Dante’s Divine Comedy Accused of Antisemitism, Homophobia and Racism


Outrageous but true: a would-be human rights organization has protested the masterpiece of Dante Alighieri, accusing the poet of anti-Semitism, homophobia, and racism. The charges raised by something called Gherush92 relate to the treatment in the poem of Judas, portrayed as a traitor to Christ, Mohammad, the Prophet, and several historical figures known to be homosexuals. Dante places sodomites in the category of those acting contrary to nature.
As most commentaries in the Italian press point out, Dante was writing in the early 14th century, and such accusations can be voiced only by those who utterly ignore the historical context. Had Dante lived a bit later, he surely would have added Martin Luther to the schismatics accused of dividing Christendom. If the ahistorical criteria of political correctness adopted by Gherush92 were to be broadly applied, the wealth of works of literature, art, and religious texts would be drastically reduced. Curiously, those proposing that the work be banned from curricula in Italy have apparently not protested against Dante’s scathing criticism of high-ranking members of the clergy (including Popes!) whom he described as corrupt. Gherush92 in fact was opposed to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Rome synagogue some years back. Gherush92 enjoys special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).