Friday, September 15, 2006

On a Dutch website I read that Oriana Fallaci died. It is good that the Muslim world is too busy being enraged with remarks about Islam made by Pope Benedict XVI, otherwise many Muslims might be dancing in the streets. While she sometimes showed a tendency towards hysteria, over-generalizing and racism in her post-9/11 writings, the main motives for what this almost mythical war-correspondent and interviewer wrote about ( or rather against ) Islam in two of her most recent works ( The Force of Reason and The Rage and Pride ) appear to be genuine anger and concern. Here is what she wrote right after the terror attacks five year ago. Like in the Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie, Irshad Manji and others, she received death threats, and Muslims in France and elsewhere tried to have her books banned or labeled, which might suggest that she was considered a serious threat ( or it simply proves, like the protests against pope Benedict and against the Prophet cartoons, that some of the world's Muslims still have not learnt what freedom of expression is all about ). Let's not forget that she rose to fame not as an anti-Islam polemist but as an influential and powerful journalist and interviewer. Henry Kissinger called the interview with her "the single most disastrous conversation I have ever had with any member of the press", which in this context can basically be read as a compliment. A few months ago an interview with/portrait of Oriana Fallaci appeared in the New Yorker.

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