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Hirsi Ali Regrets Collapse Of Dutch Coalition
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende leaves Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague after handing over the resignation of the Dutch cabinet to Queen Beatrix. (Fred Ernst/Associated Press)
Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali's citizenship is at the heart of the crisis leading to the resignation of the Dutch cabinet. (Rob Keeris/Associated Press)
AMSTERDAM, June 30, 2006 — Ayaan Hirsi Ali said on Thursday night (Dutch time) that the government in The Hague should not have collapsed in the row over how Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk treated her in the passport affair.
"I feel very sad about it," Hirsi Ali told CNN. "There's a complex of feelings going through me at the moment, and I feel the Cabinet should not have resigned over this issue" Speaking from Washington, she added: "I still feel Dutch, and I still feel very involved."
The three-party centre-right government fell on Thursday when junior coalition party D66 withdrew its support.
D66 pulled out after the rest of the government ignored an ultimatum that Verdonk had to resign.
Verdonk of the Liberal Party (VVD) caused an international outcry in May when she tried to revoke Hirsi Ali's Dutch passport.
Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia and used a misleading name to get asylum in the Netherlands in 1992 to get away from an arranged marriage. Her original name was Ayaan Hirsi Magan, but she adopted her grandfather's name Ali to hide her background.
As Hirsi Ali, she was granted naturalization in 1997 and gained recognition for her staunch criticism of conservative Islam. She confessed publicly to lying in 2002 shortly before she was elected to parliament for the VVD.
She again repeated the confession during a television documentary in May. Verdonk then held a two-day investigation into the issue and began efforts to take back Hirsi Ali's Dutch passport.
Hirsi Ali resigned from parliament and announced she was accelerating her plans to move to the US to work for a neo-Conservative think tank.
Parliament ordered Verdonk to ensure Hirsi Ali kept her passport. Verdonk complied by citing the right under Somalia law to use a grandfather's name.
However she angered the opposition and D66 by continuing she bore any blame.
She also had Hirsi Ali sign a statement written by government officials that stated the entire affair was the former lawmaker's own fault. This was because she was wrong to state that she had lied about her name.
Source: Expatica News + ANP 2006