Talk:Muhammad/Archive 14

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How about putting the picture "below the fold"?

"Below the fold" is a term used to describe content that appears below the main fold of a newspaper. It's considered to be less prominent. Likewise, with a Web site, "below the fold" refers to screen content that appears below the bottom of the screen, requiring the user to scroll to see the content. I apologize up front for my forthcoming illustration, but I think the point will be taken well....

Consider the Wikipedia article about "penis". At the top of the page is a non-offensive, clinical cross-section drawing of the male anatomy. Scroll down "below the fold", and you see vivid color photos of a flaccid and an erect penis. Though some might find the photos offensive, it requires the visitor to actually scroll to see the content, so they aren't presented with it immediately. Likewise, look at the Wikipedia article "vagina" and again, you see a non-offensive, clinical cross-section drawing of the female anatomy, yet "below the fold" is a full-color photo of a splayed open vagina in all its glory.

OK, again, I'm certainly NOT trying to draw any comparisons between anatomy and Muhammad, but this is intended to illustrate how a than the placement of a potentially offensive image can be handled. My proposal is to leave the stylized calligraphy at the top and move the image lower, "below the fold". 21:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I Think That The Solution Is In The Caption

Most of the Islamic responders here have said that including the picture is offensive. But can we please clarify? Is it the picture itself, the inclusion of the picture, or the caption that relates to the picture that is offensive? I ask, because I may have a solution: Reqord the caption. The caption currently reads:

"Muhammad. After the people of Mecca converted to Islam Muhammad preached there in 631 CE."

Clearly, the picture is an artist's interpretation, so it is truly not "Muhammed". But what if the caption were to be replaced by something that more clearly described just what it is? Something like this:

"This is one artist's 7th century interpretation of Muhammad, and is obviously not an actual depiction of Muhammad because none exist. According to Islamic many traditions, visual depictions of Muhammad are considered forbidden to prevent idolatry."

My point is that by describing the image in a fair and honest way should not be offensive--if it is clearly worded that the picture is only an image, and not intended to actually represent Muhammed.

Theres no such image(s) "worth" to symbolize our beloved Muhammad s.a.w.-- 16:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
But the image is a depiction of Muhammad, and to say otherwise would be a lie. I.e., the intention of the artist was to depict Muhammad. And the artist was Al-Biruni, a famous Islamic scholar. TharkunColl 16:40, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
oh come on, we live in robot edge world today, I can even says thats its me who make the picture, and in facts anyone can too. Hes hasnt not seen Muhammad s.a.w., what make the picture is worthy to put here? its just an artistic works, but not to take teh look of Muhammad s.a.w.-- 16:53, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
It makes no difference. Wikipedia is full of pictures of historical individuals that were made hundreds of years after they died. We must not treat this article any differently, because to do otherwise would be censorship. TharkunColl 16:55, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Eh? Well Muhammad s.a.w. is an Islamic Figure, its not the same like anyother(such etc). IF its true that wikipedia is full of those craps, then its not even a facts, wiki facts that is. and What was we are trying to show here, its the facts, thats, theres no such image of Muhammad s.a.w. was taken by any artists and it is also the facts that Muhammad s.a.w. can not be symbolize in any images. Get my points? The only picture was only drawn by somebody that had never saw Him. Peace.-- 17:10, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
And, once again, the same is true of almost any historical figure who lived before the late Middle Ages. If you object to the picture of Muhammad, you must also object to all those other "craps" (as you describe them). You must go and pursuade Wikipedia to adopt a new policy. I don't think you will succeed though. TharkunColl 18:55, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, its how wikipedia does its systems and policies. Its not about facts, its about wikifacts. and that "crap" I mention, is all the stuffs they put on article to make it like a facts, eventhough its not and its just make to be a facts.-- 01:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Quite so. At the root of this dispute is the notion that Muhammad is different from any other historical figure. He may be so in Muslim theology, but he is not in this secular encyclopedia, and cannot be treated as such. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 20:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Okay then, Hes not suppose to be in wikipedia afterall. Should we vote for deletion? I think, thats the best way.

If its true the image of Muhammad s.a.w., theres no need for Muslim to hide or censor it. Its a good thing, almost every Muslim want to see the image of Muhammad. but, theres no such proves that can confirm that it is the image of Muhammad s.a.w., unless you people took a photo of Muhammad s.a.w. using time travel, which is impossible, lol, jsut kidding. -- 01:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Suppose I have a drawing made by Salvador Dali of Don Quixote. According to your standards, this drawing is doubly false. Count one: Don Quixote is a fictional person. Count two: People don't look like masses of squiggles. I posed this a few days ago here: [1] but none of the "no pictures" people, such as yourself, have offered an opinion. Exactly what meets your definition of a genuine painting or drawing of a historical person who lived before photography? Exactly what meets your definition of a false one? Can such a genuine painting or drawing logically exist? Frotz661 02:00, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
As a neutral encyclopedia, we present images that are relevant to the topic at hand, even if they are not 100% accurate (which no painting ever can be). As long as the caption reads "an artist's depiction", then what is the problem? The painting is notable, made by Al-Biruni. --Hojimachongtalk 02:02, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you, but I'm trying to get an answer to this from the other side of the debate. Frotz661 02:12, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I was... reaffirming your point, in support of your comments. --Hojimachongtalk 02:14, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I've just removed the image, since the current caption states that the picture is a picture of Muhammad. As far as I know, there are no verifiable images of Muhammad, in much the same way that there are no verifiable images of Jesus, and a picture so captioned is prohibited by the verifiability policy. If people want to restore the image, please do one of the following:

  • either provide proof of provenance of the image, demonstrating that it is an actual depiction of the prophet by someone who actually saw him in person, or that it was based on an earlier image that meets those criteria;
  • or change the caption to make it clear that this is an artist's impression or conventional depiction

