Obliged to live surrounded by bodyguard since she wrote the screenplay for the short TV production «Submission» filmed by Theo van Gogh, threatened with death, accused of Islamophobia by the Dutch left because of her struggle against Islamism, female genital mutilation and forced marriage, and forced to leave her home because her neighbours were disturbed by her security arrangements, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now threatened to loose her Dutch citizenship because of xenophobic laws against immigration.

She has always admitted that she had used an assumed name, and that she had said she came directly from Somalia in order to be treated as a political refugee when she fled to Holland to escape a forced marriage after a life passed in learning the Quran, wearing the veil, respecting the traditions and having been genitally mutilated. She had actually arrived via Kenya and Saudi Arabia. Where is the crime in that?

A squalid and vengeful TV documentary, designed to make her pay for her opposition to Islamism, accused her of having lied about her forced marriage. The proof offered? The testimony of her husband (the man she had fled) and members of his family - the very ones who would oblige her to accept her marriage and respect Islamic values!

The «useful idiots» of Islamism are rubbing their hands in glee. In Libération for example, Pierre Marcelle could not help himself from ironic comment over the «duplicity» of Ayaan Hirsi Ali (as opposed to Tariq Ramadan, for example?) After having been vilified as an «Islamophobe» for having had the courage to speak out against horrors committed in the name of Islam at the cost of her own safety, she is pilloried as a fraud

This whole sickening campaign is symtomatic. Ayaan, who I have the honour to know, appeared broken at a press conference in Holland. Anyone would be. She will undoubtedly go to live in the United States, where a conservative think-tank has offered her asylum and the American government has guaranteed her protection.

Who is to blame if Europe loses the bravest of its citizens? The anti-secular left, and on the right the racist populists. Together they confuse the questions of immigration and fundamentalism. Getting to the point of this clearly scandalous situation: to start with, Ayaan is a progressive woman and a convinced European. Le fact that she risks losing her Dutch nationality is the worst possible sign. We live in a Europe that votes for xenophobic laws that close the door to immigrants fleeing patriarchy, medievalism and Islamism because they must lie to survive, while the Islamists easily obtain the status of political refugees. On the other hand, certain individuals, accomplished liars, are co-opted as advisers in the struggle against «Islamic extremism». Poor Europe. Racism and fundamentalism have a bright future here.

Caroline Fourest