Talk:Bahá'u'lláh/Archive 3

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Information about Mirza Yahya

One of the changes by Wjhonson regardin Mirza Yahya being asked to complete the Bayan is about Mirza Yahya, and not about Baha'u'llah. This information should be moved to the Mirza Yahya page. Please comment, before removing (or reverting) the new statements to the page. -- Jeff3000 06:15, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy?

What Wikipedia policy says that the image can't be on the page? RickK 09:48, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)

see this, the discussion about the photo has/is been discussed in different sections and talks(see [[Talk:Bah%E1%27%ED_Faith]], so its a little bit confusing :\ - --Cyprus2k1 10:02, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That's not policy, that's unresolved discussion. To call it policy is not only incorrect, it's misleading. RickK 10:04, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)
Its cuz Baha'is find a picture of their holy personage offensive. Policy can be found here. I'd be interested to hear your views on the matter. I'll write up a conflict summary in a minute. -- Tomhab
It's a matter of disagreement as to whether Wikipedia should or should not kowtow to a particular group or religion when it comes to knowledge, but I just went to Muhammad and there's no image of him there, either, so I'm not going to fight for the picture to be here, but calling it policy is still incorrect. RickK 19:30, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)
The point was we discussed it in the discussion page and decided due to the policy linked above, a link to the image was appropriate and enough as a midpoint. I guess we needed more discussion about it. -- Tomhab 00:25, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Rick, as you know photography was not invented at the time Muhammad, so there is no authentic picture of him around. If there was one around, it most certainly belonged to an article about Muhammad and also to an article about Islam. The same is true about Jesus. The main reason the bahai authorities are so concerned about this photo is because bahaullah does not look ... hmm ... very "marketable" and frankly, he looks bad. You might notice that they plaster the pictures of Abdul-Baha, his son, all over the place. They are simply not honest enough to admit the real reason behind this stupid demand. At any rate, it is too late for them now, as we are already well into the information age and the era of the Internet. --Amir 00:12, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Slightly inaccurate. Baha'is see Baha'u'llah as a Messenger of God so deserving of reverence, whereas Abdul-Baha was just a nice guy, so thats why we have little problem with Abdul-Baha's picture. I think we can generally accept that belief has more in it that merely someone looking good. -- Tomhab 00:25, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Off the record, just wanted to say that I disagree, even if this is not as good as the picture that is supossedly in Haifa, it still presents the majesty, might and power of this individual. His eyes, as if He were looking into your very soul. The idea that the picture should not be shown is that it is a picture of the Manifestation of God. In Islam, any paintings or images of the Divine Messengers are forbidden to be shown. In the Baha'i Faith, the same law is continued as a sign of respect, and to prevent the worship of the picture as a graven image. (07:56, 26 September 2005 (UTC))

Conflict summary: Image, link or nothing

I'm going to try and summarise the three views here. Feel free to edit it if I'm wrong or if I miss something out, but it would be nice if you also add what you changed at the bottom if you could.

Conflict summary

The picture of Baha'u'llah has been repeatedly added and removed for a while now. There are various arguments for each side.

Reasons for removal

Generally seems to be done by Baha'i (or at least pro-Baha'i) wikipedians. Their reasons seem to be:

  • Baha'is belieave that Baha'u'llah was a prophet within their religion and should be treated with reverence and respect and his picture should only be seen when those situations are present. They feel the internet is not such a place, and find his picture being their offensive.
There is no objection that the believers look at the picture of Bahá'u'lláh, but they should do so with the utmost reverence, and should also not allow that it be exposed openly to the public, even in their private homes.
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 6, 1939)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 539)
The belief described above is a point of view. Wikipedia's NPOV policy allows us to mention that the point of view exists, and to explain who holds the point of view, but does not allow us to behave as if the point of view is correct. —AlanBarrett 19:14, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yeah - I know. This isn't really an option, but it was worth including and explains why random people sometimes remove it. -- Tomhab 23:05, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Reasons for it being included

Generally seems to be done by just about everyone else. Their reasons seem to be:

  • Wikipedia policy (link?) is that factual information should not be removed from articles.
  • Wikipedia is not a Baha'i project. Many of the Baha'i articles are copied straight from leaflets and not written in the NPOV spirit of wikipedia that should include accurate details and facts.
  • The image does seem to be under the correct and legal copyright.
  • Other biographical articles have images of the person and it does contribute to the article.
  • Quite a few biographical articles don't include images (even though they could), but that doesn't mean we have to hold this particular one back from being better.

