Ibn Warraq in Why I Am
Not a Muslim wrote:
Page 29 : Will Dr .Carey forgo his vicarious
pleasure at this punishment of
atheists and wake up from his dogmatic slumbers when
Muslims begin slashing
paintings depicting the Crucifixion in the National
Gallery ? After all ,
every crucifixion , in whatever form , is an insult to
Muslims and denies
the veracity of the Koran , which remains , for all
Muslims , " the Word of
God Himself " .
Page 9 : Will that closet hooligan Trevor -Roper
wake up from his
complacent slumbers , when those " poor hurt
Muslims " begin demanding the
withdrawal of those classics of Western literature andf
that offend their Islamic sensibilities but must be dear
Roper's heart ?
Page 10 WIANAM :
" Will these Muslims start burning Gibbon , who
What of Roper's beloveed Hume who
What of Hobbes ...
" What of The Divine Comedy , the
greatest poem in Western literature " See how
Mahomet is mangled ! Before me Ali weeping goes , cleft
in the face from chin to forelock ; and all the others ,
whom thou seest here were in their lifetime sowers of
scandal and of schism ; and therefore are they thus
In his notes to his translation
of the Divine Comedy Mark Musa sums up Dante's reasons
for consigning Muhammad to Hell : ... "
Now read this story from the Times ( London ) .
FRIDAY JUNE 29 2001
Muslims say fresco must be destroyed
FROM RICHARD OWEN IN ROME
MUSLIM leaders in Italy are demanding the removal or
destruction of a priceless 15th century fresco in Bologna
that they say offends Islam by showing the Prophet
Muhammad being cast into the flames of Hell.
The row over The Last Judgment by Giovanni da
Modena, in Bologna Cathedral, could threaten the already
strained relations between the Roman Catholic Church and
members of Italy’s Muslim community.
The recently established Union of Italian Muslims has
written to the Pope and Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, the
outspoken conservative Archbishop of Bologna, complaining
that the fresco shows clearly Muhammad, the founder of
Islam, among those condemned to burn in eternal flames.
The protesters said that Giovanni da Modena had shown
Muhammad being "thrown into hell, completely naked,
with a snake wrapped around his body and a demon next to
him about to torture him". They said that Muslims had
never depicted Jesus or the Virgin Mary on the walls of a
In the letter they called for the "barbarous"
fresco to be removed from the wall of the Bolognini
chapel, inside the 14th-century cathedral of San Petronio.
Adel Smith, the head of the Union of Italian Muslims,
appealed to the many thousands of Italian Muslim residents
of Bologna to attend a rally outside the main mosque in
Anti-Muslim feeling in northern Italy was inflamed last
year when Cardinal Biffi claimed that a Muslim invasion
was threatening the values of Christian Europe. He said
that Muslim immigrants often failed to integrate into
Italian society because they were determined to stick to
their own ways. He urged the Government to encourage
counter-immigration from Roman Catholic countries.
A spokesman for the cardinal said yesterday that it was
"absurd to suddenly discover after 600 years that our
most famous treasure is offensive to the Islamic
There are half a million legally registered Muslims —
many from North Africa — and about another 500,000 are
thought to be living illegally in Italy.
The Northern League, led by Umberto Bossi, which is now
part of the Centre Right Government led by Silvio
Berlusconi, has campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform
and has called for the defence of Christian society
against outside influences. It has also held marches to
protest against the building of mosques.
In Bologna Nabil Baioni, head of the moderate Islamic
Cultural Centre, said that not all Muslims in the city
shared the view that the fresco should be removed. "I
have lived here for 40 years and have never noticed the
image before now," he said. "It’s rather
difficult to see anyway. I think this Smith represents
The Union of Italian Muslims says that it has a large
following and that the painting is unacceptable to Muslims
throughout the world. In its letter to the Pope it said:
"It constitutes an even graver offence to the
religion than that caused by Salman Rushdie’s The
Signor Smith said that the problem had started in the
Middle Ages with Dante, Italy’s national poet, who had
placed Muhammad in the ninth circle of Hell in his Inferno.
He demanded that the teaching of Dante be suspended in
Italian schools in immigrant areas.
Don Oreste Leonardi, prefect of the sacristy of Bologna
Cathedral, said that the identification of the figure in
the fresco in tiny Gothic writing was "so small that
it is almost invisible".
He said that the fresco, painted in 1415, was one of
Bologna’s greatest treasures, and the artist had merely
reproduced the popular medieval vision of Hell.