Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Fallaci's Fallacious Ideas

Oriana Fallaci, an italian journalist living in New York, gave yet another aggressive interview published on the New Yorker.

Originally from Florence, she claims that she'll explode the mosque being built in Colle val d'Elsa, a small town beside Florence. Here's the relevant part:

"She spoke of a new mosque and Islamic center planned for Colle di Val d’Elsa, near Siena. She vowed that it would not remain standing. “If I’m alive, I will go to my friends in Carrara—you know, where there is the marble. They are all anarchists. With them, I take the explosives. I make you juuump in the air. I blow it up! With the anarchists of Carrara. 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!"

I think that it is a very distasteful choice on the part of the New Yorker to let Fallaci speaks as she does. After all, her opinion is not well informed and she is nothing more than a very opinionated journalist. Arguably, she is a famous and courageous journalist, but this does not make her opinion valuable. Also, she was admired in the past as she dreaded power and in particular the personification of power. Noble concern. But yet again, when you demolish power, you still have to put in place something that fills the gaps. A more illuminated authority, or something else. Fallaci fills the gap with unreasoned hatred.

The only reason why it is worth to publish an interview with Fallaci is that her outrageous opinions always increase the number of sells. So, well done New Yorker, you have indeed increased your popularity by selling crap.

Unfortunately, her thin arguments, based on thin air and pure gut (as she says herself), show precisely the lack of ability to communicate deeper and more articulate concerns on the place of religions within our public spheres.

But more importantly, building a mosque is about liberty (religious liberty in this case). Fallaci enjoys the liberty to speak freely, but she would like to restrain the liberty of some other people to practice their own religion. Arguably, she want to restrain only Muslim's freedom.

Why? Just because of hatred and nothing more... or so it seems. Just read the following citation from the New Yorker:

"The magnificently rebellious Oriana Fallaci now cultivates, it seems, the prejudices of the petite bourgeoisie. She is opposed to abortion, unless she “were raped and made pregnant by a bin Laden or a Zarqawi.” She is fiercely opposed to gay marriage (“In the same way that the Muslims would like us all to become Muslims, they would like us all to become homosexuals”), and suspicious of immigration in general. The demonstrations by immigrants in the United States these past few months “disgust” her, especially when protesters displayed the Mexican flag. “I don’t love the Mexicans,” Fallaci said, invoking her nasty treatment at the hands of Mexican police in 1968. “If you hold a gun and say, ‘Choose who is worse between the Muslims and the Mexicans,’ I have a moment of hesitation. Then I choose the Muslims, because they have broken my balls.” "

Is it worth to read the whole interview? I REALLY DO NOT THINK SO! It would simply increase the number of visitors of the New Yorker website. But you would not learn anything in particular, if not that it is possible to hate on a grand scale. My first gut reaction to her interview was to hope that someone blow her up, just as she would like to do with the mosque in Colle Val d'Elsa. After all, we all have gut reactions, and that is good. What is horrendous is to pretend that gut reactions are the way forward, a sort of illuminating solution to all the evils in the world.

Hatred, whatever its source, is only a source of evil. Let us simply hope that by airing it publicly it will be dispersed as any bad seed. If it were to germoliate, that would be sad, as sad as Oriana Fallaci

1 comment:

ajp said...

I suggest you preach about "hatred" to the Muslims that are so prominent in spreading it all over the world, who are intent on taking over Europe, and who drove Fallaci to her position with their myopic determination that cannot be reasoned with.