It looks like Ayaan Hirsi Ali will get national police protection anywhere in the European Union (see Writer to get EU protection). According to this Guardian report “Franco Frattini, the European commissioner for justice and home affairs, told the Guardian that Hirsi Ali and any other persons facing threats to their lives because of their opinions or writings, would be guaranteed protection wherever they went in Europe and that the host country would bear the expense.”
Other sources are suggesting that agreement on this is not yet complete and (“British sources said a pan-European deal could not be “that simple” since there were cost and legal implications to authorising such special police measures”). However, it does look like a decision has been made in Hirsi Ali’s case. This is very welcome news for many of us who have been concerned for her safety ever since the Dutch government withdrew funding for her protection while she was in the US.
Hirsi Ali, whose life was threated after she made a film, Submission, attacking Islamic treatment of women. Her colleague, Theo Van Gogh, who directed the film was murdered on an Amsterdam street in 2004.
This decision has wider significance than Hirsi Ali. There are a number of other people in Europe in her position – under threat of death because of their criticisms of Islam
I agree with Ron Brown’s comment on this:
“Today is a big day for free speech and humanity. The EU’s promised protection of Ali sends a strong message: that we will stand together and protect each other and our right to speak freely.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is author of the books Infidel and The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam.