Below is a translation of an excerpt from Oriana Fallaci's The Enemy We Treat as a Friend, which I have cribbed from Belmont Club's July 25 essay titled Cassandra.
The Cassandra essay also publishes a link to the column in Italian, excerpts from the Economist and (UK) Guardian's predictably hysterical reactions to Fallaci's rant, and includes Bemont Club's thoughtful and elegant if somewhat ambiguous comments about the flap. Pundita's comments are less elegant and ambigious:
If you can't speak your mind when you're 76 years old and sick with cancer, when can you? Give 'em hell, Oriana!
It's time for Muslims worldwide to do some heavy-duty soul searching about a religion that has applauded wiring children with explosives and committing atrocities against females.
And while Pundita is bowled over with gratitude that some Muslim hardliners are now talking about cooperating with the war against terrorism (see second Pundita post for Friday), this about-face does not address Fallaci's central point. There are by all accounts a large number of Muslims who would still like to see their religion rule the world through force and by the destruction of all other religions. And many have given indication they're prepared to act on that wish.
Before turning over the floor to Oriana, I note one thing that bin Laden and his crew don't seem to understand about the Europeans: they have been trying hard to make nice during recent decades not because they are wimps but because they were so war-like for so many centuries. The terrorists should keep it up, if they want to learn what Europeans can be like on a really bad hair day.
Here are the quotes from The Enemy We Treat as a Friend:
"Yes, it's true: In newspapers that in the best of cases pharasaically opposed me with a conspiracy of silence now appear titles using my concepts and words. - "War Against the West."; "Cult of Death"; "The Suicide of Europe"; Wake up, Italy! Wake up!"
Yes, it's true: [Those] In speaking of Londonistan ... are now saying what I did when I wrote that in each one of our cities exists another city. A subterranean city; equal to Beirut when it was invaded by Arafat in the 70s. A foreign city that speaks its own language and observes its own customs; a Muslim city where terrorists go about their business undisturbed and, thus undisturbed, plan our deaths. ...
"Yes it's true: Now, even the fifth columnists and the imams express their hypocritical condemnations, their mendacious loathing, their false solidarity with the relatives of the victims. Yes, it's true: Now, thorough searches are being made in the cases of the accused Muslims; suspects are arrested; perhaps it will even be decided to expel them.
"But in substance, nothing has changed. ... I am also troubled because it goes along with, and thereby reinforces that which I consider the error committed by Papa Wojtyla: not to fight as much as he should have, in my opinion, against the illiberal and anti-democratic -- no, cruel -- essence of Islam.
During these last four years, I have done nothing but ask myself why a warrior like Wojtyla, a leader so singular who contributed more than anyone else to the downfall of the Soviet empire and, therefore, of Communism, showed himself to be so weak toward a disease worse than the Soviet empire or Communism.
"A disease that, above all, targets Christianity (and Judaism) for destruction. I have done nothing but ask myself why he did not inveigh openly against what was happening (and is happening), for example, in Sudan where the fundamentalist regime was practicing (and is practicing) slavery.
Where Christians were eliminated (are eliminated) by the millions. Why he was silent about Saudi Arabia where anyone with a Bible in hand or a cross around his neck was (and is) treated like a scum to be put to death.
"Still today, there is that silence I don't understand ...
"Will the massacre touch us too? -- will it really touch us the next time? Oh, yes. I haven't the slightest doubt. I've never had the slightest doubt. I've been saying this, too, for the last four years.
"And I add: They have not yet attacked us [only] because of their need for a landing zone, a bridgehead, a handy outpost named "Italy." ... But soon, they will go on a rampage. Bin Laden himself has promised it -- explicitly, clearly, precisely. ..."
No one can argue with that last observation. Darn tootin' he's promised it.
For more on Fallaci's column, one of Belmont Club's readers added a comment to the Cassandra essay that includes links to a complete English translation in two parts. The entire column is worth the read: