Friday, August 14, 2009

Do You Believe in Freedom of Speech? YUP, umm, I Mean Nope.

Via Andy McCarthy, the New York Times reports that Yale University Press (YUP) is banning the publication of images of Muhammad, at least that's what they're doing with a new book that is coming out about the infamous Danish cartoons. Here's what they write:
So 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.
So it's not just the cartoons, but other works of art as well, including:

Again, you don't have to agree with what Jyllands-Posten did, but they had every right to do it.

There is nothing respectful in what Yale University Press has done. This is a blow against free speech, and we should all be quite saddened. If YUP is scared of what reprisals might be in store if they printed the cartoons, well, that's quite understandable, but at least have the courage to come out and say that you have been intimidated into abandoning free speech.

(By the way, Mrs. CG&A spent years studying Dante, and included a reading of his work in our wedding service, hence the obligatory inclusion of a recreation of a scene from La Commedia.)

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