Saturday, August 15, 2009

Disgrace: Yale removes Mohammed cartoons from book about … Mohammed cartoons

We read:
"I’m tempted to call this unbelievable but that simply wouldn’t be true. In fact, the very first words of the Times’s piece are “It’s not all that surprising.” Not only do research universities purportedly devoted to free inquiry now censor primary sources in the interest of “safety,” but I’ve experienced it myself: Imagine, if you will, the absurdity of a panel discussion about images which the audience isn’t allowed to view. It’s come to that. This is the scholarship equivalent of Yale donning a burqa to suppress the temptations its immodesty might otherwise inspire in Muslim men. Good work, academia.
Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Doré of Muhammad being tormented in Hell, an episode from Dante’s “Inferno” that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dalí…

John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press, said by telephone that the decision was difficult, but the recommendation to withdraw the images, including the historical ones of Muhammad, was “overwhelming and unanimous.” The cartoons are freely available on the Internet and can be accurately described in words, Mr. Donatich said, so reprinting them could be interpreted easily as gratuitous.

He noted that he had been involved in publishing other controversial books — like “The King Never Smiles” by Paul M. Handley, a recent unauthorized biography of Thailand’s current monarch — and “I’ve never blinked.” But, he said, “when it came between that and blood on my hands, there was no question.”

Not only were the “expert” recommendations that Yale should suppress the images unanimous, but not a single person quoted in the story offers a full-throated defense of a university’s obligation not to sacrifice knowledge on the altar of totalitarianism.



Anonymous said...

Political correctness is a far greater threat to our freedom than is terrorism.

Dean said...

Perhaps it isn't PC that dictates Yale's decision, but fear of violence and possible death. The Religion of Peace has often shown a tendency to violence if others don't peacefully live by its rules.

Bobby said...

"Perhaps it isn't PC that dictates Yale's decision, but fear of violence and possible death. "

---Being afraid of muslim extremism only empowers them. Why for example are muslims in the United States generally polite and well behaved while muslims in Europe are out of control? The answer is simple, in America they fear us. We'll tolerate Abdul at the 7/11 but if Abdul tries to tell us not to sell pork chops at the mall we'll give him hell.

The problem with Yale is that they would rather not offend and live like slaves than offend and be free.

Anon 1:36 said...

Thank you Bobby.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it will take before affirmative action and PC will destroy academia? I would imagine that at some point ivy league schools and other top institution will loose some of the aura they now have and people start to realize that the students coming out of these institutions are no longer so special.