A noted US publishing company has decided not to include the Mohammed cartoons in a Danish author's new book about their effects
Danish author and university professor Jytte Klausen is fuming over Yale University Press's decision not to reprint the infamous Mohammed cartoon drawings as part of her new book, 'The Cartoons That Shook the World'.
Klausen's book, due out in November from the publisher, examines the influence of the drawings on Danish politics, how politicians used those images to serve their own goals, and how clerics used them to stir up anti-Western sentiment and even destabilise governments in Pakistan, Lebanon, Libya and Nigeria.When the drawings were first published in Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2006, rioting in several Muslim countries followed, including attacks on Danish embassies and threats against Danes in general from extremists.
But a statement from Yale University Press indicated that while it was 'deeply committed' to free speech, it had consulted with numerous experts prior to reaching its decision.
The company's director, John Donatich, said the decision was 'overwhelming and unanimous'.
'All (of the experts) confirmed that republication of the cartoons by Yale University Press ran a serious risk of instigating violence,' according to the statement.
But the publisher is not only excluding the 12 original drawings from Jyllands-Posten in the book, it is also refusing to print any of the illustrations Klausen had intended to have accompanying her text.
Klausen, who teaches at Brandeis University in the US state of Massachusetts, said she fought to have the illustrations included in her book.
'People think they know the cartoons and actually, by printing them, I'm arguing that some of them are Islamophobic. But if we can't look at them, how can we discuss this?'
According to the New York Times, Yale University Press went even further than simply refusing to print the drawings. The publisher also required Klausen to sign a confidentiality agreement if she wanted to read the consultants' recommendations used to support the publisher's decision.
Klausen said she perceived the request as 'a gagging order'. She pointed out that despite the publisher's decision, the drawings could be found on the internet and in many other places.
Both the International Free Press Society and the American Association of University Professors blasted Yale University Press's refusal to reprint the Mohammed drawings. In addition, the New York Times found that Donatich's claim that the decision of the experts consulted was 'unanimous' was actually untrue, and that at least one of them advised against the censorship.
Klausen said she asked the publisher to include a statement from her in the book detailing her stance on the issue.
'I never intended the book to become another demonstration for or against the cartoons,' she said. 'I hope the book can still serve its intended purpose without the illustrations.'