- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 22, 2002

From combined dispatches
PARIS A French judge yesterday refused an "anti-racism" group's request for an immediate ban on Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci's new book, which argues that the September 11 attacks shows the true face of Islam.
The Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between Peoples, also known as MRAP, had asked Judge Herve Stephan to ban the book, "Rage and Pride," saying its contents are an incitement to racial hatred.
Judge Stephan said he saw no point in an urgent ban, because the book had already sold 45,000 copies in France since its publication last month and nearly a million copies in Italy. He referred the case to another court, which is scheduled to hear it July 10.
MRAP, which was founded in 1949 and calls itself a democratic organization, also named French publisher Editions Plon in its complaint. Its leader, Mouloud Aounit, insists that the group believes in freedom of expression. He argues that the book is "racist delirium" that "incites racial violence."
Miss Fallaci, 72, a former war correspondent who is known for candid interviews with world leaders, ended a decade-long, self-imposed silence after September 11 with the book, written in reaction to the terrorist attacks in New York, where she lives.
The book, due out in the United States in the fall, contains such provocative statements as assertions that Western civilization is superior to Islam and that Muslim immigrants in the West, who "multiply like rats," are to blame for the rise in crime and prostitution.
"The children of Allah," she writes, "spend their time with their bottoms in the air, praying five times a day."
Earlier this month, Miss Fallaci rejected the accusations against her and denounced recent anti-Jewish violence in France, linked to a spillover of Middle East tensions into the country's Muslim and Jewish populations. "I find it shameful that in France the France of liberty, equality and fraternity synagogues are burned, Jews are terrorized and their cemeteries are profaned," she wrote in a column in the prominent daily newspaper Le Figaro.
Muslim immigrants in France and elsewhere in Western Europe have been blamed for rising crime and anti-Semitic attacks, a development that has fueled recent gains by anti-immigration political parties throughout the continent. Miss Fallaci said she reserves the right to sue MRAP for branding her book "racist." She said she has been receiving death threats.
In addition to MRAP, two other anti-racism groups have complained about the book and asked that a disclaimer be included in every French copy instead of a ban.
The judge refused this plea as well.
Miss Fallaci has interviewed such political figures as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former German Chancellor Willy Brandt, and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late Iranian supreme leader, as well as Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, Italian film director Federico Fellini and actor Sean Connery.
Mr. Kissinger, who called his Fallaci interview "the most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press," offered the first glimpse into the Austrian-born diplomat's private life.


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