Talk:Muhammad/images/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

WP:NPOV

Please show me which part of the NPOV policy justifies removing this image? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:17, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I think we should keep the discussion about this centralized. The mediation area seems as good as any, no? (Netscott) 00:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
see my/Merzbow's/gren's/Zora's (and whoever else's) comments on mediation. ITAQALLAH 00:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The mediation hasn't reached consensus yet.--Sefringle 00:41, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
"To act upon what is still contested in mediation is pointless" - so why do it?.Proabivouac 00:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
the previous consensus demonstrates the lack of a lead image. as the current dispute involves debate over the lead itself, it is prudent to save everyone the hassle by insisting on its immediate insertion, despite being fully aware that its insertion is controversial, and despite being fully aware that policy violations are being argued by the opposition, irrespective of whether you think it possesses validity. in instances like this, it is inclusion which requires consensus. in the absense of it, we refer back to the previous consensus version. and that was sans lead image. ITAQALLAH 18:51, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

A link to the mediation is here: Talk:Muhammad/Mediation--Sefringle 00:42, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Regarding NPOV concerns, don't worry, neither the image, nor the caption, makes any claims that showing a depiction is mainstream. It simply says it is a depiction, a fact which is supported by citation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:01, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Good

It is good that editors are focusing the image editing here. (Netscott) 00:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Seems like this is going to be a revert war for a while.--Sefringle 00:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Rather than blanking

Rather than blanking this transclusion would folks kindly replace it with an alternate image? Everyone agrees that the article needs a lead image. (Netscott) 00:41, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Or how about justifying the removal of the image using arguments based on policy, that would be nice too. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:43, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I'll give you that. Hehe. (Netscott) 00:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Having done such numerous times already High, despite your constant claims to the contrary, what's the point? Why should I present arguments to somebody who will willfully continue to claim that I'm not doing so? I hope you'll excuse for me being testy, but I've lost count how many time you have claimed we (as in me, gren, Zora, and others) have not presented a policy-based argument. If I do so yet again, will you promise to stop making that claim? - Merzbow 01:21, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I certainly think you have an interesting interpretation of policy, but not one that consensus seems to hold. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Regarding your undue weight concerns. If the caption said "Showing depictions is normal, and mainstream" then I would agree. But it does not say that, it simply says it is a depiction, which it's citation supports. What is more, below in the article it says that many hold a prohibition on such images. I don't see the undue weight issue. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I responded to your query, and you responded by removing the image again. Please explain how this image is unacceptable with policy based arguments. Wikipedia is not censored for your religious tastes. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:45, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Undue weight concerns

From WP:NPOV#Undue_weight, a policy: "NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a verifiable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each". The emphasis is mine; notice there is no qualifier that states this applies to text only. - Merzbow 01:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


And the point of view that images should not be made or view is discussed in the article. The image does not make the claim it is mainstream. The only claim is that it is a depiction, something that is covered by a reliable source. So what exactly is being claimed with undue weight to it's citation? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:45, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Um, Merzbow's not editing the way he is due to his religious tastes. (Netscott) 01:47, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok, fine, accepted, I cannot know the motives of another. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:48, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
There is a section Muhammad#Depictions_of_Muhammad and a whole article Depictions_of_Muhammad discussing the prohibition and history of depictions. The images caption makes no claim that this prohibition does not exist, or lend any strength towards or against the argument. The only claim being made by the image is that it is a depiction of Muhammad, something that has been verified through citation. I see no undue weight concerns. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
HighInBC, can I request that you not classify my edits as reverts when they aren't (see [1] then [2])? As Netscott suggested above, that's a new image that I uploaded, NOT a revert. - Merzbow 03:42, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course the image is representing a viewpoint - the viewpoint that pictorial images of Muhammad are important relative to other pictures that can be chosen. If you have 3 pictorials and 2 calligraphics, the viewpoint being presented is that the pictorials are of greater importance to the subject than the calligraphics, which is historically false. This is clearly seen via a thought experiment - let's say I go to the Bill Clinton article and replace all but one image with images of Bill Clinton during his Monica Lewinsky on-air apology. Do you seriously think I wouldn't be granting undue weight to this aspect of the subject? - Merzbow 03:48, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
You can't just say "the image has a viewpoint" unless you have a citation to a reliable source the interprets it as such. Otherwise it is opinion and OR. What is more, as I already explained, the viewpoint that pictorials are forbidden is already covered in the text, the viewpoint is not being ignored. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 03:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
You're saying I need to provide a citation for the trivially obvious fact that an image of Muhammad gives editorial weight to the tradition of depicting Muhammad with images? Can you address my Bill Clinton thought experiment above, which shows quite clearly that the choice of images in an article expresses an implicit editorial viewpoint about what aspects of the subject are more and less important. In the same way, let's say I merged the entire Criticism of Muhammad article back into Muhammad. Editors will certainly object on the ground that having 75% of the article be about criticism gives that subject undue weight. Can I then demand that they produce a citation for this opinion? No. In the same way, I don't need to provide a citation for the opinion that having more pictorial images than calligraphic images gives undue weight to the pictorial tradition. - Merzbow 07:06, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
As for me calling it a revert, it had the same net effect of removing the image, which is what you are trying to do, so I called it a revert. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 03:55, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Umm, no, it was not a revert, a revert is by definition a reversion back to an earlier version, which this wasn't. It was a compromise attempt at a new image. - Merzbow 07:06, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Merzbow, if among the available pool of images, we only selected those depicting Isra and Mi'raj (for example), that would be undue weight for the same reasons as your Clinton/Lewinsky example. The same would be true if we deliberately chose only Persian images or only veiled ones where others were available. However, it is unreasonable to suppose that all the times Muhammad could have been depicted but wasn't ought be "represented" by removing other depictions; otherwise most biographies would have no depictions at all. Similarly with text - if most academics say nothing about Muhammad (or any other subject), does presenting only the opinions of those that do likewise give them undue weight? If a common interpretion of Islam forbade mentioning Muhammad, or discussing him in public, would we be obliged to shorten the article to "represent" this? The only logical solution to this dilemma is that characterizations which are never made don't count.Proabivouac 06:59, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The issue is quite simple; the calligraphic tradition is the tradition that is being under-represented in comparison to the pictorial tradition. - Merzbow 07:09, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The obvious solution thus would be to include more examples of calligraphy rather than to remove images. Beit Or 10:13, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Note by a latecomer to this debate: I support the idea of having the calligraphy in the lead infobox instead of the miniature. Let's ask the question from a different angle: The issue is not: "should we avoid a depiction in that place or not?" Let's ask: "why should we have a depiction?" Images of people at the head of their articles normally serve either of two functions. In cases where modern photographs or realistic historical portraits are available, the images serve the function of showing what a person looked like. This is obviously not the case here, just like with most other ancient figures. Nobody knows what he looked like, and nobody ought to expect a picture to tell them. The second function, in such cases, is often to ilustrate how the memory of that person was reflected in later cultural tradition, in iconography etc. If an image serves neither of these two functions, it is superfluous decoration and unencyclopedic. Now, does the present miniature image fulfill that second function? Well, it may represent one such cultural tradition, but apparently a minor one that is culturally problematic. The issue of this minority tradition and its problems has its own article, where it can be discussed and illustrated at great length. There is therefore no need to have it at this point. Insisting on having a depiction in the infobox just for the sake of having one because that's what other articles have, would be quite beside the point.

The calligraphy, on the other hand, undoubtedly represents a very important aspect of the reflection of Muhammad in the relevant cultural context. As such, it is much more informative than the miniature, it tells the reader something much more pertinent and representative, and therefore it is more encyclopedic; besides, it happens to be also beautiful and decorative. Fut.Perf. 10:59, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

The tradition of calligraphy has been covered plenty, you ask "why should we have a depiction?". The answer is because there are historical occurrence of such depictions and they are directly on topic. Many histories covered this man, not just the Muslim. By leaving it out we are leaving out part of history. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:02, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
All of the depictions are Muslim. I don't think anyone is really denying that Muslim imagery of him is the most important. This is why Baphomet and the Supreme Court statues were rejected. I am not sure why you agree that it has been covered plenty, or why if it is the most important tradition it should not have the lead. Unless you want to argue that it's not as real of a depiction as a drawing of the body... in which case I seriously think you'd come into conflict with scholars of Islamic art. Note, this is just an argument about the lead. gren グレン 16:55, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I really doubt that is the main reason why Baphomet was rejected.Proabivouac 17:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I was not arguing that it should be the lead image, only against it's removal. I believe somewhere along the way there was a failure in communications in this matter. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

French

Le Prophète Mahomet is something easy enough to translate. It obviously did not come from a 14th century Arabic works. It is a French label because the Museum is French. It does not help to add it as a part of sourcing but only adds a phrase of a foreign language needlessly into an English encyclopedia. The Arabic manuscript is important. I hope this won't be contentious... gren グレン 16:51, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I could not agree more, no point in having French in the caption. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:54, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Lead image

From following the mediation can we agree to have the lead image be Image:Aziz_efendi-muhammad_alayhi_s-salam.jpg ? (Netscott) 18:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes sir. However, remove the blue and red clothes image. We can keep other images. --- ALM 18:23, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Let's not be removing images based on fashion choices. I agree the lead image can be calligraphy. But the existing picture is valid and does not need to be removed. It can be placed below it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:24, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
If it will be placed just below it then there is no use of anything. There is no use to just move it 500px down. That will change nothing and a big joke with all of us. -- ALM 18:26, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Your concern was undue weight, you wanted calligraphy at the top. You are getting that. Why are you still upset? Why can't this image be near the top? Why does putting the depiction below the calligraphy make this of no use? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:28, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • the focus of this dispute (and indeed the mediation) is regarding the presence of multiple depictions in the whole article and what distribution is appropriate. proposing a solution for the lead provides none for the rest of the article. ITAQALLAH 18:38, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

First of all I give you article to read about Muhammad and his follower clothes etc. Hence please read it. --- ALM 18:30, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

We already know that none of the images are photo accurate. If you think the image is mis-representative, find a citation, and we can add that information to the caption. The only claim being made is that it is a depiction of Muhammad from a manuscript, all of which has been verified. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Prophet Desciption according to Islamic soruces Please read it. --- ALM 18:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

That image is much more away from reality of Islam. No good Muslim usually wear these kind of clothes. However, as you wish HighInBC. It is not at all different to present calligraphy on the top and image just 500px below it. Not at all different. In that case current version is okay too. Change is very much cosmetic and equivalent to nothing. --- ALM 18:36, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm looking at de:Mohammed and noticing that Muhammad is dressed in green there. Would that be a better image? (Netscott) 18:46, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Why you need THREE image in the article? If two images are not enough? I have send email to a lady for permission of [3] image. If she allows then we will have two calligraphy and two picture. Still Pictures will be VERY HIGHLY wrongly high weighted but better than now. --- ALM 18:50, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Personally myself I'm fine with just one image of Muhammad. The position is the sticking point. Still my prior question still stands.... is green a better color? (Netscott) 18:53, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Not really. In hadith he is written as wearing most white and black. I wish if you start observing people around going in the mosque and you will find mostly in white color clothes only. --- ALM 18:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Do you have such an image. They all seem to have him in a colored robes, blue, green, or brown. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I think two images are more than enough. Hence remove the first image and we are fine. Please end it here. I have tried my best to compromise please you compromise a little bit too and end this. Lets work on improving the article and end the hostility. --- ALM 19:34, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
What would we gain by that? I think the image situation is just fine as it is. We have addressed the concerns that are based in policy, what reason is there to remove that image? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Please not on the top and that image is very wrong. Just for one second forget the citation please for me. Ask any one who has some knoweldege that if Arab ever wear those red hats. The answer will be these are persian hats and Arab never wear it. I do not tell lie and will be very happy if you will believe me without citation. Secondly, please no image on lead. --- ALM 19:43, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Ignore the citation, and take your word even though you have no citation? I cannot do that. If the image is faulty then there should be a reliable source saying so. What policy based argument do you have not to have it as a lead image? I know it offends you, but you know that is not a reason. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:45, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Other two images also offend me. I am NOT saying you to remove them. I still say ask some arab not involved in this dispute that if he read or have seen arab wearing red hats. The problem with the citation is that it is not well-known image and Muslim have been not using it. Hence for such a un-well known images about whome we have no idea who had made it. How can someone find a citation. --- ALM 19:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Only Muslim can dislike that image but it is available in French lib and first time I have seen it on wikipedia. How can I find a Muslim book talking about such an image? --- ALM 19:54, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Just because you choose a position that is hard to back up with a citation, does not excuse you from the requirement of finding a citation. You are taking one source, the image, and another source, books which describe Muhammad, and you are synthesizing them into new information to advance a position. That is a type of original research. Your position that the image is misleading is not verified. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Do you know any Muslim in real life? --- ALM 19:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

My personal involvement has nothing to do with Wikipedia. I will answer your question though, no, the only experience I have had with Muslim's has been this whole debate. That is not relevant though, my affiliations outside of Wikipedia should not effect the way I act on Wikipedia. I also choose not to let my experience on Wikipedia effect my impression of Muslims. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 20:00, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for answering that personal question. I think I tolerate non-Muslim much better than someone who has not any non-Muslim friend because I know many of them in my real life. Unlike some Pakistanis who only know them from media. I do not judge them, someway other Muslims do and cannot be against them as a group. Btw I am not saying that you have above wrong things. Not at all but I think it always helps a lot. --- ALM 20:12, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
It is a difficult issue, and I am going to take a break from it today. Perhaps time to think will refresh my perspective. I will see you tomorrow, peace. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 20:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Illustration for the section Depictions of Muhammad

It seems to me there ought to be a depiction there. What might be a good choice? Tom Harrison Talk 18:55, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking that that Kabaa image was strategically aligned there, no? (Netscott) 18:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see it. Mine aligns with the section just above depictions. Don't worry about it, I have an odd display size and resolution, so it may render differently for others. Tom Harrison Talk 19:00, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

If I will tell you best image then you will place there and still have some yacky image in the lead. Hence first tell me how many images you wish to have? --- ALM 18:59, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Yacky? What does that even mean? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 20:01, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


Illustration of the Prophet is forbidden in Islam please remove that image from the page.

Calligraphy size

Currently the calligraphy is really big. I think making is slightly smaller would be appropiate.--Sefringle 23:08, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I increased it's size to match the image below it for better visual flow. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
If there's going to be a change of size I would recommend that both images be at least the same width at this point. (Netscott) 23:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem I saw with the origional size is that it just seemed way too big. Is the current version accptable?--Sefringle 23:56, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The image of Muhammad there is already controversial. At this point I'd just as soon not have the lead area showing an image of Muhammad. Based upon a similar logic shared by User:ALM scientist, I explained an equivalent logic thusly: If on the lead of the article about Senegal there was an image of a caucasian person, a reader not familiar with Senegal would have the distinct impression that Senegal was a country likely to have a heavy population of caucasian folks. This is obviously very much not the case. Well this same logic can be applied here. Having an image of Muhammad in the lead can lead a casual reader to have the impression that images of Muhammad are representative of Islam and possibly even common. We know this couldn't be further from the truth... so in that sense it is logical to not have an image of Muhammad in the lead at all. (Netscott) 00:15, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Can I kiss you (Netscott)? Although I am not gay. :) :) --- ALM 00:16, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

e/c, I suppose if Charles Degaulle can kiss Arturo Umberto Illia in a certain fashion I could accept a similiarly natured gesture. :-) (Netscott) 00:23, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Netscott, that analogy would be perfectly appropriate were the article entitled Islamic representation of Muhammad, Contemporary Muslim views of Muhamamad, or, for that matter, Islam. In a biography of a historical figure, it doesn't have that implication at all.Proabivouac 00:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Then consider your self an kissed on the cheek. :) --- ALM 00:27, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I think that is carrying the undue weight argument a little far. Since the article is not about Islam's view of Muhammad any user would be foolish to assume the layout of the images is representative of Islam. Remember this is about Muhammad the historical figure, not just Muhammad the religious figure. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Well I'm not saying have no images... and honestly I personally like lead images... but obviously I am willing to accept this type of logic and based upon it I don't see much harm in the lead not having an image of Muhammad. (Netscott) 00:26, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I included that stipulation as part of my proposal, but none of the aniconists bothered even to respond to it. Keeping something out of the lead might not be censorship (?), but setting a maximum of three or stipulating that they all be veiled (this from those who also argue after the accuracy of his clothing!) certainly is. I see no reason to compromise on the lead if it is not part of a broader non-censored solution.Proabivouac 00:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Proabivouac, forgive me for saying so but when you blankly describe fellow editors as "aniconists" it comes across as a bit uncivil. I wasn't presenting my view as a potential compromise but moreso just what seemed logical. In as much as there is a consensus about such things I agree with you that there should be no limits to the number of images (or really position of them even) but there's that word, consensus. Let us ask ourselves what can we do to get beyond this and have this ongoing disquieting vibe put to rest? (Netscott) 00:47, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that aniconist had a pejorative connotation, and apologize if it caused distress; I'd intended it as a neutral and non-loaded description of what I'd understood to be their position.Proabivouac 00:56, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Well the term "aniconists" isn't pejorative per-se just the blanket labeling with it. It'd be a bit like calling editors "Muhammad insulters" who are pushing for images of Muhammad to be included in the article. I try to do my best to remember we're all people who are editors in good standing and avoid similarly natured labeling. Again, what can we do to get beyond this disquieting vibe? (Netscott) 01:01, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Tom has checked his USA library and found 3/8 books with picture of Muhammad. I check dozen of book in Pakistani library no with picture. I can now check my German library and HighInBC can also check his local library. Do not you think it is possible to have minority images in western socities about Muhammad too? Or we can check amazon etc --- ALM 00:29, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I am checking amazon now. Wait results coming soon! --- ALM 00:30, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Counting books and making a tally is really a form of original research. What is needed is a reliable source saying directly what you are trying to prove. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 00:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Most books make no mention of Muhammad at all; therefore the existence of this article constitutes undue weight.Proabivouac 00:35, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I have already checked 20 something books and find 3-4 with picture. No cherry picking all results are coming with truth and you can verify them yourself too. Please wait. --- ALM 00:36, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

ALM, HighInBC's right... you're talking about original research. Best to find citeable reliable sources to say what you're saying. (Netscott) 00:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I will also try to find reference for this strange thing that Muhammad picture are rare. But now presenting 30 something very first books search on amazon using keyword Muhammad, without changing any reality. --- ALM 00:45, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Results of a Survey

It is a fair Survey from [http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-9954502-7835251?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Muhammad&Go.x=12&Go.y=15&Go=GoAmazon this search]. No book name is omitted and all books search are presented in original sequence. You are welcome to verify the results.

