The Cowards of Yale University Press

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sven Sven's picture
The Cowards of Yale University Press

Quote:

Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book, [url=“The">http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/books/13book.html?_r=1&ref=global-home... Cartoons That Shook the World,”[/url] should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Doré of Muhammad being tormented in Hell, an episode from Dante’s “Inferno” that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dalí.

* * *

Reza Aslan, a religion scholar and the author of "No god but God: The Orgins, Evolution, and Future of Islam," is a fan of the book but decided to withdraw his supportive blurb that was to appear in the book after Yale University Press dropped the pictures. The book is “a definitive account of the entire controversy,” he said, “but to not include the actual cartoons is to me, frankly, idiotic.”

Indeed.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Meh.  This is not needed on babble.

Sven Sven's picture

Well, if they are not being cowards at Yale, then they are being moronic.  It's like having a "definitive" art history book...without any art in it.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

josh

Rather disturbing.  They just shouldn't have published it if that was the tack they were going to take.

josh

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Meh.  This is not needed on babble.

Huh?

Star Spangled C...

They're doing it out of sheer fear not any sense of principle.

Sven Sven's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

They're doing it out of sheer fear not any sense of principle.

[url=Yale">http://www.slate.com/id/2225504/][u]Yale Surrenders[/url]

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

George Victor

As the university that could grant a degree to old goodtimes George W., what exactly did it have to lose by this latest act?Smile

martin dufresne

Why is it that important for you folks to see Muslims insulted yet again? Haven't you had your fill with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo fun and games? "A sense of principle" indeed...

 

Sven Sven's picture

martin dufresne wrote:

Why is it that important for you folks to see Muslims insulted yet again? Haven't you had your fill with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo fun and games? "A sense of principle" indeed...

Are you saying that the book, itself, should not be published?

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

martin dufresne

Of course not. I am merely referring to the cartoons. A valid publication would offer space to offended Muslims and would avoid reiterating their outrage. Depending on whether the editors are interested in a balanced, respectful perspective.

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

martin dufresne wrote:

Of course not. I am merely referring to the cartoons.

"Merely" the cartoons?  Like I said before, publishing a "definitive" book about the cartoons -- but without actually including any of the cartoons -- is like publishing a book about art history but not including any depictions of art in the book.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Star Spangled C...

Because if you're talking about cartoons that became highly controversial all over the world, ignited riots and caused numerous deaths maybe you'd actually want to show readers what the fuss is about...

It would be like doing a book on the painting of the Sistine Chapel or the Mona Lisa and not actually showing them. It's completely absurd.

And reprinting them is not eendorsing the content. When dicussing current events or historical events, offensive and hurtful images are reprinted all of the time. I mean, if you were doing a book about Nazi propaganda in the lead up to the Holocaust, you'd see some very crude stereotypical caricatures of Jews from Nazi publications. That doesn't mean the historian is endorsing such ideas. But that would never be an issue. You know damn well the reason they're not publishing these images has nothing to do with sensitivity and everything to do with fear and cowardice because of the implicit threat against them. Sharia law has triumphed in New Haven, Connecticut.

Star Spangled C...

Sven wrote:

"Merely" the cartoons?  Like I said before, publishing a "definitive" book about the cartoons -- but without actually including any of the cartoons -- is like publishing a book about art history but not including any depictions of art in the book.

We cross-posted, it seems but yeah, my point exactly. Its patently absurd.

Ze

martin dufresne wrote:
A valid publication would offer space to offended Muslims and would avoid reiterating their outrage. Depending on whether the editors are interested in a balanced, respectful perspective.

Martin's point seems sensible enough, if we're interested in advancing open debate an understanding rather than getting outraged in racist ways, which seems to be the main concern of the Hitchens link posted above. 

--

"One law for the lion and the ox is oppression" - Blake

martin dufresne

As absurd as discussing a form of abuse without reenacting it.

An interesting simile is Andrea Dworkin's "Pornography: Men Possessing Women". When the book came out, 25 years ago, critics whined that she had not shown people the pictures or quoted the texts she was discussing. Instead, she painstakinly described each of them, breaking through the fascination.

 

Sven Sven's picture

martin dufresne wrote:

Of course not. I am merely referring to the cartoons. A valid publication would offer space to offended Muslims and would avoid reiterating their outrage. Depending on whether the editors are interested in a balanced, respectful perspective.

Yep, that's what we need: All publications (paper and electronic) should not only publish "both sides".

[IMG]http://i34.tinypic.com/11raq06.gif[/IMG]

Here's a suggestion: The critics of the cartoons are free to publish their own book. 

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Ze

And they would, of course, be given equal access and promotion by Yale University Press. Speaking of 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I know that academics, kinda like insects, glory in specialization. On one level I suspect that is the cause of what I am taking as the extremely narrow focus of the book in question (hard to form a clear judgment, the material I have been able to find on the book in question seems to be polarized and from sources I either don't recognize or find somewhat dubious). But I am going to grant the benefit of the doubt for a moment in order to press on with a point I would like to see raised in this discussion.

I think the book might have been of greater value had the focus been on religious-motivated reaction to uses of "forbidden" religious imagery across major religions, rather than singling out this specific image, and rather than confining itself to Islam. I don't have access to the book itself, but from the descriptions I have seen, it doesn't appear to compare and contrast reactions to the cartoons in question to (for example) Islamic reactions to Rushdie's Satanic Verses, Greek Orthodox reactions to Kazantzakis' books (and the Hollywood adaptations), Roman Catholic reaction to the Madonna sculpted in elephant dung that was exhibited a few years ago, to Anglican and Evangelical reactions to allusions of Christ being gay in various publications going back a little further...

