Somali-born rights icon Ayaan Hirsi Ali received a free speech award Wednesday from a Danish newspaper which sparked outrage by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch lawmaker who was threatened with death for criticizing Islam, was named by Jyllands-Posten newspaper as the winner of its Prize for Freedom of Expression.

"The committee did not doubt for an instant that you deserved this award for your unshakeable faith that it was worth fighting for your points of view," editor Joern Mikkelsen said at the prizegiving ceremony in Copenhagen.

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