Talk:Muhammad/images/Archive 22

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Is there really any purpose to this sub-page?

Honestly at this point I am questioning the necessity of retaining an images sub-page. 99% of the topics here consist of the following;

  • Them: "Remove the images now!"
  • Us: "No."

There is rarely any constructive dialog on the matter, all we have done is shunt the SPAs, the IPs, and the random trolls away from the main page. And it's not like image removal would ever, ever happen as a result from one one of these near-daily demands.

My suggestion would be to delete this and return legitimate discussion, as seldom as it arises, to the main page. Anything of a "remove them, it offends me!" variety should just be reverted on sight. Tarc (talk) 19:29, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

It was set up during all of the kerfuffle with the online petitions because all of the image discussion was suffocating all other discussion. The intention was that the main talk page would be used for article improvement discussions, and this one for image discussions. I suspect that it continues to serve its purpose well. Resolute 19:33, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree; in fact not far above is a far more detailed and constructive discussion than for a good while, which has resulted in the removal of at least one image by consensus. Johnbod (talk) 19:49, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. There was a constructive discussion above only because myself and others made a fuss about it including posting on the article Talk main page and at AN/I in order to get attention. If it was only posted here (as originally it was) it would have been "ghetto-ised" and ignored. The reality is that the usual Muslim objections are posted normally on the main talk page and then moved to here. I don't really see the point. It would be much better to have one talk page but to have a process where the "usual" objections are swiftly answered and archived. I think that is actually less insulting and condescending than having a Talk ghetto. DeCausa (talk) 20:15, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, we absolutely should not revert on sight the standard Muslim claims. While we may not have to respect Islamic principles on what is or isn't offensive, we do have to follow our own rules on civility. Yes, if the same user keeps pounding away at the issue in a standard WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT, then they can be reverted. But new people who come and complaining are doing so in good faith. There's nothing wrong with just saying "That issue has been discussed extensively, please see the message at the top if the page." Reverting really makes it look like we literally don't care and are trying to piss off Muslims, when, in fact, the community has taken a long hard look at the issue and come to a consensus on it, and our rules require the consensus decision to be upheld even by those of us who don't agree with it. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:05, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
DeCausa: We have had several constructive discussions here in the past, which originated on this page. Recent examples that come to mind (come to my mind, anyway, due to my involvement) are Talk:Muhammad/images/Archive 16#To_support_the_article's neutrality followed by Talk:Muhammad/images/Archive 17#Orientalism (which resulted in some constructive changes and additions), and Talk:Muhammad/images/Archive 17#Proposed removal of deliberately provocative images (which resulted in consensus-based removal of a couple of fairly long-standing images). The point is that this page doesn't need to have constructive discussions originating elsewhere. ~Amatulić (talk) 17:22, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Those were from a year ago. Jonbod was referring to the discussion "above". I had raised the issues that started the discussin twice on this page and got no proper response. I then re-posted on the main page that discussion and it then got going here. I'm only pointing out what actually happened in relation to the the "constructive discussion" that Jonbod was referring to. I stick by what I said: this page is ghetto-ised. DeCausa (talk) 17:31, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I prefer to think of it as specialized! Also, it can be referred to from other talk pages, like Islamic view of angels. I'm sure a lot of posters think they are the first to make these points; just coming here is enough to show they are not. Johnbod (talk) 17:48, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

It just seems like we're wasting a vast amount of time simply saying "no" over and over, is all. Again, rational discussion could be kept on the main page, while the trolls simply get a revert. Tarc (talk) 18:01, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Then we would waste a vast amount of time in re-reverting; anyway, to describe the complainers as trolls is unfair & inaccurate, in the majority of cases. Johnbod (talk) 18:04, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

you should keep this page because i come back to it regularly for pointers on how to deal with some of my friends who are like the anti-image people here —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

A suggestion to stop image objections!!!

The purpose of the long-lasting denial is not new. Jesus has said in the Bible not to picture anything above the skies and under earth, however, Christians and Muslims don't follow it now. There's some artists that respected Muhammad's wishes of not picturing his face, so they drew pics w/o the face nor skin color. These are all oily arts, so I don't think the pics are weired or anything. Can anybody look at this link and give his opinion. It should stop all debates and respect everyone. PEACE! AdvertAdam talk 07:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it will have any effect on debates here. Nobody has problems with pictures that don't show Muhammad's face. It's those that do that create problems.
Thanks for that link, by the way. It has some really good images on it. Particularly the one showing Muhammad splitting the moon would be a good substitute for the image that was in this version of the Splitting of the moon article. ~Amatulić (talk) 16:07, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
The one on splitting the moon was already on Commons, unused. I added it to Splitting of the moon. ~Amatulić (talk) 01:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Most of them are from the same narrow cultural milieu as the existing article pictures, and for that reason, IMO, have the same problem. But the four 19th century paintings by Mohammad Modabber and the modern Shia pics/internet homepages (at the end) are worth considering (subject to copyright etc) as a replacement for some the existing pics to introduce some diversity. DeCausa (talk) 16:47, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
A few years ago I had a discussion in college on the historical "Depictions of Muhammad", and I actually made a couple of claims based on what I found on that website. Unfortunately, after reading more into the subject, these claims turned out to be false. For instance, some of the images there are said to be from the 11th century, but all reliable sources state that the earliest extant images are form the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Also, some of these images are not even depictions of Muhammad (e.g., the image at the end, showing the 12 Imams, three of which are shown in large figures, and Prophet Muhammad is not depicted anywhere -- they seem to have now corrected that one in the caption, though). It is unfortunate that some of these false claims have been copied verbatim to Wikipedia, and stayed here for years, which I have only recently corrected. All in all, that website contains errors and it isn't reliable. Wiqi(55) 19:34, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Even the FAQ says that the pics aren't a real picturing of Muhammad, as no-one in his generation pictured him. My suggestion was replacing pictures in the article with the ones that are without faces, as none of the artists are reliable anyways (there is no real drawing of him. AdvertAdam talk 01:10, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The article contains images with and without faces. The presence or absence of a face is an irrelevant consideration for making editorial decisions; what matters more is how the image illustrates the article. ~Amatulić (talk) 01:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with AA, but there is logic in what he says, as that is why the faces were blanked in the first place. But most previous objectors seem to object equally to images with or without a blank or a veil. Johnbod (talk) 02:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Blanked will keep the topic less-stressed. However, my suggestions only apply on availability: preferring an image without a face, if it gives the same meaning. I know it's against WP's policies, but it will stop orthodox believers' offensiveness (not seeing the picture, but publishing it in the first-place against the willing of Muhammad himself). I liked Amatulic's recent edit on Splitting_of_the_moon, as he used from those pics and pointed out which one is Muhammad. Thanks guys for your opinions AdvertAdam talk 02:35, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

In fond memory of the infobox image

It's too bad the long-standing lead image in the infobox had to be deleted and replaced, due to what seemed to be a technicality regarding differences in copyright recognition across countries. I really liked that work of calligraphic art. The replacements just seem so inferior. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:01, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, it complemented the article better. Jarkeld (talk) 18:06, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree it's not as good - there must be better ones that can be uploaded out there. Johnbod (talk) 18:16, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
yes, it's a shame. The link provided by Advert Adam (in thread above) had an interesting calligraphic "verbal description" of him, Ottoman 17th century. Don't know copyright position. Couldn't see any info on that on the link. DeCausa (talk) 18:38, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Here are some other possibilities:

The first one is pretty cool although I'd prefer something less modern. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:14, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I suggest we include a picture of Muhammad, as we do with all other major historical figures. Why should we have what are to most people just meaningless squiggles? ðarkuncoll 23:28, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
This has been considered before. The most common depiction is calligraphic, so that's what we use. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

There's also this one:

DeCausa (talk) 23:50, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I deliberately omitted that image because it's already being used in the topics directory box just below the infobox. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


After reading your posts I've come to the conclusion that you have no care for Islam or Prophet Muhammad or Muslims in any way, shape, or form. Don't write an article about somebody if you just want to be annoying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Who are you referring to? The article was written by 100s of different editors. doomgaze (talk) 00:52, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

<offensive comment removed> IP editor, please understand no one is trying to be offensive, we just have different ideas about what constitutes the proper way to pass on knowledge. Please note that in the FAQ above it explains how you can block images from being shown on your computer if you wish. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:00, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Remove blasphamous pictures of Holy Porphet Muhmmad (peace be upon him):

We are not listing to the same IP come back 1-2 times a year repeating the same message. Tarc (talk) 22:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Please remove all blasmphamous pictures of holy prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) episode of the Black Stone.[79] is big blasphamy against our prophet(peace be upon him).We would be thankful if you remove all of the blasmphamous pictures as soon as possible.Bye the way why do you guys put pictures of Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him), are you blasphamous.You must remove these images all at once. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Please read: Wikipedia is not censored and the FAQ on Muhammad about why the pictures will not be removed. Jarkeld (talk) 19:46, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, the pictures are not blasphemous, they are respectful. Muslims are not universally offended by them. Therefore, nothing needs to be done to satisfy your personal sense of propriety. You have the ability to choose what offends you. Choose more wisely in the future. You also have the ability to conceal the images; see the FAQ. So follow those instructions. Nobody is forcing you to look at them. ~Amatulić (talk) 20:53, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I didn't realize this was the same user on whose talk page I already left some friendly notices over the past year. I have just blocked this IP for 1 year, roughly the length of the time it has been posting these demands. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:43, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 2 July 2011

PLEASE REMOVE THE PICTURES OF OUR PROPHET(S.A.W.W) have a condemnable place in our religion..for reference:1. Sayyidina Jabir (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) forbade keeping pictures in the home, and disallowed making them.

‘Chapter 18 About pictures (Jami Tirmidhi 1755)

2. Sayyidina Ibn Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “As for one who draws pictures, Allah will punish him till he blows a soul into it, and he will never be able to blow a soul into it. As for one who eavesdrops on a people and they do not like it, on the Day of Resurrection, molten lead will be poured into his ears.”

27 - Book of clothing ‘chapter 19 about artist’ (Jami Tirmidhi 1757) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Discussed many times previously; please see the FAQ at the very top of the page. In that section, you will find instructions about how to block the pictures from being shown on your account, so you will not be subject to being offended. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:58, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

>>>That will only prevent me or some other people from seeeing those requesting humbly for u to please TOTALLY REMOVE them from the website.Please respect our religion's principles. Blocking those pictures from our browsers will not satisfy us.They'll still be visible to others!..WE don not want ANYONE to have any picture in their mind as to what our beloved prophet(s.a.w.w) looked like! might lead to various thoughts in the minds of others which aren't appropriate for him(s.a.w.w)..May the ALMIGHTY LORD have His mercy on you.PLEASE remove them! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Your beliefs are not mine, and you have no right to tell me what I can or can not see, say, hear or do. You ask us to respect your principles, but I have to ask: why will you not respect mine? Resolute 01:49, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Excellent question Resolute and one I fear will never be answered. Garycompugeek (talk) 13:54, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
IP user wants to control thoughts about Muhammad in the minds of other people?? Good luck with that one. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
This wiki article is ABOUT the life of Mohammad, it is not FOR him, nor is it religion in itself. It is not to promote him. If you don't like it, don't read it, but don't tell others how to live their lives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Remove the images.

Remove the images or Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from this articles please, It is incredibly offensive to Muslims. If you have set out to offend Muslims and make alot of enemies then congratulations but if you are sincerely writing about the life of the Prophet (SAW) then I strongly suggest taking the images of him off the article. Islam strictly prohibits drawings and sculptures and you are making this even worse by putting pictures of the Prophet (SAW) up. No I haven't come to troll your page but you need to understand how deeply disrespectful Muslims find this. If you don't want to respect the religion or the Prophet (SAW) then just remove the article entirely. (talk) 00:42, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi, please go to this Muhammad article instead. Thank you.—Chowbok 02:17, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
You don't have a right to walk through life unoffended. Tarc (talk) 02:24, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

You don't have a right to walk through life offending people either! 1907AbsoluTurk (talk) 19:54, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I do not have a right to intentionally offend people, you are correct there. But that is not applicable. We are creating an encyclopedia here, containing much of the sum of human knowledge. Some things throughout history have been found offensive, but we are not going to prohibit the display of them because of that. Tarc (talk) 19:59, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

The uselessness of using pictures of Muhammad (saw)

Since most of these pictures are drawn by later Islamic societies such as the Mughal and Ottoman civilizations, they are based solely on someone's imagination and on their take on what it says in scripture. Had anyone actually drawn any part of his life, it might be acceptable to post that image on Wikipedia. But since no one did, there is no reason to put up images which do not improve our understanding of events or the Prophet (saw) himself.

I know most of the Wikipedia lords are doing this simply to be defiant of Islam's rulings on the matter, but the fact is that these images do not improve the understanding, nor the content of the article. 1907AbsoluTurk (talk) 19:51, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

The pictures give us a veiw of how people throughout history have viewed this this important religious figure, and therefore are extremely relevant. Also, see Talk:Muhammad/FAQ#Q2: Aren't the images false?. No one is saying they are accurate representations. They are just historical interpretations. Also, please assume good faith. Editors who don't share your religious views are not simply trying to be defiant of Islam's rulings on this matters. It is that Wikipedia is not censored and therefore we do not abide by any religious/idealogial/political/personal view that certain material should not be displayed, provided it is encylopedic. Singularity42 (talk) 20:17, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
To correct one aspect of your answer: "people throughout history" is inaccuarate. The pictures are by necessity from a relatively narrow cultural milieu as for most of muslim history and most muslim cultures the depiction of Muhammad was prohibited. Hence, there is one western painting (Russian 19th century) and the rest are from particular eras of Ottoman and Ilkhanid history. Pictorial views from Classical Islam or the Arab Muslim world in any period don't exist. DeCausa (talk) 20:38, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

To RfC or not to RfC?

That is the question. Any thoughts? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:11, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Not much of a point, IMO. Religious fundamentalism is never going to be a concern to take into account when making editorial decisions in this project. Tarc (talk) 19:10, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Tarc's understanding of the issues; with the understanding that if specific issues are believed not to be noteworthy, believed to be incorrect (ie: wrong person), believed to be improperly cited (such as the recent one fixed by Johnbod and Wiqi55), that I'm willing to help with such issues. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 19:15, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

There will be an RfC: I'm just waiting on Anthony, who said that RL was in the way for a few days. --Ludwigs2 19:17, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

No one gets to say "No, we can't have an RfC on this." Pretty much the only justification for not having one would be 1) if this were being already discussed at some other forum (like if ArbCom had taken the case) or 2) if we'd just had one and nothing had changed. We haven't just had an RfC, and even if we had, something has changed--the WMF resolution. We can certainly discuss in an RfC if the resolution applies (most currently think that while it applies, the precise wording means we're still doing the right thing now by keeping the images). But the whole nature of dispute resolution, collegial editing, and the consensus means that if one person feels like the "local" editors aren't covering the issues consistently with policy, that person has every right and, one might even argue, responsibility, to raise the issue to the wider community. In fact, Ludwigs two can go through the whole chain of DR if he wants to, from RfC to DRN to mediation to Arbcom, if so warranted. It's absolutely unacceptable to say "Well, we all agree, so that's the end of the discussion." If editors could say that, it would mean dispute resolution would be impossible. While I probably (though not certainly) disagree with Ludwigs2 on this issue, I certainly support his use of our policies and procedures to address the issue. In fact, I consider the notion of anyone trying to stop dispute resolution as potentially disruptive editing. Qwyrxian (talk) 04:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Ah, then perhaps you understand the problem we are running into every time we try to hash out an RfC proposal? It's not a matter of trying to stop it - it's a matter of giving up on trying to start it with such interference for tendentious purposes. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 07:26, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
By the way, I support anyone's (including Ludwigs2's) use of policy to address any issue. But I do not support the misuse of policy by playing Whack-A-Mole with it as has been done above. This isn't "let's go through every policy until I find one that fits to get my way" nor is it "let's ignore a policy because it changes a lot, and justify that by citing IAR" nor is it "I dont care about consensus, I've got my WP:DEADHORSE". Nor is it "let's propose biased questions that ask (1) should we delete the images for this reason? (2) should we delete the images for this reason or (3) should we delete it for this reason?". And, as you know, certain arguments ("it's against others' religious beliefs and thus offends them") can be summarily dismissed (in light of countless consensus indicating relevance and importance of the images). Would you like diffs for all of that, or just the time to catch up on reading things here? (no, that's not sarcasm) Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 07:44, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Before we request comment from other editors, I'd like to settle the question I raised above, whether and how this article should discuss images of Muhammad, because what the text of the article covers may affect which images, or types of image, the community believes are appropriate for the article. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 10:11, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
How long does an RrC last once it's opened? Originally I had not planned on taking part (I don't contribute loads to this page) however now I have been polarised to a position and intend to stick to it. Once it is RfC'd will people accept it is the next question, or will we start beating a dead horse? Tivanir2 (talk) 14:04, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
RfC's typically last 30 days, though in some cases they may be closed early by someone uninvolved. ideally, RfC's don't require a lot of attention - pretty much it is waiting around until people respond - but in practice they often become an extension of the argument. hopefully that won't happen here.
There obviously should be a mention of the proscription against images of Muhammad, since its such a central element of the faith. I've been avoiding adding it myself because there's enough of a kerfluffle on the talk page without extending it to article space, but maybe I'll try an addition later today. all that really needs to be added, I think is a short discussion of the theological roots of the proscription. If I remember correctly, it has to do with the belief that Muhammad is a prophet of God, and images of God or his messengers are considered idolatry. But I could be wrong (it's been a long time since I last examined Islamic doctrine). --Ludwigs2 15:13, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
See, when you make statements like this, I begin to wonder just how much you actually know about the subject area. The "forbidden image" shtick is not a "central element", it is not mentioned in the Qu'ran, and most Shias don't oppose visual depictions. Opposition to the images within Wikipedia seems to stem from people hand-wringing everytime some anonymous people fire up an entry at Tarc (talk) 16:06, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Ludwigs2: Policy FORBIDS us from taking that into account. Policy FORBIDS us from biasing the RfC process. And Policy FORBIDS us from asking an RfC in a fashion where every question asks or implies "should we delete the images for this reason or this one?". And IAR is NOT a magic wand you can use to get your way, which is all you want. Nearing completion of an RfC of my own, which such BAD FAITH efforts above may soon require. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 16:11, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
You should start at Aniconism in Islam, where I expect you will find the "doctrine" less emphatic than you expect. It is essentially all based on hadith, and interestingly specifically condemnatory of those who make images rather than consume them. Note also that the Persianate tradition of images developed among Sunnis for a couple of centuries before the rulers of Persia turned Shia. Johnbod (talk) 16:49, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
The Sunni claim is merely a modern speculation. I'm not aware of any concrete evidence for such a claim. Also, idolatry is only one side of this debate, the other being misinformation. It goes without saying that images convey information (or misinformation) more effectively than text. Wiqi(55) 17:23, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
If by "Sunni claim" you mean my point just above, I can well believe you are not aware of "any concrete evidence" but reading a basic book or two on the subject would solve that problem. Johnbod (talk) 17:56, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Guys, please decide whether you're going to accuse me of being a Muslim advocate or of not knowing enough about the faith; you can use one ad hominem or the other, but trying to use both is confusing. Funny, but confusing. Face-smile.svg
@Tarc: we are not here to engage in the Shia/Sunni doctrinal debate. That is a real-world conflict that we can report on, but not one we argue about ourselves. If your argument (setting aside your hand-wringing straw men) is that we are only offending 80% of Muslims rather than 100%, your point is noted.
@Robert: You're wrong on nearly every point, and typing in capital letters doesn't make you any less wrong. NOTCENSORED does not obviate NPOV or Consensus, which is what you are trying to use it to do. sorry.
@John: These are all very good points that probably deserve mention in the article, but they don't have a place in talk page discussion: you cannot make the argument that it's ok to offend group A without reason simply because group B is not offended. The point I keep trying to make here (which none of you actually ever engage) is that it is unethical (and damaging to the project's reputation) for us to offend people without a good encyclopedic reason for doing so. do you disagree with that statement? --Ludwigs2 17:40, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)To Wiqi55: That is true (idolatry), and applies to multiple religions, including various sects of Christianity, where no statue or image of Jesus is allowed for just such a reason - much less of "Euro-Jesus" which is equally an inaccurate portrayal of the actual Jesus as the images on this article. I think on the misinformation end, our (numerous of us, you greatly included) efforts to properly cite the images has taken us a long way in that respect here. Your additional efforts with "Depiction of" and adding more information to each have taken us staggeringly farther (and have gathered a lot of respect and admiration from me for your efforts). Which reminds me, your comments on re-adding (and wording of) the "Depictions..." section above would be greatly appreciated.
In general: this brings me back to my RfC proposal above, which (other than simply removing all images because Ludwigs2 wants such) actually addresses every point made (including all other points by Ludwigs2 and the new resolution) without crippling the procedure or guaranteeing an outcome. I think (ie: my opinion) that every other proposal so far creates a scenario that is "remove all or keep all" or (Ludwig2's) "remove all for this reason or remove all for this reason". I think my proposal is the only one on the table that allows each image to stand or fall on it's merits (historical value, relevance, etc) and thus also fits directly within the application of the new resolution - if it does not meet all of those criteria, we delete (and it falls on the "remove" side of the resolution). If an image does meet all of those criteria, then per other policies and the resolution, we keep. In effect, it covers every matter brought up above, and I hope that, for those who want to see every image remain, that they'll trust that the community will fairly judge each on each aspect I've been noting to make such a case (or be unable to make a case, prompting deletion). Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:48, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs: _____ ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:48, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
I would genuinely be happy with a picture by picture proposal as this allows the weeding out of irrelevant works (kicks black stone again.) As for a blanket get rid of all pictures I think it would be a waste of time. If we vote for the removal of all it will most likely fall on its face and nothing changes even though some changes might need to be made. Tivanir2 (talk) 17:55, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Exactly! Meaning we are already starting with a bias (which is what I am trying to avoid). I think they should all stay, but am putting a lot of effort into not creating a proposal to suit my desires (otherwise, knowing the outcome, I'd pick one of the others and have put nothing on the table). Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:02, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: I'm more than happy to discuss image-by-image (as I've said multiple times, since you seem to have missed it). I just start from the opposite perspective from you - I want to see good, credible reasons to keep images so as not to unnecessarily offend. That being said, please see point 3 of my post in the section above, which outlines a compromise (creating an 'art history' section in which we discuss the controversy as Anthony has laid it out and put a selection of these images of Muhammad there). --Ludwigs2 18:17, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK, now you're talking section (as opposed to article)? Or did I misread your intent above, or did you simply misstate your intent above? If it's any of those, I may need to retract my comment above in response to it. I still disagree with it, as currently suggested, but I'd be willing to work on it and reconsider it. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:21, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm… since this is a possible arena for compromise, let me outline it in a new thread, below.--Ludwigs2 18:55, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

