Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Somali former asylum-seeker in Netherlands where she became a Member of Parliament.
Ayaan who arrived in Netherlands as asylum-seeker in 1992, started studying political science at Leiden University, published first articles critical of Islam in 2001 and was elected Dutch Member of Parliament in 2003.
Ayaan who disreputably described Islam as 'backward' co-wrote film Submission with out-spoken film-producer Theo van Gogh in 2004 that became extremely controversial. The film had outraged Muslims by broadcasting pictures of verses of the Qur'an scrawled on a naked female body and Theo van Gogh referring to Muslim as 'goat-fuckers.' Ayaan now travels in an armoured-plated car.
The terror attacks in the US set in chain the events that catapulted Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born Hirsi Magan, to prominence in view of her comments on Islam. Looking back she regrets the language she used.
Ayaan calls for a brake on immigration and an end to Islamic schools provoked ructions in Holland - the country that has lately gone through a national identity crisis and a seismic change in the political debate.
Her sudden and steller political career, however, ended in ignomity, in 2006, when she resigned from parliament and announced plans to leave Netherland after the government threatened to strip her citizenship for lying on an asylum appilication 14 years ago.
Because Ayaan's father was an opponent of the regime, her childhood was spent in exile in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, before she arrived in Nairobi, where she was educated.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan