From ABC News:

A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book. The decision angered Italy’s justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work “La Forza della Ragione” (The Force of Reason).

Fallaci lives in New York […] In “La Forza della Ragione,” Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith “sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom.”

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech. But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted. Grasso’s ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci’s words were “without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith.”  [May 25, 2005]

From David Holcberg of the Ayn Rand Institute:

The decision of an Italian judge to indict author and New York resident Oriana Fallaci for being “offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith” is a violation of her right to free speech and an absurd concession to Islamists at war with Western Civilization.

Fallaci, as any individual, should have the right to criticize any religion or ideology, free from government censorship or retaliation. If Muslims (or Italian judges) don’t like Fallaci’s books, they are free to not buy them. They have no right, however, to punish or silence her.

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