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Tony Blair Endorses Yale’s Cartoon Censorship


In an interview with the Yale Daily News, former prime minsiter Tony Blair, who is teaching a course at Yale this year, has come out supporting Yale’s censorship of historical depictions of Muhammad as well as the Danish cartoons, in a Yale University Press book about the Danish cartoon controversy:

Q: I wanted to ask you about the cartoon controversy at Yale. How would you have approached that matter and is that an example of the sort of ails of globalization?

A: It’s certainly an example — I mean, the whole fury is an example of how it’s important to get a better and easier way of having a dialogue about things of religious sensitivity for sure. But I mean, I was heavily involved at this, I was Prime Minister at the time all this broke, and obviously it was condemned very strongly, the violence that surrounded it, but I really think from Yale’s perspective it made the right decision. Because this is not a piece of original research that Yale has suppressed. That would obviously be a completely different issue. The question is, does it reignite a controversy that has already been there or not. I think it was an entirely responsible and sensible thing that they did.

Actually, the book is an original piece of research and by Blair’s yardstick, all illustrations could therefore be suppressed. It really is troubling that avoiding controversy trumps the principle of free speech in Tony Blair’s mind, and in Yale’s policy.


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