Sunday, February 10, 2008
Speaking to the French Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia, said, " I hope to gain French citizenship with the support of French intellectuals."
Claude Gueant, general secretary in the presidential Elysee Palace, had assessed her dossier a few weeks ago, she said.
Hirsi Ali, 38, has been subjected to death threats since making critical remarks about political Islam. The Dutch government suspended her police protection a few months ago.
"My personal situation has recently become increasingly dangerous. Bernard Henri-Levy contacted me and said that I had a right to naturalization and not only for personal reasons, but because the issue was the right to freedom of opinion," she said.
She received today the Simone de Beauvoir price and will address the European parliament this week.
Below her history and an interview done by a Dutch journalist.
It was a heinous murder that made the best-selling memoirist Ayaan Hirsi Ali internationally famous, but she was neither the victim nor the perpetrator. The corpse was that of Theo van Gogh (the great grand son of the world famous Vincent van Gogh) a writer and filmmaker who in November 2004 was stabbed, slashed, and shot on an Amsterdam street by a Dutch-born Muslim extremist of Moroccan descent.
The assassin, driven to rage by Submission, a short film Van Gogh had made about the poor treatment of women under Islam, left no doubt about his motives. A letter he pinned to his victim’s chest with a knife was a call to jihad. It was also a death threat against Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament. She had persuaded Van Gogh to make Submission and had written the movie’s script.
Then 35, Hirsi Ali had already seen plenty of turmoil. She had endured a heavily religious upbringing in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, including a brutal circumcision to keep her “pure.” She chafed under the yoke of an embittered and sometimes violent mother and longed for a father who was perennially absent—often imprisoned or in hiding, due to his opposition to the Somali dictator Siad Barré.
In July 1992, Hirsi Ali defied her family’s wishes, refusing to marry the man to whom her father had betrothed her. She fled Kenya for the Netherlands, gaining refugee status and finding employment as a cleaning woman and a factory worker. She assimilated quickly, learning perfect Dutch and studying political science, a choice that led to a job as an analyst at the Labor Party’s think tank. There, to the consternation of her bosses, who had been courting the Muslim vote, Hirsi Ali worried out loud about Holland’s ever-burgeoning immigrant community and the rising tensions between Muslims and the native Dutch.
She works and lives since 2 years in the USA, with 24/7/365 security.