Google Blogoscoped

Forum

[OT] Online petition asks Wikipedia to remove pics of Muhammad  (View post)

DPic [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, February 6, 2008
6 years ago4,836 views

iht.com/articles/2008/02/05/te ...

The Prophet Muhammad in the English-language Wikipedia has become the subject of an online protest in the last few weeks because of its representations of Muhammad, taken from medieval manuscripts.

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Jason Adams [PersonRank 1]

6 years ago #

Why not remove all photos from Wikipedia in keeping with Islam, the new official religion of the Wikimedia foundation. Psyche!

/pd [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

"polite but firm” refusal to remove the image:"

I think that's wrong in terms of respecting another persons faith. Accordingly to Islam (I'll stand correct), Photos or images of the Muhammad is not to be entertained. That is strong religious belief of the Muslim faith. Why can't Wikipedia respect that within the Islam faith ??

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Hey Pd, who got "entertained" by the image of the Muhammad? Do you respect our faith on freedom and human rights? What will be the next Islam faith you want Wikipedia to respect within the Islam faith? Mask the faces of all women in pictures of Wikipedia?

Don't be weak in faith which should be embedded in heart, and should not be easily disturbed by materials including an image.

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Hi,

when people send us emails about this, we (as Wikimedia Foundation) try to explain that we do not take part in an inner-muslim debate about dealing with images of people who are considered to be prophets.

The more detailed FAQ (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Muh ...) also contains an CSS hack that will remove displaying the 14th century images from one of the most prolific muslim scholars of that time.

Mathias

Bilal [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Since Muslims haven't draw their prophet, no one has the RIGHT TO DO THAT.
The picture has a big effect on people. Such things can be used easily to harm the REPUTATION of a person. they respect their prophet and they have the right to protect him.

[put at-character here] /pd --- Good analyze

[put at-character here] Andy Wong
Wong and wrong, Internet is full of nude pictures and videos and i never heard a Muslim complaining about them. your liberty ends at the point the liberty of others start. you are free but don't access my house the idea is very clear and don't try to confuse us

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Wikipedia is not up to "not respecting" any religious belief. It is an encyclopedia, so the best thing we can do is to accurately describe common phenomenons, including religious groups.

If an religious group is showing iconoclastic or iconophobic tendencies, it should be noted within the articles, backed up with citations in a neutral tone.

Tom [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

/pd and Bilal:

So what should I do if the same thing is strictly *required* by one religion that I am not a member of, but strictly *forbidden* by another that I am not a member of?

I think it is obvious that only the *members* of a particular religion are required to act in accordance with the beliefs of that religion.

Chuck [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

Being Muslim myself, I think I have an interesting compromise to this issue.

Fact of the matter is, its true that depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are thought to be a form of major degradation.

But, Wikipedia is a place to learn about all cultures, the good and the bad. Its where Howard Zinn and Ann Coulter can both have their opinions.

So maybe to levy Muslim resentment, maybe there should be some sort of disclaimer image and a mouse-over or click that would then show the picture. This would solve many controversies on Wikipedia, including nude pictures, degrading pictures to some cultures/religions, etc.

Bilal [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

[put at-character here]Tom

The answer is very clear. a religion only affect its members.
you are not a Muslim then they will not ask you to stop drinking.
but this does not mean that you can play with their Sanctums.

it is something you don't own!
do you accept if someone take your house as a WC. of course no.

the same for the prophet of Islam. they have the right to protect him. why someone need to play with their Sanctums. only two explication -->
1- mistake.
2- racial hatred.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

(Added an update to the post with Mathias' link.)

K [PersonRank 2]

6 years ago #

No censorship on Wikipedia please.
You are the one who is afraid to see the image, it's you who should have to 'fix' it on your side.
Which is easy to do too! For example, in Firefox you can go to Tools > Options > Content Tab, there you can either uncheck "Load images automatically" or add an exception to just block images from Wikipedia. Something similar is available in most browsers.
Problem solved, everyone's happy.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

> So maybe to levy Muslim resentment, maybe there
> should be some sort of disclaimer image and a
> mouse-over or click that would then show the picture.

Chuck, that's an interesting compromise.
When movie plots are discussed on Wikipedia there's a "spoiler" message to prevent people from accidentally seeing something they don't want to see.

