:: Tuesday, 28 June 2005 ::
This Harry's Place post is heartfelt and a point of view, albeit flat out wrong wrong to my mind.
The notion that immigrant workers in Europe are a fifth column attempting to capture the continent for Islam is dangerous nonsense.
That doesn't mean however that one shouldn't be on guard against attempts to dilute democracy in order to accomodate Islam or any other religion. Criticising those like Falllaci does not involve being blind to dangers or being reluctant to recognise Islamist ideology for what it is.
In fact it is not only Fallaci who fails to make the distinction between Islam, the religion and Islamism, the political movement. Large sections of the left are reluctant to publicly criticise Islamists because they feel they would be attacking ethnic minorities - like Fallaci they mentally push all Muslims into the Islamist camp and give the reactionaries an assumed leadership position that they not only don't merit but in fact don't have.
If there is to be an anti-Islamist strategy in Europe it should surely be about doing the exact opposite of this - recognising that people of real or nominal Muslim faith are not the property of reactionary ideologues and working to ensure that whatever influence the Islamists do have over European Muslims is broken.
Oriana Fallaci does not differentiate between Islam the religion and Islamism the political movement cos there is not much difference at all. And before youse get all ---oooh, you are like lefties, lumping folks in together, pay attention:
Islam manages every minute of every day. 5 times a day with your arse in the air, up down, turn around, Eid, another Eid, Ramadan, what to wear, who to talk to.
It is way heavier than even the whole Catholic fish-on-Fridays, church on Sundays, stand up, kneel down, turn to your neighbour (oh, no, hang, that last thing is one of them weak Protestant things, yetcht), Saint Francis Day festas. you know?
And as practiced in Italy, in Florence, where La Fallaci is from, Islam in any variety, is a political act. Even benign nice girls being polite while wearing their idiot veils cos their men say their hair is just sooo illegal, is straight up a political act.
The dress is not chic and it is not compulsory. But still it is worn.
The food is better from Florence than anywhere but Allah forbid you should eat a Bistecca Fiorentina cut off the backside of a cow that was slaughtered not facing Mecca.
Not a painting of the Prophet to be seen in a continent filled to the rafters with portaits, nevermind how many religious paintings exist in Florence alone. Beauty is simply not applauded by Muslims the way it is by Italians and others.
Islam the religion is an impenetrable fortress while ever it is practiced 24x7 and publicly instead of 24x7 and privately in the practitioner's own dialogue with God, as Christians have come to do. And whileever it is unable to credit women as equal and beauty as important enough to celebrate publicly.
You can keep the food and even the too-many-religious-festivals but some things are a bottom line if you want to fit in with Italy.
You gotta celebrate women and beauty.
We are talking about a Florentine here. La Fallaci.
I reckon La Fallaci does the world a great service by spitting out her heartfelt views. She is being sued in Italy. By a Muslim convert who wanted to take the crucifixes out of Italian schools.
Yah. Italian schools. That guy.
Doubtless were she publishing sufficiently in Victoria Australia she would be prosecuted there for breaching the recent law prohibiting religious vilification.
The bottom line is that Harry - who is fab - has no real solution while ever he insists on imagining Islam is one thing and political Islam another.
They are the same thing cos Islam is a fortress.
It needs to swing some doors open and I, like La Fallaci, do not mean inviting me in to a mosque to hear Friday prayers whining about Palestine.
That is no invite. That is an attempt to get me to change my position.
I mean swinging the doors open by letting Muslim daughters go bowling without having to cover their heads. And go out with non-Muslim boys.
That is the thing about a fortness.
It is locked from the inside.
:: WB 5:29 am [link+] ::