What started this conversation was concern that the use of controversial images in this article may not be in conformity with the principles and guidance outlined in the Board's May resolution. Above, Qwyrxian says, "We can certainly discuss in an RfC if the resolution applies (most currently think that while it applies, the precise wording means we're still doing the right thing now by keeping the images." Can I propose the following, or something like it, for the RfC question?

Should the use of images in Muhammad conform to the principles and guidance contained in the Wikimedia Foundation's May 2011 resolution on controversial content? If it should, does it?

If everyone is agreed that this article should conform to the resolution, we could leave out the first part and simply ask

Does the use of images in Muhammad conform to the principles and guidance contained in the Wikimedia Foundation's May 2011 resolution on controversial content?

--Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:14, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Anthony: This is interesting, but I'm not sure it gets at the core of the problem. I suspect we would get an overwhelming 'support' vote for both of these questions, and still find ourselves in the same dispute over interpretation of what that means.
The real problem we are having is clarifying the proper attitude that wikipedia should take towards controversial material. basically it's a disagreement on this dimension:
  • Controversial material should be avoided except where there's a clear mandate for its use
  • Controversial material should be preserved except where there's a clear mandate for its removal
The first is promoted as reasonable and ethical, and opposed as (at times) censorship; the second is promoted as free and open, and opposed as (at times) aggressively biased. How can we tweak your questions to resolve that problem? --Ludwigs2 16:05, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Once again, a fraudulent argument. We do not dip and bow to every single thing every single person may find objectionable. This is political correctness run amok. For the umpteenth time, that some people do not like images of Muhammad to be displayed is not a concern will will take when editing this page. Tarc (talk) 16:08, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Tarc, I understand from your comments that you firmly believe you are the final authority of everything said on this page. I would ask you, however, to consider the possibility that you might be wrong. I'm not saying you are, mind you; I'm just saying there is a debate to be had on this issue, and huffing and puffing in this way doesn't do anything except get in the way of rational discussion. --Ludwigs2 16:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Tarc, you assert (again) that controversy around content should not affect inclusion. That conflicts with the Foundation principle. Hence, we need community input. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:15, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs, I'm not certain we have to follow the Foundation's guidance. I doubt that this article conforms to it, and would expect most editors, provided the case is well put, to agree that it doesn't. You don't get content much more controversial than this, or images of much less relevant educational value. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:15, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, THE FOUNDATION RESOLUTION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS' NOT WANTING PEOPLE TO SHOW IMAGES OF THEIR PROPHET. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. I do hate to yell, but I also hate to see the same falsehoods spread again and again and again on this issue. You and ludwins are not going to be allowed to hide behind an unconnected WMF memo on this. Tarc (talk) 02:23, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Ugh... let me try a different road than Tarc (it means the same thing though). Anthony, by evaluating the images on the basis I proposed below, any image that remains is automagically in compliance with the new resolution. Please read WP:CENSOR where the new resolution is already included. Then note the last sentences. Religious objections are not accepted as grounds for anything - at all. New resolution or not. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 03:01, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Very offensive

I find these images of the holy prophet muhammed offensive. If I may I would like to provide an alternate photograph. May Allah guide your ways. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

New comments at the bottom of the page, please.
Please also read Talk:Muhammad/FAQ. Not all Muslims share your view.
Many people are offended by many things on Wikipedia. Wikipedia isn't censored for anyone's benefit.
By all means, we are always willing to consider new or alternative images. Where can we see it? ~Amatulić (talk) 13:18, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

If the IP, or indeed anyone else, can provide us with a new calligraphic form of the Prophet's name, that would be very gratefully received, as our old one turned out to be copyright.--Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:38, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

compromise idea - section on 'Muhammad in art'

Restating the idea here, for discussion purposes.

Under this proposal, there would be a new section on 'Muhammad in art', which would contain a discussion of the controversy over depicting the prophet (along the lines that Anthony has presented above) and material on the different ways Muhammad has been depicted over the centuries. some of the images currently in the article will be moved to this new section as exemplars of art styles (along with other depictions, such as Muhammad appearing as a flame), and the rest would be removed (unless there are other equally clear content reasons to retain them). This would have the following advantages:

  • It would contain the controversial images within a section dedicated to discussing the controversy, which satisfies both NPOV and NOTCENSORED
  • It would put a stop to most of these talk page disputes - probably to an extent where this subpage could be retired - because we would then have a clear and unimpeachable reason to be using the images.

I think this might be a livable solution for everyone - I'm obviously open to it. comments? --Ludwigs2 18:55, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not yet willing to support this, but I will say I'd lean closer if the examination/removal of other (ie: remaining) images was based on my earlier proposal. Or combine the two so each image is examined for historical value and relevance to the existing article, with each that does not meet such qualifications then being examined for relevance to the section that you propose. I think that more fairly addresses each issue without causing the perception (regardless of your intent or lack thereof - which is why I used "perception") that the effort is to hide the images even farther down the page. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 19:01, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Depictions of Muhammad already has the controvery section including petitions and noteable protests to images. As for the current proposition to be clear is the "muhammad in art" section going to remain as part of this article? Tivanir2 (talk) 19:16, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
I consider this a non-starter. We already have Depictions of Muhammad, which is where the issue of the controversy is covered. This article is about Muhammad the person, and should not try to duplicate that material in a kinder, gentler way. All this needs to be added to this article is a brief paragraph on the image controversy, with a pointer to the Depictions... article. Tarc (talk) 20:01, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a good attempt at a compromise but I don't see the point. There is no point in duplicating Depictions of Muhammad in this already-too-long article. This issue of images is controversial only to a minority of people who are offended by their own choice. Furthermore, we should not be making editorial decisions on the basis of how often someone states on the talk page that they are offended. As far as I know, Wikipedia has never had a requirement to remove controversial content because it happens to generate talk page content. I see no reason to hold this article and its images to different standards than any other article about an historical figure. The fact that some people misapply religious dogma to this particular historical figure isn't relevant to the content of the article. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:48, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
@Tivanir2: If the images are properly contextualized within a section of this sort then I will consider them to be valid under NPOV, and you'll see me arguing against people who try to remove them. I can't make any guarantee beyond that, but I think you'd probably agree that it would be more pleasant having me argue on your side than against it.
@Amatulić:Allow me to explain the pragmatics of this in more detail. The problem on this page - the reason for the 15 archives of of complaints, and for the overly-long discussion we are currently having - is that editors here have been taking a hard-line approach on an issue that calls for some delicacy. No one is "offended by choice"; people are sensitive to issues due to a variety of factors (like childhood socialization) that are largely out of their control. It's an emotional reaction, and you will never run out of people who have a problem with these images (it's a precept of a major world religion, for heaven's sake; pretending it is some tiny minority we can dispense with borders on delusion). We will never run out of conflict on this article until either the images are removed or their position is solidified under some rational basis. Just speaking for myself, I see a fairly severe violation of NPOV on this page that I am loathe to give up on until it's fixed. (yes, I recognize that you don't see it, but since I can explain the problem clearly and no one else seems to be able to explain the converse position, c'est la vie...). The compromise costs your side little, satisfies my NPOV concerns, and gives the page a way out of this interminable dispute. there isn't really another way out of it.
The only credible reason people have given in the above discussion for retaining these images is that they have some art-historical significance, so let's capitalize on that and put them in an art-historical context where we can legitimately use them. If you keep taking the hard-line approach then I will keep raising the NPOV concerns, and if that's the way it's going to go then we might as well sign up for mediation or arbitration now (unless - as Robert keeps hinting - you're counting on winning this debate by getting me banned). If you all refuse to make any compromise in your position then we are stuck.
So which way do you want to play this? Do you want to adopt a spirit of collaboration and craft some solution that satisfies my concerns and yours, or do you want to continue to insist that my concerns are meaningless, and open a case at the Cabal or ask for formal mediation? I'd prefer the former, personally, but I'm not going to agree with something I believe violates the core principles of the project, so you're going to have to move a little bit my way for this to work. --Ludwigs2 22:52, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: This is the point I've been trying to make at all. Many people see no reason to be delicate if are met. Many people also see various of the images more suited for relevant placement in sections (as is done in other articles). Many people already think a compromise has been made by not putting images in the top 1/3 (or more) of the article. As for getting you banned/topic banned/whatever, I hope you've noticed, if you make a good faith effort, my interaction is quite different. When you propose an RfC (such as in the last couple days) with biased questions that ask or imply "delete for this reason or delete for this reason?" then my interaction is different and I do lean towards requesting some sort of action (no, not necessarily a ban, topic or otherwise).
As for spirit of collaboration, other options seem to have had a lot more support. If that's the end result, you are apparently not going to be satisfied. But the alternative is you're satisfied and virtually no one else is. <- The crux of this issue. Obviously, if you step away and think about it rationally, one unsatisfied editor is better than virtually every other editor being unsatisfied so you are satisfied. You can't win them all.
Also on the "winning... by banning" thing. I think I've (and others have) shown an abundance of patience, while you've tried at least two end runs around RfC forming when not getting your way, one of which included trying to extricate Tarc, one of your most vocal "opponents", from this issue. None of us have retaliated in kind, so you may wish to cease such implications, since only you are guilty of such actions.
Side note, my next counter proposal included linking to "Depictions of" article. I thought that was inferred when I mentioned Anthonyhcole's efforts above, but figured I needed to clarify. Nonetheless, that leaves my counter-proposal pretty much the same as my initial proposal with anything removed as extraneous being put into the "Depictions..." section (the one you are proposing as "Muhammad in art"). Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 00:16, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
How can anyone agree to satisfy your concerns when all your concerns are based on considerations that we must ignore?—Kww(talk) 00:21, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Because all of us misunderstand policy. That is the crux of the complaint against us in what again seems to be delving into "Whack-A-Mole-With-Wrong-Policies" game. :-/ ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 00:30, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
So this is the game plan now? Make a demand so outrageous at the outset (remove the images to appease some conservative religious sensitivities), then after awhile offer a "compromise" (just picture the air-quotes in your mind when reading that) that gets you most of what you want? The insinuation that those who are now unwilling to meet your faux-compromise are now the obstinate/stubborn ones was a nice touch, btw. Really, all this does is move the goalposts from "completely out of the question" to "strongly oppose", IMO. You have threatened before to go on and on...and on and on and on...with your opposition to the images, but the ArbCom filing went down in flames pretty swiftly. You are free to pursue other avenues of dispute resolution if you wish, as I think we are just about done with talk page interactions. Tarc (talk) 00:23, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Tarc. If this article is to mention the depiction of Muhammad, one paragraph (or two short ones at the very most) would be due weight for this minor aspect of a very big topic. And I agree with Rob, inclusion or exclusion of each image needs to be determined case by case according to its merits, though I'm not sure that needs to be done via RfC. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 00:38, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)That brings us back to part of my counter-proposal, which is to do so using the efforts you are spearheading for restoring the "Depictions..." mini-section. Kills two stones with one bird. And that's a pretty tough task. You'll note my counter-proposal also removes the "compromise" (to honor religious beliefs/offense) factor that's not supportable by policy. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 00:47, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
well, I have to admit, this is just a fascinating experience. Face-smile.svg But, back to the explanations…
@Robert. I'm glad you've decided to be more civil, for whatever reasons you chose to do so. it makes communication easier.
To you substantive points: Honestly I think your approach is a good one. My concern - based on a very large number of samples derived from the above discussion - is that some editors will create exaggerated and unrealistic assessments of the 'historical worth and relevance' of given images. Are there any objective criteria you can think of, so that it doesn't boil down to a stalemate of pure subjectivity? I can think of objective criteria myself (and have toted them out a few times in the above discussion), but I doubt that anyone will be receptive to it coming from me. It doesn't matter to me which way we do it, yours or mine; I just thought the 'art history' section would be more concrete and objective and thus easier to justify. My main concern is that the images of Muhammad that remain in the article have a clear and unimpeachable rationale for being there (so that any accusations that they are there just to spite Muslims is easily resolved and dismissed).
And please don't 'many people' me. In case you hadn't noticed I'm an idealist, and I rarely (if ever) think that 'what most people do' is the best model for action. 'Many people' are crude, rude, thoughtless, and vindictive, and we certainly don't want our behavior here to mimic theirs.
@Kww: please read wp:NOTABUREAUCRACY. This isn't about toeing to the rules. rules are useful to the extent that they help us craft good, neutral articles, and ignorable when they get in the way of that. We decide what images we want to put in articles and what images we don't - the rules don't dictate content. there is nothing in policy that says or implies that we have to use controversial images if they are available; at best, policy says that we shouldn't have to remove them if they are important. It's that question of importance that's under discussion.
@ Tarc:…
@ Anthony: If you want to go image-by-image, that's fine, but we need to set some concrete criteria for inclusion, otherwise we'll have people saying things like "it's essential this image remain because its blue tone complements the default wikipedia colors" (or the converse ridiculous statements for removal). so what criteria shall we use? --Ludwigs2 02:40, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Ludwigs2, nah, I'm just rather blunt (as I warned earlier) - nothing personal there. Sorry if it seems uncivil if it's contrary to your opinion on the matter - that's probably... well... because I can be rather blunt.
As for wp:weasel and such. Nah, I'm just a realist. This is a community. The "many" win. It's really that simple - and thus, also nothing personal. Which is how your actions, in light of that reality, end up looking tendentious or disruptive. It's simply a matter of "umm, yeah, you know it's going to end this way, so why do you keep going on and on?"
But perhaps one thing we can agree on is to minimize those WikiPhilosophy discussions to our talk pages? Always welcome to get into a debate about such with me there. Thus, I'm getting back to the situation at hand...
Regarding my proposal, if you note one of the originals (it's buried someplace above), it came attached with a requirement for a group of uninvolved editors and admins to review all answers and judge the weight each should hold based on policy, guidelines and such. I thought I'd transposed that bit here, but I may not have. I'm hoping that solves the remainder of this dilemma. It will require a little more time and a bit more effort, but then again, I'm sure you would agree that handling this properly deserves that effort? Heck, maybe even attach a request as part of the RfC for a pool of volunteers we can all then !vote on to pick x number to close and evaluate? Open to other ideas on how to solve such as well. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:51, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2 said "ridiculous statements" (such as) "it's essential this image remain because its blue tone complements the default wikipedia colors" - Really?!?!?! If that is not an acceptable criteria in the RfC, I'll vote against that RfC proposal!!! Well, ok, maybe I can let that one slide if we work out the rest of the issues for an RfC. ;-) (smile everyone, it's only Wikipedia) ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:55, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Just more of the same tendentious bullying, nothing more. What this reminds me of is the great Virgin Killer album cover fiasco. A group of editors went all think of the children, the Brits harrumphed and blacklisted the project for a few days, and a tiny yet vocal group of editors screamed that the image must be removed because it was causing offense to an equally minor minority in the outside world. What happened? consensus was to retain the image, same as we have found here. Providing uncensored and unfiltered information to the reader outweighs prudery and religious fundamentalism, respectively. Tarc (talk) 03:11, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but we are at a point where Ludwigs2 is willing to endorse my proposal. So far, I think the only comment against it was the difficulty, to which I proposed the method of closing I recently "reposted" above. And I still think it the only proposal that allows for the potential for some change. I have no problem with any of the images, and will cite reasons for inclusion of each (I've made that no secret), but the proposal doesn't limit anyone else to an "all or nothing" choice. They can choose "all" if they wish, by doing so individually (as I will), "nothing" or anything inbetween. In that respect, I think it accomplishes the same intent as the other proposal suggestions, but with one less bias - the one created for a few who might think "Well, image #4 doesn't really belong (for whatever rationale), but I have to choose 'keep all' since 'keep none' removes the good ones too". At least that's my opinion. And though I think my rationale is sound, as the proposer for the RfC proposal I proposed,;-) I am definitely biased towards it (and willing to admit it). So, maybe we can move on from here. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 03:20, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: In case you hadn't noticed, I'm rather 'blunt' myself (though I prefer the term 'strong-willed'). And I don't have much regard for 'tyranny of the majority' type situations, and almost never bow to those kinds of decisions. I believe we should pay more than lip-service to the project's ideals, and I'm not at all shy about standing up for that, despite the fact it frequently gets me in hot water.
That aside, your proposal basically sounds like… having an RfC. How else do we "group of uninvolved editors and admins to review all answers and …"? Or are you thinking of somehow creating a special review committee? The idea is sound in principle, but Wikipedia is such a poorly structured system that I don't see any mechanism for doing this. Maybe we could work something out with MedCab, since the volunteers there tend to have more practice at taking a dispassionate view on things?
and Tarc:...--Ludwigs2 16:20, 29 October 2011 (UTC)