Also, it seems sometimes Wikipedia does apply cultural restrictions – e.g. why does the article on pornography not include an explicit pornography photo of today? (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porn) It would be perfectly relevant in the context of the article. But of course, many people would complain that it's offensive to children. But is that a universal offense or an offense rooted in specific cultures? Is there any culture where nudity seen by kids is not considered offensive, hence making the hiding of nudity a mere "group" issue? (And no, I'm not arguing there should/ shouldn't be such a picture in the article, I'm just exploring this issue as a tool to reflect on the debate.)

Wonder if applying something similar like a warning for religious groups might open a "can of worms" though so to speak, like the article on Darwin's theory of evolution now being prefaced with "this might be offensive to some religions"? Perhaps there's a more general collision in place here, one between religion and the more scientific/ non-faith-based/ free speech approach of an encyclopedia, and that eroding the non-faith-based approach leads to eroding the core of Wikipedia?

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

"why does the article on pornography not include an explicit pornography photo of today?"

Part of the reason is that there does not seem to be freely licensed porn out there. The only thing I once saw mentioned in a creative commons blog was cc-nc, which was "not free enough" for Wikipedia. In the bottom of the article, you will find a public domain movie, thanks to its age.

This does not answer the question if we would include a pornographic movie at wikipedia if there was a freely licensed one. As far as I know, bomis.com donated one or two images of people working in that business under a free license in a very dressed condition (by their standards). Must have been this one here: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Bom ...

The proposal to hide the image under a javascript cloud or something else will have many problems, starting from the question of accessibility to objections like "its still censorship, after all". The personal opt-out option we offer right now should give anyone the chance to not have to see the image if he/she does not want to.

Tom [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

Bilal:

So, if religion A (not Islam) stated that no images should ever be made of Tom Cruise, you would respect that, and agree that no such images should ever be made by anyone?!

If religion B (not Islam) stated that it was blasphemous to eat chocolate cake on a Tuesday, you would respect that, and agree that no one should ever eat chocolate cake on a Tuesday?!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

This stray off-topic but why is Creative Commons "non-commercial" not free enough for Wikipedia? Wikipedia.org's pages aren't commercially oriented, even though they sometimes ask for donations. Even *if* they included some ads, that would still be OK according to CC's Lawrence Lessig's reading of the legal meaning of the non-commercial clause (Q: Are ads next to
someone else's CC-Non-Commercial content OK? A: Lessig: "We believe this interpretation is the best reading of the text of the license. Of course, there could be some advertising schemes that reach too far, but I wouldn't consider what you describe here to be one").

But the real question seems to be if Wikipedia admins at large would accept such an image would it be found and included in the article...

orhan [PersonRank 1]

6 years ago #

I am moslem and I don't understand all these fuss. Wikipedia didn't draw these paintings, right? then, what is the problem? These depictions are from "moslem scholars" of Middle Age. Is it wikipedia's guilt to let people know that there were once these kind of depictions of Mohammad. I think we were more enlightened in the Middle Ages.

By the way, not all moslems are getting hurt by these images or harsh caricatures. And not all moslems express themselves by bombs :)

yahn [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

[put at-character here] orhan

Thank you. If everybody was as tolerant as you are we would be much happier in this world.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

[put at-character here]Tom -"Tom Cruise " ??? – who is he – of which of recognized religion ??

   Not sure where you are going with this reasoning reasoning

"was blasphemous to eat chocolate cake on a Tuesday, you would respect that [..]"

yeah surely I would respect it and wont server my house guest (if s/he followed that religion) chocolate on Tuesday.

>>"and agree that no one should ever eat chocolate cake on a Tuesday?!

However, does not mean that I would impose on my neighbor not to feed their kids chocolate on Tuesday.

Respecting another persons faith , does not mean that one has to follow that faith's ways., rituals and beliefs.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #



==>"Do you respect our faith on freedom and human rights?"

[put at-character here]Andy Wong , yes I do!! :) – Not sure what Faith you have.. but I respect all faiths that have fundamentally sound principles of well being and those of those in general!!

wrt to Human rights – Dude I have Monitoring Project Golden Shield since its inception of 1989... so give me break on that one :)-

Eugene Villar [PersonRank 5]

6 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp, it's not free enough because Wikipedia does not want to restrict the re-use of content outside of Wikipedia. If there were NC images in articles, nobody can copy the articles (with images and all) and have the ability to make a profit off of it (by adding value, such as study guides, for example).

