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> Illustration of Muhammad, Censorship or respect for diversity?
SenseMaker
post Fri 28th December 2007, 9:23pm
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From watching AN/I recently, probably many are aware of this petition which has now gardnered more than 18,000 signatures:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/removal-o...-from-wikipedia

The issue is whether the painting of Muhammad should be included in Wikipedia's Muhammad's article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad

It seems that there is significant unity of opinion among Muslims that the image should not be included because it is a taboo in Islam to show their prophet's face. Those arguing for include tend to be non-Muslims or, like Matt57, those who can be classified as anti-Muslims.

Some are claiming that this is an issue of censorship, but I can't believe it is that as the painting of Muhammad isn't a likeness but rather just non-realistic depiction. The argument around this image seems to be more about whether or not removing the image will set a precedent that will result in all depictions of Muhammad being removed from Wikipedia.

My opinion is that this particular image makes no significant contribution to the article, but that it does serve as a rallying point for a contrived conflict between anti-Muslim editors (who camouflage their incitement under the banner of "anti-censorship") and Muslim editors.

Although, I do think that the images of Muhammad should be kept in Wikipedia in general and especially with regards to the Danish cartoon controversy. To remove all images of Muhammad from Wikipedia is wrong but we should cover the topic with modicum of sensitivity. Thus I do strongly favor keeping this separate article and its images (and its name should be enough to warn any pious Muslim as to what he/she should expect):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depictions_of_Muhammad

But keeping one solitary and non-depictive painting of Muhammad in the Muhammad article merely to aggrevate Muslims for the pleasure of anti-Muslim editors seems to be unnecessary, in fact, it seems to be purposely "trollish."

This post has been edited by SenseMaker: Fri 28th December 2007, 9:29pm
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Aloft
post Fri 28th December 2007, 9:29pm
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QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Fri 28th December 2007, 3:23pm) *

From watching AN/I recently, probably many are aware of this petition which has now gardnered more than 18,000 signatures:
Well, that's one way to guarantee that the image doesn't get removed. Wikipedians like to be contrary; they see it as refusing to be bullied, when it really means that they're stubborn asses.
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Miltopia
post Fri 28th December 2007, 9:31pm
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Not really. To me it seems more informative, whereas not including for religious reasons is to deny visual aids in favor of an irrational faith; hardly encyclopedic. I say this as a follower of a religion, though not Islam.
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SenseMaker
post Fri 28th December 2007, 9:36pm
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QUOTE(Miltopia @ Fri 28th December 2007, 9:31pm) *
Not really. To me it seems more informative, whereas not including for religious reasons is to deny visual aids in favor of an irrational faith; hardly encyclopedic. I say this as a follower of a religion, though not Islam.
Well, I expected you to support it mostly because including this image in this article has and will continue to result in lots of LOLZ. Trolling Wikipedia is fun, trolling whole religions is even better. laughing.gif (I'm not implying Miltopia is anti-Islam or anything, but I've read elsewhere that Miltopica a big fan of LOLZ with ED and all.)

This post has been edited by SenseMaker: Fri 28th December 2007, 9:37pm
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dtobias
post Fri 28th December 2007, 10:50pm
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Under NPOV, the views of a particular religious group shouldn't be allowed to dictate what Wikipedia can publish.
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Miltopia
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm
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You can't really "troll" an entire religion.
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GlassBeadGame
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Fri 28th December 2007, 5:50pm) *

Under NPOV, the views of a particular religious group shouldn't be allowed to dictate what Wikipedia can publish.



WP lacks editorial restraint. It lacks even the ability to develop editorial restraint. That is why a site that has been characterized by it supporters as a "Children's Crusade" makes no effort to limit sexually explicit images, nor even take sensible measures to be COPPA compliant. This despite the obvious fact that much of rudimentary and low grade sexually explicit depictions would seem to be deliberately targeting minors.

Voluntarily refraining from publishing images offensive to adherents of one of the world's major religions is not in the realm of the possible in a community in which middle-school level discussion of "free speech" prevails. It would require that notions of decency and good will occasionally override self-absorbed notions of entitlement. Not going to happen on WP, especially when the group they offend is one that they disdain and systematically discriminate against in any event.

The inability to engage in voluntary restraint is one of the fundamental weaknesses of collaborative projects.
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Moulton
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:17pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Fri 28th December 2007, 6:11pm) *
The inability to engage in voluntary restraint is one of the fundamental weaknesses of collaborative projects.

There are notable (if rare) exceptions. There are historical examples of youthful collaborations which operated under the terms of a mutually agreed-upon social contract. In some cases, these collaborations achieved laudatory world-class results.
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wikiwhistle
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:29pm
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QUOTE(Miltopia @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm) *

You can't really "troll" an entire religion.


