Skip to comments.Prophet of Decline: An interview with Oriana Fallaci.
Posted on 06/22/2005 9:24:16 PM PDT by quidnunc
New York Oriana Fallaci faces jail. In her mid-70s, stricken with a cancer that, for the moment, permits only the consumption of liquids so yes, we drank champagne in the course of a three-hour interview one of the most renowned journalists of the modern era has been indicted by a judge in her native Italy under provisions of the Italian Penal Code which proscribe the "vilipendio," or "vilification," of "any religion admitted by the state."
In her case, the religion deemed vilified is Islam, and the vilification was perpetrated, apparently, in a book she wrote last year and which has sold many more than a million copies all over Europe called "The Force of Reason." Its astringent thesis is that the Old Continent is on the verge of becoming a dominion of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves fecklessly to the "sons of Allah." So in a nutshell, Oriana Fallaci faces up to two years' imprisonment for her beliefs which is one reason why she has chosen to stay put in New York. Let us give thanks for the First Amendment.
It is a shame, in so many ways, that "vilipend," the latinate word that is the pinpoint equivalent in English of the Italian offense in question, is scarcely ever used in the Anglo-American lexicon; for it captures beautifully the pomposity, as well as the anachronistic outlandishness, of the law in question. A "vilification," by contrast, sounds so sordid, so tabloid hardly fitting for a grande dame.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
"Look at the school system of the West today. Students do not know history! They don't, for Christ's sake. They don't know who Churchill was! In Italy, they don't even know who Cavour was!"--a reference to Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the conservative father, with the radical Garibaldi, of Modern Italy.
Her insights are very on target; however, the atheism begs the question - without God and the hope of a kingdom beyond this vale of tears, outside a concern for those yet to be born into this mortal coil and their brief, fleeting years on this earth - what difference would it make? Perhaps that is enough for her, I don't know. The very fact of what we see happening is enough for me to realize that if we only have hope in this frail, flimsy vapor of a life, then what a dismal, empty hope it is. Here's the secret: No government of man equals the government of God, and hitching your wagon to the star of man's government will always leave you bitter and unfulfilled.
To me, there is something more, something eternal at stake in all this that moves one beyond agony whenever they see truly horrible inroads being made by either the godless liberals or the Islamofascists that tear at the very fabric of true liberty and common decency. If the liberals and the rabid PCer's have their way, the freedom which this country has given us will be short lived. . and sad to say, what they do not see is that their existence as "liberals" will cease to be as well.
Thanks for the ping!
...what torments her is the blithe way in which the West is marching toward its precipice of choice.
Europe may have voices of reason, but they are all to similar to the Cassandra of Greek mythology. They see whats happening very clearly, speak the truth, and warn of the dangers.
Sadly these warnings are often simply ignored...
She believes - I have read enough about her. Her heart is in her works.
I will take your word for it, sir, as I do that of many other conservatives & reviewers who say the same thing. I also believe she knows what she writes about, and have read snips of her work.
A poster above this offered a keen insight - she may very well be a Cassandra, unheeded. My orig posting sought to remark that her atheism seems to render her otherwise penetrating insight practically blind, because she cannot see how important Christianity has been to Western Civilization as we know it.
Whittaker Chambers wrote about those who stand for something as opposed to those who stand against something; the latter usually never make an impression. If Oriana is atheist as she claims, and she stands against the dissolution of a continent whose nation-states have largely chosen a socio-political paradigm whose edifice rests upon an anti-God cornerstone, then I (humbly and hopefully, wrongly...) do not expect her efforts against islamization in europe to succeed. She stands against an invader who creeps throughout the house and holds a strong internal belief, and gains ground because the lord of the house himself has embraced a spiritually barren creed. But she hasn't spoken to this spiritual battle, because she herself does not believe in it.
Which begs the question: even if she were to know Christ, or at least acknowledge and demonstrate through her considerable powers of intellect that a Europe without Christ cannot survive, would her fellow europeans still heed the warning? I suspect not... the age-old struggle so ably described by others much better than I (Whittaker Chambers foreword in "WITNESS") still continues, and Europe has for so long fallen into the 'Man-as-God' trap that I don't think they will survive.
CoGard Vet ('76-2000) sends with respect & kinship,
Here is a good review of the book that offended the towel turners:
Fallaci issues a wake-up call to Europe.