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Eugene pretty much summed it up. Many of the usages of wikipedia content were clearly commercial in nature, such as the german publishing house directmedia that decided to sell DVDs containing Wikipedia content. They also released the iso images to P2P networks, so there was a large benefit for anyone involved in this (the software they developed is very solid and useful). Most non-commercial projects tend to have a very small commercial side-aspect connected to it.

Philipp, didn't we discuss this before, relating to "Does Google Adsense make a website commercial in its nature?"

Tom [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

Bilal:

"Respecting another persons faith , does not mean that one has to follow that faith's ways., rituals and beliefs."

As a non-Muslim, I don't believe that there is anything wrong in making a representation of Muhammad, just as I don't belief there is anything wrong in making a representation of any other historical figure. So you can't object to me making a representation of Muhammad.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

[put at-character here]tom , its was actually me that you quote and not Bilal!!

And as a non-muslim, myself.. oh yes, I can object to you making a representation of Muhammad. Will my objections make any difference to your beliefs – who knows – it may not.. But by the very virtue that you blatantly believe that you have a right to do what you want, that by itself, depicts the ethos of your personality and tolerance to the world at large.

Remember the world is not built of one race or one religion!!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

> Philipp, didn't we discuss this before, relating to
> "Does Google Adsense make a website commercial in its nature?"

Yep you're right, and I just added a new post about it a minute ago...

Tue Abrahamsen [PersonRank 7]

6 years ago #

I couldn't have said it better than Bilal:

"your liberty ends at the point the liberty of others start."

Your liberty on not wanting the prophet drawn, ends where my liberty of expression starts.

This is a two-way street; it is important for both sides to accept that they may have to make compromises.

Tom [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

/pd:

You said, with respect to Wikipedia's insistence on showing the Mohammad cartoons despite the belief among Muslims that images of Muhammad should never be shown:

"Why can't Wikipedia respect that within the Islam faith ??"

But you later said:

"Respecting another persons faith , does not mean that one has to follow that faith's ways., rituals and beliefs."

Unless you believe Wikipedia to be an Islamic website (it's not), I think it's fair to say that you're reasoning is contradictory.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Tom , your skewing the context of my discourse

that former statement was directed to a "Wikipedia" which is a thing/object of the net ..and a rebuttal was clearly articulated

==> "Wikipedia is not up to "not respecting" any religious belief. It is an encyclopedia, so the best thing we can do is to accurately describe common phenomenons, including religious groups."

Nevertheless, does not 80K signatories imply that "accurately describe common phenomenons, including religious groups." are in reality-- MAYBE inaccurate ?? Oh well thats left to the jurisdiction of the wiki admins!!

As for the latter statement, it was in direct reference to your comment ...

".. that it was blasphemous to eat chocolate cake on a Tuesday, you would respect that, and agree that no one should ever eat chocolate cake on a Tuesday?!"

Hope that clarifies my position!!

Fred Ochsenhirt [PersonRank 1]

6 years ago #

As Mathias noted above, if you have a Wikipedia account, you can define your own css and block the display of images on any page. If you don't, here's a Stylish style userstyles.org/styles/5119 that does the same thing for the Muhammad page.

Tom [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

Oh, I see. When you wrote:

"Respecting another persons faith , does not mean that one has to follow that faith's ways., rituals and beliefs."

you were solely referring to chocolate cake. There was me thinking the above was a general comment about the distinction between respecting, and following, religious beliefs, and which could therefore be used to justify Wikipedia's publication of the cartoons.

Motti [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Fred: Oh, of all the wonderful irony!

Your submission at userstyles.org/styles/5119 page itself contains that picture of Muhammad so no concerned Muslim will want to visit that page to get the code to block the image ...

(I assume the FredOx who submitted that style is you, right?)

Taran Rampersad [PersonRank 1]

6 years ago #

I've been having a discussion with one of people who is opposed to the images on my website here:

knowprose.com/node/18427

As noted there, I am a Buddhist. But I deal with culture and ICT quite a bit, so this issue interests me.

Now, the Wikimedia Foundation could do things better with respect to this (and many other things), but they choose not to. There are ways to come half way without 'censorship' or other trigger phrases being tossed around.

