The Italian Almanac

Oriana Fallaci

Italian News - May 25

Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who has made waves by denouncing Islam in her books, is to face trial for purportedly insulting the Muslim faith in her latest work, a court in Northern Italy ruled yesterday. A judge refused a request by prosecutors to throw out the case, brought by the president of the Muslim Union of Italy, Adel Smith, and ordered magistrates to proceed in the matter.

The magistrates have until tomorrow to formally charge Miss Fallaci, the author of "The Rage and the Pride," a post-September 11 polemic over the dangers of Islamic extremism, with "insulting religion." The accusations stem from her last book called "La Forza della Ragione" (The Force of Reason). Mr. Smith says the book contains "words that are without doubt offensive toward Islam."

In her prime, Miss Fallaci was famed as a belligerent journalist and argumentative interviewer, who had unprecedented access to the world's most reclusive and wary leaders. A partisan in the Italian resistance in World War II and a lifelong leftist, she once became so disgusted while interviewing Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that she ripped off her head scarf and threw it in his face.