TCS Daily

The Oriana Factor

By Stefania Lapenna - June 9, 2006 12:00 AM

Europe's economic decline is now well documented. But the Continent suffers from a more deadly disease, one the psychologists might call "lack of self-esteem". This comes to mind when certain countries make life unbearable for anti-Islamist freedom fighters such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- forcing them to flee. Sometimes, as in the Hirsi Ali case, it is not only a government, but a majority of the population who support these de facto exiles.

Holland is just one of the European countries that seem ashamed to defend their own values when challenged by the Islamists in their midst. Some day ago, several pubs and business centers in the United Kingdom even declared they will not fly the British flag out of fear of the Muslim reaction by fanatics who claim the St. Andrew's cross element of the Union Jack symbolizes "crusaders".

In Italy, the new center-left government led by former European Commission Chief Romano Prodi is known for its soft stance with respect to the immigration and Muslim issues. One of the first decisions taken just one month after taking office, is to soften the immigration policy by increasing the number of those who can enter the country, even illegally, and granting citizenship more easily. This policy has proven to be not only a failure, but a threat to the national security of those nations in Europe, such as the Netherlands, where it has been applied.

Recently, the leftist mayor of Colle Val D'Elsa, a small town near Siena, Tuscany, has allowed the construction of a mosque and an Islamic center that caused harsh criticism and protests by the residents. As Magdi Allam, the brilliant Egyptian-born Italian deputy editor of Il Corriere Della Sera - one of the largest and most popular Italian newspapers - said more than one time, most of these mosques are funded by UCOII (Union of the Italian Islamic Communities), which finds inspiration in the thoughts of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. As a result, and as Allam himself discovered - most of the mosques and Islamic "cultural" centers preach Jihadism to their followers.

These current developments led the famous and controversial Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci to react and voice her deep discontent at her country's situation. In a long and must-read article appeared in the New Yorker on May 29, Fallaci resorts to her usual manner when it comes to discussion of Islam in Europe: "I do not want to see this mosque -- it's very near my house in Tuscany. I do not want to see a twenty-four-metre minaret in the landscape of Giotto. When I cannot even wear a cross or carry a Bible in their country! So I BLOW IT UP!" Such statements make strike some as overzealous. But one must read between the lines a little. Fallaci remembers how quick is Europe in granting full rights to the very same people who justify the lack of rights for non-Muslims in the Islamic world.

Her criticism targets the entire Italian political class and she calls both former Prime Minister Berlusconi and Mr. Prodi "idiots". She affirmed she has not voted because of her discontent with both the coalitions. While her distaste for the Left (although she has been a life-long leftist herself) is well-known, that for Berlusconi followed his apologies to the Muslim world for saying, on September 21, 2001, that "Western civilization is somehow superior to Islam". Fallaci says she will never forgive Berlusconi for "behaving like a dhimmi".

Although the previous center-right government adopted a strict anti-illegal immigration law that reduced crime, expelled many without a permit of stay and almost stopped the flow of illegals into the Italian shores, Fallaci claims it was not enough. She even echoed a few catholic priests in demanding that immigration be limited to non-Muslim people.

The mayor of Colle Val D'Elsa replied to her statements about the mosque by insisting on the "need to build the mosque and Islamic center".

Oriana Fallaci may well be rude in the tones she uses and the generalization she does when she claims that moderate muslims do not exist. However, her "rage" is not misplaced. Years of European tolerance toward the Islamists' violence, intimidation and blackmail are taking the Continent to a point of no return.

Will the Europeans be willing to reject their democratic principles for the sake of the multicultural utopia? Are we going to stay silent in front of Sharia barbarism toward the women and children, the honor killings, female genital mutilation and so on, out of fear of the Islamists' reaction?

Fallaci is not the only one who asks these questions. Much is at stake and these are questions every freedom-loving person should ask those who have the duty to preserve an entire system of values.

Stefania Lapenna is an Italian political activist and blogger. She blogs at Free Thoughts. She wrote for several newspapers, such as the Jerusalem Post. In Italy, she wrote for L'Opinione and Il Foglio and is a contributor to Ragion Politica.



Fallaci Factor
While impossible to agree with 100% of the time one is equally unable to ignore her. Rarely does the soul of a person come through so strongly as in The Rage and The Pride. She's a force of nature...a force to reckon with.

Fallaci and Irving
In both cases, a great waste of a great talent. The Europe of freedom should not abdicate for fear of its future

Fallaci and Irving
I have absolutely no idea what you mean...Not a clue!

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