I'm not speaking from a bureaucratic perspective, Ludwigs2. I'm not arguing that we should ignore religious objections because of Rule 47-J or something, I'm arguing from basic principles: religious objections have no merit when considering images for an encyclopedia. They are irrelevant. The images in this article cannot be held to a higher standard because of them, and it's quite apparent that you wish to do so. For the purposes of an encyclopedia, the images are not considered to be controversial in the first place because there is no secular controversy about them.—Kww(talk) 16:22, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Kww, please. the phrase "religious objections have no merit when considering images for an encyclopedia" is a rule: either it's a rule written specifically in policy somewhere or it's a rule you've created yourself, but in either case you have presented a rule that (in your mind) must be followed to the letter as a matter of procedure, without thought or disagreement. That is the heart and soul of bureaucratic thinking. I'm telling you that as a matter of ethics objections to content are always worthy of specific consideration, regardless of the source. Sometimes we may decide to ignore objections and sometimes we may decide to heed them; it is a matter of context, in which various factors must be weighed with the greater interests (plural) of the encyclopedia kept in mind. --Ludwigs2 16:46, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
So your perspective that we always have to consider objections isn't a bureaucratic rule, but mine that secular encyclopedias should never consider objections based on non-secular grounds is? That's an interesting perspective. Compare and contrast, please.—Kww(talk) 16:54, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Saying that we 'always consider objections' leaves us open to make a choice based on the situation. It is not the same as saying 'never consider' (which precludes thought in preference to obedience), nor is it the same as 'always obey' (which is as bad as 'never consider'). I understand the value of black-and-white thinking - the exclusion of thought makes life easier, at least superficially - but this is not a black-and-white situation. --Ludwigs2 17:15, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I do make choices based on the situation: once I evaluate the situation and determine that the objection is not based on a secular foundation, however, the evaluation is complete.—Kww(talk) 18:32, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Ludwigs2, when you say stuff like that, I suspect that's where a lot of the disagreement comes from. I cited a policy that specifically covered this, and you cited IAR earlier as a reason to ignore it. I cited just a tiny few of the articles that such actions would impact, you only seem to care about it for this article without looking at how it impacts (and cripples) the whole project. Therein lies a lot of the conflict between you and everyone else. And while your mindset may be ideal in (gross paraphrase) "the majority isn't always right, and thus should be ignored at times" you've got to remember that this is not the place to deal with such in order to ignore policy. There are other mechanisms. For this discussion, all we have is policy to direct us. Start up something at Village Pump or elsewhere, and if it gets taken and converted into policy, whether I agree or not with the outcome, I'll FULLY support the changes you want based on the new policy. But not until then. With as many editors as there are on this project, we cant simply decide we want to ignore policies we don't like. It is those policies that help keep some sort of level playing field for all of the diverse and numerous editors here.
Also, keep in mind, your definition of "ethics" may not be applicable. As noted countless times above, as a whole, the vast majority of complaints about these images come from those who choose to violate their own religion and choose to be offended. Again, as an example, if we are standing in my living room and I tell you the stove is on and hot, and you choose to walk into the kitchen (for no other reason) and touch it, again and again, then complain that you burnt yourself, why should I care? That then leaves the actual editors here (not the "I only stopped here to make my one post about how offensive the images are" editors). And of those editors, the percentage is minimal (single digits) of people who complain. A very very tiny minority - all of which by now should know how to hide these specific images. None of that has anything to do with ethics.
BTW, removing the images from this page will do nothing good. It will make headlines, and in those news reports, it will also be reported that "but images of Muhammad still remain on the "Depictions of..." article" which will prompt (besides the bad press about us censoring one article) tons of complaints when the "one off" editors go to the "Depictions" article to complain that the images are there. It will also start to generate a higher volume of religious complaints against other articles about other religions or other religious figures. That would leave your next move being trying to remove the images from "Depictions" based on the "one off" complaints, and show Wikipedia further censoring content for religious reason - and thus generate more news and more religious objections from other religious groups... a snowball turned into an avalanche. That is reality. And I can guarantee you, that is not going to happen - which will start (as history has shown) with not censoring this page.
Perhaps now we can get on with our proposal? And yes, there are mechanisms for external uninvolved editors to review such processes to determine the outcome. It's time we set an example in that respect which will hopefully prompt others to do so as well in such situations, in order to end the normal endless back and forth in such things. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:09, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: It is a fact of life that when people goof things up it causes problems that sooner or later have to be dealt with. This is as true (if not more so) with matters of ethics - the longer people feel that ethics are being violated, the more wound up they get about it, and the more time and effort it takes to get it all to unwind. I don't know if you're right that removing the images would make headlines; if it does make headlines, it would only do so because there is a great perception of a failure of ethics on this article. If we then get masses of people heading to other articles trying to do the same, then we merely have new arenas in which to consider the objections: For instance, images are not going to be removed from 'depictions of Muhammad' because the topic of that article demands that those images be there - it's easy on that page to defuse religious objections because the images fulfill a clear encyclopedic purpose.
You undervalue the power of rationalization. When one finds oneself faced with an unpleasant choice, having a clear, obvious reason for it makes all the difference in terms of support. A clear, obvious reason puts a wedge between moderates and fanatics: moderates will be reasonable (thinking "well, I don't like it, but I do see why they are doing it"), and fanatics will quickly lose credibility in their eyes. Without a clear, obvious reason, moderates will tend to be suspicious, fanatics will feel supported by the moderates, and then we are stuck with what's historically happened here - harsh, rigid, literalistic enforcement of rules, making editors here look like fanatics, alienating moderates further, and setting up an atmosphere filled with perceptions of bias and hostility.
I'm not suggesting that my approach is going to take us in one step from siege warfare to collaborative editing in daisy-filled fields, but I would like to see us shake out of the downward spiral into an upward spiral. I'm not going to wait for things to be addressed on a policy level - on the policy level, I run into the same problems I've run into here (miscommunication, misunderstanding, entrenched attitudes, kneejerk reactions) except multiplied by 50. That will take time (and I am working on it) but in the meantime I have to start with what I can manage in the hopes I can get some kind of momentum in the proper direction. This article is a good place for that. --Ludwigs2 17:57, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
What it boils down to is that your personal view of what is ethical and what is not is not really applicable to anyone but yourself. You have no right to impose your views on the rest of us, any more than those Muslims who oppose images have a right to impose their views upon the Wikipedia. You can ignore me all you like with cutsey "...", but I will hammer this simple fact home as often as you need it. Tarc (talk) 18:35, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (edit conflict)Then I think the next questions would be (to Ludwigs2):

  • Every time we start getting someplace on an RfC that won't summarily remove all the images, are you planning on returning to your "ethics"/"morals"/"offensive"/"IAR" arguments to sidetrack it?
  • Every time we start getting someplace, are you going to keep trying to use this venue for things that we cannot address here (such as changing policies to support your position) - or are you going to instead move such stuff to the proper venue?

Though you've actually answered these questions in the past week or so, your direct responses here to these would be greatly appreciated. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:38, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

@Robert: I'm not sure what you mean by 'returning to'. Those have been my consistent positions throughout this discussion. You keep suggesting that I'm saying something else (for what reason I don't know), but that's simply means you haven't been listening to what I've been saying.
I'm happy to agree to any decision process that uses concrete, objective criteria for evaluating the worth of the images and takes into account the ethical position that I've outlined repeatedly. I'm not going to agree to any process that starts from the perspective that some or all of the images must remain even if they have no concrete value, or that Wikipedia offends people without cause. Whether you want to do this collaboratively or via RfC, the first thing we need to do is set out criteria for evaluating the worth of the images. I've already done this a few times (that's how I came up with the 'art history section' compromise); You don't like my criteria, so please propose some of your own.
If we are going to evaluate these images properly, you need to be prepared for the possibility that all of them will be removed (just as I need to be prepared for the possibility that all of them may remain). that's the way these things work.
And Tarc: What would you prefer to the ellipses? a 'yaddayaddayadda', maybe? post like that just don't deserve responses. --Ludwigs2 22:57, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
You haven't said much worth responding to lately either, just the same broken record of "superfluous images that cause offense must be removed", even though they aren't superfluous and the largely invented offended parties are negligible. Most everyone has simply stopped engaging you, you're lucky that Robert has the patience of a saint. Tarc (talk) 23:21, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: you've handily ignored the questions in your lengthy response. Are you willing to abide by the consensus without repeating your same justifications ad-nasuem? Are you willing to stop addressing your dislike of policy on this very inappropriate forum? Policies will NOT be changed here - address your issues with policy elsewhere. Will you once again avoid the questions I know you fully understood? If so, you leave me no choice but to assume your earlier comments over the last few weeks are the answers to the questions. And they are not good answers. :-/ Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:03, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: as I keep saying, I am willing to abide by any result that is reached through proper reasoning and discussion. I'm not going to abide by any result that comes from flawed reasoning or biased presumptions. is that satisfactory?
Tasc:...--Ludwigs2 02:51, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: Please correct me if I am wrong. Since you already claim (numerous times) that all of our reasonings are wrong and that every image should be removed, you have just admitted that if you do not like the consensus reached (which you will not, based on that), you refuse to abide by it. Inotherwords, knowing the outcome, you are already refusing to abide by it? Is that the correct understanding? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:58, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Ok; you're wrong. I don't pretend to think that my viewpoints are absolutely correct, just that they are reasonable and informed. I have told you repeatedly that I believe that your reasoning is incorrect and that the images should probably be removed, but I am open to discussion on the matter - that is nothing more than stating my position at the beginning of a debate. However, you, Tarc, Kww, et al have to date refused to actually engage in discussion: you have collectively come to the conclusion that some 'consensus' was arrived at prior to my arrival, that that 'consensus' is immutable and un-challengable, and that anyone who suggests that your collectively preconceived 'consensus' is less-than-perfect is a troublemaker by definition. In other words, you've basically discarded the real concept of consensus and replaced it with a kind of dogmatic policy-fundamentalism that is more-or-less akin to the reasoning of the extremists you see yourself as opposing.
The only thing left for me to do in a case like this is work patiently to wean you away from dogmatic defensiveness and try to get the conversation back to a place where we can discuss these issues without all the dramatic fist-pounding and declamations of righteous authority. When we can do that, then we will give these images a proper evaluation, and the outcome of that is something that I can't predict (I am extremely confident in my viewpoint, but recognize that you could make a convincing argument that would change the way I understand things). If you are blind to the possibility of a middle road on this - as may be the case, since you are constantly accusing me of taking absolutist positions that I'd never consider valid - then you leave me no choice but to continue trying to open your eyes to it; we're not going to resolve this issue fairly until you do. --Ludwigs2 05:31, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Not going to happen. Stop wasting our time. Your "middle road" is to adhere to religious beliefs so we don't offend. No consensus is required to ignore religious dictates or those who think we should honor religious dictates, btw. And thus your "compromises" get ignored. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 05:47, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

well, at least you've confirmed my comments; that's something. However, I am not going away, so I guess I'll just keep working on it. --Ludwigs2 07:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
That you won't change my mind? That others have told you the same thing? That numerous of us disagree with your interpretations of policy (or policy Whack A Mole)? Correct, that is what I have confirmed. So, fully knowing that those will not occur, you will continue anyway? Your choice. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:04, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Is there even legitimate, outside opposition to images here?

I have to ask, just what sort of "opposition" actually exists to Wikipedia's Muhammad article? What reliable sources out there have actually devoted coverage to what goes on in this article? All I have seen in news searches was a bit of press over the online petition a few years ago, and nothing more. There is no sustained, substantial, or ongoing coverage as we saw with the Jyllands-Posten affair.

All we seem to have now are random IPs and single-purpose accounts who either make demands for image removal, or edit war and try to do it themselves. What I'm looking for is the actual "thing", the concrete and sustained "we don't like this" that can be pointed to. As it is now, if all this is is just a handful of sympathetic Wiki editors arguing on behalf of...let's be honest here, vandals...then the case for image removal is far, far weaker than I first realized. Tarc (talk) 18:55, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm personally deeply offended by what you just said. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 01:47, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
You shouldn't be, especially as I do not think you (nor I, who's also been trying to work on an unbiased proposal) are even mentioned at all, generally or directly, in what Tarc said. As for the rest of what he said, he is generally (though, yes, not as a 100% whole) correct as the talk history spread through the archives prove. If it's the "vandals" wording, while strong, it does sadly apply - edits of that sort are considered vandalism, as there's no "religious exceptions" clause in that set of policies. :-/
Sadly, I think the real issue (and hence your offense) is that Tarc makes no mention of those like you and I, who's efforts are to properly weigh this situation in light of policies and guidelines. I think that was solely an "omission of obviousness" (ie: we didnt need him to point us and others like us out for us to know we exist). Best, Rob ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 01:58, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm over it :) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:25, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Tarc. These images are controversial content. They add nothing of educational value relevant to this article. This article doesn't even mention the development of Islamic art, or even the historical opposition to icons. The images contain nothing informative about the topic at hand, just the imaginings of painters centuries later. Utterly valueless. Therefore, they are the very kind of content the foundation addresses in its resolution. Images that have no real educational value and are controversial don't belong in Wikipedia. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:35, 30 October 2011 (UTC),
Except that they aren't controversial in any sense that Wikipedia recognizes. The images are of equivalent quality to the images in most articles, and I will continue to argue that their very existence brings them past the relatively low standard of WP:IUP, given that so many of our readers are under the false impression that Islam bans such things. On a practical level, removing one or two won't do anything to address the objections, and removing them all would be a clear sign that considerations other than individual merit were being taken into account.—Kww(talk) 02:40, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Just one addition to what Kww so elegantly said. One does not need to discuss Islamic art to have a picture of a person related to Islam. Such a requirement would invalidate almost every image on Wikipedia. We'd have to discuss European art to have depictions of Jesus. We'd have to discuss scientific art to discuss images used in science articles, and on and on. The correlation is that the images are depictions of Muhammad, and IIRC, not all of them are even Islamic art. The appropriate correlation has already been made. If the article was about Islamic art, then the correlation would need to be "are these representative of Islamic art?" - but that is not the case. Best, Rob ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:44, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: you ask why I repeat myself, and your post above is a perfect example of why I have to. so again, for about the 30th time: THESE ARE NOT IMAGES OF MOHAMMAD. They are artistic representation at best, and they are not even the most common artistic representation of the prophet - the most commonly used representation (if I remember correctly) would be to draw the Prophet as a symbolic flame. So why don't we replace all of these old images with the more common symbolic images, rather than promoting a defunct style that was never more than the practice of a minority?
If you are going to constantly forget points like this than you constantly force us back to square 1 and constantly force me to remind you of them. blame yourself if you don't like hearing it. --Ludwigs2 04:49, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Ludwigs2: Go to the Jesus article and make the same argument - or stop dealing in bad faith. It is images of Muhammad you object to. Period. Your reasoning is simply whatever reasons you think you can shoehorn your "oooh, they offend" true reasoning into, otherwise, you'd be spending even more time over there (as opposed to none). Of these images, it is at least possible that some may actually look like Muhammad did - unlike the images of Jesus, which none are representative of how he could possibly have looked. Your religious objections are of no matter to me, regardless of how you try to hide them. Historic value, artistic value and relevance to the article are all I care about. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 05:20, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I doubt if you do remember correctly. It would be a bold person who would generalize which is the "most common" type of representation between visible face, flame with visible face, just flame, visible face later veiled over, created with a face veil, only seen from behind etc, but I doubt it would be the one you say. More later works survive, & these tend to use veils, so I'd plump for that. Johnbod (talk) 04:57, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
@Robert: you make me repeat myself again. As I have said numerous times already: NO ONE ON THE JESUS ARTICLE HAS A PROBLEM WITH IMAGES OF JESUS. fake or not, there is no major cultural group that objects to them; if there were, we'd have an issue to resolve there, as well. I acknowledge that you don't care about that; however, I cannot respect you for that lack of concern for the desires of others. It is not a credible ethical stance to hold.
@Johnbod: I may not remember correctly, but I think it's fairly clear that full-face images of Muhammad are a relatively minor style (limited to the upper classes of Persia and the Ottoman empire for a brief period hundreds of years ago). You'll find almost no such images in modern work (except in work intended to be rebellious or anti-Muslim), nor in the bulk of historical images. It is fairly safe to say that if we took a typical depiction of Muhammad from across history it would not be a full-faced image. and yet, we have several such on this article. you see the WEIGHT problem…? --Ludwigs2 05:47, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Excluding "minor" and "brief", which are silly, and bearing in mind that we have no real idea how widespread such images were - though there are records of them on public buildings, the situation is exactly similar to the bulk of the images we use in illustrating Christian subjects, which come from styles limited to a few parts of Europe hundreds of years ago and upper class patrons, and were and often still are violently objected to as idolatrous by vast numbers of Christians. Johnbod (talk) 14:44, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
BINGO!!! You admit it again. Your problem is not related to anything you said above. It is solely because you believe we should adhere to Islamic religious beliefs so we do not offend. You use the "fake" aspect not because you believe it, but because of that religion/offensive reasoning of yours (otherwise you would apply it in an unbiased fashion elsewhere). And thus, everything you say can be discounted from this point forward - because all other reasons are false. As you admit every time you're pushed hard enough to admit your real motives and reasonings. Oh, it's policy, btw, as pointed out to you multiple times. And no, don't cite IAR again. And with that, my patience is up. You already know how a trip to AN/I will turn out if you disrupt the newest RfC proposal attempt. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 05:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
It's too bad that you feel you have to resort to this kind of frantic bluster. and as usual, you're making me repeat myself yet again - as I have said before, NO ONE IS ASKING YOU TO ADHERE TO ISLAMIC BELIEFS. all I've suggested is that we respect their preferences where we can do so without harm to the encyclopedia. it's a common-sense notion that should not in any way be problematic, and your extreme resistance to it is puzzling at best. --Ludwigs2 08:12, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks Ludwigs2, you've just said it again. You have repeatedly defined "respect their preferences" (as I quote from directly above) as (paraphrased) "delete all the images so as not to offend their religious beliefs". There you have it. Yet again. So, keep saying "I'm not saying this" - "yes, I am saying this". Your intent has become rather transparent. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Anthony if you're offended, then you didn't actually comprehend what I said. Let's try again by looking at several recent wiki-controversies.

