A prominent conservative activist and former presidential candidate agrees with the recent criticism, voiced by Yale alumni and professors, that Yale University Press is publishing a book about how cartoons of the prophet Muhammad caused outrage across the Muslim world -- without including the actual cartoons themselves.
Yale University Press cited fears of violence for its decision to remove caricatures of Islam's prophet from the soon-to-be-released book entitled The Cartoons That Shook the World, by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen. The cartoons, originally published in a Danish newspaper in 2005, triggered massive, violent protests from Morocco to Indonesia. (See earlier report fromAssociated Press)
University Press officials say experts warned that printing those cartoons would likely lead to violence and possibly deaths. But critics, including prominent alumni and professors, say Yale is surrendering to terrorists and extremists.
Gary Bauer, chairman of American Values, concurs. "It was deeply disappointing to see that the Yale Press was not willing to show the reader -- in a book about them -- what the cartoons were that stirred up so much controversy," he shares.
"This is simply further proof that Islamic extremism is often very successful in intimidating people and silencing a free press and free speech," Bauer adds.
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, a prominent Yale University alumnus, is accusing Yale of "intellectual cowardice" and suppression of academic expression for censoring the cartoons.
Bolton was among 25 alumni who signed a protest letter to Yale Alumni Magazine that urged the university to restore the cartoons to the book. He says Yale is using "extraordinarily poor logic" because the violence was not a spontaneous outpouring of emotion from Muslims who were genuinely offended by the cartoons. (Listen to audio report)
"The violence, by definition, is illegitimate," he states. "So if you can engage in terrorist activity, threatening activity, and get a university press of all things to back down, I think that's just the beginning of the potential impact that intimidation can have across our entire body politic."
The ambassador says if Yale was so intimidated, it should not have printed the book at all. The book is due out next week.
Bauer believes the last thing Yale University Press should be doing is giving into fear and intimidation of violence from extremists. In a OneNewsNow poll conducted earlier this week, almost half of the respondents agreed with Bauer's assessment, saying the decision is "further proof Islam is a violent religion."