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Trial over Italian Islam 'insult'
BBC ^

Posted on 05/24/2005 5:48:00 PM PDT by Alex Marko

Controversial Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci is to face trial for allegedly insulting the Muslim faith in her latest book, a court in Italy says. Ms Fallaci is being sued by the head of the Muslim Union of Italy, who says The Force of Reason is defamatory.

The journalist caused an uproar with The Rage and the Pride, published two weeks after the 11 September attacks.

In it, she said Western culture was superior to Islam and Muslim immigrants in the West had "multiplied like rats".

Her lawyers have defended her right to express controversial opinions.

"At the heart of her thinking is the following reasoning: the fight against Islamic terrorism is made more difficult by intellectual terrorism cloaked in anti-racism," Gilles Goldhagen, said in 2002, when a French judge was hearing a case to ban The Rage and the Pride.

'No good Islam'

The Force of Reason is said to have gone to print about 24 hours after the 11 March 2004 train bombings in Spain.

In it, Ms Fallaci argues that Europe is turning into "an Islamic province, an Islamic colony" and that "to believe that a good Islam and a bad Islam exist goes against all reason".

Italian preliminary investigative judge Armando Grasso ordered the formulation of charges against the author, saying the book had expressions which were "unequivocally offensive to Islam".

Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy, sued the writer on 8 April 2004. He says Ms Fallaci has been advocating and spreading hate against Islam and Muslims, sometimes by allegedly distorting real historical facts and inventing others.

The case is being tried in the northern town of Bergamo, where the book was published. The prosecution has 10 days to come up with a charge.

Ms Fallaci, who lives in New York, was a Resistance fighter in World War II and a former war correspondent.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1stamendment; 2ndamendment; cary; christianity; fallaci; forceofreason; islam; italy; truthhurts
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1 posted on 05/24/2005 5:48:00 PM PDT by Alex Marko
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To: Alex Marko

Seems to me she ought to be able to come up with gazillions of examples of Islamic insults to everyone else in the world, and put together one mother of a countersuit.


2 posted on 05/24/2005 5:49:19 PM PDT by william clark
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To: william clark

This woman sounds like marriage material :)


3 posted on 05/24/2005 5:50:32 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45
She should have written "... multiplied like feral pigs..." that would have really "got their goat"
4 posted on 05/24/2005 5:53:26 PM PDT by xcamel (Deep Red, stuck in a "bleu" state.)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

She is one fabulous woman! I have always loved Orianna!
Hope you don't want to have kids.. she's in her late seventies and smokes like the Vatican chimney on a great day!


5 posted on 05/24/2005 5:53:34 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: Alex Marko

Sixteen years ago, Europe was outraged by the death sentence put upon Salman Rushdie by Khomeini for his "blasphemous" writings.

Europe is so progressive now that its own legal systems (in this case instigated by what seems to be a native-born Italian prosecutor) are doing the dirty work of the Muslims.

Has anyone heard any outrage over this by the MSM?


6 posted on 05/24/2005 5:56:12 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (L'chaim!)
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To: xcamel
She should have written "... multiplied like feral pigs..." that would have really "got their goat"

Or published something like this:

The Three Billygoats Gruff

Many years ago, in the Khwarism kingdom, the empire centered around the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Gurgange in the territory now called Uzbekistan, there was a bridge across a narrow section of the Syr Daria river and this bridge was guarded by a troll, named Ali Mohammed Qa-eelbasi. This was before the padishah Mohammed of the Khwarism empire burned the beards off of four of the infidel dog Chengis Khan's ambassadors and Chengis Khan reduced that entire territory to a smoking ruin (may he who cannot take a joke endure Allah's curse).

Now, this Ali Mohammed Qa-eelbasi was quite wealthy by inheritance and by dint of clever investment strategies and stock trading and, having no need of money or wealth beyond his possessions, and being an islamic troll, rather than demanding money from travellers seeking to cross his bridge, was in the habit of demanding various other favors from them.

One morning while Ali Mohammed was guarding his bridge and attempting to catch fish in the Syr Daria, he heard the light clatter of little hooves on the wooden planks of his bridge and looked up to see a little billygoat traipsing across the bridge, trippity, clippity, clippity, trippity, and this little goat (Allah be praised!!) had glossy white fur and flowers in his mane, and was wearing a silk petticoat with what appeared to be lace panties underneath, Ali Mohammed could not be quite certain, and a little training bra from Bloomingdales', and had a coy smile upon his face.

"ALLAH BE PRAISED"!! shouted Ali Mohammed! Surely the faithful shall prosper, this must be my lucky day!!!!

