Hirsi Ali is a woman who has faced a death sentence since 2004, when a threat to kill her was pinned with a knife to the body of her friend Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was assassinated in an Amsterdam street by a Muslim extremist.
Her visit to Australia is unannounced. The security arrangements are elaborate and secretive, reminiscent of Cold War spy stories. But this is a new war, waged against ordinary and - in Hirsi Ali's case - extraordinary people, and Hirsi Ali is on the front line.
The Islamists want her dead because she is an apostate: she no longer believes in Allah and has renounced the Islamic faith. The penalty for this, under sharia law, is death.
"I read yesterday that 36 per cent of British Muslims believe apostates should be put to death, but in many Islamic countries it is 80 or 90 per cent," she says. "In a way I am lucky. I have the privilege of being protected from the Islamists who want to murder me. But what about the people who don't have protection, who are murdered or blown up in the street in India or Turkey or Iraq? more http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24115619-16947,00.html