Islam critic Hirsi Ali in fresh attack on Dutch authorities

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch deputy who became a target of Islamic extremists, on Friday hit out at the government of The Netherlands for refusing to pay for her protection in the United States. It was not a question of money, but of principle, she said in an interview published in Friday’s edition of the Danish daily in Jyllands-Posten. “It costs less to pay an American company to protect me than to assure my safety in the Netherlands, because the threat there (the Netherlands) is a lot more real,” she told the paper…

Netherlands turns back Hamas minister

The Netherlands turned back a Palestinian minister with the Islamist movement Hamas on Friday who was headed for a conference on refugees, the minister said. Speaking to Arab news channel Al-Jazeera from his plane, sports and youth minister Bassem Naim said he was stopped at Brussels airport where he was to have made a stopover and told his Netherlands visa had been revoked. Belgian police told him that the justice ministry in the Netherlands had cancelled the entry visa on the grounds that he was “dangerous for the security of the Dutch people”, the minister said. Since the formation of a unity government in March between Hamas, which is branded a terrorist group in the EU and United States, and the mainstream Fatah party, some countries have restored contacts but only with non-Hamas ministers. In the West Bank political capital of Ramallah, information minister Mustafa Barghouti said: “We are surprised by this decision and we expect the Netherlands to take a balanced stand between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Dutch Conservatives Want Stricter Laws For Islamic Schools; Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues

Conservative MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali says her party, the VVD, wants to see stricter legislation governing Islamic schools. The conservatives claim these schools are teaching children to discriminate against women, homosexuals and the indigenous Dutch population. She made her remarks during a parliamentary debate on a new integration bill put forward by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Most parties support the minister’s plans, but the left-wing opposition has criticised a proposal that would make migrants pay part of the cost of their integration courses. They argue this will force many people into debt. Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues Christian Democrat Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has criticised a proposal by the conservative VVD party to monitor Islamic schools. She says the proposal breaches an article in the constitution guaranteeing educational freedom. VVD member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called for an end to government support for certain Islamic schools. She says they promote intolerance towards homosexuals and Jews, and are opposed to equality for women. The Lower House debate on Islamic education in the Netherlands has further intensified. Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven, a Christian Democrat, has rejected a Conservative proposal to set additional requirements to such schools. The minister has not yet vetoed the motion of Conservative parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she did say it violated article 23 of the constitution, which provides for freedom of education. The minister also opposes the Conservative’s request that all board members of Islamic schools have Dutch nationality. The other house factions also reject the motion. Although Ms. Hirsi Ali’s resolution has thrown Conservatives themselves into a commotion, the party is not withdrawing it. The house debate will continue next week.