  1. Karen Armstrong, “Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time” [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Prophet-Time-Eminent-Lives/dp/0060598972/sr=1-1/qid=1172536235/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] (not showing Muslims praying).
  2. Robert Spencer , “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion”, [http://www.amazon.com/Truth-About-Muhammad-Intolerant-Religion/dp/1596980281/sr=1-2/qid=1172536235/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]. (Only title on the cover).
  3. Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Biography-Prophet-Karen-Armstrong/dp/0062508865/sr=1-3/qid=1172536235/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Calligraphy.
  4. Martin Lings, “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources” [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Life-Based-Earliest-Sources/dp/1594771537/sr=1-5/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_5/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Calligraphy
  5. Muhammad Asad, “The Message of The Qur'an”, [http://www.amazon.com/Message-Quran-Muhammad-Asad/dp/1904510000/sr=1-6/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_6/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Calligraphy
  6. I. Ishaq (Author), A. Guillaume (Translator), “The Life of Muhammad” [http://www.amazon.com/Life-Muhammad-I-Ishaq/dp/0196360331/sr=1-7/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_7/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] (Text and sun picture)
  7. Carl W. Ernst, “Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks)”, [http://www.amazon.com/Following-Muhammad-Rethinking-Contemporary-Civilization/dp/0807855774/sr=1-8/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_8/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] (Painting of some old city)
  8. Mark A., Ph.D. Gabriel, Jesus and Muhammad: Profound Differences and Surprising Similarities, [http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Muhammad-Differences-Surprising-Similarities/dp/1591852919/sr=1-9/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_9/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books], Picture of a mosque
  9. W. Montgomery Watt “Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman” [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Prophet-Statesman-Galaxy-Book/dp/0198810784/sr=1-10/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_10/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] (picture of old building)
  10. Daniel Peterson, “Muhammad, Prophet of God” [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Prophet-God-Daniel-Peterson/dp/0802807542/sr=1-12/qid=1172536235/ref=sr_1_12/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books], (Mosque picture)
  11. Irving Zeitlin , The Historical Muhammad [http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Muhammad-Irving-Zeitlin/dp/0745639992/sr=1-17/qid=1172536289/ref=sr_1_17/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books], Potrait with face shown.
  12. Imam Birgivi (Author), Shaykh Tosun Bayrak (Author), Vincent Cornell, The Path of Muhammad: A Book on Islamic Morals & Ethics by #Imam Birgivi ,[http://www.amazon.com/Path-Muhammad-Islamic-Spiritual-Classics/dp/0941532682/sr=1-20/qid=1172536289/ref=sr_1_20/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Potrait with face shown.
  13. Abbas Sadeghian, Sword and Seizure: Muhammad's Epilepsy & Creation of Islam [http://www.amazon.com/Sword-Seizure-Muhammads-Epilepsy-Creation/dp/1599770024/sr=1-22/qid=1172536289/ref=sr_1_22/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]. (Some Persian or Arabic text).
  14. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed (Foreword), Joey Green (Editor), Kenneth Atkinson , “Jesus and Muhammad: The Parallel Sayings” [http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Muhammad-Parallel-Sayyid-Syeed/dp/1569753261/sr=1-24/qid=1172536289/ref=sr_1_24/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]. Star and moon shown.
  15. Barnaby Rogerson, The Heirs of Muhammad [http://www.amazon.com/Heirs-Muhammad-Barnaby-Rogerson/dp/1585678961/sr=1-25/qid=1172536337/ref=sr_1_25/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] a portrait is shown
  16. H. M. Balyuzi, Muhammad and the Course of Islam, [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Course-Islam-H-Balyuzi/dp/0853984786/sr=1-28/qid=1172536337/ref=sr_1_28/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Mosque shown
  17. Bernard Lewis , Islam: From the Prophet Muhammad to the Capture of Constantinople Volume 2: Religion and Society [http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Prophet-Muhammad-Constantinople-Religion/dp/0195050886/sr=1-31/qid=1172536337/ref=sr_1_31/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Portrait shown
  18. Yahiya Emerick (Author), Yahiya J. Emerick (Author) , Muhammad (Critical Lives) [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Critical-Lives-Yahiya-Emerick/dp/0028643712/sr=1-34/qid=1172536337/ref=sr_1_34/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Mosque shown.
  19. Timothy George, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?[ http://www.amazon.com/Father-Jesus-God-Muhammad/dp/0310247489/sr=1-37/qid=1172536391/ref=sr_1_37/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] (some calligraphy but not written Muhammad)
  20. Annemarie Schimmel, Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-His-Messenger-Veneration-Religion/dp/0807841285/sr=1-38/qid=1172536391/ref=sr_1_38/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Calligraphy shown.
  21. Barnaby Rogerson , The Prophet Muhammad [http://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Muhammad-Barnaby-Rogerson/dp/0349115869/sr=1-44/qid=1172536391/ref=sr_1_44/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Calligraphy
  22. Adil Salahi , Muhammad: Man and Prophet : A Complete Study of the Life of the Prophet of Islam [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Prophet-Complete-Study-Islam/dp/186204290X/sr=1-49/qid=1172536428/ref=sr_1_49/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Caligraphy
  23. Hajjah Amina Adil (Author), Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani (Author), Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani , Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam, [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Messenger-Hajjah-Amina-Adil/dp/1930409117/sr=1-53/qid=1172536428/ref=sr_1_53/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Quran shown
  24. Faizul R. Khan, Prophet Muhammad: History and Character of His Life [http://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Muhammad-History-Character-Life/dp/0962785490/sr=1-54/qid=1172536428/ref=sr_1_54/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Caligraphy
  25. Eliot Weinberger, Muhammad, [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Eliot-Weinberger/dp/1844671186/sr=1-60/qid=1172536428/ref=sr_1_60/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Some text + design
  26. Martin Forward, “Muhammad : A Short Biography”[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Short-Biography-Martin-Forward/dp/1851681310/sr=1-61/qid=1172536458/ref=sr_1_61/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Temple mount show (mosque)
  27. Jaroslav Stetkevych, Muhammad and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth,[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Golden-Bough-Reconstructing-Arabian/dp/0253214130/sr=1-63/qid=1172536458/ref=sr_1_63/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Camelshown.
  28. Maxime Rodinson, Muhammad (Paperback) [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Maxime-Rodinson/dp/1860648274/sr=1-66/qid=1172536458/ref=sr_1_66/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books] Calligraphy
  29. Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad,[http://www.amazon.com/Life-Muhammad-Husayn-Haykal/dp/0892591374/sr=1-67/qid=1172536458/ref=sr_1_67/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]image not available at amazon.
  30. Maulana Muhammad Ali, Muhammad the Prophet, [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Prophet-Maulana-Ali/dp/0913321079/sr=1-69/qid=1172536458/ref=sr_1_69/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Shahadat Calligraphy.
  31. Kenneth Cragg, Muhammad and the Christian[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Christian-Kenneth-Cragg/dp/1851681795/sr=1-71/qid=1172536458/ref=sr_1_71/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]start and moon and crescent sign shown.
  32. Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad,[http://www.amazon.com/Living-Thoughts-Prophet-Muhammad/dp/0913321192/sr=1-73/qid=1172536629/ref=sr_1_73/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]BismillAllah in calligraphy.
  33. Betty Kelen, Muhammad: The Messenger of God,[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Messenger-God-Betty-Kelen/dp/0929093127/sr=1-74/qid=1172536629/ref=sr_1_74/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Caligraphy of Sahadah
  34. A. H Vidyarthi, Muhammad in world scriptures,[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-world-scriptures-Vidyarthi/dp/8190053795/sr=1-79/qid=1172536629/ref=sr_1_79/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]No image available on amazon.
  35. Dr. David Bukay , “Muhammad's Monsters: A Comprehensive Guide to Radical Islam for Western Audiences”[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammads-Monsters-Comprehensive-Radical-Audiences/dp/0892215763/sr=1-83/qid=1172536629/ref=sr_1_83/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Monster Muslim shown (not Muhammad).
  36. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Muhammad: Man of God”[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Man-Seyyed-Hossein-Nasr/dp/1567445012/sr=1-86/qid=1172536682/ref=sr_1_86/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Calligraphy
  37. A. Jeffrey , Islam Muhammad and His Religion[http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Muhammad-His-Religion-Jeffrey/dp/0672603489/sr=1-85/qid=1172536682/ref=sr_1_85/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]No image available on amazon
  38. Wilferd Madelung, Succession to Muhammad,[http://www.amazon.com/Succession-Muhammad-Wilferd-Madelung/dp/0521646960/sr=1-87/qid=1172536682/ref=sr_1_87/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Caligraphy.
  39. Subhash C. Inamdar, Muhammad and the Rise of Islam: The Creation of Group Identity[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Rise-Islam-Creation-Identity/dp/1887841288/sr=1-93/qid=1172536682/ref=sr_1_93/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Text and a picture similar to half moon.
  40. M. Fethullah Gulen, The Messenger of God: Muhammad[http://www.amazon.com/Messenger-God-Muhammad-Fethullah-Gulen/dp/1932099832/sr=1-94/qid=1172536682/ref=sr_1_94/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Some people from distance shown. Muhammad not shown
  41. Maulana Muhammad Ali, Muhammad and Christ [http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Christ-Maulana-Ali/dp/0913321206/sr=1-98/qid=1172536732/ref=sr_1_98/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Calligraphy of BismillAllah.
  42. GlubbfJohn, “The Life and Times of Muhammad”,[http://www.amazon.com/Life-Times-Muhammad-GlubbfJohn/dp/0815411766/sr=1-99/qid=1172536732/ref=sr_1_99/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Portrait shown.
  43. Leila Azzam , Aisha Gouverneur Mary Hampson Minifie, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad[http://www.amazon.com/Life-Prophet-Muhammad-Vitae-Islam/dp/1887752536/sr=1-103/qid=1172536732/ref=sr_1_103/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Mosque shown
  44. Abdu I. Ahad Dawud , Muhammad in the Bible[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Bible-Abdu-Ahad-Dawud/dp/8185265259/sr=1-109/qid=1172536773/ref=sr_1_109/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]image not available on Amazon.
  45. Harald Motzki, The Biography of Muhammad: The Issue of the Sources,[http://www.amazon.com/Biography-Muhammad-Sources-Islamic-Civilization/dp/9004115137/sr=1-110/qid=1172536773/ref=sr_1_110/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]Text shown.
  46. Frederick S. Colby, The Subtleties of the Ascension: Lata'if al-Miraj: Early Mystical Sayings on Muhammad's Heavenly Journey[http://www.amazon.com/Subtleties-Ascension-al-Miraj-Mystical-Muhammads/dp/1887752781/sr=1-114/qid=1172536773/ref=sr_1_114/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]A design shown.
  47. Marmaduke William Pickthall , The Life of the Prophet Muhammad: A Brief History[http://www.amazon.com/Life-Prophet-Muhammad-Brief-History/dp/0915957868/sr=1-115/qid=1172536773/ref=sr_1_115/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]a Mosque shown
  48. Bint, Al-Shati “The Wives of Prophet Muhammad”[http://www.amazon.com/Wives-Prophet-Muhammad-Bint-Al-Shati/dp/1593333986/sr=1-123/qid=1172536822/ref=sr_1_123/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]a design or may be calligraphy shown.
  49. Mustafa Zayed, “Muhammad Said”[http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Said-Mustafa-Zayed/dp/1420844458/sr=1-130/qid=1172536822/ref=sr_1_130/103-5928378-4703840?ie=UTF8&s=books]hills shown
ALM, again we're talking original research here. Please bring some citeable sources to the table. Thanks. (Netscott) 01:36, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


Results are following:

  • Potrait of Muhammad: 5
  • Calligrpahy of Muhammad, Sahadat, BismillAllah: 17
  • Mosques or old city of Mecca etc : 9
  • Text or Muslims or some design etc: 18

--- ALM 01:43, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I already told you this is all original research, it is means nothing. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

It shows the tradition clearly in a western website? Secondly references are also in the following section that tell tradition of not drawing pictures. I cannot find reference saying he is few times had potraits otherwise not. --- ALM 02:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

It shows nothing because the source is you, not a reliable source. You are doing your own research and using it for Wikipedia, that is exactly what WP:NOR forbids. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:04, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
HighInBC please read what I have written above. See the following section. One below it and read above text please. --- ALM 02:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Now Research with referernces

"Islamic tradition or Hadith, the stories of the words and actions of Muhammad and his Companions, explicitly prohibits images of Allah, Muhammad and all the major prophets of the Christian and Jewish traditions. More widely, Islamic tradition has discouraged the figurative depiction of living creatures, especially human beings. Islamic art has therefore tended to be abstract or decorative. Shia Islamic tradition is far less strict on this ban. Reproductions of images of the Prophet, mainly produced in the 7th Century in Persian, can be found." BBC Q&A: Depicting the Prophet Muhammad

"Muslims respect free speech rights, Syeed said. But "in a democratic environment, living in a pluralistic society, people should know they have to respect the sensitivity of Muslims on this issue. It does not muzzle their freedom of speech in rejecting Muhammad as the prophet." NewsMax.com Wires

Well the NewsMax quote is taken from the context of a "deliberate attempt to provoke and test", so that seems a bit off topic. The other one seems to dance on both sides of the fence starting with "There is no specific, or explicit ban int he Koran on images of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad - be they carved, painted or drawn." then going on to talk about the bomb in the turban cartoon. These references seem to be about deliberate attempts to provoke, as opposed to a simple historical account. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:08, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
First reference is true. It is true that Quran does not permit or disallow it. However, hadiths and traditions are against it. I am going to use it in the depiction of Muhammad introdution too. It is un-source right now. --- ALM 02:11, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I think these citations fall considerably short of your position that visual representation is so uncommon that an upfront presentation of them constitutes undue weight. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Citation cleary says that Muslim tradition are against it and they are mostly allowed in some time period. --- ALM 02:17, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
But we aren't discussing Hadith, we are discussing a secular policy. I've read through this stuff for almost an hour, and all I see is you arguing that by showing Mohammed at all, we somehow violate WP:NPOV by giving undue weight to the practice of showing images at all, which is a basic concept of Wikipedia, that of using well sourced and appropraite illustrations. I see nothing here which has yet to state : The use of an image of Muhammed on this page would be bad because :Reason based in Wikipolicy, reason based in WIkipolicy two, and Reason based in WIkipolicy three. Can you provide that? ThuranX 02:35, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi sir, I wish to have a Jew friend. Firstly please be my friend and then we discuss about it later. Can I be your friend please? I have many christian friend but no jew friend. :) --- ALM 02:38, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I"m going to WP:AGF, and politely correct you. We are 'Jews' as a group, but a person is described, the adjective, that is, is 'Jewish'. Roughly, an analogue would be for me to call you an 'Islam', instead of a 'Muslim'. that said, I'd like for you to elucidate on the wikipolicies you feel an image of Muhammed would violate, and why. Thank you.ThuranX 06:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I wish to learn about Jews history and feeling from some Jewish person directly. I feel many Jewish people have hard feeling towards Muslim and Muslim towards them. I wish to know those things directly. I will be thankful if you agree to be an email friend. Please continue excusing me from those mistakes which are really indeed mistakes. :). My email address is aliflammeem786@googlemail.com and I will be very happy if you contact me. --- ALM 06:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
It took me awhile to get this point but it is all political, ALM. --Aminz 00:20, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Now getting back to the topic in hand. We believe that wikipedia should represent reality. Hence it should not censor reality. See WP:NOT. Hence our stand is that Muhammad is represented in three forms. 1) In calligraphy (majority of times) 2) in veiled pictures 3) in very minority of times in pictures showing face. We agree that ALL three of this representation could have place in the article but in their right proportion. Hence we use reference to validate our above claim. For example following.

  1. "Islam: The Straight Path" - p.5: "In addition, Prophetic traditions... give us a picture of his meaning and significance in early Islam as do Islamic calligraphy and art, where the names of Allah and Muhammad often occur side by side..." From p.9 - "Many Arab Muslims extended this ban to any representation in art of the human form... This attitude resulted in the use of calligraphy... and arabesque... as dominant forms in Islamic art." I'm sure I can find more sources that emphasize the calligraphic representations of the words Allah and Muhammad. Note Esposito's phrase "early Islam".
  2. "Islamic tradition or Hadith, the stories of the words and actions of Muhammad and his Companions, explicitly prohibits images of Allah, Muhammad and all the major prophets of the Christian and Jewish traditions. More widely, Islamic tradition has discouraged the figurative depiction of living creatures, especially human beings. Islamic art has therefore tended to be abstract or decorative. Shia Islamic tradition is far less strict on this ban. Reproductions of images of the Prophet, mainly produced in the 7th Century in Persian, can be found." BBC Q&A: Depicting the Prophet Muhammad

These are many other references show that caligraphy is most important tradition of representing Muhammad. Hence our stand is to have first 3-4 pictures of caligraphy before having any other potrait. It is long story but this is a small part of it. If we agree on this point then we can continue. --- ALM 06:19, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I definitely don't agree on that point, but that doesn't mean we can't cooperate in bringing notable calligraphic representation of his name onto the article.Proabivouac 06:47, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I can compromise on having a pictorial in the lead below a calligraphic, like now, if there are at least as many calligraphics in the article as pictorials, and only if the caption of one of the lead images makes it clear that calligraphy and arabesque were the dominant forms of Islamic art, which is what the Esposito quote I reproduced in Mediation talk says, exactly. - Merzbow 07:30, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I can't speak for anyone else, but this is quite acceptable to me in principle. See my proposal. The caption idea sounds reasonable, and can be added to the current proposal. My dilemma was figuring out what could be offered editors who dislike depictions without acceding to censorship. Like the inclusion of more calligraphic images, such a message is information, not censorship. I only qualify "in principle" because we haven't yet procured many usable, topical and noteworthy images of calligraphy, but I trust that we will solve this problem, and you can be assured of my commitment to this goal.Proabivouac 09:11, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
So you would be fine with the lead pictorial being veiled as well? - Merzbow 09:53, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the lead image is fine, why replace it with a veiled one? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:05, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Because we're compromising and Pro has agreed at least in his earlier proposal linked above. - Merzbow 23:42, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not certain that I should prefer a veiled image in the lead to none at all. At this point, I am more interested in the gaining acceptance of the general principles that first, a number of depictions will be in the article, probably comparable to the number found on German and Spanish articles (which is indeed moderate in number relative to articles for religious figures of comparable significance), and that religious beliefs do not constitute a valid reason to remove them (or anything else on Wikipedia,) or to prefer "veiled" depictions, and second that the way to solve whatever undue dearth there may be of images of calligraphy should be solved by sourcing and adding them,not by removing depictions. The debate over which of many worthy images should be in the lead I find relatively unimportant, though again I only speak for myself.Proabivouac 23:58, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I have read the mediation, and have not seem any consensus to this sort of compromise. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:46, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The calligraphy myth?

Rather than crossposting, I direct you to Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#The calligraphy myth?Proabivouac 02:15, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

New calligraphic image

I don't find the new image particularly correct for the lead. It has the word "Allah" as well as Muhammad. If we're going to swap out the original image then it would be preferrable to have an image with just Muhammad's name similar to the image we've had for some time. (Netscott) 14:06, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I certainly see no justification for it to replace the depiction as ALM seems to want. There is no consensus to remove the depiction from the lead. As to which calligraphy, I can't read it so I defer to the judgment of others there. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Well per my proposal I'm obviously fine with having just a calligraphic representation of Muhammad's name in the lead but nevertheless it needs to be correct for the lead. (Netscott) 14:10, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
there was no consensus to put a depiction there in the first place. HighinBC, i wish to draw your attention to the five reverts you have made in 14 hours. WP:3RR applies to all spaces. ITAQALLAH 14:11, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I consider several of those to be a response to vandalism, that is removal of sourced information without explanation, or against consensus. What is more, I do see a consensus that the image should be in the lead in the mediation. The only standing challenge to the lead image is a claim of undue weight which has not been demonstrated. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:14, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Where do you see that concensus? The voting on mediation page on all the options are very even. You are forcing your view and calling it concensus and giving me warnings.--- ALM 14:16, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
WP:3RR excuses only reverts of simple vandalism, which none of this obviously is. - Merzbow 02:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
The consensus is to treat this page like any other. That means if you want to remove sourced information you need a valid reason. No valid reason has gained consensus. The consensus is that Wikipedia is not censored. There is no consensus that this image constitutes undue weight. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:17, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I am taking a break from this because this constant twisting of arguments when the real reason is religious taboo is getting to me, wearing me out as it were. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:19, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
the consensus is to apply the same policies to this page as we do every other. this is what is meant by treating this page like the any other. it does not mean assigning specific and arbitary requirements, such as how many sections or images or external links an article must have. we have no actual pictures of Muhammad, so the issue of factually depicting the subject in the lead goes out of the window. by including depictions of Muhammad, we are explicitly doing so on the basis of representing how tradition has done so - and the specific tradition of depictions is a minority compared to other venerative representations. there is no consensus for a lead depiction. ITAQALLAH 15:14, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't mind having calligraphy in the lead, and above the image. I object to the removal of the image. The due-weight argument is unpersuasive. I think it is a pretext for religiously-motivated removal of images, or expresses a desire stabilize the page by accomodating those who will otherwise edit-war to remove the image. Neither of those motives, understandable though they are, are consistent with the community view and policy on religious censorship. Tom Harrison Talk 14:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that the Wazir Khan mosque image belongs to on the left in the seal of the prophets section, due to the presence of this Qur'anic verse. The Saudi flag should be removed, and a more encyclopedic/aesthetically superior/less politicized example of the Shahada included elsewhere in the article (note that there are, in fact, currently four examples of calligraphic "Muhammad" in this article.)
I spent some time today with this image and Photoshop, doing the following 1) rotated it to vertical alignment 2) flattened it out with perspective 2) scaled to compensate it for foreshortening 3) increased saturation to compensate for poor lighting and bring out color 4) added light from the upper right to even out the brightness 5) cropped everything outside the frame to deemphasize the architecture and highlight the design. I believe this is allowable, and does not constitute unacceptable alteration/original research, but I'd like some feedback on this point before I proceed to upload an improved version of this tomorrow.
Finally, let us mind NPOV in captions: "...affirms the finality of Prophethood with the Prophet Muhammad" is unacceptable. It is better (and more informative) to say that it contains the verse which is most conventionally interpreted as meaning this.Proabivouac 09:09, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Good work. You beat me to it-- I also had noticed that Image:Wazir-mosque-ALLAH-Muhammad.jpg was badly in need of a rotation and a perspective correction. If the copyright holder has truly released are rights, then we are free to make changes to it ("derivative works"). Similarly, I agree with your placement plan and issues with the caption. --Alecmconroy
Great, I'll do another version tomorrow - I'd failed to compensate for the more subtle horizontal perspective effect in my first run. There is also a subtle convex effect (as shown in the curvature of the horizontal lines of the lower frame) which I don't know what to do about (I suppose nothing.)Proabivouac 09:39, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Guys, if you are going to include the Biruni image why having it at the top(to me that's an ugly image regardless of the dispute here; it is like my little sister's drawings)? I suggest we place it in the lower half. --Aminz 10:20, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't look ugly to me at all, and it's the only image we have so far of Muhammad preaching the Qur'an, the accomplishment for which he is most famous. Why do you think it should be moved?Proabivouac 10:27, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
It reminds me of my little sister's drawings. Would you really be willing to buy such an image and set it up in your house? If the picture was beautiful I would have still said that putting that picture in the lower half seems to be reasonable given the variety of opinions on this issue. --Aminz 10:35, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, we're encyclopedia writers-- not art critics. If every other biography around here finds portraits useful, they'll be useful here. Criticizing the artistic quality of the painting or debating whether the images are "representative samples of artistic tradition" are just distractions from the real debate: Should this article be forced to comply with Islamic Laws regarding depictions of Muhammad? --Alecmconroy 10:46, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Alecmconroy, if you see some ugly way of writing the article (e.g. writing everything in bold text), wouldn't you change it? that doesn't have anything to do with being art critics. The first time I saw that image I didn't think anybody would ever wish to see that image at the lead. It is the ugliest image in the article so far. Aside from this, as I said above, it is unlikely that the range of opinions on this matter would change. Given this diversity of opinions, If the picture was beautiful and if we were going to add that, putting that picture in the lower half seems to be quite reasonable. --Aminz 11:04, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Aminz, sorry, but this is bizarre. Of course you are entitled to your personal esthetic judgments, but this image was included in a high-profile exhibition of the finest of Islamic bookpainting by no lesser institution than the National Library of France. It's a fine example of a great artistic tradition -- your culture's artistic tradition, in fact. Fut.Perf. 11:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

First of all let me stress that I oppose any form of censorship on Wikipedia, religious or otherwise. In fact I created the Wikipedians against censorship Wikiproject. For that reason I oppose eliminating depictions of Muhammad from the Muhammad article. However, I do not support having an image of Muhammad in the intro. The reason is that there is no image of Muhammad that is iconic enough or realistic enough to be able to represent Muhammad in the intro. Indeed, all the depictions we have of Muhammad are either cartoonish (such as the one currently in the intro), completely generic, or Muhammad's features are obscured. I have yet to see a depiction of Muhammad that would make a good intro image. Kaldari 16:59, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

at least there are few people who agrees with Aminz --- ALM 10:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Only a few people :( --Aminz 10:38, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, at this point the appearance of religiously-motivated censorship accompanied by random wikilawyering is probably too strong for all but the most compelling arguments to be taken at face value.Proabivouac 10:45, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I checked the page 3 weeks ago, that image was at the top. I checked it a few days ago and it was at the top, and today it is still at the top. If there is really an split of opinion over what we should do, I would have expected to see the picture half the time and see it disappeared half the time... --Aminz 11:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately if someone remove them then they start giving him warnings and those same people are putting the images back in. So it is good to put the image back but removing them is edit-warring or vandalism. --- ALM 14:21, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • i think the key issue which requires resolution is the lead. i don't believe it to be particularly balanced that we assign primacy to, as shown, a minority tradition. we are not portraying a picture of Muhammad - we all know that. we are portraying how tradition has depicted him. it is a minority tradition. to be more precise, most of the depictions available of Muhammad (like the ones in the article) in fact represent shi'i tradition, from Persia, from around the 16th century. this demonstrates the limited prevelance of the tradition. yet we have three images representing this niche, only illustrating the skew in balance this article awards such images, under varying, irrelevant pretexts. ITAQALLAH 16:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I cannot agree more with you Itaqallah. However, as long as they will continue assuming bad faith that we are removing picture from lead because it is against our religion then this issue cannot be solved. I will write a very good arbitration case, with lots of citation. I will write the histroy of the dispute (one year with no edit war period) and when very recently picture for the first time is forced in the lead. I will try to give citations of everything. After writing first draft on my user-sub-page I will ask other people to give comments. --- ALM 16:43, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

