.S. immigraiotn lawyer!
Posted by: Eva Luna at May 16, 2006 03:06 PM
It may be she gets to go back to Kenya. Nice ride she had, maybe she continues, maybe not.
reason.com has a somewhat tedious (in comments) and hysterical convo: Right Bolshy Americans showing their usual critical thinking capacity.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 16, 2006 03:28 PM
The comments at Reason.com were a pain in the ass to read, but they were rather telling re: neocon/hard right blind support of Hirsi Ali as a formerly oppressed Muslim woman blah blah rescued by the West. A comfortable life in Kenya and the successful scamming of an immigration system (by playing the victim) obviously ruins this "narrative", which is they're downplaying the issue.
An unsubtle pattern really. There is a particular style (rhetoric, messaging) employed by some critics of Islam that is well-received by xenophobes on the right. Victims. Damsels in distress. Great optics.
Not saying that the danger itself is manufactured, but one sees a definite PR angle associated wtih being pursued and threatened, particularly as a woman.
Question is, if I can see that angle, why am I not bloody capitalizing on it?
Posted by: eerie at May 16, 2006 05:04 PM
Ayaan still has a refugee-passport, so she can travel freely to the US. According to the US embassy in The Hague.
And the weirdest thing is that the xenophobes on the right who loved her, are now the ones who stabbed her in the back.
They are at least consistent
Posted by: Hollandi at May 16, 2006 05:14 PM
The irony. You have to admire at least her ability to 'work the system'.
Posted by: Ali K at May 16, 2006 08:00 PM
The woman sounds fairly opportunistic, but just to play devil's advocate for a minute - is it inconceivable that her brother/family should lie about the planned forced marriage, to save face for themselves, or to make her look bad?
I have no doubt she will be welcomed to Washington as a great hero, with smug neocons trumpeting her as a symbol of all their values -shelter for the oppressed, brave resistance against radical Islam, etc. etc.
Posted by: SP at May 16, 2006 08:51 PM
Regarding the story of arranged marriage, frankly that could go either way.
On one hand "saving face" rather applies if the idea that an arranged marriage brings shame.
Why does it bring shame? In region it doesn't. So why lie?
On the other hand, an educated family might feel it necessary to play to the international audience.
Impossible to know.
On the other hand, in the context, there's a reasonable possibility that the range of truth is in between the black and white.
I would suspect she might have left to get away pressure to marry someone she did not like - throughout MENA, Africa, Asia you marry who you are told to....
She likely sexed up the story in getting asylum - and why not? Then perhaps things got more sexed up when she became a media sensation.
The point made in the Reason convo that I retain is, associating oneself with a political movement that rather severely stigmatises some of the very things you did / took advantage of, well that smacks of hypocrisy and that I dislike.
Bending the truth to play immigration rules, maybe okay, maybe not. Depends on how far off from the truth it was. I very much doubt things like the marriage angle can be confirmed. The comfortable situ in Kenya is confirmable - how does that contrast with the story told?
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 16, 2006 09:52 PM
Ayaan still has a refugee-passport, so she can travel freely to the US. According to the US embassy in The Hague.
Maybe, maybe not. A refugee travel document serves many of the same purposes as a passport, as far as travel is concerned. But she still needs to be granted a visa, nad the only categories she can reasonably apply for at the moment require that she maintain an intent to depart the U.S. at the end of a temporary stay.
Can she prove that, given that she may or may not have anywhere to return to? or even if she can return, she has serious disincentives to do so? Should be interesting - I'd love to be a fly on the wall when her visa applicaiton is being adjudicated.
I believe what is meant is that she still has her Dutch passport (her Dutch nationality not yet being pulled, see arty). As core EU members don't need visas for entry, she should be able to affect travel to the US without issue - although I suppose a sharp eyed inspector at JFK or Dulles might catch the entry.
Remaining, of course, becomes a problem.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 16, 2006 10:43 PM
If she's coming here to work, the Visa Waiver isn't going to do the trick. Strictly short-term (less than 90-day) tourist or business trips, no change or extension of status allowed.
