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Dante, Islam and Christianity
Islam respects Jesus Christ, but Christianity has less respect for Mohammed. I view him as a man of violence, but Dante condemned him as a heretic. Dante lacked the cardinal Christian virtue of compassion, assuming the right to assign people he disliked to one of the various circles of Hell. He did not realize that giving Mohammed this treatment would become a major issue in 2002. Italian police have detained four Moroccans on the suspicion that they were planning to attack a Bologna church because it contained a fresco by Giovanni da Modena. depicting the Prophet Mohammed in Hell. The four were seized inside the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the finest Gothic buildings in Italy, as they were photographing the painting. It is the second time in 2002 that an attack on the church in the heart of Bologna has been thwarted.. In a transcript of the conversation between the four Moroccans, one of the group says: "Have you seen where they have put him?" referring to the fresco inspired by Dante's epic poem "The Divine Comedy", which shows Mohammed suffering in Hell.
Note that those detained were Moroccans, indicating that anti-Western feeling is strong there. I remember once in Morocco with some other Westerners we were cursed as we entered a mosque. Note also that the Moroccans were Berbers, speaking in Berber. Although there is hatred between Arabs and Berbers, they both defend Islam. The police had to use translators knowing Berber. We should pay more attention to the Berbers, the pre-Arab population of North Africa. The name "Berber" comes from the Greek derogatory term for non-Greek speakers, a term adopted by Latin and Arabic, and adapted in English as "barbaric". The Berbers are Caucasoid, mostly blond. They accepted Islam and took part in the invasions of Spain. but they adopted a heresy called Kharajism, and this must be an element in the Arab-Berber hostility most marked in Algeria. Not enough attention is being paid to this North African complex.
Ronald Hilton - 8/25/02