Thursday, May 18, 2006

Never Look Back

I got an email today. A friend of mine had been following my blog comments on Hirsi Ali and reminded me of the fuss in Finland a few years back on Rosa Meriläinen. The young member of the Parliament from the Greens irritated many with her outspoken strategy. She wore provocative buttons at the parliament and tried to change the language of politics.

Hell broke loose when she said in an interview for the magazine Image that she had tried cannabis (but also mentioned that she did not really like it - if that matters). She was prosecuted because she confessed breaking the law.

In the end Meriläinen was found not guilty. The court stated that a testimony needs to be given in front of a police or judge and the prosecutor in this case was not able to prove that Meriläinen had used cannabis. A comment from an interview was not valid in court. They ruled that comments in the media could be done as an act of provocation or art.

I wonder if the same interpretation is in the Dutch system. Now Minister Rita "agreement is an agreement, I could not do otherwise" Verdonk took Hirsi Ali´s citizenship away based on an interview in a TV documentary.

Verdonk wants to profile herself as a politician who is firm and strict. No special treatment for friends. She is popular because of her "agreement is an agreement" policy. She tried to play the empathy card with the classic "do you think I find this nice" comment.

Of course one should not allow Hirsi Ali to break the law because she is in the parliament. As she has pointed out, several people change their stories in order to get an asylum. Hirsi Ali really brings the human stories behind all those deportation decisions on the consciousness of the average man or woman which is valuable as it is. The main question here is that everybody has known for years that Hirsi Ali lied. Why is Verdonk acting now?

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