Plus see my link above - "Ms Hirsi Ali said she would quit after the country's immigration minister withdrew her Dutch citizenship."
Then there is an issue of inadmissibility to the U.S., on the Visa Waiver or in any other category - she has admitted to committing fraud, which, even if not committed in the U.S., is considered a crime of moral turpitude which makes her ineligible for a visa and inadmissible to the U.S. under most conditions, even without a formal conviction:
"Aliens who have been convicted of, or who admit to having committed, or who admit to committing acts which constitute the essential elements of a crime involving moral turpitude, other than purely political offenses are excludable under INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] §212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). To be excludable based on an admission, an alien must voluntarily admit all of the facts which constitute the crime and it must be considered a crime under the laws where it occurred."
Seems to me she has screwed herself quite publicly.
[thanks to Matthew for confirming my rusty recollection with some heavy statutorial lifting]
I do not believe there is any disagreement between my statement and your followon except perhaps on the factual issue of present passport holding.
The issue (if FT and other reporting are correct) is that she still has her Dutch passport, although perhaps not for long.
She probably can enter, although, as I said, staying will be a challenge. Not impossible, I am sure, enough political spin can make all kinds of things possible.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 16, 2006 11:30 PM
Brings to mind the Tariq Ramadan visa situation. Wonder if Daniel Pipes will stick up for her?
Timing issue - FT article was yesterday, BBC article was today. Wonder whether she will even be able to keep her Refugee Travel Document, as it seems to have been obtained via fraud? It would suck to have to go back and apply for a Somali passport (or Kenyan, if she is eligible, of which I am not at all sure).
There is no doubt in my mind that she will be admitted to the US and that she will stay. If all else fails she just has to apply for asylum.
Posted by: Ali K at May 17, 2006 12:27 AM
She has to apply for asylum, and the adjudicator has to consider her application to be credible. Given that she's already admitted quite publicly to immigration fraud, she'd better have a pretty damn convincing story.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the context of the (much larger) immigration debate currently raging in the U.S., which has divided conservatives.
I believe that there is more than timing involved, other articles merely indicate that the process has begun, not that her actual passport has been lifted.
Ceteris paribus, I would suggest the balance of reporting indicate she still has a valid passport, but not for long.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 17, 2006 12:36 AM
It would make quite the interesting asylum case - for one thing, she appears to have lived in Kenya for quite some time - does she have the right to return there, even if it would be safe for her to do so? It's not even entirely clear which country/countries she'd be claiming asylum from.
Reading her complete statement here, I noticed the following:
For those who are interested in the intimate details of my transition from a pre-modern society to a modern one, and how I came to love what the West stands for, please read my memoir, which is due to be published this fall.
I believe that is #3 on my how-to guide.
Posted by: eerie at May 17, 2006 01:41 AM
So essentially it's down to someone at JFK whether she gets shipped to Somalia - byeeee! - or elevated to the modern cultural nirvana, a well-furnished seat at a neocon thinktank with a gold tap on the Mellon Scaife fortune and a bully pulpit for any amount of raving.
Posted by: Alex at May 17, 2006 06:41 AM
After an extraordinary long session of parliament ( until 0300 in the morning, very exceptional for us, the lazy dutch. 5million watched it live), it came clear to all that Ayaan is going to keep her nationality for at least 6 weeks.
That is the rule.
The leftist/socialist parties and some of Ayan's partycolleagues attacked the minister on her stance and made her promise to look into every possibility so that Ayaan can keep her citizenship.
The (extreme) rightist parties are not happy with this promise and would rather see Ayaan leave today.
Update about the lies:
During that tv-programma they didn't only discuss her possibly arranged marriage but also her education-story and the Somali civil war.
Ayaan always claimed that she was in Somalia during the civil wars and that her mother pushed het to go to an orthodox moslimschool in Kenia.
Both werent true.
