The High Cost of Free Speech

Paying for Protection

The American Enterprise Institute has set up a fund to help raise money for Hirsi Ali's protection. The organization said it was processing private donations to arrange for her security. Another fund would also be set up in the future to ensure the safety of other endangered Muslim dissidents, The Associated Press reported.

Despite the international furor, opinion within the Netherlands has largely backed the parliament's decision. And, surprisingly, those arguing for the continued payment of Hirsi Ali's security costs have largely come from outside her supporter base.

The voices calling for continued funding within the Netherlands have mainly come from the left, according to Bibi van Ginkel, senior researcher at the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch international relations think tank.

"She's a high-profile person, whether or not you agree with her beliefs. The left has overlooked [her beliefs] and decided that she is an important person who contributes to an important debate, so they think that's something they do need to support, and as she is a Dutch citizen, they believe that for practical reasons the government should extend the financial support until an appropriate alternative is found," said van Ginkel.

Still, regardless of the opposition coming from the left, the Ministry of Justice reported that an overwhelming majority of the Tweede Kamer (the lower house of the States-General of the Netherlands) had endorsed the Cabinet's resolution, according to De Volkskrant.

Arnold van Burg, a history and politics student at Leiden University, explained that the unwavering Dutch attitude partly results from a decline in Hirsi Ali's status within the Netherlands.

"I think her role is largely fulfilled here. She's lost her momentum in Holland," he said. "She was a person who gained momentum at a certain time, but now she's dead in Holland."

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