Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A lot was written about the controversy and uproar about Hirsi Ali. Our national media, but also the international media covered the case from every angle and enjoyed every new detail. I have been browsing some blogs and found an article of Douglas Murray that hurt me. I am Dutch and I am proud of it.
Yes, we are the country under whose flag the first slaveship sailed to the US. We are the country, from whose language comes the all-known word "apartheid". But we are also the country that (by percentage of population and sometimes real) donates the most money to peacekeeping missions, the UN, aid around the world, participates in virtually every peacekeeping mission around the world and effort to restore the peace, harbors more refugees than any EU country. The Netherlands is tolerant and liberal towards all religions, sex, soft drugs, euthanasia, abortion and all other things that can cause commotion. We have been a strong and appreciated member of the international community for years and we intend to stay that for a long time.
The underlying problem with Hirsi Ali is the current battle over the leadership of the Liberal Party (VVD) of which both Hirsi Ali and Minister of Integration Verdonk are a member. Verdonk is a candidate for the post of leader of the party and saw this case as an opportunity to gain some more votes. Unfortunately she was badly advised or took this wrong decision herself, without consulting the cabinet. Our prime-minister tried to fix this and she is (more or less) on a leach now, needing approval before she says or does anything. The damage control asked from embassies is nothing new and not really special. The international media blew this case up way too big and especially the Americans can't stop showing off with the arrival of Hirsi Ali. They tend to forget that black people in the US still have the worst jobs, are less paid, were suppressed for decades. Besides that can you don't really speak about "freedom" when you see the images of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, the Abu Graib prison, the homeless and orphaned children in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nothing to be proud of I would say. First fix your own problems, then look at others'.
I am proud of my country and always will be.

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