My own experiences with Wikipedia Admin is not too dissimilar, so I simply don't bother too much with the Wikipedia. It is something that demonstrates the very same issues that it sought to replace, and as a cultural reference is implicitly flawed in many regards... just like anything else. A spirit of compassion and respect is needed in some instances, and the Wikimedia foundation has demonstrated anything but this in this instance, and perhaps others.

There is common ground, there are ways to deal with this without making this about censorship – and in being inflexible, they do the entire Wikipedia a disservice. Editors on the talk page have written, "so? Go away if you don't like it!" Is that the stance of the Wikimedia Foundation? If so, its a matter of time before they run afoul of other things. In fact, some believe that they already have.

Even Jimmy Wales is on record in India (newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp? ...)

"...“We are trying to ensure the accuracy of the matters published in it. The process involved in it is manifold, as it is a global project,” he said and added that they had put certain wrong information on Wikipedia as provided by some people with bad motives.

However, Wikipedia will be expanded and it will become the most popular site in coming years, he said..."

Anyone want to guess what the fastest growing religion in the world is? You guessed it. Islam.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

If I want to make a conclusion, I would like to make something similar to what Mr Tue Abrahamsen did:
=================
"your liberty ends at the point the liberty of others start." (raised by Bilal who insisting on removing the images, though he was not the one who first said it)

Your liberty on not wanting the prophet drawn, ends where my liberty of expression starts.

This is a two-way street; it is important for both sides to accept that they may have to make compromises.
================
I can't agree more.

Anyway, I would like to provide an evidence of existing practice. In Australia, the aboriginal people have religion faith not to draw or view the images of deceased persons (dead ancestors). So the television will often warn "Aboriginal viewers attention, the follow program contains the images of deceased persons, blahbla...". I guess the aboriginal viewers will just turn the eyes away. As aboriginal people is an important part of Australian population. I think this a great compromise.

However, it is obviously not reasonable to require television in UK to do the same thing because there might be aboriginal people visiting or living there. No compromised solution can possibly satisfy everybody.

Backing to the subject about images of Muhammad, as Muslim people are important parts of many modern societies, I think they may deserve such compromised solution: On the top of a wiki page which contain images of Muhammad, there is a warning, the following contents contain blahblabla ... please press this button...".

Many people, including myself, consider this is also a kind of censorship, since the admin editors of Wikipedia will have to censor the contents first for any page that contain the images of Muhammad. This involves moving the line of editing to introduce more censorship, such moving is always difficult. Maybe one day, the editors may loose the line a little bit to make such compromised solution to adapt viewers from the fast growing Muslim people.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

Just a bit more to tell why moving the line of editing to introduce more censorship is difficult. Because this can easily open a flood gate of censorship. For example, this time it is about removing the images of Muhammad, next time it could be easily about removing any critic words against Muhammad, and coming it may be putting masks on images of all Muslim women though some of them do not believe putting masks on faces is obligation of conforming Islam faith, ... and so on.

Such culture and region clashes occurred all the time in modern societies, and because the internet platforms are getting us closer to each other in the global village (we are becoming village people, Muslim or non-Mulsim together), we internet users need extra tolerance, be stronger in faith, be more delicate at finding common ground, be more open mind to find compromise.

Taran Rampersad [PersonRank 1]

6 years ago #

The wikipedia is already censored. The very sources it uses are derivative of millenia of censorship in many regards. Meet the new boss – same as the old boss.

Tue Abrahamsen [PersonRank 7]

6 years ago #

The more reason to fight against obvious censorship today :)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

6 years ago #

"180,000 demands" to remove the image have trickled in so far, Guardian says.
guardian.co.uk/technology/2008 ...

dilfagar [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

I am moslem and I don't understand all these fuss. Wikipedia didn't draw these paintings, right? then, what is the problem? These depictions are from "moslem scholars" of Middle Age. Is it wikipedia's guilt to let people know that there were once these kind of depictions of Mohammad. I think we were more enlightened in the Middle Ages.

By the way, not all moslems are getting hurt by these images or harsh caricatures. And not all moslems express themselves by bombs :)

Faisal [PersonRank 0]

6 years ago #

This is an imaginary illustration. and it should be noted as such.

BTW, why does religion has associated with bombs.

No religion is with those who do atrocities against innocent people. This is not a debate between religions, its a debate between righteousness and evil.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!