She never experienced the somali civil war and in Kenia her mother send her to one of the best girls schools in Kenia ( half of the pupils was christian)
Posted by: Hollandi at May 17, 2006 06:50 AM
until she receives her visa for the enterprise institute (it could either be a student visa - and even there a J1 or an F1 - or a work visa) she will receive asylum somewhere in europe. there will be some government (alas, berlusconi is no longer in power or else i'd've said italy) that will offer to host her until she can travel to the u.s.
if needs be, the enterprise institute will shell out the $$$ to pay some small, poor country (for some reason i'm thinking of the carribbean) to furnish her with a tourist visa until she can take residence in d.c.
Posted by: raf* at May 17, 2006 07:40 AM
Hollandi, thanks for all the updates.
My main gripe about current politics is that the European Left has lost it. Hirsi Ali is a hero in my world, because she opposes homophobes and misogynists no matter what the skin colour or the religion. Many lefties are decidedly unwilling to realise what bigoted shitheads many imams are, or that a lot muslim immigrants are the reddest of rednecks. The Left does not seem to act out of political beliefs and principles, but out of White Man's Guilt.
By this belief, you are a better person for not being white, and everything bad you do is fundamentally a reaction to White Man's actions. Immigrants are viewed as acting entirely on stimulus-response codes. They respond to White Man's stimulus. So everything they are and do is because of what the White Man has done to them. Basically, they are like children or animals. Helpless, powerless, guiltless.
Posted by: Klaus at May 17, 2006 09:18 AM
I'm afraid that Ayaan has to seek asylum in a Non-EU european country.
When you applied for asylum in one of the EU-states, you're not allowed to apply again in another EU-member state.
( actually her asylum-application in Holland is illegal as well because she first arrived in Germany. So she was actually prohibited to apply for asylum in Holland)
There is just one positive point for Arab/(ex)Muslim asylumseekers in this whole case.
The Minister of Immigration who attacked Ayaan is about to lose her position.
This is the same Minister who invited Syrian generals to Holland and gave them the opportunity to have private interviews with Syrian asylumseekers and political dissidents.
And the one who wants to send back Iranian gays and Christian converts from Islam back to Iran, because it's safe for them in Iran.
Posted by: Hollandi at May 17, 2006 09:27 AM
so it'll be a summer in trinidad & tobago for ayaan hirsi ali.
not too shabby.
Posted by: raf* at May 17, 2006 09:58 AM
You make an interesting point...I do not, however, know enough about Hirsi Ali's political activism record to really know if she counts as a fearless defender of human rights. Anyone have more info about what she has done in Dutch parliament? Ranting against a religion does not really count, IMO, but I do support and admire those who organize women in immigrant communities to speak out against violence and other things that are passed off as "our culture."
Posted by: SP at May 17, 2006 10:50 AM
The parliamentary work of Ayaan was her weakest point and main target of her critics.
Ayaan never really achieved something in the parliament. And most of the times she wasn't even present due to her international tour.
She did achieve 1 thing though. The passing of a law against female circumcision.
Only the problem is that the largest muslim groups in Holland ( Moroccans, Turks, Indonesians and Surinames) don't have a female circumcision-tradition.
She did protest against the practice of Moroccans and Turks who dump their wives in country of origin if she didn't satisfy them. But there is still no law that makes that a crime.
Her knowledge of Moroccan/Turkish-based (islamic) traditions was always very questionable.
Alot of Moroccans and Turks didn't identify themselves with her battle mainly because she's from Somalia.
But that doesn't mean that there is no islam-discussion at all within those communities.
There are a lot of Moroccan/Turkish (local) MP's who criticize their own community and defy the conservative muslims.
But they tend to be ignored by the media or politicians because they don't rant like Ayaan.
Posted by: Hollandi at May 17, 2006 11:57 AM
I find that people like Hirsi, Rushdie, Mozzafari, etc., direct their comments far more at whites than brown people/immigrants.
