Note: Since Islam forbids depiction of the Prophet Muhammed, I have used a photograph of a pomegranate. Any inference that the Prophet Muhammed resembles a pomegranate is strictly coincidental.
Who needs Muslim terrorists to intimidate us when we intimidate ourselves? Yale University will publish a book on the deadly 2005 protests that erupted across the Muslim world after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed (which is forbidden in Islam).
It will be forbidden to you, too. You can’t see the cartoons in Jytte Klausen’s The Cartoons That Shook the World because Yale University Press has decided to remove them. They removed them because they were scared. Yale University Press stated:
The publishing of the book raised the obvious question of whether there remains a serious threat of violence if the cartoons were reprinted in the context of a book about the controversy….The decision rested solely on the experts’ assessments that there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims.
So what’s next? We don’t publish books on Israel because some Muslims find the existence of a Jewish state offensive? Or we suppress books on Muslim honor killings of women because they cast Islam in a bad light? Dare any atheist author, before he is consigned to the fires of eternal damnation, question whether Muhammed or Allah exist?
I am a Jew. Judaism also forbids depiction of God. Yet feel free to depict God as an orange or a bagel. It won’t bother me, and I don’t think it will bother God or the bagel. What are these fanatics so afraid of that they must suppress ideas that conflict with their own? Do their own beliefs offer so little that they must suppress others?
The worst censorship is self-censorship.This is the what extremists want, whether it is the government in Orwell’s 1984, or North Korea, or religious fundamentalists. They want us to censor ourselves, to be so fearful that we don’t even explore our own thoughts. I don’t know whether I would have read Klausen’s book. But I won’t let some fanatic makes that decision for me. Neither should Yale.