First up is the Virgin Killer album cover debate, began by a WND (worldnetdaily) article decrying what they labeled "child pornography". This led to the Internet Watch Foundation blacklisting the article, causing many UK ISPs to either block access to the specific article, or in some cases to the Wikipedia as a whole. This was a major event which garnered enough press coverage to qualify for a standalone article.

Next , Barack Obama and birtherism. Again, WND stirs the pot that there is no mention of the president's questionable (in their opinion) place of birth. Debate rages, there is some outside press coverage of the mess, we had an ArbCom case that led to many topic and interaction bans, temporary blocks and even eventually a few sitebans.

Another one was Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger's letter to the FBI regardiong kiddieporn and loli hosted by the Commons. Lots of press, lots of identifiable controversy and opposition, once again, a standalone article.

I think I have drawn a fairly obvious road-map of what my concern is, but for the sake of explicitness I will make it plain; where is the controversy about images in this Muhammad article? Who is raising the massive fuss that a tiny yet vocal handful of editors sees fit to declare their intent to edit-war (I'm looking at ludwigs specifically on that angle) until they get the images removed?

Point out to me what the driving need is, to what the outside pressure is to remove these images. If all you can point to is one 2-year-old anonymous petition, from a website that does not verify individual petitioner identities, so for all we know the 100,000 signatories could have been 5 guys and some very tired keyboard fingers....or if all you can point to is the aforementioned tiny yet vocal ludwigs-led agitating minority, then I must say this whole image-removal drive is dead on arrival. You cannot take the generalization of "some Muslims consider images of their prophet to be blasphemy" and come here to this article and advocate on their behalf. Have a read of WP:ADVOCACY sometime.

If there were some actual, legitimate, outside interest that was saying "we don't like these images, remove them now", similar to the Internet Watch Foundation's very public and very considerable blacklisting move, then at the very least we'd have to stop, listen, and prepare an actual defense. The end result would still more than likely be the same (i.e. "no"), but at least we can stop and say that we had a legitimate complaint to deal with.

This ain't that. Tarc (talk) 02:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Kww and Tarc, you've both addressed the meaning of "controversial" in this context. That seems to be a key point of difference. I'm taking my meaning from the resolution:

Some kinds of content, particularly that of a sexual, violent or religious nature, may be offensive to some viewers; and some viewers may feel such content is disrespectful or inappropriate for themselves, their families or their students, while others may find it acceptable. "Controversial content" includes all of these categories.

I was just assuming that, since this is religious content, offensive to some viewers, it is the very kind of content the resolution addresses. If you can convince me that the foundation meant the material also has to be the subject of ongoing media attention to fit the term "controversial", you'll win me over. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Anthonyhcole: Two questions:
  1. You do not see any value in learning about how people of Islam as well as those not of the Islamic faith perceived one of their most important figures? I see a lot of value in that. That doesn't even cover artistic value or other criteria that apply.
  2. You are not making this argument here - why is that? By your rationale, you should be. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:50, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. No image is completely without meaning, but these convey nothing WP:DUE for this article, certainly nothing that would justify the amount of article space devoted to them. I'm 100% behind one or two images of Muhammad illustrating a section Muhammad#Images of Muhammad
  2. I think Jesus is the perfect comparison case. There is no categorical difference between the two articles. There is a big one with regard to the images: in the case of Muhammad, I contend they are controversial, and so (per the Foundation resolution) we need to pay particular attention to whether there is any real educational value in them. The images at Jesus are not controversial so we don't need to be so particular as to whether they they have a realistic educational use. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────On #2, religious beliefs and prohibitions are irrelevant. There is NO other controversy. So, that discounts #2. Read WP:CENSOR yourself. Really. PLEASE do that. The resolution is ALREADY part of it - AND the prohibition on being limited by religious beliefs. And I suspect you are basing your evaluation of the value of the images on this as well. OTOH, you should be giving it no weight in that evaluation. And, before anyone suggests it, this is not the place to delve into what becomes discussing policy changes. Wont happen in this venue.

So, I have one final question to a few of you... now, with the tiny handful of editors who dont want the images here all admitting it's for religious reasons (defending others, whatever - still religious in basis, and sorry, there is no other controversy), then why is it any such editor is still here? If you don't like the policy, dont blame us. Go to Village Pump and suggest it be changed. Anything else is a waste of time, because we cannot change it here. That's not meant to be mean: I honestly do not understand why one would waste time here knowing that they can never get what they want - which is effectively a policy change. Now, at the correct venue, it's at least possible. Really. Isn't harping on something we cant change here disruptive? ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 07:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

heavens to betsy! Let me recap what you've said here as it appears to me: You apparently believe that policy dictates that all religious beliefs are irrelevant, and that because of that we can feel free to actively offend any religion we like through controversial images, for no better reason than that we want to. Further, anyone who disagrees with your understanding of things should go away and change policy elsewhere, because no other interpretation of policy than yours is tolerable on this page.
In short, you've twisted wp:NOTCENSORED into an advocacy tool and totally discarded wp:NPOV, wp:Consensus, wp:TPG, wp:CIV, wp:OWN, and (arguably) a foundation principle, just to defend images that aren't really worth all that much in the first place. Am I misinterpreting your intent here? because all of that seems clearly visible in your last post. --Ludwigs2 08:29, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I think Rob and Tarc (and others) may be right about this being the wrong venue. Not sure. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 10:15, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, I think the resolution applies to images that were created with the intent of attacking a religious belief ("Piss Christ", to drag out a tired example, but the "Let's Draw Mohammed Day" pictures would probably apply as well). It can't reasonably be interpreted as applying to all religious objections, or there goes all the pictures of women, people dancing, and those enjoying alcoholic beverages.—Kww(talk) 12:13, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
@Anthony: I've danced around this problem on a dozen different pages, and I can tell you from the experience that the 'wrong venue' issue is a red herring. If I took this over to a policy page, someone there would tell me that I needed to work it out in article talk, and maybe accuse me forum shopping. The problem is that Wikipedia doesn't have a 'system' per se: there's no process for solving problems in the abstract, and there are lots of people who want to send you packing elsewhere because you are challenging their authority over an article. The only way to get anything done on project is to start on a given page and grind your way up to policy the slow, laborious route. It's unfortunate, and a huge time-waster, but that's the way it is.
@Kww: again, that's hyperbolic absolutism. You're asserting that we cannot do what is ethically correct because any sort of rational discrimination on our part will open a door to ravening hordes of zealots who will destroy everything. it's a ridiculous straw man argument, and an incredibly bad faith assertion about other editors. There is no place on wikipedia that you are likely to find pictures of dancing or women where religious objections would be at all credible; religious objections are only credible here because this is an article about a core figure in the Muslim faith. I'm perfectly happy keeping radical Muslims from removing dancing images from our Footloose article (which is an article their own faith would suggest they not read). I'm sorry, but that is poor reasoning on your part. --Ludwigs2 13:40, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
It's not hyperbolic absolutism. Who am I to tell one person that his religion isn't important enough to respect, but another person's is? An objection is an objection, and it's the validity of the objection that I evaluate, not the popularity. All religious objections are equally irrelevant, regardless of the popularity. Your assertion that accepting religious objections is what is "ethically correct" is quite annoying, by the way, as it implicitly paints me as being unethical. There's nothing about my perspective that is unethical.—Kww(talk) 13:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong about "implicitly paint[ing] you as unethical". In fact, I hereby say explicitly that unless your brain is functioning in a seriously unusual way (such as autism, to give a concrete example) or you come from a weird culture with seriously twisted ethics, the fact that your perspective is thoroughly unethical simply cannot be argued away. Hans Adler 14:11, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
So tell me, Hans, where do you draw the line? How do you decide that one person's religion is sufficiently important, but another's is not? How is refusing to do so unethical?—Kww(talk) 14:33, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't need to draw a line anywhere. Any reasonable line will run somewhere between (1) illustrations that do not support anything that is said in the text, used in an article on one of the key topics of one of the major world religions even though that religion rejects such illustrations and they are totally atypical for it, and (2) completely made-up hypothetical objections against useful illustrations on non-religious articles, which could theoretically be made by members of a religion made up on the spot for the sake of the continuum fallacy. We can consider the drawing of a precise line if and when an actual borderline case comes up, the same as we do for all our other policies and guidelines as well.
Continuuous insistence on fallacies is often an indication of at least borderline bad faith. Ludwigs2's attempt to bring this situation before Arbcom has failed because there were no sufficient behavioural issues yet. But I have not doubt that if this bad faith behaviour continues we will all meet there in the end. Hans Adler 15:48, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I haven't brought up a position based on any imaginary faiths, Hans. I note that you seem to classify some religions as "major" and, by implication, others as "minor". Can you provide me with a list of those religions I'm free to ignore?—Kww(talk) 15:57, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
As you are clearly not engaging with what I wrote on the intellectual level that is required for resolving a dispute responsibly and intelligently, and are instead again relying on the continuum fallacy, there is nothing much I can do at this point other than repeating myself so that you can ignore me yet again. Or drawing attention to the behavioural problem, as I am doing with this post. Hans Adler 19:02, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that you aren't engaging my argument that this isn't an issue for continuum-based analysis. In the absence of an attack, it genuinely is very close to black and white. You can't address an issue related to Islam any differently than you treat issues related to any other religious group, large or small. What makes a religious group too small to be accorded the same respect? What possible criteria could you apply that would allow you to consider one group's objections but not another? I have drawn a precise line: if the objection is based on religion, it isn't worthy of consideration in the context of a secular encyclopedia. There are plenty of contexts where it does matter, but this simply isn't one of them. My saying that isn't a behavioural problem to any greater or lesser extent than your profound disagreement with it is.—Kww(talk) 19:49, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Kww: in point of fact, we are using the same rubric for every article here; it is simply that there are not many other articles that have this particular problem. Any place where there is a notable groups with a credible objection to controversial content, we should not dismiss it as irrelevant. You're creating an imaginary problem in order to support your position, and that's no good. --Ludwigs2 20:47, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Ludwigs2, I think you mis-typed something above. I believe you meant to say "I (Ludwigs2) am creating an imaginary problem in order to support my position, and that's no good." - but don't worry, I'm sure we all understood what you meant. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 20:50, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
They are called "hypotheticals", Ludwigs2. They are common in discussions when people get together and discuss things in the hopes of determining the correct course of action. They are a useful tool for illustrating the consequences of certain forms of behaviour, or determining what considerations are actually important when attempting to reach a decision. Have you ever discussed things with others in the hopes of determining the correct course of action? It works well, but it relies on actually considering the other people's points of view and examining the logic and merit contained therein. If you would like to practice, I'd be happy to help.—Kww(talk) 22:18, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Kww, hypotheticals should make some kind of effort to be realistic. this is the second time in this thread that you've thrown out some improbable hypothetical: first, where you mentioned some 'grievous harm' that would come to the encyclopedia, but refused to say what that harm was when I asked, and here, where you 'hypothetically' assume that I am using a double standard despite that I have explained to you that I am not. Do you consider this a good faith approach to a discussion?
and Robert:...--Ludwigs2 17:15, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
The "grievous harm" has been discussed above (multiple times), so I won't repeat it here. I'll just summarize: "snowball effect" when other governmental or religious groups expect the same exceptions proposed for this article. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:57, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
And as I've pointed out (multiple times) there is no harm in this. If someone is encouraged by this to raise an objection on a different page, then let them raise their objections and we will consider the merits of such on an article-by-article basis. That is wp:Consensus in action - how can that be harmful?
I 'get' that you have this vision of emboldened zealots running riot over the project, removing pictures left and right (possibly with torches and pitchforks?). it's an unrealistic vision that plays on irrational fears, and as such is of no use whatsoever in a rational dialog. Do you have some reason to believe that this is a realistic scenario? How would this actually happen? (excluding the torches and pitchforks, obviously…) --Ludwigs2 18:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
LoL, as much as I like fire, I too could do without the torches and pitchforks. That aside, it's happened before, and all we've had is policies and guidelines to shield Wikipedia from such efforts. Though it might not be evident, I've got articles on numerous topics (Islam, Muhammad, Christianity, Rapture, Judaism, atheism, evolution, creationism, ID, Scientology, LDS, Baptist, Taoism, Buddhism & many more (and tons of sub articles for many of those)) on my watchlist, and I've seen it happen (as various page histories and talk pages will support). I'm (and many others are) equally as diligent at protecting each from vandalism and POV pushing (including reverting such, not even image based, from here - and those others). Point being, I've seen such attempts at all of the articles due to various faith based reasoning. It already happens, and crippling the policy designed to prevent such will overflow to those and countless other articles. I've seen evolution trying to be ripped apart because it "makes fun of" (or similar) religious beliefs. I've seen ID and creationism being made a mockery of by those who may be atheists. I can't fight to prevent it if the policy on not adhering to (or giving any weight to mangling an article based on) religious beliefs is crippled. And neither can anyone else. And there is your snowball turned avalanche. :-/ Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:23, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2, I'm not worried about huge numbers of emboldened zealots. The point is simple: the objections of one billion Muslims and the objections of one member of an obscure tribal religion are exactly equal because only the merits of an objection can be measured, not the popularity. When you tell me that very few images will be removed as a result of this discussion, you are assuring me that exactly what I fear will come to pass, because people are only going to care about the objections of popular religions and not the objections of minor ones. The only way to treat all religions equally is to disregard them all equally, and, as a secular encyclopedia, that is precisely what we need to do. The solution you seem to propose that is we are going to subject religions to some sort of popularity contest and let some of them count and some of them not. Doing so under the pretense of "ethics" is morally abhorrent.—Kww(talk) 00:22, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
(e/c)Kww: I would suggest to you that the error you are making is that you have turned the issue upside down. Trying to "evaluate the validity of someone's objection" is absurd: it puts us in the position of telling people that their deeply held beliefs are invalid, which will do nothing except anger them and paint us as prejudiced. What we should be doing - which is what I have been suggesting all along, mind you - is evaluating the value of an image to the article, and then deciding whether such an image is important enough to merit offending people. I mean seriously - do you really think any of these images do enough work in the article to merit 16 archives of angry diatribe?
Editors here have gotten hung up on a fundamentalist interpretation of NOTCENSORED that causes a hell of a lot of commotion for no real gain to the article; does that result make sense to you? I wouldn't go so far as to call you unethical (mostly because I'm reasonably sure that you're trying to do what you think is best), but even people with the best intentions can miss the mark on ethics; ethics on an issue like this are difficult and complex. I'm sorry if you take it personally when I say that there is a failure of ethics on this page. What I would hope is that it would get you to rethink the way you approach the topic, rather than blindly defending the approach that has caused so much conflict over the years. --Ludwigs2 16:17, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Kww: P.s. - you are not "free to ignore" any except the most trivial perspectives (per wp:NPOV). This is not a matter of 'ignoring' or 'obeying'; this is a matter for due consideration and balancing of different interests. --Ludwigs2 16:22, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2, note that all I have been advocating is that only the relevance to the article should be considered. The problem is that you want to use an increased standard for some images in some articles without any secular basis for doing so. Underlying that is your stated intent of using this article as a wedge issue to implement changes that I believe would grievously harm Wikipedia, which certainly does cause me to resist your arguments more vigorously than I normally would. From the perspective of a secular encyclopedia, religious objections are less than trivial: they are irrelevant.—Kww(talk) 17:00, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
"it puts us in the position of telling people that their deeply held beliefs are invalid" - In the context of Wikipedia, their deeply held beliefs are irrelevant. We are a secular encyclopedia. It is not our responsibility to slant articles toward religious viewpoints. The neutral presentation of all aspects of history - both written and visual - requires that we treat such material dispassionately and in the same lens as we do any other image. You are not doing this Ludwigs. People like Kww are. Resolute 17:32, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Kww: It would be useful for you to spell out what 'grievous harm' you think is going to come of this. I cannot think of any case in which that could happen. What I have been saying is that NOTCENSORED should apply when material has a clear mandate for being in the article, but should not be invoked over material that is trivial, tangential, decorative, or otherwise of no real consequence. On this page, for instance, I doubt that removing the images depicting Muhammad would harm the article in any noticeable way. I could be wrong about that, of course (that's why I'm trying to discuss the issue), but assuming for argument's sake that I am correct then removing the images by definition would not be harmful to the encyclopedia. In fact, it would benefit the encyclopedia greatly by removing the reason for countless hours of argument.
I am concerned that both you and Resolute are turning the concept of secularity into a form of advocacy. Wikipedia is not 'secular' in the sense that it opposes all religions; Wikipedia is 'secular' in the sense that it takes no position on religions (in essence, Wikipedia is agnostic, not atheist). When secularity is invoked to prevent a religious viewpoint from imposing a bias, that's good, but when secularity is invoked to protect a seemingly pointless insult to a religious viewpoint, that boils down to promoting a distinct secular viewpoint in wikipedia's voice. That is a violation of NPOV.
This is an encyclopedia meant to be read by people in the real world, and as such it should have respect for the perspectives and preferences of its readers as much as possible within the constraints of writing an encyclopedia. You argue as though our readers don't count, and that strikes me as absurd. This is not a playground for editors to do and say what they like in a total vacuum where the rest of the world just has to suck it up, and it's high time you guys realized that. --Ludwigs2 18:00, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
You are arguing that only a small minority of our readers count. You are already arguing in bad faith Ludwigs, don't start throwing hypocrisy into the mix. Resolute 18:26, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
personal attack noted, and dismissed as irrelevant. --Ludwigs2 18:30, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Boy is that ever ironic coming from you. Resolute 18:35, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: Comment on content, not on the contributor. --Ludwigs2 18:52, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

God this is a hard issue. I see everyone here as having good motives. Even you Tarc. :) We just disagree about what's for the best. FYI I've suggested including "Only use a controversial image when the same educational value can't be achieved using an uncontroversial image or minimal text" at WT:IUP. That should gain immediate acceptance and resolve all these problems in one deft stroke. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:41, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

