27 August 2011
'Anti-Muslim' author beaten
OAKVILLE, Ont. - Halton police are treating an attack on a first-time author whose self-published book has been branded anti-Muslim as a possible hate crime.
Raised Islamic, Paris Dipersico, 24, reported being dragged from his bicycle Aug. 17, tied up among trees, then beaten briefly unconscious by two Muslim men.
Accused of being gay, they then "called me a Jew in Arabic and said the Jews are paying you to write this against Islam," the author of Wake Up Call said Thursday.
Dipersico said he also received a "death threat" on his Facebook site, then someone stole files and backup writing discs after breaking into the home he shares with cousin Gabrielle Dipersico -- who helped design the book and whose photo is on the cover.
Believing the threat came "from the Middle East," he said it demanded he remove offensive language.
After treatment for cuts and bruises, Dipersico said on his publisher's advice, "I'm taking out some of the graphically sexual stuff," but not the rest.
"A little autobiographical," he said the novel expresses his opposition to organized religion.
Using several characters, including ones named Paris and Gabrielle plus others disguised or altered, Dipersico said Wake Up Call was a self-healing project based on troubling experiences with relatives telling him they are superior to others, while some lied, cheated and committed adultery.
Released in June, it has been accused of being pornographic, celebrating drug use and mocking various religions.
Dipersico wrote "Islam is a religion of 'peace' and Muslims will kill you to prove it," but said "I'm not saying every Muslim is violent or every Muslim is a bad person." Fully realizing "for a Muslim to go against Islam, the punishment is death," he said violent ones are often "ignorant," brainwashed with twisted religion-based messages.
A promotional reference to a "narcissistic sociopath," who says "obnoxious things about fugly creatures" is a character's comment, he said, adding he uses dark humour, is often "awfully judgmental, acutely blunt, and exceptionally rude."
Relatives criticized Gabrielle's voluntary cover photo for showing too much flesh, "but I wasn't coerced," the 23-year-old said.
"We are Muslim, but we were raised in Canada," Paris said.
He said they now "don't leave the house after dark," notify police when they go out and installed video surveillance.
Det. Sgt. Anthony Odoardi said investigators "believe he was targeted" and are considering "a publication he has written" could be the motive for the attack.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Odoardi at 905-878-5511, Ext. 2215, or, anonymously, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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