-- The Anome 08:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Per Hojimachong's suggestion in mediation, which has been met with general acceptance, I recommend you change the caption yourself and restore the image.Proabivouac 08:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Followup: I've just reverted my own edit, since I've now been told that this issue has gone to mediation: I mistook the block for an anti-vandal block -- please accept my apologies. However, I stand by my comments above: I believe that WP:V either requires us to change the caption or to remove the image, as the current assertion that this is an actual literal depiction is clearly unverifiable, unless some breakthrough has been made in artistic scholarship. -- The Anome 08:23, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Can someone please point me to the mediation discussion? Is the article currently in a mediation process, or just the user? If the article is under mediation, I'll leave it alone. If not, User:Towaru's comment on my talk page is right, WP:V is a core policy, and the article should be unlocked and either the caption changed or the image reverted. -- The Anome 08:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The image title should just be "Le Prophète Mahomet" with a translation e.g. "The Prophet Muhammad" (pick any spelling); any problems with that really needs to be taken up with/about the author of the book. We do not need to prove that the image is the same "Le Prophète Mahomet" but that the image is from a reliable source and from a notable author. So far no one has provided any information that casts doubts that the author of the image was referring to another Prophet Muhammad. If it was titled "Persian Prince" or something and re-used then we obviously have doubts but it's title is "Le Prophète Mahomet". Just how many Prophète called Mahomet are there ? Ttiotsw 08:44, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The creator of the image, to whom it should be attributed, is the renowned Muslim scholar Al-Biruni.Proabivouac 08:48, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Since Al-Biruni was born 300 years after the death of Muhammad, I think we can rule out the possibility of his ever having seen Muhammad in person, so we will still need to identify the image as a "conventional image" or similar, unless we can establish a chain of evidence that links a chain of representations back to someone who actually saw Muhammad. -- The Anome 09:05, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
We don't do that with depictions of any other historical figure, so why should we do it here? TharkunColl 09:07, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
It is a verifiable fact that the notable Al-Biruni created this depiction intended to be and labelled as Muhammad.
I will also add that it would greatly strengthen the credibility of your argument, Anome, if you begin at Jesus, which has many more "unverifiable" images and is not protected, rather than here.Proabivouac 09:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Taking a look at the article on Jesus, here's the wording from the very first picture caption:
"In the 6th century mosaic in Ravenna Jesus is portrayed as a Greco-Roman priest and king - the Pantokrator enthroned, donning regal Tyrian purple, gesturing a sign of the cross, with a sun cross halo behind his head. Though depictions of Jesus are culturally important, no undisputed record exists of his actual appearance."
which, in my opinion, makes it very clear that the image is a conventional representation, and not an actual image of Jesus made by a contemporary, or a copy of one. This seems to be very much along the lines of what I have been advocating. -- The Anome 13:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the picture should be attributed. Where now the caption says "Muhammad.", we should add "Muhammad, by Al-Biruni." TharkunColl 09:22, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
If its unverified then, its should be delete and not to be protected. and again, please state the source of the picture and we need some expert to confirm the authentic of the image. and if its true al-biruni drawn that picture. its should not be caption with "Muhammad", since albiruni do not live at the time of Muhammad live. Please protect wikipedia policies and guidelines. and Proabivouac, would you please stop playing with wikipedia. sorry and thank you. --Towaru 09:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
So Al-Biruni's depiction should be deleted, but your parodic stick figure should be kept? Nice try, User:VirtualEye, and congratulations for once again evading your block.Proabivouac 10:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh please Proabivouac, stop trying to block me, just because u THOUGHT me as VirtualEye, or its just something u use to make everybody out of this argument. its just easy right? saying other as a blocked user then, u the only one that manipulate whole argument right? well, nice try im not going to let it be. and thisstick figure, i acctually want to use to put in some articles, to see if wikipedian are just double standard. if thats Muhammad s.a.w. drawn by somebody that had never saw Muhammad s.a.w then my stick figure can also be symbolize as urself. Nice try Proabivouac, u cannot fool anyone by just saying this is blocked user and denied all the talk and edit. you just being selfish. The Anome, please take care this article, take wikipedia policies as guidelines. I may or not be able to reply on this argument. So be happy Proabivouac playing with wikipedia and dont forget to read WP:V. sorry and cheers!--Towaru 10:54, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Are we editing the page now? Because if we are, I'll link Depictions of Muhammad from the caption. Although I'm not sure that is the best picture to use. Maybe we could pick another one. Tom Harrison Talk 13:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Indeed we are. After altering the caption to what I believe appears to be the compromise solution that makes it clear that this is not an actual literal depiction of Muhammad, I've unlocked the page back to sprotection. -- The Anome 13:57, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I've changed your caption to use the Jesus article one as that sets the precedence. Also added the attribution and the original title. The mediation is at Talk:Muhammad/MediationTtiotsw 15:19, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
why have we included a lead image which enjoys no consenus in that current position? why have we given primacy to a minority tradition by including numerous images? Ttiotsw, "culturally important" to whom? per (and i stress) the lack of consensus directing the placement of this controversial image in a controversial location, i have moved it further down (although i feel the most appropriate action is to remove it as we already have two images representing the tradition of the depiction of Muhammad). it seems that the image only stuck to the lead through reverts by an editor who went well beyond 3RR. ITAQALLAH 15:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Wait just a moment. The consensus seems to indicate that some sort of portrait is appropriate for the lead-in, but the disagreement largely surrounds the which type of image. From this, one cannot infer the consensus is against any image at all. In fact, the consensus seems to be leaning towards a veiled image. You have expressed support in no images at all, and as soon as the article was unprotected, you removed the image. In my opinion, this is acting unilaterally. Liberal Classic 15:50, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
"The consensus seems to indicate that some sort of portrait is appropriate for the lead-in" absolutely not. see Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#Suggestion_.28untainted.29. for the controversial location of a controversial image, we require some sort of consensus. "You have expressed support in no images at all", why is that relevant? did you see where else i expressed support? did you read my comments on mediation? ITAQALLAH 16:00, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
In the absence of consensus over the choice of image, you made your preferred edit of no image at all. This is acting unilaterally. Liberal Classic 16:05, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
for a very long time there was no lead image, until a user reverted extensively to include one (that's what you call acting unilaterally), upon which the article was protected. there was, and is no consensus over what kind of image there should be in the lead, depiction or otherwise. there is no agreement that there even should be a lead image at this point in time. in the light of that, can you clarify your statement here: "In the absence of consensus over the choice of image, you made your preferred edit of no image at all"? ITAQALLAH 16:42, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
That's because it's considered an omission to not have a picture of the person the article discusses. Frotz661 21:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

The current caption reads a bit clumsy. I would suggest that we first state the "no undisputed record" and then proceed to this example, e.g.

