June 13, 2006

Oriana Fallaci on Trial for Connecting the Dots

Oriana Fallaci is on trial for "defaming Islam." This is apparently prohibited in Italy. From the Guardian:

The trial of Oriana Fallaci, a journalist and author accused of defaming Islam in a book, was opened and adjourned yesterday in an Italian court.

The charge stems from a recent book, The Strength of Reason, one of a trilogy she has published since the September 11 attacks on the US. In the book, Fallaci, 77, is alleged to have made 18 blasphemous statements, including referring to Islam as "a pool that never purifies".

Theodore's World quotes the Telegraph, noting that Italian Muslims are seeking to send her to prison for up to three years:

The Italian author Oriana Fallaci, who once wrote that Muslims "breed like rats", may be facing up to three years in prison after she vowed to blow up a mosque.

Ms Fallaci, 75, who has cancer, is due to appear in court next week charged with the lesser offence of vilifying Islam, punishable with a £3,450 fine.

But after her latest outburst in the New Yorker last week Muslim leaders are demanding that she be tried for inciting religious hatred, which carries a three-year jail term.

Clarity & Resolve has it right on the money:

Just another chunk of the Italian soul being sold for a pittance to the multicult/death cult consortium.

Michelle Malkin pays tribute to Fallaci's courage:

This lioness has taught me much. Opened my eyes. Talk about speaking truth to power. Her trial in Italy for insulting Islam--for insulting Islam--commenced in Italy today.

Where are the free-speech champions? The feminists? The human rights brigade?

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

I predict that the only sound you'll hear coming from the left is deafening silence. The left abandoned true free speech some time ago. A pity, really. There was a time when even the most despicable communist or child molester could count on help from the ACLU to defend his rights. But that was weeks ago.

As Michelle is probably aware, Fallaci's right to free speech does not exist in the eyes of the leftists. Her speech, being critical of a (non-Christian) religious group, falls squarely within the leftist construct of "hate speech." "Hate speech" is, by construction, not protected. To a leftist, there is no right to utter or write any word which constitutes "hate speech." There is no reason to allow the utterance of "hate speech" because "hate speech" has no value. In order to silence someone, then, one must merely classify his or her words as "hate speech" and thereby remove his or her right to speak. QED. Unfortunately, the frightening implications of this tactic seem to be completely lost on the leftists.

This unfortunate idea of the "valueless" nature of "hate speech" may no longer be confined to the left wing. David Weigel at the libertarian Reason.com, for example, isn't convinced that Fallaci's writings have any function other than to foment hatred:

[Ayaan Hirsi-Ali] exposed very real oppression and discrimination in the Muslim community, but it's worth asking if Manichean views of an Islam-West confrontation - expressed more floridly by Oriana Fallaci, who shares much of Hirsi Ali's American audience - have any use beyond getting readers' (or in Hirsi Ali's case, voters') blood boiling. If Islam is more creative, less oppressive, and contains more pockets of liberalism than its most famous critics are willing to admit, isn't that promising?

To the extent that they could be found to exist, "pockets of liberalism" within Islam would be promising. The problem is, there's little evidence of "pockets of liberalism" within Islam. There are, perhaps, discrete points of weak-kneed (and very quiet) liberalism within certain individual Muslims, but that's about as far as it goes. Tell me, which of the major schools of Islamic thought would be considered the "liberal" school? Which professors at Al-Azhar University are the "liberal" professors? When someone can give me answers to those questions, then we can begin to have a dialogue about the promise of "pockets of liberalism."

Lets face the facts with realism, shall we? Islam is a seventh-century religion completely out of place in a twenty-first century world. The evidence of this is all around us, and Oriana Fallaci must be left free to say so. Some speak of the potential for a "modernized" Islam to take root. That's a great idea, but we should be honest and acknowledge the idea as the shell game that it is. Those who speak of "modernizing" Islam are really saying we should come up with a different religion, call it "modern Islam," and then try to get the fundamentalist Muslims to buy in to it by telling them it's really the same religion, only with slightly different application. Good luck with that. Then again, a similar idea worked for Mohammed, so who knows?

Just remember to take your sword along on your "missionary trips." It's likely to come in handy.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 02:57 AM | Comments |