A slander trial is set to begin next month pitting a fiercely secular, feminist author against a private, Muslim school in Montreal she likened to militant Islamic training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Djemila Benhabib, an award-winning author and twice-failed Parti Québécois candidate, is claiming freedom of expression, while the school wants $95,000 from her for "greatly tarnishing" its reputation.

Julius Grey, a well-known human-rights and freedom-of-expression lawyer, is defending the school in this case and says he will argue Benhabib crossed the line and caused real harm to the institution.

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