A liberal Dutch politician who had to go into hiding after helping make a film that criticised Islam has returned to public life. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia, has not been seen for over two months. It is reported she was taken to the US after facing repeated death threats. Ali has renounced her Muslim background, calling the religion “backward”. It is a position that has won the 35-year-old friends and votes in the Netherlands.
But it was feared she may face the same fate as Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker she worked with who was killed in early November last year. His movie, Submission, is about violence against women in Islamic societies. A Dutchman of Moroccan origin has been charged with van Gogh’s murder, a crime which sparked an outpouring of emotion in the Netherlands. Surveys show many Dutch fear the rising number of Muslims in their country.