"Though there is no undisputed record of Muhammad's physical appearance, depictions of him exist, such as the fifteenth-century Arab painting The Prophet Muhammad by Al-Bîrûnî, which shows Muhammad preaching in Mecca[citation needed]."

There is no need to quote the title in French, as Al-Biruni certainly did not use French. There is also no need to respond to insubstantial trollish postings by one IP. Str1977 (smile back) 17:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I made the origin of the most recent caption (which has been tweaked a little since) for the following reasons,

  • To ITAQALLAH - The "culturally significant" is a cut+paste job from the Jesus article. I feel that sets the precedence for the wording.
  • To Str1977 (smile back) - The title is French because the source image in commons used French. The claim that Al-Biruni would not have used French is illogical given we use a lot of English and none of the primary sources are in English but we are happy to put Arabic script into the text. The same applies here - this is the original text from the secondary source that we are using (the image itself being a primary source); or if it isn't then please, please tell us the correct title.

My edit summary was; [2] (Copy the same text used for the Jesus article (that sets the precedence). Attribute to Al-Biruni and give original title from commons. {fact} the bit on preaching.) I think that explains it all anyway.

  • The previous title I felt just went on and was useless to help research the providence of the image.

As it's my version that is sticking and getting tweaked I feel that consensus is being set quite well. Ttiotsw 08:54, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Changing the caption does nothing. Putting a new frame on a black-velvet painting of Elvis does not make it less tacky. Shenme 08:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Ttiotsw, "culturally significant" to who? depictions of Jesus may be "culturally significant" to Christians, because there is a rich history and legacy of such depictions. the same cannot be said for Muhammad, and in my eyes this phrase is factually inaccurate. ITAQALLAH 16:16, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Labeling the Al-Biruni image as "Arab"

If Al-Biruni was himself Persian does it not seem a bit false to be labeling this image as "Arab"? Also although the image certainly looks as though his is preaching, where's the source for that? (Netscott) 15:05, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Back to protection please

This article comes off of protection and immediately returns to edit warring about images. Can we go back to protection or can the edit warring parties be sanctioned to not continue that in some way? Thanks. (Netscott) 16:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Please return to protection. The Jyllands-Posten cartoons are not appropriate to represent Muhammad. I think this may be someone trying to make a point. --Hojimachongtalk 17:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Islamic pictures of Mohammed are commonplace; there is no ban, and it wouldn't apply to wikipedia anyway

By not including a picture of Mohammed, wikipedia will only be losing readers to other sites not afraid to show images of him. The whole point behind wikipedia is to be the all-inclusive canonical source of information on any topic. If a listing, such as Mohammed, is intentionally diminished and made incomplete, then it ceases to be reliable and people will go elsewhere. For example, in this case, a quick Web search turns up the Mohammed Image Archive (, which has hundreds upon hundreds of images of Mohammed, and is the top result for most Google searches related to this topic. It's not like these pictures can be suppressed: they're easily found on the Web. Furthermore, that Archive has dozens and dozens of Islamic pictures of Mohammed, dating from the Medieval period nearly up to the present day, in a wide range of eras and religious settings, proving that there never really has been a strict Islamic ban on depicting Mohammed, despite what some people here insist.

Get real, people. First of all, there is no actual religious ban on depicting Mohammed. Secondly, even if there was, we don't live in a theocracy, and Islamic law does not apply to non-Muslims. Most of the pictures in the Mohammed Image Archive have source links documenting the origin of each picture. Choose a good one, link to its original source, provide proper attribution, and let's get on with it. The fact that we're even having this discussion is absurd. Jackanape2 21:23, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

1) Our goal is not readership; it's encyclopediocityness.
2) We have many images here and in various articles.
3) Three, all inclusive does not mean in a single article. Overview articles cut away relatively unimportant features of people's lives / legacies. The argument of many people not wanting an image is that such images are relatively unimportant and would be misrepresentative in this article--not in any article.
4) There is a religious ban on depicting Muhammad. There isn't a religious ban on depicting him. Depicting Muhammad is strongly discouraged. Welcome to the different views of different Muslims.
5) Wikipedia:Reliable sources indicates that we should learn about the history of depictions in places other than the zombietime archive. Read up on the subject in scholarly sources and then join the discussion. gren グレン 04:32, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

The name is informal and unencyclopedic

I have just been informed that using the first name is informal and unencyclopedic. For the sake of consistency, Itaqallah and I are requesting that this article should moved to Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah and that he should be referred to as Ibn Abd-Allah. Thanks. Str1977 (smile back) 23:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Simply "Muhammad" is by and large the most common name for the man discussed in this article. Per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), I think it is clear the article should stay named "Muhammad". However, it would be best to include the formal name in the opening (in the style of Bill Clinton) Thanks, --Hojimachongtalk 23:43, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
This is not necessary, because the page already contains Muhammad_(disambiguation). Liberal Classic 23:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and BTW, this was not a serious request. Actually, Itaqallah-who-is-to-be-obeyed doesn't request this (though it would only be logically given what he posts elsewhere). I don't request this either because it would be plain stupid. I hope a few minutes have not caused any disruption. Str1977 (smile back) 00:01, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok, point taken. --Hojimachongtalk 00:05, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Str does not seem to appreciate that the general convention for formally naming people is by their last name (or, for the Arabs, their kunya and/or locality). the only exception is when the first name has been popularised, such as Muhammad, Ali, Saladin, etc. everybody else, is referred to through other means, as i described here and here. the academic sources refer to Ibn Ubayy quite frequently as "Ibn Ubayy" (and never as only "Abdallah" as far as i know), which Str is fully aware of. though i appreciate the sarcasm of this thread, please do not misrepresent my position in future, Str. thank you. ITAQALLAH 01:00, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I must agree with Itaqallah, this thread was quite unnecessary. --Hojimachongtalk 05:08, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't matter how much disruption... it's just completely unrelated to this topic. Deleting silly articles As mentioned in the examples doesn't take more than a few seconds to delete but it's still a violation of the rule. You don't get blocked for something like this... but, think before you do it. Please just don't do it again and let's end this conversation unless it has a point related to Muhammad. If you have legitimate concerns bring them up at the Manual of Style for Arabic names. gren グレン 05:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Gren, it is, and therefore I will now again raise this issue over there. However, I don't see that my posting disrupted WP at all, as moving around articles (against my actual conviction) clearly would have. Itaq, I have not misrepresented your position. Str1977 (smile back) 08:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Though depictions of Muhammad...

