Yale University: Censorship of Mohammed Cartoons at Yale University Press
Yale University censored images of Mohammed in author Jytte Klausen's book, The Cartoons That Shook the World, which discusses the controversy and violence that resulted from the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in 2005. The book, published by the Yale University Press in fall 2009, was to contain images of the cartoons and other images of Mohammed. However, Yale University intervened in the editorial process of its Press, submitted the cartoons out of context to a group of anonymous consultants and, relying on their opinions, decided to remove the cartoons from the book. Despite much criticism of the university's decision to override academic freedom and avoid controversy, Klausen's book was published without any of the images.
- "FIRE Second Letter to Yale University President Richard C. Levin," January 19, 2010
- "Letter from Yale University President Richard C. Levin to FIRE, January 14, 2010," January 14, 2010
- "FIRE's Exclusive Interview with Flemming Rose, Editor Behind Censored Mohammed Cartoons," September 30, 2009
- "Letter to Yale University Opposing Removal of Mohammed Images from Book," September 14, 2009
- "Is Nothing Sacred? Comedy Central Joins Many Universities in Caving to Threats of Violence for Depictions of Mohammed," by Erica Goldberg, April 23, 2010
- "This Month in FIRE History: FIRE Releases Statement on Mohammed Cartoons," by Claire Jenkins, March 1, 2010
- "Yale President Defends Censorship of Mohammed Cartoons, But Acknowledges Free Speech Commitment in T-shirt Controversy," by Adam Kissel, January 15, 2010: In a letter to FIRE, Yale University President Richard C. Levin maintained Yale's position defending the censorship of images of Mohammed in a book about those images, citing a "risk to life and safety." However, President Levin also acknowledged Yale's commitment to the strong protection of free speech in its classic Woodward Report, stating that "it is not the role of the Dean or any other University official to suppress the speech of any student or student organization" and expressing "regret" for Dean Mary Miller's role in the withdrawal of the Freshman Class Council's T-shirt design calling Harvard students "sissies."
- "In Interview With 'Index on Censorship,' Jytte Klausen Discusses Censorship of Mohammed Cartoons," by Peter Bonilla, December 22, 2009
- "Greg in 'The Huffington Post' on Yale and the Muhammad Cartoons ," by Claire Jenkins, November 10, 2009
- "Duke Professor Finishes Yale's Job, Prints Mohammed Images in New Book; FIRE Co-signs Statement of Principle ," by Adam Kissel, November 9, 2009: Duke University Professor Gary Hull has just published Muhammad: The "Banned" Images, which dares to publish images that Yale University and Yale University Press censored from Jytte Klausen's The Cartoons that Shook the World earlier this year. Hull calls the book "a statement of defiance against censors, terror-mongers, and their Western appeasers." FIRE joined with the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Association of University Professors, and nine other signatories on a Statement of Principle stating that "The failure to stand up for free expression emboldens those who would attack and undermine it."
- "Yale Law Professor Misses the Point on Censorship of Political Cartoons," by Azhar Majeed, October 16, 2009
- "Jytte Klausen, Author of 'The Cartoons That Shook the World,' Speaks at Yale and Confronts One of Her Censors," by Azhar Majeed, October 2, 2009
- "FIRE's Will Creeley in 'Providence Journal'," by Azhar Majeed, September 23, 2009: Today's edition of the Providence (R.I.) Journal contains an op-ed by FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley criticizing Yale University over the most recent Mohammed cartoon controversy. The Yale University Press decided to remove cartoons depicting Mohammed from author Jytte Klausen's forthcoming book, The Cartoons That Shook the World. As Will discusses, the university has succumbed to cowardice and fear in its handling of the matter, at the expense of academic freedom and free speech. In doing so, it has set a dangerous precedent in the world of academic discourse, making Will's public criticism truly vital.
- "In 'Pajamas Media,' FIRE's VP Slams Yale Press Censorship of Mohammed Cartoons," by Peter Bonilla, August 14, 2009: In an article posted today on Pajamas Media, FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley sharply criticizes Yale University Press's decision not to publish controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in the upcoming book The Cartoons That Shook the World, which deals directly with the controversy caused by their initial publication by a Danish publication in 2005. The press' decision continues the unfortunate trend in the academy of suppressing efforts to display and openly discuss the cartoons and, as Robert says, "has allowed the rage of the least rational and most violent to overwhelm the very real need for historical analysis of important events." Read Robert's whole article here.
- "Standing Up to Threats ,"
by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, December 1, 2009
- "Duke beats Yale: Censored images of Muhammad finally printed in new book,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Huffington Post, November 9, 2009
- "William Creeley: Yale’s cowardice erodes free speech,"
by William Creeley, The Providence Journal, September 23, 2009
- "Academic and free-speech groups join criticism of Yale U. Press over cartoons in book,"
by Jennifer Howard, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2009