While everyone (well, not quite everyone) has been scurrying around worrying about not-so-gradual government take over of health care and other large swathes of the economy, the sinister pas-de-deux of Islamism, on the hand, and Western capitulation, on the other, proceeds under the radar in its slow but seemingly inexorable dance.
The latest news from this front comes to us from the ivy-covered eyrie of Yale University. The venerable Yale University Press had contracted to publish a book called “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” i.e., the cartoons of Mohammed published in September 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
I’d like to second the desideratum expressed by the British journalist Charles Moore at the time: “I wish,” Moore wrote in the Telegraph, “someone would mention the word that dominates Western culture in the face of militant Islam — fear. And then I wish someone would face it down.”
Is Yale stepping up to the plate? “Good idea!” you say. “About time someone had the courage to investigate that episode of insanity. I mean, really: you publish a handful of satirical cartoons and then adherents of the ostentatiously misnamed ‘religion of peace’ go postal, start burning down Danish embassies across the globe, issuing death threats to the cartoonists, etc.”
Dream on. This is contemporary academia, after all. No, after consulting “two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism,” that great bastion of intellectual light, the Yale University Press, decided to publish a book about the Danish cartoons without the Danish cartoons.
As the web site Hot Air put it, this is “the scholarship equivalent of Yale donning a burqa to suppress the temptations its immodesty might otherwise inspire.” What’s more, the “authorities” they consulted (I wish they’d asked me) advised them to refrain from including any representations of Mohammed, in particular Gustave Doré’s illustration of an episode from Dante’s Inferno that describes Muhammad being tormented in Hell.