Obviously, the Yale Press fears a backlash and probably having a fatwa issued against their executives.
But is that any reason to cave on a free speech issue?
Patricia Cohen of the New York Times:
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.
The book's author, Jytte Klausen, a Danish-born professor of politics at Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass., reluctantly accepted Yale University Press's decision not to publish the cartoons. But she was disturbed by the withdrawal of the other representations of Muhammad. All of those images are widely available, Ms. Klausen said by telephone, adding that "Muslim friends, leaders and activists thought that the incident was misunderstood, so the cartoons needed to be reprinted so we could have a discussion about it." The book is due out in November.
Yale Press doesn't want a discussion. The very fact that they were "controversial" shouldn't stop Yale Press. It's not like they haven't made a living publishing "controversial" books about America, or western civilization over the years.
Specifically, they regard the cartoons as controversial because the people who would get upset at their publication are known to saw off people's heads when they are displeased.
Oh well...no First Amendment awards to Yale Press this year.