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2006-04-17

The story has now been picked up by the mainstream media, but they repeat the same error they did when covering the Danish Cartoon Jihad: They refuse to show the cartoon(s), and thus create a lot of false information.

So far it seems that The Guardian is the only paper that gets the story straight: Opus Dei paper prints prophet in hell cartoon

A cartoon depicting Muhammed in hell has been published by an Italian magazine close to Opus Dei, bringing angry criticism from Muslim groups and disapproval from the Vatican.
Cartoon from Studi cattolici
The drawing in Studi cattolici takes its inspiration from Dante's Divine Comedy, in which the 14th-century poet imagines being guided through hell by the Latin poet Virgil, and sees the prophet cut in two as his punishment for spreading division. In the cartoon, Virgil points out another figure to Dante, saying: "And that one there with his pants down, that's Italian policy towards Islam." The caption uses a play on words to suggest Italy has chickened out in its attitude to Muslims.

An Opus Dei spokesman said the magazine was not an official publication of the conservative Roman Catholic fellowship, and the edition had not been checked in advance. The spokesman said Opus Dei's founder, St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-75) "would have given up his life for the sake of respecting other people's religious freedom".

The Italian section of the World Muslim League said the cartoon was "in extremely bad taste". Souad Sbai, a member of the Italian government's Islamic consultative council, said: "This sort of provocation doesn't get us anywhere." The Vatican's expert on Islam, Father Justo Lacunza Balda, deplored the cartoon: "This really doesn't seem to me like the way towards dialogue and mutual understanding."

In February, amid the furore of a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons of Muhammed, 14 people died in riots in Libya after cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli, appeared on TV wearing a T-shirt with one of the cartoons, and had to resign. Italian TV is viewed in Libya.


So to sum up:
Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri - with hat


The cartoon quotes Dante (which every Italian school boy and girl knows by heart). The cartoon doesn't show Mohammed. All it does is making a comment on current politics.

People, who cry "blasphemy" and call it "extremely bad taste", are once again proving that they are using their religion as a political tool.

BTW, unfortunately The Guardian repeats another old error. The Italian minister, Roberto Calderoli, who was fired, did not wear a Danish cartoon. See The Carnival is over. It could also be argued whether the riots in Tripoli were caused by a minister's choice of underwear, or by old hate between Italy and its old Colony, Libya.

Comments:
Another clarification by FreeSpeech is here:
A Christian apology is a call to discuss.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/011064.php#c203713
 
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