Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Book Review: The Force of Reason

Oriana Fallaci, The Force of Reason (Rizolli, 2006).

Miss Fallaci is a courageous woman. Her stance has brought her death threats and criminal charges in Europe for--believe it or not--"blaspheming Islam." A veteran Italian journalist and intrepid interviewer (Oh, to see her interview the President of Iran and not the insipid Mike Wallace!), Fallaci follows up her incendiary "The Rage and the Pride" with an attack on the journalists who, without argument but with plenty of invective, castigated her attack on Islam made in that previous book.

Fallaci's thesis is that Islam is taking over Europe. Many--if not most--Muslims are not assimilating and hate the deep values of their host countries. Fallaci excoriates the moral cowardice of these European countries--particularly her own beloved Italy--for not enforcing their centuries long culture.

A "Christian atheist," Fallaci wants to cherish and retain the culture of Christendom, but without a supernatural Christ. She admires Jesus, but denies his deity, since she denies that God exists. She does so because of the problem of evil.

Yet secularism, no matter what memory it may have of Christendom, is not sufficient to resist Islam. A spiritually hollow Europe cannot endure the zealotry and fanaticism of radical Islam. Given its relativism and multiculturalism, it lacks the category of evil. Given its atheism, it lacks a transcendent perspective from which to refute Islamic extremism and to challenge it with a better way of life found in the One whom Fallaci admires, but who she cannot bring herself to worship.

Fallaci is justifiably outraged at what she sees happening to Europe. It fits a pattern of Islamic conquest and subjection, as she argues. But outrage and expletives are not sufficient to rise to this global challenge. One must dig deeper and look higher to wage this battle for civilization.

1 comment:

Jeff Burton said...

Thank you. Please write more about Islam!