What I find wonderful about these people is that they really support secularism, and are living reminders why a secular society is a good thing. Exiles from Iran in particular are huge supporters and spokespersons for the European model of accountability, openness, satire against religion, criticism of authority, etc. Many indigenous Europeans have forgotten why these are good things, and we need those expats to remind us why.
So, they are not out to reform Islam at all, but to preserve the post-WWII a-religious European society, which is much needed now that some Europeans are growing restless and long for something else than internet porn and celeb scandals, all the while American terror hysteria creeping in from the west puts open government under serious pressure.
Posted by: Klaus at May 17, 2006 12:31 PM
Klaus - so the fact that apparently she committed perjury/fraud to get what she wanted doesn't bother you?
Posted by: Eva Luna at May 17, 2006 12:53 PM
Sad but to be expected, I suppose, that the likes of Hirsi Ali are focused on becoming international celebs rather than doing real community work. Anti-FGM activism is important but if it was mere grandstanding and not a real campaign then it is a shame that it should be reduced to such symbolism.
Klaus, I am ambivalent about whether such pro-Western secularists are such a good thing...and I say this as a diehard, Westernized secularist myself...one has to be very careful, because the more secularism is associated in the public imagination with religion-bashing and deracinated authoritarian elites (or, in the case of these Islamic "refuseniks", Uncle Toms pandering to Western neocons), the more it becomes discredited. I realize this is far from a new idea, but it hasn't stopped being true. What a shame that *this* is the best feminist hero that could be found among Muslims in the Netherlands!
Posted by: SP at May 17, 2006 12:56 PM
You can apply for asylum a second (third, fourth etc) time in any other EU country (plus Norway & Iceland & soon also Switzerland), but after the Dublin Convention (1997), no government is obliged to accept it. The principle is that your application will only be the responsibility of a single EU member. Normally the point of entry.
Still, governments can do as they please, according to their own laws and practices. If they want to try a case that "belongs" to another member, they can. But that rarely happens, except in high-profile cases. If you're just part of the ordinary huddled masses, you will typically be deported without procedure back to the point of entry, which will, for reasons of simple geography, normally be a southern European country with draconic immigration laws. So, in practice, either you go underground or back home.
But for someone like AHL, things will probably be very different, especially as she is definitely under threat now, even if she lied about it before. She stands a good chance of staying in the union, if she wants to.
Posted by: alle at May 17, 2006 01:07 PM
Thanks for the clarification. I thought the EU passed a law concerning this matter but it seems that they didn't.
Ayaan isn't the best feminist hero among the Dutch Muslims. She is simply the most mediagenic feminist in the Dutch society.
There are a lot more Muslim feminists (especially Moroccans), but they prefer to actually do something with their knowledge and criticism instead of only giving interviews and posing for photographers.
Posted by: Hollandi at May 17, 2006 01:39 PM
Couldn't agree more about mediagenic vs. real feminists...the real reformists need to get more media-savvy and challenge the opportunists, though it's always a trade-off between doing real work and getting on telly, as we see in academia as well with the so-called pundits.
Posted by: SP at May 17, 2006 01:50 PM
@Eva Luna: No. I focus on politics, not personality or even personal integrity.
@SP: Well, the thing is, there is a tough fight inside Islam between the hard and soft, and in Europe, the hard are gaining ground, because of the Dissatisfied Downtrodden Masses that are easily radicalized.
That salafis exist in significant numbers in Europe is actually news to most here, because most don't even know what a salafi is, or what they stand for. It's important that the European Left is not tolerant with the intolerant, but rather works to pull away immigrant children from their influence.
There's a lot of denial here...most can't wrap their heads around the fact that many muslim imams think homosexuality should be punished - and often with death. The Gay Pride parades in both Copenhagen and Stockholm were attacked with stones when they went through immigrant neighbourhoods. How can one minority be against another minority? The thought baffles them.
