The Caged Virgin [end]

The day before a TV documentary about Ayaan Hirsi Ali would lead to news headlines in the whole world I linked to a piece by Cristopher Hitchens about her.

Somehow, it seems right to round the brouhaha off with another piece by him, on her.

The minister in the present case—a former prison warden named Rita Verdonk—comes off less as a Kafka figure than as a cross between Nurse Ratched and Capt. Renault in Casablanca, who was “shocked, shocked” to find out what was going on at Rick’s Cafe. A prisoner of her own rectitude, she has decided that now is the time to display zero tolerance for refugees who falsify their biographies.

And, while I am at it, let’s not forget Ian Buruma’s words in the NY Times:

Rita Verdonk was only a particularly extreme and unimaginative exponent of this new mood. One of her wildly impractical suggestions, mostly shot down in Parliament, was that only Dutch should be spoken in the streets. It was she who sent back vulnerable refugees to places like Syria and Congo. It was under her watch that asylum seekers were put in prison cells after a fire had consumed their temporary shelter and killed 11 at the Amsterdam airport. She was the one who decided to send a family back to Iraq because they had finessed their stories, even though human rights experts had warned that they would be in great danger. This was part of her vaunted “straight back.”

[x]#1828 fan donderdag 25 mei 2006 @ 23:54:06