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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cancel The American Revolution

Well, at least at Yale.

This is actually old news, but now Eugene Volokh has commented on a Christopher Hitchens post at Slate on Yale's being unwilling to include the key illustrations in a book on the "Danish Mohammad Cartoon" controversy.

As you recall, there were a series of cartoons about the Prophet Mohammad published in a Danish newspaper.  That was followed by outrage on the part of some that this exercise of free speech would be allowed in that it offended them.  This was followed by calls for boycotts of Danish products and a series of riots across the Muslim world in which people, mostly rioting protesters, died.  Several Danish Embassies were torched.

With the new book from Yale Press we have surrender in anticipation of a problem.  Mr Hitchens states:
The Aug. 13 New York Times carried a report of the university press' surrender, which quoted its director, John Donatich, as saying that in general he has "never blinked" in the face of controversy, but "when it came between that and blood on my hands, there was no question." ...
Law Professor Eugene Volokh concludes:
Is that the message that our leading academic institutions should be sending?  Not just that it's so easy to force Americans into silence, but that the threat of criminal violence is enough to make us morally obligated to be silent?
Regards  —  Cliff

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