It is a world-renowned work of literature and one of the foundation stones of the Italian language, but Dante’s Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic.
The classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.
Dante’s epic is “offensive and discriminatory” and has no place in a modern classroom, said Valentina Sereni, the group’s president.
So this is where the bastardization of the meaning “tolerance” has taken us: People who fancy themselves as broad-minded intellectuals support the banning of classic books, and for that matter, they call for the banning of speech, too, but only from the mouths of some persons, not all.
Do people not see how going down this path eventually backfires on the folks who walk it, or how an unhealthy precedent put into place to serve one agenda becomes something worse when the other side gets to play by the new rule?
The paradox of modern so-called “liberalism” — which has nothing at all to do with actual liberalism — is that if they had their “open-minded” way, the world and all of our perspectives would be forced into a most unnatural narrowness. The very same people who understood that it was a bad and reactionary thing to burn Beatles albums have themselves become reactionary ideologues who will betray the foundational ideas of the nation and its constitution in order to enforce conformity to their own sensibilities, leaving no room for individual thinking, dissent or, yeah, personal conscience.
This suggests a basic fear of allowing people to think freely — to ponder anything outside of the assigned and approved lines — so that they may only think “correctly,” And that’s a most illiberal idea, indeed.
The words “Liberal” and “Liberty” share a root in freedom. But increasingly, the root seems to have split, raising some very strange bushes.
There is nothing at all liberal about a totalitarian mindset, no matter how it is presented.