"Though depictions of Muhammad are culturally important, no undisputed record exists of his actual appearance."

Why? I can't imagine why anyone thought that was a good idea. This is true for so many historical figures. Jesus. Buddha. Zoroaster. Etc. You may want to mention "such depictions are rare" or "many Muslims discourage such images", however, saying that it is not indisputably accurate is... obvious and something we would not do to any other page. gren グレン 04:36, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I copied the text from the Jesus page so we DO use it elsewhere. Ttiotsw 09:16, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I think that caption uses weasel words. Liberal Classic 05:06, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
No. Weasel words are when you realize something isn't definitively true so you say "some people say"--that kind of thing. This isn't using any since it is talking in very stark truth terms. It may be wrong, it is problematic but it's not weasel words. gren グレン 05:14, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Weasel words, peacock terms, I don't know what you call it, but that statement sounds important but really says nothing. Liberal Classic 05:19, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
It is important. If you think any image of Muhammad has the same 'realness' as a photograph of G. W. Bush or a painting of T. Roosevelt then you are misguided. The point is that we don't need to explicitly state it in most articles because a person can see that an image painted in 1300+ does not have access to a man living in the 600s. It is merely stating the obvious... not really violating either of those. In case you wanted a reason... gren グレン 05:33, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
It's actually not true: Hadith do describe his physical appearance, and though I suppose there must be someone who disputes them in their entirety, I've never seen it. That's not a photograph or a portrait, but it is a record.Proabivouac 08:32, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I copied the text from the Jesus article swapping the word "Jesus" for "Muhammad". Their claims are so similar. This nitpicking on sources dates is amusing as none of the copies of the primary sources we have today for the NT or the Qur'an are written contemporaneous to either prophet; they post-date and so nothing can really be trusted anyway other than they are foundation myths for these faiths. It need not be true and with religions it probably isn't true for any of the supernatural, but we just have to document it. Ttiotsw 09:16, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

With Jesus, witness actually don't tell us anything about his appearance, while Hadith, which do, at least are purported to be the faithfully transmitted words of his contemporaries. Of course, you are right that some are forgeries, and his physical beauty was likely exaggerated, but there is no reason (that I can think of) that anyone should have lied about the particular shape of his face, the length of his hair, etc., about which the various sayings are generally in agreement.Proabivouac 09:34, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Those picture are not align with hadith. Have you seen any Islamic scholar wearing blue/red dress. It is common knowledge and many hadith support it that it is not Islamic. --- ALM 09:48, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
"On rare occasions, he would put on costly robes presented to him by foreign emissaries in the later part of his life."[3] The image depicts Muhammad in 631; Muhammad died in June 632.Proabivouac 10:36, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
This is original research. You cannot even prove that which one is Muhammad because he used to sit among people. --- ALM 11:02, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Pretty ironic that you'd accuse me of original research, when all of your objections are exactly that. That this image is meant to depict Muhammad is verifiable fact, as is the date of the event depicted.Proabivouac 11:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I have to work and do not have time to continue this. However, burder on proof is on you, the one who wish to have picture and think that on rare occasions, he as well as all other people have put on costly robes and the picture present very same special occasion. I go and work. Because I have to be Al-Beruni who was a scientist but draws freaky pictures as religious scholar. You reply whatever you wish to. bye --- ALM 11:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

simple grammer fix

Just to break off the image discussion, I've made a simple change from "year of sorrows" to "year of sorrow" as it is singular in its original arabic.

Now that edit actually made sense ! Ttiotsw 18:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Edit warring

If the edit warring continues, the page will be re-protected. Please note that the removal of sourced content requires a consensus within policy to do so. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:06, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, HighInBC.Proabivouac 23:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
To be achingly accurate - first, policy does not require the presence of a pre-existing consensus for any edit, although it is usually a good idea to have one. Second, there is no special status granted by policy to edits that add material versus those that remove it; if anything, the bias is in the other direction - those who add material must justify its presence. Third, claims that the version of the article with three pictures, one prominently in the lead, represent a stable or pre-existing version of some kind, are simply specious. Spend five minutes looking through the past year's history on this article like I did and one will find that this version is the exception, not the rule. A shame that edits made in an attempt to reach a compromise are reverted reflexively to the most extreme version of the "pro-pictures" article; tendentious editing indeed. - Merzbow 08:58, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
"those who add material must justify its presence"
That is true, but upon what bases must they justify it? That something must not offend the religious sensibilities of aniconist Muslims is a novel standard which we've no reason to believe enjoys community support.
Neither is this any sort of extreme "pro-pictures version": the German language article has seven images, two veiled, including each of the four which have been discussed in mediation, and this is still significantly less than found on Jesus.Proabivouac 10:02, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It time for Proabivouac to get banned for violating WP:3RR. --- ALM 10:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I've not violated 3RR.Proabivouac 10:58, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
May be I think you have. Let me try to file report and I never ever filed wrong report. I do not file reports when someone has not done 4 reverts in 24 hours on the very same thing. Hence if you have not violated WP:3RR then nothing to worry about otherwise see you banned soon. --- ALM 11:00, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I recommend that you view the edits: one you are no doubt assuming to be my "first revert" was to restore a section created by Aminz that User:Funnypop12 had continuously removed (yes, he vandalized more than depictions,) with an inaccurate edit summary (claiming it to be "unsourced" when it is very well sourced,) to be reverted every time but the last, and then only because the article was locked due to religiously-motivated image-warring. You've been edit-warring left and right, against consensus and against the status quo, for no reason other than your personal religious sensibilities, and you've already been warned.Proabivouac 11:13, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It was wrong to do this all revert war and HighInBC never warning you. Both things was wrong. I have filed the report which I think is very good and fair report. Go and defend on 3RR violation page. --- ALM 11:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Your glee at the possiblity of another editor being blocked is simply disgusting. Beit Or 11:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Where did you find me getting glee? --- ALM 11:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I have re-protected the article for 2 days due to the edit warring here. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:28, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Though depictions of Muhammad are culturally important...

