Cartoons published in an obscure newspaper in Denmark shook the world. And burnt the world. Why? Because the cartoons were about Islam and its founder. People who value the freedom to express views were aghast, and newspapers (a few brave ones) republished the cartoons in order to stress their freedom and in support of the Danes.
Almost four years have gone by since then. Naturally one would expect academics to crank out books on this issue; academic books that nobody will read, which is the case with most "university press" publications.
Well, not so fast! The NY Times reports that Yale University Press has banned those cartoons from a forthcoming book:
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.Lest you think that the Danish cartoon controversy was an exception that has not been repeated since, think again.