Meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
A Dutch parliamentarian. A writer. An advocate for woman's rights. One of the most outspoken and influential figures in Dutch politics today.
Not bad for a Somali immigrant, who at the age of 23 fled to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage.
Unfortunately, to go along with her many accomplishments, there is one more distinction she has earned, one she would gladly do without: today her name is at the top of almost every death list in the Muslim world.
It's easy to understand why she is a marked woman. She has condemned honor killings, exposing the conspiracy of silence which allows them to go on unpunished in Muslim communities. She has spoken out against female circumcision, of which she herself was a victim at the age of five. But what has won her the most enemies was her collaboration with the late filmmaker Theo van Gogh. She wrote the script for his ten-minute film Submission, which explores the oppression of women in Islamic society. The film caused an uproar when it was released, and when van Gogh was brutally murdered back in November, Ali was forced to flee to the United States. Only recently did she come back.
“I will go on with my work here in parliament. I will attend all the meetings, I will control our government. And, beyond that, I will keep on writing articles, I will keep on writing scripts for not just Submission Part II but Part III and so on. I will do anything in my power to keep the oppression of women on the agenda.”
Here's more on the subject:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in her own words. (Go to Watch and Listen and click on Audio)
Rana Husseini, talking about honor killings in Jordan.
The film Submission can be downloaded here.