how she felt about the court ruling Hirsi Ali
said, 'I think this is dreadful, horrible to have
to move. I am happy living here and I feel safe.'
She now feels a sense of powerlessness. This has
led to feelings of despair. It is 'at these moments
that it kind of feels, goodness what have I got
the fatwa was issued against her fellow signatory
to the Manifesto Against Totalitarianism, Salman
Rushdie, he found that he gained rather than lost
friends. 'People, for principled reasons, will
move closer to the point of danger, not further
away from it.' Hirsi Ali experienced isolation,
leaving her to feel she has had to carry the banner
alone. It angers her that people should give into
those theocrats demanding silence at a time when
they should be vigorously defending secular freedoms.
While arguing that her neighbours have a responsibility
to wider Dutch society she can appreciate their
fears. She made the choice to confront political
Islam and does not want others to suffer for it.
However, at the same time, she feels that those
who have not yet confronted the menace will at
some point in the future be faced with its effects.
Despite the court having stated that the situation
of her neighbours amounts to a violation of their
private life as underwritten by Article 8 of the
European Treaty for Human Rights, the minister
of justice has professed shock at the judgement.
Despite appealing the decision the fact that she
has to move within four months means any court
proceedings will come too late to allow her to
remain at her current residence.
Dutch court has set a dangerous precedent. Nothing
is more crystalline than the need to ensure that
people live free from fear. Yet, conversely, the
court judgement is likely to encourage the theocrats
to intensify the application of fear in the sure
knowledge that if the target of their anger cannot
be intimidated then the knife need only be run
ever so lightly across the soft underbelly of
bystanders in order to achieve the same egregious
result. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is hardly misjudged in
her assessment that the judgement of the court
can only lead to an outcome where those who oppose
political Islam will fail and the killers of those
brave enough to speak out will triumph. Nevertheless,
she insists that the experience has not put her
off and she promises to continue speaking out
in the confrontationist manner that has come to
be her hallmark.