James Forsyth

Cartoon cowardice

Cartoon cowardice
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Yale University Press is publishing a book on the Muhammad Cartoons but — and against the author’s wishes - the book won’t include the cartoons themselves. This seems a wrong-headed decision. How are future scholars meant to judge what the whole episode was about if they can’t see the images at the heart of it? It is also worrying that Yale University Press’s reason for not including the cartoons is because it fears that they would spark violence. As Wendy Kaminer writes in The Atlantic:

'This policy of appeasement may serve to encourage threats of violence against other authors or publishers of  allegedly blasphemous or presumptively hateful books.  Its chilling effect seems obvious.’

The Muhammad Cartoons are not something that I would have published; they were of little editorial merit. But it seems absurd to publish a book on them without including them.

 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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