Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Was Minister Verdonk lying?

Leon de Winter, columnist and friend of Ayaan Hirsi Ali suggests yes. Verdonk, according to him, lied about the fact that she never knew AHA's personal details were false. And worse, she did so in Parliament too.

He realls an incident surrounding a girl name Pasic, who sought asylum in the Netherlands and had similarly lied about her status. AHA pleaded to Verdonk in a phone conversation to grant the girl asylum license, but Verdonk stood her ground (like she is doing now): rules are rules.

AHA then went on to say: "But Rita, I lied myself as well!"
Accodring to AHA, Verdonk's reaction was that if she were there at the time, Verdonk would also have kicked AhA out of the country.

Further, according to Leon, it may appear that Verdonk may have also lied about consulting the Cabinet members before sending out her decision to invalidate AHA's citizenship. He argues "[Verdonk] may have informed, but she has not consulted anyone in the cabinet about this utmost sensitive issue."

According to an interview by Netwerk with another columnist Ebru Umar, there is more evidence that Minister Verdonk is lying. Ebru Umar wrote an open letter to AHA last year in which she attacked AHA for her criticalllllllllviews. Part of the letter also mentions that Ayaan Hirsi Ali's real name is Magan. Last month, Verdonk invited Umar for a private meeting, and Umar claims the meeting was about nothing else other than the contents of the open letter she wrote. So Verdonk MUST HAVE KNOWN AHA's real name!


UPDATE 21 May 2006

At a VVD-party congress, in which the candidates for party-leader debatted and presented themselves as the '(wo)man' for the job , Verdonk seemed to have softened her tone considerably. At the beginning of the debate Verdonk declared that Hirsi Ali will get her passport-- a radical departure from her previous statements in parliament and during her campaigning that 'rules are rules'.

Perhaps at the meeting of the council of ministers (Ministerraad) on Friday (which is a weekly closed-door meeting of all the cabinet members), Verdonk received more pressure from the Prime Minister Balkenende to carefully reconsider the whole Hirsi Ali affair. The fiasco last week caused considerable damage to the Netherlands' image abroad, and PM Balkenended has on numerous occassions expressed his displeasure about the schism caused by a determined Verdonk and an almost unaminous parliament that believes the case of Hirsi Ali was too hastily dealt with.

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