muslims continuing to find ways to endear themselves to non-muslims.
In a defamation case truth is an absolute defense.
How is possible to defame Islam any more? The Islamics have done a premier job doing just that.
Italian author Oriana Fallaci writes about her terminal cancer
So how many US publications would be liable under this "international law"?
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
This is why Hate Crime legislation is a very bad idea. I've said it before and I'll say it again: there is no such thing as too much freedom.
And it isn't Anger and Pride. The correct title is Rage and Pride
I'm sure she will be contrite and apologise for any offense she may have caused.
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.
So now Christians can sue Maplethorpe under the same international law?
Orianna Fallaci is one of the greatest voices of the West. I doubt she cares about the outcome of this case. She'll just go on writing and publishing as she sees fit.
How ironic. Those who scream loudest about the horrors of the inquisition are bound and determined to recreate it.
Fallaci can come live with my family in Georgia, USA, to get out of Italy, if she wants. Never should a free state government put a writer on trial for their literary work. Never mind that I agree with her on Islam or that I too am a writer ... in contrast, when Ward Chruchill is promoted for his hate words, Fallaci should be lionized for her words. Political correctness is a global phenomenon eating away at the freedom of individuals in the specious name of preventing 'hate speech'.
How can she defame an "infamo"?
What an outrage.