Religious liberty and freedom of speech are inextricably connected.
Editors and producers across the Western world will now be asking themselves: “Can I print this?” They are asking the wrong question. It is a fallacy to think “that could be us.” The readers of the world rely on them to say collectively: “Yes, we can.”
In 2009, Yale University Press censored a book I had written about the worldwide protests against the Danish Mohammed cartoons. The book contains a discussion of traditions for depicting Mohammed in Islamic and Western art. Citing fear of unknown terrorists, the press redacted all illustrations from the book featuring Mohammed: Ottoman prints, the Danish cartoons, and a 19th-century engraving made by Gustave Dore, a French artist, who mass produced such art for middle-class homes in the United Kingdom. The danger was imagined. There were no known threats against the press or against myself, at the time, and there never have been any.
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