Yale criticized for nixing Prophet's cartoons in book
Yale university took action in time and removed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, and avoided the big controversy. But another group of free speechers is criticizing the Yale for its restrained approach. Idolatry is prohibited in Islam and any depiction of Prophet would have started a chain reaction.
Yale University has removed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book about how they caused outrage across the Muslim world, drawing criticism from prominent alumni and a national group of university professors.
Yale cited fears of violence.
Yale University Press, which the university owns, removed the 12 caricatures from the book "The Cartoons That Shook the World" by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen. The book is scheduled to be released next week.
A Danish newspaper originally published the cartoons — including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban — in 2005. Other Western publications reprinted them.
The following year, the cartoons triggered massive protests from Morocco to Indonesia. Rioters torched Danish and other Western diplomatic missions. Some Muslim countries boycotted Danish products.
Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.
"I think it's horrifying that the campus of Nathan Hale has become the first place where America surrenders to this kind of fear because of what extremists might possibly do," said Michael Steinberg, an attorney and Yale graduate.
Steinberg was among 25 alumni who signed a protest letter sent Friday to Yale Alumni Magazine that urged the university to restore the drawings to the book. Other signers included John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum and Seth Corey, a liberal doctor.
"I think it's intellectual cowardice," Bolton said Thursday. "I think it's very self defeating on Yale's part. To me it's just inexplicable."
Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, wrote in a recent letter that Yale's decision effectively means: "We do not negotiate with terrorists. We just accede to their anticipated demands."