“I leave shreds of my soul on every experience.” -- Oriana Fallaci
I went to see Oriana Fallaci this evening, in what will most likely be her last speech. She is dying of cancer. No photos allowed. And while she could not have been more then 85 lbs., she railed away at radical Islamofascism, the treasonous left and the impotent right as if she were taking on Goliath.
Oriana Fallaci -- author of the powerful Man and Letter to a Child Never Born, has a fatwa calling for her death and is being sued by the Muslim Union of Italy for her book The Force of Reason. Consequently, an Italian judge ordered her to stand trial in Bergamo on charges of "defaming Islam." From Prophet of Decline, WSJ hat tip: Susan D esq:
Oriana Fallaci faces jail. In her mid-70s, stricken with a cancer that, for the moment, permits only the consumption of liquids -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.
Ms. Fallaci speaks in a passionate growl: "Europe is no longer Europe, it is 'Eurabia,' a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense. Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty."
A Sermon for the West Oriana Fallaci January 2003
I Stand with Israel, I Stand with the Jews Oriana FallaciDecember 2002
From the book, Immortality, author Milan Kundera writes,
"...who is the pioneer of modern journalism? Not Hemingway who wrote of his experiences in the trenches, not Orwell who spent a year of his life with the Parisian poor, not Egon Erwin Kisch the expert on Prague prostitutes, but Oriana Fallaci who in the years 1969 to 1972 published a series of interviews with the most famous politicians of the time. Those interviews were more than mere conversations; they were duels. Before the powerful politicians realized that they were fighting under unequal conditions--for she was allowed to ask questions but they were not--they were already on the floor of the ring, KO'ed."
This evening David Horowitz [his introductory speech here] of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and Editor in Chief of FrontPageMag presented Fallaci with the Annie Taylor award (Annie Taylor was the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel -- no joke). The speech will not be made public or published, as Fallaci wants it for her last book, which she is currently writing. She said she hopes her book helps her die a little less "when I do die." And although she was supposed to receive this award at the Biltmore in February, there was serious doubt she would make it..........The following remarks are from my fierce scribbling. In a word, Fallaci was wild. Smart, determined, and intent on getting the message out there that we are underestimating the enemy. Playing nice guy, playing PC, killing all signs of religion (i.e., Christmas) will be the end of us.
"I do not believe the West will win." Her fatalism is pure and unashamed.
The crowd, to my surprise, was small. A peculiar mix of concerned, scholarly, erudite and moneyed. Not what I would call a "sexy" crowd (as in passionate), but Fallaci had more sex appeal and passion than the whole of the city.
I was fortunate enough to sit with Richard Poe of FrontPageMag and his lovely wife, and to my left was Susan, a quick witted down-to-earth lawyer (!) who writes sporadically for the NRO. She was joined by her equally involved hub. Susan just sent me this excellent NRO piece on Fallaci. Read it before continuing on.
And to add to my delight, I had the great fortune to spent some precious, delicious time with Phyllis Chesler. I shall interview her later this week on her new book, The Death of Feminism.
Oriana Fallaci -- frail, tiny, hit that podium running. She looked up at us and said "you are my comrades in arms. Our opponents are leftists. Conservatives are too genteel. You are warriors and warriors can not get tired."
"The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage." In describing despotism, Fallaci said the despot ignores the body and attacks the soul. Because it is the soul the despot wants to put in chains. The despot wants to put the soul in shackles. "You are free not to think. Think as I do."
"The Truth Inspires Fear."
"Europe overflows with the witch hunts.... hits any one going against Islam. It overflows the with the New Inquisition. Trying to muzzle. Oh yes, like your Ward Churchills, your Noam Chomskys, your Louis Farrakhans and your Michael Moores, etc. TRAITORS! Against which all antidotes seem to fail. Combined Neo nazi islamo fascism." [Atlas note: Fallaci spit these names out with such repulsion and utter contempt........riveting.]
The deaf remain the deaf, the blind remain the blind, and both of them end up with ............brands of shame.
Islam has no sense of justice. The crime? The crime of opinion. A crime now disguised as re-education of Islam. Religious racism, xenophobia.
"Like love, hate belongs to human nature. Should there be a penal code for the prosecution for "hate"? Can we judge? Yes! It can be judged but only on a moral basis. For instance the moral basis of religion, the Christian religion, is based on love, not on a political basis or a criminal basis.".........."It grants me the right to love who I want but also the right to hate who I want."
"It is my sacrosanct right! Those who hate me try to silence me with penal codes."
"And the West directs a hate towards itself. The West has lost its spirituality. It stands silent in the slander of Islam." "The censure of Europe."
"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder," the historian Arnold Toynbee wrote.
On August 27, 2005, Fallaci had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo. In him she found a kindred spirit who she believes understands the mortal threat faced by Christianity in the evil of Islamofascism. The Pope loves her work. "I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger." I had asked Ms. Fallaci whether there was any contemporary leader she admired, and Pope Benedict XVI was evidently a man in whom she reposed some trust. "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." More here.
Fallaci claims to be neither left nor right. She despises the left for the obvious reasons and holds the right in contempt for being weak. For not taking a hard stand and making the tough choices.
"Don't believe in a dialogue with Islam. That's a naivete. It can only be a monologue. They do not believe in pluralism. There is no such thing as a 'moderate Islam' and a radical Islam. There is only one Islam."
I too believe this, as much as it pains me to say it. I would like nothing better to believe that there is a side we can do business with, talk to. But that is self deluding.
Fallaci: "The real enemy is Islam, and the most catastrophic threat is immigration, not terror. It is immigration. And they do not integrate in Europe. Maybe in the USA, but not in Europe. Those riots in France are a result of that very thing." The Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. immigrants are not rioting and tearing down the very fabric of society.
They [the Islamists] are very patient. And clever.
This war needs boldness.
"WAKE UP WAKE UP. WE ARE AT WAR. WAR HAS BEEN DECLARED ON THE WEST AND WE MUST FIGHT. One or the other must perish."
And so she has spoken. And while it was painfully clear that she was preaching to the converted, it was also painful that the choir was so small.