(Telegraph) — It is a world-renowned work of literature and one of the foundation stones of the Italian language, but Dante’s Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic.
The classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.
Dante’s epic is “offensive and discriminatory” and has no place in a modern classroom, said Valentina Sereni, the group’s president.
Divided into three parts — Hell, Purgatory and Heaven — the poem consists of 100 cantos, of which half a dozen were marked out for particular criticism by the group.
It represents Islam as a heresy and Mohammed as a schismatic and refers to Jews as greedy, scheming moneylenders and traitors, Miss Sereni told the Adnkronos news agency.
“The Prophet Mohammed was subjected to a horrific punishment — his body was split from end to end so that his entrails dangled out, an image that offends Islamic culture,” she said.