The phrase "Though depictions of Muhammad are culturally important, no undisputed record exists of his actual appearance." needs a citation or it is original research. This should not be too hard to find a citation too if it is commonly believed by the academic community. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

why to find citation when we do not know who had made the picture at all and when it is wrong to have the picture in the article too. Hence we will try not to have picture instead. --- ALM 13:37, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

We do know who made the picture, read the caption and citation. We have verified the artist and the content of the picture through the Bibliotheque nationale de france. Remember the threshold for inclusion here is verifiability, not truth. If you think it is a waste of time(as you mentioned in your edit summary) you are welcome to do something else. Without a citation that needs to be removed per our WP:V policy, which is a big policy here. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:41, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

See Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#Drawn_by_al-Biruni.3F, I think you have missed this one. I can try to find citation but I want to focus on not having image at all. --- ALM 13:43, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I see. But a citation says it is by him. Verifiability, not truth. Unless you have a citation saying it is not his then the concerns about the authorship are OR. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

But of course that is not the topic of this thread. So, can anyone find a citation for "Though depictions of Muhammad are culturally important, no undisputed record exists of his actual appearance."? I think this should not be hard to find, but it's inclusion needs a citation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

User:HighInBC your edit, [4] where you added {fact} to this was reverted but after another round of reverts the statement was removed altogether. As I was originally using the Jesus article for precedence as to what was acceptable for images of this class of poorly documented people (i.e. both Abrahamic prophets) and as the Jesus article has now lost the consensus for inclusion of that statement, I'm more than happy that the statement is removed here. It was only added to appease and the image is better without that statement. Ttiotsw 19:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It has been returned and point to another article. That article says the same thing but also does not cite it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 20:35, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


Since the page is protected a consensus can form here and an action can be taken. ALM has pointed out that while the image at the top of that page states the image was made by Al-Biruni in the 15th century, and Al-Biruni died in the 11th century, there is some error. Instead of saying "attributed to Al-Bîrûnî", I suggest "Found in a manuscript attributed to Al-Bîrûnî" as it seems to me that the citation is showing the whole manuscript as the source, and not the author of the manuscript. We could just not mention the author as many old images are of unknown authorship. Any thoughts? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Could the caption wording "attributed to" be changed to "found in a book by" per User:Zora's logic here? (Netscott) 13:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Le Prophète Mahomet 15th century illustration of a book by Al-Bîrûnî (973-1048). [1]

Though depictions of Muhammad are culturally important, no undisputed record exists of his actual appearance[citation needed].

Please change the lead image to read as above per User:Zora's logic here. Thanks. (Netscott) 13:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I think so too, and I will make that change once a consensus has had a little while to voice itself. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 13:59, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've removed the {{editprotected}} tag in that case... no reason to bother folks sweeping its cat. I've removed the bit about "preaching" as well as there's no cite for that. If we want to say that in the image this is obvious I could live with that. (Netscott) 14:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I have also added a citation needed tag to the proposed change. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It was me to whom Zora made that point about Al-Biruni, me who, feeling horrible about having unknowingly propagated misinformation, immediately and conscientiously corrected this, and it was me who restored Aminz's well-sourced material from the single-issue sockpuppet vandal User:Funnypop12, which we couldn't restore when the page was protected. Thanks to User:ALM scientist's bogus (and since withdrawn) 3RR report, I was compelled to self-revert both of these obvious fixes. Please do restore them, both of them.Proabivouac 14:10, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, pending more opinions, I am going to call that consensus and make the change now. `HighInBC (Need help? Ask me)
Thank you.
As for the image's description, it says he is prohibiting intercalation, which is in the Qur'an, and is generally agreed by Islamic and secular scholars alike to have occured 631. If we wish to avoid saying he is "preaching" per an unreasonably strict interpretation of the source policies, I suppose that's up to all of us: I'd only wished to spare the reader the details of Intercalation which will be more confusing than enlightening. The real point is that he is preaching the Qur'an in post-conquest Mecca. Ah, but some will say that it is "original research;" never mind that this is completely undisputed.Proabivouac 14:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The unreasonably enforced sourcing policies are a great way to work through a content dispute. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
There's no evident (or blatant) factual incongruities with this version at this point and imho no further editing should occur while the article is protected as this wouldn't be fair to general editors. (Netscott) 14:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
If a consensus forms on the talk page then an admin can make the change. That is how protected articles work. I assure you that I will not be changing anything that there is not already a clear consensus to change. No need for the article to stagnate. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:36, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
There obviously isn't much in the way of consensus about this image (Muhammad images in general) here and save for factual incongruities/minor edits I would recommend that an admin that has been a bit less involved make any further edits to avoid the appearance of impropiety. (Netscott) 14:40, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I have only adjusted the caption, something both sides wanted, nobody was objecting to that. As for the image, I never added that or removed it. My only edits to this article in weeks where to revert vandalism, reflect clear talk page consensus, and add the protected template. I don't see how any of those actions can be interpreted as being effected by by involvement. Regardless, I will follow your advice. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Please restore this totally uncontested and sourced material as well, which I was forced to remove after ALM's bad faith 3RR report.[5] Aminz and a number of other editors spent a long time hashing this out, only to have single issue-sockpuppet User:Funnypop12 remove it along with images for reasons that were never well-explained (edit summs said it was unsourced, but it's actually very well-sourced). He got it removed the first time by sheer persistance - by the time it was realized that this section had been vandalized, the page was locked - and this latest thanks to User:ALM scientist, who for whatever reason has now made an official play of removing Aminz' and others' hard work without any explanation at all. I really don't understand why users like User:Funnypop12 are allowed to "contribute" here after months of simple edit warring - I guess AGF (meanwhile actual serious editors are RfC'd, RfCU'd,3RR'd, etc.) - but hey, it's not my decision.Proabivouac 14:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I think I have given you enough explaination on your talk page and cannot spend any more time on this. --- ALM 15:01, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you did: you wished to pop me for your imagined rules violation and you didn't care how you did it. OKay, I've adapted. I self-reverted two of five edits, and I'll never aid your cause again, for any reason, lest you report me. That's what you complained about, after all. That's called bad faith, ALM.Proabivouac 15:10, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Ask another admin, I have recused myself from further editing of this page while it is protected due to concerns by Netscott. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:05, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
HighinBC, I'm not questioning you but I think this is the best course of action. Honestly I don't see anything that blatantly needs editing for the next two days. The content that Proabivouac is talking about isn't going anywhere. (Netscott) 15:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I know, and you are right. No matter how neutral I make my admin actions, there will still be those who will insist it is a bias of mine. My bias is towards the polices of Wikipedia, for the record. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Well I think anyone editing directly on the caption in a certain sense can be viewed to be tacitly supporting the image being there... so that is mostly what I've based my logic upon. But I appreciate your pro-Wikipedia policy bias. :-) (Netscott) 15:16, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It was not my edit, I was making an edit for the uncontested consensus on the talk page. I don't see how adjusting the caption has anything to do with the controversy of if the image should exist or not. The edit did not change the images position size or existence in any manner, it just addressed concerns by both sides. But as I said before, no matter how correct I am, the appearance of bias, or even the opportunity to accuse bias, is too great. I will not be editing this article while it is protected, even in the case of clear consensus. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:21, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
To tell you the truth, I don't really care about that content. I think it's too marginal to warrant inclusion, but that's my "original research," yes? What kills me is that, if one makes a good-faith effort to keep one's agreements (such as that regarding this section), someone else from the same side with which you are attempting to keep your agreements will turn around and pop you for it. For the sake of a god-damned single-issue edit-warring sockpuppet vandal User:Funnypop12 - the most privileged user on Wikipedia, with the right to edit-war ad infinitum. No posts and one article only means no identification with any other (banned) user, thus no sockpuppet check, and a free hand. And that's totally fine, no prosecution, no reports. Just another fanatical sock, ho-hum, what's new? A real live active user?!! Well, let us keep him under constant scrutiny! There is no good faith in this space at all, is there, really? It's all opportunistic and insincere prosecution per User:ALM scientist.Proabivouac 15:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Why should we not show respect?

