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Ex-Dutch official urges EU security fund

Feb. 15, 2008 at 7:06 PM

BRUSSELS , Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A former Dutch lawmaker who has spoken critically of Islam is asking the European Union to fund security for her and others who receive death threats.

Former Member of Parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali asked a small meeting of members of the European Parliament in Brussels to support her push for an EU fund to provide security to citizens facing death threats, the EU Observer reported Friday.

"The threats to my life have not subsided," Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Muslim, said at the meeting Thursday. She said she has found herself in the "embarrassing situation" of having to set up fundraising operations to guarantee her security.

She said the issue of providing security "is much broader than whether or not I am killed."

"It is about freedom of speech," she said.

Hirsi Ali has required a large amount of personal security since 2004, when her name was mentioned in a letter found on the dead body of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed "Submission," a film Hirsi Ali wrote that sharply criticized the treatment of women in Islamic society.

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