Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Faith of Our Fathers

Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene'er we hear that glorious word!

Faith of our fathers, Holy Faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

When I was a kid hearing that song in church about the distant olden days, who would've thought, decades later, that the lyrics to the song would once again ring current in my ears for the West, for our own front door. How far we have come from our safety, back into the lion's jaws, in less than a generation.

But ignoring it will not make it not so. I'm afraid we must all ask how we will face this in our less than brave, politically correct, "situation ethic"-ally driven new world. Who knows how we will act if we also were in this situation. Held captive by Muslims, offered the choice of freedom via forced conversion, or punishment. I hope that I can emulate the example of one of my modern day heroes, Fabrizio Quattrocchi. Or, at least I can remember that whoever has hold of me physically in this world doesn't have sway over me in the next, as long as I exercise my Free Will to resist, no matter how my end comes.

Fabrizio Quattrocchi, 36, a baker from Italy went to Iraq to work as a security guard for a contracting firm. He and three other Italians were taken hostage by the Green Battalion, who demanded that Italy release some of the Muslim extremists they are holding, and that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologize for statements he made that allegedly insulted Islam. They showed the hostages on video, and threatened to kill them if their demands were not met. To demonstrate they were serious, they took Quattrocchi to a field, and had him dig a large hole. They then put a hood over his head and forced him to kneel by the grave, preparing to murder him. But Fabrizio did not cooperate. He stood and tried to pull off the hood, shouting, "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies!" The terrorists shot him in the back of the neck. Al Jazeera, which obtained the videotape of the killing, chose not to air it, saying it was "too gruesome." Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said, Fabrizio "died a hero."

The enemy we face today would have to rise far to earn even our contempt. Fabrizio's captors wanted not just to kill him, but to humiliate him, the true mark of the savage. However, they needed his cooperation, and Fabrizio knew it. He was beyond help, but not helpless. He was alive. He could still choose, if only to choose the manner in which he would die. Consider the bravery, the nobility, the strength of that act. In his final moments, facing eternity, willfully discarding the shred of hope that maybe it would not happen, maybe he would get out of it alive, shouting defiance in the masked faces of his captors and denying the barbarous cowards intent on murdering him the satisfaction of his complicity in their crime.

Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, the two Fox News journalists who were kidnapped a couple of weeks ago, converted under threat to Islam, then recanted that conversion. I'm not passing judgement on them here. I just hope that I can do better if I had to. I am decended from people who were stuck with the lonely job of fighting back the Turks. The mere thought of uttering the shahadah is as unthinkable as anything I can imagine doing, and I have a very filthy imagination, thank you Army days. I could not think of living with myself, or even living, if I did that.

Loosely bragging "how tough I am" is no way to prepare. Exercising the mind is similar to exercising the body - when you face the moment when you need great strength, you need to already have done a lot of heavy lifting ahead of time in order to prepare yourself, or else you will get crushed. My mantra, if you will, for whenever I think of muslim encroachment into my free world, is the line from Nine Inch Nail's Head Like a Hole:

Head like a hole.
lack as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.

p.s.: that phrase isn't sung, it's spat out through the teeth.

Fabrizio, you're in my prayers, one of the very few people I pray for by name who I've never had a personal connection with. May you inspire anyone who also has a muslim captive's fate.

This post is also cross-posted at my blog, Tip Jar.


KG said...

Fabrizio--what a man! May he be blessed and may we find the courage to be worthy of men such as these.

Pastorius said...

I am so glad you wrote this post. For the past couple of days I've been thinking about this story, but I couldn't for the life of me remembers Fabrizio's name.

What I had been thinking was I hope that I would do the same as the Italian man did. In fact, I had even thought that I would like to repeat his words as tribute to him. I never forget those words, "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies!"

What a man!

mts said...

Used to be, a guy like Audie Murphy was a hero, and "Quisling" became an insult.

Now, the quisling is the one held up for praise, and the one who fights back to the point of calling artillery on his position and dashes out before it comes in is the right wing fascist.

Fabrizio should be a household name, and not a mystery.