I am a Christian. Though I am not subject to Islamic law, I must respect Muslims based on what Jesus teaches in Matt 7:12, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them...." If I want a Muslim to respect me and my views, then I must respect his views. We may not agree on issues, but we can respect each others' beliefs. To me, the respectful thing to do be to not show the image on the Mohammed page, but provide a link (which is already there) to the Depictions of Mohammed page. It is then the choice of the site visitor to view or not to view the images. 14:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Are you from Canada? 08:24, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I respect many people, I only obey a few. Respect and obedience are not the same thing. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
This all misses the point. The image included in the article is a non-realistic non-standard conception of Mohamemd, created 500 years after his death. If it had been standard iconography, or if it had been created reasonably near his lifetime, that would be one thing. But it isn't -- and that makes it inherently unencyclopedic. The fact that in addition it's offensive to most Muslims seems almost besides the point, and ultimately irrelevant to the fact that the image selected is not appropriate for this article from an encyclopedic perspective.--Francisx 16:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


Please keep this page protected until you finish your discussions. Nobody can solve two issues at once (discussion re depictions and edit warring). One is already too much! -- FayssalF - Wiki me up ® 15:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It has a 2 day protection, if the edit warring continues, it will be protected again, for longer. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:13, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Please, keep it protected until we have decission regarding the mediation or arbitration etc. There is no need to unlock it. --- ALM 15:26, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
i concur, else needless warring over this particular image will probably and unfortunately continue. ITAQALLAH 16:36, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Objection to the removal Medieval Christian views of Muhammad

I object to the removal of Medieval Christian views of Muhammad. Tom Harrison Talk 15:14, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

You are not the only one who thinks so. I have started a heading for this idea. If the idea that it should be there gains consensus an admin can re-add it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:15, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It was removed on January 29th. But it is too late now Tom. That can be re-added when the article is unprotected again. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up ® 15:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I too object to its removal. It is simply religious censorship. TharkunColl 15:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
That is not true FayssalF, if a consensus forms an admin can edit the page for the consensus. It is not too late. Also it was removed on Feb 23rd. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree with FayssalF here. Content editing should remain where it is per WP:WV. (Netscott) 15:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Netscott, since when does protected mean that no editing will occur? The purpose of protection is not to create a static version of a page, but to ensure consensus before alterations. That is why the {{editprotected}} template exists. This page is likely to be protected often, so we need to encourage people to reach a consensus for change, and not just wait it out. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:26, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
As i mentioned above. The removal was made on January 29th long before protection. So this is not the right time to request its inclusion. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up ® 15:29, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
That is not relevant, timing means nothing, and your timing is wrong it was most recently removed on Feb 23rd(that is today). Anytime is a great time to work on a consensus, so people are welcome to discuss this change. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
If the content is that important... it's not going to disappear. Shall we just have a bit of a "coolling off"? Two days is a fair amount of time. I'm tending to doubt that the article will be ready to come off of full protection then... but edits outside of the image issue should be welcome. (Netscott) 15:34, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't even call it religiously-motivated censorship, as single issue sockpuppet (probably of a banned user) User:Funnypop12 never gave any substantial reason, but only totally falsely claimed it to be "unsourced." Of course, he is an extremely valuable user, which is why, after months of rank and shameless edit warring with hardly any appearance on talk, he has a totally clean record. I've been RfC'd, RfCU'd (twice!), now 3RR'd...not Funnypop12! His is the paragon of Wiki-like behavior. He is welcome here, and his changes are taken seriously, and now stick. Sorry for all that Aminz: didn't you realize that you were supposed to use an edit-warring single issue sockpuppet?
Remember, assume good faith!!!
For those who aren't brain-dead by now, the proper course of action is to ban Funnypop12 (sockpuppet anyway) and revert all his edits. Well, here's hoping.Proabivouac 15:36, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh i see when it was removed now! Well in this case i agree that we must discuss it and see what we'll do instead of waiting for 48h. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up ® 15:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok folks, the topic of this thread is "Objection to the removal Medieval Christian views of Muhammad", not "should Objections to the removal Medieval Christian views of Muhammad be discussed". If you want to discuss this subject fine, but don't argue that we should not be discussing it now. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Folks, this content was just disputed yesterday (and self-reverted) today. I'm perfectly fine with it coming back... but back and forth, back and forth... it is disruptive. I actually requested protection myself due to all of this disruption. (Netscott) 15:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Now it is protected and we can start working on a consensus, I don't see the issue. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
No discussion necesssary: User:Funnypop12 = sockpuppet vandal = revert.Proabivouac 16:15, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the Medieval Christan views of Muhammed is an important section, just as the way Jews viewed Jesus is important in that article. 16:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

since when was there consensus on the lead image?

