Sunday, September 17, 2006

Addio Oriana

Daniel Pipes has written a salute to Oriana Fallaci, the Italian author and war correspondent who died September 15 at the age of 77. Fallaci was best known for the seven years she spent in Vietnam during the war and for being thrown out of the South. She had an affinity for Latin American revolutions, reporting on the insurrections in Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. In Mexico she was one of just two survivors at the Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City.

Ms Fallaci is the only person to have interviewed the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. “At one point, she memorably ripped off her chador in indignation and heaved it at his eminence.” Khomeini stalked off.

Oriana Fallaci began writing at the precocious age of nine and described the writing experience this way:

“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.”

In the last few years she wrote a trilogy of books about the threat of Islam. “Known in recent years for writing angrily against Islam,” is the way the NY Times describes her work. Daniel Pipes sees it through a different lens:

In 2001 she published The Rage and the Pride, a response to the challenge of radical Islam. In 2004, she wrote The Force of Reason, where she argued that the fall of the West has commenced due to radical Islam. Western-style democracy, with its liberty, human rights, freedom of thought and religion, cannot coexist with radical Islam. One of them has to perish. She puts her money on the West failing.

The third book of her Islamic trilogy, Fallaci Interviews Herself and The Apocalypse, also came out in 2004, in Italian (and not yet in English). Here is what Bat Ye'or had to say of it:
"In this brief masterpiece Oriana Fallaci moves us to tears, shakes us with laughter, enlightens us and transmits her love and despair for a Europe she served with such great devotion and now watches in despair as it goes adrift."

In an interview in 2002, she was asked about George W. Bush.

"I have the impression that Bush has a certain vigor and also a dignity which had been forgotten in the United States for eight years." But she objects to Bush’s reference to Islam as a "religion of peace."

"Do you know what I do each time he says it on TV? I'm there alone, and I watch it and say, Shut up! Shut up, Bush! But he doesn't listen to me."

"My life," Ms Fallaci wrote recently, "is seriously in danger."

Pipes notes that she was among the first persons invited by Pope Benedict XVI for a chat, an encounter all the more significant for her being publicly declared an atheist. Before their meeting, this is what Ms Fallaci had to say about the new pope:

“I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger. I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion.”

The simple truth is what Pope Benedict said about the intolerant streak in Islam when he quoted the 12th century Byzantine emperor Paleologus: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Muslims around the world were enraged. Yesterday the Vatican released a statement saying Pope Benedict XVI "sincerely regrets" offending Muslims with his reference to an obscure medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman."

But the statement stopped short of the apology demanded by Islamic leaders. In response, members of the “religion of peace” attacked five churches in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza and threatened the Vatican with a suicide attack. "We swear to God to send you people who adore death as much as you adore life," said the message posted in the name of the Mujahedeen Army on the Web.

In an article published in London, Hussein Shabakshy wrote of the pope's speech: “It is clear that such remarks only contribute to the fueling of the fire raging between Islam and the West. There is no difference between Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking from their caves in Tora Bora and the stage of an important Christian saint. Both parties contribute to the world verbal weapons for mass destruction.”

And in Somalia today, Muslim gunmen killed an Italian nun at a children's hospital in Mogadishu in an attack linked to Muslim anger over the Pope's recent remarks. Sheikh Nur Barud, a senior Somali cleric said: "The Pope's sentiments are part of the wrong misinterpretation against Islam by America, Israel Britain and Russia," "They insult the Muslim world, kill Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, their leader is Bush and the Pope is part of it."

I think it is about time for the world to follow the pope’s lead in saying the truth about Islam. When Muslims murder non-Muslims the Imams and other Muslim leaders say it is so sad and remind us of the plight of the Palestinians. When Arab Muslims murder black Muslims, as in Darfur, Islamic leaders call for patience.

The West’s reliance on Arab oil and our fear of war has allowed the Islamic jihad, dormant since the 1529 battle of Vienna stopped the Muslim advance into Europe, to be reinvigorated. We had better wake up, and calling a spade a spade is a good first step.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A most excellent and so true post.

Thank You!!


6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the note about Oriana Fallaci. I have never heard of her, but I was impressed with her courage that you presented.

The so-called "religion of peace" is the hypocrisy of the ages. Their history is nothing but killing and plunder since its existence. You only mentioned their murdering of each other in Africa, but a day to day news of massive murders of other Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan to gain power over the other.

When are the liberals in this country and Europe going to wake up to the reality which threatens our own and future generations existence.


6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
Interesting post. Thanks.


6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true, when will the Western Nations wake up?


10:50 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

The Muslims are just proving that what the Pope said was true. Actions speak louder than words.

7:30 AM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

We "little people" see the Muslims for what they really are, so when will the media, liberals and politicians? After the next attack on American soil? How many Americans have to die before the people in charge of our safety act?

11:09 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home