The problem for you though is that it simply isn't a notable of significant controversy. Again, a gaggle of wiki-editors advocating for something they feel is controversial doesn't actually make it so. There is no outside preuure, no significant oppoition to images in this article. Your "only use a controversial image..." line has no applicability to this article. Tarc (talk) 16:02, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Tarc, I believe that reasonable people will acknowledge that there is a definite real-world controversy here. This is not a fight between your gaggle of wiki-editors and some other gaggle of wiki-editors; this is an issue of conventional practice in a world religion. --Ludwigs2 16:26, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I believe you will find that at best, most of us will agree there are real world objections, entirely religious based or motivated, in regards to this issue. Nothing more. Which brings us back to as you've stated numerous times, if we do not adhere to your POV, you will keep on and on and on, while trying to paint the rest of us as POV pushing (simply because we don't agree with you). Additionally, you keep citing policies you do not seem to understand. One such was CENSOR, which even though you cited it over 15 times, you didnt even know what was in it. The line I pulled from it has been there for what... months or years? Then, when you are enlightened to what policy actually says, you pull out the IAR card. Then, mixed into all of that, you claim (paraphrased) "oooh consensus, which you all are ignoring" when it is you ignoring a consensus that has been supported numerous time over the last few years. Then you repeatedly admit you'll continue to disrupt RfC efforts till you get your way.
Then you make the bogus claim that taking such issues to places like Village Pump have returned you here for it being a content issue. The truth is, you lost that battle. With most being oppose or Strongly oppose. It SO failed that it was closed early.[1] Yes, Ludwigs2, as I said, I've got diffs of everything related to this, for in the event you continue to misstate reality and disrupt RfC Proposal Discussion. So, stop your games. Clearly, that is what they are, since you are even misstating events you were directly involved in. And ironically, your involvement in that Village Pump proposal also shows you did know what CENSOR says, even when you recently claimed above you had no idea about the sections I quoted. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:59, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Robert: Comment on content, not on the contributor. Nothing you said above is meaningful in this context except as a determined effort to poison the well. --Ludwigs2 19:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
In other words, neener neener? How charming. Regarding "a definite real-world controversy" above, yes, but you don't get to advocate on behalf of a religious minority, and your continued, deliberate falsehoods stated about the WMF resolutions's applicability to this issue here will continue to be challenged for as long as you choose to make them.
There's really not much more to say on this entire fiasco that hasn't already been said. You've tried bringing this up in several forums now, from ArbCom to the village pump, failing spectacularly. The reality of the situation is that a change has been suggested, several times, and has been rejected each time. If you try to just unilaterally remove images from this article, the reverts will be swift. The possible avenues that you can take from here are rapidly diminishing. The ball's really in your court for what to do now. Tarc (talk) 19:23, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Ludwigs2, I'll skip the fact that you've accused most of us of all sorts of nonsense. So, commenting on the content above requires pointing out the fallacies of the contributor. In order to weigh your suppositions, one must see your true intent. Nor is NPA even related. Truth is truth. Click the link yourself. Not my fault you got caught. For instance, I am most definitely at odds with Hans' feelings on this - but I have a lot of respect for him, because he has never misstated his intent. Wiqi55, though originally trying to get the images removed for similar reasons, has went out of his way to improve the article (and images & related information), for which he too gains a lot of respect from me. Anthony asks questions, considers answers, never hides his reasons and at the same time is working on improving the article while not disrupting attempts at forming an RfC - which ALSO gains a lot of respect from me. That leaves you, who clearly and grossly misstate events - including ones you were directly involved in (like the Village Pump item).
Yet, perhaps you are correct. This is probably not the correct venue... I'll move it AN/I, with all the diffs (only a tiny fraction of which I have posted here, by end of day Tuesday. I have no patience for any editor who so disruptively deals in bad faith - which is why Hans, Wiqi and Anthony have my respect, and you... not so much. See you at AN/I. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 19:27, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I guess I have no hold for preventing other editors from expressing a positive opinion on me, but I feel compelled to at least point out that due to your consistent behaviour on this page I am completely unable to return the compliment. Hans Adler 22:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
You still will not stop commenting on me. you've done nothing for the last several posts except try to berate me for one thing or another, usually with gross exaggerations of my actual statements and actions. If you have any credible complaint about my behavior I suggest you bring it up in an appropriate forum NOW, because a few more posts of this unrelenting personal assault and you will force me to seek an uninvolved administrator myself. --Ludwigs2 20:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I've done nothing of the sort. I have simply pointed out your repeated "mis-statements" and conflicting statements. If you wish me to stop, simply take more care in the accuracy of what you post. It's that simple. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 21:18, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
If you follow the principle 'comment on content, not on the contributor', then we will not have a problem. if you continue poisoning the well by masking absurd comments about "my true intent" then you will be explaining your actions to an administrator. If you cannot make the effort to understand what I am saying in a fair light, that's fine, and I'm ok with you critiquing my position, but accusing me of motivations or intentions that you've made up out of whole cloth is a violation of wp:CIV, wp:NPA, and wp:TPG. thanks for understanding. --Ludwigs2 23:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────To Anthonyhcole: on commenting on relevance, objection and such. As you've already noted, part of the problem with "diminished" relevance is that someone took a very important part of the article out (the one you're working on restoring). Here's another irony. If this controversy is so important (ie: notable), then indication of the representations the controversy surrounds gains a level of notability as well. Not because "oh, let's offend by using the controversial images" - but instead by "here's some uncontroversial ones (flame, obscured face, etc) created to honor such beliefs of a certain sect of Islam - and here's images by other sects of Islam and by historians which show their perceptions of Muhammad, where the prohibition is not followed/believed". One cannot textually and historically present such a representation without the images. Text does not satisfy demonstrating how those with and without such restrictions perceived Muhammad - only images suffice. That leaves us the following quandary... either (1) based on the differing interpretations of that prohibition in the Islamic faith (and by those not of any sect of that faith) the images have relevance due to such issues (and an inability to portray such perceptions adequately with anything other than images)... or (2) the controversial aspect is not relevant or is so minimal that it can be discounted, in which case removal of the images would also be senseless. The way I see it, both roads lead to the same place.

But that still gets us back to any other exception to WP:CENSOR and IUP requires using the correct venue - as Ludwigs2 and others have tried[2] more than once (and failed). Perhaps this time they would succeed, but we'll never know, because of an insistence on using this, the wrong venue to try to bring about policy changes. We can't change policy here - whether we agree with it or not. The correct method is to change policy elsewhere and then re-evaluate how that change affects this (and other) article(s). Not "ignore policy here and hope it gets changed to support that" (no, you are not guilty of that - even remotely. Just pointing out what such efforts above amount to). Best, Rob ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 20:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I completely agree with your second proposition, Rob. Attempting to reconcile WP:IUP, WP:NOTCENSORED and (my interpretation of) the Foundation's resolution and then use that interpretation to challenge content here is going nowhere. If that kind of policy change is going to happen, it'll be on WP:IUP, not here. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I would like to argue your first proposition, though. But I don't want to waste your time with half-baked thoughts. I'll definitely get back to that soon. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Well I can see that tensions are running high as ever. Has there been a consensus of questions for the RfC or should we continue to submit suggestions at this point? I tried to make my original one as neutral as I could but I think question 2 was a bit better and more to the point. Tivanir2 (talk) 22:29, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

RfC Proposals Redux 2

Let's try again? Let's keep non-proposal conversation above please? And proposal conversations here? Thanks, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:09, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

We're looking for what, examples of who the RfC should be phrased? Here's one;
*"RfC - Should the Wikipedia acquiesce to the demands of religious fundamentalism and their apologists, removing all images of Muhammad from the main article? Or should it ignore external advocacy and propaganda pushes, to provide information to the world freely and uncensored? Tarc (talk) 18:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
C'mon Tarc, you know that's equally unsupportable. And since it's really a policy overturn/change question, this wouldn't be the venue either. Best, Rob ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:51, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I know, it wasn't serious, just a momentary steam blow-off. Struck. Tarc (talk) 18:57, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposal #1 (Tivanir2)

Which images should be removed from the wikipedia article based upon not having an accurate and reasonable need to be there? And then we can number images and say the name so people can look at them then do Support for images on one line and Remove for the others so you have two subsections perhaps? Just tossing out an idea. Tivanir2 (talk) 20:56, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Comments on Proposal #1

Proposal #2 (RobertMfromLI's)

  • Create a suitable and unbiased RfC proposal (my quick example wording):
  • In an effort to improve the quality of the Muhammad article, and ensure the article is properly complying with Wikipedia's current Policies, Guidelines and Resolutions, we are undergoing an image by image review of all images contained in the article. For each image below, please review the image, the citations, the information about the image and the relevance of the image to either the article as a whole or to the section it is contained in.
  • List each image with citations and information (such as the captions that Wiqi55 and others so diligently worked on improving). Format similar to this (example is sans actual images and information - pretend it's there):
  • {image 1}
Found in: {section link}
Citations/source for this image: {cite/source such as "History of Islam Volume 1, 1987, publisher, etc, etc}
Additional image information (such as from description or source): {Depiction of Muhammad during (event), by (artist) from (date)... with whatever other additional info we have}
Q1: Does this depiction hold historic or artistic value as a historic or artistic interpretation of Muhammad?
Q2: Is a depiction of this nature of the article's subject relevant to either the article or the section it is contained in?
Q3: Based on such criteria, do you believe the image adds value to the article or to readers of the article?
  • (02:30, 30 October 2011 (UTC)) At the close of the RfC, outside, uninvolved editors/admins would be solicited to review each set of responses to determine some sort of consensus.
Therein lies the gist of my proposal, which will probably need a few tweaks and such. By weighing in on each of those items, the RfC will automatically address policies, guidelines and the new WMF resolution. Thoughts? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:23, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Comments on Proposal #2

I appreciate the sentiment, but such an image-by-image analysis appears to have been done barely six months ago, a discussion which featured several editors here who are, yet again, protesting them images. Tarc (talk) 20:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I know. :-( But if we are to have an RfC, I figure we should at least do it correctly in as unbiased of a fashion as possible. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 21:11, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposal #3

"Under what conditions can an image depicting Muhammad be used in this article?"

Comments on Proposal #3

Proposal #4

"Does inclusion of the images presently illustrating Muhammad conform to Wikipedia policy?"

Comments on Proposal #4

This is the wrong question. Merely because something conforms to policy does not mean it necessarily should be included. Many if not most of our editorial disagreements (on the whole encyclopedia) have no specific policy/guideline, and it's up to establishing an editorial consensus to determine what should be done. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:09, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposal #5

"Should the article Mohammed contain pictures images of Mohammed?"

Comments on Proposal #5

This is probably the best one, although I think I might add, and say, "Should the article Mohammed contain pictures images of Mohammed, and, if so, how many and which ones?" That may be too much for an RfC, so if we only want to deal with the broad question, then as written this is fine. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:10, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I think that would bring us to proposal #2. ;-) ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 06:14, 30 October 2011 (UTCI

Support (for proposal #5) I too might support this proposal on the WMF '... principle of least astonishment' and also to help reduce the perennial discussions occurring on this page. However, I have spent a long time informing myself recently about this subject, both here and off-site. I have a concern which I find hard to eloquently express. There appears to be world-wide movements (such as the petition site) which desire the removal of all images of PUBH on and off Wikipedia, not just those images on the Wikipedia Muhammad page. If, as a result of consensus, all the images of PUBH were removed from the Muhammad page, what happens to such images in other Wikipedia places? Specifically, I would withdraw my support above, principally for WP:NOTCENSORED reasons, if I felt that it would lead to the removal of all such images from Wikipedia. All (English Wikipedia) places where images of Muhammad are currently being used are listed below, including the Muhammad page ...

( I said I could not express myself eloquently :( sorry) --Senra (Talk) 22:41, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

"Least astonishment" does not have the slightest applicability to this article. A reader with even average common sense who clicks on the article for Muhammad will expect to be presented with images thereof. Tarc (talk) 23:32, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
That is, in fact, not true, for a number of reasons which have been explained above. No sense repeating them. --Ludwigs2 00:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree, in part, with Ludwigs2 here. Tarc, your contributions to this discussion seem to get more and more insulting over time. As far as I can tell, you're saying that any Sunni coming to this article does not have "average common sense". Still, I think that, probably, "least astonishment" supports inclusion of the images (at least, some of them), but I don't think it is appropriate to say that no one of good sense comes here and is astonished to find the images. In fact, I was a bit surprised myself, in that I assumed that there were no pictures (at least, outside of those drawn in contemporary times by non-Muslims, which clearly wouldn't be appropriate here). Of course, that points to the notion that some images should be included (as others have said), but perhaps not nearly as extensively as we currently feature them (up to the possibility that the images would more appropriately belong only in a sub-article like Depictions of Muhammad. Again, I'm not trying to take a strong stand here one way or the other, but only to say that this is a question worthy of discussion and an RfC. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
If you feel insulted, then you should work on some skin-thickening exercises. This is Not Not A reader reading an article in the English Wikipedia, which like it or not presents topics in a Western-centric point-of-view, should not be astonished to see an image of Muhammad in the Muhammad article. Ludwigs has no leg to stand on on this tangent, and neither do you. Tarc (talk) 01:47, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I more or less agree with that; I, for one, was fascinated when I finally saw an article on Muhammad that gave me insight into what people's impressions of him were. Incidentally, the fact that Farsi Wikipedia has these images in their Muhammad article without the accompanying talkpage theatrics should perhaps indicate that many Muslims (certainly all the Muslims I know; in my area, we have a few Iranians and a lot of Albanians) are not so closed-minded as they've been portrayed by the images' detractors; if I were a Muslim, I'd find the idea that an encyclopedia needed to "protect our beliefs" rather patronizing. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:18, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Good point - can't get a link to work, but there are 5 images, two veiled, three full-face; and its a featured article. Some are the same as here, where we have currently 6 images, one veiled, one flame & 4 with face visible (including the Russian one). Johnbod (talk) 14:35, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
The Persian wikipedia is not a reliable source. It is also in the interest of Persian nationalists (and the theocratic regime in Tehran) to turn their article into the "Persianified Muhammad". But here on the English Wikipedia we should try to be more balanced. We currently have too much Persian imagery in this article. One gets the impression that the Prophet was revered only in Persia (or Persianate cultures) or that he was a Persian King. Last I checked, even pages of Persian kings do not have this amount of Persian imagery on their articles. And it's not about protecting one's beliefs, but rather having a balanced and accurate presentation of a historical figure and his teachings (which this article's placement/selection of images terribly fails at). Wiqi(55) 15:32, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Oh yes, having a Russian image of Muhammad totally drives home the idea of Persian nationalism; nice try at now framing it as a nationalist idea, but perhaps you should apply Ockham's razor here. It could be a giant Persian conspiracy to Persianize Muhammad... but it might also just be the fact that the images are quite informative, for reasons I've elucidated above. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
No one said anything about a Russian image (or a conspiracy for that matter). The fact that we have too much Persian imagery in this article has been raised before by other editors. I'm just saying that comparison to the Persian Wikipedia should be more reserved. We shouldn't copy other Wikipedias. Their take on the subject sometimes reflect national interests and cultural or religious beliefs. Wiqi(55) 16:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Well we've just discovered (below) we've had an image from Kashmir, and the 19th century, all along without realizing it! Johnbod (talk) 16:56, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Erm. Dear me. I really did not mean to cause so much controversy. Perhaps we should all reflect on historical figures such as the King who was purported to have been wise. One wonders how such a person would have dealt with mediating this thread! --Senra (Talk) 16:58, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Johnbod. it may have only been found or copied in Kashmir, but possibly produced somewhere else. In any case, the illustrated book Hamlat i-Haydari has been studied and categorized as a tradition of the Qajar dynasty, which is Persian. Wiqi(55) 17:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Copied, very possibly, but if they didn't think it was produced in Kashmir they wouldn't have catalogued it that way. With such a specific date it presumably has an inscription recording the circumstances of its making. In fact we currently have 2 Persian, 2 Turkish, 1 Kashmiri & 1 Russian image, which seems reasonable balance. Johnbod (talk) 17:11, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I meant originally produced. It is thought to be Qajar (Persian), not Indian. Also, the Turkish miniature tradition is a continuation of the Persian one, with Persian works often served as model to Ottoman painters. Considering these facts, a better count would be 5 Persianate and 1 Russian. That doesn't seem "balanced". Wiqi(55) 18:27, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
As usual, any specious wiggling to avoid the facts. One might as well call all Western art Greek. If it is made in Kashmir it is "originally" Kashmiri. Johnbod (talk) 21:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps Wiqi55 is saying we need to find more images to provide even greater balance? I'm sure that's achievable - though I am not sure if more images is suitable. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 21:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Johnbod, it has been studied as part of the Qajar tradition, which is Persian. The Hamla i-Haydari is also a book of Persian poetry, composed by a poet in the Qajar court. It can't be more Persian than that. Wiqi(55) 21:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Oh yes it could - it could actually be made in Persia, by Persians. You know perfectly well that Persianate culture covers almost the whole Islamic world to varying degrees, but that doesn't mean there is not a difference between what is actually Persian and what is not. Or would you classify the whole of Mughal painting, and other arts, as Persian? Johnbod (talk) 22:29, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Kashmir was ruled by Parisian dynasties in the 16th century (and perhaps later too). There were also Persian courts in Kashmir. Thus the fact that it was made by Persians cannot be ruled out. Also it was a Parisian poetry book. Regardless of the patron's ethnicity, the fact that they were interested in a Persian poetry book is enough to determine their cultural affiliation. Concerning your other point, we are dealing with a single artistic tradition. The same artists and their direct disciples often moved from one dynasty to another. For instance, the Persian miniatures boom in the Ottoman empire was largely caused by many masters and their disciples moving from various Persian cities (most notably Tabriz) to Istanbul. It is rather reasonable to assume that the images we have here are the result of a continuation of a single artistic tradition at different phases. This tradition happens to be distinctively Persian. Wiqi(55) 21:12, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Honest questions: (not familiar with art topics really) Does the fact that they were ruled by them invalidate their own cultural contributions? Inotherwords, does the art of the time reflect their own culture, or the culture of the Persians they were taken over by? If their own culture, how much weight should we give to who ruled as opposed to the cultural aspects of the art? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 22:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The style will certainly reflect the artist and his school. But the content (including the interpretation of certain events, or which events to highlight and illustrate) will be left to the patron. Now the patron could either be a Sultan (i.e., someone affiliated with the court) or a rich merchant. Wiqi(55) 22:13, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Ok, so we need to become more informed/knowledgeable on these images then? And we need to know if the artist/school moved on to Persian artistic influences or kept their own cultural influences? I think that's the gist of what I am getting out of this... and from there we can make an informed decision on this? This may be a case for better variety or better citing/information or removing ones with the same artistic influences? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 22:20, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
That would be a help. Wiki55 has a moderate amount of knowledge, but unfortunately he uses this advancing distorted arguments to marginalize the actually very widespread traditions involving Islamic depictions of Muhammad into a "Persian" box, which he then feels able to dismiss. Applying the same logic to Europe, all post-Renaissance art would be described as "Italian", as it is certainly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, and forms part of the same tradition. And all Western art from the last 2,000 years would be described as Greek for the same reason. Like other countries, the English court in the Renaissance imported several Italian and Flemish artists of the Tudor court who influenced English art; that does not mean that all art made in England for centuries afterwards was "Italian" or Flemish". That the Mughals and Ottomans imported small numbers of Persian artists (among others from elsewhere) for a brief period equally does not mean that these empires did not develop their own traditions. Johnbod (talk) 22:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(edit conflict)Wiqi55, I agree with your "shouldn't copy other Wikipedias" sentence. But alas, your last statement is the crux of this entire argument. If we do not reflect such interests for, then the entire RfC and ongoing discussions is moot - so, what's the issue if they have some bias in such a fashion? It doesn't seem to be related.ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:19, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Addressing editors who have significant concerns about the use of images of Muhammad on this article

We need to get our thinking straight; pin down our points of agreement; sharpen our arguments. For starters, am I right in thinking

  1. No one would object to pictures of Muhammad illustrating Muhammad#Depictions of Muhammad (if it ever gets written)
  2. No one objects to pictures of Muhammad illustrating Depictions of Muhammad
  3. We believe the artists' impressions of historical events in this article have no educational value for the topic of this article - or, if they do, not enough to justify the space they take up.