the answer is: there was (and is) none. the image found its way into the lead through the persistent reversions of a disruptive editor (who went well past 3RR). he was reverted numerous times, but he managed to get his version in just before the first lengthy full protection. that's how the article has been for a while now. we have certain editors now spuriously proclaiming consensus: there has never been any sort of consensus on the inclusion of a lead image, much less which one to include. you don't need consensus to remove, you need consensus to include - especially on contentious issues like this. so please, let us not pretend that it is appropriate to insert such an image, or any image at all, especially when it is being vigorously disputed. ITAQALLAH 16:35, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It is a biographical article, and the lead image is cited as a depiction of the article's subject. The consensus is the long standing practice of putting up pictures of the article's subject. To be frank, this is how we do all of our articles. There is a long standing consensus that to remove cited material you need a good reason, in line with policy. The arguments brought up seem to be "It is agaist our religion"(not based in policy at all) and "These images are not accurate"(citation shows it is a depiction of Muhammad, no citation shows it is not.)
One ounce of citation from a reliable source is worth over 50 pounds of opinion. Consensus is not a vote, but an examination of arguments in relation to policy. I have seen no policy based arguments to remove this image. I have seen many policy based arguments to keep the image. I say there is a consensus to keep the image, but that is just my view. Perhaps somebody has a policy based argument I have missed. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
A consistent argument I've been seeing is based upon the neutral point of view policy. Unless I've misunderstood the arguments, for English Wikipedia Muslim editors it is not neutral to have an image of Muhammad on the article about him. (Netscott) 17:02, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Neutrality does not mean omitting things a group finds offensive. It means being representative their view as well. There is already a section describing the opinion that images should not be seen(Muhammad#Depictions_of_Muhammad), so that view is covered. That view does not mean that other views should be omitted. Neutrality does not mean one opinion defeats another. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:09, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, so if one view holds that it is not neutral to show images of Muhammad and another view holds that it is not neutral to not show images of Muhammad, which will "defeat" the other? (Netscott) 17:11, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
See WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not censored. Anyhow, WP:NPOV has hardly been mentioned at all in mediation, which from the beginning centered around WP:Profanity. Since that's been debunked, it's been more or less aimless grasping at straws, voting against depictions without being able to explain why. There is now and has always been only one real reason: religion. Everybody knows this by now, and everybody knows that everyone else knows. Why pretend? As it happens, there's an answer to this, too. We all know by now that this kind of censorship is prohibited, so we're going to generate a bunch of specious arguments that, by fortuitous coincidence, produce the exact same result. There must be no depictions of Muhammad because...[insert random argument here]. I suppose there's no harm in adding WP:NPOV to that list.Proabivouac 17:25, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Proabivouac forgive my saying so but in the eyes of Wikipedia POV based upon religion is no less qualified in the grand scheme of POVs. The way I'm reading your comments here you appear to make it out as though that is not the case. (Netscott) 17:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
WP is not censored, but I don't see how notability for the image has been established. That, to me, is the bigger issue. Why is a non-realistic, non-standard image of Mohammad being used? Either use a representative likeness, or use a standard iconography. If no image fits either category, we shouldn't use any image. This article, to me at least, is now more about politics and ideology, and I think in some people's haste to make a stand for free speech, they're losing site about what it means to craft a proper encyclopedia article.--Francisx 17:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Francisx, all that is being claimed is supported by the citation to a reliable source the caption of the image bares. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:41, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The POV of the religion is being given credence though, there is a section on the prohibition of depictions, which link to a whole article on the subject, the POV is not being ignored. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:34, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#Religion will be interesting reading. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:16, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
HighinBC, as i have elaborated on mediation, to overstate a minority tradition is misleading to the reader and in my view goes against WP:NPOV#Undue weight- which does indeed also dictate the distribution of images. Zora and gren have argued this point also. ITAQALLAH 17:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. Given that this argument has been made numerous times by Zora, gren, me and many others, and that it is policy-based, I'm stunned that HighInBC can claim not to have seen it at all, and therefore assert a consensus that does not exist for the image-in-the-lead version. (And anyways this is incorrect reasoning - it is agreement that makes consensus, not an arbitrary dismissal of the other side's arguments because one thinks that they violate policy). - Merzbow 19:01, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
To answer your question, we address the opposing religious view using reliable sources, but do not let the view determine editorial control over the article. Keep in mind that the view that images should not be there is a valid view which should be documented, but that does not mean the view has authority over Wikipedia. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Respect v. Accuracy in al-Birani image

Everbody's talking about "respect" that Wikipedia owes Islam. I think this misses the point. There's a larger problem, in that the image is inherently unencyclopedic and should be removed on that count. This isn't a free speech question, this is about what makes for a good encyclopedia.

If this were simply a question of respecting Islam, I would think the image should stand given its encyclopedic value. However, note that the al-Birani image is clearly not of Mohammed -- it was drawn 500 years after Mohammed's death. Strictly from a perspective of ensuring that WP contains accurate content, it should be removed.

In some cases, it would be appropriate to include a non-accurate likeness if there is a standard iconography that is historically significant. Historical figures, from Jesus to Augustus Caesar have been the recipients of iconic traditions that, while not realistic, do merit inclusion in an encyclopedia.