And, the little goat looked at Ali Mohammed, the coy smile still on his lips, and said:

"Verily, I should be happy for you to have your way with me and ravish me to your heart's content but, were you to do that, you would then be too exhausted to appreciate my brother when he passes this way. He is only a short distance behind me and he is a larger, finer and more lovely goat than I; he buys ALL of his clothing from Victoria's Secret."

Now, when Ali Mohammed heard this, he was overcome with passion and desire, and could scarcely restrain himself; nonetheless, he replied: "Go then, with Allah's blessing", and allowed the little goat to cross the bridge unmolested. "I shall (eagerly) await your brother!"

Ali Mohammed went back to his efforts to catch fish and, about a half hour later, he heard a somewhat heavier fall of hooves across the wooden planks of his bridge: clippity cloppity clop, clippity cloppity clop, and Ali Mohammed looked up to a sight which aroused within him a veritable paroxism of passion. This was a larger goat with a gossamer veil over his face, red roses braided into his glossy white silky fur all around, a golden necklace and the thinnest sort of a purple gossamer bodice of finest khitan silk, and dark, brown bedroom eyes.

"ALLAH BE PRAISED!!!" shouted Ali Mohammed, "Verily, this must be the luckiest day of my life, for surely no troll has ever beheld so lovely, and desirable, and alluring a goat as thee!"

"Patience!" replied the goat. "Surely you might have me if you wish, but then you would be too exhausted to appreciate my eldest brother, who travels only a short distance behind me. He is the sexiest and most voluptuous and alluring goat in all the world, and he buys ALL of his clothing at Sexy Sadies Midnight Boutique. Verily, were he standing here beside me, you would not notice me at all!"

Ali Mohammed somehow or other managed to restrain his lust and passion and allowed this goat to pass as well and, after ten or twelve minutes when he collected his wits and got his pulse and breath back under control, returned to his fishing poles.

Now when the eldest brother amongst the three goats came up to the bridge over the Syr Daria river and walked upon its wooden planks, Ali Mohammed did not notice at first, because this goat's hooves, for some reason, made no noise. Ali Mohammed was in fact taken by complete surprise as this third goat walked up to within five feet before the troll ever saw him at all. This goat had a silken veil as did the second goat, and gossamer clothing but, underneath the gossamer, appeared to be a very strange goat indeed, yellowish with black stripes, a long tail, fearsome claws, and huge, very non-goatlike teeth. This third goat spoke these words:

Bless, O Lord, this food to my use and me to thy service, and make me ever mindful of the needs of others through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

and, with that, seized the unlucky troll in his massive jaws, chewed him into bitesized pieces, and wolfed him down.
7 posted on 05/24/2005 5:56:22 PM PDT by tahotdog
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To: Alex Marko
Muslim Union of Italy = Italian version of CAIR perhaps.

Cretino !! Chiudi il becco !!

8 posted on 05/24/2005 5:58:06 PM PDT by Random Nonsense
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To: acapesket; xcamel

Wow,
a little above my age, but i'm sure she's got the guys lining up :)
I personally don't smoke much at all, just socially.
There is too much as too much of a good thing :)


9 posted on 05/24/2005 5:59:01 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

Truely a great mind, I believe she has cancer though
she hasn't given up smoking...

This could really turn out to be a heck of a trial,
She is certainly fiesty enough.

Great writer too.


10 posted on 05/24/2005 6:02:50 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Alex Marko

I'm waiting for the inevitable reaction when someone names their state-fair-prize-winning hog "Muhammad".


11 posted on 05/24/2005 6:03:16 PM PDT by reg45
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To: acapesket; 1FASTGLOCK45

You beat me to it.

She is a Leftie that gets it, because she has always pursued the truth as a journalist.


12 posted on 05/24/2005 6:04:44 PM PDT by Roy Tucker
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To: Alex Marko
From Little Green Footballs sitte

(AGI) - L’Aquila, Italy, May 24 - In Oriana Fallaci’s book “The Force of Reason” there are expressions that are “unequivocally offensive to Islam and Muslims,” said the Bergamo preliminary investigative judge, Armando Grasso, who accepting the Adel Smith’s opposition to filing away the trial proposed by the prosecutor, ordered the prosecution to formulate the charge “according to article 406 of article 403 of the criminal code,” for defamation of Islam. The well known author, therefore, will be put on trial.

Adel Smith, president of the Italian Muslim Union, sued the writer on April 8, 2004, after “also in other writings Oriana Fallaci had propagated hate against Islam and Muslims, distorting real historical facts and inventing others, lying, offending, and defaming Muslims around the world. For the rest, ever since ”Anger and Pride“ the writer has injured Islam and Muslims, writing expressions such as ‘f*cking sons of Allah’,” said Smith.

