Friday, June 30, 2006

Standing With the Heroine

Through no desire of her own, Oriana Fallaci will spend her final days as the focus of a trial in her native country. She has been charged with defaming Islam in eighteen separate statements in her book, The Force of Reason.

Defamation is the politically correct term for telling unpleasant truths about extremely thin-skinned cultures who refuse to acknowledge that their own leaders have previously proclaimed what Fallaci says is their goal: the subjugation of Western civilization. Surely everyone by now has heard the imams in Britain who boldly state that their goal is to have the flag of Allah flying from No. 10 Downing Street, or the grandiose “speeches” from Osama bin Laden telling the West how Islam will conquer us all. Not to mention Iranian leaders who scold American presidents and warn of our destruction, or the inciteful propaganda put out on a global basis by Saudi Arabia.

However, in our Alice in Wonderland world, such statements are not hate speech. Killing Jewish Frenchmen after torturing them is not anti-Semitism. Israel’s incursion into Gaza to retrieve its soldier is “revenge.”

If you have read The Force of Reason you will have been moved by Fallaci’s own force and passion. She lays it out, chapter after chapter: the Muslim version of Khrushchev’s promise to bury us. After they finish with the pigs and apes in Israel, that is.

Oriana Fallaci9/11 was a conversion experience for Fallaci, as it was for many people. In fact, for those who did not awaken to a new world on 9/12, one must wonder if they are not the walking dead. If the annihilation of thousands of innocent Americans — Ward Churchill’s “Little Eichmanns” — did not change minds and hearts, then a hundred more falling buildings or chemical and biological weapons let loose in this country will not change them either. As the Pslamist says, they have hearts of stone.

Now Fallaci’s book has her on trial in Italy. She faces prison time — should she return to Italy — for saying things like this: “Over the last twenty years terrorists have killed six thousand people to the glory of the Qur’an.” Such are the strictures binding free speech in Europe that even factual statements or tentative opinions can get you in trouble via the “anti-incitement laws,” laws which can mean imprisonment:

Britain’s then-home secretary Jack Straw remarked in 1999 on criminal activity by people, many of whom posed as gypsies or “travelers”—hardly a slur on all gypsies even without that qualifier. But a travelers’ group filed a complaint of inciting racial hatred, prompting a formal investigation and extensive media coverage asking whether Straw was racist. In 2002, the prominent French novelist Michel Houellebecq was charged with inciting racial hatred in a novel and interview in which he referred to Islam as “the stupidest religion.”

Fallaci calls Islam much more than stupid. And for doing so, Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy has brought charges of defamation against her. This is the same Adel Smith who is up on charges himself for defaming the Catholic Church. But, of course, Mr. Smith sees his statements about the criminal church as merely truth and will have his day in court to make his case.

Now comes (as they say in American legal documents) That’s the name of the site dedicated to solidarity with Fallaci in her latest — and probably last, given her terminal cancer — ordeal. It is aimed at collecting signatures from around the world from those interested in standing with her in this battle for freedom of speech in a land which looks increasingly like a cross between Orwell’s 1984 and Alice in Wonderland. What genre exists for a mixture of farce, tragedy, and systemic, sleep-walking injustice?

Gates of Vienna has received an email, as surely other blogs have, requesting that we publicize their efforts:

I write on behalf of Future Europe association (Europa Przyszlosci) from Poland. We have organized an action, “The end of free speech - the end of democracy”. One point of that action was a letter of solidarity with Oriana Fallaci that was signed by prominent Polish politicians, journalists, scholars and artists. The letter itself and description of Oriana Fallaci’s case and freedom of expression is on our page Since we would like to make our action more visible, could you please put a link to the above-mentioned page on your web page. Attached you will find the logo for our action.

Thank you for support.

“The End of Free Speech = The End of Democracy”Here is the image this group — The “Europa Przyszlosci” (FUTURE EUROPE) association — is using in association with their campaign. Go here to read the petition and sign onto it if you wish. Note that Lech Wałęsa is one of the signatories.

In a world of worthy causes, in a universe of injustice and suffering, this one remains important. An old lady, still an icon of journalistic integrity, is dying. Like Saint Sebastian, she is also being tortured with arrows from moral midgets and cultural imbeciles.

It behooves all of us to do the little that we can.


eatyourbeans said...

Will sign right away.
Baron, Dympha, anybody, there was a short and weird report on the news that a microphone was left on by accident during a closed meeting between Condi Rice and her Russian counterpart.
Heard anything more?

Baron Bodissey said...

I just found it in the WashTimes. Very interesting.

Always On Watch said...

I'm pressed for time, but will put up a quick link to this article at my site.

Frank said...

She's got my signature.

Zerosumgame said...

May I ask the Europeans (especially any from outside of Denmark) how they plan to prevent an Islamic takeover in Europe when it is even against the law to point out that there is an Islamic takeover of Europe?

How do you organize? How do you create a movement? How do you create a political party? (Remember how Fjordman spoke of how centrist anti-Dhimmis were being attacked and beaten by Marxists in Sweden?) How do you get people to protest, knowing they will be jailed, lose their jobs, and be vilified by virtually the entire media?

To those who get upset when we Americans doubt your ability to rally Europe (OK, Poland excepted), look at the single-mindedness of the elites in crushing any anti-dhimmi dissent. They are so intent on crushing it, they are willing to try a dying, famous journalist living in another country.

I'm not trying to be snarky or defeatist. I hear a lot of Europeans here talking about how they will not let the Islamists beat them.

Take a look at this case (and the others mentioned in the posting) and tell me how you plan to beat this oppressive apparatus? Are you willing to go to jail for a long time? You just might have to go.

heroyalwhyness said...

I never sign online petitions because you just never know who is collecting the information.

However, in this particular case, I did. Orianna has guts and laid it all out for us in her writings. I applaud her courage and her talent. The least I could do (besides purchasing her books) is sign this petition. Consider it done.

KG said...

Done. And may God bless this brave woman.

Mr. Spog said...

Zerosumgame -- Well, there are already significant anti-Islamic parties in parts of Europe, aren't there? E.g. the Vlaams Belang. Such organizations could also focus on the grassroots level where speech is difficult for the state to monitor. One should also bear in mind that every prosecution for voicing fairly widespread opinions provides ammunition for those who claim that their government is behaving tyrannically and thereby betraying its own liberal principles. Probably governments will refrain from prosecuting very many people for this reason.

I think that at this stage the main European (and North American) problem is a general absence of leadership from the moderate conservative section of the political spectrum, rather than state suppression.

kentuckyliz said...

Yikes! Will the USA start having to grant political asylum to free speech refugees from the EU?

I'm sure she'd be welcome here. We have free speech. In fact, her remarks would be heard here sympathetically from almost all elites (except the most radical PC'ists).

I'm Catholic and wish they wouldn't go after the guy who criticized the Catholic Church. We're used to it. It's centuries old and certainly does not incite riots or violence. *yawn*

Even if it did, we Americans believe that the answer to free but hated speech is more free speech. We prefer argument to silence, loud and smart to quiet and dumb.

I thought slander and libel laws were only about statements about individuals?

Charro99 said...

I signed it. The idea that anyone could go to jail for merely expressing an opinion is revolting. So much for Europe being more "liberal" than America.

X said...

It's liberal in the sense that the Democrats use the word. In other words the elite types are free to do as they please and the rest of us can go hang.