You can try. I'm thinking of Richard Dawkins biggrin.gif He probably doesn't even stop at trolling just one religion biggrin.gif
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SenseMaker
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:35pm
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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:29pm) *

QUOTE(Miltopia @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm) *

You can't really "troll" an entire religion.


You can try. I'm thinking of Richard Dawkins :D He probably doesn't even stop at trolling just one religion :D


I like Richard Dawkins as he actually has a point to his criticism. These machinations on the Muhammad article though do not have a larger point except to show offense to those of Muslim faith by insisting on an in-your-face inclusion of an otherwise nonnotable image.

Instead of the term "trolling", it may be better to describe this as a form of "baiting." Thus one could call what is going on with the Muhammad article "Muslim baiting."

This post has been edited by SenseMaker: Fri 28th December 2007, 11:39pm
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One
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:38pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm) *

Voluntarily refraining from publishing images offensive to adherents of one of the world's major religions is not in the realm of the possible in a community in which middle-school level discussion of "free speech" prevails. It would require that notions of decency and good will occasionally override self-absorbed notions of entitlement. Not going to happen on WP, especially when the group they offend is one that they disdain and systematically discriminate against in any event.

That's true. The community would never assent to this, and a serious push would probably only lead to an explicit expansion of the "not censored for..." policy.

Maybe Jimbo would redline it, like he did back when with autofellatio.

This post has been edited by One: Fri 28th December 2007, 11:39pm
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SenseMaker
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:40pm
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QUOTE(One @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:38pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm) *

Voluntarily refraining from publishing images offensive to adherents of one of the world's major religions is not in the realm of the possible in a community in which middle-school level discussion of "free speech" prevails. It would require that notions of decency and good will occasionally override self-absorbed notions of entitlement. Not going to happen on WP, especially when the group they offend is one that they disdain and systematically discriminate against in any event.

That's true. The community would never assent to this, and would probably only lead to an explicit expansion of the "not censored for..." policy.

Maybe Jimbo would redline it, like he did back when with autofellatio.


Out of misplaced curiousity I just checked the autofellatio article, and I can say confidently that there is clearly no censorship going on there. Actually, I could have done without the explicit picture, the drawing was enough:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autofellatio
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One
post Fri 28th December 2007, 11:51pm
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QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:40pm) *

QUOTE(One @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:38pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:11pm) *

Voluntarily refraining from publishing images offensive to adherents of one of the world's major religions is not in the realm of the possible in a community in which middle-school level discussion of "free speech" prevails. It would require that notions of decency and good will occasionally override self-absorbed notions of entitlement. Not going to happen on WP, especially when the group they offend is one that they disdain and systematically discriminate against in any event.

That's true. The community would never assent to this, and would probably only lead to an explicit expansion of the "not censored for..." policy.

Maybe Jimbo would redline it, like he did back when with autofellatio.


Out of misplaced curiousity I just checked the autofellatio article, and I can say confidently that there is clearly no censorship going on there. Actually, I could have done without the explicit picture, the drawing was enough:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autofellatio

Yep, that's the community. Two years ago, though, a photo was removed by Jimbo himself and later replaced with a link to the same, before the community (or at least one admin) tired of such heinous "censorship."

This post has been edited by One: Sat 29th December 2007, 12:02am
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wikiwhistle
post Sat 29th December 2007, 12:38am
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QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:35pm) *


Instead of the term "trolling", it may be better to describe this as a form of "baiting." Thus one could call what is going on with the Muhammad article "Muslim baiting."


Maybe just anti- fundamentalist Islam?

Which a lot of people feel these days.
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wikiwhistle
post Sat 29th December 2007, 1:51am
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QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Fri 28th December 2007, 9:23pm) *

The argument around this image seems to be more about whether or not removing the image will set a precedent that will result in all depictions of Muhammad being removed from Wikipedia.


Well it could be argued that not only that, but whatever other things to which Muslims or others decided to take offence could face objections and removal.

For instance, a few weeks ago on the village pump or somewhere, someone was trying to argue that the term "the five pillars of Wikipedia" might be offensive to Muslims.
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SenseMaker
post Sat 29th December 2007, 1:58am
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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 29th December 2007, 12:38am) *
QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Fri 28th December 2007, 11:35pm) *
Instead of the term "trolling", it may be better to describe this as a form of "baiting." Thus one could call what is going on with the Muhammad article "Muslim baiting."


Maybe just anti- fundamentalist Islam?

Which a lot of people feel these days.


The image in question is inconsequential to the article though. We aren't talking about the Danish Muhammad cartoon controversy, we are talking about the Muhammad article. There is already a link to the detailed "Depictions_of_Muhammad" article in the "See also" section.