The Bergamo Prosecution is taking on the trial, since the book was published in the city, and now has ten days to come up with a charge. The preliminary hearing judge will set the trial date. Matteo Nicoli of Verona will represent Adel Smith.

13 posted on 05/24/2005 6:04:52 PM PDT by listenhillary (If it ain't broke, it will be after the government tries to fix it)
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To: Alex Marko
Read the original Rage and Pride.

It is a brilliant masterpiece, and every word is a treasure.

Save it to your hard drive while you still can.

14 posted on 05/24/2005 6:04:53 PM PDT by Alouette (Muslims bite the hand that feeds them, and kiss the boot that kicks them.)
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To: Alex Marko

Sign me up! Well before 11 Sept 2001, I bought Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses specifically to spit in the eye of anyone who would issue a fatwa over a book. Being fairly ignorant of Islam at the time, I couldn't see what the big deal was as I read it.

Here's info on the 2 books mentioned in the article:

The Rage and the Pride
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0847825043/102-6484539-6719318?v=glance

The Force of Reason will be available 23 August, 2005
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0847827534/002-1940436-4456024?v=glance


15 posted on 05/24/2005 6:05:44 PM PDT by Titan Magroyne (Wet Burqa Contest Winner)
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To: Alex Marko
On trial for insulting Islam, huh?

I guess she's proven her point that Italy is now an Islamic fascist state.

16 posted on 05/24/2005 6:05:56 PM PDT by Reactionary
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To: reg45

What a GREAT BIG PORCINE IDEA! I sahll call my local 4-H tommorrow in time for the fall fair!


17 posted on 05/24/2005 6:06:05 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: tet68

I hope she has Islamists for breakfast! :)


18 posted on 05/24/2005 6:06:10 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45; Calpernia
Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy, sued the writer on 8 April 2004. He says Ms Fallaci has been advocating and spreading hate against Islam and Muslims, sometimes by allegedly distorting real historical facts and inventing others.

From another article about this: FALLACI TO GO ON TRIAL FOR DEFAMING ISLAM

... the writer has injured Islam and Muslims, writing expressions such as 'f___ing sons of Allah'," said Smith.

Calpernia, this article says "Ms Fallaci, who lives in New York, was a Resistance fighter in World War II and a former war correspondent."

I hope she's still here. I think it would be safer for her.

19 posted on 05/24/2005 6:08:06 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: acapesket

Is she the lady who said the only difference between a Muslim extremist and a moderate is the length of their beards?


20 posted on 05/24/2005 6:11:06 PM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: reg45

What a GREAT BIG PORCINE IDEA! I shall call my local 4-H tommorrow in time for the fall fair!

Sorry! Still love Orianna! She takes no S**t and no prisoners!
Perhaps we could put her in the same room with Lindthay Graham and see who comes out smokin'!


21 posted on 05/24/2005 6:11:11 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: Alex Marko
From Afghanistan to Sudan, from Palestine to Pakistan, from Malaysia to Iran, from Egypt to Iraq, from Algeria to Senegal, from Syria to Kenya, from Libya to Chad, from Lebanon to Morocco, from Indonesia to Yemen, from Saudi Arabia to Somalia, the hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. And the followers of Islamic fundamentalism multiply like a protozoa of a cell which splits to become two cells then four then eight then sixteen then thirty-two to infinity. Those who are not aware of it only have to look at the images that the TV brings us every day. The multitudes that impregnate the streets of Islamabad, the squares of Nairobi, the mosques of Tehran. The ferocious faces, the threatening fists. The fires that burn the American flag and the photos of Bush.

“The clash between us and them is not a military clash. Oh, no. It is a cultural one, a religious one. And our military victories do not solve the offensive of Islamic terrorism. On the contrary, they encourage it. They exacerbate it, they multiply it. The worst is still to come.”

President Bush has said, “We refuse to live in fear.”

Beautiful sentence, very beautiful. I loved it! But inexact, Mr. President, because the West does live in fear. People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.

October 22, 2002, Oriana Fallaci
22 posted on 05/24/2005 6:11:11 PM PDT by John Lenin (If I offend you, tough, you deserve it)
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To: Alex Marko
Rage and Pride
23 posted on 05/24/2005 6:12:16 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

24 posted on 05/24/2005 6:13:26 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: listenhillary

You can't say f*cking sond of Allah?" Damn.


