In its August 13 report on the decision by Yale University Press to censor Jytte Klausen’s book The Cartoons that Shook the World by insisting that she publish the book without the Danish cartoons or other images of Mohammed, The New York Times informed its readers that
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, . . .It turns out, though, that the recommendation was not “unanimous.” As The Guardian reported yesterday,
Sheila Blair, professor of Islamic and Asian art at Norma Jean Calderwood University and one of the authorities consulted by Yale about publication, said she had “strongly urged” the press to publish the images. “To deny that such images were made is to distort the historical record and to bow to the biased view of some modern zealots who would deny that others at other times and places perceived and illustrated Muhammad in different ways,” she wrote in a letter to the New York Times which is yet to be published.As it happens, I have a copy of Professor Blair’s letter to the Times. I asked her whether I could make it public; she said no. Read more ...
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