"Cowardice and Surrender." That's Roger Kimball's apt suggestion for a new motto at Yale University Press. The publisher certainly shouldn't be permitted to travel under Yale's pretension to "Lux et Veritas." As the New York Times sympathetically reported yesterday, YUP has just released a book about the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed — the images that stirred (or, rather, were used as an excuse by by) Islamist elements to commit global mayhem. There's just one thing missing from the book: the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Too provocative, you see, to include the pictures in a book about the pictures. The author, Brandeis's Prof. Jyett Klausen, is said to have "reluctantly accepted" the decision — evidently, being published by Yale is more important than what is published by Yale.
Roger reproduces the widely available cartoons on his Pajamas blog (Roger's Rules), along with another depitction YUP found too insensitive to include in the book: a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Doré of an episode from Dante's Inferno in which Mohammed is tormented in hell (an episode that, the Times notes, has also been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dalí). As Roger adds, Yale's
capitulation takes its disgraceful place in an increasingly long line of Western capitulations to Islamic intolerance. Earlier this year, the British governmentdecided to deny Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician and critic of radical Islam, entry in the the UK. Why? Because his film Fitna, which is critical of Muslim extremism, might upset the Muslim population of Britain. Perhaps the single best question about this shameful episode was posed by the British comic Pat Condell, "How much more of your freedom needs to be whittled away to defend this intolerant, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic ideology from the robust and frank and open criticism that it so richly deserves?"
. . . Aristotle was right when he observed that courage is the most important of the virtues because without courage we cannot practice the other virtues. This is a lesson [YUP director John] Donatich has yet to learn.