Mona Eltahawy: Threat over Danish cartoons

Mona Eltahawy: Threat over Danish cartoons

Mona Eltahawy is so courageous that I admit to feeling nervous for her, but she perseveres and I can only applaud her. Below is her entire message to accompany her most recent column. — Lilly

I published a column in the Washington Post on Saturday criticising Yale University Press for their decision to withdraw the Danish cartoons and all images of Prophet Mohammed from a book they’re publishing on the cartoon crisis.

I expected strong reactions and I got them. But when, an Egyptian portal, published an inciteful article based on my oped, their comments section filled up with threats against me and someone wrote me an email threatening to kill me. I’ve never received a death threat before.

I’ve reported it to law enforcement and the high tech crime unit have traced the email to Giza, Egypt, which confirms my suspicion that it was incited by the article that published. Police are also looking at the article.

As unsettling as it is to hear someone tell you they want to kill you, I believe the sender of the email is just an angry person who’ll (hopefully) not follow through on his threat. It hasn’t changed my opinion of Yale University Press’ decision.

Feel free to share feedback via email, on my blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Warmest Wishes
Mona or @monaeltahawy

Yale’s Misguided Retreat
By Mona Eltahawy
Saturday, August 29, 2009

In deciding to omit the images from a book it is publishing about the controversy sparked by Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, Yale University Press has handed a victory to extremists. Both Yale and the extremists distorting this issue should be ashamed. I say this as a Muslim who supported the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s right to publish the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in late 2005 and as someone who also understands the offense taken at those cartoons by many Muslims, including my mother. After a while, she and I agreed to stop talking about them because the subject always made us argue.

Click here to read the rest of Mona Eltahawy’s Washington Post column, “Yale’s Misguided Retreat”

By | 2009-09-02T16:22:00-04:00 September 2nd, 2009|Blog|2 Comments


  1. David Ehrens September 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Every day publishers make decisions about what to print and what to leave unpublished. These decisions are sometimes based on concern for groups of fellow citizens or for public welfare altogether. Examples of this are not printing anti-Semitic screeds, child pornography, or terrorist “how-to” manuals. Yale made its call and some think it’s the end of the world. But I think Yale’s decision reflects the beginning of a time that some parts of mainstream America began taking the feelings of its Muslim citizens into account. If nothing else, this is a positive development.

  2. Tom Mitchell September 10, 2009 at 5:21 am - Reply

    I remember when I was visiting a friend who lived in an Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem. It was shabbat. I asked a neighbor to borrow a pen to leave a note. After assuring her that I wasn’t Jewish and therefore wasn’t covered by the restrictions on permissible shabbat activity I was given the pen. Had I been in a Muslim neighborhood in Europe I not only would have been expected to live by their restrictions but probably pressured to convert. American papers don’t curb their coverage of Israeli politicians or Jewish criminals because Jews might be offended. They show adopt the same standard with Muslims.

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