If the author is given the benefit of the doubt as to her motivations in authoring the book... that her academic tunnel vision is just that, tunnel vision on a topic and not an indication of some underlying anti-Islamic agenda -- I would fall on the side of saying that Yale University Press is pretty clearly on the wrong side of this issue. It is not the role of a publisher to censor discussion of items that might be considered "blasphemous". Free inquiry always runs the risk of being judged blasphemous by one sect or another. But it is not the role of any secular institution to enforce the dictates regarding blasphemy issued by any sect.

For those who are most concerned about the ongoing campaign against Islam in the west, I would suggest a better tactic (and a more honest one) would be to put on the spot those who are defending the right of anyone to indulge in "blasphemy" against Islam to demonstrate they are just as concerned about the right of those who blaspheme to do so against the dominant religious belief where they are (in most instances Christianity). Expose the hypocrisy of those who only defend freedom of expression when it is in conflict with Islam... and let those whose commitment to freedom of expression is more sincere write, debate and publish without impediment.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Why is it that important for you folks to see Muslims insulted yet again?

 

If I recall correctly, the original cartoons were published in Denmark with relatively little notice, until a couple of Danish imams decided that more outrage and perhaps some bloodshed was needed, and brought the cartoons to the Middle East to foment some unrest with them, and thence followed the riots and deaths, etc.

 

So it seems that if NOT insulting Muslims was the goal, that might have been better accomplished by letting them drift off into obscurity in a little Danish paper. I find it amusing that whenever any publication of the cartoons is discussed, someone is bound to assert that this publication is some kind of Western attempt to wind up tensions in the Middle East, or to "rub Muslims' noses in it" somehow, and yet who really rubbed their noses in it? Who made sure that there would be riots and deaths over them? Who did their best to ensure that any Muslims who hadn't yet been insulted (and probably never would have been) were sure to be insulted?

Sven Sven's picture

Ze wrote:

And they would, of course, be given equal access and promotion by Yale University Press. Speaking of 

If billions (or even just millions) of Muslims were truly offended by the cartoons, raising the money to publish a book would be inconsequentially easy.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Tommy_Paine

I agree with the Yale decision, though not for the reasons alluded to in the Slate article.

The book is entitled, "Cartoons that Shook the World".  I'm not sure, in the history of cartooning,  whether those particular cartoons "shook the world".  In fact, I don't think I'd have included any cartoons more recent than twenty or thirty years old.  Cartoons made in the last twenty or thrity years have not stood the test of time, there's not  enough context to put them in their proper perspective.

I'm not a student of Inferno, but it seems to me what made the text so memorable was that it attacked Christian leaders-- this is the first reference I've ever heard of Mohammed in the Inferno.   While Inferno and illustrations from it may have shook the "world" at the time, I'm willing to bet it wasn't because of the depiction of Mohammed.  So, again, I wonder at the real relevance.

Damn and Hell.  I guess this means I'm finally going to have to read a translation of Dante's Inferno.  I've been meaning to for years, anyway.

The cartoons themselves, the so called "Danish cartoons", some were funny and valid.  Others linked violence throughout history to Mohammed himself. 

What's offensive about that is having Danes lecture anyone on violence, and history.

 

 

 

 

George Victor

From the latest posting in a book attempting to deal with Muslim contradictions...next door in the book lounge.  It might be more informative than Dante in the subject area you are treading,  TP.

 

From the Hamilton Spec:

"Today, in a time when Islamic reforms are needed, we don't find any notable momentum across Muslim nations."

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Bullshit.

sanizadeh

martin dufresne wrote:

Of course not. I am merely referring to the cartoons. A valid publication would offer space to offended Muslims and would avoid reiterating their outrage. Depending on whether the editors are interested in a balanced, respectful perspective.

Muslims are perfectly able to defend themselves on this issue. No colonialist patronizing is needed:

Reza Aslan, a religion scholar and the author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam," is a fan of the book but decided to withdraw his supportive blurb that was to appear in the book after Yale University Press dropped the pictures. The book is "a definitive account of the entire controversy," he said, "but to not include the actual cartoons is to me, frankly, idiotic."

"It's not just academic cowardice, it is just silly and unnecessary."

martin dufresne

Interesting. A book purports to give an objective - well, academic at least - account of a confrontation, yet airing one side of the contest is treated as noble and worthy (if it pulls no punches) while the mere suggestion of airing the other is dismissed in advance as "colonialist patronizing"... It seems to me that true colonialism has long relied on such differential treatments.

 

George Victor

Dante might be more informative, Revolution Please? That's like saying Yale University had not sold its soul to the empire long ago. Or perhaps you could expand on your revolutionary and enlightening expletive of "bullshit" ?

 

Tommy_Paine

 

I think he missed your point, and took it too literal. 

Your Spectator quote made me chuckle.

Pot, Kettle.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sorry George, I guess I didn't get it.  Won't be the last time.

 

And I like to swear.  Kind of unread, hanging out with the people.

 

Seriously, sorry, but you are a hard read.

George Victor

Hey, did you see my mis-reading of someone here the other day?

It's the times we live in mate.I didn't have a lot of time prior to retirement, and I'm conscious of that even as I complain about the "Great Unread" (and, of course, I am referring to the Seriously Unread in that, the Nation of Sheep (Lederer).  And in my desperate regurgitation of the stuff I read, I don't (and can't)  background it. No handy links when you transfer information from one medium to another.  But it's all we've got, eh?