Prophet Pictorial

Professor publishes controversial images
January 31, 2010
High notes: Multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk plays two tenor saxes.

When Yale University Press published political scientist Jytte Klausen's book The Cartoons That Shook the World, about the impact of the 2005 publication of cartoon images of Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, they omitted one thing: the images themselves. Now, yet another chapter to the controversial issue has been written, this time by a Duke professor.

Gary Hull, director of the Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace and a lecturing fellow in sociology, released a self-published book this fall featuring images of Muhammad. Hull says that he released the book in response to Yale's decision to omit the offending images over fears of violent reprisal from radical Muslims. Many Islamic traditions outlaw any form of visual representation of the prophet.

Muhammad: The 'Banned' Images, a slim forty-eight pages, includes historical depictions of the prophet, along with the controversial cartoons, one of which shows Muhammad with a lit fuse in his turban. An essay by Hull, which calls for a defense of academic freedom, introduces the collection.