The question of whether the Foundation resolution has implications for this article, I'd really like to put off till a little later in this thread, once the more straightforward points are clarified. If you can think of any other important possible points of agreement among us that need to be clarified, please add to the list. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC) (I just jumped online and have to jump off again, so haven't read the last day's posts. Will do in 4 or 5 hours. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:07, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Good start, but I see a couple problems right off:
There is no agreement that the section described in #2 needs to be written for this biography article.
Point #3 is not a point of agreement, it's a point of disagreement. ~Amatulić (talk) 07:46, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Correct. Wrt #3, I'm wondering if those with concerns share a view on this point. Forgive me if I misunderstood, but I thought you were OK with the present use of images on this article, Amatulic. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:23, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, these are all things I would agree with, with the obvious caveats that it hasn't touched on the ethics or foundation principles issues, and that point three skirts around something that is/will be a major bone of contention. I don't think it is possible to say that any image has no value to the encyclopedia (simply coloring up the page is a value of sorts). we are sparring over the issue of enough value, which brings in the dual questions of how to evaluate the positive value of an image and whether 'controversiality' is a negative value to be weighed against positive values. But with that in mind I'd agree with what you've written. --Ludwigs2 17:25, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
P.s. maybe you can add that as point 4 - one of the concerns here is that the 'controversiality' of an image should be weighed in to its evaluation. --Ludwigs2 17:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, Two suggestions: (1) your question on shared point of view is probably not something you want to steer to. The history of this talk page will show that most (not all) who share a view do so for reasons that will be deemed religious (whether personally held beliefs, or the belief we should honor/respect others' religious beliefs so we don't offend). That probably won't turn out well without a policy change first. And I guarantee you, even if I am uninvolved in this, numerous people will find such shared POVs if such is in the proposal. (2) I'd steer away from "controversiality" as well, because "offense", "controversial" and so on all point back to religious beliefs - which, like my #1 above, all point back to Wikipedia no longer being secular. It's a difficult situation, I know. Especially when multiple roads lead back to the Village Pump for policy changes. Now, if you are discussing proposing a policy change, then yes, all of the above becomes valid for incorporation. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:07, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm trying to see what those presently engaged in this discussion who object to the way images are used in this article are complaining about, if we put the controversy/Foundation resolution to one side. I'm pretty convinced this is not the venue to sort out the relevance, if any, of the controversial/offensive nature of the pictures. Now I want to see, with that off the table, the exact nature of other objections. That's starting to crystalize below. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I am OK with the present use of the images. That's why I said that your item #3 wasn't a point of agreement, because it basically says "we agree the present use is wrong." There is a fairly good consensus that the way images are used presently is fine. Ludgwigs2 disagrees, seeing a problem with ethics and controversiality. He has not made a convincing argument (to me at least) that such problems even exist here. The fact remains that we are having this discussion because Ludwigs2 wants to hold the images in this article to higher standards than any other biography on Wikipedia. The only reason we are having this discussion is because some folks are offended. That's what it boils down to. As far as I can see from looking over years of archives, those who are offended seem generally ignorant of their own faith, they are offended by their own choice or by indoctrination. That, and the fact that they complain here, are not reasons for Wikipedia to coddle them when the images do add educational value to the article. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:45, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Yep. My section heading could have been clearer. Sorry. I was just trying to see what common ground is shared by those who are currently objecting to the way images are used here. I understand you are not among those. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Two points, one general, one directly to Amatulic:
  • general point: I believe that anthony is trying to get a feel for points of agreement between those editors who have concerns about the images. While editors who support the images are certainly free to comment, we do not really need another section of dispute over the same material. Once we have a clear set of agreements between the 'oppose' editors, we can go back to debating the issue. that will make the discussion more clear and effective all around, so I would ask the supporters not to get involved in this particular debate.
  • Amatulic:
    1. your argument seems to be that "anyone who objects to the image is too ignorant to be coddled" - if you cannot see either the ethical or the logical problems inherent in that approach, I don't know what to say to you.
    2. You are an admin, and that sysop bit holds you to a higher standard of behavior. I understand the need on your side to make this about me as a personal matter - attacking me personally is the only way to avoid discussing the issues I'm raising, which may be the only way for your side to sidestep the conclusions that would otherwise be natural. it's not the first time I've dealt with that kind of thing on project, nor will it be the last, but I expect admins to be more circumspect than average editors. I've already corrected the statement you made about me here made here twice; do I need to do it a third time, and accuse you of wp:IDHT to boot? --Ludwigs2 20:22, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I am not an admin in this dispute. Please respect the distinction. Admins aren't special people, they are simply editors with a few extra tools, and those tools are not to be used when WP:INVOLVED in a content dispute. Also, stop seeing personal attacks where there are none. About you, I simply stated that you see a problem with ethics and controversiality and have not argued the case convincingly, and that you appear to want to apply higher standards to the images here than anywhere else. Right or wrong, that is the impression you have given, and I apologize if that impression is incorrect but that's how it seems to me. Finally, do not misrepresent the position of others. I didn't say anyone who objects to the images is too ignorant to be coddled. You clearly aren't. However, look at the archives. Almost 100% of those who object have done so based on premises that are false by Islam's own theology. We can attempt to educate them, or we can bend to their ignorance. There's a big ethical problem in doing the latter. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Point one is obviously false, given the people opposed are opposed to all images of Muhammad on the article, not their placement. Cramming them into one section will not resolve the issue for those people. All it does is allow a certain editor to pretend they are being reasonable now while the necessary reduction in images that such a change would cause would actually get them halfway to their goal of censoring the article to suit their viewpoint. The battle for the other half would commence rather quickly, I suspect. Resolute 18:50, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying, Amatulic. Resolute, I suspect Hans, Qwyrxian, and possibly Wiqi55, along with me and Ludwigs, have no problem with relevant images of Muhammad illustrating a section addressing images of Muhammad. Not sure, though. Hence this section. You're right, if that is established it will clarify the debate some, and focus the debate on the specific usage being opposed, rather than image use in general. I'm certainly not proposing cramming images into such a section, one example, or two at the very most would be due weight. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 01:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, I think you missed a few parts above. (1) It will not end the "issue" at hand. Which is that there are images of Muhammad in the article (it is not their location causing the problem - it is their existence in the article causing problems). (2) A few of the editors you name (see conversations or diffs above) have indicated they wish no images and do not seem interested in a compromise. If agreement for moving the images to their own section occurs, it will only be a stepping stone to removing them. The next step will be removing the "redundant" section because a "Depictions" article already exists (sound like recent history?). And finally, by what standard or policy or guideline do you think that this article deserves special treatment over the numerous other articles with similar (ie: religiously motivated) disputes to remove content (text or image based)? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 01:38, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I'll clarify my position in light of Anthonycoles' request/point. I do not object wholesale to all images of Muhammad, nor do I think that we should interpret the recent WMF resolution to mean that we should remove these images (side note: I do 100% support the creation of tools that make it possible for others to block the images; I myself, for example, will use such tools to block pictures of nudity, etc., while I'm at work, as I need some images blocked but not all images, as the current work-arounds require). I do believe that we are probably over-using images in this article, because, as has been pointed out by others, these images all come from a fairly narrow time frame and area, and using them to represent Muhammad throughout the article is excessive; in other words, I consider the over-emphasis of a narrow category of images to be a violation of WP:UNDUE. I also believe that we should have more calligraphic or other abstract images (assuming we can get them as free/fair use files), given that that is how Muhammad is represented the overwhelming majority of the time in Islam. I do believe that we should have a section in this article that acts as a summary (see WP:Summary style) of Depictions of Muhammad, and that said section should contain one or two visual (picture) images of Muhammad. I believe that the Depictions of Muhammad article should contain as many images as we can reasonably fit, keeping in mind the constraints of WP:UNDUE (i.e., not overemphasizing one specific time period/artist/whatever). In other words, I'm not coming at this from a "potentially offensive" position--I'm coming at it from the requirements of WP:NPOV, which I believe this article violates. Finally, one of my main points so far in the last week or two is that I consider it insulting that some editors have constantly lampooned this as a dead issue, as one of pandering, of accusing some people of bad faith, and of attempting to prevent the dispute resolution process from being used by those who feel that their voices are not being heard. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Qwyrxian: There are definitely points I agree upon. I have no idea why some editors would (a) try to remove an opponent with WQA, (b) try to do an end run to ArbCom when valid RfC proposals were on the table, (c) misstate their position at ArbCom, (d) propose RfC's that through implication or direct wording make the questions "remove or remove or remove" and so on. You're correct, if that isn't bad faith, I dont know what is. Nonetheless, in good faith, with numerous conversations being derailed because I wont agree to removing all images, I've proposed an RfC that addresses your concerns. The "all or nothing" ones on the table will not work to do that. Nor will the "none or none" proposal. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 02:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I pretty much endorse this entire post, Qwyrxian, it's a common sense approach to the page. Noformation Talk 02:45, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

This is also in response to Antonyhcole's comment. I also do not object automatically to every and any image of Muhammad here. Two aspects are capable in principle of being illustrated in such a way in spite of the (unreasonable, in my opinion) offence to some Muslims: (1) Muhammad reception in the West. (2) A discussion of the image prohibition. However, even if we ignore, for the sake of the argument, the inane argument that offence taken by a large number of people for religious reasons doesn't count on an article about the very religion whose members take offence, there are enough arguments left to reduce the number of illustrations to at most two:

  • The Western Muhammad reception needs at most one image, as some kind of focal point. This is also the number we have at the moment. Any more than that would be undue weight because the important thing here is the reception in writing. Reception by Western painters, if someone wanted to discuss it, would definitely have to be moved to a separate article.
  • The image prohibition and also the phase(s) in which it was interpreted more sensibly and Muslims did depict Muhammad can, in principle, be discussed in the article. But more than one image for this very minor aspect is overkill and massive undue weight.
  • This article is a key part in our series of articles on Islam. Images in articles serve a dual purpose. While each of them individually illustrates some detail in an article, all of them together give an impression of a topic's mainstream iconography. Our Muhammad article is currently lying about the iconography of Muhammad by showcasing numerous atypical pictures. Hans Adler 06:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm... interesting point (Bullet 3). Image 1 and 2 do seem to have stylistic similarities (to each other). I didnt notice such in the rest, but it's late. I'll look again tomorrow.
You've made a very compelling argument for evaluating the images in that light. Yes, I know others have stated they've evaluated them in that fashion. But I'd rather make up my own mind. Tomorrow. When I am more awake. Off to bed. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 09:09, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually those comments bring up a good point that I hadn't thought about. While we are generally apprehensive of removing current pictures why does the article not have any current depiction types (i.e. the flame or flame with face that is normally used to depict him by the muslim community in present time.) I am not saying we should necessarily replace any pictures (thats for the RfC obviously) but we don't have any modern day type images which would also be a good addition to the text in my opinion. Tivanir2 (talk) 14:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The most recent Islamic image (1808) is "flame-only". It would be ideal to have a modern, probably Iranian, image, but copyright keeps these off Commons. We don't even have any at Depictions of Muhammad. It might be possible to have one under "fair use", but given how vulnerable to attack all images of the Prophet are, one wonders how long that would last. I don't agree with Hans Adler's points - our images are, with the exception of the absence of a modern one, reasonably typical of the images that exist. These come from a wide variety of cultures, covering more than half the period since the Prophet's lifetime. Exactly the same criticism could be made of images used in Jesus and other Christian articles as "lying" about Christian use of images. Jesus has (very low down) a reasonable section on Depictions of Jesus, which rather remarkably did not mention Protestant aniconism at all (a sentence now added). We should restore a brief section here covering Islamic aniconism & the depictions, and linking to the other articles, & that is under discussion elsewhere here. Johnbod (talk) 14:46, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I would like to point out that setting an arbitrary number is not a great way to start any sort of editing. Pictures with relevence should be included (again we need to look at said pictures and determine relevence) and pictures that have no relevence should be removed. As far as biography portraits go this is extremely meager especially compared to even other religious founder articles. Tivanir2 (talk) 14:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Tivanir2: I noticed that too. There were such images at one time. And I think whatever images we agree belong in the article must have such portrayals (flame, veil, etc) to be balanced. I also agree with the (paraphrased) "no arbitrary number" comment. Content, need, relevance, balance (ie: flame, veil, face shown, etc) and value should be all that is used to weigh such - regardless of whether that means 2 images or 200 images or something inbetween. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Johnbod: I suspect those would be the only images that were not objected to - though I do suspect if another en-masse removal attempt is made (though unlikely due to the semi-protect), that such images would simply be associated casualties - and not due to an objection to them specifically. I guess, either way, that leaves us some work on finding an image that's PD or that we can use a fair use claim on. Definitely against the imbalanced portrayal that Tiv has pointed out. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Anthony, as for point 1, I am sure some people would object to images of Muhammad in Muhammad#Depictions of Muhammad (if it ever gets written). Having such images there would not be vital, given that there would be a link to the main article. If we had an image, I would advocate that it be a veiled one (example). Points 2 and 3 I agree with. --JN466 02:59, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Jayen! Thanks for that. I messed up this thread with an ambiguous title. :( I was really just trying to clarify the position of editors presently here advocating removal of images. They've now mostly chimed in, so I'll just let this thread ramble on, as these things do, until something shinier pops up. :) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 13:30, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Jayen, that section was written. Someone took it out (see thread with related title on this talk page). Anyway, from following page after page (which are now all in the archives) about the images, you may find their existence here is the issue - not where they are located. BTW, thanks for the image link. I'll be proposing an image change/addition (will see who wishes which) as not having such a representation seems not to be balanced. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 03:23, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Here is quote from the archive that clearly suggests that the number and location of images affect the amount of objection to them:

We got along fine with one picture at the Muhammad article for more than a year, I think it was. It was a Persian miniature, it was small, Muhammad's face was veiled, and I thought it was a sensible compromise between some Muslim sensibilities and reader's right to know how some Muslims depicted Muhammad. The other pictures were at the Depictions of Muhammad article, where we had space to treat the subject thoroughly. That seemed to be acceptable to all.

Anecdotal evidence, yes, but still useful. Full post here [3] Wiqi(55) 04:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Not even the slightest bit useful. We have no idea at all what piques the SPAs and vandals ire at any given moment, whatever incites them to come here and post their harangues is beyond the purview of this board. What is interesting though is that in the several weeks since Ludwigs2 initiated this fiasco, we have not had a single comment in this discussion by a non-established, regular users. No IPs, no SPAs, not in any of these topics or even to file an Edit Request. If you wish to ponder anecdotal evidence of editor behavior, ponder that one for a bit. Tarc (talk) 04:24, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Not really related anyway. It was a veiled image. Not really a compromise either, since it's accepted as ok (which means one side gives nothing). As for the Depictions article, it didnt make press - though it does get some removal requests (all archived now). And a lot less since this article no longer has a decent sized section pointing to it. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 04:32, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Wiqi55. I must say I agree with the general sentiment expressed in that 2006 post you linked to. --JN466 21:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
May I ask, in all seriousness, how a picture of a veiled Muhammad in any way is representative of how those perceived his face to look? The information presented is not the same. In the example at the link above, the Quranic calligraphy was the subject matter - not the sleeveless woman. In this, Muhammad and how history perceives him is the subject matter - not one single perception, not a veil (except as a representation of part of one perception). The comparison seems rather inapplicable. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 21:18, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The style with the veiled face would seem to have been the dominant style in the depictions that were created, making it the representative type of image. --JN466 04:07, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I see a point in that, but, assuming unveiled depictions did not gain a lot of notability due to "controversy" (for lack of a better word), that would simply argue towards a better balance. Currently, I think it is 2 veiled, 4 not veiled. But, here's an interesting thing (and a follow-up point): when I searched Google for images, using the word "flame" in the search terms, all but one image were unveiled and unflamed (and there was a bunch of calligraphy). Note, I only said that such was interesting. On to the follow-up point (and perhaps this is the reason my search results ended the way they did), either due to changing perceptions in various sects of Islam or perceptions of those who are not necessarily Muslim but venerate Muhammad (or have interest in him), or due to the "controversy"(for lack of a better word) surrounding the images, or a combination of those, it seems the other (non-veiled) images have a very high degree of notability. But that's just my opinion. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 05:18, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Religulous Pastafarians

Wow it took me hours to read this latest talk page and I've not commented here in quite a while but I noticed it pinging away on my watchlist. This reminds me of the guy who created the Flying Spaghetti Monster to prove his point about creationism. Let me use my use my own very simplified analogy for all those islamist who wish Wikipedia to remove pictures of Muhammad because it offends them or they believe their religious dotrines do not permit it. My god says "PIZZA IS EVIL, DO NOT EAT PIZZA". I ask all of you to please stop eating pizza, it offends me and my god. Should I now start going to known pizza parlors starting picket lines? This might seem silly because it is silly. There are literally hundreds of different religions with conflicting dogma. Shall we cater to them all or just pick out the ones we like or are the most vocal? This encyclopedia is supposed to be a reflection of human knowledge. It is WP:NOTCENSORED and never will be. Garycompugeek (talk) 20:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

so your solution, then, is to force feed people pizza even if there are other things to eat? There are plenty of places to get pizza and no one's going to close them; a rule that requires pizza be served with every meal is just downright silly. --Ludwigs2 20:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

