Saturday, September 30, 2006

RIP Oriana Fallaci, 1929-2006

This past September 15th, Ms. Fallaci, known for her frank observations on society, politics and rational thought, passed away in Italy. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with her work, but she was one of the few writers whose commentary not only made me think, but clarified things on an international level, much like Thomas Friedman does on a regular basis in the pages of the New York Times. Her commentaries, whether in essay or book form, have, however, been much more combative and much less politically correct. That is not to say that her abilities paled in comparison to Mr. Friedman's, however; on the contrary, her writing, which was exclusively in Italian, was very much in favor of rational thought, and she focused much of her later years, and her writing during this period, on the struggle in the Middle East. Specifically, she addressed 9/11, the Islamic bastardization of Europe, and the repulsive nature of Muslim's front liners, who essentially call for the conversion to Islam or the death of those that refuse.

Below is a paragraph from her book "Rage And Pride:"
"In this world there is room for everybody, I say. In one’s own home, everyone is free to do what they please. If in some countries the women are so stupid to accept the chador, or the veil where they have to look through a thick net at eye level, worse for them. If they are so idiotic to accept not going to school, not going to the doctor, not letting themselves be photographed etcetera, well worse for them. If they are so foolish as to marry a prick that wants four wives, too bad for them. If their men are so silly as to not drink beer, wine, ditto. I am not going to be the one to stop them. Far from it! I have been educated in the concept of liberty, and my mother used to say: “the world is beautiful because it is varied”. But, if they demand to impose these things on me, in my house… and they do demand it. Osama Bin Laden affirms that the entire planet Earth must become Muslim, that we must convert to Islam, that either by convincing us or threatening us, he will convert us, and for that goal he massacres us and will continue to massacre us. This cannot please us. It has to give us a great desire to reverse roles and kill him. However, this will not resolve itself, it will not be exhausted with the death of Osama Bin Laden. This is because the Osama Bin Ladens number in the tens of thousands now and they are not confined to the Arabic countries. They are everywhere, and the most militant are in the West. In our cities, our streets, our universities, in the nerve centers of our technology. That technology that any obtuse can manage. The Crusade has been underway for a while. It works like a Swiss watch, sustained by a faith and a malice which compares only to the malice of Torquemada when he led the Inquisition. In fact it is impossible to deal with them. To reason with them, unthinkable. To treat them with indulgence or tolerance or hope, is suicide. Anyone who believes the contrary, is deluding himself."
For anyone who, on any level, understands or agrees with what Ms. Fallaci was hoping to explain in the above passage, I'd recommend picking up a copy of one or more of her books. Or, at the very least, starting by doing a Google on her and what she spent her life attempting to accomplish. Like Ayn Rand, George Orwell and Harriet Beecher Stowe, her writing managed to capture the sense and the senselessness of the world in which she lived, and while I mourn her passing, I hope that with same it encourages a new generation of readers and thinkers to research her writing and broaden, or sharpen, their focus on what our world presents to us today.

I found the above passage, as well as the news about Ms. Fallaci's passing, on a site called Jihad Watch. I've updated my links to include this site, and I recommend a visit there as well. The site director, Robert Spencer, attempts to make sense of the worldwide conflict between Islam and the West, and despite the fact that understanding it doesn't make it any easier to address, it is a bold, and commendable, first step, and, again, I highly recommend a visit to that site as well.


LisaBinDaCity said...

I was sorry to see she had died. Fallaci's interviews were always fascinating, and she asked the questions no one else ever did. I thought she was fearless.

Boogie said...

Every time I came across anything she wrote, it struck me that she had more balls than anyone else I've read, period. It's like she's got the sensibility of Thomas L. Friedman, the unique but piercing perspective of Ayn Rand, and the congenial, soft-spoken charm of Donald Rumsfeld.

I hope, wherever she is now, she's happy and with people who love her. I know those of us she's left behind will miss her, myself most certainly included.