Monday, August 24, 2009

A Comment on the Yale University Press Mess

By Barbara T.:-

The lack of a picture is worth a thousand words.

Which mess?

This mess:

Self-Muzzled at Yale

A university publisher allows the possibility of Muslim reaction to alter an academic work.

AN ILLUSTRATION from a children's book. An Ottoman print. A 19th-century artist's depiction of "Dante's Inferno." These are among the images Yale University Press has decided it's unsafe to reproduce in a scholarly work, lest they incite violence from Islamic extremists. The Press's John Donatich explained that the publisher doesn't shy away from controversy, but "when it came between that and blood on my hands, there was no question."

This is simply wrong.

The scholarly work in question is Jytte Klausen's "Cartoons that Shook the World," a book about the 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad whose 2005 appearance in a Danish paper ignited a worldwide controversy. Yale University Press is publishing it in the fall -- or some of it. Not just the picture of the newspaper's controversial page of cartoons but all of the book's illustrations, which include a historical range of artistic depictions of the prophet, will be omitted...This was after the book had passed Yale University Press's own vetting process, was examined by lawyers and read by multiple Islamic reviewers who agreed that the images should be included. Worse, the book's author could not even read the objections from the largely unidentified group of experts unless she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Yale's self-censorship establishes a dangerous precedent...

1 comment:

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