Ayaan Hirsi Ali, turn "controversial" into a playground insult. Her pronounced and unapologetic view is that Islam is a "backward religion." She was raised Muslim, and underwent female genital mutilation at age five. It's hard for me to write those words. She moved to the Netherlands, lied her way into a legal existence there, earned a master's degree in political science, and became a member of Parliament. She speaks six languages.
She was close friends with the (equally controversial) filmmaker Theo Van Gogh (yes, they're related); his murder, and the numerous death threat's she's received, have seemingly done nothing to deter her from speaking what she feels to be the truth. I don't think you have to agree with her to admire her. She's incredibly strong.