25 posted on 05/24/2005 6:13:27 PM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: Alex Marko
Sounds like another woman foolishly failed to have her right to an opinion approved by the local mullahs.

Anywhere else than the West and they'd be murdering her in public.

26 posted on 05/24/2005 6:13:47 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Reactionary

Insult a muslim, go to jail. Any questions?


27 posted on 05/24/2005 6:15:00 PM PDT by Misterioso
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To: Alex Marko
Orianna on America:

America is a country that has great things to teach us. Speaking of heroic efficiency let me sing the praises of the Mayor of New York. That Rudolph Giuliani, whom we Italians should thank on our knees. Because he has an Italian last name, he is of Italian extraction, and he makes us look good in the entire world. He is a great, in fact a very great Mayor. This is coming from someone who is never happy about anything or anyone, starting with herself. He is a Mayor worthy of another great Mayor with an Italian last name, Fiorello La Guardia, and many of our Mayors should go to be schooled by him. Present themselves with their heads bowed, in fact with ashes on their heads, and ask him: “Mr. Giuliani, please tell us how to do it.”

He does not delegate his duties to others. He does not waste time in being a prick and thirsting for power. He does not divide his time between being Mayor and a senator or a representative. (is there anyone listening in the three cities of Stendhal, namely Naples, Florence and Rome?). Running to the site immediately, he entered the second skyscraper, and he risked being transformed into ashes with the others. He saved himself by a hair and by chance. Within four days he had the city back on it’s feet again. A city that has nine and a half million residents, note, and two million only in Manhattan. How he did it, I don’t know. He is ill like me, poor man, he makes believe he is well: he works just the same. However, I work at a table, sitting comfortably! He instead…He looked like a general that was personally participating in a battle. A soldier that throws himself forward with his bayonet. “Come on people, Get on with it! Let’s pull up our sleeves and get to work!, hurry!!” He was able to do this because these people were, are, like he is. People without conceit and laziness, my father would have said “people with balls”. As to the admirable capacity to unite, the compact almost martial manner in which the Americans respond to tragedies and the enemy, well, I must admit that there and then it even surprised me. I knew that at the time of Pearl Harbor, the population rallied around Roosevelt, who had entered into the war against Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy and Hirohito’s Japan. I had smelled it, after Kennedy’s assassination.

I don’t know if in Italy you saw and understood what happened in New York, when Bush went there to thank the workers (men and women) that are digging in the ruins of the two towers, trying to save survivors but have not found anything but a nose here a finger there. Without giving up, nonetheless. Without fatalism, so that if you ask them how they do it, they reply, “I can allow myself to be exhausted not to be defeated.” Everyone. Young, very young, old, middle age. Whites, blacks, yellows, browns, purple… Did you see them? While Bush thanks them they waved little American flags, lifted a clenched fist and roared: “USA! USA! USA!”. In a totalitarian state, I would have thought, “look how well the powers have organized this demonstration!”. In America, no! In America one does not organize these things. You can’t command them, you can’t stage them. Especially not in a disenchanted metropolis such as New York, and especially not with New York City workers! They are terrible types, the workers of New York. Freer than the wind. They don’t even obey their unions. But if you touch their flag, if you touch their country…


28 posted on 05/24/2005 6:15:37 PM PDT by Alouette (Muslims bite the hand that feeds them, and kiss the boot that kicks them.)
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To: DumpsterDiver

Thank you for the ping


29 posted on 05/24/2005 6:17:15 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Alex Marko
the book had expressions which were "unequivocally offensive to Islam".

Sounds good to me

Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy, sued the writer on 8 April 2004. He says Ms Fallaci has been advocating and spreading hate against Islam and Muslims, sometimes by allegedly distorting real historical facts and inventing others.

I think it's time we start filing suit against Muslims for insulting Christianity and Judaism and pointing out that the Koran is nothing but a roadmap to hate and murder. It is nothing but a "distortion of historical fact and invention of others," meaning lies.

30 posted on 05/24/2005 6:18:11 PM PDT by Phsstpok (There are lies, damned lies, statistics and presentation graphics, in descending order of truth)
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To: Alex Marko
The journalist caused an uproar with The Rage and the Pride, published two weeks after the 11 September attacks.

I read this book recently. It is nothing but a 170 page rant about how Muslims are filthy, barbaric animals and Islam is wholly incompatible with civilized society.

I loved every last page.

31 posted on 05/24/2005 6:19:04 PM PDT by Drew68 (IYAOYAS! Semper Gumby!)
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To: tahotdog

LOL!
Thanks for the laughs, quite a twist at the end of the story. What is the moral of the story? hehehehe


32 posted on 05/24/2005 6:20:52 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: Alouette

I believe she wrote "Dialogue with my unborn child", expressing her regrets at having had an abortion. Very effective anti-abortion.


