Critics have often accused Oriana Fallaci of going too far. And indeed in her latest book we find the Italian journalist likening herself to Cecco d'Ascoli, 12th century astronomer and author of an heretical book for which he was roasted by the Inquisition. Fallaci is herself a heretic, and not just an unbeliever, but since 9/11, one who hates the "sons of Allah" with a passion bordering on psychosis. For this latter offense she will be tried in France next month, charged with racism and hate speech. Such disgraceful outlawing of speech, she says, is proof again how multiculturalism and its handmaiden Islamization have transformed the land of the Rights of Man into an unrecognizable battlefield she calls Eurabia, a sort of halfway state between old Europe and a new Ottoman Empire.
One of the more outlandish claims in The Force of Reason, Fallaci's follow-up to the allegedly criminal, post-9/11 The Rage and the Pride, is that the vast Islamic migration of the past 30 years is part of a grand conspiracy to spread the Muslim umma (community) across the continent in order to supplant a decadent infidel Western democracy. How else might one explain the fact that in a mere three decades more than 20 million Muslims have spilled into Europe. Well, okay, some, like the Turks, were warmly invited as guest workers by the German government. But most just showed upand probably not because they wanted to longed to experience the freedom of the West.
Fallaci is convinced that for the past three decades the West has been at war with Islam, one waged through immigration, guest worker programs (the equivalent of "illegal" immigration, since few, if any, return home) and hyper-fertility. Only the West has been, like Fallaci herself, too naïve and too complacent to realize the danger. Looking back, the author now finds that the warning signs were there, and clearly posted. She recalls how during an interview with a Palestinian terrorist leader in 1972, he in effect leaked the entire "Muslim conquest of Europe" plot. "The Arabs would advance step by step," he said. "Millimeter by millimeter. Year after year. Decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy. A strategy that we shall expand throughout the whole planet."
There's more. Fallaci cites this example from Algerian President Houari Boumedienne's 1974 speech before the UN General Assembly: "One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere of this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women."
Some have dismissed Fallaci's conspiracy "evidence" as but a few half-baked tirades from Muslim crackpots. And Fallaci certainly doesn't help her case with her repititious ad hominem attacks on Islam, or when she writes that Muslims "breed like rats." Sometimes her arguments are species, as when she notes how segregationist Muslims often open their own schools, hospitals, and cemeteries. So what? As most critics have noted, so do Catholics and Jews.
And yet it is hard to dismiss Fallaci entirely, for just as one would like to there appears a story in which the Kurdish-Norwegian cleric Mullah Krekar brags that by 2050, 30 percent of Europe will be Muslim, a fact that every Muslim in Europe seems keenly aware of. "We're the ones that will change you," Krekar concludes. Fallaci was criticized for saying Muslims "breed like rats," but their holy man Krekar gleefully tells an Oslo paper, "The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes."
Where Fallaci finally loses me, however, is when she alleges collusion by Western Europe's governments in the conspiracy. Europe, the author contends, agreed to turn a blind eye to the Islamization of the continent and the misogyny inherent in Islamic culture, and would arm Arab countries and stop its support of Israel. In turn, Arab countries would keep pumping out cheap oil, and curb Islamic terror.
Yes, there was collusion by European governments. But it wasn't of a malicious sort, so much as plain old naïveté and stupidity.
The fact is that, once European birthrates began plummeting in the 1960s and 70s, Arab and Turkish workers were greatly prized by Western governments and business interests. Germany, over a thirty-year period, welcomed more than a million Turkish guest workers to do the jobs Germans couldn't, or didn't want to do. Plus, sad to say, Turks often possessed the technical expertise Germansmore interested in philosophy and industrial and graphic designlacked. The new immigrants and their offspring were thus desperately needed to offset the aging native populations, and their taxes were supposed to keep the titanic welfare ship afloat.
Thoughtful people are always skeptical of conspiracy theories, particularly grandiose ones like Fallaci's. If there were a conspiracy it was a conspiracy of dunces among Europe's socialist leaders who knew little about Arab and Muslim culture, and believed they could invite millions of Muslims into their countries and that they would successfully integrate into a stagnant, secular, democratic and somewhat decadent society. No, it was not perfidy, so much as a failure of intelligence, leadership and imagination for which Europe (and to a lesser extent the U.S. as she risks losing her most important ally) is now paying a high price.