You know, sometimes I wish I were a comic book writer rather than an opinion writer. My first comic book would be "Muhammed Joins the Avengers" and would feature 500 full-color pages of the prophet fighting crime. That's because I, like Alan Moore, take my comics seriously. Yale University, however, does not.
In a sad display of backbone-lacking, Yale University Press has removed the Danish cartoons of Muhammed from a book. What is the book about, you may ask? Its about how the cartoons outraged the Muslim world. Many Muslims feel that depictions of Muhammed promote idolatry.
In the past I always saw Yale as the source of intelligent conservatism, but now I wonder. When did Yale, of all places, give in to fear and forsake the First Amendment? It gets worse, though: Fareed Zakaria, CNN host, Newsweek editor and member of Yale's governing board said he told Yale that he believed publishing the images would have provoked violence. I am so disappointed that Zaki is such a pansy.
Fear should not have been a factor in this decision. When fear dictates whether you print something, you are telling the world that the First Amendment is not worth fighting for. Tell that to all the soldiers that have died for this country.
Yale's decision should not have taken into account respect for religion and minorities only. And with that in mind, I think that anyone who would oppose the printing of these comics is ignorant at best. They are not being printed in children's' textbooks; They are being printed in a book you do not have to read. If you don't like them, don't read the book. You have the right to respect your own beliefs, but you must also respect the beliefs of others. My belief is in free speech and free press. And it's not just a belief, it's a law.
The only reason these ridiculous demands are being met is out of fear. When religion comes face to face with freedom, freedom must always prove the victor. Freedom, after all, is what has enabled Americans to possess different beliefs all this time. Maybe you don't always get what you want - that shiny new set of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, that quaint little prayer for the pledge of allegiance - but through compromise we can achieve a peaceful multicultural society.
Jesus, Muhammed and Thor vs. the Juggernaut, that would be an awesome debut comic!