Behold the guardian of Yale Dhimmi-versity Press: John Donatich, dressed for a hard day's work in the Ivory Tower snipping out what he calls "gratuitous" images of Mohammed through the centuries. Mohammed by Old Masters and Mohammed by sketch artists; Mohammed in a 19th-century woodcut by Dore and Mohammed in a 21st-century caricature by Westergaard. I refer, of course, to Yale University Press's decision to delete all imagery of Mohammed in a book about imagery of Mohammed, which, as Roger Kimball reports today in a fine bit of detective work, appears to have emanated from Yale University's highest offices. The book's title is The Cartoons That Shook the World. Sans pics, the book also should be re-titled: [Expletives Deleted] That Shook the World. Or just: ...That Shook the World. It makes as much sense.
Not that "sense" is the goal. Yale's motto, Lux et Veritas has been obliterated in this shameful effort to pursue not light and truth, but Islamic approval. And Yale University Press will get that approval because it has proven that it operates under Islamic law (sharia), which prohibits both images of Mohammed, and criticism of Mohammed. And woe to anyone who draws or publishes a critical image of Mohammed.
Of course, there is irony in the fact that the book itself is unlikely to be a resounding smack-down of Islamic dictates on speech and artistic expression in the Western world. As Thomas Landen of Brussels Journal points out in an excellent piece here, the book's author, Jytte Klausen, a leftist Danish-born professor at Brandeis, was one of the "experts" cited in Newsweek's cover-story last month downplaying and dimissing the Islamization of Europe, along with anyone fighting it. Landen writes:
Mr. Underhill, writing from his ivory tower at Newsweek, cites Jytte Klausen, “an authority on Islam in Europe at Boston’s Brandeis University,” and Grace Davie, “an expert on Europe and Islam at the University of Exeter in Britain,” to prove that those who warn for a Muslim take-over in Europe are “scaremongering.”
Ms. Klausen gained some notoriety when, in a March 2006 article in Prospect Magazine, she said the Danish cartoon affair was the result of “a provincial newspaper’s prank.”
The rationale for publishing the cartoons was anything but a "prank." It was a serious exercise to prove that Denmark is not under Islamic sharia prohibitions against depicting images of Mohammed. The exercise was undertaken by Jyllands-Posten features editor Fleming Rose on discovering that a Danish publisher of a children's book on Mohammed was unable to procure illustrations for his childlishly positive little book because Danish illustrators were afraid to draw Big Mo. J-P's response was a laudable effort unequaled by media anywhere in the West, to assert that Western law, not Islamic law, operates in Denmark. The craven reaction throughout the West, tragically, shows the fragility of Westerners' attachment to their own freedoms.
Landen goes on:
As a result of this “prank,” Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist of the newspaper Jyllands Posten, based in the European provincial backwater of Aarhus, Denmark, lives in a house which, as I could witness when I visited him there last month, the Danish authorities have had to transform into a fortress, with surveillance cameras, bullet-proof windows and a panic room. Every day, the Aarhus police drives Mr. Westergaard to work. Such is the situation facing a simple cartoonist of a European provincial newspaper and his wife, four years after he drew a cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. One wonders why Mr. Underhill did not consult Mr. and Mrs. Westergaard for their views on the effects of Islam in early 21st century Europe. Surely, he is as much an expert on the issue as Ms. Klausen in her cosy office at Brandeis University, another of America’s ivory towers.
Last night, I picked up a 1967 book called The Battle of Silence by Vercors, the alias of J. Bruller. It is the wartime memoir by the publisher of a secret anti-Nazi press run in the midst of Nazi-occupied Paris. The first sentence is unforgettable:
When the Nazis occupied France after the defeat of 1940, French writers had two alternatives: collaboration or silence.
The parrallels are distinct if incomplete. The Nazis imposed the censorship by force; The Muslims are imposing censorship by threat of force backed up by occasional bloodlettings. Yale has many, many alternatives -- publish the pictures, for Chrissake -- but it has seized on the two natural reactions of the already-enslaved: collaboration and silence.