So, Hirsi Ali calls attention to this extremism simply by living under police protection because of her derision of Islam. Neither Sinead Connor, Dan Brown nor Monty Python had to go into hiding because of their satire or critique of Christianity or the Pope. The murder of van Gogh was an eyeopener to many on the Left. A litmus test of tolerance is if you have to go into hiding when you deride something. You wouldn't have to go into hiding if you criticised Tony Blair, Manuel Barroso or Jesus Christ. Criticise the Cosa Nostra, Russia's war in Czechnia, or Prophet Mohammed, and you might have to.
I won't hide, though, that I dislike religion. I'm with Voltaire: If we believe in absurdities, we will commit atrocities. I doubt Europe would have turned out so good if it hadn't been de-convictionalized - first by science, then by near self-destruction in war.
Posted by: Klaus at May 17, 2006 01:57 PM
If she really was as comfortable in Kenya as the program appears to have shown, that's one thing. But I'm not the one to moralize over people lying to get asylum status in the EU. If I arrived in Europe a refugee, first thing I would do would be to shred my documents and patch up my story; then try to smuggle myself to a less hostile country than the one I arrived in and lodge my application from there.
In a situation when out-of-the-closet Iranian gays are being deported, conforming to normal asylum conditions won't get you anywhere. So of course people lie. It's the same thing with entry: you can't lodge an application if you're not in the union, and new systems of border control (such as this monstrosity) are being erected constantly to prevent outsiders from gaining access to the system.
In practice, most refugees can't even apply for asylum without committing the crimes involved in entering the country illegally. That's why people are dying by the boatloads off of Spain, or rushing the fences of Ceuta and Melilla -- not until they set foot on Spanish soil, are they able to present their application for refugee status.
Sens moral: Europeans who gloat over your American immigration debate spectacle should shut up and die.
Posted by: alle at May 17, 2006 02:04 PM
Klaus: No, the Stockholm Gay Pride was attacked by, um ... Nazis. Don't want to start that debate again though.
Posted by: alle at May 17, 2006 02:10 PM
I don't doubt salafis exist in significant numbers in Europe, but I don't believe that they represent the bulk of the believing Muslims in Europe, nor do most other scholars (read Olivier Roy's Globalized Islam for how the kind of Muslim identity politics associated with "salafis" in Europe differs from salafism in the Middle East). I would want to see evidence for your claim that "many Muslim imams think homosexuality should be punished - and often with death." I worry that exaggerations like these play into the hands of fundies. Let's be clear about what we are criticising...is it the identity politics of Muslims in Europe, cultural defensiveness among these Muslims, their practice of religion?
Posted by: SP at May 17, 2006 02:46 PM
Salafis certainly don't represent the bulk of believing muslims (I suppose this in opposition to non-practising muslims?), but they have great appeal to angry young men, not to mention angry young muslimahs fed up with the porn society. Many muslim parents feel desperate about seeing their children 'grow unruly' and beyond their control. The angry young men go gangsta or salafi. The salafi ones shout 'whore' at women with short skirts on the streets for a couple of years until they grow up. They do a lot of damage in that time.
The (in)famous imams here in Denmark declare themselves to be salafis, with all the homophobia that entails. Most support hadith shariah. A 'moderate', Abdul Wahid Petersen, defends stoning of adulterers by referring to the four witnesses rule. The media in turn hand far too much attention to extremist imams, it makes for good TV. What is obnoxious about this is that the Left also hands far too much attention to these people, since they reason the proper representative for muslims must be a muslim priest. Oh look, there's a real muslim, because he dresses like a real muslim from the Arab peninsula. Muslims in suits are not real muslims.
What I actually am criticising is the Left. To me, it is downright racist to accept tripe from imams the Left would never think twice about refusing from Christians, because of White Man's Guilt. One of the most positive developments resulting from the cartoon crisis was the creation and proliferation of secular muslim movements, featuring non-religious representatives. But most secular muslims still do not identify themselves as muslims, because they don't want to identify themselves as muslims. Fine, but this just hands the media picture to the right-wing nutjobs.