After reading Ludwigs response I'm wondering if maybe there is some kind of language/communication barrier. Garycompugeek (talk) 00:13, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Tools and instructions, top of this talk page, indicating how to avoid seeing the images. Additionally, almost 100% of the people who have complained (see talk page archives) are one off accounts who fully knew that coming here would expose them to such images - and chose to view this article anyway. That was their choice. They could simply have listened to whatever news report they saw or read and realized the images are here - then chose not to come here. Big difference, IMHO. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 20:34, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I think his point was that it would be absurd to expect the pizza places of the world to stop serving pizza (eviscerating their purpose in the process) in response to a religious group shouting outside their window. Furthermore, as I've said above, I don't think most Muslims are so closed-minded as you make them out to be. Where I live (not far from Bridgeport, CT), we have a few Iranian families, some Bosniaks, a significant community of Albanians, and a couple of Indonesian families. I can safely assure you that none of them would find these at all offensive; indeed, my Albanian friends were disgusted when they couldn't find the Jyllands Posten cartoons, because they wanted to see what could have possibly been so horribly offensive. When they finally saw them (through Wikipedia), they thought it was ridiculous that anyone could get so angry given the myriad ways everyone else's deities are parodied (incidentally, the vast majority of "protesters" were teens who wanted to make noise, not true-believing Muslims). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:55, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Blade - you know, I'm aghast at the constant misrepresentation of the problem here. It's as though most editors on this page are incapable of principled behavior (most of the arguments I read here sound like Kohlberg stage 1 or 2; maybe one argument strays as high as stage 4). I wouldn't believe that possible in conversations with otherwise normal adults, but I can't argue with the evidence, either. it's disturbing.
The 'principle' of the matter is that we are pithily snubbing a belief of a major world religion for no real reason and without any clear gain for the article. Are there Muslims who don't care about this issue? I'm sure their are lots, just as I'm sure there are lots of Jews who don't care one whit about holocaust denialism, and lots of Christians who wouldn't bat an eye at the theory that Jesus was banging Mary in his off-hours. Somehow we manage to be respectful enough of Judaism and Christianity not to spout off about these theories except in places where it is appropriate and necessary. Yet when it comes to this page, those are taboo considerations - we somehow must do the disrespectful thing, and it is (if you listen to the some of the arguments here) apparently a violation of policy even to consider the appropriateness and necessity of the images.
I am faintly disgusted by the continuing effort to fanaticize the opposition that I see you and a number of other editors engaging in. Your arguments seem mostly to involve a search for different derisive labels to slap on people who disagree with you, in order to make them appear ignorant, unknowledgeable, extremist, unrepresentative, or otherwise 'bad people' who should be ignored. It is a ugly approach, reeking of bad faith and prejudice (and non-falsifiable as well, since ultimately the only criteria for them being labeled 'bad people' is that they oppose you). If you honestly cannot craft a better argument than "our opponents are too worthless to consider" then you don't have a credible argument to offer, and you ought to stop trying.
Harrumph! End of rant (for now…) --Ludwigs2 01:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
You say: "I'm sure there are lots of Jews who don't care one whit about holocaust denialism, and lots of Christians who wouldn't bat an eye at the theory that Jesus was banging Mary in his off-hours." - these are gratuitously offensive and insulting remarks, as well as totally inaccurate comparisons. The comparison shows you have failed to grasp the situation here at all. Johnbod (talk) 18:46, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
We have no obligation what so ever to respect any religious belief and we don't have to justify depictions of Muhammad in a Muhammad article with an appeal to Islamic tradition; their traditions are their own and in what they publish they are welcome to develop their own rules. We are an encyclopedia, and if depictions of Muhammad in a Muhammad article offend some portion of the world, to be frank: tough shit. Religious beliefs should never shape this secular encyclopedia and the only time offending people (and I don't care if it's 99% of the world's population) should be a consideration is if it could possibly lead to legal action against us. We didn't capitulate to Scientologists when they complained that publishing information about Xenu was out of line with their religious practices and we sure as hell should not capitulate to Islamic beliefs either. To further the pizza analogy, no one is forcing Muslims to use Wikipedia, nor to view the page on Muhammad; if someone doesn't like it they can find another online encyclopedia, and a non-pizza dinner establishment for that matter. Noformation Talk 02:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for proving my point. You've basically just said: "we're free to insult any religion when and where we feel like it, and if they don't like it they can go find another encyclopedia." In one fell swoop, you've turned Wikipedia into the worlds first 'yellow press' encyclopedia. congratulations! --Ludwigs2 04:29, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say we're free to insult, I said we should not consider offense when determining article content. Not caring about offending someone is not the same as insulting someone, it is very very different both in MO and intention. Some people are offended by things you and I would find tame, there's a difference between not considering what offends them important and calling those people dicks - big difference. Noformation Talk 04:35, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. I recognize that there are people who get up in arms over images of Muhammad, just as there are many, many Muslims who do not. While they are perfectly entitled to be as angry as they want, we are under no obligation to take it into account. This has nothing to do with deliberately offending people, but rather providing the highest quality information we can. It doesn't make sense to try and describe someone as well-known as Muhammad without knowing the different ways he was portrayed. All of the images here, at least in my opinion, do a better job of communicating it than mere text would, and is therefore in compliance with policy. If providing high quality information means some people get angry, that's the price we pay; think for a moment about the 6 billion or so people (such as myself) who aren't Muslims for a moment. Why should our understanding of Muhammad suffer because some Muslims happen not to like something? (By the way, I'm not claiming the only people who dare argue against the images of Muhammad are all fanatics of some sort, more that there's more than one Muslim point of view on the matter. Neither of us can speak for the "Muslim point of view" as if it's unified, because it's plainly not.) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Guys, you do realize that this is exactly the kind of reasoning used in entrenched racism, don't you? I mean, this is like that age-old Deep South Jim Crow thing where they used to say (pardon me for this offensive example): "'N*@@er' is just what we call those people, we don't mean any insult by it, and it's not our concern if a few uppity n*@@ers don't like it." You are trying to render your opponents as unworthy of being listened to - you may even truly believe they are unworthy of being listened to - but that is your problem, not theirs.
You are playing word games to make your unpleasant actions look socially acceptable. but let's look at the facts:
  • You know that these images offend people (you collectively acknowledge it regularly)
  • You know that a proscription against images like this exists in the Muslim faith (you collectively acknowledge that regularly as well)
  • You know that these images add little to nothing to the article (none of you has been able to point to anything except trivial values for these images)
Now look at the way you collectively try to twist out of this ungainly state:
  • You attack the people who are offended, suggesting they are ignorant zealots unworthy of consideration
  • You try to minimize this as 'individual preferences' and refuse to acknowledge that this is a well-known principle of the faith
  • You try to shift blame onto the victims (classic passive-voice deflection, e.g. "We're not offending then, they are just being offended by what we're doing")
  • You use bad policy logic ("we have to offend them because our policy says we can't not do it")
Add that you consistently ignore counter-arguments and then make stuff up, and your whole argument becomes patently ridiculous. to whit:
  • Blade: as discussed repeatedly these images are not 'high-quality information'. They have little to no informational value, and could easily be removed from the article without harm.
  • Nofo: 'not caring about offense' cuts both ways; if you truly didn't care about offense you would consider removing the images because they have no particular informational value, but instead you seem to care very much about continuing to offend people regardless of the benefits (or lack thereof) to the encyclopedia. 'WP doesn't about offense' is not the same as 'WP tells them they can suck it'.
  • Blade: You say that "Neither of us can speak for the "Muslim point of view", but in fact you are trying to promote a side of the dispute that is a distinct historical minority. Not showing pictures of the prophet unless we have cause is neutral; insisting on pictures even without cause is a distinct action that can only be perceived as biased.
You talk you me as though you think I don't understand that Wikipedia sometimes has to offend people because the encyclopedia requires it. But you are the ones who do not seem to understand that last 'requires it' phrase. I defy you to give an explanation of why these images are required on this page - I do that safely because I'm quite sure you can't. In fact, I expect you to ignore the challenge, because that's what happened the last three or four times I've asked for that explanation. But realize that by avoiding this question you are just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later you are going to have to face the fact that you are wasting 100s of hours of editor time defending images that piss people off for no good reason. When you finally face that, I hope you will have the good graces to be ashamed. --Ludwigs2 14:46, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
"Not showing pictures unless we have a cause" is strictly to pander to muslim senseabilities and ties directly to the think of the children concept. We don't have highly inappropriate pictures here (I don't see any questionable acts, no pictures of "Everyone draw Muhammad day, no bomb turbans) and it's asking for people to set aside that this is a western view encyclopedia. In any western setting it is perfectly reasonable to show pictures of someone when you write a biography about them. Having to have a requirement to show them doesn't even play into the equation. Most editors have weighed in on good reasons why they should be kept, and most if not all have been willing to at least review areas where the pictures might no longer make sense. However to blantently require we need to observe a religious edict held by approximately 85% of a religion is not what I would consider acceptable under NPOV and NOTCENSORED as it is censoring and adopting the POV we shouldn't offend someone on religious grounds. If a santized view is what people want they provide a way to get it, and that should be sufficient. Requiring everyone to do without because someone is offended when they can simple block out the pictures for themselves is not acceptable. Tivanir2 (talk) 16:18, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Also being deliberately offensive is definitely not the aim as if the article and editors were trying to be deliberately offensive I am certain they could get depictions and the rights to use them for some of the highly offensive pictures listed above. Tivanir2 (talk) 16:20, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I happen to think that showing a group's impressions of Muhammad (the Persians, after all, were a rather important people in history, as are the Europeans) is very germane to the topic at hand (Muhammad). It offends some people, but contains relevant, encyclopedic information (if we were to implement policies that images had to be required for understanding, as you seem to be angling for, we'd have to remove the pictures of Barack Obama, since his looks don't impart any information on what he's famous for; that would be absurd). Tivanir2 also makes some excellent points above. Is that simple enough? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:59, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: You keep taking this personally, and I am not sure why. You also claim you understand policy, such as WP:CENSOR (which has been the crux of this argument) but didnt even know that it has a prohibition against using any religious reasons for censorship. When informed of that (even though you proposed the change to it at VILLAGE PUMP) you indicate that was because it changes so much - but in this respect, that isn't true either - not just was it in CENSOR when you went to Village Pump, but it was also in it a year ago,[4] a year and a half ago,[5] and via different wording two years ago.[6] You were advised multiple times to take your religiously based offense objections to the correct forum as well. I am not sure why you think that the rest of us don't know policy when you didn't even know the contents of WP:CENSOR (while personally using it well over a dozen times before its contents were pointed out to you). Please don't take it personally when people simply point out things you didn't know about. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:22, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't even read past the second "nigger" because that's patently false and asinine. You might as well compare those who disagree with you to Nazis as well. The reasoning behind not caring about offending someone is not the same as the reasoning behind racism - they're not even related. I also don't care that our article on Homosexuals can offend some Christians, nor do I give a shit if our article on Xenu offends Scientologists or that any X offends Y. That's not the same as dehumanizing an entire group of people based on the color of their skin. I will not discuss this further and if you continue this line of reasoning I will take it to AN/I for underhanded personal attacks, poisoning the well and general antagonism. Noformation Talk 17:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
@ Tivanir2: I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. You are making the argument that the only choices we have in this situation are to offend muslims or pander to them. Even if that were a remotely credible assertion (it's not, not unless you are beginning from a deeply prejudicial position in which even minimal respect shown to the faith is considered pandering), it's still an open question whether it would be better for the encyclopedia to pander on this trivial issue or to continue offending a major world religion. again, ridiculous.
@ Robert:…
@ Noformation: So, apparently offensiveness is a valid argument when you are the one feeling offended. interesting… allow me to force you to live by your own principles by parroting you: your feeling of offense (by your own argument) does not matter on the encyclopedia, period. if you are too offended by my otherwise reasonable argument to read it and respond rationally then your opinion simply doesn't matter, and you should probably go find another page to work on where you will not subject yourself to things that offend you. --Ludwigs2 17:59, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
@Blade: I agree with you in principle, but please note that if your primary concern is the historical and artistic significance of the images, then the images should be restricted to a section about their historical and artistic significance (as I suggested above). To put a finer point on that, these images are informative about the Persians and the Persian's particular approach to depicting Muhammad, but these pictures tell us nothing whatsoever about Muhammad himself. Scattering the images throughout the article is a gross violation of wp:WEIGHT because it drastically overplays the importance of the Persian perspective and drastically downplays the prevailing modern perspective of the faith, which is that depictions of the Prophet are proscribed. --Ludwigs2 18:06, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Sigh. Only 2 of the 6 images are Persian. At least 2 others are from a Sunni Turkish milieu. How often do these basic facts have to be repeated, to people apparently incapable of taking anything in? Johnbod (talk) 22:59, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
∞ evidently. Noformation Talk 23:39, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Applying your beliefs evenly and uniformly without a single issue bias/exception would probably gain your arguments a lot more credibility. Just a thought. You may also wish to read this[7] as I think it applies not just to myself, but to others who's motives you keep calling into question. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:17, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
No my arguement stems from the fact that none of the pictures are controversial on any other grounds than religious. In any other situation all of these images would be perfectly acceptable AS LONG AS they weren't of muhammad. For people that still find that unreasonable there are self imposed filters they can use to make sure they are not exposed to it. As for trivial issue it definitely cannot be assigned to that category because every group that has something it doesn't like on here will insist it be removed and cite this as a basis. That is not even a far stretch as this would garner media attention and then everyone with an axe to grind would come out of the wood work. Second nothing I have seen shows respect as respect travels both ways, and since my way says seeing images is a ok it gets trampled because someone else says NO! I get offended regularly by things I find on wikipedia but that doesn't lead me to ask for removal because offensive shouldn't be taken into account. Tivanir2 (talk) 18:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Robert: can you not, for one single solitary post, avoid attacking me? for someone with as much experience on project as you have, you are 'absolutely clueless about wp:NPA. I'm beginning to get the idea that you are deliberately trolling me just to try to make me angry. is that the truth? Answer carefully, because your last 20 posts to me have all contained efforts at character assassination, and that that is fairly damning evidence against you.
Tivanir2: you are just compounding the problems of your previous argument. all you've done is cross out one word and generalize the same insupportable dichotomy - "...only choices we have in this situation are to offend muslims religions or pander to them..." - and that's not an improvement. I still assert that you can only make such an extreme dichotomy from a position of deep prejudice, in which you refuse to allow religions even one iota of respect (for personal reasons of your own, assumedly). that's not acceptable on a collaborative project. This is clearly a trivial issue except to the extent that it's been magnified by absolutist thinking, and you've offered no evidence to the contrary; what happens in the real world is irrelevant to our discussion; whatever you personally find offensive is certainly something you are free to bring up, and if you have the same grounding for offense that the Islamic proscription against depictions of the prophet provides, then I'd even support you. honestly you don't have an argument here. --Ludwigs2 19:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually I have no prejudice towards people, though I hold a very strong opinion on what other people attempt to force me to do. I don't expect anyone to show my own religion (Asatru Shamanism) respect or to not offend it. I have heard from multiple places and sources everything about my religion being either a fake religion or cult simply because it is not mainstream. Instead you are personally attacking me trying to ascribe values that don't exist, which would lead back to your own quote of don't attack editors. I tend to have respect for all religions (I always try to ensure I don't disturb someone during religious observence for example regardless of religion) but I will not ever willingly back down when one group decides it wants to ban something from common grounds especially when that group HAS A WAY TO NOT OBSERVE THE OFFENDABLE MATERIAL. That being said when is the RfC? I would like to put an end to merry go round with 5 different rehashes of the same think of the children mentality. If there is a reason to actually remove the image (other than a religious edict) then I am all for it and have even identified one though it was previously identified. Otherwise I will simply continue to link WP:NOTCENSORED for the remainder, since apparently what you wish is WP:NOTCENSORED with the footnote of unless it offends enough people. I also find it hilarious you quote WP:NPA then proceed to do it against myself not more than 5 lines later. Tivanir2 (talk) 19:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: If you truly feel that way, even though I think it unsupportive, go to AN/I or start an RfC/U. I haven't attacked you once. I just want to know why you don't apply your interpretation of policy uniformly and why the policy changes the rest of us think are necessary for your summary removal request for religious based objections/beliefs haven't been taken to the appropriate forum. Claiming it's an attack because you refuse to answer (or use the correct forum to address policy changes, or refuse to apply your policy interpretation uniformly) is ludicrous in light of there not being any attack against you. Numerous times when someone disagrees with you, you claim they are attacking you. As others have also asked, please stop assigning incorrect motives to my actions. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 19:53, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
@ Tivanir2:I'm sorry if you took this personally - not my intent. To my way of viewing things one can easily hold a prejudice without being prejudiced. It's usually just a matter of not having thought things through. That's what I feel has happened here: you have gotten yourself into a mental box where you feel you are forced to offend Muslims by showing these images because you think not showing these images is pandering. What I have been saying all along is that these images are not by any stretch of the imagination necessary to the article; using them or not using them is a choice we get to make, and choosing not to use them is not 'pandering'. I feel you're too wrapped up in the conflict here - you've got your mind set on keeping these images solely because people oppose them, and not because of any intrinsic value of the images, and that is something that you should reconsider.
@ No, it's not that big of an issue for me. Mostly I'm pointing it out as a matter of due diligence, so that anyone can see that I tried to encourage civility on the page. I'm perfectly happy allowing you to lay out example after example of bad faith editing. That is your choice. --Ludwigs2 15:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
So in other words you decide to tell me you don't want to offend me retread believing me to be prejudice and decide to try to justify the position? The reason I consider it pandering to them is simply because the individuals in question are able to edit out the images either through software or they can follow the FAQ to disable them. This solves the issue. Instead demanding the images be removed is designed solely to placate a group of people so it is in a nutshell to censor for the benefit of a group. I am much less wrapped up into the argument than you think since I have already pointed out an image for deletion because it no longer belongs. To try to summarily remove all issues is simple to make a group happy which falls under WP:NOTCENSORED. Tivanir2 (talk) 22:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Noformation, wrt "we should not consider offense when determining article content," in a situation where two images are of roughly equal educational merit and relevance, but one is offensive to large numbers of readers and the other is not, should we lean toward including the inoffensive image? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 13:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Why is that an either/or question? You have two images, both accepted as having educational merit. Why not include both? Resolute 14:28, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Let's assume we only need one. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Let's not. This is a talk page for Muhammad, not WP:IUP. We're dealing with a concrete, clearly-defined situation here, don't sidetrack this into the abstract what-if? realm. Tarc (talk) 15:34, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The only way that the community would include include one and not the other would be if they hold the exact same value. Otherwise even if they are slightly different they bring separate value to the table, and I have to agree that both would be included. That is why above I stated we should have the current age images (i.e. muhammad depicted as a flame or veiled or whatnot) as well as the earlier century images which by itself would show people a timeline of slowly transforming the preference to muhammad not being depicted. Right now working on hunting down some images not copy written but there are some slight issues with searching here so I will need to wait until I get home unless someone else can pick them up. Don't get me wrong there are images that should be removed but that is because sections were removed and they no longer make any sense what so ever. Tivanir2 (talk) 15:45, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Anthonyhcole: I might almost agree with you if it weren't for various other factors. For instance, a picture of a veiled Muhammad, while educational and historical, does not portray the educational and historical value of a non-veiled image. Thus, there is a difference in what the images provide. "Here's a picture of a car from the 1920's" "Here's a picture of the inside of the engine compartment of that car from the 1920's (showing the engine and other workings)." Both portray the car. Each provide entirely different context. Both provide entirely different educational and historical value. If it was simply "Here's a picture of a car, right side view" or "Here's a picture of the car - another right side view" (or even "left side view" for a car with no notable differences on the "mirror" side) I'd agree. As for the other pictures, it's kinda like "Here's a 1957 Chevy Belair" and "Here's a 1963 Chevy Belair" and "Here's a 2010 Chevy Impala" - so even though they are all "unveiled", and of the same topic (Chevy Impala line (ie: Belair, Biscayne, Impala)), they provide different values that one alone cannot impart. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 16:06, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Tivanir2: There's an image already uploaded to WP or WM which is referenced in one of the conversations above (yesterday). I was going to write a proposal/RfC-ish thing below, but took the night off last night. I'll get to it in a few hours. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 16:06, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Robert, this is untrue. any picture (veiled or unveiled) is only valuable as a historic or artistic element. the unveiled picture does not depict Muhammad any more clearly since neither picture is an accurate depiction of Muhammad. You continue to push this same point of bad reasoning over and over, but sheer repetition does not make the reasoning any better. --Ludwigs2 16:33, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Irony alert! Resolute 16:45, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
What irony? these are established facts: Robert has offered this logic at least a dozen times, I've debunked it at least as many. it's bad reasoning. If you disagree, you're free to tell how it's actually good reasoning (good luck with that).
I don't mind if you guys attack my reasoning - that's not a personal attack. I mind when you attack my character. You'll notice that I did not question Robert's character in this post, only the quality of his reasoning, and only because of the exceptional number of times I've had to correct this particular point. If you think this is a personal attack, all you need to do is explain how, and I'll retract it. but I see no reason to retract a critique of poor reasoning. --Ludwigs2 17:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  • One correction, to perhaps help you understand the responses. You haven't corrected my reasoning - neither of us stated fact. I stated my opinion. You've stated an opposing opinion. One numerous of us think has no merit. Nonetheless, this is still a matter of opinions and perceptions. Mine (like my actions on hundreds of pages covering numerous religions, irreligions and sub-topics) carries no bias for or against any religious beliefs (mine or others). I'm not saying yours or anyone else's does - I am saying mine does not. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:10, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
    Robert: I don't object to your casting my statement as an opinion, but it is an opinion based in a rational assessment of the images. As I have said ad nauseum the images - at best - show artistic representations of the prophet from various historical periods. They have no factual value (they are not depictions of the historical Muhammad or his acts), the article currently does not discuss the art history issue in any great detail, so therefore the pictures add little to no educational value to the article. Your opinion, by contrast, is not based in anything; you simply assert that the images have value and avoid any detailed discussion of the matter. That is bad reasoning. I'm sorry if you don't recognize it as such, but you are making a positive claim (that the images have value) but you consistently fail to explain or justify that position as anything other than mere opinion.
  • You are stuck in the subjectivity fallacy (Kohlberg stage 3) in which you assert that all opinions are equally subjective and deny all reasoning which might evaluate between them objectively. That is not an acceptable way to write an encyclopedia (it's the kind of 'fringe theorist' logic which asserts that some funky theorem is just as good as anything science has to offer). I respect your opinion, mind you, but you have no rational grounds for asserting your opinion (that you've offered, anyway) that can match the rational grounds that lie behind my opinion; comparatively speaking, your logic is flawed. --Ludwigs2 18:18, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, you offer no reason why I should be limited to the choice of only one image. The question is invalid. Resolute 16:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Tarc's right. My question was too meta for this discussion. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 16:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Resolute: that's a red herring - how many images the article has is a question of balance. We don't overload articles with excess imagery (wikipedia is not a child's picture book). The real question Anthony is asking (allow me to generalize) is this:
  • we've decided we're going to have X pictures in the article
  • we have available Y images to choose from (where Y is very much greater than X)
  • all of the images have equal 'educational' value for the purpose
should we choose the images that offend people or the images that don't? --Ludwigs2 16:54, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: let me answer that last question ("should we... offend...") The answer is here, last few lines. Which brings us back to "Suggestions to change policy should be brought to the correct venue". Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:17, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: You wrote " many images the article has is a question of balance..." - in which I fully 110% agree. Hence one of the additions (dunno if I mentioned it here or on another talk page) to my RfC proposal including weighing quantity and representativeness in order to determine whether we thought we needed more images or less images or whether the current amount was suitable. Ironically though, our almost singular point of agreement is entirely contrary and contradictory to suggestions that all images be removed. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 17:23, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Point 1: ridiculous abuse of policy. see wp:IAR.
Point 2: you are avoiding the question. Even if we decide to add more images, there will still be any number of images available with the same educational value that do not offend anyone. So again: why do you want to choose an offensive image over a non-offensive image, if there is no other difference between them? --Ludwigs2 18:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
That there is "no difference" is an imaginary construct of your own fevered creation. We have images, we use images. Religious views towards image usage are not applicable to Tarc (talk) 18:35, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: Really, please stop using IAR to push your point of view, disagreed upon by most, that we should weigh religious objections[8] or single article objections[9] into determining article content. Again, I repeat "Suggestions to change policy should be brought to the correct venue." Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 18:41, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Robert: stop abusing the rules, and I will no longer have to IAR them. fair enough? --Ludwigs2 19:56, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Please don't accuse me of abusing the rules you want us to apply IAR to. It gets tiring. It's (what I am doing is) actually called "applying the rules uniformly". ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 20:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
IAR is not a policy meant to be enforced unilaterally, it still needs consensus and it's usually reserved for uncontentious issues and most people would agree with. You can't just invoke it to push a POV. Our censorship policy is clear regarding religious considerations, no one is abusing the rules by enforcing them. Noformation Talk 20:04, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me for being a bit thick on this but WP:IAR says to remove rules to make it better. How is removing images about the subject in question better? Tivanir2 (talk) 20:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
IAR is precisely the remedy to apply when editors are abusing rules (or if your prefer, applying rules improperly to the detriment of the encyclopedia). You are collectively applying a rule in a such a way that the encyclopedia is offending its readers for no clear reason or meaningful gain; that is detrimental to the encyclopedia, since it makes wikipedia look insensitive and prejudiced and causes endless reams of talk page conflict. And yes, I can invoke it unilaterally, and will continue to do so until such a time as it is made clear that there is a valid reason for offending readers with these images.
Some editor added a moronic caveat to NOTCENSORED, you guys are jumping on it to push a distinct POV in a tremendously tendentious way - not good. Until I get a chance to fix the damage done to NOTCENSORED I will continue to use IAR in an effort to fix the damage you have collectively done here.
Your best bet in this situation is to stop pushing the NOTCENSORED button (which I will continue to IAR until the situation changes, so that will get none of us anywhere), and start doing your homework. Make a convincing argument that the images have a specific value so that NOTCENSORED is unambiguously applicable. If your argument is good the images will stay; if your arguments are bad the images will be removed. Cut the bureaucratic codswallop and justify the use of the images, or give it up. --Ludwigs2 21:44, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, at this point you should either put up or shut up, if you think editors are abusing policy then file the appropriate complaint so it can be decided on once and for all. Your presence in this discussion is verging on becoming a net negative, if it isn't there already; you can't just scream "FOUL! FOUL! FOUL!" all day. Tarc (talk) 21:52, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
But the fact of the matter is they aren't applying rules improperly WP:NOTCENSORED goes over the fact there is things on this website that most likely will cause offense and if that is a problem the individual needs to find ways of dealing with it. As for the value of the images they are similar to the value you see in any other historical biography that exists on this encyclopedia. Assuming we are causing damage for no reason at all is dealing in bad faith. As a western centric encyclopedia, when reading a biography, the reader should be expecting to see images in the article as every article that is similar and has any images (accurate or not) includes them to help the reader visually. As stated before these works aren't here to simply offend people (if that were the case you would see images, again, like the bomb hat image from the danish cartoonist) and there are work arounds to ensure anyone that would be offended can make sure they cannot see the images and therefore avoid offense. WP:NOTCENSORED reads correctly because the entire section states we don't censor for any group or anything and the least astonishment rule really doesn't apply since, as stated above, the viewer looking at a biography should expect to see pictures. Applying rules is not abusing rules, that is the reason they exist otherwise there would be anarchy which wikipedia is dead set against. Besides reading IAR it shows that the rules should be ignored when people generally agree they are getting in the way of constructive and useful editing. As for specific value why would I need to present this? What specific value do pictures of Jesus have? Moses? Any other historical personality? As for pushing a POV I was not aware it is considered pushing a POV to follow the rules, as that is what I and most of the editors are attempting to do. As for making an arguement to keep them how about making a counter arguement to remove them not already covered under NOTCENSORED? Tivanir2 (talk) 22:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Tivanir2: The fact of the matter is you are applying the rules to the detriment of the encyclopedia. that is grounds for IAR.
I have to say, based on your post above, you really do not understand what wikipedia is for. The one, unbreakable principle of Wikipedia is that we are supposed to be writing a reputable encyclopedia; anything which gets in the way of that is dispensable. to whit:
  • Notcensored is not (as you suggest) intended to tell people to 'deal with it'; notcensored is to allow is to include material that is necessary but controversial. Wikipedia is not some bully-project that says "I'm going to say whatever I feel like, and you can sod off if you don't like it."
  • Wikipedia is not intended to be a 'western-centric' encyclopedia, and that certainly does not mean that we are allowed to offend eastern topics with impunity.
  • The fact that the images are not intended to offend people has no bearing on the fact that they do offend people; actions count, intentions are only good for excuses.
The rest of your arguments are entirely specious. it's not the value of the image in isolation, but the value of the image with respect to the offense it causes. No one is offended by the Jesus and Moses images, so the balance is well in favor of including the images; millions of people are offended by the Muhammad images, so some strong rationale for keeping them is required, otherwise the balance goes to removing them. You have no strong rationale - 'visual aids' is not a strong rationale; art historical importance is not a strong rationaler (on this article, anyway). if there are many similar images that we can use which do not cause offense, why are we using the ones which do cause offense? you have no rationale for that.
Inclusion of these images, whether intentionally or not, damages the reputation of the encyclopedia. The burden of proof is on you (as their defender) to show that they are valuable enough to the article justify the problems that we all know they create. It's clear to me that you cannot demonstrate any real value - if you could, you'd have done so long ago and I would have given in - so why don't you just admit you can't provide any and get past it.
@Tarc: I don't see a need to file administrative action at this point; I still feel we can work this out through discussion. if you have a need to go administrative, please feel free. As I have said previously, I am open to wp:MedCab if you think it will help us get past this sticking point. --Ludwigs2 23:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Ludwigs, this is the core of your flawed standpoint; there is nothing to work out, there is only a negligible sticking point in that you do not accept the status quo. You cannot and will not negotiate your way into removing images from this article. I cannot emphasize enough how this simply Will. Not. Happen. Your only recourse is to go elsewhere, where I am quite confident that the case will only come down resoundingly against you, as swit as the ArbCom denial was. We do not censor images for the sake of fundamentalist appeasement. There cannot be a more iron-clad statement than that. Tarc (talk) 23:55, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Again, policy is clear here and you can invoke IAR all you want but without a consensus for your position, these images will not be removed. You keep going on about offending people but what you don't get it that is doesn't matter, policy on religious considerations is unambiguous and these images will not likely be removed now or ever. You have passed WP:TE at this point, either drop it or let's take it to AN/I, because it's clear that you will not let up on this point. Noformation Talk 00:16, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Again (and again), You can be as adamant and uncollaborative as you like, and all that does is affirm (and reaffirm) that there are drastic wp:page ownership issues here. I've been very clear about my position, about the problem that I see on this page, and even about what you can do to relieve my concerns or resolve the problem. you choose to ignore those overtures and make rigid, hostile declamations to the effect that "these images will not now or ever be removed", violating a half dozen policies every time you do it. If this is going to boil down to a to sheer, blind stubbornness on your part then we will end up in arbitration. That's fine with me. would you like to open the case now, or shall we continue on a more collaborative tone? --Ludwigs2 00:30, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Ok, just for clarity sake. Almost everyone disagreeing with you and you insisting you are correct and that you will continue until you get your way is an example of all of us violating WP:OWN? Please tell me that isn't what you just said. And if you think that the stubbornness from so many of us is grounds for opening a case, then by all means! Go right ahead. Otherwise, go change policy (or attempt to). Just as a side note, I've got days of diffs to go through (from the last year, plus 67 more offline in a text file) before I'd be anywhere near filing anything... maybe you'll beat me to it? I haven't bothered really, because sanctions should be preventative... but you're back to baseless accusations and allegations - as well as walls of text repeating you'll continue instead of using the correct venue. So, please, go file some action, whether against us, or to get WP:CENSOR changed, or to get a special exclusion for this article or whatever. Or heck, keep going on your repeatrants here - but stop accusing us of nonsense. From now on, I'm just citing policy back at you. No other effort seems worth it (except the filing I'm preparing and trying my damnedest not to file). ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 00:42, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I have the AN/I report written and waiting to go, but collaboration is obviously what I'm sure we all prefer. However, we cannot collaborate if you keep pushing the point that images should be removed on the grounds that it offends a religious belief. Furthermore, it is not page ownership to assert that we will not IAR at your behest and ignore WP:NOTCENSORED. So long as that policy is written as is, this page will have depictions of Muhammad, that's not me owning the page, that's pointing out the most likely scenario. So what is it, will you drop the religious offense argument and collaborate otherwise or not? Noformation Talk 00:43, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Nice third personal attack in two days. The simple fact we are left to contend with is that a religious groups wants is no reason to change anything in this wikipedia. We don't do it for the mormons, catholics, scientologists or any other group and most likely we won't do it here. I am all for adding additional pictures but to try to wipe the slate of all pictures is pushing the POV that religious rights trump editing of an article. NOTCENSORED's intention isn't to say "sod off" it is a way of saying this might offend you and we apologize but being offended isn't a rationale for editing something. Once again we arrive back at think of the children argument. The community has provided tools to avoid this (FAQ) or help (add-ons) if people really find it that troublesome. This is sufficient as someones offense doesn't trump my right to learn about how muhammad is perceived in the Islamic community. Tivanir2 (talk) 00:43, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Keep in mind we've had hundreds (if not more) requests to remove these images on religious grounds. If we're counting numbers, it's not us against "him" it's us against very large number of people. Just sayin'. Rklawton (talk) 00:45, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

