The Force of Reason by Oriana Fallaci
Oriana Fallaci is due to appear soon in an Italian court to answer a charge that her latest book vilifies Islam. Similar charges against her in France and Switzerland have come to nothing in the past, and the case in Italy may similarly fall by the way. Yet there is no getting around the disturbing sense that today’s Europe, which boasts of universal civil rights enshrined in law, is in practice willing to abridge the freedom of speech that is at the core of democracy. The European Union has gone so far as to pass a law against blasphemy, a regression to pre-Enlightenment custom if ever there was one. Voltaire, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
The challenge to Europe’s view of itself, and therefore to the values it lives by, comes from Muslim immigration. For the past three or four decades, Europeans have encouraged such immigration on economic and demographic grounds. At no point did anyone in authority pause to ask if this permissiveness was wise, or what would happen if the Muslim minority were to grow sizably in numbers and, for reasons of religious faith and differing values, fail or decline to integrate into European society. Instead, each country adopted a variant of multiculturalism, a generic term for the official hope that people, whoever they may be, have only to do their own thing and all will be well.
About the Author
David Pryce-Jones, the British novelist and political analyst, is the author of, among other books, Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews (Encounter).