Posted by: Klaus at May 17, 2006 04:01 PM
I think Klaus hit the nail on the head in this one. It might not be true that salafists constitute the bulk of muslims, but that doesn't mean that their effect on muslims is any less severe. Take for example the fact that the vast majority of new converts to islam convert directly to salafism.
There is also the matter of the self-declared representatives of muslims eg Muslim Association of Britain and other similar organisations in different european countries. These are doubly ineffective because they hold no sway over hardliners nor ordinary muslims. The amazing thing though is that they are still dealt with by the government and media as legitimate representatives as opposed to groups who set themselves up purposefully to act as representatives without any legitimacy whatsoever.
Posted by: Ali K at May 17, 2006 04:25 PM
Well, interesting discussion.
I guess I know what subjects get people worked up.
As for the issue of homophobia, my general response regarding whanking on re Muslim homophobia is "those in glass houses."
In recent and even living memory the region showed greater tolerance than the West. Now in the past 15-20 odd years suddenly (in urban areas, etc) gay rights has broken through and become even a litmus test. At least in the great media centers of the West.
And Lo, this is now the litmus test of civilisation etc. globablly, the fodder of pious self-congratulatory whanking.
Having spent my time in West and East and seen the living change, I find this... irritating. Intellectually dishonest, and typical self-centered hypocrisy.
At the same time, there is, I agree, a tendency on the Euro left to treat all minority issues - not just Muslim ones - from a Noble Savage POV.
Returning to Ayaan, personally I don't have enough information to have a strong view about her.
Her activism as described in various English and French leaves me with the impression she has dealt with Islamic issues through the lens of her Somali background (e.g. female circumcision, as noted supra utterly unknown among the majority Islamic communities that have fed most European communities, let alone Dutch).
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 17, 2006 08:28 PM
Also, everyone keeps forgetting that even though she could lose her dutch citizenship, she won't lose her refugee status. She won't be kicked out of the netherlands; she's the one who chose to go to the US.
Posted by: Ali K at May 17, 2006 09:14 PM
It's true a lot of Europeans are full of themselves, I think I'm one of them. One example off the top of my head was when the argument was brought up by right wingers in an immigration debate in Denmark that 'they beat their children'. 10 years earlier the same people had opposed a ban on beating children, citing 'state interference' and 'individual responsibility' as their reasons.
Posted by: Klaus at May 17, 2006 09:14 PM
Ali - what's keeping her from being kicked out of the Netherlands and/or losing her refugee status, assuming it's determined she did in fact lie to obtain said status to begin with?
Alle - If she really was as comfortable in Kenya as the program appears to have shown, that's one thing. But I'm not the one to moralize over people lying to get asylum status in the EU.
Agreed, and no, I haven't seen the program that "outed" her.
Changing a few details (name, birthdate, etc.) or sneaking into a safer country to escape death, imminent grave harm, or persecution is one thing, and doesn't particularly bother me. I've seen zillions of asylum hearings/applications up close and personal, and I know persecution when I see it.
However, making up your life story nearly out of whole cloth because you'd rather be in the Netherlands than having your family annoy you in Somalia or Kenya is quite another, and cheapens the whole purpose of asylum. Unless your family is literally holding a gun to your head to force you to marry someone, with government/law enforcement completely ignoring your plight, it probably doesn't amount to persecution. And the hypocrisy from someone who apparently belongs to a hardline, zero-tolerance party as far as immigration is concerned, unless it would inconvenience her, is particularly pitiful.
I rather agree with Eva Luna's observations.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at May 17, 2006 10:48 PM
"please read my memoir, which is due to be published this fall."
I believe that is #3 on my how-to guide.
You do not note, though, that Ayaan has violated clauses in your #4 of the how-to guide. Specifically:
"Don't bother to mention any similar acts carried out in the name of other Abrahamic religions or even atheist ideologies, such as Communism."
Ayaan, for what it's worth, has compared "it" to Communism.
Posted by: aegean disclosure at May 18, 2006 08:34 AM