Yale press refused to re-publish Danish Muhammad cartoons

The author of a new book about the 2005 uproar over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad says she's upset Yale University Press won't reprint the caricatures

The author of a new book about the 2005 uproar over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad says she's upset that Yale University Press won't reprint the caricatures.

"Sadness, not anger, characterizes my feelings," Jytte Klausen, a professor of politics at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. told the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Klausen, who interviewed politicians in the Middle East, European Muslim leaders and the editors and cartoonists behind the illustrations, says she "argued every step of the way" to include the images in her book, The Cartoons That Shook the World.

The 12 cartoons published in a local Danish newspaper in September 2005 incited deadly protests by Muslims around the world and death threats against Danes.

Klausen says her book, due out this November in the U.S., examines how the images were used by politicians in Denmark and the Middle East as well as extremist clerics seeking to "destabilize governments in Pakistan, Lebanon, Libya and Nigeria."

She says the violent protests were not a result of a cultural misunderstanding but rather of political rabble rousing.

'Serious risk of instigating violence'

Yale University Press said that while it was "deeply committed to free expression," it decided not to include any images of the Prophet after consulting with Islamic, diplomatic and counterterrorism experts.

"All confirmed that the republication of the cartoons by the Yale University Press ran a serious risk of instigating violence, and nearly all advised that publishing other illustrations of the Prophet Muhammad in the context of this book about the Danish cartoon controversy raised similar risk," said a statement released by the university.

It's not just the dozen Danish cartoons that are being omitted from the book: no illustrations of Muhammad will appear.

Cary Nelson, head of the American Association of University Professors, lambasted the decision, and sent out an open letter to the association's members.

"They are not responding to protests against the book; they and a number of their consultants are anticipating them and making or recommending concessions beforehand … What is to stop publishers from suppressing an author's words if it appears they may offend religious fundamentalists or groups threatening violence?" wrote Nelson.