33 posted on 05/24/2005 6:21:00 PM PDT by kenavi ("Remember, your fathers sacrificed themselves without need of a messianic complex." Ariel Sharon)
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To: Calpernia

Who's in the pic? wow. :)


34 posted on 05/24/2005 6:21:43 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: Alex Marko

I don't think its possible to "insult" Islam.

Don't they have freedom of the press over there, or they just caving in to the mad Mullahs and their zombie followers?


35 posted on 05/24/2005 6:23:13 PM PDT by ZULU (Fear the government which fears your guns. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: Alex Marko

This is exactly why I am glad we have a tradition of strong First Amendment protection of freedom of speech. Long may it be so!


36 posted on 05/24/2005 6:23:40 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Alouette

I wish I could write as well as Orianna.


37 posted on 05/24/2005 6:24:09 PM PDT by LauraJean (sometimes I win sometimes I donate to the equine benevolent society)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

That is Oriana.


38 posted on 05/24/2005 6:25:37 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: muawiyah

"Anywhere else than the West and they'd be murdering her in public."

They may still decide to do it because they know that they can get away with it.


39 posted on 05/24/2005 6:26:24 PM PDT by auburntiger
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To: Calpernia

Sweet,
you got a recent pic of her?


40 posted on 05/24/2005 6:28:37 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

I think I've seen a few more recent. But that is the best one. That is how I like to think of her. She is my favorite writer. And since she is sick with cancer and in her 70's, I'm not looking too hard for another picture.


41 posted on 05/24/2005 6:30:59 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: reg45

>>Adel Smith, president of the Italian Muslim Union, sued the writer on April 8, 2004, after "also in other writings Oriana Fallaci had propagated hate against Islam and Muslims, distorting real historical facts and inventing others, lying, offending, and defaming Muslims around the world.

For the rest, ever since "Anger and Pride" the writer has injured Islam and Muslims, writing expressions such as 'f'ing sons of Allah'," said Smith.<<

I would love to be a member of the jury and see just how PC and scared the judge will be of the consequences of a Not Guilty verdict.

Distorting real historical facts and inventing others, lying, offending, and defaming Muslims around the world is propagated hate against Islam and Muslims.

Are the Muslims innocent from the same charges? It's hard to say something stinks when you need a bath worse than the person you are accusing of being insanitary!


My tolerance for agressive societies such as the Muslims went out the door with 9/11.


42 posted on 05/24/2005 6:32:00 PM PDT by B4Ranch ( Report every illegal alien that you meet. Call 866-347-2423, it's a FREE CALL)
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To: Calpernia

I hope she beats the cancer!
That is a great shot of her.
:)


43 posted on 05/24/2005 6:32:00 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

might be a little later.

44 posted on 05/24/2005 6:32:07 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Alex Marko
In it, she said Western culture was superior to Islam

I dunno, what do you guys think?

Western Culture?

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Or would you rather live in their culture?


45 posted on 05/24/2005 6:33:39 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Calpernia

About Oriana

World War I proved disastrous for the nation of Italy. After first remaining neutral, Italy joined the United States, Great Britain, France, and other allied forces after it was promised land on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. But however optimistic Italy may have been upon entering the war, it proved to have severe negative consequences for the nation (Ginsborg, 1990, p. 10). The casualties numbered over 600,000 and by the end of the war, Italy was fighting to maintain its own borders. Instead of gaining the vast amount of land which had been promised, Italy added only Trentino Alto-Adige and Trieste to its territory. Following the war, Italy experienced significant decline. There was widespread economic unrest and disorganization, labor agitation, and much disappointment over the failure to gain the land which had been promised. There was high unemployment, high inflation, and the value of the Lire declined drastically, making savings, pensions, and wages worth very little (Ginsborg, 1990, p. 70).

In light of these developments, World War I was somewhat of a radicalizing experience because it raised the political consciousness of the working class who realized that the war had aided only the wealthy and business classes. As a result, new political organizations were formed. Among these was Fasci di Combatimento (Fascists of Combat), began in 1919 by Benito Mussolini and other socialists. Known as the "Black Shirts" because of their attire, the Fascists stressed ideas of war, movement, action, machines and modernity. In order to achieve their goals, they relied on terrorist activities. They glorified war and preached extreme Italian Nationalism. According to the Fascist ideology, class conflict should be controlled through government control of labor, economics, and business (Ginsborg, 1990, p. 19). In this way, Fascism appealed to the interests of business owners who wanted to control labor disputes. However, Fascists also gained the support of laborers by making small concession to them. Peasants, dissatisfied with Socialism, also supported the rising organization (Ginsborg, 1990, p. 26). In 1921, Mussolini founded the National Fascist Party whose ideology included a strong central leadership based on conservative policies. Because it served the interests of many different interest groups within Italian society, the National Fascist Party grew rapidly. By 1925, Mussolini was undoubtedly the most powerful man in Italy. And even though by the beginning of the 1930's Fascism was beginning to fall out of favor with many Italians, Mussolini remained in power throughout the 1930's and in 1940, he joined Hitler in world War II.