The new caption clears up any undue weight issues. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:47, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Remember the clerk sitting on Pesident seat with nameplate saying "warning he is not president", example. Please ... --- ALM 16:51, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the connection, in this case the clerk was president, because we do have a citation showing it is a real part of history and culture. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:57, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes but only 300 year (1300-1600) history out of 1400 years. It is a clerk in the history because is not a wide trend. We will In-sha-Allah file an arbitration case, with all the citation possible to find and will ask your input too before file it. A perminent part of my personality is that I never give up a thing I feel is right. Hence I will try each way possible achieve it because I know I am right even according to the rules of wikipedia. --- ALM 17:07, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I still am not convinced it is is a narrow trend. I look forward to arbitration. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:10, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
the caption doesn't resolve the issue of undue weight, for undue weight mandates the way we proportionalise and balance constitutents of the article. minority aspects/traditions are represented marginally. ten depictions, for example, even if they all had a similar disclaimer, would similarly be undue weight. ITAQALLAH 17:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
You must be reading a different policy than I am, because I don't see it. I haven't seen any sort of reference that gives any kind of ratio. I have seen references saying there is a religious taboo, I have seen references saying there is a cultural history of visual depictions. Not sure what you are basing this off of. Both sides are valid, and both are cited, and both are shown, and their relationship is described as best we can verify with citation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:33, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
undue weight mandates how we proportionalise and balance an article. if you disagree with that, you'll need to have another read of it.
  • "Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. Just as giving undue weight to a viewpoint is not neutral, so is giving undue weight to other verifiable and sourced statements. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements."
User:Grenavitar/mimages shows that the "cultural history" you cite is an extreme minority. as such, we do not overstate a minority tradition as is currently being sanctioned. ITAQALLAH 17:43, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Yet I have a citation that shows it does have a significant cultural history, with many Islamic artist painting such images over the course of centuries. The captions clear all this up, if you think the captions should be more strongly worded, just be sure to back it up with citation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:42, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
as Blair/Bloom state: "Pictures of Muhammad are extremely rare in Islamic art ..." - the other quotes show that aniconist traditions were in the majority. you know full well that the issue isn't about captions, it's about excessive weight and prominence shown towards minority traditions, which as shown above is a violation of undue weight. ITAQALLAH 18:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
The subject of the article is not Islamic art or Islamic view of Muhammad, it is Muhammad the person, the historical figure. Islamic views are not the only one's to be taken into account. No misrepresentation of information is occurring here. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
we do not have any realistic or accurate depictions of Muhammad. all we have is how he has been represented in Islamic tradition, and such iconism remains an extreme minority confined mainly to one sect, in one region, in one time period. ITAQALLAH 19:12, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
If this was really about undue weight the captions would be sufficient, this seems more to be about the image itself. Every time we address a concern another comes up, always with the goal of reducing the prominence of any sort of visual depiction. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:08, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
A classical example of having bad faith assumption. We are Muslim hence it is about protecting our religion. thank you. --- ALM 19:23, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
the undue weight concern has been expressed and re-expressed almost since the start of this mediation, as per Gren, Zora, et al. undue weight incorporates all factors of an article, not just texts and captions. ITAQALLAH 19:15, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

intro section

With the lead images, instead of having three image boxes, can we put them into a single template, maybe with just one caption?--Sefringle 01:58, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Sefringle, perhaps you could formulate what you are thinking of in your userspace as a demonstration? Say something like: User:Sefringle/Muhammad lead? (Netscott) 02:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Supreme court information sheet

Muhammad (c. 570 - 632) The Prophet of Islam. He is depicted holding the Qur’an. The Qur’an provides the primary source of Islamic Law. Prophet Muhammad’s teachings explain and implement Qur’anic principles. The figure above is a well-intentioned attempt by the sculptor, Adolph Weinman, to honor Muhammad and it bears no resemblance to Muhammad. Muslims generally have a strong aversion to sculptured or pictured representations of their Prophet. [4] --- ALM 11:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

And yet the sculpture was accepted then and not demolished later, highlighting the fact that the lack of resemblance to the historical Muhammad is not a good argument in favor of the removal of his images. Beit Or 14:18, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
This is your original research. --- ALM 14:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
One can also say doing orginal research that if they know the Muslim will dislike it so much they will never put it on the wall. Because above warding was changed as result of 1997 case against that image. --- ALM 14:28, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I have placed above text because it can be used as reference at different places. --- ALM 14:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I have no objection to a change in wording, if backed up by citation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:40, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
And what relevance has the above quotation to the issue of including pictures or not? Str1977 (smile back) 14:41, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I hope we have at the end of mediation/arbitration a picture near bottom of the article. Hence above text and many other references could be used write such picture caption. --- ALM 14:43, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Here is a citation: [5]. It states "The claim that the ban on depicting Muhammad and other prophets is an absolute principle of Islam is also refuted by history. Many portraits of Muhammad have been drawn by Muslim artists, often commissioned by Muslim rulers." I think it has historical importance, plenty of it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:47, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I have added that citation to the article, the claim "While the tradition of depiction Muhammad in the form of calligraphy is more common", still needs a citation, perhaps just reworded to match existing citations. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I have given you so many citations but you have use one that suit you and change the text in a minute without discussing it first. :(. Why you have selected this citation and rejected others? --- ALM 14:52, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Siyer-i Nebi is sanctioned by Muslim leader but they are all VEILED. Do not use one side citation to push your view and give other people warnings. --- ALM 14:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
It is simple ALM, none of your citations claimed there is no historical value to depiction, however this one did claim there was. Your citations simple showed the tradition of some Muslims not to show such images, a claim I am not refuting. It also provided a list of such images, I will ask you to return that cited information, it is attributable to a reliable source. Citing sources is how we maintain a NPOV, not by removing information we don't agree with. It is not cherry picked either, I googled "History of depicting Muhammad", and there is was. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 14:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I have shown you multiple citation saying MOST Muslims dislike those image (FOUR CITATION). Still you change the caption with single citation saying MANY portraits of Muhammad have been drawn by Muslim artists. Stop pushing your POV. --- ALM 15:03, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Many portraits have been drawn. That is not my POV, but a direct quote from the citation. Did you read the citation before removing that information? Just because most people don't do something does not mean it has not been done many times. Most people don't go to Korea, yet many have. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:04, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
ALM, the problem is: no one disputes that depicting Muhammad is somewhat discouraged throught Islamic history. But that only goes as far as it goes. HiBC's quote on the other hand gives evidence against the existence of an all-out comprehensive ban of such depictions. There is no contradiction between the two: Mulims have depicted Muhammad, though commonly they don't do it. It is no absolute rule of Islam. (Quite apart from the fact that even the existence of such a band would not justify removing depictions - or the burying it at the bottom of an article).
WP articles commonly have pictures of their subject (if they are avaiable). This article is about Muhammad and hence a picture of him is on topic and a desidaratum.
The calligraphy is a special thing in Muslim tradition and therefore one calligraphy deserves inclusion too (that is one calligraphy - not two for every other picture).
Carricatures are not depictions of someone but a commentary on some issues. Carricatures can also be objectively offensive. Therefore they are not useful to depict Muhammad.
On a formal note: could please everybody start the link without putting a superfluous blank before the first letter. Thank you.
Str1977 (smile back) 15:07, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be more productive to reword the first part of the citation to say "While most Muslims don't..." and provide those citations, but the fact remains, many did. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

But your citation gives wrong meanings. It could be written much better. You are telling end users that potraits are acceptable in Muslim because many are drawn by them? You can also edit the caption using multiple citation I have already given to you but you delcine to use anyone of them. It is pitty that you wish to give end user your side of wrong message. --- ALM 15:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I didn't make any claim as to how acceptable it is, I only put what the citation confirms. Any inference is unrelated to the information I provided. I wish you would not accuse me of intentional misinformation. I have not added your citations as they don't support the current text. The text would need to be changed if those citations were used. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Now I am going to add text using five citation. I know you and tom will jump to remove it. --- ALM 15:13, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Just make sure your citation, directly supports what you say, without your own interpretation. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:14, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Those cited pieces of information ALM has added seem to me to be an improvement on the article, relieving the undue weight issues we have had. I like it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I am preparing an arbitration and have not accepted that image on the top. --- ALM 15:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I look forward to a more structured debate. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:32, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

From your reference: Some of these can be seen in museums within the Muslim world, including the Topkapi in Istanbul, and in Bokhara and Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and Haroun-Walat, Iran (a suburb of Isfahan). Visitors to other museums, including some in Europe, would find miniatures and book illuminations depicting Muhammad, at times wearing his Meccan burqa (cover) or his Medinan niqab (mask). --- ALM 15:37, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

The reference also said it lacked the space to list them all. What point are you making? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:39, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
That is except persian muslim artist most of the time they are veild. For example Siyer-i Nebi. --- ALM 15:40, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Once again, you are making your own conclusion by applying your own analysis to the citation in question. Where does it say "artist most of the time they are veiled"? It only mentions that some of them are veiled, and some are not. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:42, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
But no point in arguing, arbitration is a great idea and will provide a neutral judge of our arguments. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:43, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

neutral judge. I wish. I will provide you references on your talk page. --- ALM 15:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

My talk page is not the place, better to discuss on the mediation page or at arbitration. As for the neutrality of arbcom, I have faith it. They will of course be biased towards the policies of Wikipedia though. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:03, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

The caption on that image is WAY too long. Can I or someone else summarize it to half its length (keeping the balance the same)? - Merzbow 18:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes please. But remember to keep it neutral while shortening. --- ALM 19:23, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Ref tags

These seem not to work in the transcluded template. Should we just use titled external links? Or maybe Netscott already has it under control. Tom Harrison Talk 20:34, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps we can stop transcluding soon, that would solve this technical difficulty. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 20:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we should considering ending the transclusion soon. - Merzbow 23:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Merzbow, new wording of the caption is not good. I might give end reader impression that there are some calligraphy picture and many portraits drawn by Muslim. Which is giving really wrong impression. Read it yourself again below.

Although Muslims "generally have a strong aversion to sculptured or pictured representations of their Prophet", there are "depictions" of Muhammad in the form of calligraphy, and many portraits of him have been drawn by Muslim artists..

If I change it then picture defenders will call it vandalism hence can you change it to more appropriate wordings? --- ALM 12:45, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

What wording would you suggest? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

"Muslims generally have a strong aversion to sculptured or pictured representations of their Prophet", "Islamic art therefore tended to be abstract or decorative" or calligraphy however, there are portraits of Muhammad drawn by Muslim artists. The references fully support this and it is not my POV. --- ALM 15:39, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

That looks accurate to me. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 15:53, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks at least we agree on something :). Can you change it? Thanking you in anticipation. --- ALM 15:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
You don't need to worry about making changes that are not being resisted. If nobody is objecting to a change then you can just go ahead and make it. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:01, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Done --- ALM 16:07, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the transclusion should be lifted however it should only be done so after mediation or some sort of an established consensus on this. I would compare this to what happened on the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy article where after a super majority voiced the opinion that the cartoons needed to be displayed at the lead of the article any subsequent systematic removals were viewed as blockable disruption. I mention this because this is not the case on this article. There is no super majority and there is no established consensus (none that I am aware of at least) about displaying images of Muhammad here therefore good faith attempts to remove/change the images of Muhammad (even systematically) should not be viewed as disruption. The current status of how the images are being displayed stems (I believe) from the fact that the article was locked in an image displaying configuration for weeks and in a sense became a new norm. The reality is that the only truly consensus established norm ever was that there was only one image of Muhammad displayed at the bottom of the article. In the meantime I will do my best to work around a recognized MediaWiki bug and render the references in the transclusion functional. (Netscott) 17:34, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Great and impressive post (Netscott). Thanks for showing reality in very neutral way. -:). --- ALM 17:38, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I would say there is a super-majority consensus if you discount arguments that don't take into account policy. The only remaining policy based argument is undue weight, which seems very settled with the current captions. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
which seems very settled with the current captions. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC). Can you give us right to disagree with it and accept it that many disagree with you? Please --- ALM 17:40, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
We are close. If we can agree to swap the unveiled image in the lead with the veiled one then I'm sure we can establish a consensus. - Merzbow 02:27, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
No that solution is not acceptable. Help in filing an effective arbitration if you can please. --- ALM 16:12, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
That's fine with me, as long as Image:Maome.jpg isn't being censored from the article. Perhaps it should be restored in the Overview section?Proabivouac 21:14, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
The current combination of the calligraphy plus the veiled kaaba image at the top works well for me. Nice and informative. I'd have no objections to having the unveiled preacher miniature somewhere further down too. Fut.Perf. 21:30, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Who will enforce that solution. What if in future they once again add un-veiled image on the top? What if in future they add more than three images? Even three images are too much and we still should delete one of the veiled image to end undue_weight thing. --- ALM 09:46, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
In fact, I will re-add Image:Maome.jpg shortly. We have four images of calligraphy as it is, and whose fault is it that we don't have more?Proabivouac 09:50, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
There can be other important pictures in the article. Like Muhammad court, First mosque Muhammad made, The hill he first time preach from etc. Hence no need to continue adding pictures. You said I will re-add Image:Maome.jpg shortly.. That is why Merzbow and User:Future Perfect at Sunrise we have no solution here. --- ALM 09:55, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I think it quite unbalanced that we now start this article with the calligraphy (not the common way to depict a human being) and than add a veiled image. I think it a good idea to include the calligraphy on top if it is followed by an unveiled image - IMHO the "negative side-effects" cancel each other out. Or, we just put the veiled image on top - IMHO a compromise - and move the calligraphy somewhere else. In any case, I see no reason why the Maome picture should be deleted. Str1977 (smile back) 10:08, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
ALM, is this article entitled The hill from which Muhammad first preached?
"Veiled" is a pathetic euphemism. Muhammad did not wear a veil, and anyhow it doesn't look like one (for example, where are his eyes?). More accurately, his face is blanked.Proabivouac 10:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
That is a freaking fake picture any way. Is that a real potrait you are talking about. --- ALM 10:21, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The only thing fake around here, ALM, is your shamelessly insincere appeal to "undue weight," an expedience necessitated by the lack of a WP:TABOO.Proabivouac 10:30, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh boy, this discussion is going round in circles. Next circle: Str1977, what is or isn't "a common way to depict a human being" is irrelevant and not an argument, because having a depiction of a human being in an encylopedia article isn't an end in itself. ALM, whether you think an image is a "freaking fake" is irrelevant and not an argument, because we aren't including these images for their value as indicators of what he looked like. Proabivouac, the thing about "undue weight" is a legitimate concern, so please stop disparaging other editors about that, but I do believe with the present sequence that problem should be considered solved. I personally very much like the sequence, calligraphy, veiled image, unveiled image further down, because it is the most informative. Fut.Perf. 10:32, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The point is that this all was used as an excuse to censor Image:Maome.jpg, the only "unveiled" image we have which shows Muhammad as a prophet (as opposed to young Muhammad.) There are four images of calligraphy, so according to all those who've said we must "balance" depictions with an equal amount of calligraphy, there should be no problem with re-adding it in another section.Proabivouac 10:41, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Who has said equal amount of calligraphy? The pictures should be much lesser as compare to calligrpahy. Secondly, please read WP:AGF before accusing others of censoring. --- ALM 10:43, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
ALM, that is already a huge fallacy. We do not need to include calligraphies and images in the ratio they exist all over the world. The common way of depiction is an image of the subject of the article. The subject is M. and not his name, signature, calligraphy. Therefore his image is to be included primarily. We also include depictions of events and sites (e.g. Hira= important to his life. AND: we also include a calligraphy to represent that M. is often represented by it in Islamic art. Such a practice is unusual and therefore all the more noteworthy. However, this is no calligraphy farm and four calligraphies are certainly overkill. The informative value of a second and a third calligraphy (if they do not represent anything else, as the one about the Islamic creed does) is exactly zero. Str1977 (smile back) 11:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Sure, you wouldn't like to censor depictions of Muhammad, you only run around Wikipedia neutrally looking for undue weight problems. Uh-huh. AGF doesn't require us to take your very last statement in isolation from all the others.
As for calligraphy, the trouble is that you can't seem to find it. First you say, it's everywhere throughout Islamic history, much more of this than of depictions. Then you set a ratio based on this falsehood. Finally, when you can't find your bizillion calligraphic images because they don't exist, you use this as an excuse to limit the number of depictions.
In fact it's you who'd violate undue weight by privileging this contemporary fad (so it's been shown to be) of "depicting" Muhammad by writing his name, which, out of ignorance (rather than malice, so I'll assume), you misrepresented as Islamic tradition.Proabivouac 10:54, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Kindly, vote Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#May_be_the_last_voting. So that I can go for arbitration or RFC. regards. --- ALM 10:36, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Just a late response to ALM's question further above, as it seems to have gone unanswered: "Who will enforce that solution. What if in future they once again add un-veiled image on the top?" - There are, for better or worse, no decisions on Wikipedia that are binding forever, so nothing we can decide here can possibly come with a guarantee. However, if a strong majority of us, the current editors involved in this debate (i.e., ALM, Netscott, Merzbow, Grenavitar, Aminz, Itaqallah, Alecmcconroy, HighInBC, Proabivouac, Str1977, Beit Or, myself), could converge on a compromise (supposedly somewhere not too far away from what we have now - somebody above said "we're close"), then we should all expect from each other that we will stand together defending that compromise later if it is challenged. At least, we could then point later editors to this solution if they wish to overturn it, and it would be incumbent on them to garner a new modified consensus before substantial changes should be allowed. Fut.Perf. 15:40, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Why not like previous moderator who was also an admin and he was saying that whatever solution reached in mediation, he will used his admin power to ensure that it is enforced. Why can not we have something like that now?
A possible compromise (1) Remove one picture (because 4 are too much) (2) do not change there positions/sequence and we can close this? But someone has to enforce the solution and no changing of image places or adding new images should be allowed. --- ALM 16:46, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
As for the admin involvement - I was wondering, you're having a "mediation" and no mediator around? What happened, did you guys scare him away? ;-) It's rather difficult to get a content issue fixed by admin action in this way, it's not really anywhere in the admin policies unless there'd be a strong consensus that a breach of a status quo would ipso facto constitute "disruption". But anyway, a good solid sense of solidarity among a core group of editors willing to protect a compromise once reached can have the same effect. - As for removing one image, no problem with me. But which? Not the preaching one, I think people will insist on that. I'd personally let Image:Mohammed kaaba 1315.jpg go. Fut.Perf. 16:58, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
That is a good compromise can we stop it here and some admin help in enforcing it. No changing in places of images and we will change caption (with references). What you guys think? --- ALM 17:01, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I just made an edit which we could call a "proposed compromise"-- it has only 3 images, rather than the 4. It has caligraphy at top, veiled second. It still includes the three best visual depictions we have, and they're all large enough to be viewable. I'm not in love with the fact that we've removed unveiled from top without a good justification for doing so, but if this really solves the dispute, I suppose it'd be worth it. If however, people just take it as an opportunity for another request for a "compromised, compromised, compromise", I'll myself suggest we just revert back to the unveiled at top that we've used for a while and be done with it, and if there's any policy that compells us to remove an unveiled image from the top, Arbcom can tell us that. --Alecmconroy 17:03, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I am okay with it. However as long as we do not change the places of images and do not add new images too. We should change caption to let reader know the tradition better. --- ALM 17:04, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Fine with me. Only, I'm not sure whether the positioning I'm seeing on the main Mohammed page now is the same as intended - I'm currently seeing different orders on both pages, how did you tweak that? In any case: calligraphy on top, veiled Kaaba image right below it, preaching image near the "depictions" section, plus either the ascension or the unveiled Kaaba image somewhere else wherever it fits, works well for me. Captions can obviously be further tweaked. Fut.Perf. 17:11, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I think right now it looked okay the sequence. That mean one VEILED on the top and other two in the depiction section. It is not what I wish for but I wish to end this mediation. I wish to create new articles instead of wasting time here. --- ALM 17:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine now with User:Alecmconroy's final edit. (Netscott) 17:22, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Obviously, I can't promise any prohibition against more images, but I can say I haven't seen any other images that offer us anything that the other three don't already cover. About positioning-- I've already said, I don't think we need more than two in lead, but beyond that, it should be wherever best makes sense-- so far, nobody's suggested anywhere but where they currently are now. So, let me be crystal clear-- I'm not supporting any principle that the veiled images, as a general rule of wikipedia, are the ones that have to be at top. I'm definitely not saying that in general, all other images have to be confined to a special "depictions" section. And I'm most defintely not supporting the idea of "no unveiled images of Muhammad in lead in any Wikipedia articles". But, as of this particular second, the article is a state where I personally wouldn't have thought to change it if I just stumbled upon it, so I suppose this version is okay with me IF it absolutely ends the dispute.
But, as you can see-- I have some uneasiness there. this compromise violates my own basic sense of what we should be doing--- putting an image in the lead regardless of whether it is veiled or unveiled-- not insisting on one that is veiled. Since I haven't heard a good reason to remove the unveiled from the lead, that really is probably the one that should be there if you ask me. But if everyone loves this, I could live with it. --Alecmconroy 17:21, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I had already started voting at Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#A_Solution:_The_End.3F. Should I remove that one? I have problem with "somewhere else" wording of section below about compromise. --- ALM 17:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Maome image

Tucking this here for now due to the work that has gone into this caption, etc. (Netscott) 16:07, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

It is in the lead. Hence no need to have it here again. Furthermore same caption can be used for any other image. --- ALM 16:11, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
That's fine. (Netscott) 16:15, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Mediation failed?

Please reply at Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#May_be_the_last_voting so that we can move forward from this step. Thanks. --- ALM 20:11, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Transclusion bugs

The syntax governing this is arcane and un-wikilike. There are currently four calligraphic images and only three depictions, Image:Maome.jpg has been censored from the article on religious grounds contra policy, and we should be able to correct this without having to navigate this arbitrary minefield.Proabivouac 10:02, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:NPOV#Undue_weight is also a policy but Alas!. Netscott and Merzbow have remove it and Tom harrison has reverted to their change. This is a News that they are now Muslims. --- ALM 10:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I must agree with Pro. ALM, I don't understand what you are saying. Str1977 (smile back) 10:10, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Evreything little thing I try to do causes some bizarre display problem. The only well-supported move is blanking, which as we've seen is a simple matter.Proabivouac 10:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Two visual depictions in lead

It looks like at the moment, we have two different visual depictions in the lead. To me, this is sorta going the other direction and over-compensating. I know that's hard to keep track of what's what, so I keep going back to looking at how we've covered analogous subject: Jesus, Gautama Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Abraham, Zoroaster-- all have one main visual depiction, not two.

If adding a second is a compromise that makes everybody happier like adding the single caligraphy image, then that's fine then. But if it's just hitting people over the head with the fact that we're not going to censor, I'd say let's move the veiled kabba image down in the article. --Alecmconroy 12:54, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem is the transclusion. I tried to put Maome in the overview, but it wouldn't display correctly.Proabivouac 13:01, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Transclusion has no problem and it is very easy to work with. --- ALM 13:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Compromise found?

It seems to me compromise proposals have been converging towards this formula:

I think I've seen indications from ALM scientist, Alecmconroy, Proabivouac, Merzbow and Netscott that they would agree to a solution along these lines. If that's the case, can we now get this confirmed in a (hopefully) final straw poll? I think both sides have made big concessions from their initial position here, so if we could finish this up in this way it would really be a big step forward.

