Profile in Courage

An immigrantís tale from halfway around the world should make us think about whatís going on closer to home

It's true that Ayaan Hirsi Ali never mentioned Mexico in her remarks at the Phoenician. But freedom and its opportunities are just as important for smart little girls growing up in Mexico as they have been for her.

If we really believe in individual freedom — if we really believe that each of us should have the chance to make a life — having the right papers can never be as important as having determination.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's story is proof of that.

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Ken Calman writes, "Where we find problems in our illegals isn't their willingness to work but their willingness to assimilate . . . many of our illegal workers who have been here for years still don't know a word of English . . ."Gosh, Mr. Calman, the degree of assimilation that prevents genital mutilation, arranged marriages, and the murder of people who bring attention to those atrocities is really quite enough for me. If my neighbors from other countries can assimilate that much while working too many hours and in too much fear to attend English classes, I'm really okay with that and I imagine the Dutch would be, too.

Ken Calman
Ken Calman

Ms. Fenske;As I read this article a reponse was formatting itself in my mind as I marveled at seeing such a right-of-center item in a generally left-of-center news venue, thinking that congratulations were due for your objectivity, not to mention courage, in pointing out the flawed (or possibly hijacked) Islam religion and the dangers in opposing the so-called religion of peace. All that changed as I read the final paragraphs.

It was disingenuous to say the least to equate a brave woman exposing a religion hijacked by fanatics and operating around the world to conduct acts of violence against the innocent, where asylum is obviously needed, with those from South of our own border who come here from no such persecution but for reasons purely of enhancing their finances.

"Willing to work" isn't really the dividing line anyway, is it? Where we find problems in our illegals isn't their willingness to work but their willingness to assimilate, the same issue you wrote about having affected The Netherlands. If you haven't yet noticed, many of our illegal workers who have been here for years still don't know a word of English. Why do you suppose that is?


Truth-seekers and -speakers have always been hated and persecuted. It most certainly happens in our own country. Remember Cassandra of Troy? Her curse was that she would always speak true prophecy but that noone would believe her.


Very good article.I am an indian ,but firstly i consider myself a human being.I appreciate the courage of Hirsi Ali in airing her views honestly.There is another writer who is fighting for humanism .Her name is Taslima Nasreen.She was forced to flee from her home country Bangladesh just because she spoke the truth.She was forced to live in exile for more than 10 years.At present she is in India.But here also she is being persecuted by islamic fundamentalists and selective secularists.It is sad that while Taslima is putting her life in line for the cause of humanism and equality,people who must protect her are ignoring her.I hope that millions of Ayans and Taslimas will emerge from the shadows to fight for humanism.

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