However, there has never been a standard iconography of Mohammed in any tradition and you cannot make the argument that, even with examples of scattered representations within the Islamic world, those representations are integral or even relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of Mohammed.Francisx 16:54, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

From WP:V: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source."
Encyclopedia's are not supposed to find truth, but to reflect verifiable data. A reliable source says it is a depiction of him, so we can call it such. If you find a citation saying the image is not accurate, we can include that information in the caption. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:59, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
From WP:Image: "Images must be relevant to the article they appear in and be of sufficient notability (relative to the article's topic)." I don't see how this image is of sufficient notability, given its non-standard, anachronistic representation of Mohammad. If you wanted to feature this image prominently in an article on historical representations of Mohammad in art (I'm not sure if such an article already exists), that would be appropriate. However, the image itself is clearly non-notable per a biography of Mohammad himself.--Francisx 17:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Even if it were true that there was no standard iconography of Muhammad (what about, for example, the veiled face with his head on fire, found in many pictures of him?), this would still be no argument against using the picture. Many, many historical figures would fall into the same category. TharkunColl 17:01, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Can you provide examples of historical figures who lack standard iconographies who nevertheless have non-realistic likenesses on WP? I'm curious, because I'd tend to suspect that those images are unencyclopedic as well. Remember, I'm distinguishing people like Columbus (for which we probably don't have an accurate likeness, but for which we do have a historically significant iconography) from the likes of Mohammad.Francisx 17:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, re: the head-on-fire iconography, I'd argue that that has never been anything close to standard. My understanding is that that's a small Shia tradition. It is notable and encyclopedic in an artistic context (artistic representations of Mohammed, or perhaps Islamic or Shia art), but is not appropriate for a general bio of Mohammed, given its clearly non-standard nature.--Francisx 17:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Columbus v. Mohammad

As with Mohammad, no authentic portraits of Christopher Columbus exist. Accordingly, portraits of Columbus presented in his WP bio are universally qualified as "conjectural portraits," with captions generally reading "No authentic contemporary portrait of Columbus has ever been found; this late 19th-century engraving is one of many conjectural images."

I'd hold this level of open skepticism as the bare minimum WP should do to distance itself from promoting an 11th or 15th century (not that it makes much of a difference) image of Mohammad as an actual likeness.

But I'd go further than that. Unlike images of Mohammad, conjectural images of Columbus are historically important in the standard historiography of Columbus. On the other hand, there is no standard (or historically significant) iconography of Mohammad. Given that discrepancy, I'd argue that iconographic representations of Mohammad flunk WP:notability and should be removed.

Can we get this discussion away from politics and back to the merits of an encyclopedia?--Francisx 17:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Lets start by backing up our claims with citations. The claim that it is a depiction of Muhammad has a citation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:49, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
How can I respond to this? As there are no even-remotely contemporaneous portraits of Mohammad, nor any standard iconography, there is no possible way to verify that the image is or is not of Mohammad. Citations should not require suspensions of disbelief.Francisx 18:03, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I will say it again, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth.". It has been verified to be a depiction of Muhammad. Those other things you say are WP:OR unless you get a source. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Verifiability is a threshold for inclusion in WP, it is not THE threshold. Clearly, notability must be established, in addition to verifiability.--Francisx 18:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Nope, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." Read WP:V. Notability is a guideline, one in dispute. Notability has been established by it's citation. I see no argument here. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
If a citation was found that stated "there is no standard (or historically significant) iconography of Mohammad", then that sources opinion could be noted in the caption of the image. But since other sources do find it historically significant, such Bibliotheque nationale de France, it would not warrant the removal of the image, only the presentation of a contrary point of view. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The burden is on the article to establish notability of the image in a generic biography of Mohammad (as opposed to a survey of artistic representations through history). Accordingly, if you want the image to remain, you need to prove that the image is either accurate (impossible) or part of a historically significant standard iconography (as yet, not done).Francisx 18:03, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Apart from the fact that this claim is patently false, the demands it makes are already satisfied. So let it go. The Is this image accurate? argument is a transparent red herring. An image of Muhammad is notable to an article about Muhammad - if you read WP:N to mean the specific image must be notable, rather than the thing imaged must be notable to the subject, you're reading it wrong. WilyD 18:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
An "image of Mohammed" is not automatically notable. If I doodled a portrait of Queen Victoria, it would not be notable to Queen Victoria, and this article needs to establish the special notability of this image, all the more so because it is anachronistic and non-standard.--Francisx 18:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
No, it doesn't need to establish a special notability. There's absolutely no basis for this claim whatsoever. It needs to be an image of something notable for the subject, which it is. WilyD 18:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The image is sourced to Bibliotheque nationale de France, it's notability and contents are verified. Verifiability, not truth. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The image is sourced, on that you are correct. But notability has not been established. I'd argue that the vast majority of contents at the Biblioteque nationale de France are not notable, and I'd think you'd probably agree with me.--Francisx 18:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I would also like to point out the WP:NOTABILITY is a guideline(even though I am not sure how it applies), and WP:V is a core policy. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:11, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

To argue that an individual image must be notable to be included is just plain false. Wikipedians are encouraged to submit their own images to Wikipedia, they don't have to be notable first. The OR policy even mentions that images enjoy an exception to OR limitations. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:26, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Given the non-standard nature of the iconography, the image is non-notable to the subject of Mohammad. It is, however, notable to a hypothetical article on historical representations of Mohammad in art, or to other artistic articles. User-created images are encouraged, but that doesn't mean that the notability requirement is waived. On the contrary, images are required to clearly portray their subject, which this clearly fails to do.--Francisx 18:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
This claim is patently false and self-contradictory (because it tries to acknowledge the truth while also being false). An image of Muhammad is notable for the subject of Muhammad. This invented criterion of "standardness" also fails the sniff test of Is this criterion used anywhere else? to which the answer is an easy no. WilyD 18:36, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, it is a standard criterion used on WP. A user cannot draw a picture of a historical person and have it accepted as a portrait for purposes of a biography. There is clearly the requirement that a photo must be notable (per WP:Image) to the content of the article, and a user-generated drawing doesn't cut it. This non-standard image of Mohammad flunks the notability test for this article, even as it could conceivably be notable for other articles.--Francisx 18:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The reason your drawing of someone based on your own guesses is unuseable is, of course, because the appearence used for the image is OR. Here, it's not, since it's an attributable drawing. The criticism you're trying to make is based on policies, guidelines and rational arguments that simply don't exist. The image of Muhammad passes the "notability" test - in fact, a doodle I made of Muhammad would pass the notability test for this article - it would be rejected because it would fail WP:OR. The image currently in use passes WP:OR, so it's not a problem. This argument you have advanced has zero merit, you'd be best to find one that has at least half a leg to stand on. WilyD 22:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Francisx, your points have been addressed. Your argument is not in line with Wikipedia practice or policy. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Notability is not going to be particularly applicable in this case. There are certain concepts where notability just isn't applicable. Certain scientific principles have virtually 0 notability but you can be sure you can find many of them due to their very nature. (Netscott) 18:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)