THE HAGUE, Netherlands, May 18 (UPI) -- The Dutch parliament has asked the country's immigration minister to restore the citizenship of a legislator who was born in Islamic Somalia.
Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk says Monday's cancellation of the citizenship of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has campaigned against radical Islam, came after a television program said the 36-year-old Hirsi Ali had lied while seeking political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992 and citizenship in 1997, reports the International Herald Tribune.
The incident caused the parliament to meet in an extraordinary session Tuesday, the report said. Some members accused Verdonk, known as "Iron Rita" for her tough stand on immigration, of trying to improve her standing in the polls so as to become the leader of her conservative party.
The minister agreed to reconsider her decision as even the prime minister and the deputy prime minister have distanced themselves from her ruling, the report said.
Hirsi Ali reportedly has decided not to seek a new term and take up an appointment at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Friends of both women are surprised by their confrontation, saying they have been close political allies and hold similar views.