City Journal Home. SEARCH SITE Advanced Search
City Journal Autumn 2006.
Autumn 2006
Table of Contents
NEW BOOK:
The Voodoo That They Did So Well: The Wizards Who Invented the New York Stage
by Stefan Kanfer
The Voodoo That They Did So Well: The Wizards Who Invented the New York Stage.
 
  S oundings

EMAIL | PRINT | RESPOND | SHARE

Warrior Princess
Stefan Kanfer

Oriana Fallaci understood the threat that the West faces.

Oriana Fallaci, who died in September at 73, was no latter-day crusader readying for the onslaught of the Islamic invader. As she saw it, the incursion had already taken place, and post-Christian Europe was the worse for it. She bequeathed to the world a whole shelf of books, some luminous, some overwrought, but all written with an ardent mind and heart.

Fallaci’s final volume, The Force of Reason, recites a litany of radical Islam’s recent crimes—beheadings, explosions, murders, mutilations, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian screeds—and reinforces her critique with the sharpest weapon of all: sarcasm. “Always clever, the Muslims. Always at the top. Always ingenious. In philosophy, in mathematics, in gastronomy, in literature, in architecture, in medicine, in music, in law, in hydraulics, in cooking. Always stupid, we Westerners. Always inadequate, always inferior. Therefore obliged to thank some son of Allah who preceded us.”

Small wonder that the howls still echo in Continental courtrooms, where she was forever facing legal charges for “xenophobia” thanks to observations like this: “If you are a Westerner, and you say your civilization is superior, the most developed that this planet has ever seen, you go to the stake. But if you are a son of Allah or one of their collaborationists and you say that Islam has always been a superior civilization, a ray of light . . . nobody touches you. Nobody sues you. Nobody condemns you.”

Her withering remarks targeted not only the Islamists but her friends, her colleagues, her associates. She saw Christians and Jews, and atheists like herself, outpopulated, sated, ripe targets for a cultural defeat. All this because of a decline in the intelligence that was once a fact of life in the West. “Refusing to admit that all Islam is a pond inside which we are all drowning, in fact, is against Reason,” she observed. “Not defending our territory, our homes, our children, our dignity, our essence, is against Reason.”

She sounded taps over the Italy of her childhood, but to the end she believed in the United States, where she had moved. Recalling the courage of the American bounceback after 9/11, Fallaci discarded her perennial pessimism to declare: “I set aside the anger I feel for the half-witted who want to remove the Christmas Tree from the Rockefeller Center. I set aside the contempt I feel for the multimillionaire third-worlder Hollywood stars, the bastards dressed up as University professors, the wretches who support pro-Islamic obscenities of Pro-Islamic UN.

“I set aside the disappointments that America has inflicted and inflicts upon me and upon Americans who fight like me, and I savored the salt of hope. The same hope I feel when I look at the photos transmitted by the probes seeking life on Mars, while looking at them I think: we cannot lose.”

R.I.P. Oriana Fallaci, writer, warrior princess. We shall not look upon her like again.

EMAIL | PRINT | RESPOND | SHARE

 

More by Stefan Kanfer:
Father of the Wild Things
Classic Failure
Fridays with Charles
More . . .
If you liked this story, you may also be interested in:
CCNY Does Right
Jane Jacobs, 1916–2006
The Discriminating Philistine
Click to visit City Journal California
Get the Free App on iTunes


Home |  About City Journal |  City Journal Books |  Archives |  Links
Contact Us |  Subscribe Print |  Subscribe Online |  RSS |  Advertise |  CJ Mobile

CONTACT INFO:

subscriptions: (800) 562-1973 • editorial: (212) 599-7000 • fax: (212) 599-0371

Copyright The Manhattan Institute