Northern Light

Hirsi Ali Offered a Safe Haven in Denmark

The Danish government is ready to invite Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Denmark and pay for her security.

Says minister of culture Brian Mikkelsen:

”Ayaan Hirsi Ali is at the top of my list of writers that should be invited to Denmark. She has more than anyone been fighting for the right to free speech, and more than anyone been subject to threats to her life.”

The Danish public is following Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s fate closely. Her two latests books have been national bestsellers (both have been published by Jyllands-Posten. Infidel, her beautiful written memoir, has sold more than 20.000 copies in a country of 5 million people), and last year she received a Freedom Award from prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s party Venstre.

The Danish government is calling on municipalities to enroll Hirsi Ali in a new local programme to support writers in danger. Persecuted writers are offered a safe haven in Denmark for one or two years, and local authorities in Aarhus and Odense have already expressed their willingness to welcome the Somalia born freedom fighter. The proposal has been supported by parties across the political spectrum.

Today Hirsi Ali thanked the Danes.

”I am touched by the offer to live in Denmark, because I have always felt a close relationship with your country,” Hirsi Ali told Jyllands-Posten.

”I thank you, but my home and work is in the US, and right now I am trying to look for funding of my security expenses here.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is deeply dissapointed that the Dutch parliament last week declined to finance her security in the US, though she is a Dutch citizen and was forced to leave Holland and move to the US after having received several death threats and lived in hiding for years.

”I am dissapointed but as a citizen in a democracy one has to accept majority decisions.”

When Hirsi Ali has found a solution to her security problems in the US she will visit Denmark as the first country in Europe.

”You have a rare understanding of the fact that free speech isn’t about people agreeing. Free speech implies the right to offend within the limits of the law,” she said referring to the cartoon crisis in 2006, when Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed.

At the height of the crisis Ayaan Hirsi Ali called a press conference in Berlin defending the right to offend.