To ban works of literature, of course.  Dante’s Divine Comedy is on the chopping block, even at universities.  From the story:

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 . . . .

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.

Homosexuals are damned by the work as being “against nature” and condemned to an eternal rain of fire in Hell.

“We do not advocate censorship or the burning of books, but we would like it acknowledged, clearly and unambiguously, that in the Divine Comedy there is racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic content. Art cannot be above criticism,” Miss Sereni said.

The concession about not burning books is truly magnanimous.  Perhaps the woman may have missed the exquisite pain previewed for Popes Clement V and Boniface VIII in the Eighth Circle.  But the latter probably deserved a bit of hell, given his pretensions to temporal power.  Perhaps Dante and Ms. Sereni agree on the issue of simony. 

No matter –Dante was banished in his own time, so it is fitting that some right-thinking folks wish to banish him today.  Still, if I could offer a little lawyerly advice to Messrs. Cervantes, Chaucer, and Shakespeare — keep your heads down.

One thought on “What is the object of “human rights”?

Leave a Reply