NEWS: YUP Reignites the Row over the Danish Cartoons

Christopher_Hitchens_cropYale University Press has announced its decision to remove the 12 controversial Danish cartoons from a forthcoming book called The Cartoons that Shook the World. Written by Jytte Klausen, a Danish-born professor of politics at Brandeis University, the book deals with the orchestrated campaign of ‘protest’ following the publication of Prophet Mohammad cartoons in Jyllands-Posten in late 2005. In an article published in Slate magazine, Christopher Hitchens explains why he fears that the YUP decision may set a precedent for ‘a lot of artistic censorship in our future’. Hitchens believes by arguing that the republication of the cartoons could ‘instigate’ violence, YUP is adopting the ‘logic’ of those extremists ‘who argue that women who won’t wear the veil have “provoked” those who rape or disfigure them’. For Hitchens, the YUP decision not only violates the First Amendment to the American Constitution, but also runs the risk of ‘inverting the honest meaning of our language as well as what might hitherto have been thought of as our concept of moral responsibility’.

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