Ayaan Hirsi Ali among world’s most influential

AMSTERDAM � Dutch Liberal MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been named by weekly magazine ‘Time’ as one of the world’s top 100 influential people.

She was listed as the 22nd most influential politician in the world.

Hirsi Ali was included in the list among world leaders such as US president George W Bush, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and South African president Thabo Mbeki.

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In Context

Behind the Veil: A Muslim Woman Speaks Out (About Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Submission)

In the Netherlands, the vast majority of women who seek help from shelters for abused women come from an Islamic background.

Apparently equating “influential” with the ability to generate media attention, the magazine also found room on its list for American basketball star Lebron James, 20, Roman Abramovich, the owner of British soccer team Chelsea, and Formula One driver Michael Schumacher.

Time described Hirsi Ali, the Liberal VVD MP as “someone who stands up for her convictions”, newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’ reported on Monday.

The cultural and political problems in the Netherlands have featured prominently in US media reports since the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected Islamic militant last year.

Hirsi Ali plays a prominent role in the media reports as a woman of Somali origin who dares to speak out against the treatment of women under Islam.

She co-produced the film ‘Submission’ with Van Gogh shortly before his assassination by a Dutch-Moroccan man. The film is highly critical of domestic abuse among the Islamic community.

Hirsi Ali’s stance has won much praise in the US. The fact that she went into hiding last year after being threatened to death by suspected Islamic terrorists has only added to her image.

Time publishes the top 100 listing every year. Those included are judged to exert the greatest influence on current global events.

The magazine says warlike or peaceful leaders through to dictators or defenders of democracy can be included on the list.

President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice topped the list this year.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Expatica, Netherlands
Apr. 11, 2005

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Religion News Blog last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)