"He loves cats, he plays Mozart on the piano before he goes to bed at night and the dictatorial relativist Left is apoplectic. Halleluijah!" we blogged here last April re the new pope -- Benedict XVI -- as all the world was watching and listening and commenting on what it all might mean that the German Cardinal Ratzinger was about to ascend to the Throne of Peter. Now it turns out the outspoken Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, unspeakably threatened with being thrown in jail by her countrymen for speaking the truth about the threat that Islamicism poses to Western Civilization, feels the same way as the cats. Baby (above photo) could have told us why, but no one thought to ask.
"I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion," says Oriana Fallaci -- the renowned Italian journalist recently indicted in her native country for vilifying, as the law says, a "religion admitted by the state," in this case Islam -- in an Opinion Journal interview with Tunku Varadarajan:
The vilification was perpetrated, apparently, in a book she wrote last year -- and which has sold many more than a million copies all over Europe -- called The Force of Reason. Its astringent thesis is that the Old Continent is on the verge of becoming a dominion of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves fecklessly to the "sons of Allah."
"It is 'Ratzinger' (as she insists on calling the pope) who is her soulmate," reports Varadarajan:
John Paul II--"Wojtyla"--was a "warrior, who did more to end the Soviet Union than even America," but she will not forgive him for his "weakness toward the Islamic world. Why, why was he so weak?"
The scant hopes that she has for the West rest on his successor. As a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI wrote frequently on the European (and the Western) condition. Last year, he wrote an essay titled "If Europe Hates Itself," from which Ms. Fallaci reads this to me: "The West reveals . . . a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; the West . . . no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure."
With his "marvelous and extraordinary" grasp of the media revolution's potential to spread "uncomfortable truths" -- the threat that Islamicism poses to Western civilization, for example, blogged here -- Benedict XVI's papacy itself may bear more fruit than any of us would dare to hope.
"You cannot survive if you do not know the past," Fallaci continues, citing the sad state of Western education today where "Students do not know history! They don't for Christ's sake. They don't know who Churchill was!!":
Europe is no longer Europe, it is "Eurabia," a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense. Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty.
It's Robert Spencer's "dhimmitude" writ large. And we do think we know the answer to Fallaci's "some human truth here that is beyond religion." It's the tragic view of human nature -- vs. the Left's utopian, blank-slate, noble-savage one that denies any such thing as human nature -- that acknowledges the dark side in all of us and tries to design political institutions -- the U.S. Constitution comes to mind -- that channel our potentially destructive human nature into productive self-fulfillment (can you say invisible hand?) that redounds to the good of the larger community.
Update: Speaking of things an atheist and a pope can agree on, be sure to check out this week's Friday Ark at Modulator.