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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 17:25 GMT
Threatened Dutch MP out of hiding
Liberal deputy Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "I am scared now and again, but I will go on"
Liberal Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a critic of Muslim fundamentalism who had received death threats, has emerged from hiding.

The Somali-born deputy returned to her office in parliament on Tuesday amid tight security.

She wrote the script for the controversial short TV film Submission by director Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered in Amsterdam on 2 November.

"Dear Ayaan, welcome back in our midst. We missed you," the speaker said.

Challenging Islam

Mrs Hirsi Ali was flanked by bodyguards as she appeared in the parliament after spending two months in hiding, under police protection.

"It's great to be back," she said.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali taking her seat
Mrs Hirsi Ali fled an arranged marriage in Somalia

An outspoken critic of Islamic values, she describes herself as a "lapsed" Muslim. She had caused outrage by calling Islam "backward" and by pouring scorn on the Prophet Mohammed.

The film she made with Van Gogh told the story of a Muslim woman forced into marriage and abused by her husband. The authors claimed the Koran encouraged violence against women.

A letter left on Van Gogh's body contained death threats against Mrs Hirsi Ali, Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said. It had been pinned to his body with a knife.

The letter threatened to bring down "non-believers". It was typed in Dutch and contained Koranic verses written in Arabic and translated into Dutch.

Nine suspects, all believed to be radical Islamists, have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Mrs Hirsi Ali said she was planning to work on a sequel to Submission and a book called Short Cut to Enlightenment, for Muslims.

Life of slain Dutch filmmaker
02 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Moving stories: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
23 Dec 03 |  Africa
Imams on Dutch culture course
28 Nov 02 |  Europe

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