The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

20-Aug-2008

The Courage and Wisdom of Oriana Fallaci

Filed under: Islam & ArabJournalism — eidelberg @ 4:09 am Edit This

Oriana Fallaci (RIP)

Day after day, American politicians and diplomats insult our intelligence. They would have us believe that we can make peace with Islam—a political religion whose devotees have slaughtered some 270 million people since the days of Muhammad.

These American politicians and diplomats see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil about a religion whose most admired leader today is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Muslim who proclaims his vision—a world without America and Israel, a world without Christianity and Judaism.

While he spits in their faces, these American politicians and diplomats are anxious to engage in negotiations with this Hitler of Tehran. They want to dissuade him from developing nuclear weapons, the key to his controlling the oil resources of the Middle East, to cowing decadent Europe, hence, to collapsing the American economy and thereby fulfilling his vision of a world without America.

As I ponder the character of these American politicians and officials, I behold the waning if not the death of reason. This prompts me to speak of a woman who wrote about this subject, a woman, alas, no longer with us, Oriana Fallaci.

Oriana Fallaci, the writer and renowned Italian journalist, died on 15 September 2006. She was 76. Fallaci, who had been diagnosed with cancer and who was living in New York, had come back to her hometown in Florence days earlier as her condition worsened. Shortly before her death, I wrote about this extraordinary woman for the Hebrew journal Nativ: A Journal of Politics and the Arts.

The Courage and Wisdom of Oriana Fallaci

Introduction

I fell in love with Oriana Fallaci some 30 years ago, reading her interview of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. I was struck by her razor-sharp questions. These were not the questions asked by fawning, even if seasoned, American journalists. Fallaci was challenging, provocative. Here was a no-nonsense, fearless woman of extraordinary knowledge. This woman of the world understood international politics, and she understood men. She was not overawed by Kissinger and would not be trifled with by political hype. Fallaci’s probing questions stripped Kissinger naked. When she finished with him, the renowned political scientist resembled a political cowboy as well as an unmitigated egotist.

Fallaci did as much to Yasser Arafat—a clown, in her opinion. Most amusing was her interview of Ayatollah Khomeini in the holy city Qom. I almost felt sorry for the befuddled Ayatollah, interviewed—nay, interrogated—by the impassionata of Italy.

Space does not allow me to dwell on her hazardous exploits, for example in Vietnam. I must limit this article to what Fallaci conceived as her mission after the destruction of the Twin Towers by Muslim kamikazes. That barbarism prompted The Rage and the Pride (2002), the first volume of a trilogy. It was followed by The Force of Reason (2004) and, finally, by Oriana Fallaci Interviews Herself, yet to be translated into English. (Because she wants to have “total responsibility for every word and comma,” she translated the first two books into English, a language she loves as much as her own.)

One remarkable aspect of The Rage and the Pride is Fallaci’s knowledge of American history. She excels, however, in her knowledge of European and Islamic history, evident in The Force of Reason, the focus of this article.

The Force of Reason

Such is her devastating criticism of Islam that Fallaci has been threatened with criminal prosecution for “racism.” The European Arrest Warrant permits any European country to incarcerate any citizen belonging to the European Union. Thus, in addition to their death threats and obscene vilifications, Muslims have pressured the Swiss government to seek Oriana’s extradition from her own homeland. Switzerland is not the only country where she risks ending up behind bars, and not merely because of the European Arrest Warrant. Europe has abjectly subordinated individual liberty and its own cultural identity to the diktats of the Arab-Islamic world. Other than guarded trips to Italy, Oriana lives in New York.

Although this gallant lady has been excoriated by the Left, which dominates the European Union—its politicians and judges, its academics and journalists, its news and cultural media—tens of millions of copies of her books have been read and translated into various languages, and they remain best sellers. Why? Because Oriana fearlessly reveals the Truth. She reveals in shocking detail Islam’s long history of barbarism, which renders all the more horrifying its invasion and creeping conquest of Europe—not by arms but by its “Policy of the Womb.”

