HIRSI ALI (Magan), Ayaan

(1969– )
   Politician of Somali origin who escaped to the Netherlands in 1992 to avoid an arranged mar riage. After she joined the Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democra tie (VVD), Hirsi Ali was elected to Parliament in 2003. Together with Theo van Gogh, she made the movie Submission as part of her struggle against radical Islam and for the emancipation of women. Her books De zoontjesfabriek (2002) and De maagdenkooi (2004) were best-sellers and were translated into many languages, for exam ple, into English as The Caged Virgin and German as Ich klage an. Threats and intimidation obstructed Hirsi Ali’s activities as a member of Parliament. In May 2006, she resigned from Parliament when her naturalization became a political issue. The VVD minister for inte gration and immigration, Maria Cornelia Frederika (“Rita”) Ver donk (1955– ), declared—contrary to the wishes of a parliamentary majority and her colleagues in the coalition government—that Hirsi Ali had never possessed Dutch citizenship, even though it was al ready known for several years that she had given another surname (her grandfather’s name Ali instead of her father’s name Magan) and year of birth to get asylum. Hirsi Ali continued to advance her career as an advisor at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. In June 2006, the matter led to the fall of the second Jan Peter Balkenende cabinet, after the withdrawal of coalition partner De mocraten 1966 (D66). Although Verdonk had decided that Hirsi Ali could keep her Dutch passport, this party remained dissatisfied with the way the minister had dealt with the question.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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