Daring Dante

    A reader wonders if the West will continue to be able to publish Dante:

    "In the discussion over Islam, cartoons, and religious intolerance, has anyone chimed in about Dante?  Or have the fanatics already boarded buses and planes for Italy?

    In any case, in Canto 28, Page 237, line 30, Mohammed must spend eternity tearing himself apart, for that is his punishment in Hell.   

    Consistent with medieval Christian thinking, in which the Muslim world was viewed as a hostile usurper, Dante depicts both Mohammed and his cousin and son-in-law Ali as sowers of religious divisiveness. Dante creates a vicious composite portrait of the two holy men, with Mohammed's body split from groin to chin and Ali's face cleft from top to bottom."

    Berlusconi needs to offer an apology, no? Or will the mobs now descend on Rome?