Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch legislator who has championed the rights of Muslim women, is returning from a book tour to a firestorm for lying on her asylum application when she fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage.
Hirsi Ali, 36, said Saturday she was puzzled by the uproar since she publicly acknowledged the false refugee application when she stood for parliament in 2002.
"Have they all gone mad?" she said, accusing her rivals of a political vendetta.
"Yes, I did lie to get asylum in Holland. This is public knowledge since at least September 2002," she said in a telephone call from Hamburg, Germany.
If you don't know about Aayan Hirsi Ali, you should. She's one of the bravest women ever to have lived, in my opinion. Emigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage, Ali has become a member of parliament and an outspoken critic of militant Islam and of the abuse of women throughout Islamic society. She and Theo Van Gogh collaborated to make Submission, a scathing indictment of Islamic misogyny, for which Van Gogh was murdered on a Dutch street in broad daylight. She's been living on borrowed time ever since under 24-hour police protection, has been evicted from her home due to neighbors' worries that reprisals against her may harm them, and now her fellow MPs are trying to get her deported for the same reason: appeasement. Didn't work the last time, did it? Pretty short memories around the Netherlands, I guess.
What has happened to the Dutch people we met in 1944? They're governed by cowards now, that's for sure. Aayan Hirsi Ali is a hero, and frankly the Dutch don't deserve her. Come to America, Aayan. We'd love to have you.
UPDATE: Ask and ye shall receive. Can't wait to see her on American TV talking some sense into senseless talking heads.