Algerian President Boumedienne brazenly told the UN General Assembly in 1974: “One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere of this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women.”

Islamic expansionism, says Fallaci, has always unfolded in the shadow of that strategy. The “Policy of the Womb” has ever supplemented the policy of the sword. Today Europe is so steeped in pacifism that the threat of Arab terrorism is enough to cow its leaders. Besides, Europe has been inundated (and intimidated) by 35 million Muslims. “In every mosque of Europe the Friday prayer is accompanied by the exhortation with which the imam addresses the Muslim women: ‘Bear at least five children each couple’”—quite a number, adds Fallaci, if an immigrant has two wives.

These immigrants despise their host countries. Their imams arrogantly demand that Europe remove public vestiges of Christianity; that Muslims alone teach Islamic studies; that Sharia law govern the people of the Koran; that Muslims without citizenship be allowed to vote!

Oriana tells us that she met Bat Ye’or, from whose work, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, she draws solid data to expose Europe’s suicidal collaboration with the Arab world. Bat Yo’er revealed that a decisive shift in European policy came as a result of the oil crisis following the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, when Europe, at the initiative of France and the Arab League, established the Euro-Arab Dialogue.

Fallaci regards the Euro-Arab Dialogue a contradiction in terms. There can be no dialogue with Islam, the very meaning of which is submission. The Euro-Arab Dialogue is Europe’s attempt to counteract the economic and political ascendancy of the United States in world affairs. European leaders saw in the oil and untapped markets of the Arab world the means of checking American imperialism. What they failed to see is that Arab cooperation would not come cheap.

The Euro-Arab Dialogue became institutionalized. Periodic conferences were held on political and economic matters. These conferences produced well-financed Euro-Arab organizations. Cultural and academic exchange programs were also established. Europe, having evolved into the European Union (the EU), metamorphosed into Eurabia, a new force in global affairs.

Under the euphemism of the “peace process,” the EU made Israel the cornerstone of its relations not only with the Arab regimes, but also with the United States. At the same time, Europe sold itself to Islam for its own security, as a quid pro quo against Islamic terror.

But how could Europe, which stood for Reason and Democracy, ally itself with Islam, the enemy of Reason and Democracy? How could Europe, dominated by the secular Left, become the ally of Islam, a religious creed that despises secularists as infidels, as dogs? How could Europe, decimated by Nazi Germany, bring itself to collaborate with the successors of the Nazis—Arabs and Muslims committed not only to Israel’s annihilation but also to world conquest? Fallaci will answer these questions, but first she wants to warn us about the ambitions of these new Nazis.

This she does in an interview of Dr. George Habash, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who carried out the bloodiest terrorist attacks in Europe. From Habash she learned and tells us that the Arabs’ enemy was not Israel alone, it was the whole West: America and Europe. She warns:

Our revolution [said Habash] is a part of the world revolution. It is not confined to the reconquest of Palestine…. Palestinians are part of the Arab Nation. Therefore the entire Arab Nation must go to war against Europe and America. It must leash a war against the West. And it will. America and Europe don’t know that we Arabs are just at the beginning of the beginning. That the best has yet to come. That from now on there will be no peace with the West. To advance step by step. Millimeter by millimeter. Year after year, decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy. A strategy that we shall expand throughout the planet. (pp. 131-132).

This is not merely a war waged with weapons. Habash “also meant a cultural war, the demographic war, the religious war waged by stealing a country from its citizens.” By Islamizing a country’s spiritual roots, calling Abraham the first Muslim; denying Jesus’ crucifixion, but calling him too a Muslim; purveying Islam as the pinnacle of civilization, the source of ethics, the hallmark of philosophy and science and even of democracy. In short: the aim of Islam is to strip away all that the West takes pride in, to desiccate it like the Arabian desert.

Aiding this vast conspiracy is Europe. Fallaci sees in this conspiracy

The most … ideological fraud, cultural indecency, moral prostitution, deception, our time has produced. A conspiracy, a plot, made possible by the bankers who invented the farce of the European Union. By the collaborationists and better yet the traitors who invented the lie of Pacifism. By the hypocrites who invented the fraud of humanitarianism. By the heads of State who do not even comprehend the concept of State. … By the intellectuals who do not even ponder the concept of the intellect (p. 137).