By Lorenzo Vidino
Oriana Fallaci" is not a household name in the United States, but it cannot be uttered in Europe without generating a heated reaction. Even though her 2002 book, The Rage and the Pride, was translated into English (by Fallaci herself) and sold many copies in the U.S., it was on the other side of the ocean that intellectuals, politicians, and ordinary citizens passionately debated the views of the celebrated Italian journalist.
The Rage and the Pride is either loved or hated; the positions Fallaci takes in it leave no middle ground. Outraged by the events of 9/11, Fallaci criticizes both Muslims (bent, according to her, on conquering the West and annihilating its culture) and Europeans (described as spoiled, hypocritical, and blind to the mortal threat represented by Islamic expansionism). Fallaci's views as expressed in the Rage and the Pride caused an uproar in politically correct Europe, death threats and lawsuits included. Now, two years later, Fallaci has published a new book, entitled La Forza della Ragione (The Force of Reason), which continues the discourse she began in The Rage and the Pride.
As its title suggests, The Force of Reason is not dictated by the (sometimes excessive) fury that inspired The Rage and the Pride, but it gives a more accurate explanation of why Europe has decided not to defend its identity and to surrender to what she calls the "Islamic invasion." With the sarcasm and uniquely direct style that characterizes her work, Fallaci carefully examines the historic and political reasons that have led Europeans to vilify their own culture, consistently embrace anti-Americanism, and pander to every request from the increasingly powerful Muslim communities that populate the dying Old Continent. Her analysis does not leave much hope for the future of Europe, although she takes a far more optimistic position on her adoptive country, the United States (Fallaci currently lives in New York).
The long introduction to The Force of Reason recounts the intellectual lynching to which Fallaci was subjected following the publication of The Rage and the Pride. The PC establishment, which she refers to as the "Modern Inquisition," crucified her, submerging her with lawsuits and accusations of being racist and fomenting a religious war. But all of this publicity just played into Fallaci's hands, as sales of The Rage and the Pride soared into the millions. But what has really struck Fallaci in the wake of The Rage and the Pride are the letters she has received from readers throughout the world.
One of the most significant was written by an Italian, who thanked her for "helping me to understand the things I thought without realizing I was thinking them." And this is Fallaci's goal: provoking Europeans into realizing what is going on right under their noses and getting rid of their fear to say something that goes against the PC dogma. According to Fallaci, the "Modern Inquisition" has managed to keep individuals in fear of expressing what they believe: "If you are a Westerner and you say that your civilization is superior, the most developed that this planet has ever seen, you go to the stake. But if you are a son of Allah or one of their collaborationists and you say that Islam has always been a superior civilization, a ray of light...nobody touches you. Nobody sues you. Nobody condemns you."
Fallaci has her own interpretation of the massive Islamic immigration that is rapidly changing the face of European cities. She sees it as part of the expansionism that has characterized Islam since its birth. After reminding the reader how Islamic armies have aimed for centuries at the heart of Europe (a part of history that is not taught anymore in Europe, since it would offend the sensitivity of Muslim pupils), reaching France, Poland, and Vienna, she lays out her case, claiming that the current flood of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa is part of a carefully planned strategy. Fallaci uses the words of Muslim leaders to support this thesis.
In 1974, former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne said in a speech at the U.N.: "One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere to go to the northern hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory." In other words, says Fallaci, what Islamic armies have not been able to do with force in more than 1,000 years can be achieved in less than a century through high birth rates. She cites as evidence a 1975 meeting of Islamic countries in Lahore, in which they announced their project to transform the flow of Muslim immigrants in Europe in "demographic preponderance."
The "sons of Allah," as Fallaci calls them, do not make a secret of their plans. A Catholic bishop recounted that, during an interfaith meeting in Turkey, a respected Muslim cleric told the crowd: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you. Thanks to our Islamic laws we will conquer you." But what really makes Fallaci's blood boil is the West's inability to even acknowledge this aggression. A large part of her book is dedicated to analyzing how the main European countries pander to the arrogant demands of radical Muslim organizations, how they are unable to defend their Jewish citizens from acts of Islamic militant violence (often blamed on neo-Nazis and almost never on the Muslim perpetrators, even when the evidence clearly proves otherwise), and said countries' unwillingness to be proud of their cultures and identities.
