December 26, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Evidence continues to surface casting doubt on the scholarship of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, currently in residence at the American Enterprise Institute, a prestigious conservative think tank.
A December 20 Dutch radio interview [BNR Nieuwsradio] with HP/De Tijd journalist Alies Pegtel which served as the basis for our December 21 piece Does Ayaan Hirsi Ali Extensively Use Ghost Writers? - Fraudulent Scholarship Suspected charges that works attributed to Ali were not written by her and also seem to suggest that Ms. Ali's campaign against radical Islam did not flow organically from her but rather, was suggested to her by others seeing in her a sympathetic carrier for their message.
If true this makes Ali party to a process of manipulation, promoting the ideas of others as her own and riding the notoriety thus generated for personal aggrandizement and financial gain. It also does serious damage to claims that Ali is an intellectual warrior, a role for which she now appears to be sadly deficient.
Link to radio interview [in Dutch]:
Translated transcript: Doubts about the texts of Hirsi Ali
BNR Radio December 20, 2006
Alies Pegtel Journalist HP/De Tijd
BNR Interviewer, Martijn de Rijk
Intro with voice over snippet on Ayaan Hirsi Ali farewell speech.
"I am Ayaan, the daughter of Hirsi who is the son of Magen. Today I am putting aside my membership in the Lower House."
De Rijk: Her farewell speech in how far for example did she write it completely by herself ?
Alies Pegtel: Two days before she had a meeting with Leon de Winter, Paul Scheffer, Paul Cliteur, Jaffe van Vink, Christopher Ruitenfrans and Trouw columnist Sylvain Ephimenco. Together they discussed what she could best say at her departure. Afterwards the text was sent around by email.
I was not there and I don't know which part can be attributed to Leon de Winter and which part was written by Paul Cliteur and which part others had or what was her input, But what is completely certain is that she did not write it by herself.
De Rijk: Was that then a her standard way of working?
Alies Pegtiel: What I have understand from among others Leon de Winter is that this is the way her presentations often were done he did not say which ones and when that's a matter of guess work.
But I have also understood from other ghost writers that they have written speeches for her and it was basically that they sat behind the computer and that Ayaan only later went to look at the texts and then she practiced saying it out loud.
De Rijk: Example by her inauguration at the VVD her speech was written by Bram Pepper [Dutch Home Secretary and Mayor of Rotterdam] I understand.
Alies Pegtiel: That is correct, she was, as everyone well knows she was embraced by Nellie Kroes as goddaughter you could say. Nellie Kroes was at that moment the wife of Bram Pepper and she put the speech on paper for her. It had something to do with having no time for it or something like that.
But it comes down to the fact that apparently people were [unclear] coming up to write her texts for her.
De Rijk: She also has a very scholarly collection of work to her name. Also there, what is by her?
Alies Pegtel: Now, yes, I know in any case that several of the articles where she explicitly advocates for the Muslim woman were not by written by her herself but by a number of Het Parool journalists who were also very good friends with Cisca Dresselhuys.
As we all know she is the feminist godmother of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She has also written a number of articles in Trouw where she had a breakthrough as publicist and she was helped tremendously in that by Christopher Ruitenfrans and Jaffe Vink who were editors [unclear] of Letters en Geest . [A supplement in the Trouw newspaper].
De Rijk: Once again, was this also about second opinions, a thorough reading, filling in the gaps help, feedback or was really, yes, how shall I say it, about texts that were put into her pen?
Alies Pegtel: It was not limited just to these texts we should say. Her own ideas were in part the ideas of the people who helped her compose her work."