Denmark: Hirsi Ali declines asylum offers (+ a note on her lawyer)

The American Enterprise Institute has opened up several funds for paying for Hirsi Ali's protection.  A Dutch fund is being set up by Britta Böhler's law firm.  It's quite interesting that Böhler is representing Hirsi Ali.  Reading up on the Hofstad group recently, I've run into her name quite often.. as the one representing the defendants.  In other words, Böhler, a lawyer used to representing terrorists, who had defended Mohammad Bouyeri's friends in the Hofstad group trials, is now representing Hirsi Ali, the person whom Bouyeri threatened to kill and because of whom she now needs quite expensive round-the-clock guards.  It's hard for me to understand how both these women agree to work together.  (See here and here for more info)

Persecuted author Ayaan Hirsi Ali said she was 'touched and honoured' by Denmark's offer of protected residence but is choosing to stay in the United States.

On Sunday, the culture minister, Brian Mikkelsen, said Denmark would give the 37-year-old Dutch-Ethiopian author asylum. The offer was made under the provisions established by the International City of Refuge Network, where 'free cities' are established for writers whose lives have been threatened because of their publications.

Ali's plight received worldwide attention after director Theo Van Gogh was murdered last year by a Muslim fanatic. Ali had written the manuscript to Van Gogh's 'Submission', a critical short film about Islam.

The Dutch government rescinded its official protection of Ali at the beginning of the month, stating it was no longer a feasible undertaking with the author living in the US.

Ali said in an interview that it made more sense for her to remain in the United States.

'I thank you with all my heart for the offer, but my home and my work are in the US,' she said. 'So right now I'm concentrating on securing the means for my safety here.'

Ali has worked at the Washington, DC-based think-tank American Enterprise Institute for several years.

She was given the Danish award Venstres Frihedspris in 2004 for her courage in speaking out against fundamentalism despite receiving death threats.

She said Denmark and its support of free speech deserved a special place in her heart.

'When my security issues in the US are resolved, Denmark will be the first country I visit in Europe.'

Sources: Copenhagen Post (English), Expatica (English)

See also: Denmark: Gov't offers Hirsi Ali asylum


Anonymous said...

Bohler is a extreme leftwing activist lawyer. She publicly admitted to sympathize with the RAF terrorists and her office seems to be specialized in defending all violent anti western terrorists.

Thus indeed a very strange choice for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But I think the choice was based on the personal friendship between Ayaan and Femke Halsema (Green party). Remember she was under threat of her own political “allies” who wanted to take away her papers. In times like that, personal friendships are much more reliable then political friends.

The friendship and loyalty of Femke did also showed in the last debate around the continuation of the protection of Ayaan. Only Femke her party supported the continuation of her protection.


Esther said...

Hi Ferdy,

Maybe.. but according to this article(dutch), at least, Böhler's connection to Halsema only started after she was already representing Hirsi Ali. I didn't realize she'd been her lawyer for so long. In this case, it seems like she was Hirsi Ali's lawyer even during the Hofstad trial.

Böhler has come out against anti-terrorism measures and sees "the state" as worse than terrorist groups. To me this all doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. Did you notice that Bohler, for us a radical, is actually an adviser of all non Christian political parties. Including the liberal VVD party of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Amazing…

The article suggest that the contact with Femke Halsema followed on her representing Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But that is leaving out her long and deep involvement with the activist network of the Greens. Bohler for example represented Rara terrorists and it is said that Green parliamentary member Wijnand Duivedak was part of that terrorist network.

You wrote: “I didn't realize she'd been her lawyer for so long.” But that was just from the period Rita Verdonk tried to revoke her citizenship.


Esther said...

Hi Ferdy,

I'm not sure you can compare Rara to Islamic terrorism, both in their goals and in the way they go about it. But even if you do: I still think it's strange Hirsi Ali would choose a lawyer that represented the people who wanted to kill her and I think it's strange that that lawyer would want to represent Hirsi Ali.

As for the length of time Bohler has been representing Hirsi Ali - everything's relative.. I first thought she'd only been contacted for setting up this fund. I'm pretty slow at connecting the dots when it comes to these things, and I wouldn't have noticed this connection if not for reading articles on Bilal B and the Hofstad group yesterday.

Ferdy said...

I do agree, I was also very surprised in 2006 that she had chosen Bohler. A lawyer who not only defended her enemies. But also was somebody who politically was totally on the other side.

You write that “I'm not sure you can compare Rara to Islamic terrorism, both in their goals and in the way they go about it.”

And I agree, they are different. Both in doctrine, execution and envisioned future. But they share a big commonality: their hate for the West. They both want to see the West change in something different. That is not to dismiss shared goal of the left.

That’s why Bohlers choice was so surprising. Bohler as a leftwing radical want to see a different West. But Ayaan embraces the West. Ayaan wanted to warn us of the danger of Islam. Bohler said we were already over reacting.

But Ayaan is also very much a political operator who seems a bit opportunistic at times. But that is easily sad for somebody who is not hunted like she is. But after I read that she had said that “Theo van Gogh was Dutch biggest provocateur” I began having doubts about how she works.

Snouck said...

Radical Socialism and Communism are very popular in Islamic countries amongst the secularist elite. Communism is the atheïst opposition to Islam. For a secular radical hostile to all religion like Ayaan, a scion of the Somali elite, a Radical Leftie is a natural ally.

Remember that Ayaan is so hostile to religion that she compared Christianity to Nazism.

Christopher Hitchens, Afsin Ellian and Rushdie are also friends of Ayaan. They are both intensely hostile to all religion. And radical Lefties.

Those who think these people, incl. Ayaan, can be friends of the West are naïve or take a radically reductionist view of West, without its historic religious and philosophical core.

Ik heb gezegd.


Snouck said...

Oh, btw, Esther: another great article!



Esther said...

Snouck, thanks :-)