Reasons for converting to a link

Offered as a compromise approach after edit wars. Reasons for it:

Think carefully if offensive pictures are really necessary. Consider providing a link to the picture, and a warning of the picture's contents, rather than place it directly in the article. If you have concerns regarding the appropriateness of an image, discuss it on the relevant article talk page.
  • It is a compromise. Baha'is who don't want to see it don't have to. People who are interested can see the image freely.
  • Although Baha'is wouldn't like the image of Baha'u'llah on the internet at all, it is already there so asking it to be removed from wikipedia doesn't solve their problems.

Just to state my biases in writing this summary. I'm a Baha'i but I'm endorsing the third option. I have tried to keep this neutral, but if you feel I've failed there please write it below.

Lets try and keep from flaming each other. First time and neutral readers of this conflict are strongly encouraged to contribute their views. -- Tomhab 12:59, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Tomhab's third option: inserting a link to the photograph is a reasonable compromise. I am a Baha'i and was shocked by seeing the photo...not by the image, but by the fact that it was there. Anyone--including Baha'is--who wants to follow the link to the image would be free to do so without giving offence to many people visiting the article. Thanks Tomhab for your common sense proposal. --Occamy 16:07, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I am most certainly not a Bahai, nor have the slightest sympathies for that faith or its organisation. I do though believe mutual respect is A Good Thing and hence support the third option. Refdoc 16:49, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Of course, I agree with Tomhab's compromise option. I suggested the following format four days ago at Talk:Baha'i Faith. So far, no response from Martin2000 has been forthcoming. PaulHammond 16:53, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that it isn't the photograph that Baha'is object to, but specifically the act of looking at it irreverently, and in general the display of the picture in a location or context where people will look at it irreverently. There is nothing Wikipedia can or should do about the state of mind in which people look at Wikipedia. Baha'is wishing to avoid engaging in irreverent behavior towards their prophet can easily make their own personal arrangements. The compromise will not help because the vast majority of people who look at it will not be Bahai's and will still not look at it reverently even if they do have to click on a link. Those who are Baha'is will gain spiritually by learning to be constantly vigilant, for an encounter with the sacred can be found around every corner. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 19:16, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yeah I think you're right. The image won't ever get removed from the net and thats why I'm not endorsing the idea of removing it here (because what difference does it make?). People will happily enough look at the image everyday and I don't think it really makes much difference. As a personal preference though, I really don't want to look at the image of him without really being in the right mood and state of reverence. Think of it as a personal choice. I don't drink but am well aware that a great many people do, but it doesn't impose on me so fine. At the moment you cannot view this page without seeing the picture so it is imposed on me. I can see your point that you can't accomodate everybody's concern which is why we're having a debate now. -- Tomhab 21:22, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I understand that aspect of it. There is a page on Wikipedia with pictures that I really don't like to look at because the pictures are very upsetting to me. I have a phobia of caterpillars which is triggered by photographs of them. But this doesn't stop me reading about them on Wikipedia. My web browser (and all web browsers I've ever encountered) has controls that permit me to stop it downloading and displaying pictures. So if I wanted to edit caterpillar (and because my phobia doesn't overcome my scientific curiosity, I may want to) I would be able to turn off image downloads on my browser, visit the page without having to see caterpillar pictures, and then edit it. Afterwards I could turn on image downloads on my browser. It's only a couple of mouseclicks to do this. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:53, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Tony, the point is obviously increasingly less a matter of concern for guys like Tomhab, Cyprus or the other Bahais actively contributing here because they know that the picture is here, and they can either prepare themselves or simply press the buttons, just as you suggested. Fine. But this is a growing project and it is used by many more people than just those who debate on this page - or are even aware of an ongoing debate. So I do continue to support to linkify the picture - simply out of respect - not for Bahaullah, for whom I feel little, but for the readers and the not-yet-editors. And with regard to the spiritual benefit for Baha'is by being constantly vigilant, I really was not aware that Wikipedia had such high aims....I do think we should probably settle on the rather lower ground to allow everyone in whatever spiritual state to contribute and enjoy this encycplopedia Refdoc 00:44, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I guess its weighing up how necessary something is compared to how much it'll offend. Anyway, the important bit is that we all understand the situation enough to make a consensus. I think we're getting somewhere (although I'm always optimistic). -- Tomhab 01:06, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)