The official story is that fear of Muslim violence drove Yale University Press (YUP) to censor the Danish Muhammad Cartoons and other imagery of Muhammad from an upcoming book about, well, the Danish Muhammad Cartoons. That's what Yale, its administration and press, says publicly, matter-of-factly, and, it seems, without shame.
But it is a shameful thing. Yale's decision to censor pictures of Muhammad from an academic text about them is one of those watershed moments that history will record as institutional capitulation to Sharia (Islamic law) at one of the storied centers of Western learning, American branch. It also happens to be my alma mater.
Yale is hardly unique in academia in bending to Islamic law. Harvard, for instance, is a cheerleader for Sharia-compliant finance, operates a gym on Islamic rules separating the sexes, and permits a Harvard chaplain to condone the Islamic penalty of death for leaving Islam without sanction. Such deference to Islam is the embodiment of what historian Bat Ye'or calls "dhimmitude," the stunted cultural existence of non-Muslims living in thrall to Sharia. If Yale is not unique in this, censoring its press according to Islamic restrictions on Muhammad imagery makes Yale a leading contender for All-Ivy dhimmi.
But is fear of violence alone driving Yale's dhimmitude? I don't think so, and not just because the book in question, "The Cartoons that Shook the World" by Jytte Klausen, promises a pro-Muslim essence ("I am not Geert Wilders," Klausen recently told a Dutch newspaper). The university was muscularly involved in this Sharia-affirming publishing decision. For example, Yale Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer helped YUP break the censorship news to author Klausen. The university is also muscularly involved in pursuing Sharia-affirming donors. If Yale suddenly feared the contents of a book -- turned in three years ago and due out in three months -- I think the fear was not over violence that might break out, but over money that might dry up -- Islamic money. Or that such money might never come Yale's way.