08 September 2009 by Published in: General musings 8 comments

From Associated Content:

A series of Islamic cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad have been declined for publication by Yale University Press. The Ivy League school initially planned to include them in a book about how the cartoons incited violence from Muslim fanatics against the original publishers of the cartoons, which included one in a Danish newspaper four years ago.

Yale intended for the book and the inclusion of the cartoons to stimulate intellectual debate on why Muslims would be outraged by the depictions of their prophet. In Sunni Islam, orthodox sharia forbids the portrayal of Muhammad or other human or animal figures, while Shi’ite Islam allows the depiction of humans. There are several Persian paintings that exist that in fact portray Muhammad, such as the “Muhammad Received by the Four Archangels” one painted in 1436. Of course, there is next to no criticism from most Muslims against these paintings, if they know of their existence. Islam believes the first commandment sets the precedence for their law, which forbids the making of images to be worshiped. There is nothing in the first commandment in Judeo-Christian law that forbids the making of images for decoration, such as paintings and other artwork.

Criticism of Yale’s withdrawal of these cartoons being published are out of fear, versus respect for Islam. It is entirely possible to write and publish a book without using the actual cartoons in the book, and merely describing them and the consequences of the publication from the Islamic community. Only Islamic extremists are opposed to these cartoons plus other images which represent Muhammad. Mainstream and lapsed Muslims do not give too much attention to such matters, especially is they are comfortable and secure with their faith in Islam.

Yale alumnus Michael Steinberg accuses Yale of intellectual dishonesty in making the decision to withdraw the cartoons from the book, claiming that all the motion does it appease Islamic extremists. While such a motion may be of more concern in a nation like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, the publication of the book is taking place here in the United States, written by American intellectuals, not by Muslims who might be perceived as having an ax to grind, as Salman Rushdie was when he wrote and published “The Satanic Verses.” The only one at fault is Yale University itself, for having consulted with the wrong people when the school’s publishing sector asked for aid and research on the subject. Asking counter-terrorism experts, diplomats, and the Muslim official at the U.N. are probably not the best sources in acquiring information about publishing the cartoons in question, especially when Yale knew the responses would be biased heavily in favor of Islam. Yale is located in a nation where the freedom of speech is highly valued, not self censorship out of fear for what terrorists might do when the book containing the cartoons is published. Yale University Press has the final say in what they want to publish in the book on Islamic terrorism and its reaction to images of Muhammad in the western world.

Spineless wimpiness in the name of political correctness is not a good trend, especially among publishers. Normally, I avoid contemporary politics in this blog, but I feel compelled to speak out about this example of political correctness run amok.

By removing these cartoons from a scholarly discussion, the operators of the Yale University Press have permitted political Islam, and all of its ugly implications, to dictate policy. The moment we allow political Islam to dictate how we do things in this country, we’re finished as a society. Yale never should have done this, and I encourage all publishers to reject this as a policy.

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  1. Tue 08th Sep 2009 at 11:46 am

    It is very important that American scholars of history or any other subject do not allow themselves to be censored, or do not self-censor for fear of offending any pressure group as Yale has in this case. Islam is a political ideology of conquest and control. Islam requires everyone to “submit” not just adherents; the word “Islam” means “submission”.

    It is tyranny to require non-Muslims to submit to Islam and it’s appalling legal system, Sharia. When non-Muslims submit to the will of Islam this is a victory for Islam against the unbeliever host culture. This is dhimmitude.

    We still have freedom of speech in this country as guaranteed to us by the Constitution. The adherents of Islam demand that we never criticize them, their prophet or their doctrine. Within Islam criticism of Islam is forbidden. However, we are not “within Islam”. This is not an Islamic country… yet.

    I applaud Mr. Wittenberg for his brave stand for intellectual freedom, and for upholding the finest ideals of Americanism and the core creed of the Historian – telling the truth. Yale has submitted to Islam by this act of self-censorship. As one of the “bastions of American education” Yale has completely failed in this case.

    The doctrine of Political Islam (Koran, Sira, Hadith) is entirely opposed to the existence of all non-believer cultures, countries, and religions. As we surrender bit by bit our freedoms to Islam and its adherents we move closer to Islamization and the loss of our country and freedoms. Bravo, Mr. Wittenberg.

    -DL Adams,
    via BlogAdmin

  2. Sam Hood
    Tue 08th Sep 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Bravo Eric! Yale is indeed spineless and gutless, but even worse they are “principleless.” But they aren’t alone. Sadly, being unpricipled and cowardly is the rule rather than the exception in 21st century academia.

  3. Tue 08th Sep 2009 at 2:37 pm


    I would add that it is the rule in Governments around the Western world today, rather than the exception. As someone who reads European papers nearly every day, and books on the subject, I see it routinely. It is going to destroy the West. It is killing us now. Suggest reading Mark Steyn’s America Alone. It is about this subject, demographics, and history. Be prepared to to get chills.

    Then, get busy.


  4. Wed 09th Sep 2009 at 9:22 am

    So let me get this straight, they are writing about about the drawings and not publishing the drawings? Kind of like putting on the play Romeo and Juliet without Juliet…. Makes no sense from any standpoint. Then don’t write the book.

  5. Rob Wick
    Wed 09th Sep 2009 at 10:00 am

    If I remember correctly, the cartoons were published either in the Atlantic or Harpers a while back and as far as I know no one was hurt by this. Seems like Yale took the cowards way out. Shameful!


  6. Wed 09th Sep 2009 at 10:43 am


    As 9/11 is quickly approaching I offer an article posted on our site last evening for your readers to review as it may help in placing 9/11 and subsequent events in a context that is understandable and, in my view, correct.

  7. Rick Allen
    Wed 09th Sep 2009 at 5:26 pm

    This cosmetic horse shit will bury us as a Culture …which believe it or not, we are……or were. …….Yale needs to seriously ‘sack up’ and end this politically correct nonsense…..it’s not only intellectually gutless, its emotionally infuriating.

    A house divided can apparently stand ….as long as we dont look into that one room?


    Feel-Good Yale madness from a guy with his face wrapped in a towel and a wife who is not allowed to think, is not the way to any kind of liberation, political or otherwise. Franky though, I’d expect it of them.

  8. Lee
    Wed 16th Sep 2009 at 10:23 am

    While I certainly agree that Yale should have let the cartoons be published, I can’t let DL Adams’ comments here go unanswered. They reflect highly prejudiced attitudes toward Islam. It is grossly unfair to paint a major world religion which has 1 billion adherents with the broad brush strokes Adams has. Adams says that “The adherents of Islam demand that we never criticize them, their prophet or their doctrine.” I wonder just how Adams manages to know what an entire group of 1 billion people thinks about anything.

    Islam is not a “political ideology of conquest and control.” It’s a religion, like Christianity and Judaism. It is true that this happens to be a time in history when radical ideologies within Islam–fundamentalism and “political Islam”–are very influential and destructive. It is also true that one can find passages in the Koran that support these attitudes. But there’s also much in the Bible that one could use to argue that Christianity and Judaism aren’t inherently religions of peace either. It should be remembered that for centuries, the Muslim world as a whole was arguably ahead of the Christian world in many areas of science and mathematics.

    It is certainly important not to let “political correctness” and fear stifle free expression. But it’s also important not to descend into attitudes as prejudiced as those of the fundamentalists and militants rightfully condemned for their own intolerance.

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