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.
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.
See also Daily Telegraph, 17 April 2006