Farewell to a Good European
Report; Posted on: 2006-09-19 11:46:29

Oriana Fallaci (1929 2006)

Back in the 1960s Oriana Fallaci was a “brave,” leftist, feminist hackette. Her iconoclastic interviews were praised by the chattering classes for bringing the genre to the heights of postmodernism—she was lauded for doing to journalism what Susan Sontag was doing to fiction. But whereas the latter progressed to become an apologist for jihad and died as a self-hating degenerate, Fallaci’s old age brought her wisdom and true grit. She died on September 14 as an outstanding defender of our culture and civilization against the onslaught of barbarity from without and betrayal from within.

Fallaci was famous for her political interviewers with the great and the mighty, including Deng Xiaoping and Henry Kissinger, who later wrote that his 1972 interview with her was “the single most disastrous conversation I have ever had with any member of the press.” On his own admission, he had been flattered into granting it by the company he’d be joining in Fallaci’s “journalistic pantheon,” but realized too late that it was more like a collection of scalps.

Fallaci’s once-famous reportage has not aged well, and on the strength of it alone her death would have attracted scant attention. But in the aftermath of 9/11 she became a fierce critic of jihadism and an outspoken opponent of Muslim immigration into Europe. Her book The Rage and the Pride—a provocative extended essay initially published by Corriere della Sera—caused a sensation. While countless bien-pensants and talking heads from her 1960s and 70s milieu were prompted by 9/11 to explain to the masses the peaceful and tolerant nature of “true Islam,” Fallaci understood what was going on. It is certainly not rock and roll music that the jihadist hates, she wrote, not the usual stereotypes like chewing-gum, hamburgers, Broadway, or Hollywood. Accustomed as the Westerners are to the double-cross, blinded as they are by myopia, they’d better understand that a war of religion is in progress:

"A war that they call Jihad. Holy War. A war that might not seek to conquer our territory, but that certainly seeks to conquer our souls. That seeks the disappearance of our freedom and our civilization. That seeks to annihilate our way of living and dying, our way of praying or not praying, our way of eating and drinking and dressing and entertaining and informing ourselves. You don’t understand or don’t want to understand that if we don’t oppose them, if we don’t defend ourselves, if we don’t fight, the Jihad will win. And it will destroy the world that, for better or worse, we’ve managed to build, to change, to improve, to render a little more intelligent, that is to say, less bigoted—or even not bigoted at all. And with that it will destroy our culture, our art, our science, our morals, our values, our pleasures."

Fallaci had no qualms when it came to the comparison of what we have with their culture, their art and their science, not to mention their morals, values, and pleasures. She despised the evaders of the truth about our two civilizations as weaklings, cowards or simple masochists:

"It bothers me to even talk about “two of them,” to put them on the same plane as though they were two parallel realities of equal weight and equal measure. Because behind our civilization we have Homer, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Phydias, for God’s sake. We have ancient Greece with its Parthenon and its discovery of Democracy. We have ancient Rome with its greatness, its laws, its concept of Law. Its sculptures, its literature, its architecture. Its buildings, its amphitheaters, its aqueducts, its bridges and its roads. We have a revolutionary, that Christ who died on the cross, who taught us (too bad if we didn’t learn it) the concept of love and of justice."

Yes, I know—the old agnostic went on—there’s also a Church that gave me the Inquisition, the torture and the burning at the stake. But Fallaci, who was granted an audience with Pope Benedict XVI last year, readily recognized the contribution of Christianity to the history of European thought, “the inspiration it gave to Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, the music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, to Rossini and Donizetti and Verdi, and to science that cures diseases, and has invented the train, the car, the airplane, the spaceships, and changed the face of this planet with electricity, the radio, the telephone.”

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Source: chroniclesmagazine.org • Printed from National Vanguard
( http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=10122 )
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