Dominated by the Left, Europe is sick. It lacks honour and dignity, conscience and courage. (Fallaci could rightly have said the same of Israel.) America’s left-wing intellectuals and cultural elites are tainted by the same sickness. Fallaci despises the Noam Chomskys and the Michael Moores and their accomplices—“traitors who sell us to the enemy.” She is at a loss to understand why Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who praised Bin Laden and September 11, was not fired. She disdains the Caviar Left whose humanitarian judges acquit terrorists as easily as they acquit pedophiles.

Fallaci sees in the Left the decadence of contemporary democracies. She cites Alexis de Tocqueville with telling effect: these “inert” democracies have subordinated freedom to egalitarianism: the senseless denial of merit, the lack of self-discipline, the demise of honor, and the triumph of pusillanimity. Freedom has been impoverished when “everything can be expressed … except the freedom of revealing the truth.” Truth inspires fear—the fear of thinking politically incorrect thoughts.

Fallaci also attributes these vices to the Right. She blames the Right for giving Eurabia its imprimatur. She castigates the Right, which “has never moved a finger to stop or hold back the growth of the Islamic invasion.”

At this point, I must return to some unanswered questions regarding the paradoxical alliance of the Left with Islam. The Left—and here Fallaci means Marxism—is steeped in dogmatism. By purveying its ideology as the one and only path to salvation, the Left resembles a religious creed. Like Islam, the Left is totalitarian. It divides the world into the Good and the Bad, into comrades and infidel-dogs. And Like Islam, the Left never acknowledges its faults or errors. (Notice how the Left in Israel never acknowledges the monumental blunder of Oslo despite its disastrous consequences.)

(Fallaci might also have added that both the Left and Islam disdain the nation state or nationalism. In his tract, “The Jewish Question,” Marx displays a venomous hatred of Jewish particularism, resurrected in the Left’s hatred of Zionism and Israel.)

Finally, the Left in Europe no longer has the Soviet Union to chart its course. Nor can it champion Europe’s almost non-existent proletarian. And so, as our brilliant Oriana has discerned, the Left has turned its vaunted humanitarianism to the impoverished Third World, above all to Islamdom.

Conclusion

Fallaci concludes with three warnings. First, it’s a mistake to believe that Islamic terrorism is the main weapon of the war Muslims have declared on us. Terrorism is only the bloodiest and most barbarous aspect of this war. The most pernicious and catastrophic aspect is the religious war, beginning with immigration. Immigration, not terrorism, she says, is the Trojan Horse that has penetrated and transformed Europe into Eurabia. Citing Bernard Lewis, she warns that by 2100 the whole of Europe will be numerically dominated by Muslims.

Second, Fallaci warns that multiculturalism will not moderate Islam, and certainly not the “fib” of integration. “In Europe-Eurabia the other immigrants more or less integrate….Muslims don’t. They don’t even care to learn our languages. Glued to their mosques, to their Islamic Centers, to their hostility better yet their abhorrence and contempt for the West, they only obey the rules and the laws of the Sharia” (pp. 301-302).

Third, contrary to one of her admirers, Daniel Pipes, Fallaci rejects the idea of a Moderate Islam. “Moderate Islam is another invention of ours. Another illusion fabricated by naiveté or Quislingness or misplaced realpolitik. Moderate Islam does not exist.” Islam is in the Koran—in nothing but the Koran. “And the Koran is the Mein Kampf of a religion which has always aimed to eliminate others.”

One last word. Oriana Fallaci has for some years been stricken with cancer. The courage and wisdom and dedication displayed in her books are therefore all the more extraordinary. She entitled the second book of her trilogy The Force of Reason because she regards Reason as the key to human freedom and dignity. Although she fears that the force of reason in the West is succumbing to the force of unreason—Islam—her books are a precious legacy of the human spirit and therefore a promise that Reason will ultimately prevail.