I just learned through an article in The Telegraph that a Human Rights organization known as Gerush 92 is asking the United Nations to label Dante’s Divine Comedy as “homophobic, Islamophobic and Anti-Semitic”. I find it interesting that they are not defending Christians since they are also represented in the same scene that the group is raging about so I would question their virtue of standing for human rights. Let me state that ideals of human rights and freedom of speech are for all human beings.
In light of these “concerns” let me add two cents of my perspective since I’ve written two books loosely based on the original work.
I’ve always felt that the punishments represented are a result of a specific human condition involving the nature of each of the circles (greed, lust, etc.) eating away at a person. Hypocrisy is included in that torment, as it should be because in my humble opinion it’s just never a good idea to say one thing and mean another or not be true to yourself. As Gerush 92 has clearly demonstrated, hypocrisy is universal. In the fictional work there are ample members of belief systems that are included in the torment.
Everybody gets a piece of the action.
In my upcoming book, Haven of Dante, the main character goes through a series of “trials” that are connected not only to her past but to issues she has to face and overcome. These take place in the world of today that is real to the character while remaining a work of fiction. This was the case with the original canto.
There are some realities in those scenes but that is for the reader to decide, I think. As far as banning the Divine Comedy goes, even the head of Gaynet, (a gay rights advocate group) Franco Grillini called the move “senseless”.
Leonardo Ramirez is an author of Science Fiction and Fantasy books for all ages. For more info, please visit http://leonardoverse.com and sign up for the blog.