Washington, Sep. 9 (ANI): Yale University Press has removed 12 controversial caricatures of Prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book in order to avoid any violent protests.
The book "The Cartoons That Shook the World" by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen, which is scheduled to be released next week, was wiped clean, fearing the images would cause another outbreak of violence.
"There is a repeated pattern of violence when these cartoons have been republished," University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer told the Yale Daily News in August.
"The homework for us here this summer was to ask people in positions who could give expert counsel whether there is still an appreciable chance of violence from publishing the cartoons," Fox News quote him, as saying.
In 2005, a Danish newspaper had originally published the cartoons, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.
The cartoons triggered massive protests from Morocco to Indonesia. Rioters torched Danish and other Western diplomatic missions. Some Muslim countries boycotted Danish products.
Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favourable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.
The university said it consulted counter terrorism officials, Muslim diplomats, the top Muslim official at the United Nations and other mostly unidentified experts in making its decision.
However, the decision has drawn criticism from prominent Yale alumni and a national group of university professors.
"I think it's horrifying that the campus of Nathan Hale has become the first place where America surrenders to this kind of fear because of what extremists might possibly do," said Michael Steinberg, an attorney and Yale graduate.
John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said: "I think it's intellectual cowardice. I think it's very self-defeating on Yale's part. To me it's just inexplicable." (ANI)