There are a few authors that I would love to meet. Those that come to my immediate mind: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brigitte Gabriel, and the author of this book, the late Oriana Fallaci.
Let’s just say that she wasn’t exactly the most loved individual, but she was certainly fascinating and led quite an exciting life. When reading her books or reviewing them, I believe that it’s helpful to know some background information about her life.
As a teenager in Italy, she fought Nazi-fascism. She would cycle around the hills of Tuscany, delivering messages and transporting explosives in her bike, hiding them in a basket among lettuce and other vegetables. Then later as a war reporter, she covered major conflicts throughout the world and interviewed many public figures. She was probably the only Western journalist to have interviewed Ayatollah Khomeini twice. I love how she called the chador, “a stupid, medieval rag”.
She also interviewed Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), whom she walked out on after he rudely belched in her face; Yasir Arafat, whom she despised; and Qaddafi, whom she also hated.
She spent her final years, while succumbing to cancer, between her native Tuscany and New York City. The U.S. was her adopted homeland and she loved it dearly. “The Force of Reason” is the second in a trilogy of books that she wrote following the horrific 9/11 attacks. She was living in Manhattan during that time.
I have seldom seen an author write with such inflammatory passion and intensity. I think that it’s the Italian in her. Anyway, I have to say that I love it. In this book, she continues her rant about Western values being under attack by those on the left, specifically those who are anti-Western and pro-Islamic – the politically correct elite. For me, it is so refreshing to see that I am not alone with regards to my thoughts on all this. Oftentimes, I believe that there are few who seem to care. Most people that I know seem to have buried their heads in the sand and think that I’m off my rocker. For that reason, I’ve learned to stay quiet.
Oriana addresses the truth about history in Europe during the time of the Muslim invasion and the Crusaders. She says it like it is, as opposed to some romantic version of a time when everyone supposedly lived in a time of tolerance, harmony, and peaceful coexistence.
“Whoever believes in the myth of ‘peaceful coexistence that marked the relationships between the conquered and the conquerors’ should reread the stories of the burned convents and monasteries, of the profaned churches, of the raped nuns, of the Christian or Jewish women abducted to be locked away in their harems. He should ponder on the crucifixions of Cordoba, the hangings of Granada, the beheadings of Toledo and Barcelona, of Seville and Zamora. (The beheadings of Seville, ordered by Mutamid: the king who used those severed heads, heads of Jews and Christians, to adorn his palace). Invoking the name of Jesus meant instant execution. Crucifixion, of course, or decapitation or hanging or impalement. Ringing a bell, the same. Wearing green, the colour of Islam, also. And when a Muslim passed by, every Jew and Christian was obliged to step aside. To bow. And mind to the Jew or the Christian who dared react to the insults of a Muslim. As for the much-flaunted detail that the infidel-dogs were not obliged to convert to Islam, not even encouraged to do so, do you know why they were not? Because those who converted to Islam did not pay taxes. Those who refused, on the contrary, did.”
She also describes the similarities between the fascism under Hitler and Mussolini and the growing radical Islamic movement of today, especially in Europe. She calls it “Eurabia”, and vehemently criticizes the cowardice and spinelessness of Europe. She criticized what she saw as a double standard:
“If you speak your mind on the Vatican, on the Catholic Church, on the Pope, on the Virgin Mary or Jesus or the saints, nobody touches your ‘right of thought and expression.’ But if you do the same with Islam, the Koran, the Prophet Muhammad, some son of Allah, you are called a xenophobic blasphemer who has committed an act of racial discrimination.”
There are plenty of examples and anecdotes, including this one:
“… the animal rights activist Erwin Kessler who like Brigitte Bardot cannot abide the Muslims practicing to butcher the lambs like Dracula, that is, slowly drawing their blood. For criticizing it, he got two months in prison.”
As a result of her writing, she made many enemies and received numerous death threats. There were cries of outrage and demands to burn her books.
Overall, this wasn’t as good as her first book, which I truly loved. Her writing style may be difficult to appreciate at times, since she insisted on translating them herself. It is Italian English and reading it takes a bit of patience. I would only recommend this book for die-hard Oriana fans, like myself.
- Hardcover: 290 pages
- Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications (9 March 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0847827534
- ISBN-13: 978-0847827534
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 20.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 440 g
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