Conspiracy Theories

Is Muslim immigration to Europe a conspiracy? This is the question that Brendan Bernhard seriously asks [“The Fallaci Code,” March 24–30] and sets out to answer by using Oriana Fallaci’s book The Force of Reason. I found her book utterly unreasonable. It is an endless, inchoate, illogical rant attempting to answer a question she never explicitly asks but that Bernhard states for her in his review, namely, “How did Europe become home to an estimated 20 million Muslims in a mere three decades?”

Could it just be that Muslims are just like other human beings on this planet? Could it be that Senegalese, Nigerian, Egyptian, Pakistani, Palestinian, Turkish and Indian Muslim immigrants are not all in cahoots? Could it be that they are just looking for jobs in a continent that has a vibrant economy not unlike Europeans who have descended on the Persian Gulf in droves? Could it be that Muslim immigrants in Europe are searching for a better life, not unlike Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Italian, French, German, British, American Christian immigrants working in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait and India?

No, Fallaci did not ask these questions and, in fairness, nor did Bernhard, the impartial reviewer of her work. Ironically, she herself is an immigrant who lives in New York, a city that has welcomed thousands of her compatriots over the past two centuries.

Contrary to Bernhard’s view of the epilogue “she could have done without,” it is the most amusing chapter of the book. She pulls off such a dramatic and no-less-impressive coup de théâtre, where she is burned on the cross by the Europeans whom she is trying to save and the sneering 4 percent who scream Arabic words. She dies in her very own “auto-da-fé,” an ancient Christian ceremony where heretics are purged. Ironically, auto-da-fés were how hundreds of Spanish Jews perished in the 15th and 16th centuries after the retreat of the Arabs from the Iberian peninsula. Yes, she, like the jihadists, is a martyr, against whom the world conspires. And yes, Bernhard’s last line is, “The Force of Reason, at the very least, is a welcome and necessary antidote to the prevailing intellectual atmosphere.” Oh, really? Makes you wonder what kind of atmosphere Mr. Bernhard wishes to replace it with.

Sama AdnanWest Hollywood

Bernhard responds: “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow! . . . Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! Spout, rain!”  Etc., etc.

—From Shakespeare’s King Lear

As one whose voice has been mostly censored and drowned out by the “intellectual cicadas”/media propagandists who trip over one another trying to paint the Islamic-extremist encroachment on Europe (and the U.S.) in a positive light, I appreciated your book review of The Force of Reason — a rare voice in a wilderness of deep ignorance.

The Islamic-extremist strategy explained in the book sounds an awful lot like that envisioned by Alija Izetbegovic (the Bosnian Muslim leader who started Bosnia’s civil war), and for which he was imprisoned by Tito, Yugoslavia’s former leader. I quote from his book The Islamic Declaration: “The Islamic movement can and should take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough to be able to overturn not only the existing non-Islamic government [of Bosnia] but also to build a new Islamic one . . . ”

Perhaps this brief excerpt might shed some light for Americans who never heard the Serbian Christian side of the Yugoslav story (because it was censored by our “free and fair” “liberal” media) as to why Serbians were unable to accept living with Mr. Izetbegovic as their “leader,” and why they fought to remain within the Yugoslav federation, where their basic rights as human beings were protected.

Dr. Michael PravicaHenderson, NV

Thank you for publishing Brendan Bernhard’s cautionary review of Oriana Fallaci’s The Force of Reason. I no longer expect to be surprised very often by the views expressed in L.A. Weekly, so it’s good to see that you do still occasionally live up to your old wishful slogan, “The Magazine of Free Thinking.”

David ChuteLos AngelesDog-Eat-Dog Small World

Corn dogs? That is the best Jonathan Gold can offer as a suitable foodstuff at Disneyland (“Ask Mr. Gold,” March 17–23)? He should check out the Bengal Barbecue opposite the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland: affordable kebabs of chicken and beef, plus veggies and desserts to quench the heat of the spicy meat treats.

Dana GabbardWestlake

Editor responds: He tried the kebabs, and still prefers the corn dogs.

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