Hogan's Alley

Monday, April 03, 2006

NYU's Denial Of Group's Right To Present Controversial Danish Cartoons

Last Wednesday, a student group at NYU, the Objectivist Society (followers of the philosophy of Ayn Rand) bowed to what they say was pressure from the University Administration and did not display illustrations of the infamous Danish cartoons that set off a furor in the Muslim world. The University required that the group either not use the illustrations in their discussion of the cartoons and the resulting riots, or alternately disinvite any guests from outside the university community, i.e., students or faculty.

Eugene Volkh links today to a lengthy speech by NYU President Joseph Sexton, that appears to have predated the current controversy, in which he makes an eloquent defense of the university's obligation to allow the presentation of challenging or extreme positions. How then can Sexton justify his recent decision as made on anything other than the fear of possible reaction, possibly violent reaction, by offended Muslims. His silence on this matter is deafening. The heckler's veto seems alive and well at NYU.