Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Want to shut down free speech? Just threaten some violence.

Posted by sanityinjection on September 9, 2009

Another sad milestone in the destruction of free speech at America’s top universities. The occasion this time is a new book by a Brandeis University professor, Jytte Klausen, about the now-infamous “Muhammad cartoons” which appeared in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and sparked riots by offended Muslims around the world.

Klausen’s book, The Cartoons That Shook the World,  is due to be published next week by Yale University Press, which unsurprisingly is owned by Yale University. However, Yale decided at the last minute to remove the actual cartoons themselves – the subject of the whole book – from the book. Yale’s explanation was that the sole reason for the removal of the cartoons was the fear that their publication would lead to more violence by offended Muslims. (Never mind that the same cartoons have been reprinted multiple times in various publications around the world without incident.)

Think about the precedent being set here. Intellectual content can be censored and all it takes is a reasonable expectation that some whack jobs might start a riot over it. Believe me, there are anarchists out there who would be only too happy to start a riot over any content you’d care to censor.

There is a big difference between reasonable and unreasonable restrictions on expression to prevent violence. A reasonable restriction, for example, is requiring neo-Nazi and anti-Nazi demonstrations to occur in different locations or at different times. Everybody still gets to have their say, just not right in each other’s faces.

Chief among those who pushed for the censorship was CNN/Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria, a member of Yale’s Board of Directors: “As a journalist and public commentator, I believe deeply in the First Amendment and academic freedom,” Zakaria said. “But in this instance Yale Press was confronted with a clear threat of violence and loss of life.” So now we have authors advocating the censorship of other authors. If I were to threaten to set fire to the CNN offices the next time Zakaria is interviewed, should CNN ban him from the airwaves?

Ironically, one of the main points that Klausen makes in her book is that the riots over the cartoons were not spontaneous expressions by ordinary Muslims but were deliberately orchestrated by groups already interested in provoking violence.

Score one for the terrorists thanks to the sniveling cowards at Yale.


One Response to “Want to shut down free speech? Just threaten some violence.”

  1. Another censorship attempt in Toronto, where outraged Palestinian artists, supported by “Hanoi Jane” Fonda and uber-leftist author Alice Walker, are calling for a boycott of the Toronto Film Festival which begins today. What, you may ask, so angered and offended the protesters? Why, the inclusion of a series of movies about the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. That of course amounts to Zionist propaganda, you see.

    I guess the irony of artists trying to censor other artists is lost on these morons. Why don’t they make their own movies expressing their point of view, instead of trying to ban the work of others?

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