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Oriana Fallaci

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Fallaci (June 29, 1929 - September 15, 2006) was an Italian journalist known for her frank and often controversial interviews of world leaders and other notable figures.

From the Agitator column [1] by Margaret Talbot in the June 05, 2006 issue of the New Yorker entitled Oriana Fallaci directs her fury toward Islam:

'In September, she had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence outside Rome. She had criticized John Paul II for making overtures to Muslims, and for not condemning terrorism heartily enough, but she has hopes for Joseph Ratzinger. (The meeting was something of a scandal in Italy, since Fallaci has always said that she is an atheist; more recently, she has called herself a “Christian atheist,” out of respect for Italy’s Catholic tradition.) Last December, the Italian government presented her with a gold medal for “cultural achievement.'

[...]

'[Fallaci] currently faces trial in Italy, on charges that amount to blasphemy, of all things. Last year, Adel Smith, a convert to Islam who heads a group called the Muslim Union of Italy, and who had previously sued the government to have a crucifix removed from his sons’ classroom, persuaded a judge in Bergamo to allow him to charge Fallaci with defaming Islam. A Mussolini-era criminal code holds that “whoever offends the state’s religion, by defaming those who profess it, will be punished with up to two years of imprisonment.” Though the code was written to protect the Catholic Church, it has been successively amended in the past ten years, so that it encompasses any “religion acknowledged by the state.”'


Oriana Fallaci's page at Wikipedia