NEW YORK (JTA) – Yale University censored a book featuring a controversial illustration of Muhammad.
The Ivy League school removed a controversial image of the Islamic prophet from a forthcoming scholarly work by Professor Jytte Klausen titled "The Cartoons That Shook the World."
The illustration appeared originally in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and led to widespread demonstrations across the Islamic world for the alleged defamation of Muhammad.
The American Jewish Committee on Tuesday protested Yale’s decision in a letter addressed to John Donatich, director of the Yale University Press, saying the decision curbed academic freedom.
"If given the opportunity to make the decision, we probably would not have recommended that the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten print the original 12 cartoons," the AJC wrote. "Your decision to censor those images and any other images of the Prophet, however, reflects a new and dangerous standard. No matter how offensive any publication may be, intimidation must never be viewed as an acceptable means of responding to published ideas."
The letter added, "Should academic works be held up to a test of perceived intimidation, under which scholars would be prevented from publishing their work if a violent group may respond irrationally to it? In our view, your decision may simply have the effect of encouraging those who seek to stifle ideas by force."