Support this solution
  1. Fut.Perf. 17:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    • (Netscott) 17:59, 6 March 2007 (UTC) per change in wording
  2. A fine solution. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Alecmconroy 18:04, 6 March 2007 (UTC) (I changed the wording just a hair so I could support, so above signers should make sure it's still okay with them)
  3. I'm not totally thrilled with the current positioning of the "unveiled" images in the text body, but it's certainly acceptable. I might oppose this article on an FA nomination or something over it, but the current wording is good - apart from which, there should be some flexibility for future editors to move things around for content or style reasons - who knows? All in all, the current article is okay. WilyD 18:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  4. Merzbow 18:43, 6 March 2007 (UTC) Yes. I think the key part of this compromise is the lead; I think that should stay this while for a while (calligraphy above veiled).
  5. Aslamt 09:22, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. ALM 18:59, 6 March 2007 (UTC) as long as we do not specify a sequence they will be in overview section tomorrow. I like the current state of the article. If we can keep it then I will be happy to support.
  2. BYT 19:35, 6 March 2007 (UTC) Oppose per ALM.
  3. Chowbok 19:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC). This solution would still be treating this article differently than others due to religious sensibilities, and as such would be in violation of WP:NOT#CENSORED. Any "compromise", driven as it is by the concerns of a religious group, is an attempt to violate the plain language stated therein.
    I'm not sure your assessment of the situation is fair: A very reasonable case can be made to make both veiled and calligraphic representations as more prominent than unveiled representations - further, I think ALM's overall undue weight case is weak, but applies well in the Life based on Islamic Traditions section. To be frank, I'd rather move the burning/veiled image to overview, leaving only the caligraphy at the top (two images at the top is ugly), and maybe readjust the bottom a bit, probably swap out one of the two Islamic images for a non-Islamic one (isn't there an image of Muhammad carved into the American capital building?) to address some weight concerns and the like. But as it stands now, it's not terrible, and the state of the article is certainly not unacceptable, albeit non-ideal. WilyD 19:26, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  4. Alecmconroy 19:56, 6 March 2007 (UTC). ALM, Netscott, and numerous other oppose this. Without a consensus, there's no justification for removing the unveiled image from the lead. People who wish to do so should contact Arbcom or make a policy that forbids us from using umages. Without a policy, a ruling, or a consensus, there's absolutely no justfication whatsoever for removing a well-sourced image from the lead simply because it offends the religious views of some people. Muhammad is not special, WP:NPOV requires us to treat him just like everyone else, Wikipedia is not censored, and besides, it's univerallly agreed he didn't wear a veil, so including it in the lead (without a consensus) is undue weight. Come talk to me when there's an Arbcom ruling, a change in policy that specifically addresses this issue, or a firm consensus.
    I do support the real concensus reached before changing of wording. That include no veiled image on the top. --- ALM 20:04, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  5. Per my response to the poll below, though slightly less egregious in not requiring Maome.jpg to be pushed to the bottom of the article.Proabivouac 22:08, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  6. Until such a time that there is a clear and unambiguous change to the Wikipedia is not censored policy, or a clear and unambiguous Arbcom ruling to the same effect, the contents of Wikipedia are not determined by religious dogma. Weregerbil 11:49, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  7. Muhammad is not a squiggle of lines. He had a face. As such, a picture of a man with a face should be at the top, IMO. Canar 18:32, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Comment

I can live with current state of the article. However, above changed wording ("in text body") allows pictures to move further above any where in text. Please keep them on their current location and I will be verrry happy to support. -- ALM 18:08, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The changed wording doesn't let there be two in the lead, which we all think is overkill. So far nobody's suggested they should be anywhere else in the text, but I'm certainly not going to going agree to a ruling that REQUIRES all other images to be in one exact spot in the article for all time. Does this really kill it for you? Let me know. --Alecmconroy 18:14, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, let's not be over-restrictive in a way that would stifle further development. There's not much space on top of the article anyway, as there's the big ToC and the two large infoboxes near the top, so anything that's "in the body" is still substantially removed from the two top ones. They should be somewhere where they fit in with the content of the surrounding text, and I personally think the "depictions" section is as natural a place as any, especially since the "Maome" image is not closely linked to any particular section of the biography. Fut.Perf. 18:19, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Tomorrow they will be in overview section. Please keep the wording same. Otherwise what is compromise?-- ALM 18:17, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I am not saying to restrict them on one section but at least keep them on bottom part of article and not allow to move all in overview section. --- ALM 18:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Look, "Muhammad" is not special. We don't make us special rules for this article. Now, in any given article, we have "about 3" images of the subject-- one in lead, and we don't spam them all up at the very top. If it truly solves things, then maybe it's okay to put a caligraphy at the absolutely top, even though a caligraphy isn't actually an image of the subject and it's sort of out of place and we don't include handwritten samples of anyone else's name at the top of any other biogrpahy articles. And if it really solves things, maybe it's okay to use a specific image that HAPPENS to be veiled, since it's no better or worse than the others, IF that is that absolute end of it, and from here on out, we don't have any futher demands on making Muhammad special. Or else we can forget the whole thing, lower the caligraphy since it's not an image of Muhammad, put the unveiled right up at top where it belongs anyway, and if and only if Arbcom says thinks there's a some policy that forbids it, they can tell us what that policy is. --Alecmconroy 18:24, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Please end this. I beg you. Current article is looking okay. It is neither what you have wanted and nor what I wish. I wish for no images in the article but accepting three image and even in the lead. Please end this. Please --- ALM 18:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
No more, ALM okay-- Wikipedia does not treat Muhammad special. In every other article, we include however many images we want, at whatever size we want, wherever we want, until it gets to be so many images that it violates spam. We put his handwritten name at the top even though we've never done anything like that before anywhere else on wikipedia. Then we put a veiled image at top, even though we've never done anything like that before. Then we deleted it down from four images to three. Every one of those actions violates NPOV because it treats Muhammad differently than we usually treat the subjects of biographies. Now that's IT. This is your Munich Agreement-- if deleting the Miraj image is your LAST demand for the price of peace, I can try to live with it. I don't know that I can even sell that honestly-- but that is IT. There is not a single shread of policy to support our treating Muhammad so gingerly.
I'm going to lunch and will be back in an hour and will look over this page when I get back. If this is really supported by consensus, fine. If not, I apologize for violating policy by deleting the veiled image earler today, I will self-revert and bring the article back in line with existing policy, and keep it that way until either Arbcom, a new policy, or a STRONG consensus compells us to change it. --Alecmconroy 18:47, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Even keeping Miraj image is okay but they will be pulled up tomorrow or in next few day. Maome.jpg will be in the overview section. That is problem. What compromise we have reached I am not sure. --- ALM 18:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I haven't read the above but if you ask for opinions (which is what a vote is) you will get them. Str1977 (smile back) 18:37, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I have a question before I can voice an opinion:

  • Is the above intended as the sequence? If so, I repeat my query why we have to have a calligraphy on top next to a veiled image?
  • What about all the other additional calligraphies, not included here but in the article? Will they be removed?

Str1977 (smile back) 18:37, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

No opinion about the other calligraphies - though I note they are embedded in the text in a meaningful way and have good image captions, so it would be a pity to cut them out. As for the sequence, yes, I think that's the essential part of this being a compromise. I don't think we should re-hash the points about why to have or not to have the calligraphy there, it's been discussed plenty. Fut.Perf. 18:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think all of them are included in a meaningful way. The one depicting the creed is, the others aren't.
Why are we hashing out a compromise about only one part of the images and not all of them?
My point about the sequence is: why have two "censored" images on top. That doesn't look like a balanced compromise to me. I'd advocate either a veiled image and nothing else on top, or a combination of the calligraphy with an unveiled image.
Otherwise I will have to oppose this so-called compromise. Str1977 (smile back) 14:56, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Original Compromise found

It seems to me compromise proposals have been converging towards this formula:

I think I've seen indications from ALM scientist, Alecmconroy, Proabivouac, Merzbow and Netscott that they would agree to a solution along these lines. If that's the case, can we now get this confirmed in a (hopefully) final straw poll? I think both sides have made big concessions from their initial position here, so if we could finish this up in this way it would really be a big step forward.

Support this solution

  1. (Netscott) 20:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. ALM 20:02, 6 March 2007 (UTC) I it.
  3. BYT 20:24, 6 March 2007 (UTC) Support.
  4. conditional Generically, there needs to be some flexibility in how this can be adapted in the future - after giving it some thought, I think the undue weight argument of ALM (or whoever) suggests a non-Islamic representation might be better than one of the two Islamic ones there now - for example this might bring better balance to the article. Policy is that articles aren't set in stone and no decisions are permanent, and we need some kind of flexibility explicitly in the "agreement". WilyD 20:08, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    one further depiction (currently Image:Mohammed kaaba 1315.jpg) somewhere near it means you can change it. --- ALM 20:20, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  5. Merzbow 22:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC) Time to end this.
  6. Hoverfish Talk 13:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC) Support. After all the long mediation, I find this solution both encyclopedically and aesthetically acceptable.
  7. Nil Einne 16:10, 7 March 2007 (UTC) seems resonable to me. I've yet to be convinced anything other then calligraphy at the top is merited since it appears to be the most common depiction. The veiled image should also be the first one to actually depict Muhammad figuratively IMHO. If people feel 4 images is insufficient, as I've remarked elswhere I don't really have a problem with including more, provided we don't have an unrepresentative image at the top. Although I do feel if we are going to include more images depicting Muhammad figuratively, we also have to consider including more calligraphy if appropriate (if there is a significant difference)
  8. Aminz.I agree except that I don't like much the idea of having any picture in the lead. The Calligraphy Image can come first but not in the lead. And since I personally find the preaching image to be ugly (that's only my personal view), I would prefer to see it at the lower half of the article.
  9. Shenme 04:18, 8 March 2007 (UTC) It is close to what I'd like, which is what will not damage the article for the reader. My focus is on the overall useability of the article, which is an encyclopedic goal.
  10. VirtualEye 04:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC) I am forced to agree with the first three points. But I will not accept the 4th picture which is the most contradictory and ugly.
  11. Support this ŇëŧΜǒńğëŗTalk 09:28, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  12. Towaru 13:27, 8 March 2007 (UTC) I support only half of the above picture. I still dont think Image:Maome.jpg and Image:Mohammed kaaba 1315.jpg, should be taken under consideration. The image clearly similarize Muhammad s.a.w. with something He shouldnt be.
    Probable sockpuppet of VirtualEye.Proabivouac 22:25, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
  13. I support.Bless sins 14:22, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  14. I support. --Sa.vakilian 03:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  15. I support this proposal. The wikipedia policy against censorship says that the content of wikipedia should not be censored. It doesn't say that we can't include content that was "censored" at creation by someone else. In this case, the "censored" image is relevant to the culture surrounding the person of Muhammad. The interpretation of the WP:NOT#CENSORED policy that would argue against the inclusion of the veiled image amounts to censoring other people's censorship, which is just absurd. Deranged bulbasaur 11:44, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  16. Support. Per above reasons.130.113.111.214 18:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
    See comment to User:206.126.80.107 below.Proabivouac 05:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  17. I support too. All images are fine.206.126.80.107 02:38, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd just as soon discount all mysterious IP contributors showing up here now that haven't been a part of this whole discussion. (Netscott) 05:32, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I hate to say it, but these are probable anonpuppets of Bless sins, for reasons I cannot disclose in wiki space, but which you may easily retrace on your own. I suppose it's no surprise that people behave differently with anon or throwaway accounts, but I'd have expected more, and am disappointed.Proabivouac 10:20, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
"anonpuppets" ? Is that a new word that you just made up.. ? And btw, you are wrong :D216.99.52.133 00:28, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Question: is the current state of the page what is being voted on here? or is this a comporomise something different than the current page? --Alecmconroy 04:15, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Answer: This is a slightly different version as spelled out in the heading of this straw poll. (Netscott) 04:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't look "slightly different" to me at all. I suppose it does not, in fact, set an upper limit of three depictions, any more than it sets an upper limit of one calligraphic image. However, it mandates that two of the three images mentioned be placed very near the bottom of the article for no encyclopedic reason at all.Proabivouac 04:25, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
See-- therein lies the issue. I think it was meant to represent a new proposeal that would impose some additional limitations on how the images could be used, but reading over the wording, it's not clear how it differs from current version which I do support. --Alecmconroy 04:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Oppose

  1. Any amount of images that adds to the readers understanding of the articles subject should be included. What conservative Islam believes is acceptable and not acceptable to include in our encyclopedia is entirely irrelevant. -- Karl Meier 20:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    The case that unveiled images are somehow more representative than veiled images has no legs to stand on. Given, in fact, that this is a more typical representation of Muhammad, it's actually preferable to use a veiled image in the lead. It's a surprising conclusion, I know, but it turns out this way. WilyD 21:06, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    An unveiled image will appear in the depictions section, I don't see the problem. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 21:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    HighInBC, do you then consider the current configuration (with two unveiled images in Depictions and two veiled images before acceptable? With the flaming veiled image (which I rather like) either at the top or in the introduction? WilyD 21:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    If you mean this one, then yes I find that acceptable. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. It's ridiculous to push Maome.jpg to the bottom of the article. Images should be placed where they are most topical relative to the text. Additionally, three is an inadequate number. If more images of calligraphy are needed, as has until just now been the claim (funny how that appears to have been dropped, yet the conclusion remains the same), then we should find notable examples and add them, not limit depictions. There are in any event currently four images of calligraphy, one of which, in a marked departure from convention (despite the overwhelming consensus of this poll) is the very first image. See [11], [12] for examples of what the article might look like in the absence of religiously-motivated censorship.Proabivouac 22:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. Maome.jpg should be more in the center of the article, not at the very end.--Sefringle 22:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    I would support the movement of this image if that is what is holding people back, it can be traded with the one in the middle, makes little difference. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:47, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    The placement of images should be decided by encyclopedic considerations, such as topicality vis-a-vis text. That is why Muhammad and the Black Stone accompanies the mention of this tradition, while an image of Isra and Mi'raj accompanies the same. What I'm hearing here is, "Push it as close to the bottom as possible." Upon what principle can that rest besides that of censorship?Proabivouac 23:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  4. No policy to remove or bury unveiled images. If you want a policy demanding the removal, make one and get it passed. In the mean time, NPOV and Not Censored demand we include. --Alecmconroy 23:32, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
    Please re-read the section in NPOV on undue weight. - Merzbow 00:26, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    I thought the undue weight argument boiled down to the need to include images of calligraphy, which we've done and presumably will continue to do. There are currently four of each. Was there something else?Proabivouac 00:36, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    As many people have pointed out, giving "weight" is also a matter of giving "prominence" through positioning. For instance, whether or not you put something in the lead of an article means a lot in terms of "weight", due or undue. That goes for images just as it goes for text. Fut.Perf. 14:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
    By your logic, Future Perfect, as it's also been pointed out, the vast majority of biographies would have no depiction in the lead, for there is no significant tradition at all of depicting most individuals. In many cases only one portrait exists, yet it is still included in the lead. Do all these articles violate undue weight?Proabivouac 02:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
    Well said Proabivouac. The very fact that the depiction is of the subject of the article justifies it's inclusion in the lead, the centuries of artists creating such depictions justifies multiple placements. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 02:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. WIkipedia is not a Muslim Theocracy. It is a scholarly endeavour, and should not be beholden to a small vocal minority of Wikipedian editors who despite numerous citations to the contrary, continue to insist that depicting Mohammed is against haditha, instead of the truth, that it is unpopular among many muslims, but clearly, not all, and has not always been so unpopular, as many Islamic rulers have commissioned such works, without being deposed or killed. ThuranX 01:25, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    I don't quite get what this has to do with anything since this has nothing to do with what is or isn't against Haditha but what images are the most representative and how we should present them. Clearly presenting a unrepresentative image as the primary image is unscholarly Nil Einne 16:14, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  6. Oppose. Until such a time that there is a clear and unambiguous change to the Wikipedia is not censored policy, or a clear and unambiguous Arbcom ruling to the same effect, the contents of Wikipedia are not determined by religious dogma. Weregerbil 11:50, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    Nor should it by editors who refuse to accept that using images as appopriate for the subject matter is somehow censorship even though it's not Nil Einne 16:14, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  7. Oppose. No special treatment for any religion or creed. --Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 14:09, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    Exactly, that's why any uncommon depiction of Muhammad should not be given undue weight Nil Einne 16:14, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    It's rude to badger with questions every editor who doesn't vote your way. Beit Or 20:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
    Good thing he's not doing that, then. This isn't a vote, it's a discussion, and lousy points should be refuted. WilyD 14:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. No viable encyclopedic arguments have been presented in favor of this proposal. Beit Or 20:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  9. Oppose per Karl Meier and most of the above. The case is plain and simple. --tickle me 13:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  10. Oppose per all above other users. You've all said it very nicely --ProtectWomen 10:05, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
  11. Oppose - I thought the picture of Muhammed preaching in Mecca was very stylish and archaic. Very biblical. It looked really nice, and it wasn't censored, as opposed to the new one. 83.92.244.246 11:04, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Eik Corell
  12. Oppose per Karl Meier and Proabivouac. Arrow740 08:36, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
  13. Oppose per above. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 15:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Comment

  • What exactly does this proposal involve? There are lots of configurations of the article that I would not change, but I do not see the basis for excluding pictures like this one in the German Wikipedia's biography of Muhammad:[13]. It is arguably better than some we do include, though there is something to be said for those where the prophet is actively doing something important - preaching, and re-dedicating the Black Stone as we have now. I do not oppose avoiding gratitious offense, but imposing religious censorship does more harm than good, to the encyclopedia, and to this particular article. If I support this, what am I agreeing to? Tom Harrison Talk 22:28, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Basically you are being asked if the above configuration meets you expectations for this article. No matter what we decide here consensus can always change in the future. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 23:02, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's not something I would change right now, but neither would I tell someone else he could not change it, or revert a change that was an improvement. I guess that is non-opposition, or limited support, or something. Tom Harrison Talk 23:09, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • So we're just going to ignore this clear majority (25 endorsements to 16 for the most popular partially-censored version) and this overwhelming consensus, as well as policy? If a clear majority and a consensus plus policy isn't enough to decide the matter, then I propose again to bring this to the attention of the broader community.Proabivouac 23:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The solution here is to just act in line with policy as it currently stands now-- any and all images of Muhammad allowed anywhere in an article, just like Jesus and Abraham and Buddha and Lao Tzu. Meanwhile, those who want to CHANGE Wikipedia policies to include a special exception for Muhammad are free to try to do so through the usual channel (Arbcom, Policy proposal, Appeal to Jimbo/board). It's tempting to want to sacrifice uor principles just to make people happy, but in the end, it only makes Wikipedia articles held hostage to a handful of the most vocal religous extremists. As of this moment, there is no policy that prohibits images of Muhammad and a majority of users support their inclusion, so in they stay, and people who systemically edit war against consensus and policy should be removed from participation in the project. --Alecmconroy 23:28, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Well this new consensus seems to be failing, so it looks like this existing consensus will have to serve for now. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 01:27, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
That's not a consensus, that's the extreme pro-picture position of not being able to give an inch on anything - unlimited number of pictorials, anywhere. The reason why this continues to fester is because of this and because your side doesn't have enough numbers to force a "consensus" without pulling out multiple reverts per person a day. We've given plenty of ground here. This can be ended either by you giving a little ground also, or by you recruiting many more new editors to your side. - Merzbow 03:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is pro-picture by default. There is no policy based reason to say this consensus is invalid. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 03:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

So far as I can tell, there is no policy-based reason to assume it's actually consensus, either. BYT 12:56, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I suggest to ask all the people who have voted in the past (no new users) if majority agrees on above compromise then we enforce it otherwise not? fair? --- ALM 12:54, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

As far as I have understood, consensus happens when almost everyone agrees to a proposal. The case here is that Wikipedia is being used as a battlefield. On the one side are those who would like to "keep Wikipedia uncensored" by adding any picture they like in this article and from the other those who would like to keep the particular article within reach of the Moslem population. I am strong against censorship and yet I would like this article to be acceptable to the Moslems as well as to the rest of the world. Could both sides, please, consider this view as well? Hoverfish Talk 14:05, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Wrong, you can read more in WP:CONSENSUS. A consensus is where a clear majority comes to a decision, taking into account the strength of the arguments, and not taking into account arguments that violate policy. What you described is a vote. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 14:59, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Guys, I think HighInBC's comment about consensus did not refer to Alec's (whose position is not a cnsensus but the maximilast pro-picture position - a position completely in line with WP policy) but to the proposal discussed in this section. And I tend to agree. One side is basically not willing to agree to a reasonable compromise but stonewalls everything but a no-face of Muhammad anywhere near the top - not understanding that all this hurly-burly here already is many editors bending over backwards trying to please them. I see no response to this. Right now, I am still hoping for a compromise (see my comments in the section above) but my hope is dwindling. If we can't have a compromise we should implement the maximalist position in keeping with policy. Str1977 (smile back) 15:14, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
This #Original Compromise found is the consensus that I was referring to failing, this Talk:Muhammad/Mediation#human depiction with no veil at the top AND multiple other images was the consensus that I was referring to that seems to have succeeded. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:19, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

<John Cleese imitation:> Explain the logic underlying that conclusion. I see roughly 40 people expressing a preference for something else.BYT 16:07, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but not agreeing to any one thing. And if you go beyond the vote counting and look at the actual discussion(I know it is long) you can discount those opinions that do not take policy into account. Dig? HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

This is false. WP:NPOV#Undue_weight is policy and many people has referring to it. --- ALM 16:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, and your interpretation of that policy, has not gained support, nor is your interpretation so clear cut that it can override consensus. Nowhere is the claim being made that depictions are more common than calligraphy, so I still don't understand your point. We added caption to clear this issue up, not sure where they went but they are still available. I am pretty sure undue weight has been cleared up. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:17, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

High, re: "Dig?" - Nay, I dig not thy point. You're claiming consensus based on something only you, apparently, can see. BYT 16:20, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

But HighInBC can we disagree with your caption theory to end undue weight. Which is clearly against policy of WP:NPOV#Undue_weight. It mention prominent places etc. It does not mention that to put a picture on prominent place and change caption. --- ALM 16:21, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Although I think the compromise is okay, I should add that the current page seems [14] seems okay to me as well although I wonder of Maome should move down a bit (don't feel tht strongly about it but it seem resonably to meactually on further consideration I do feel it should be moved). If people feel depictions is too low, then I would suggest the appropriate section in "Life based on Islamic traditions" Nil Einne 16:23, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

from WP:NPOV#Undue_weight *"Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. Just as giving undue weight to a viewpoint is not neutral, so is giving undue weight to other verifiable and sourced statements. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements." Where it mention caption to adjust picture after placing it on prominent place? --- ALM 16:24, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