It is a very large number of people against another very large number of people. Fortunately for Wikipedia (and freedom of information), policy does not support removing material on these grounds. Resolute 00:50, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Oddly enough, the Koran doesn't support removing it either, though Islamic courts have ruled against creating/displaying such images anyway. Rklawton (talk) 00:53, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Fortunately, we are able to educate our reader, and share with them the fact that not only has such imagery not been forbidden, but that followers if Islam themselves have created images, both fully rendered and with Muhammad's face obscured. Free learning for everyone! Resolute 00:56, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Just a few points ;-)
  • Numbers don't matter - and we know that - but even if they did...
  • We are discussing policy, which is against removing content (including images) due to religious beliefs - he is the vast minority in insisting we should violate policy on just one specific article (even though a bunch more that fit such criteria have been pointed out).
  • Do you really count single purpose, single edit (only to complain) editors who ask us to violate policy, especially (1) in light of the fact that in reality there is no religious prohibition to our actions, (2) they came here because of a news item and chose to violate their own faith, (3) this page is already a special case exception that has instructions on how not to view the images
  • How much weight to we give single purpose single edit accounts mandating we follow religious dictates they aren't even applying properly? Just curious. Do we count them?
  • And finally, the important one, as you know... the validity of arguments (since we !vote on things here) can be used to weigh whether they are considered - and currently, due to policy, "my religion forbids you (no it doesnt) from showing images of Muhammad" is not rationale that gets considered under policy - which brings us back to the numerous suggestions that Ludwigs2 use the correct venue.
All told, that still leaves him in the minority. ;-) ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 00:54, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Regarding, "If this is going to boil down to a to sheer, blind stubbornness on your part then we will end up in arbitration", didn't you already stumble at that dance, Ludwigs? As I said, I have no call to start a case, since the status quo is fine, and cannot change as a result of your numerous discussion. I repeat; CAN NOT, as content removal based on outside religious pressure would itself be a policy violation. You feel it breaks policy to KEEP the images here, but that view has gathered precious little support around here. So what we have is a disagreement over application of policy. Since your POV is in the minority, it is a literal impossibility for you to achieve what you want via article talk page discussion. Why is that so hard to understand and accept? All that dragging this on and on, in new sup-topic after new sub-topic, accomplishes is create more heat and more rancor.
So once again, you are cordially invited to stop. There is nothing to be gained by dragging this out in this page. I cannot be any clearer than this. Tarc (talk) 01:09, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
(e/c)Rklawton: as I count it there are currently roughly equal numbers of editors on each side of this dispute (Me, Anthony, hans, and a couple of less vocal editors arguing against the images; Resolute, Robert, Tarc, and Kww, Nof, and Tav arguing for them). there is a strong tendency on the other side to personalize the issue, which is why they always talk as though I were in this alone. The hundreds of others are a definite plus, but this dispute is more balanced than they care to admit.
Robert: the violation of wp:OWN comes from the statements by Tarc, Nofo and others that the pictures will never be removed. There is no room for reason or discussion, no possibility in their minds that that anything other than the current version will exist: They effectively reject wp:consensus discussion as being against policy. Frankly, I have not seen such a clear and determined example of page ownership on any article I've ever worked (except, perhaps, cold fusion). Ownership is not stubbornness (which all of us have in spades); ownership trying to control a page to dictate its content, which I can't possibly be guilty of since (a) this issue is nowhere near my preferred resolution, and (b) I have offered several compromise positions which have been roundly rejected. I'm afraid wp:OWN is something that you guys are just going to have to… well… own.
Nofo: If you feel an ANI report is required, please don't let me stop you. I'll be curious to see what you write. On the other hand, if you actually do prefer collaboration, then you are going to have to ditch that "the images will never change" mindset - collaboration is impossible when one side refuses to budge even an inch. Also, you've misunderstood IAR; it is precisely your misuse of NOTCENSORED that is being IARed because it is damaging to the reputation of the encyclopedia, and that is not going to change just because you don't like it. So long as you continue to misuse NOTCENSORED I will continue to IAR it. Your best bet (as I keep saying) is to make a convincing argument that you are not misusing NOTCENSORED.
To be clear, I meant that this article will not be free of depictions, not that things can never change. Images can change, the amount can change, but there will likely always be images here and there will definitely not be change based on religious considerations - here or anywhere else on WP. Noformation Talk 01:29, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
But again, you just can't make a convincing argument that you're using NOTCENSORED correctly, because you're clearly not. All you have is a 'the rules must be followed' approach that doesn't sit well with the project's principles.
Robert: that is most decidedly not what NOTCENSORED says, nor what it was ever meant to say. You see now why I need to invoke IAR. --Ludwigs2 01:19, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2: I am not sure how you've forgotten this already, but that is exactly what WP:CENSOR says. And I quote: "Wikipedia will not remove content because of the internal bylaws of some organizations that forbid information about the organization to be displayed online. Any rules that forbid members of a given organization, fraternity, or religion to show a name or image *do not apply to Wikipedia* because Wikipedia is not a member of those organizations." - so, again, please use the correct venue. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 06:36, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Robert: since we're whispeing… Notcensored was intended to protect necessary information, not controversial trivia. you're misuse of it here requires IAR here. --Ludwigs2 06:47, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs: Depictions of the subject of the article have never been considered trivia anywhere on Wikipedia, and you have made your true motivations clear (not offending/violating religious beliefs).[10][11][12] That requires taking it up at the correct venue. Maybe this time you wont have the overwhelming rejection of your argument that you had last time.[13]ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 07:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Robert - save it for ANI. we've hashed this silliness out enough here for the time being. --Ludwigs2 12:47, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I decided to file the AN/I without waiting because after going over the whole page again I'm sorry to say that I don't think this can be resolved without intervention. You can find the report here Noformation Talk 01:16, 3 November 2011 (UTC)