Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Unseemly speed

The in-depth review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's asylum application seems to have been concluded with unusual alacrity. She is to be stripped of her Dutch nationality, according to this article.

It really does give the impression of getting rid of an awkward and unwelcome guest. An unpleasant sight, especially considering the person involved.

Will the US step into the breach? Is there an official status equivalent to that of the pariah? What a dangerous woman she must be!

Evidently, the situation was not as simple as I thought. The letter sent by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk did not ipso facto revoke Ali's naturalisation. This is what seems to have come out of a seven-hour debate in the Dutch Parliament last night.

To the incredulity of much of the Second Chamber, Verdonk repeated several times she had not determined, but rather 'observed', Hirsi Ali's naturalisation was invalid. Hirsi Ali was given six weeks to respond with arguments to convince the Minister otherwise. If she fails to do so, she will lose her Dutch passport.

Verdonk almost floored her critics with shock when she suggested six hours into the debate that despite the invalid naturalisation, Hirsi Ali remains a Dutch citizen until the six-week appeal period expires.

The Minister explained the apparent contradiction of a person retaining a status she was allegedly never granted by referring back to her earlier assertion that her letter referred to a 'observation' rather than a decision on Hirsi Ali's naturalisation.
I think the best reaction is, "Mm, that's good. I think." In any case, two motions were voted through last night.
One calls on Verdonk to reconsider within six weeks whether Hirsi Ali is a Dutch citizen. The second instructs the Minister to grant Hirsi Ali accelerated naturalisation if she finds she is not a citizen of the Netherlands.
Perhaps I should take back what I was saying about the Netherlands. Or perhaps I should just wait.

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