What statement? It says so is giving undue weight to other verifiable and sourced statements. But showing the picture is not making a statement. If look like the 5th king of France and see a picture, I am not going to assume this means that such images are the most common form of portrayal, because that statement is not being made. You can look at a picture, and get a message, but other people get different messages. My point is you cannot have undue weight for a claim if no claim is being made. This is more about you not wanted the image at the top. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:30, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree The policy clearly states an article should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. In this case, the depictions are clearly only of limited significance to the subject and so featuring them to prominently in the article is undue weight. Nil Einne 16:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
But where is the demonstration that this method of depiction is such a minority that putting it at the top constitutes undue weight? There is a long history of Muslim and non-Muslim people painting and commissioning the painting of such images over the course of centuries. I don't think it is such a small historical phenomenon, nor have I seen citation to convince me otherwise. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:41, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Roughly speaking, two images at the top is already starting to be cluttered - three or more would just make it unbelievably ugly - it would be nice if you'd comment on the page as I've modified it - which cannot realistically be accused of burying the unveiled representation, I think, and (I believe) addresses somewhat well the valid concerns of everyone (It can't address all the invalid concerns, of course). WilyD 16:46, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it necessary has to be an extreme minority. But having it at the top implies to me it's a resonably common sort of depiction which it seems to me it's not. I also don't think we can only look at things historically. Obviously the historical situation is important but we need to look at the contempory situation as well. If something is historically common but contemparily it's not, then it's undue weight to give it too much prominent IMHO. Nil Einne 16:57, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
No, this isn't true - we should not give any special bias towards the contemporary situation. Overall, 2007 should have the same weight as 1692 in terms of prominance. Obviously, with more verifiable sources in 2007, the article will be biased towards the modern day, but an ideal article is most definitely not. This isn't a newspaper, this is an encyclopaedia. WilyD 17:02, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  • In response to a solicitation for my comments[15] I'll start by stating that I approach this subject with considerable respect and some trepidation. Unlike Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, it is possible to describe Muhammad in a biographical article without actually depicting him. In addition, to the best of my knowledge, no original portrait of him exists. I was a major contributor to Joan of Arc, which has become a featured article. Although that topic has no religious prohibition against depictions the lack of accurate portraiture was a similar problem. I resolved that more or less singlehandedly by importing photographs of places she visited during her lifetime and also a map and a photostat of her signature. Together with some original translations from her letters that I also provided, the article has no shortage of images. When I began editing the page all of its images were imaginative portraits. Now it has fewer portraits and considerably more images. Perhaps a similar approach would be acceptable at this biography. If I understand correctly, the principal constraint is that a significant portion of Muslims object to portraiture of Muhammad. That viewpoint is by no means universal among Muslims, yet (at the extremes) no branch of Islam practices iconography in the way some branches of Christianity do, and it's relatively rare for the stricture against graphic representations to get carried so far that only calligraphy is acceptable. Would it offend a significant portion of readers to offer maps and modern photographs of historically significant sites? Arguably this would deliver greater informational value than imaginative portraiture could convey. DurovaCharge! 21:39, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
There are currently four location photos, Mountain of Hira, Kaaba, Mosque of the Prophet and Dome of the Rock. I can't see why anyone would object to a few more of these if they seem useful, along with several more depictions. If there's one image that I imagine could be really be useful here, it would a map of the Hejaz showing Muhammad's travels and conquests. As it's a long article, with no shortage of margin space, it seems to me rather artificial to assume a dichotomy between images of locations and depictions of Muhammad.Proabivouac 22:02, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you don't mind stepping outside the usual paradigms for a moment, the dilemma I faced with the Joan of Arc article was somewhat of the opposite nature. In fall 2005 when I began editing the article's images were all devotional portraits - such things are revered in her religion and culture - yet the informational value they added was rather low and the article had a serious POV problem. Imaginative portraiture of Joan of Arc conveys as much or more about the gender assumptions and the political clmate of the artist's era than it says about its putative subject. The current featured article balances religious, political, and military aspects of her biography. Captions for the remaining portrait images contain that type of meta-analysis. So with respect to Muhammad - if we respectfully set aside disputes about religious strictures for a moment - I'll treat the issue as I understand it point by point.
  • We don't know much about what Muhammad actually looked like. For contrast, view this bust of Roman emperor Caracalla that was taken from life and survives from antiquity.
  • If you accept my example of Joan of Arc as somewhat relevant (as with Muhammad, no authentic depiction of her has survived and both of them share the unusual distinctions of being successful military leaders as well as important religious figures), the value of the portraits in her biography is connected to the value of devotional portraiture in her culture and religion. Corresponding imagery from a culture and religion that doesn't have a strong iconographic tradition would have a lower intrinsic value.
Now I understand that in any discussion about religious sensitivities individuals who come from the stricter side of a given tradition tend to be outspoken and that many Muslims have no objection to portraiture in the article. Yet, since Depictions of Muhammad is already a subordinate article, perhaps it would be a very good idea to take an unbiased look at each image and ask what value it adds. That's how I worked on the Joan of Arc images (where the opposite problem operated - the page had been cluttered with low value images). To run down my analysis numerically, here's what the featured page does with its images:
  1. A 1485 portrait. This was made a little more than 50 years after her death so the technical details aren't too far out of date: the armor and sword aren't too different from the armor and sword she would have used. The caption explains that no accurate portrait survives.
  2. A map of France. Political borders have changed considerably since her era. This highlights the weakness of France at the outset of her career. Paris was under English control at that time. This image juxtaposes with a text section of political and military background.
  3. Joan of Arc's birthplace. The actual house where she was born has become a museum. This corresponds with a text section about her early life.
  4. Ruin of the royal castle at Chinon. Corresponding to a text section about her rise to power, a photograph of the location where she met the king of France.
  5. Aerial view of Beaugency. Corresponding to a text section about her military career, a photograph of a surviving fortification where one of her battles took place.
  6. Reims cathedral. Corresponding to a text section about the formal coronation of the king of France, a photograph of the location where it took place.
  7. Joan of Arc tower, Rouen. Corresponding to a text section about her captivity, a photograph of one of the places where she was imprisoned.
  8. The Cardinal of Winchester interrogates Joan of Arc. An imaginative portrait about her trial alongside the text description of the trial.
  9. Photograph of modern church built upon her execution site. Corresponds with the description of her execution.
  10. A portrait by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. A nineteenth century portrait that depicts her with both masculine and feminine elements juxtaposed against a text section about her unconventional apparel.
  11. A portrait by Eugene Thirion. Another nineteenth century portrait that depicts a religious vision juxtaposes a text discussion of Joan of Arc's visions. The image caption, however, discusses the portrait's political context. This is something of a segue into the text section about her legacy.
  12. A portrait of Charles VII of France. An authentic portrait does survive of the king she crowned. The caption summarizes how she changed his career.
  13. Joan of Arc's signature. Placed near a section that describes documentary evidence about her life.
  14. Flag of Charles de Gaulle's government in exile during World War II. The cross of Lorraine in this flag is a symbolic reference to Joan of Arc. This corresponds to text discussion of her influence on modern French politics.
Interspersed with these images are four brief excerpts from Joan of Arc's letters, each placed near the text description of the relevant events. This has been much longer than I intended to write, yet I hope the specific approach that succeeded in raising one important biography to featured level can be of use at another important biography. Your dispute has been deadlocked for quite some time and perhaps this example can help people come out of their respective trenches and examine the matter in a fresh way. Best wishes to all. DurovaCharge! 04:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • see User:Grenavitar/mimages."Pictures of Muhammad are extremely rare in Islamic art...", "... The process of creating a visual expression meant, therefore, inventing new forms, for instance calligraphy, and discarding older forms which had too many concretely alien associations, for instance the representation of man. ..." as well as other quotes. the extracts, if you study the page fully, prove that aniconism was a dominant feature of all kinds of Islamic art and representation. human depiction - let alone that of Muhammad - was a minority. by showing depictions, of Muhammad, we are not showing to readers what Muhammad looked like: that's not the aim. we are displaying how tradition has represented Muhammad. such traditions are a minority, the majority of venerative arts wrt Muhammad assumed other forms => undue weight applies, as NPOV covers how we distribute and proportionalise, as well as how we write. HighinBC, your assertion that undue weight only applies to claims is not founded in policy, and in fact the policy states otherwise quite explicitly, as has been highlighted for you numerous times. the fact is, at least three or four of the depictions in the article originate from shi'i, persian, 16th century art. shi'i, at that time as well as now: a minority. Persian, merely one locality of multiple where there were Muslims (South Asia, Arabia, eastern Europe, North Africa, etc.). 16th century, merely one century of fourteen. oh yeah, did i mention that depictions are confirmed to have been a minority tradition? sure, one or two pictures to represent the tradition of depicting Muhammad is appropriate. overemphasising is overkill, and can be perceived as attempting to make a point, with complete disregard for WP:NPOV. as for consensus, the previous consensus version was a lead without any image, calligraphy/depiction or otherwise. straw polls, like the ones appealed to above, do not generally determine consensus. furthermore, the only consensus the wiki community has over all wiki articles is in the form of policy and guideline. ITAQALLAH 09:03, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
"the only consensus the wiki community has over all wiki articles is in the form of policy and guideline."
That's correct. What we've seen here is an attempt to override WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not censored by a would-be local majority. When this has failed - on several occasions quite spectacularly here - and here, the response has been to open poll after poll on other pages (e.g. this one) until one succeeds in imposing arbitrary and non-encyclopedic restrictions on the number and placement of depictions.
The results of mediation are clear: overwhelming consensus that Muhammad is to be treated no differently than any other historical figure (whereas such polls as seen above are hardly standard practice), and a clear majority backing the most anti-censorship option which was on offer in Futurebird's poll. Can there be any doubt that if the results were otherwise (e.g. 3:2 in favor of "no depictions") it would have been the end of the discussion? Continued efforts in this regard demonstrate contempt, intended or not, for the time of all those who participated in this four-month long mediation, and for the will of the broader community, as reflected quite clearly in the aforementioned results and in policy.Proabivouac 09:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate both of your perspectives: both the undue weight clause of WP:NPOV and the not censored clause of WP:NOT are relevant to this discussion. Yet, if my reading of your statements is accurate, the meta-message on both sides remains focused on a single divisive element. I'm asking you to set that framework aside for a moment. Our shared goal at Wikipedia is to provide an informative article - ideally a featured article - and encyclopedic image use includes many considerations. One thing I've noticed at article review and at featured article candidacies is that the weaker articles treat image use in a superficial manner. Either there aren't enough images or they're littered in a superficial and decorative manner that diverts the reader's attention rather than adds to the informative value of the text.
What I suggest may be a way around your dilemma is to focus on areas where you can agree. Rather than select elements of my statement that appear to reinforce your own position on this disagreement, step away from the framework of your disagreement for a bit. That issue has hindered overall progress on this article. Go over images of all sorts with the same sort of analytical method I detailed for the Joan of Arc article: each image should have an intuitive correspondence to the portion of main text where it appears and should enhance the informative value. If your effort is anything like mine, that will mean shifting some duplicate-themed images over to Commons and poring through several Wikimedia projects. I found the image of Beaugency on a town profile at the French Wikipedia, the signature photostat at the German Wikipedia, and the map on a loosely related page of the English Wikipedia. I also ran exhaustive searches of Commons files - the organizational structure of that site is rather odd.
My browse of both this discussion and the article leads me to conclude that a single sticking point has distorted the overall priorities of encyclopedic image use. If the participants here can act in genuine good faith and set aside their opinions about depictions of Muhammad, rather than use my comments as a vehicle to advance their existing beliefs, then you may get out of this rut. I anticipate that a featured article on this topic will have fewer portrait-like images than the present article. Also, following the example at Pericles, text boxes may enhance the presentation here. Respectfully, DurovaCharge! 14:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Durova,
I agree with you completely that "each image should have an intuitive correspondence to the portion of main text where it appears and should enhance the informative value," and that "the weaker articles treat image use in a superficial manner."
We have just spent over four months in a mediation (and edit-warring preceding this) which was based from the get-go upon one clear principle: depictions of Muhammad violate the religious sensibilities of some editors. They were said to be "uninformative" in order to support a construal of WP:PROFANITY which would have then mandated their removal. This attempt failed completely when it was shown that this construal was hopelessly flawed.
Since then, we have been treated to a wide array of different arguments, some vaguely reasonable, some novel and wildly elaborate, which - surprise! - all pointed to the very same conclusion which we were asked to reach earlier based upon utterly different (and more honest) considerations.
It is impossible at this point to disentangle, either credibly or practically, new arguments from the ongoing ones. The latest proposal (further above) to arbitrarily limit the number and placement of depictions would tie our hands completely, and prevent us from editing the article as you suggest. Taking your considerations at face value, you should oppose it.
Should religiously-motivated censorship along with its latter-day stand-ins be decisively rejected, you will find many editors who have no interest in spamming the article with random ill-chosen depictions, but, like you, want the most informative, most topical, most encyclopedic configuration for images in the article, including maps, locations, and calligraphy, and disincluding depictions where these are not needed.Proabivouac 19:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I've responded to some related concerns at my user talk page. First, if this isn't clear already, I am by no means an expert on Islam or Muhammad. I'm not entirely unfamiliar with these subjects, yet I contribute to this discussion with more than a few measures of trepidation. I sincerely hope my input doesn't offend any of the hardworking participants to this discussion. My suggestions would be an organic approch that may or may not lead to a similar destination as that compromise.
Regarding the proposal itself, I'll express my own reaction in metaphor. Back when I was a high school student the school cafeteria served hot healthful meals that were planned by a credentialed nutritionist. The menus always delivered a good balance of vitamins, minerals, breads, proteins, fruits, and vegetables...yet I seldom enjoyed the meals because even though I like pizza, peas, and peaches I don't want to eat those three things in the same sitting. The proposed compromise looks like a thoughtful suggestion, carefully planned with respect to differing beliefs, that might not be very appetizing to the reader.
There's a difference between censorship and tastefulness. I'll refer to the discussion at my talk page where I explain the distinction I see in more detail, but to summarize I think it's unhelpful to lump objections to portraiture under the negative label of censorship. Whatever happens here, I anticipate that portraiture would remain plentiful at Depictions of Muhammad. The extent that portraits remain in the main article should be driven by each image's relevance and informational value: if nothing could convey a particular idea better, and that relationship is apparent to most readers, then I have a hunch you'd see fewer objections. Unless I'm mistaken, a portion of the disagreement on this topic stems from a reasonable interpretation that some of the image use has been gratuitous. Expand the range of overall images, choose each one carefully, and collaborate on the uncontroversial elements. The spirit of collaboration may bring you closer together on the specific question of portraiture. Best wishes. DurovaCharge! 22:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments-- it's useful to start looking ahead now towards questions of "How to make the best pages possible", now that it looks like the mass deletion editwarring are starting to die down, and Durova's correct to get us looking in that direction. For a while, we've had to deal with a lot of "hardliners" who've insisted that using images, under any cirumstances, was entire unacceptable-- now that there's a growing consensus to reject arguments of that sort, it should get easier to focus on actually using those images to improve the article. Between the mass deletions, the anonymous vandalism, and the page existing in a near-constant state of protection, not of lot of page improvement has gone on. Now that this is starting to die down, hopefully that can change.
Durova-- if you feel like really diving into things, you should consider looking at the situation with the two main subpages: Muhammad as a diplomat and Muhammad as a general. There have been widespread disputes over the pages: what constitutes 'being a diplomat', which events should go on which page, and whether the pages themselves should even exist or should be restructured somehow. I've tried to offer my two cents, but in the absence of any clear agreement among the editors on what to do, I wouldn't even know where to start to try and improve them myself. --Alecmconroy 00:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

i have had to restate this numerous times: but i would request that we do away with a few straw men:

  • Wikipedia is not censored. yes, we know. that means we do not sacrifice encyclopedicity for personal tastes, religious motivation, political views and so on. this policy is irrelevant to the discussion: removals based upon encyclopedic pretexts are not censorship. we're going around in circles: i already responded to this (i would link to it had i not forgotten on what page it was). i will re-iterate: policy based decisions do not amount to censorship, at all. if we decide that an event of Muhammad's life is too insignificant to merit any mention, then removing that information is not censorship. these appeals to WP:NOT#CENSORED seem to be a soundbite to rally editors against the phantom of "religiously motivated censorship." yes, it's very compelling and emotive rhetoric, but it's just not accurate. if we agree that we should not spam depictions of Muhammad in overemphasising a minority tradition, that isn't censorship. it is very easy to characterise the instigators of the image spamming as violating WP:POINT (ie. wanting to demonstrate that WP is not censored), and i'm sure we could parrot "don't disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point" all day long. that's just disingenuous though, as are the mischaracterisations of WP:NOT#CENSOR violations.
  • Proabivouac, you have frequently portrayed the opposite side as reforming their arguments (while maintaining a fixed conclusion) in an attempt to undermine the validity of any argument they may produce. i don't believe i have ever 'changed' my argument, neither has gren, Zora, or anyone else who had argued on the basis on WP:NPOV. surely you must realise that such appeals are little more than non-sequitur. some editors, a number of whom don't seem to be involved in this dispute anymore, appealed to WP:PROFANITY. why is that relevant?
  • this recurrent proclamation of "religiously motivated censorship", does little to resolve the dispute and again merely seeks to detract from the opponents' arguments.
  • as a side note: concerning this apparent consensus as to how we treat Muhammad: you know very well that it was a loaded, and misleading, question. it was an elaborate way of asking "should we spam the article with depictions of Muhammad?" i explained what the question should have meant.
  • with these strawmen out of the way, let us return to the arguments: i don't want to endorse any solution that isn't based upon policy/guidelines. the current compromises show a disregard for maintaining balance and neutrality, in giving excessive prominence to a negligible tradition. and when it comes to undue weight, any final decision will have to be arbritary, because we are talking about proportionalising. exceeding a certain threshold will distort that balance, and that threshold can only be determined through quantifying it. i have already opined that two depictions is an appropriate reflection of how tradition has depicted Muhammad. not in the lead, for it is a tradition which is exiguous, and in general extremely restricted in numerous ways (location, chronology, demography). ITAQALLAH 02:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we have addressed the policy based concerns for weeks now. The argument of undue weight has just not been compelling, no matter how many times repeated. I believe that is the only policy based argument on the table. Since we are listing straw man arguments here, I am tired of hearing that the side opposing the images arguments are not not being given proper credence due to some sort of free speech bias, or picking on Muslims, or losing sight of encyclopedic goals to prove a point.
It cannot be denied that there is rather a lot of "religiously motivated censorship" going on, and when I see a bird that quacks and waddles and floats on the water, I call it a duck. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 02:29, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
"I think we have addressed the policy based concerns for weeks now" - i disagree: for most of the time, and even from your lattermost responses, it seems that you haven't quite understood the argument itself, as you have forwarded that neutral captions circumvents excess weightage given to particular traditions. also, with regards to these blanket claims of religiously motivated censorship, that's what you alleged against Merzbow too, until you were told that he wasn't actually a Muslim. ITAQALLAH 02:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I can't remember that, can you show me a diff? Keep in mind I was not referring to you(in my previous post) necessarily, I was referring more to the more blatant religiously motivated censorship which appears on the main talk page 2-4 times a day. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 02:52, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
ah... i thought you were referring to the participants on this page. the relevant exchange is in the "Undue weight concerns" section at the top of the page. ITAQALLAH 03:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Itaqallah, you asked, "some editors, a number of whom don't seem to be involved in this dispute anymore, appealed to WP:PROFANITY. why is that relevant?"
It is relevant because were it not that some editors were offended by depictions, we'd not have had a mediation to begin with, this transclusion page would not exist, at least half the other post-profanity arguments would likely never have designed, and we'd not be having this discussion. Some other discussion, perhaps - which image should go where, whether this one adds anything to the article, whether this is notable enough...in other words, as the result of TharkunColl's pithy poll demands, we'd be treating Muhammad like any other historical figure.