It was in the midst of Mussolini's ascension to power that Oriana Fallaci was born in Florence, Italy on June 29, 1930 (Arico, 1986, p. 587). Fallaci's writing, both as a journalist and a novelist, indicate that the social and political state of Italy both before her birth and during her youth had a significant impact on her life. It is from these circumstances that she emerges as what many consider to be "the greatest political interviewer of modern times."

Another major influence in Fallaci's life was her father, a liberal who had opposed Mussolini's rise to power and continued his opposition during the entire Fascist period. By the time Oriana reached the age of 10, Italy was involved in World War II. Joining her father in the underground resistance movement, she became a member of the Corps of Volunteers for Freedom to fight the Nazi's (Levy, 1975, p. 36). When Florence was occupied by Nazi troops during the war, Fallaci's father was captured, jailed and tortured before he was finally released alive. At the age of 14, Oriana received an honorable discharge from the Italian army (Arico, 1986, p. 587). The war ended in 1945, when Oriana was 15. Although experiencing these events at such an early age was difficult, Italian Fascism and World War II, as well as her father's liberal resistance, were to be major influences on Fallaci throughout her life.

At the age of 16, Fallaci "discovered the power of words, and decided to become a writer" (Levy, 1975, p. 37). As she describes it: "I sat at the typewriter for the first time and fell in love with the words that emerged like drops, one by one, and remained on the white sheet of paper ... every drop became something that if spoken would have flown away, but on the sheets as words, became solidified, whether they were good or bad" (Levy, 1975, p. 37). She began her career as a journalist with a crime column in an Italian daily paper, but her abilities quickly won her recognition and worldwide assignments to interview political figures as well as international events (Levy, 1975, p. 39). She currently works for the Italian magazine, Europeo, but also contributes to other magazines in both Europe and South America (Arico, 1986, p. 587). Her love of words and a full understanding of their power is evident to anyone who reads Fallaci's work. Her writing is insightful, complex and full of vivid description.

It is Fallaci's focus on power relationships as well as her interviewing and writing style which place her far ahead of others in the field. Fallaci's focus on power and the use and abuse of power is evident in her interviews with political officials throughout the world. She has interviewed such figures as former CIA Director William Colby, Pakistani Prime Minister Ali Bhutto, and Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, concentrating on their roles as dominant figures in the international political system.

One of her most famous political interviews, at least in the minds of Americans, was with former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Prior to Fallaci's interview, Kissinger had revealed little to the press about his life and personality (Levy, 1975, p. 38). However, during her questioning, Fallaci kept after the Secretary of State to explain the star-like status he enjoyed as a diplomat. Initially he dodged the question, but after relentless prodding by Fallaci, Kissinger gave in. He said, "Sometimes I see myself as a cowboy leading the caravan alone astride his horse, a wild west tale if you like" (Fallaci, 1976, p. 22). By getting Kissinger to reveal this romantic image, Fallaci gave the entire world insight into how this world leader saw himself. As biographer Elizabeth Levy points out, "... Kissinger's actions affect our world. How he treats other world leaders is somewhat dependent on how he thinks of himself" (1975, p. 39). By likening himself to a cowboy figure on a horse, Kissinger revealed that he saw himself as a heroic, imposing leader who controlled much of the direction of U.S. politics and, therefore, international politics as well. As a result of this interview, Kissinger received criticism for months afterward. Even years later, Kissinger still referred to the Fallaci interview as "the most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press" (Peer, 1980, p. 90). It is interesting to note, however, that Fallaci considers her interview with Kissinger one of the worst she's ever had (Bonfante, 1975, p. 69).

