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June 8, 2005

Courage Is A Country

Topics: Freedom's Zone

- From American Daughter via Freedom's Zone, comes this insightful perspective on just what courage is and why Oriana Fallaci deserves our support. Interestingly, her plight was the impetus for an international coalition of conservative bloggers to form "Freedom's Zone," a blog that supports Freedom of speech, liberty of conscience, the freedom to practice and express one's faith as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others, and respect for human life:

- American Daughter
Oriana Fallaci is living in exile in New York City, far from her beloved Tuscany. Arguably Italy's greatest contemporary journalist, she suffered political persecution in her native land. So she followed the path of many Italian patriots who came before her to a land of freedom. She is saddened by the fact that she will end her days away from her own country:

...in America I live as a political refugee....living in a country where the ideals lay in the garbage had become too painful....exile lodges inside a disillusioned and wounded and offended soul....When you love your country, when because of your country you suffer, there is no difference between living as a writer in a metropolis of ten million inhabitants and living...on a remote hill...The solitude is identical..So is the sense of defeat.*

Recently, a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, ordered Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges that she defamed Islam in her most recent book, La Forza della Ragione (The Force of Reason).** According to Hyscience, this is "in spite of the fact that state prosecutors had originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech."

Living with terminal cancer, and constantly harassed with spurious lawsuits and serious death threats from Islamic organizations, she continues to speak out. Like the journalists who sacrificed their lives trying vainly to warn apathetic Europe and isolationist America about the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, she issues a well-researched and clear-voiced warning about the coming clash between western culture and Islamo-facism.

Ms. Fallaci's living habits are spartan. She does not surround herself with creature comforts. She has steadfastly refused to use a computer, and creates her powerful pieces on the same Olivetti typewriter she started with. But the depth and breadth of her knowledge of published literature is amazing. She lives, not so much in the material world, as in a world of ideas.

And a country is, after all, experienced in the mind. Everything in the physical surroundings is, at its most primitive manifestation, a compound of thoughts. So I submit that she is living in her native country, in the environment of courage that she shares with other great journalists. She is in the company of Thomas Paine, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi. And a fair land it is.

Hat tip -  American Daughter.

*The Rage and the Pride, by Oriana Fallaci, Rizzoli Press, New York, 2002

**On "Fallaci Charged With Defaming Islam" at Hyscience

Related articles:

Unpublished portrait of Oriana Fallaci: the greatest Italian woman writer

Dhimmitude Past and Present  Via Hyscience

Technorati Tag: Fallaci

Posted by Hyscience at June 8, 2005 10:33 PM



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