But when and why did Europe become so weak and submissive in the face of its new Islamic masters, a "province of Islam," as Fallaci calls it? She points the finger squarely at the 1973 oil crisis. Europeans were so afraid of losing their supplies of oil that they decided to pander to the requests of OPEC, discarding Israel and beginning an intense dialogue with Arab countries. From that year on, intellectuals, the media, and politicians have been showered with money for their support of Arab and Islamic causes and numerous lobbying organizations have been created in several European countries. A publication with the ominous title of "Eurabia [about which Bat Yeor has written at length] was created in Paris, and the European parliament established the Parliamentary Association for the Euro-Arabian Cooperation, all part of an Arab-financed effort to influence European politics.
The last chapters of The Force of Reason are dedicated to explaining why Europe's three main political and social forces (Left, Right, and the Church) gave in to what she calls "the Islamic invasion." While Fallaci accuses the Left and Right mostly of ignorance and opportunism, her harshest words are left for the Church. Fallaci has been known throughout her long career for her strong anti-clericalism (she is a long-time leftist, daughter of an Italian partisan who fought the Fascists), but describes herself as a "Christian atheist." While stating that she does not believe in God, she claims that the West cannot ignore its Christian origin and identity. Even if we deny God's existence, Fallaci says, Christianity has shaped the Western world. It defines "who we are, where we are coming from, and where we are going."
But the Church, she says, is not able or worse, not willing to defend Christianity. Fallaci accuses the Church of helping the expansion of the "Islamic empire," lobbying for more Muslims to come to Europe. She points out that Christianity offers its churches as shelters to Muslim immigrants, who immediately turn them into mosques, as it has happened repeatedly in France and Italy. It continuously apologizes for the Crusades, but never expects an apology for what Muslims are doing now to Christians in Sudan or Indonesia.
Amid Fallaci's bleak vision for Europe, however, a ray of hope comes from America. In a very emotional last chapter, Fallaci describes her admiration in witnessing the 2004 New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. In a sharp contrast with the fear-constrained Europeans, thousands of New Yorkers decided to defy the Code Orange terror alert and party hard in the face of the terrorists. Proud to honor itself, young and determined, America is perceived by Fallaci as the only hope for the West. In this unprovoked cultural war that has been waged on the West, America should lead the way, but it cannot do it alone. According to Fallaci, the West has not realized that it is under attack, and that this war "wants to hit our soul rather than our body. Our way of life, our philosophy of life. Our way of thinking, acting and loving. Our freedom. Do not be fooled by their explosives. That is just a strategy. The terrorists, the kamikazes, do not kill us just for the sake of killing us. They kill us to bend us. To intimidate us, tire us, demoralize us, blackmail us."
Movingly passionate, The Force of Reason is a desperate wake-up call for the West and for Europe in particular. In Italy, despite a complete silence from the media (who have decided not to make the same mistake they made with The Rage and the Pride, when their criticism made the book's sales skyrocket) the book has sold a half million copies in just two weeks. A translation into English is imminent, making The Force of Reason readily accessible for those in the U.S. who want to learn more about the dire situation Europe faces.
Lorenzo Vidino is a research analyst for the Investigative Project
Oriana is very worth reading, always soul stirring and passionate. Thanks for posting.
She is a hero and a TRUE PROPHET, i.e., her words must be heeded.
One does not have to agree with all she believes or says to admire her willingness to stand up to Evil. Thanks Oriana we will miss you.
Falacci is a very compelling writer. I waited about a year after 9/11 to read Rage and Pride, but when I finished, all the rage was right back, and I walked around soooo angry for days. We forget too easily. Falacci should be required reading in all colleges. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen.
I hate it when fascinating stories are posted in the middle of the night ( I awaken at 4:30 am each day)
The sons of Allah, she points out, do not make a secret of their plans. A Catholic bishop recounted that, during an interfaith meeting in Turkey, a respected Muslim cleric told the crowd: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you. Thanks to our Islamic laws we will conquer you."
OK all of you muzzie sympathizers out there..tell me again how nice your muzzie friends are again. Really, I look forward to your half-baked comments.
Great article, thanks!
Thanks for the ping...I just love her! Great article!!
Only one word to describe her: FANTATSIC!!!!
Many in Europe and here have converted to Islam.
Why? I believe it's because of the intensity of the belief system, the mysticism, the pull toward the spiritual, that most Christian churches are lacking today. There's no passion there - and that's what pulls people in, especially young people. It's like the welfare state lite. It just repeats the earthly homilies (give to the poor) without any spiritual content (honor God).
No, not just honor God: Love Him, with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength. That would be considered uncool and corny.
Something will always beat Nothing. And the mainline churches today are awfully close to Nothing!