Fallaci's focus on power relationships is not limited to her interviews with politicians. Some of her interviews with celebrities include Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, Italian film director Frederico Fellini, and actor Sean Connery. In addition to interviewing celebrities, Fallaci has also done work with people who may not be obvious choices for discussing power relationships. As her November, 1964 interview with entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. illustrates, Fallaci is also concerned with how people confront oppressive power in their lives. From a 1996 perspective, Sammy Davis, Jr. might not seem an obvious choice to discuss confronting power. After all, he is a singer, a dancer, an actor/entertainer who starred on Broadway. However, when Fallaci interviewed him in 1964, her logic was clear-cut. She sums up her reasons in the very first question: "On my way to your house, Mr. Davis, I had a very disturbing thought. You have absolutely everything to make you hated by the multitudes of mean-minded and stupid people: you're a Negro, a Jew, married to a beautiful blond ... truly there's no other internationally famous person who contrives to combine so many 'sins' into one." And she concluded: "Goodness, this man must positively enjoy doing battle with the world, irritating people, provoking them, defying them..." (Fallaci, 1968, p. 227).

As Fallaci so expertly points out, Davis was confronting oppressive power every day. Davis was a Jew in a time when many in the world expressed anti-Semitism. He was a black man during a period when issues of race where at the forefront of the American political scene and when parts of the United States, particularly in the south, were openly racist. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing with organizations such as the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee using peaceful protest as a way to combat racism. Add to these the fact that Davis was a homely man with a broken nose and a glass eye yet married to a beautiful, blond, white woman, Mai Britt, who was an actress but gave it up to marry Davis and have his children. Even for liberals who might have accepted racial equality in theory, the issues surrounding interracial marriage and bi-racial children were far from accepted in almost any region of the U.S. during that time. Alone, any of these aspects would have been overwhelming. However, Davis was black, a Jew, and married to a white woman. It is upon this unique confrontation and defiance of dominant perceptions of right and wrong that Fallaci so artfully constructs the interview. Years later, in her introduction of the Davis interview for her book, The Egotists, Fallaci refers to the love story of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Mai Britt as "a fairy tale, the tale of the princess and the toad" (1968, p. 226). And yet she makes it clear to the reader that this man deserves the utmost respect for challenging much of what he feels is unjust in the society in which he lives. As Fallaci says, "As the minutes, the hours, passed, he grew steadily less ugly, until he almost wasn't ugly, and then he wasn't ugly at all, and then he was almost beautiful, and then beautiful..." (1968, p. 226). Only a person with Fallaci's insight could so perfectly convey that beauty is not what a person looks like, but what he or she stands and fights for.

A final area which must be given attention is Fallaci's writing style. As one researcher describes it, "What makes her approach different is the degree of commitment and passion that she brings to journalism" (Arico, 1986, p. 587). It is this commitment and passion which makes her style so unique. Rather than focus only on the questions and answers of an interview, Fallaci tells the reader everything she is thinking, seeing, hearing and feeling. In other words, she gives the reader the experience of the interview. A clear example of this is seen in Fallaci's description of her interview with Yasser Arafat. She records everything about Arafat's appearance, to the point that an image forms in the readers mind. She talks of his "thick, Arab mustache and his short height which, combined with small hands and feet, fat legs, a massive trunk, huge hips, and a swollen belly, made him appear rather odd" (Fallaci, 1976, p. 123). In addition, Fallaci describes his head and face in great detail, noting "...he has almost no cheeks or forehead, everything is summed up in a large mouth with red and fleshy lips, an aggressive nose, and two eyes that hypnotize you" (Fallaci, 1976, p. 124). It might be argued that these details have little to do with a man who is known worldwide for his actions in the Middle East. However, by including this detailed description, Fallaci gives the reader the feeling of actually being there with her as she conducts the interview. In this way, she brings the reader closer to Arafat and makes them care about how his actions affect the world.

This unique style is also evidenced in Fallaci's interviews and research concerning the American Space Program. Beginning in 1965, she did research and interviews with the intent of addressing what she considered the ultimate question concerning this program: "Why should anyone want to know about astronauts, space, and the moon?" (Levy, 1975, p. 41). The result of her query was her book, If the Sun Dies, arranged as a long letter to her father. Throughout the book, Fallaci invests personal feelings and sensations in the writing. For example, when she goes to Los Angeles to interview science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, Fallaci gives the reader her personal reaction to L.A. She writes: "Nothing is moving except the cars; nothing grows except plastic. I take a walk and I feel I am the only one walking is Los Angeles. I trip and fall on the grass, only to discover it really is plastic. There is no one to help me up, only cars, and cars don't have arms to reach out to me... I had reached Los Angeles, the first stage of my journey into the future and into myself" (Levy, 1975, p. 40). By describing L.A. from her personal perspective, she draws the reader in which allows a deeper understanding of the rest of the book.

