Under Attack from Islam and Liberals; Books AYAAN HIRSI ALI Infidel (Free Press, Pounds 12.99)

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Byline: by Lorne Jackson

SHE is one of the harshest critics of radical Islam.

Yet Ayaan Hirsi Ali does not hail from the West.

She is a Muslim herself, who grew up in a devout family in North Africa.

Her stout rejection of the more intolerant forms of her faith have led her to fear for her life.

This is not paranoia.

Muslim extremists have repeatedly threatened to murder her.

Her former cinematic collaborator, Theo Van Gogh, was slain by a radical, who claimed she would be next.

Which is why Infidel is such a brave project. This is more than just her life story.

It is a shot across the boughs of those who would stifle and suffocate free speech.

However, it is also an incredibly dramatic story of a woman who would not be cowed or coerced.

Ayaan, who was born in Somalia, moved to Holland, where she was awarded political asylum. Revelling in the freedoms the nation gave her, she became a passionate feminist and a Dutch MP.

It was then that she started to court controversy. Becoming an atheist, she was severely critical of the religion of her childhood.

She wrote and provided the audio commentary for a movie by the Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh. …