The underlying issue to be resolved is whether the guideline WP:Profanity is applicable to the Maomé.jpg in the context of the Muhammad article.[16]

Can that be any clearer?Proabivouac 02:57, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
some editors do seem to have been offended, yes. however, this mediation must address the issue of overkill which is a valid concern. perhaps the point would be emphasised were we to note in the relevant captions "... Sixteenth century, Shi'ite, Persian depiction of Muhammad, negligible tradition... " and have a good number of them them scattered about the article. we agree that depictions should be present. however, this must be a measured representation. ITAQALLAH 03:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The Persian and Ottoman empires are hardly marginal (if anything, it's historical Arabia which is marginal) and the depictions (in greater Persia at least) span 14th century to the present. Though not quite Jesus - hence my proposed "moderate in number relative to religious figures of comparable significance" - this is not "negligable." Iran is even today more populated than the penninsular states, and depictions of Muhammad continue to be produced by Muslims today, as private, commercial and even public art.Proabivouac 05:59, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
May I step in here? Although the Persian and Ottoman empires were very powerful, the concern expresses that depictions of Muhammad within those empires were uncommon. Since the participants at this dispute disagree about exactly how uncommon they were, citations of reliable sources would help settle the question.
I'll toss in another idea: you already use summary style for the depictions issue. Improve that approach. The current image that accompanies the summary isn't particularly good either as photography or as an example of its topic and it implies a distracting subtext. In light of current events, does this mean the United States government respects Islam? Or does it represent the American mainstream as out of touch? Or even recklessly clueless? These suggestions are too complex for an introductory summary where images from the Islamic tradition would be most appropriate. DurovaCharge! 14:52, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Reliable sources showing that images were uncommon have been during the Persian and Ottoman empire would definitely help when the article actually discusses the depictions, but it wouldn't affect whether we should make use of images here at Wikipedia. It's fine for the Ottoman empire to voluntarily not use images the help people understand who Muhammad was-- but we don't live in the Ottoman empire. <grin>. If an image would improve the article by helping the reader get a feel for who Muhammad was, then use it. If an image isn't useful, then don't use it.
By way of analogy-- consider the images found on Pythagorean theorem which are used to illustrate the subject. There are various visual diagrams and proofs, and one of them dates back to 200 BC china. Does it make the article better? yes. The images help the reader quickly understand the Pythagorean Theorem. Now once I know that, it doesn't matter to me how common or uncommon mathematical diagrams were in during the Han Dynasty. It doesn't mattter to me out common or uncommon mathematical diagrams have been throughout history. Nor does it matter to me how common or uncommon mathematical diagrams are in the 21st century. Most people throughout history and even in the world today are from cultures where obtaining food is more important than studying geometry or operating printing presses. But when don't try to conduct of survey of the prevalence of mathematical diagrams when we're writing an article Pythagorean theorem-- we just use whatever images will help people understand the subject.
We shouldn't deleting useful images because they violate the religious laws of some. We shouldn't add useless images just to spite the religious laws of some. We should just write an encyclopedia as best we can. --Alecmconroy 17:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The approach you advocate here is fundamentally similar to Durova's, and to mine, in that the purpose of depictions is didactic relative to the subject at hand, which, lest we forget, is the historical person Muhammad, not How Muslims depict Muhammad.
The argument around which opponents of depictions have most recently rallied is aptly termed representative; it rests upon the assumption that our selection of images is meant (or should be meant) to represent how Muslims have alernately depicted, or not depicted, Muhammad. The failure to depict Muhammad in any given time or place is to be reflected by our failure to include a depiction we might otherwise include.
Since most notable depictions were created by Muslims, how Muslims have depicted him influences the set of images from which we may select. Additionally, it is reasonable to, all other things being equal, select depictions that are prototypical of significant genres. For example, if we had 100 depictions from which to choose, and only ten were unmarred by a "veil," it might be unreasonable to select only those ten. However, didactic considerations prevail upon us as well - if those 90 showed him doing nothing in particular, while the ten depicted events in his life which appear prominently in the text, it would be unreasonable to select only one of them on proportional grounds. Similarly, had we only one depiction by a Chinese painter, but this was created during his lifetime, we should be compelled to include it. Such editorial decisions cannot be reduced to a simple "representative" formula; at most representativeness is one thing worth considering among others.
What is most unreasonable is to "count" images that were never created in this balance. For example, were we to say, there were 900 depictions that would have been created, but weren’t, because their would-be creators were aniconists. Therefore we must "select" nine of these non-existent images alongside one existing one. Such reasoning, to the extent it is present here, is indeed a stand-in for the earlier profanity argument, and should be entirely rejected.
The proper response to the religious sensitivities which gave rise to this mediation is not to accede to them, nor is it to make a point of proudly defying them. In the final analysis, they should be simply ignored. However, as Durova observed, carelessness in the selection and placement of images (not just depictions) makes for a poorer article. In this respect, the interests of those who oppose depictions and the encyclopedia might be said to converge, as adopting a judicious and moderate approach is something we ought to do anyway.
To this end, I'd like to revisit something I'd proposed during mediation, which was met with a positive response: a note should be placed upon the talk page, and perhaps also as non-displaying code in the article, to the following effect:
  • acknowedging the sensitivity of the issue.
  • reaffirming that Wikipedia is not censored.
  • emphasizing that depictions and their placement are to be carefully selected and evaluated on strictly encyclopedic grounds prior to inclusion, transposition or removal.
  • warning that editors who do otherwise may be blocked for disruption.
  • informing that talk page posts expressing the need to either respect or stand up to anyone's religious beliefs are off-topic, and may be removed.Proabivouac 18:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) Reliable sources would help settle the undue weight consideration, which is a meritorious issue. DurovaCharge! 21:23, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how a source can address the editorial considerations I've outlined above. To wit, one does not "represent" an image that was never created by removing one which was.Proabivouac 21:29, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Reliable sources could address the dispute about the strength of the anti-iconographic tradition and the rarity of portraiture of Muhammad within Persian, Ottoman, Mughal, Moorish (etc.) traditions. The aim of using article images would be to inform the reader. That can be accomplished in many ways. This biography is unusual in that the dominant tradition deprecates portraiture. So a reasonable option would be to enhance other types of image use here, explain the stricture to the reader in NPOV terms, and be sparing and judicious about using that particular type of image. No accurate portrait is available, which inherently enhances the value of maps, location photographs, etc. DurovaCharge! 22:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Even if we knew precisely how uncommon images were, I don't know how we could translate that into a decision to delete otherwise-useful images. How rare, in terms of "portraits of Muhammad drawn per capita" would we be looking for? For me, we're justified in not using images only when they're so rare that we can't find any that would enhance the article. And then, as a secondary issue, we use whatever words are necessary to say whatever needs to be said about Islamic artistic tradition. --Alecmconroy 23:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  • for some reliable sources discussing the issue of depictions and in general the comparative prominence of aniconism, please refer to User:Grenavitar/mimages. iconography was not particularly practised among the Ottomans, by the way. ITAQALLAH 12:07, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

arbitrarily breaking long section

Undue weight is about giving a tradition a proper level of attention, it is not about obeying the traditions. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
"Undue weight is about giving a tradition a proper level of attention", exactly - and as per undue weight we grant the tradition attention relative to its prominence. ITAQALLAH 22:54, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
So, if you don't think we spend enough attention talking about aniconistic artistic tradition in the "Depictions of Muhammad" section, how would you propose expanding that discussion so that it is given more weight? I think it's clear, and I don't think we have to worry about readers coming away confused about islamic art. But if we need to do more educating about islamic art, what do you propose we do about it? If our genuine motive is make the article more informative about islamic art tradition, then talking about it more would solve any questions of due weight. If, however, our goal is just to make an article that FOLLOWS islamic artistic tradition, then the the answer will be "delete images" rather than "explain the tradition better". --Alecmconroy 23:13, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
not quite: the way we present non-verbal information is just as important as how we present verbal information. neutrality and balance is mandated in all parts and aspects of the article: that includes scetion organisation, external linking, image usage, general presentation, and so on. by flooding the article with depictions, you imply to the reader that this sort of tradition is prominent, regardless of whether you state otherwise verbally. like you might say in an article on Legal system of Island X, that capital punishment is extremely rare there, yet you include in the article 5+ images of capital punishment in effect. when depiction of Muhammad is verifiably a minority tradition, it shouldn't be presented in the article as otherwise by over-representing it, especially when they are almost virtually all from the same era, same locality, and same sect. this is all part of what undue weight mandates:

"... To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. This applies not only to article text, but to images, external links, categories, and all other material as well."

"... Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. Just as giving undue weight to a viewpoint is not neutral, so is giving undue weight to other verifiable and sourced statements. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements ..."

--ITAQALLAH 23:50, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


So, let me pose the hypothetical I offered earlier. Suppose we accompanied every single image with a sentence, in big bold letters, that says "Visual depictions of Muhammad are rare in islamic art". Every time you see an image, you also see that sentence right next to it. Let's ignore that fact that such a solution would be ugly and repetitive-- would it satify your concerns? --Alecmconroy 00:00, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
sadly not, because it comes across self contradictory (and rather confusing for readers) that one floods an article with depictions of Muhammad, as has currently been done, while stating at the same time it is a minority tradition- because this 'minority tradition' is still being granted excessive attention and weight for what it's worth. the appropriate action is to give it attention relative to its prominence. ITAQALLAH 00:09, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Well see, your answer makes me much more comfortable with the current solution. We certainly don't want our readers to somehow come away from the article unaware that islamic art doesn't traditionally depict Muhammad. My guess is that the current depictions section succeeds in educating the readers about that, but if someone legitimately thought it was failing, that would be a problem, and we might have to think about adding more clarifying text. But if your concerns, whatever they may be, couldn't be resolved, even in theory, by any clarifying text, no matter how blantant or repetitive, then you're obviously concerned about more than the possibility that readers might not get the message that depictions are rare in islamic art. If you'd still have concerns in the face of a 100% certainty that no one would see an image without also seeing text than such images are rare, then I feel more comfortable just dismissing your concerns, because it's not within my power to resolve them. --Alecmconroy 00:28, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
over-representing a minority class of images and then attempting to counteract that violation of undue weight by adding a note in the caption does not circumvent clear cut policy on how we proportionalise our article text and images. undue weight policy is rather clear on how we address such issues. similarly, in my theoretical example above of Island X, using that number of images in the first place is an absolute violation, we need not add disclaimers in an attempt to avoid fixing the real problem. i interpret from your logic that as long as we can get the message through to the reader, then we may evade policy. rather, we are to stick to policy (that is, WP:NPOV, WP:NOT, et al) and appreciate the wisdoms of doing so (i.e. impression given to the reader). ITAQALLAH 00:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
It is not a "minority class of images." We intend to represent the full range of depictional traditions to the extent that it is possible for us to do so while improving the article. If you've a reason to believe that a certain depictional tradition is being unduly neglected, by all means lend a hand by pointing us to worthy examples.Proabivouac 01:03, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
(unindent). See, this is one of those "looks like a duck, quacks like duck, walks like a duck-- it's probably a duck" situations. If it's really just a matter of undue weight misrepresenting islamic art, then we should be able to resolve that situation by devoting more weight to discussions of islamic art. But it turns out that even if we were to bend over backwords and go overboard, plastering the article with discussions of islamic art, you'd still consider it undue weight. This proves to me that, for you, it's got nothing to do with the amount of weight given to discussion of Islamic art. It's one thing to want to make sure readers KNOW about Islamic prohibitions of depictions of Muhammad. It's quite another to insisit that readers be SUBJECTED to Islamic prohibitions of depictions of Muhammad. --Alecmconroy 01:08, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
i interpret from your comments that you simply haven't appreciated that WP:NPOV#Undue weight states that the amount of attention and space we dedicate to a topic, to an idea, to a tradition should be relative to how prominent it is. your theoretical solution seeks to avoid that. the fact is, that this current presentation is a gross overkill, assigning primacy to what is verifiably a minority tradition is not balanced. readers should not be subjected to prohibitions of depicitions of Muhammd, that's why we have Depictions of Muhammad. we shouldn't be presenting what is a restricted, minority tradition as something otherwise, however. Proabivouac, depiction of Muhammad, and humans in general, are a rarity. alternative venerative arts are more prominent. ITAQALLAH 01:27, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The mediation-- in comical screenplay form

See, the whole concern about undue weight is a concern to prevent readers from becoming misinformed about a subject. If we eliminated the possibility of reader being misinformed about islamic artistic tradition, but you still object to the images on top of that, then obviously, there's more going on than just undue weight. I feel like the dialogue that's happened through this mediation is sorta like this. Incidentally, Itaqallah, I'm not singly you out here-- i'm just sort of clobbering together all the conversation into one meta-character. Without further ado, I present my subjective experience. I image Abbott and Costello playing the two roles, with roars of cannned laughter at all the appropriate points:

Deletionist: Hi. Um, these images really offend me. You should delete the images.
Inclusionist: I'm sorry. I'm not trying to offend you, I just wanted to write a good article, and your personal religious beliefs aren't justification for deleting images.

Deletionist: Well, these images really offend Muslims everywhere, and they'd be illegal in lots of countries. You should delete the images.
Inclusionist: I'm sorry. I'm not trying to offend Muslims, but Wikipedia is not censored. It's a policy-- I can't delete them.

Deletionist: Alright, fine. But I'm concerned people aren't going to know about the caligraphy which is more traditional. You should delete the images.
Inclusionist:I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to not let people know about caligraphy-- I want people to know about islamic art. Let's add a bunch of caligraphy so people will learn about that part of tradition.

Deletionist:Alright, fine. But I'm concerned people are still going think that Muhammad is usually shown unveiled in islamic art. So, you should delete the images.
Inclusionist: I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to not tell people about the use of the veil-- I really do want people to know about islamic art. Let's add a veiled image and talk about how islamic art used veils sometimes.

Deletionist: Alright, fine. But I'm concerned people are still going get the wrong idea about islamic art. You should delete the images.
Inclusionist: <frustrated sigh> I'm sorry. Let's make a whole section about islamic depictions of Muhammad and have a whole separate page just to talk about it.

Deletionist: Alright fine. But I'm concerned that people might see the images without reading that section, so you should delete the images.
Inclusionist: <aggrevated> Okay! How about THIS. What if we put a GIANT sign next to EVERY single image with flashing neon letters that say 'Warning: Islamic Art doesn't usually use images of Muhammad, they usually use caligraphy'. And every time we show you an image, we show you that GIANT sign, so that there is absolutely NO way, whatsoever, that anyone could POSSIBLY get the wrong idea about islamic art.

Deletionist: No. I'm concerned people might find that confusing. You should just delete the images.
Inclusionist: Look, I can't delete the images. They're useful and helpful to the readers and Wikipedia isn't censored. I'm truly not trying to misrepresent islamic art, I'll do anything you want to help people get the right idea about islamic art. Now is there anything you can think of that would resolve your concerns?
Deletionist: Yes.
Inclusionist: <hopeful> Good! I really, truly, sincerely don't want anyone to be misinformed about islamic art. Now what can we do to teach people about Islamic art?
Deletionist: You can delete the images.
Inclusionist: <comical dispair> Oh, good grief!

You get the idea. At some point, I get the suspicion that we could play whack-a-mole with potential 'misunderstandings about art' all day, and people will keep coming up with new reasons why including images, under any circumstances, is a bad idea. --Alecmconroy 02:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but look how much the article improved in the process. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 02:19, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
True that. It's definitely a worthwhile use of time-- that sort of debate makes for better articles. And I should say-- for me it hasn't actually been an exasperating or upsetting experience in any way-- you just have to make your straight man get exasperated, it's a comedy rule. :) --Alecmconroy 02:22, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I actually find it rather calming if I take it in small doses. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 02:23, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
the humour is very much appreciated. i would want to reiterate, however, is that readers getting the wrong impression is not the main concern. it is the undue weight clause which is the main concern, and how the current article presentation is at odds with what UW mandates. misleading signals given to the reader is merely one of the possible inferences from this dichotomy. ITAQALLAH 03:43, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, there's the heart of our divergence then. To me, if an image can simultaneously help people understand all aspects of a subject without in any way introducing misconceptions, it's in no way "undue"-- it's ideal. --Alecmconroy 04:02, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Let's look at it another way

There is clearly never going to be acceptance of a picture at the top by a small minority of religiously motivated editors. What I suggest, therefore, is that as large a body as possible of editors who care about freedom of expression take it upon themselves to restore this article whenever it is compromised in the future. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. TharkunColl 18:40, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Please don't encourage edit warring. Editors who are interested in a consensus still need to find one - unilateral action involving anything less than the serious, reasonable editors isn't going to be helpful. Treat simple vandals like simple vandals, of course, but editors should never be taking taking it upon themselves to attempt to control an article. WilyD 18:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Tharkun, scroll up please... right there are 13 editors, including Muslim editors, who are supporting the compromise that involves putting some picture in the lead (in addition to a calligraphic), so what you are saying is patently false. - Merzbow 18:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe TharkunColl is referring to the very substantial majority who, in mediation, endorsed the presentation of an un-"veiled" image of Muhammad in the lead. Though I don't personally care much about this particular point, he is quite correct.Proabivouac 19:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • TharkunColl should be banned. He/she clearly lacks the understanding of the situation here.130.113.111.214 19:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
If you don't like what somebody has to say, your first thought is to ban him? Yes, I understand all too well what is going on here. TharkunColl 19:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The best response to an unhelpful suggestion is none at all. WilyD 19:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with 130.113.111.214. In TharkunColl's case, they are only trying to worsen the situation by introducing irrevelant and false information. As a result, a ban would be ideal for them. And yes, by what you have demonstrated above, you clearly do lack an understanding of circumstances here.206.126.80.107 02:37, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Funny how the two of you agree like that. Funny, too, how you've vandalized User:Zazaban's page again;[17] see User:216.99.56.235Proabivouac 04:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Nothing is funny here [personal attack removed].206.126.80.68 23:09, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Why is the Al-Biruni manuscript picture right at the bottom?

It is by far the best we have. It is clear, precise, uncluttered, and it shows his face. It is much better than any of the others. TharkunColl 16:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

That is only the transclusion; in the article it displays in the Overview (which seems to me a perfectly reasonable location.)Proabivouac 16:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Roughly speaking because I kept fucking up the article when I edited the transclusion page, and I wanted to edit the transclusion, talk and main page at the same time so that no one would revert the version based on "My Four Points" without first reading why I'd done it, and it worked out that this was the easiest way to do it. They can be rearranged if you care - I'm not sure anyone does. WilyD 16:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay then - having looked at the article the Al-Biruni image appears in a section entitled "Etymology", describing the origin of Muhammad's name. This is surely the best place to put the calligraphy image of his name. In other words, we simply need to swap those images round, so that the Al-Biruni appears at the top. TharkunColl 19:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I must concede that you have a point; etymology is of course the obvious place for the image of the name.
Durova, what's your take on this suggestion? This would seem quite consistent with the approach you've suggested.Proabivouac 20:04, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm getting up to speed on the images in this article. Tell me if I've got this right: the proposal is to move the calligraphic depiction down to the Etymology section and put the Al-Biruni manuscript portrait to the top of the article?
That solution would be obvious and uncontroversial if we were discussing anyone other than Muhammad. Here I have some concerns. I'll list the considerations that come to mind and defer to the editors who know this subject better than I for a consensus.
  • As has been discussed above, Islam has an anti-iconographic tradition that is particularly strong where depictions of Muhammad are concerned. So a reader who is unfamiliar with that fact would get a misleading impression of the relative weight and shape of this sensitive issue. That's particularly significant at the top of the page because the leading image is the first thing a site visitor recognizes.
  • If my understanding is correct, calligraphy of Muhammad's name is the dominant means of depicting him within Islam?
  • I agree with the comment about the quality of the manuscript portrait image. It's a good graphic.
  • If the editors do go with a portrait as the article's leading image, it may be preferable to crop this image so that he is the lone figure or find an alternate depiction of him alone.
  • If consensus chooses portraiture for the main image, it may be a good thing to search for the earliest good quality depiction that can be found. That would have a better likelihood of historical accuracy in details such as apparel and background architecture.
  • At the article about the Jyllands-Posten cartoons controversy one editor introduced some code that allowed readers to close the image. For technical reasons the presentation had to default with the image being visible. That option was implemented while the story was news and editorial debate was at its peak. I see today that the option is no longer available, although I'm not certain why. If a portrait becomes the lead image at this article it may be a good idea to borrow the optional closure script and implement it here.
DurovaCharge! 21:51, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you said it best "That solution would be obvious and uncontroversial if we were discussing anyone other than Muhammad". I still think we should treat the Muhammad article like others. While I agree that there is a tradition to depict Muhammad with calligraphy, that is but one tradition, and it does not match the actual definition of depiction(From the latin "de- + pingere"->"to paint": to represent by or as if by a picture[18]).
Now tradition is tradition, but by the same token depiction is depiction. If it is tradition to call a cat a duck, that does not make it so. We mention the tradition, but we don't need to follow the tradition. This article needs a lead image, we have several depictions, we also have the title of the article in a pretty font. Both are valid information, but only one is really a depiction, by the common definition of the word. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:05, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
There's a difference between conveying neutral information about a tradition and following the tradition. If my response has been unclear on that point I wish to emphasize that distinction now: Joan of Arc does not follow Catholic or French iconographic traditions, although it makes note of them. Indeed if you view the archives from mid-October 2005 before I started editing you'll see considerable movement away from the religious POV. The challenge we face here is how to communicate anti-iconography without obeying it or defying it. DurovaCharge! 18:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
With text, attributed to a reliable source, simple. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

To those who are against democracy and freedom of speech

An overwhelming majority of editors voted to treat this article the same as any other. Why then this repeated vandalism? Because that is precisely what it is.TharkunColl 15:56, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Uh, Wikipedia is NOT A DEMOCRACY and it is NOT A FORUM FOR UNREGULATED FREE SPEECH. Capiche? (Netscott) 16:12, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
But it is also uncensored, and should not be hijacked by any special interest group. What you're saying, in effect, is that even though an overwhelming majority of editors want no censorship, you don't care about that and will impose it anyway. And you even seem to be gloating about this fact. TharkunColl 16:18, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm responding to your incivility at referring to other editor's good faith edits as "vandalism". TharkunColl I believe most everyone is aware that given such ("sbuh" - shit be upon him) commentary as you've previously left in Muhammad discussions your objective is to pointedly anger and antagonize Muslims. This is unacceptable. (Netscott) 16:21, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
If you slag off Joseph Smith, or Jesus, or any founder of any other religion you don't get treated like this. And how, in any case, do you know what the "S" stood for? You are just assuming. As a matter of fact, I don't give a shit about Muhammad (and my personal views about his character - slaughtering Jews and marrying six-year-olds for example - are less than positive) - but I do give a shit about such old-fashioned concepts as historical accuracy, truth, freedom of expression, and democracy. I am here to uphold those things against those who would abandon them in a headlong, lemming-like rush into appeasement and abasement. TharkunColl 16:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I would caution you to refrain from further demonstration of incility as you've left here as it will likely lead to you being prevented from editing on the project. (Netscott) 16:32, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
TharkunColl, you only hurt your position by resorting to incivility. You do have a point about an existing consensus, you do have a point about censorship, but when you mix these points with incivility then you become uncompelling and put yourself in a position where you could be seen as disruptive. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:38, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Threats are unlikely to do any good. Beit Or 16:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
It is standard practice to warn users about incivility before taking any action. And yes, sometimes is does do good, in that the warnings often prevent the need for a block. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:40, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

The essay Wikipedia:No angry mastodons would be good reading here, particularly the WP:NAM#Be_considerate_of_the_opposing_view and WP:NAM#Look_for_an_opposing_truth sections. The editors who want to reduce and de-emphasize portraiture in this article have some arguments that are based on better principles than censorship. I've been an ardent opponent of censorship requests, yet here I see intelligent and nuanced reasons for reducing and de-emphasizing portraiture within the main biography page. Depictions of Muhammad will certainly continue to appear at Wikipedia - we even have an article for the purpose - and some portraiture may remain in Muhammad's main biography page. Yet let's also remember that real people died last year in protests over insensitive depictions of this man. Although that's no reason to censor the page, it is reason to handle this issue with dignity, taste, and discretion. Polite and respectful discussion is the best way to achieve those goals. DurovaCharge! 17:31, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

An overwhelming majority of editors voted to treat this page just like any other. As for the deaths last year caused by pictures of Muhammad, are you suggesting that we should give in to terrorism? TharkunColl 17:42, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I was just about to predict someone would say what Thark just did. In my mind, it's best to forget the cartoon controversy ever happened and just go about our business writing the best article we can. I think in general, violence rarely makes people say "Oh--- wow, they're so upset that they've become violent-- well I guess we should reconcile before things get worse." Invariably, it triggers major mastadonage-- "Oh-- so they think they can use violence against us, huh? Well we'll show them!". --Alecmconroy 18:06, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
To respond to Tharkun - it's more than a little bit inaccurate to conflate riot deaths with terrorism. Looks like some bias lurks beneath that answer. And if I do take that question at face value, the obvious answer is to point to User:Durova/Recusal. I make no secret of the fact that I became a United States veteran of the War on Terrorism because my nearest relative was one of the last people to escape from the World Trade Center. So no, I suggest that we treat this issue with dignity and respect because current events demonstrate that it remains vitally important to a large number of people. That's quite different from bending to intimidation. DurovaCharge! 18:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
"Treating this issue with dignity and respect" is simply a face-saving way of phrasing "to bend to intimidation". Either we ignore the embassy-burning mobs and edit in accordance with Wikipedia policies or we take the mobs into account. Whether we submit to their demands fully or partially is a matter of degree rather than principle. Beit Or 19:02, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I must take issue with that interpretation and contend that it represents a straw man argument. DurovaCharge! 19:47, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the dramatic flair is unhelpful. We are not the Moorish hordes and I haven't burned down an embassy lately. We are just other editors. We don't have outside forces that we are bending to. We have editors discussing an issue and sometimes anonymous trolling editors whom we do ignore dropping in. It's probably a little impolite to equate my view with embassy burning mobs. The closest I've been to a mob is hiding in a dorm after a UMD football game. So, while a battle for civilization may be going on outside the gated community of Wikipedia--it would be better if we dealt with other editors as humans rather than representatives of civilizational constructs. gren グレン 02:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

