Posted Aug 13, 2009 08:47 pm CDT
A decision by the Yale University Press to eliminate all images of the prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book, for fear of inciting violent protests by Muslims, is causing concern among academics.
The book by Jytte Klausen, The Cartoons That Shook the World, discusses 12 Danish caricatures of the prophet that sparked international rioting when they were publicized in 2005 and 2006 by newspapers throughout Europe, reports the New York Times. The images that will not be published in the book, based on confidential recommendations to the university by a panel of experts, also include historical representations of Muhammad that are widely available and not generally considered controversial.
Although a number of Muslims say the Koran prohibits such images of Muhammad, the prophet historically has been depicted in Islamic and Western art without inciting any significant controversy, reports the Times. The newspaper opted not to publish any of the 12 controversial Danish caricatures when they hit the news several years ago.