Ayaan Hirsi Ali, conservative Dutch MP and champion of Islamic women's rights, is to be stripped of her Dutch citizenship for lying about her name when she first applied for asylum. She has resigned as an MP and says she will be leaving Holland.
In her statement, she says she used an assumed name because she feared her Somalian clan would track her down if her real name was publicised. She sought asylum primarily to escape an arranged marriage with her distant cousin.
The decision to revoke Ali's Dutch nationality was made by the Foreign Affairs minister, Rita Verdonk. It has been greeted by dismay and is now being reviewed. [Update (June 28th 2006): The decision has now been revoked and Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be allowed to retain her Dutch citizenship.]
Since the murder of Theo van Gogh, who filmed her screenplay Submission, Ali has been under constant police protection, as the Islamist Hofstad group has repeatedly plotted to kill her. Her neighbours had successfully petitioned for her to be forced to move house, as they did not feel safe living next door to her.
Ali is consistently controversial and this denouement is entirely in keeping. She claims that she has been considering a move to the USA for some time, so that she can spread her message, that elements within Islam are incompatible with an open Western society. QED.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali's statement on the VVD website:
"I regret that I will be leaving the Netherlands, the country which has given me so many opportunities and enriched my life, but I am glad that I will be able to continue my work. I will go on."