It’s now official: courage and decency are gone from The Netherlands. From Radio Netherlands Worldwide, “Dutch parliament supports Cabinet’s decision on Hirsi Ali” :
The Dutch Cabinet says it will no longer pay for the protection of former MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali outside the country. The former Dutch politician of Somali origin has been repeatedly threatened because of her outspoken pronouncements against Muslim extremism and her views on the role of women in Islamic society. The Hague says that since Ms Hirsi Ali recently obtained a residence permit in the United States – where she is employed by the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute – she should find sponsors to pay for her own security.
And here’s the most disturbing part of the story:
The government says an opinion poll shows that 90 percent of the Dutch population supports its decision not to pay for her protection.
So what makes this so bad? The fact that a representative government is citing opinion polls is disturbing in and of itself. And the fact that 90% of Dutch society is OK with turning her over to the wolves is a sad indictment of the country.
As Christopher Caldwell wrote in the New York Times, “Voltaire did not risk, with his every utterance, making a billion enemies who recognized his face and could, via the Internet, share information instantaneously with people who aspired to assassinate him.”
…There is also the matter of broken promises: Hirsi Ali was persuaded to run for parliament and to become the world’s most visible and imperiled spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women, on the understanding that she would be provided security for as long as she needed it. Zalm, in his capacity as both the deputy prime minister and the minister of finance, promised her such security without qualification. Most shamefully, Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, has recommended that Hirsi Ali simply quit the Netherlands and has refused to grant her even a week’s protection outside the country, during which she might raise funds to hire security of her own. Is this a craven attempt to placate local Muslim fanatics? A warning to other Dutch dissidents not to stir up trouble by speaking too frankly about Islam? Or just pure thoughtlessness?
The Dutch government should recognize a scandal in the making and rediscover its obligation to provide Hirsi Ali with the protection she was promised.
There is not a person alive more deserving of the freedoms of speech and conscience we take for granted in the West, nor is there anyone making a more courageous effort to defend them.
Congratulations, Dutchmen – you are now responsible for yet another surrender-moment in the ongoing war for the Islamicization of Europe. Enjoy the muezzin’s call.