Force of Reason not strong in Italy

Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci is being sued for causing “outrage to religion”. Her latest book, The Force of Reason (not yet available in English), contains strong criticism of Islam.

Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy, has brought the charges, and the hearing will be held in a court in the northern town of Bergamo. (Bartholomew has more on the zany Mr Smith.)

The judge who allowed the case has highlighted 18 sentences in the book which he considered offensive. Among them are

  • “to believe that a good Islam and a bad Islam exist goes against all reason”
  • Islam is “a pool… that never purifies”
  • Islam “sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom”

The Minister of Equal Opportunities is disquieted.

Similar trials would occur in the UK if the proposed Incitement to Religious Hatred laws are passed.

Other links: ABC news, BBC

UPDATE: Those 18 sentences, along with some sensible commentary by CM Newman, can be found at Dagger in Hand.

4 Responses to “Force of Reason not strong in Italy”

  1. Christopher Shell says:

    Why do some ppl always focus on the issue of whether or not something is offensive (an emotional matter) as opposed to whether it is true (a rational matter)?

  2. Andy A says:

    This (what is offensive versus what is true) is going to be the subject of many an interesting test case if and when this risible legislation gets through and the grubby politicians of NuLabour get their grubby way. The times, they should be interesting.

  3. G. Tingey says:

    I presume that the “Sceptics’ Koran” will be used in the defence?
    And/Or will Hyaan Hirsan Ali be called as a defence witness?

  4. Stuart says:

    I’d agree that we have to worry about trials around similar issues if the Incitement to Religious Hatred law goes through, but I’m not sure that there’s an exact comparison with this trial, which will be a uniquely Italian farce because I think you’ll find this sad racist cow’s book is published by a media empire which is owned by Berlusconi, so at the point when it isn’t flogging more product, the trial will collapse. Even so, knowing that armed fascists are still a reality in Italy, as opposed to the overgrown boyscouts of the BNP here, if I was an ordinary decent working class Muslim in Italy I’d be appalled that someone could print something so inflammatory so easily, knowing what effects it could have on the safety of my family, yet not be able to reply to it with equal ‘authority’.
    In the UK the root of the problem is the government’s insistence on using methods derived from Empire Days to ‘control’ minority communities like herded animals instead of talking to people like humans are supposed to. The tactic of selecting random religious speakers as ‘community leaders’ and refusing to listen to others from that community is straight out of some 19th century military textbook for colonial commanders! It failed in the Rushdie case because the coolies the government had chosen then as leaders refused to toe the line, the politicians had never actually met any working class Asians and didn’t know the difference between a Sikh, a Muslim and and a Hindu anyway. It will fail again, because British society has yet to get to grips with the idea that people are never ‘just’ black, or muslim, or whatever, but that we are all involved in various ‘communities’ simultaneously. Perhaps the saddest thing is that politicians are now so remote that they extend this ‘divide and rule’ colonialism to a disempowered white majority too. While we let them it’s inevitable that some folk will find it easy to present themselves as ‘community leaders’ and profit from it without actually having to prove that they speak for anyone – or indeed to talk to anyone in their community!