On two pics in lead

Doesn't it seem like that is a just a tad excessive? Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, etc don't have two in lead. I understand that we should be able to have whatever images make the article better, but having two prominently in lead seems like it breaks with tradition, giving Muhammad more images than it would normally have. Just a thought. --Alecmconroy 16:44, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Maybe so, but the more images, the easier it is to agree on them. I suggest three images, for example, so as to satisfy those who demand unveiled images, veiled images, and calligraphy. Beit Or 16:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Two images is a bit unwieldy - three just makes the layout look like a pile of barf. Seriously, I can't believe anyone would support three images in the lead given how terribly it disrupts the layout. WilyD 16:49, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
No more than two, or it looks terrible. The unveiled and the calligraphy seem to be the going consensus. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 16:55, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Where is this consensus? The most stable organization so far as been the calligraphy at the top followed by a veiled image. (Netscott) 16:58, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
This consensus seems have been forgotten. It is the closest thing we have to a consensus, the only time we have all agreed as a majority on anything in the issue other than the poll that we should treat this like any other article. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 17:02, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I still think this current state (calligraphy + veiled image) leans too much unto one side of the conflict. Since the unveiled image alone will not be accepted (though it's most in line with common practice on WP), I suggest "countering" it with the calligraphy. We could also use the "veiled at Kaaba" image on the top, put the calligraphy at the etymology of the name and the "unveiled Biruni pic" next to a section covering his ministry. Str1977 (smile back) 18:20, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not oppose an unveiled image, but I think there is something to be said for a veiled image at the top. As a distinctive feature of some depictions of Muhammad it may draw the the reader into the article, and it connects a historical biography with contemporary issues in another way. I do think the calligraphy goes most naturally with Etymology, but I do not have a strong preference. Just as we should not remove a good image out of deference to religious sentiments, neither should we impose a minimally-informative and unaesthetic image just because we can. Tom Harrison Talk 18:40, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
The more I look at the images, the more I personally am drawn to the image of veiled Muhammad next to the Kaaba. But that's completely subjective-- it just seems the most "Muhammady" of the images to me. I look at it and instantly think "Oh, an image of Muhammad". Just a very subtle preference. --Alecmconroy 19:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the veiled image would be better suited in the section that speak of the aniconistic traditions, and the image that shows the face should be at the top where people expect to see an image of the subject. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:42, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
A veiled image will certainly suit the lead better than a piece of calligraphy. Beit Or 18:54, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
If an unveiled image is to be in the lead, I wonder if we could consider using the one from the German Wikipedia article, de:Bild:Mohammed.jpg. Tom Harrison Talk 18:47, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
It looks nice, does it have a source? HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 18:49, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
The caption says, "Der Prophet Mohammed - aus der Apokalypse des Mohammed, 1436, Herat, Afghanistan. Das Werk befindet sich in der Sammlung der Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris" - ideally someone with better German than mine would be involved. Tom Harrison Talk 19:05, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Translation: "The Prophet Muhammad - from the Apocalypse of Muhammad, 1436, Herat, Afghanistan. The work is found in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris". Beit Or 19:08, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. I think that one would be better for the lead than Muhammad re-dedicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba. Again, I think a veiled image in the lead would add interest to the page. Tom Harrison Talk 19:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
This is becoming a bit of an unfortunate cabal I fear. What has happened to Talk:Muhammad/Mediation? Don't forget folks there is zero consensus about this. (Netscott) 18:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, If I can't say what I think and discuss improvements to the article, what do you suggest? A running vote with a weekly update and reformating? A request for comment? I think as this drags on, the people with the middle-of-the-road positions will get tired of it and go do something more productive. That might make progress here more difficult, but it would make things easier for those of us who left. Tom Harrison Talk 19:03, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
You know the most stable version (as far as I can tell) has been the 1 calligraphic image at the top followed by a veiled image. The rest of it has been a bit more unstable. Let us agree to one calligraphic image at the top and the one veiled image under it. I agree with you about the middle of the road comment. I see this as a middle of the road solution. (Netscott) 19:20, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that for the lead one calligraphic image with one unveiled beneath it is good. And of course other images in other places. There is a consensus here, I think I may have mentioned that before. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 19:24, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
HighInBC, that it is rather disingenous of you when you fail to mention the other five polls: poll 1, poll 2, poll 3, poll 4, poll 5. I'm sorry but there is no consensus for what you are proposing. (Netscott) 19:54, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Netscott, it is not disingenuous at all. The very strongest uncensored option on offer received by far the most support, with option 2 coming in a distant second. Combining the support for several options changes little: for example, the first three options are signed by 18 distinct editors, 16 of which supported option 2 (in fact there was no one who supported option 3 who didn't also support option 2.) Only by combining all options besides option 6 do we get an equal number, and even so, several supporters of option 5 did so with caveats ("best image" or "no calligraphy"). Of course, decisions should proceed according to policy and principle, not polls, but as polls go, this one was a blowout.Proabivouac 20:38, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
not really: i would personally discard the "pile-on" !votes of those who have contributed virtually nothing to the mediation discussion(s). it would be inappropriate to declare consensus on the basis of such polls. ITAQALLAH 23:02, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why one should need to be involved in any particular article to weigh in on a matter of general policy; to the contrary, non-involvement in this particular dispute may impart greater credibility. What I see are many outsiders who are rightly unhappy that this is even being considered. Instead, I would suggest, per HighInBC, ignoring those opinions based upon personal religious sensibility or sympathy with the same, for these, while well-meant, violate core policy: policy which (in theory) may not be overridden by local consensus, even were it to be obtained. To discourage the involvement of the broader community (and how much more to discount it by fiat), or to propose poll after poll in various places with the hope that the community will have lost interest, is simply a predictable attempt to make the most of an unusual concentration in this space of editors with aniconistic beliefs.Proabivouac 00:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
as i mentioned earlier: WP:NOT#CENSORED is not relevant here. if editors have 'voted' under the impression that it is about WP:NOT, then they have been misinformed. i welcome outside involvement from independent editors genuinely uninvolved in this dispute or Islam related articles/disputes at all. that is, quite honestly, not the case with a number involved in this 'blowout' you cite. ITAQALLAH 00:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I am quite certain that it is about WP:NOT, and I am hardly misinformed. You have already been shown the complaint of WP:PROFANITY upon which mediation was originally premised.[19] Would it help to convince you if I took the time to gather diffs from various editors expressing the need to censor according to aniconistic beliefs, before it was realized that more sophisticated excuses had become necessary? Surely you will then discount their "votes?"(Note: Gren has been consistent; however this is not the case for many who subsequently seized upon his argument.)Proabivouac 00:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Despite the substantial majority for an un-"veiled" image in the lead, I am not bothered overmuch by the "veiled" image which has been there. Per Alecmconroy, I and at least two others supported the best depiction for the lead, because the demand for a "veiled" image was being put forward for reasons which should play no role in our decisions. Whether the veiled Kaaba image, Image:Maome.jpg or the one from German article that Tom harrison suggests is "best" is debatable. I am certain, however, that of the "unveiled" images, Maome is more appropriate that the Black Stone image, because showing Muhammad preaching the Qur'an to his followers in conquered Mecca is a far better summary of his accomplishments than is the fable of him as a youth helping to lift the Black Stone, which rightly accompanies the text referring to this story.Proabivouac 19:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
In terms of quality the image from the German Wikipedia is by far the best. However, one should note that it's only a detail of a larger painting, showing Muhammad in paradise. Beit Or 20:38, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Survey

In order to view this objectively, I propose a survey of image use within the featured articles from Wikipedia:WikiProject_Biography/Core_biographies. These are:

  • James Joyce - 9 images: 6 in the tradition of potraiture (1 oil painting, 1 photograph, 3 bronzes, and 1 postage stamp), 1 non-portrait postage stamp, 1 publication announcement, 1 title page
  • W.B. Yeats - 9 images: 5 in the tradition of portraiture (2 photographs, 1 engraving, 1 statue, 1 postage stamp), 1 non-portrait postage stamp, 1 theatrical poster, 1 gravestone photograph, 1 subject painting
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt - 20 images: 14 in the tradition of portraiture (13 photographs, 1 painting), 2 statistical graphs, 1 funeral procession, 2 period era photographs, 1 monument detail
  • Elizabeth I of England - 13 images: 5 in the tradition of portraiture (4 paintings, 1 statue) 3 ambiguous (photographs of actors who portrayed Elizabeth I in film), 1 signature, 4 portraits of other people
  • Joan of Arc - 14 images: 4 in the tradition of portraiture (4 paintings), 1 map, 6 location photographs, 1 signature, 1 potrait of another person, 1 flag; additionally 4 text boxes
  • Mahatma Gandhi - 17 images: 16 in the tradition of portraiture (10 photographs, 2 currency portraits, 1 newspaper clipping, 3 bronzes), 1 monument photograph
  • Che Guevara - 16 images: 13 in the tradition of portraiture (8 photographs, 3 magazine covers, 2 monuments), 2 location photographs, 1 map
  • Mary Wollstonecraft - 4 images: 1 in the tradition of portraiture (1 painting), 1 portrait of another person, 1 title page, 1 frontispiece
  • Hippocrates - 11 images: 4 in the tradition of portraiture (2 engraving, 2 murals), 2 location photographs, 3 depictions of medical devices, 1 manuscript (text only), 1 photograph of a modern person who has an ailment Hippocrates first described; additionally 2 text boxes
  • Charles Darwin - 13 images: 8 in the tradition of portraiture (5 photographs - one of which appears twice as a cropped detail image, 1 painting, 1 illustration, 1 caricature), 1 landscape painting, 1 map, 1 notebook sketch, 2 portraits of other people
  • Galileo Galilei - 8 images: 5 in the tradition of portraiture (1 crayon portrait, 2 paintings, 1 statue, 1 funerary bust), 1 replica telescope, 1 cathedral dome, 1 notebook page
  • Isaac Newton - 9 images: 6 in the tradition of portraiture (3 oil paintings, 1 watercolor, 1 funerary statue, 1 engraving), 1 telescope replica, 1 title page, 1 location photograph
  • Robert Oppenheimer - 10 images: 8 in the tradition of portraiture (8 photographs), 1 location photograph, 1 nuclear test
  • Leonhard Euler - 9 images: 5 in the tradition of portraiture (2 paintings, 2 postage stamps, 1 currency portrait), 1 gravesite photograph, 1 geometric graph, 1 map, 1 cover page
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss - 5 images: 3 in the tradition of portraiture (1 painting, 1 statue, 1 currency portrait), 1 statistical graph, 1 title page
  • Blaise Pascal - 5 images: 3 in the tradition of portraiture (2 paintings, 1 statue), 1 museum display, 1 epitaph; additionally 1 text box
  • Soren Kierkegaard - 11 images: 3 in the tradition of portraiture (1 statue, 2 sketches), 1 portrait of another person, 2 book covers, 1 title page, 2 manuscripts, 1 location photograph, 1 gravesite photograph; additionally 10 text boxes
  • Max Weber - 5 images: 4 in the tradition of portraiture (4 photographs), 1 title page

DurovaCharge! 20:18, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I hate to say this but with the exception of a few of these it almost seems like the ole' apples and oranges comparison. I realize that you are going by core biographies... the ones that I see that most compare from this list are Hippocrates and Joan of Arc. Most of these folks are from "modern" times. (Netscott) 20:25, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I can see 4 images in Hippocrates. What's your point then? Beit Or 20:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Hippocrates is also much shorter than Muhammad, and covers a figure who, while significant, can hardly be compared to Muhammad in this respect. I know of no particular tradition of depicting Hippocrates, relative to the occasions on which his name apears in text (decorative or otherwise)...does the inclusion of all four depictions therefore constitute undue weight?Proabivouac 20:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
it depends as to whether there is a rich history of depicting Hippocrates. it is not to be compared to the number of times his name appears in text if that text isn't a venerative art form used quite specifically to avoid depiction, as established here. actually, the example of Hippocrates demonstrates my point rather well: the article immediately implies to the reader that there is a rich tradition of depicting Hippocrates by virtue of the number and kinds of images it has employed. if there were an alternative tradition, such as a comparatively overwhelming presence of aniconist representation, which constituted the majority, then yes the current presentation would indeed be an undue weight issue. ITAQALLAH 23:16, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
As Grenavitar has all but conceded, there is no "alternative tradition [of] aniconist represention" of Muhammad per se. Instead, the tradition (e.g. in mosques) is to focus on the Qur'an itself and deemphasize Muhammad as the focus of veneration. Where the written word "Muhammad" appears, it is only a "representation" in the same way that "Hippocrates" is a representation of Hippocrates, or is any other written word, regardless of the style or font employed.Proabivouac 00:35, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
i disagree. Muhammad in normal Arabic writing is not an artistic tradition. when it is employed in calligraphy, then it becomes an art, and a venerative art at that, regardless of whether it is the word Muhammad by itself, or as part of a verse. of all arts associated with Muhammad, human depiction is not prominent. as i have said: from what we can see, most of them come from a 16th century shi'i Persian works. it cannot seriously be doubted that depiction of Muhammad is a minority tradition. ITAQALLAH 01:19, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point. It's true the tradition is to deemphasise Muhammad as the focus of veneration. That's after all the whole reason why it's so controversial in Islam. However when Muhammad is potrayed the tradition is not iconistic on the whole but aniconist. In other words, while there is no tradition of potrayal. the tradition for potrayal is predominantly aniconist Nil Einne 14:54, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • also, as Netscott said, a number of the above examples (i.e. modern personalities) are irrelevant because depiction is being used to show what they actually looked like. in our case, we naturally don't have any accurate visual depictions, so by including depictions we are showing how he is verified to have been represented. ITAQALLAH 23:20, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Could we have some specific references to reliable sources in support of those assertions? That is, quotes from experts in art or Islam? DurovaCharge! 02:59, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
assuming you're referring to the general assertions of pictures of Muhammad being rare, from Safawid Persia; of human depictions in general being a minority tradition as compared to aniconism (i.e. calligraphy), see User:Grenavitar/mimages. if you're referring to my specific assertions of no accurate depictions of Muhammad existing: that's a no brainer, there were no photographic devices back then. the first depictions of Muhammad seem to appear many centuries afterwards, and they are pretty cartoony themselves. i think we're all agreed upon the fact that no life-like depiction of Muhammad exists. ITAQALLAH 03:37, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

You're all welcome to augment this list with other featured biographies from the premodern era. DurovaCharge! 20:48, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

There is Alexander the Great, with eleven depictions; however it is not featured (though I doubt this is why.)Proabivouac 20:53, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I propose restricting the survey to featured biographies and using a point by point analysis as above. DurovaCharge! 20:57, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

What does 'in the tradition of potraiture' mean? Tom Harrison Talk 21:07, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Graphic representations of the biography's main subject, either actual or imaginative. DurovaCharge! 21:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Similarly, here is how images have been used in similar articles (but articles aren't as good a quality as featured). These articles stand out because in all of the cases, we have no idea what the individuals actually looked like, as in the case of Muhammad.

  • Jesus- 13 images. 11 of Jesus, 1 map, 1 iconic cross.
  • Gautama Buddha, 9 images, all of Buddha
  • Lao Tzu 3 images: 2 of Lao Tzu, one of yin-yang.
  • Confucius 5 images: 3 of Confucius, two of temples
  • Abraham 5 images, 4 of abraham, 1 of tomb
  • Zoroaster 3 images: 2 of zoroaster, 1 of a Farvashi

Obviously, article length varies wildly here-- some are stubby, some are long, with "image density" roughly constant, more or less. --Alecmconroy 21:25, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Bear in mind the political and military dimensions of Muhammad's career that are not reflected well in those other religious leaders' biographies. It would be a good idea to expand the survey to include generals and statesmen. DurovaCharge! 21:38, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
True. I don't actually know what I'm looking for, but I happened to already have those numbers, so I thought I'd throw them out, just in case they're helpful. :). I can conclude from all this that "We don't know what the historical individual looked like" doesn't mean we don't include images. Beyond that, I'm not sure what conclusions to draw. --Alecmconroy 21:49, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
One of the trickier questions here becomes a meta-discussion on iconographic traditions. One might argue that iconographic traditions actively seek and manufacture imagery for notable biographic personages. That doesn't present a problem when a subject comes from another iconographic tradition or a neutral tradition, but here we're discussing someone who comes from the opposite tradition. DurovaCharge! 03:50, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Alexander the Great 19 images: 11 depictions of Alexander, 5 maps, 2 depictions of other individuals, 1 image of ancient text.Proabivouac 21:41, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Please notate if surveying a biography that isn't a featured page. DurovaCharge! 21:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Of those Alecmconroy listed, only one, Jesus, is even rated as a good article. Netscott objected that your list is of figures from relatively modern times, and these are meant to address that. I suspect that it will prove impossible to meet both criteria as well as that of article length/historical significance.Proabivouac 21:50, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I recommend going through the list of featured articles for premodern biographies. I had hoped my intentions are obvious, but maybe they haven't been: in addition to the sticky question of portraiture I hope a survey addresses broader matters of image use at Wikipedia's best biographies and provides models for emulation here. It's somewhat myopic to treat this as solely a pro-portrait/anti-portrait dichotomy. If you limit yourselves to that narrow issue here it's likely to haunt you at peer review and WP:FAC, which would be a shame after a hard-fought compromise. DurovaCharge! 22:11, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that reasoning of this sort can be very helpful. After a major dispute like the one that's happened here, it's sometime hard to even remember "What do we normally do in this situation?". I often find myself asking "Am I letting people with strong POVs bias the article too much? Am I pushing back too hard and overcompensating in my attempts to not let strong POVs bias, such that the article is gettting biased in the opposite direction?" In cases like this, looking at other articles can be a touchstone that bring you back to the reality of what we do in the abscence of a POV dispute. --Alecmconroy 22:15, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Durova, you wrote, "It's somewhat myopic to treat this as solely a pro-portrait/anti-portrait dichotomy."
It's not myopic, but a sad-but-accurate description of the dispute. Few, if any, pro-depictions editors ("portrait" is more specific, while the written word "Muhammad" is not a depiction of Muhammad) would deny that we must have good reasons for what images (of any variety) we include, and where. We cannot get to this point, however, until it is confirmed that the religious sentiments of some editors to Wikipedia have no standing in this discussion, and honestly recognize that attempts to set an arbitrary "compromise" number and placement of depictions differ from total censorship only in degree: we must put this issue entirely to rest if we are to proceed in a principled manner as you suggest. I still do not understand why you've not joined the editors who have rejected these measures, as they are utterly incompatible with your proposals in both spirit and practice.Proabivouac 00:28, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Those measures would be utterly incompatable with my proposals if they proceeded from a censorship impulse as you assert. I'm not convinced that this is the sole or even the primary motivation. DurovaCharge! 03:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of motivation, how can placement proposals such as "one further depiction (currently Image:Mohammed kaaba 1315.jpg) somewhere near it" possibly be reconciled with your (and my) proposal to carefully evaluate images and their placement? This is rephrasable as, "I don't care what image it is, just as long as there are only three, and I don't care where you put it, so long as it's near the bottom like the second one." Can you really believe this to be the way towards FA status?Proabivouac 08:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
There's one point where we see things similarly. Featured articles rarely result from that process. DurovaCharge! 14:33, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

So far, from the featured core biographies survey, I'll recommend adding a cover or title page from the Koran and repeat my recommendations to add quote boxes and a map. I'll head over to Wikipedia's featured articles lists and search for other premodern biographies that appear to be relevant to this discussion. DurovaCharge! 22:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think comparison of the end results of how many images are in an article is helpful. What you need is a methodology of why you use images and which you do. gren グレン 22:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


I definitely think the article could use a map of what territory was under Muhammad's control at the time of his death. I went peeking around trying to find one, or at least an inspiration for one: one image, and some other useful images on this page. But of course, now we have to deal with my old nemesis copyright, which has the power to keep more images out of encyclopedias than all the iconoclasts in all of history combined. --Alecmconroy 22:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that methodology is more useful than raw analysis. I've conveyed my methodology for the featured biography where I was a major contributor, which seems to be among the nearest parallels to this biography. Both Muhammad and Joan of Arc are core biography figures who made their reputations in religion, war, and politics and for whom no original portrait exists. That outline really hasn't broken the deadlock yet, but you could petition other pages' major contributors if some of these other featured biographies intrigue you. DurovaCharge! 23:06, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Alecmconroy, this image on Islam is quite similar to the one from Minnesota State. Ideally, however, we would like one which focuses on Muhammad's conquests in greater detail.Proabivouac 00:03, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

More featured biographies (you guys please do the survey per my model above):

  • Demosthenes - 9 images: 4 sculpture/bas relief; 2 in tradition of portraiture of subject; 1 of another person; 2 other non representational; plus 7 textboxes.Corlyon 04:33, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Manuel I Komnenos - 16 images: 3 in tradition of portraiture of subject; 7 of other persons; 1 image from coin; 5 other non-representational (maps/letter); plus 2 textboxes.Corlyon 04:41, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Penda of Mercia - 2 images: 1 in stained glass; 1 map. Corlyon 04:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Pericles - 10 images: 2 sculpture of subject; 1 of another person; 1 coin; 3 in tradition of portraiture of subject; 3 other non-representational (map, ostracon, timeline); plus 6 textboxes.Corlyon 04:52, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Theramenes - 7 images (none of subject): 1 sculpture of another person; 3 drawings; 3 other images including 2 location photos and 1 plan.Corlyon 04:57, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Cædmon - 4 images: 1 bas relief; 1 drawing; 1 map; 1 sample of written work plus one textbox.
  • Du Fu - 3 images: 1 in tradition of portraiture; 1 map; 1 other (poem).
  • Adi Shankara - 6 images: 1 in tradition of portraiture; 1 sculpture; 4 photos (3 location, one of swans).Corlyon 05:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Clement of Dunblane - 10 images: 2 in tradition of portraiture of subject; 2 of others; 1 coin with likeness of another person; 3 other images (emblem, location photo; drawing of crypt)
  • Jocelin - 6 images: 2 sculptures of subject; 1 in tradition of portraiture; 3 other images (2 photos; 1 drawing).
  • Ahmose I - 6 images: 1 sculpture of subject; 1 stele depicting subject; 4 photos, including 1 of mummified remains of subject.Corlyon 05:15, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • David I of Scotland - 23 images: 3 in tradition of portraiture of subject; 8 of others; 2 bas-reliefs (great seals); 1 coin; 3 maps; 6 location photos.
  • Edward III of England - 8 images: 1 sculpture; 2 in tradition of portraiture; 1 bas relief (great seal); 3 others (emblems, chart); 1 textbox.
  • Áedán mac Gabráin - 2 images (none of subject): 1 satellite image; 1 location photo.Corlyon 05:30, 12 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  • Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria
  • Jogaila
  • Llywelyn the Great
  • Óengus I of the Picts
  • Rhys ap Gruffydd
  • Sverre of Norway
  • Sviatoslav I of Kiev
  • Tiridates I of Armenia
  • Thrasybulus