While conducting her research on the U.S. Space Program, Fallaci also interviews scientist Werner Von Braun. Von Braun is a former Nazi soldier who worked as a scientist for Hitler's government. He was responsible for the invention of the V-2 rockets which were used to bomb London during World War II, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 and wounding over 68,000. Toward the end of the war, when he and fellow scientists were certain defeat for Germany was near, they decided to leave their legacy of the bombs, which could also be used for space travel, to the Americans (Levy, 1975, p. 42). Because of her background as a member of the resistance movement which fought the Nazi's during the war, as well as her feelings about the Nazi's who arrested, tortured, and jailed her father, Fallaci was bound to have a strong reaction to Von Braun. She admits this in her recount of the interview. Yet the transcripts show that her questions remained focused on Von Braun's importance to the U.S. Space Program and despite her strong anti-Nazi feelings, she does describe Von Braun fairly. She portrays him as a man who possesses positive qualities despite his background (Levy, 1975, p. 43). However, as she writes to her father about Von Braun, Fallaci again exhibits her unique style by investing some of her personal feelings into the retelling of the interview. As Levy writes: "But Fallaci tells the reader about the internal dialogue that was going on while she was interviewing Von Braun. She kept smelling lemon on Von Braun's breath, and the memory of the lemon scent was disturbing. She can't remember where she smelled that lemon scent before" (1975, p. 44). Few journalists use the technique of placing personal feelings in their writing, and fewer still do so to the extent of discussing what they smell during an interview. But Fallaci does and this technique is effective because it draws the reader into both the interview and the problem which she is struggling with: Where has she smelled that lemon scent before? Finally she remembers. She says, "Remember the German soldiers, all washed with disinfectant soap that smelled like lemon. We all loathed that scent of lemon" (Levy, 1975, p. 46). By investing so much of her feelings and her personal history into the telling of this interview, Fallaci allows the reader to experience some of what she has gone through. In this way, the reader gains a deeper understanding of and appreciation for not only the origins of the U.S. Space Program, but also of Fallaci.

In addition to being a world-renowned journalist, Fallaci has also written several works of fiction. As in her journalism, Fallaci's novels address issues of power. However, they seem to focus more on dealing with and resisting power, than on those who possess power and use it in an oppressive manner. Instead, she writes from the perspective of the oppressed. In Letter to a Child Never Born, for example, Fallaci writes from the perspective of a single woman who finds herself pregnant as a result of a casual affair. The protagonist does not love the man, nor does she wish to marry him for the sake of the child. He encourages her to abort, even though abortion is illegal at that time, and tells her how stigmatized she will be as a single mother. By writing down the thoughts and feelings of a single woman who is faced with such difficult choices, Fallaci exposes the fact that the "choices" which are available for pregnant, single women are not adequate. Abortion, giving the child up for adoption, marrying the father in an attempt to maintain propriety, or choosing to raise the child as a single parent, all carry lifelong consequences and stigmatization. It is not, from Fallaci's perspective, a matter of choosing one over the others. It is merely choosing the one you can best live with. Fallaci's other works of fiction also reflect her fascination with power. Her novel, A Man, although fiction, is based heavily on Fallaci's dead lover Alexandros Panagoulis and his confrontation of power as a leader of the Greek resistance. As Fallaci herself describes it, "It is a book about the hero who fights alone for freedom and for truth, never giving up, and so he dies, killed by all..." (Fallaci, 1980, p. iv). Inshallah, Fallaci's 1992 novel, concerns itself with the civil war in Lebanon. As in her other works of fiction, she addresses groups and individuals who work to bring an end to their oppression.

Fallaci began her life in a very difficult situation. As a result of growing up in Fascist Italy during Mussolini's dictatorship, she developed an interest in power and how power is abused. However, because of her father and her activities in the resistance movement, she also gained the sense that abuses of power can be challenged and resisted and even overcome. It is these factors which have so heavily influenced Fallaci's writing and which, along with her unique interviewing and writing style, have established her as what many refer to as the greatest political interviewer of modern times.


46 posted on 05/24/2005 6:34:09 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: SkyPilot

Excellent post, you should keep recycling, or include a link in your posts, so the trolls will see it.


47 posted on 05/24/2005 6:38:18 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: SkyPilot

Excellent post, you should keep recycling, or include a link in your posts, so the trolls will see it.


48 posted on 05/24/2005 6:38:20 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: Calpernia

Cool, thanks for sharing :)
:) :)


49 posted on 05/24/2005 6:38:49 PM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: Alex Marko

Mutiplying like rats and imposing their religion and culture of hatred and intolerance.


50 posted on 05/24/2005 6:39:04 PM PDT by citizencon
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