A controversial German author is taking Random House to court over the publishing house’s decision not to release his latest book on Islam.
The dispute between the publisher and Thilo Sarrazin, a former central banker and Berlin state finance minister, has been heard before a court in Munich on Monday.
According to Bild newspaper, Sarrazin had in November 2016 signed a deal with Random House for a work of non-fiction with the working title Hostile Takeover: How Islam Hampers Progress and Threatens Society.
After accepting the delivery of Sarrazin’s manuscript in February this year, however, the Munich-based publishing group in May reportedly decided against publishing the book.
Sarrazin, a member of the centre-left Social Democratic party, has in the past courted controversy with his 2010 book Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (Germany is Digging its Own Grave), in which he accused Germany’s immigrant population of “dumbing down” society.
Sarrazin’s bestseller has been endorsed by rightwing populist party Alternative für Deutschland, who invited the 72-year-old to speak in front of the Bundestag this year.
A spokesperson for Random House said on Friday the publishing group neither planned to “stop” Sarrazin’s new book “nor hinder its publication”, but that the author was free “to publish his book with another publishing house”.