DurovaCharge! 23:06, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


Alternate survey suggestion: compare the English language approach to images in Muhammad's biography against other language versions of Wikipedia. Make note of the general length and detail of each article. DurovaCharge! 23:49, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

The german article (automated translation) is interesting. I think there are a couple of things we could borrow from them. Sometimes they've done things I would never have thought off-They start out with discussing the sources for Muhammad's life, only later giving a biographical sketch. I don't know if I like it, but it's interesting.
I also like the way Jesus currently approaches things-- splitting up the religious views and the historical views. Currently, the Muhammad articles lump them all together, and it leaves me wondering who thinks what. One of the things I wonder is: "What things do we know with a 99% certainty about the historical Muhammad?"
I'll keep reading the German article see if anything useful jumps out at me. --Alecmconroy 00:14, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
This entire exercise is misleading because Muhammad is, I believe, the only major figure of the ones listed above for which the aniconic artistic tradition is of more importance. Apples and oranges indeed. It's like trying to prove that the Demi Moore article should claim she has blonde hair by presenting a carefully chosen list of two dozen other articles of actresses with blonde hair. - Merzbow 02:49, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Are you referring to the cross-language comparison of Muhammad biographies or to comparing him against other featured biographies? I agree that an additional consideration is the dearth of biographies in anti-iconographic traditions. The lack of other points of comparison there has been a hindrance to this conversation. If you can provide other examples to help us in that respect, please do so. DurovaCharge! 03:12, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
It can't be emphasized enough: there is no "aniconistic artistic tradition" of depicting Muhammad, only the lack of such an artistic tradition where and when aniconism predominated. Nowhere else is it ever asked that periods of low productivity in any given genre be "represented" by removing examples from other periods.
As Joan of Arc has been held up as a model here, of four depictions, three are from a period of 41 years out of 476 (we will overlook that they are all French, even though she is important to English history - if Englishmen generally declined to depict her, should this be "represented?") A brief search shows that the majority of notable images of Joan of Arc are from the 19th century. Undue weight?
The only difference is that we assume that between the 14th and 19th centuries, we assume that the relative failure to produce notable depictions did not reflect religious taboo against it. What is being asked, then, is that religious taboos of certain generations past be represented in a way that other failures to depict are not: i.e., we are asked to perpetuate their collective self (?)-censorship.
That these past generations are convenient stand-ins for Wikipedia editors is made obvious by asking the question: supposing aniconism had finally lost the argument in the Muslim world, and today nearly all editors here had no problem with depictions of any kind. Would these editors spend over four months insisting that past aniconistic generations be "represented" by blanking images with which they themselves were perfectly okay?
Of course not.Proabivouac 03:47, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
The first point of that argument is largely semantic and appears to shift the terms of discussion: it presumes that portraiture is essential to biography even where no accurate portraiture exists, then correlates sporadic portraiture with an iconographically neutral tradition. I doubt either the presumption or the correlation is valid.
Regarding the Joan of Arc analogy, the portraiture dates as noted represent two important factors: copyright law and portraiture manufacture. Pictorial representations of Joan of Arc underwent a sharp increase in the nineteenth century due to several factors: Napoleon revived her legacy as a symbol of patriotism and various political factions have appropriated her symbolically from his era until today. During the nineteenth century most of the original historic documents about her life were rediscovered, which revived scholarly interest, and at the outset of that century Friedrich Schiller made her the subject of an influential play that saw many adaptations and imitations. The popular movement to have her canonized was mostly a nineteenth century phenomenon. Other pre-nineteenth century images survive, but not in nearly so great a quantity, and most of the abundant twentieth century images remain under copyright. So, per WP:NOR, please refrain from extravagant interpolations regarding portraiture, undue weight, and religious taboos. DurovaCharge! 04:22, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
See, but I think the point Prob is making is that there isn't anything wrong with what was done on Joan of Arc-- it's a great page. And if the images happened to come from a narrow window in time, that's just because those were the "best" images-- the ones that would be most useful to the article. And there are some good historical explainations for why the best images happened to be made at that time and place, and you did right in picking out the "best" images, rather than using images that weren't the "best" just to better represent artistic traditions. --Alecmconroy 04:41, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Remember also that Joan of Arc occupies a unique position as the only person to have been both condemned and sainted by the Catholic Church. So the strength of the iconographic tradition is linked to shifts in popular perception about whether she merited sainthood. DurovaCharge! 05:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
That's not actually true: Joan was condemned in a trial headed by the local bishop but controlled by English officials. She was rehabilitated not very long afterwards after the end of the war. I don't think appealing, revising trials and turning around verdicts is unusual. As for "condemned and sainted", keep in mind that the formalized procedure of either action was not around all the time. But look at Hippolyte, who separated himself from the Pope (and some call him anti-pope for that) but later he died a martyr (i.e. someone who dies rather than apostate - which constitutes "sainthood") or Origen, who was driven from Alexandria for some of his opinions but later died a martyr. In these two cases no judgement was reversed, only the previous judgement was set aside by something else. Just as a short note.Str1977 (smile back) 08:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by local bishop since the trial took place in Rouen and Cauchon was bishop of Beauvais. He used a doubtful interpretation to claim jurisdiction, but he hardly acted alone: the vice-inquisitor of France sat on the judicial panel and the University of Paris endorsed its decision. The war didn't end until a quarter century later and Joan of Arc wasn't canonized until 489 years after her death, but I thought this page was about Muhammad... ;) DurovaCharge! 14:23, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Indee this page is about M., so I'll keep it short. Cauchon claimed the jurisdiction in Rouen, as you said, with the help of others that were all under English control. Whether this trial consitutes a condemnation by "the" Catholic Church, the fact that is missing is that proceedings to reverse the trial started in 1452, which resulted in her rehabilitation in 1456. The nullification trial already described her as a martyr [20]. So it didn't take 489 for her to be rehabilitated but exactly 25 years. Which is no big deal, historically. But back to the topic.Str1977 (smile back) 17:03, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
"It can't be emphasized enough: there is no 'aniconistic artistic tradition' of depicting Muhammad, only the lack of such an artistic tradition where and when aniconism predominated." - An incorrect statement, reliable sources like Esposito do indeed say that calligraphic "depictions" of the Arabic word Muhammad were indeed made because pictorial depictions were under taboo. I'll repeat my quotes from "Islam: The Straight Path" - p.5: "In addition, Prophetic traditions... give us a picture of his meaning and significance in early Islam as do Islamic calligraphy and art, where the names of Allah and Muhammad often occur side by side..." From p.9 - "Many Arab Muslims extended this ban to any representation in art of the human form... This attitude resulted in the use of calligraphy... and arabesque... as dominant forms in Islamic art."- Merzbow 04:47, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I see no claim here that calligraphy was meant as depiction of Muhammad.Proabivouac 04:52, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Whether or not philosophically a rendition of the Arabic "Muhammad" can be considered a "depiction" or not, what is clear is that calligraphic art was dominant because of the ban of "any representation in art of the human form"; Esposito states this directly. Giving pictorial art more prominence than the calligraphic tradition is therefore misrepresentation of the tradition. - Merzbow 06:59, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
A misreprentation of Islamic art it would surely be, but a misreprentation of depictions of Muhammad, it is not.Proabivouac 07:06, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Only if you assume that calligraphics of "Muhammad" cannot be considered an artistic representation of the concept/man/tradition "Muhammad", which is both nonsensical and implicitly contradicted by what Esposito says; he clearly states that the use of calligraphy came at the expense of the use of the human form. - Merzbow 07:24, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
It is a "representation" in the same sense that when I write "Merzbow," I am representing you; I am not depicting you. That Esposito presents calligraphy against visual depictions in a historical dichotomy of interests and energy in no way contradicts this common-sense observation, any more than if he'd suggested that an aversion to music would have led to a greater development of poetry: assuming that it is so, it wouldn't make poetry an alternate form of music.Proabivouac 07:49, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe a thought experiment can make my argument clearer... let's say I become dictator of the world someday. I then issue an edict prohibiting pictures of myself. However, my subjects still love me, so they spend their artistic energies putting up posters of the word "Merzbow" rendered in beautiful calligraphy. A minority still manage to eke out some actual pictures. I then die, and a Wikipedia article is written about me. The article is plastered with my pictures, but contains few of the calligraphy posters. Does this not clearly misrepresent the artistic tradition surrounding the subject "Merzbow"? - Merzbow 07:59, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, we might put up a sample of a beautifully caligraphied "Dictator Merzbow" as the first or second image in the article and talk about that, and we certainly might have a section discussing "Merzbow the Impaler, and his prohibition of images". But we're not going to actually obey his laws anymore, now that he has been overthrown. The artistic tradition under his rule merits a mention, but we're not going to let that tradition actually control how we write the article-- any more than we would write the text of the article from that POV.
Strictly speaking, I suppose we're "misrepresenting" Islamic tradition by even writing from a NPOV. Most people who talk about Muhammad regard him as a prophet-- but we don't obey that tradition in writing the text of the article. --Alecmconroy 08:41, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand the fixation on the Islamic tradition. Muhammad was depicted not only by Muslims; there are quite a lot of Western paintings of Muhammad. They deserve being included in the article as well. Beit Or 18:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, I think it was sort of implicitly assumed or taken for granted by a lot of editors without considering it - it certainly struck me as strange, which is why "my" four points include the necessity of a "non-Islamic" portrayal of Muhammad, which is why I introduced the American Supreme Court image in the "depictions" section. I don't think it was a deliberate thing to assume that the article should have a predominately Islamic perspective, it was just an oversight to not realise the importance of Muhammad outside of Islam. WilyD 18:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think any is suggesting we ignore 'Western' paitings of Muhammad. But predominantly, Muhammad has held the greatest interest to Muslims. Therefore, predominantly we should focus on what he represents to Muslims in his depictions. I personally don't like to bring up other religious figures because I think this usually achieves nothing. But since others like to, I should point out that this is how we handle other articles too. For example, we predominantly focus on depictions of Jesus by Christians, and especially Western Christians. There are a bunch of other e.g. Chinese depictions which are in sub articles. Nil Einne 15:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Grabar talks about it in that sense. gren グレン 07:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I see nothing on your subpage to this effect. Please share the passages to which you refer.
I find this interesting: "But, most importantly for our purposes, there was a consciousness of being different from and better than earlier and surrounding cultures. The maintenance of this difference was particularly complicated in the realm of forms, where Islam had no official doctrine and the Arabian homeland of the faith no tradition to continue."Proabivouac 07:11, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I can hear the claim that calligraphy has always been more prominent in the Islamic art than human depictions of Muhammad, but no good sources cited to this effect. Beit Or 08:25, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
The calligraphy is a unique feature of Islamic art because of the shunning of depicting the human form. And this is the only reason we include a calligraphy at all: because it is something special and remarkable. There have been other persons (non-Muslims) that have used some special presentation of a name or word. Some are included in WP (Charlemagne's monogramm), some are not (Frederick III's AEIOU). They are of interest, therefore merit inclusion. But they are not depiction of the article's subject, which is in this case a man called "Muhamad ibn Abdallah". Str1977 (smile back) 09:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
KellsFol034rChiRhoMonogram.jpg

Does part of this discussion proceed from unexamined cultural bias? The chi-rho depicted here is the most famous page from the eighth century Book of Kells, which represents the monogram of Jesus. This approach to representation is a minority tradition within Christianity and Wikipedia.en treats it as such. Let's look at other language versions of Wikipedia (not just one or two) and compare the relative priority they accord to calligraphic and pictographic representations of Muhammad. In particular, examine the languages spoken by Muslim majority populations. DurovaCharge! 15:03, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand. What do you mean exactly by "unexamined cultural bias"? Str1977 (smile back) 17:07, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
My initial survey of different language versions of Muhammad biographies is incomplete due to time constraints, but from what I've seen so far the majority Muslim languages consistently open with calligraphy and the majority something-other-than Muslim languages are split and use a varity of solutions: calligraphy/pictorial depiction/no lead image (but images lower down)/lead with some other type of image. I repeat my suggestion of a systematic survey. I'd do that myself if I had more time, but I'm giving evidence at three different arbitration cases, a fourth case is on the verge of opening, somebody tried to discontinue the Wikipedia:Community noticeboard overnight, I've been trying to drum up discussion for needed refinements to WP:BAN and WP:DE, a disgruntled user vandalized my userpage repeatedly yesterday, I'm coaching about half a dozen potential administrator candidates, and (believe it or not) I also have a job and a life. DurovaCharge! 22:07, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
It certainly sounds like there is some unexamined cultural bias somewhere. I would be surprised to learn that contemporary western culture was insufficiently introspective - we seem addicted to navel-gazing. But maybe that's just my unexamined bias. Are we taking the position that unexamined cultural bias is a bad thing? Tom Harrison Talk 22:42, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Is there a source that says either this or the Arabic calligraphy is an approach to representation? If we are going to persue this line, wouldn't spoken "depictions" be far more common than either? If we included a recording of someone saying "Muhammad", would that too be a depiction? Tom Harrison Talk 18:11, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I like this Tom Harrison guy above me. Very sensible. Anyhoo, Why would we have a lead image of Muhammad not be an image of Muhammad? (but rather an image of his written name) ? The depiction with the black stone is beautiful, and it's also relevant as a lead image, due to its chronological relationship to the others, if nothing else. I am impressed with the powerful intellect of Beit) and take his arguments very seriously.
Also, we must remember to keep in line with reality on what defines an "image of" an individual human being and what doesn't. Fear and oppression can lead to abuses of power that can damage the soul --ProtectWomen 21:22, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Let us endeavor to keep social and psychological commentary, however pithy, to a minimum.Proabivouac 21:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Tom harrison, we have not yet been presented with such a source, and I doubt that one exists: it is difficult to imagine how or why such an argument would arise outside of the context of this particular dispute, and the need to identify the desired result, however awkwardly, with an existing Wikipedia policy.
For your second question, if the logic advanced to support this misapplication of undue weight is to be accepted, it can only be so, for written words most immediately symbolize spoken words, and the concepts to which these spoken words refer only indirectly.Proabivouac 21:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Cultural bias?

Is there an unaddressed cultural bias? This is a really interesting question, because obviously, if all our editors were muslim, we probably wouldn't have an images of Muhammad. So, there's some cultural aspects going on.

I think the answer is that any cultural bias, if it exists, is a product of Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Our purpose is to neutrally convey as much information as possible about Muhammad. In contrast, Islamic cultures are not an encyclopedia-- they're not trying to neutrally convey information about Muhammad, they're trying to rever him and follow God's edicts. Islamic culture, therefore, is free to use images caligraphy that don't tell much about Muhammad, and they're free to forego images that would be useful to an encyclopedia. I've never thought about it, but I suppose from a certain point of view, even the goal of trying to have an encyclopedia is is a bit of a cultural bias, because some cultures, even within America, think that indiscriminately learning about anything and everything can be spiritually or morally dangerous. --Alecmconroy 22:30, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:NPOV and WP:NOT also clearly evidence cultural biases.Proabivouac 22:33, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for inviting me to this mediation

I appreciate the invitation to this mediation and my reception by the participants at this very divisive issue. You all have my respect for approaching this tough issue in a thoughtful and almost entirely civil manner. I'm not certain what compromise you'll eventually reach, but remind me I wrote this when Muhammad becomes a featured article and I'll award everyone who posted to this page while I was active a collective barnstar.

At this point you probably have as many useful ideas as I can offer. I hope I've helped this group look at the questions from new angles and with the larger goal of WP:FAC in mind. Some of my suggestions have yet to be pursued. You can complete that work yourselves. The most important thing I can stress (and this probably is my parting word - I've delayed other pressing matters for this) is direct your energies into progress on areas of agreement. Collaborate on the simpler matters that relate to image use: find a map, add a Koran cover, translate some passages and make them into text boxes. Correlate the main article text to each image and do your best to keep open minds about the destination. Then go over the other featured biographies in detail and do a complete survey of the different Wikipedia language versions of Muhammad biographies. After you've made as much collaborative progress as possible, compromise on the rest. Try a new survey if necessary. Put your best effort into it and accept that the outcome might not be your personal ideal.

Warmest regards, DurovaCharge! 03:57, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Much thanks for your helpful participation Durova. I suspect we'll be seeing you around. :-) (Netscott) 04:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Why is the picture of Muhammad still not at the top?

There is an overwhelming majority of editors who want this article to be treated like any other, so why is this still not the case? Why is the calligraphy picture not in the etymology section, its obvious place? I was informed that the calligraphy at the top was simply the result of a "cease-fire" in the editing, but as I strongly suspected at the time, that "cease-fire" is now being touted as the "stable" version. This is not only dishonourable, it is incorrect. A small number of editors keep hijacking this article and turning it into something less than objective. This degrades Wikpedia, and our readers will no longer trust us to be neutral. TharkunColl 16:16, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Uhm - the "stable" version has an image of Muhammad at the top. A lot of the top layout is dictated by style and flow needs, rather than "political considerations". WilyD 16:19, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
TharkunColl, there's really only one editor who has been trollishly pushing for this and it is yourself. Most everyone else has been willing to let a general consensus be established but in the meantime allow a stable version remain in place. Have you improved the Muhammad article at all? All I see is headache from you and your insistence on needlessly angering people over this. (Netscott) 16:21, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Thark-- the answer I would give you is that the caligraphy is at the top to eliminate any possibility that readers won't see how aniconistic cultures have used imagery to honor Muhammad. So, it does serve SOME encyclopedic purpose, and since everyone should be able to see both the caligraphy and the lead image of Muhammad, it doesn't seem like it does any harm. --Alecmconroy 18:37, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

New Version

Would everyone please say whether they support or oppose the current version/compromise?--Sefringle 21:07, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Just to be clear, there's been a bit of back and forth recently - by current version/compromise, do you mean the version based on my four points? WilyD 21:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I am assuming you mean this version, which is the version as of now ---->. - Merzbow 21:38, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes.--Sefringle 21:55, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
And for history sake, we should note that this version goes along with this usage in the main article page. --Alecmconroy 22:00, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Support

(Comment in Discussion section)

  1. Alecmconroy 21:11, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. Merzbow 21:38, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. WilyD 21:40, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  4. Sefringle 21:56, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  5. Depictions of Muhammad are given prominent positioning, all traditions are represented. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 22:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  6. The article is even more educational as it immediately presents a fairly accurate view of how Muhammad has best been recognized by those who arguably know him best, his followers, as represented graphically (both through imagery and calligraphy) throughout the history of the religion he established. (Netscott) 03:13, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  7. Proabivouac 22:49, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  8. Corlyon 03:10, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
  9. Fut.Perf. 06:17, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  10. Shenme 05:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Oppose

(Comment in Discussion section)

  1. Beit Or 00:07, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 02:45, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. Karl Meier 18:40, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Abstain

(Comment in Discussion section)

  1. ProtectWomen 23:34, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
  2. Tom Harrison Talk 01:30, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  3. Nil Einne 14:47, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Discussion

The current selection and arrangement rests upon acceptable principles: the use of depictions is reasonable and encyclopedic, and the article is not censored. I believe it's important that we be able to make modifications, with, given the history of the issue, an extra measure of thoughtfulness, diligence and discussion, and so long as they're not reasonably construed as censorship or anti-censorship point violations, which by now I think all of us can agree is disruptive.
One obvious thing to remedy is the pile-up of calligraphic images at the bottom of the article - at least one should be moved up to an appropriate place.Proabivouac 23:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Without disputing what has been said above, I support Image:Mohammed kaaba 1315.jpg at the top as the earliest surviving image of Muhammad. In addition, as a work of art, it is of higher quality than the cartoonish Image:Muhammad at Kaba c.png. Beit Or 00:10, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

While I don't think it is aesthetically the best arrangement, I can live with having the calligraphy at the top; it is basically just the subject's name in Arabic, and so could go at the top about as well as in 'Etymology', where it does seem to naturally fit. I am a bit tired of voting. Let's see if we can not vote on anything for a couple of months. Otherwise, we'll need to start having regularly scheduled votes every Saturday night to determine the page layout for the coming week. Tom Harrison Talk 01:31, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

That is an excellent idea.Proabivouac 01:44, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok this whole "(just vote- No comments please)" is not helpful, I don't even know why people are opposing, I suggest we remove that unhelpful comment. It is essential that people explain their position with an argument. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 02:46, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I added that in hopes that both sides could argue their point in a central area, and because it can be difficult to determine where the majority of the people stand if the comments get in the way (it could be difficult to determine if it is just one person going against consensus and thus making it seem like consensus hasn't been reached). Secondly, I think it is better if everyone discusses the issue in a central area, rather than responding to comments on the vote, because that way the discussion doesn't get in the way of the vote and because that way everyone who has a view or reason can make share and discuss it easier. I think responidng to vote comments puts some limitations on the discussion which may hinder the process of determining concensus. I've also noticed that at times that regular voting can discourage people from offering their opinion/vote. But that is just my opinion.--Sefringle 00:10, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I would say we have achieved a consensus here. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 14:30, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree with User:HighInBC. I'm not sure how long we should be letting this discussion here go on. If it is agreed that in terms of image placement this will be the recognized version then let's end the transclusion of these images on the main article. (Netscott) 15:59, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm still not convinced the placement of Maome is ideal. It still seems to me that it should be lower. But in the interest of a compromise I'll abstain Nil Einne 14:47, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I am all for subst the images back where they belong, this temporary measure of a sub page is no longer needed. It is better that this sort of discussion happen on the main talk page now that there is a consensus. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 14:57, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Keep taking votes, until you get the right result

This is not democracy, and nor is it honourable. We should have a picture of Muhammad at the top, because every other historical figure of any note has one too. The issue really is that simple. Religious taboos are anathema to Wikipedia. TharkunColl 00:21, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The result we are looking for is consensus. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 00:25, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It's not a vote - it's a poll. It's not particularly unique to keep talking back and forth, but regular polls to see where the masses stand are worthwhile - I'm not sure how else you determine consensus. WilyD 02:42, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Not that the following is determinative, but there is more than one article on Wikipedia related to historical figures associated with the founding of various religions who do not have their picture at the top: Lao Tsu (Taoism), Mahavira (Jainism), Baha'ullah (Bahai), Mani (Manichaeism), the Bab (Bahai), and Mary, mother of Jesus (Christianity). There may be others. Some of the other religious leaders (Zoroaster, Buddha, Nanak Guru Dev) are represented by highly iconic pictures (or a statue in the case of Buddha) representing images or traditions well known to and accepted by adherents of those religions. This proposal also contains several significant unveiled images of Muhammed, and doesn't bury all the images at the bottom of the article. Overall I think the proposal is supportable and defensible.Corlyon 05:55, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon
For what it's worth-- both Lao Tzu and Mary mother of Jesus usually have images in the leads-- only in the last day or so have they been imageless due to error or vandalism. --Alecmconroy 06:07, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
OK? What is your point? Stop adding irrelevant nonsense .. 206.126.82.92 00:55, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Mind WP:NPA--Sefringle 02:38, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Alecmconroy. I see Mary's image is back now.Corlyon 03:01, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Corlyon