Times: Critic Says Yale Press Decision to Ban Muhammad Cartoons is Idiotic, Cowardly, Silly and Unnecessary

We've had some strange experiences in the last few weeks with an academic publisher of religion books.

In that vein, according to the Times, Yale will publish a book by Jytte Klausen without its key illustrations,
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.
A professor cited by the Times was highly critical of the decision.
Reza Aslan, a religion scholar [said the] book is “a definitive account of the entire controversy,” he said, “but to not include the actual cartoons is to me, frankly, idiotic.”

In Mr. Aslan’s view no danger remains. “The controversy has died out now, anyone who wants to see them can see them,” he said of the cartoons, noting that he has written and lectured extensively about the incident and shown the cartoons without any negative reaction. He added that none of the violence occurred in the United States: “There were people who were annoyed, and what kind of publishing house doesn’t publish something that annoys some people?”

“This is an academic book for an academic audience by an academic press,” he continued. “There is no chance of this book having a global audience, let alone causing a global outcry.” He added, “It’s not just academic cowardice, it is just silly and unnecessary.”
It seems to us that the religion book publishers need to get into the real world and take a good look around at how people do business. They are way out of touch.

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