A book called The Cartoons That Shook the World, by Danish-born Jytte Klausen, who is a professor of politics at Brandeis University, tells the story of the lurid and preplanned campaign of "protest" and boycott that was orchestrated in late 2005 after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten ran a competition for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
One can guess what happened.
Yale University Press announced last week that it would go ahead with the publication of the book, but it would remove from it the 12 caricatures that originated the controversy. Not content with this, it is also removing other historic illustrations of the likeness of the Prophet, including one by Gustave Doré of the passage in Dante's Inferno that shows Mohammed being disemboweled in hell.
Read the entire piece. Hitchens ends it eloquently and forcefully.
Here's the most potent image:
Western media showcased its cowardice when the cartoons came to light. For some time, thousands of people were visiting this blog to simply see what all the fuss was about. (They were looking around in Google Images.)