My point isn't that we should bow down to those of Islamic faith on all articles (especially those dealing with radical Islam or other systemetic problems of intolerance apparent in some cultures), but rather we shouldn't go out of our way to be purposely insulting when there is no other point.

The idea of baiting, both Muslim baiting and Jew baiting, is to intigate a response which you can then use to play the victim. The baiting of Jews often entails a unfair overly general accusation to which someone calls it correct as antisemitism, but then the baiter uses the response to claim that "now everything is antisemitic" but in reality the baiter was purposely being antisemitic and is now false playing the victim, sometimes to great effect. The truth of the matter is that the baiter is trying to get a response so that he can then play the victim of the other group's seemingly over zealous accusations of intolerance. Muslims nor Jews nor Christians are all perfect people, but to purposely bait any of these groups is just going to widen divides and spread more intolerance (although sometimes this is exactly the goals of those doing the baiting.)

Wikipedia is allowing a few non-Muslim individuals to hijack the Muhammad article for the purposes of Muslim baiting. It is wrong and disgraceful. It is also highly anti-consensus of the boarder public.

QUOTE
Well it could be argued that not only that, but whatever other things to which Muslims or others decided to take offence could face objections and removal.

For instance, a few weeks ago on the village pump or somewhere, someone was trying to argue that the term "the five pillars of Wikipedia" might be offensive to Muslims.


I don't think this is a slipperly slope issue as the Muhammad article is a historical/religious/mythical figure, it is not a scientific article nor does it deal with Wikipedia policy. I am a beliver that selective and intelligent accommodation goes a long way to ensuring a functioning multicultural society. Although, it is also important not to confuse accommodation with appeasement, there is a significant difference.

This post has been edited by SenseMaker: Sat 29th December 2007, 2:05am
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Proabivouac
post Sat 29th December 2007, 2:11am
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The underlying problem is that most Muslims aren't accustomed to Islam or its key figures being discussed objectively, without the reverence accorded to the sacred and the supernatural, of which the prohibition on imagery is but one component.

QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Sat 29th December 2007, 1:58am) *

I don't think this is a slipperly slope issue as the Muhammad article is a historical/religious/mythical figure, it is not a scientific article nor does it deal with Wikipedia policy.

Muhammad is not a mythical figure, but one of the most influential real persons in history. To treat him as if he somehow "belongs" to Muslims deprives others of the opportunity to learn about their own history, in which, if you're a human being living on earth, Muhammad played a major role.
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SenseMaker
post Sat 29th December 2007, 2:13am
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QUOTE(Proabivouac @ Sat 29th December 2007, 2:11am) *

The underlying problem is that most Muslims aren't accustomed to Islam or its key figures being discussed objectively, without the reverence accorded to the sacred and the supernatural, of which the prohibition on imagery is but one component.

QUOTE(SenseMaker @ Sat 29th December 2007, 1:58am) *

I don't think this is a slipperly slope issue as the Muhammad article is a historical/religious/mythical figure, it is not a scientific article nor does it deal with Wikipedia policy.

Muhammad is not a mythical figure, but one of the most influential real persons in history. To treat him as if he somehow "belongs" to Muslims deprives others of the opportunity to learn about their own history, in which, if you're a human being living on earth, Muhammad played a major role.

Don't worry, I know that technically Muhammad existed, but like many other religious figures, he is surrounded by myths. In my atheist world view, Muhammad designation as a "prophet" from God is a myth. Jesus existed too, but much of what is acribed to him didn't really happen either.

I am not saying that the criticism of Muhammad should be removed, nor objective historical discussion. Rather simply the depiction of Muhammad should be removed from the main Muhammad article since there isn't an objective point to including it except to bait Muslims. There is, on the other hand, significant reasons for including objective historical analyses and other aspects, I am not advocating for their removal in any way.

What I am saying is that I am against baiting Muslims for the primary purpose of provoking emotive responses. That style of engagement doesn't change people's minds, rather it creates reactions that push people further apart. The fact that the petition has 18,000 signatures while on the Muhammad talk page a bunch of Christians and Jews are making fun of the comments on the petition and on the talk page while preventing any changes to the article is incredibly telling -- its not a mystery as to what is going on.

This post has been edited by SenseMaker: Sat 29th December 2007, 2:21am
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LamontStormstar
post Sat 29th December 2007, 2:19am
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There are some websites that go and try to display as many pictures of Muhammed as they can.
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GlassBeadGame
post Sat 29th December 2007, 2:21am
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QUOTE(LamontStormstar @ Fri 28th December 2007, 9:19pm) *

There are some websites that go and try to display as many pictures of Muhammed as they can.


Yes, Wikipedia is one of them.
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