Oriana Fallaci, one of Italy’s most outspoken critics against Islam, has lost her long battle against cancer. The 77-year-old died in her home town of Florence. Fallaci caused an uproar with her bestselling book, The Rage and the Pride, published two weeks after the September 11 attacks. In it, she said Western culture was superior to Islam and Muslim immigrants in the West had “multiplied like rats”.
Fallaci was popular with many in Italy and her views taken seriously in part because of her past – she was an anti-fascist partisan during World War II, and was for many years one of the country’s most respected journalists. She made her name as a tenacious interviewer of some of the most famous leaders of the 20th century.
They included Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. She covered wars in Vietnam, the Middle East, and Latin America at a time when few women braved the front lines, and was shot and beaten in 1968 during student demonstrations in Mexico.