Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Muhammad images

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Mediation

Discussion about the wording of this RfC is taking place at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/11 February 2012/Muhammad-images. --Elonka 05:59, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Protection

What justifies the semi-protection of this page, Xavexgoem? Wiki-Taka (talk) 10:32, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Per the 2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content, which stated "...potential decisions on the restrictions of these types of images must be decided by individual users and why we have recommended that registration be necessary to affect these images." This is a discussion for vested, identifiable contributors in this project. Anonymous IPs are intentionally excluded, as this is a sensitive subject with a history of off-wiki advocacy. Tarc (talk) 12:53, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Background #5

Since I've been asked in a revision comment not to place my comments on the front page, so I place it here. Background #5: "Calligraphic renderings of the name of Muhammad are more common than depictions, and are more widespread geographically, calligraphic renderings are also the only type of representation of Muhammad to appear in mosques, and in editions of the Quran." is wrong, because:

  • As User:FormerIP has pointed out at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/11 February 2012/Muhammad-images#Calligraphy issue (sub-head inserted late), there is no clear evidence that renderings of the name of Muhammad are more common than depictions, and are more widespread geographically.
  • Moreover, in the public literature and realm, the written name of every person is trivially more common than their depicition, not only of Muhammad.
  • Today, everbody can look at pictures of Muhammad on various internet sites from every point on the earth with internet access.
  • [1] is showing a mural painting from the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque with: "first cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Mohammed; Ali assassinated at Kufah, Iraq; also identified as assassination of Ali in 661 AD; veiled figure is Mohammed or his spirit". So depictions of Muhammd appear in mosques.
  • File:Hilye Iran 19th c with image.JPG includes a picture of Muhammad. According to Hilya, "These calligraphic panels were often framed and came to be used as wall decorations in houses, mosques and shrines". So it seems possible that this Hilye has been shown in a mosque.
  • editions of the Quran with pictures of Muhammad do exist, e.g. in Spanish editions from 1932 and 1979, see [2]. The 1979 edition is still being offered by second hand sellers,

--Rosenkohl (talk) 20:09, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Rosekohl. You raise some valid points, and your example of Mohammed in a mosque mural is an interesting one.
You're still in the wrong place, though. Comments intended for the RfC should go on this page, either in a relevant section or in a new section at the foot of the page. FormerIP (talk) 21:36, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
  • On these points:
  • No statistical evidence certainly, since neither group has ever been counted, but this is accepted by most people, and was agreed to by Prof. Gruber.
  • We aren't talking about these.
  • Yes
  • Such images are vanishingly rare
  • Hilye are not figurative
  • Those are Western editions, not produced by or for the use of Muslims. There is supposedly a single illustrated Turkish manuscript Quran of c. ?1810 known (seen in the past but now lost sight of) , but like the mosque images, these are the exceptions that prove the rule. 00:52, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello FormerIP, my intention here was not to comply with the RfC, but to comment on how the RfC is framed for its readers. Currently many editors are rather voting than commenting on the content page. My concern is that their voting, e.g. on the question what kind of file should appear in the infobox, could be misinformed by several statements in the section Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Muhammad_images#Background_on_images_of_Muhammad which turn out to be less tenable.

Johnbod (unsigned), that a rule is proven, not refuted by an exception comes unexpected for me. The background note #5 claims that "calligraphic renderings are also the only type [... ] in editions of the Quran", not in those editions by Muslims, or for the use of Muslims only. Also I don't see how the editions are not usefull for Muslim as well as non-Muslim Spanish readers. Perhaps the Hilye taken from an article by Oleg Grabar itself is not figurative, but on the same display above the text there is an image. Any statement about Muhammad made in the the RfC header automatically implies that it holds in particular for Muhammad and not for every other person. Insofar the header should avoid making strawman arguments.

I don't see where Gruber has agreed that renderings of the name of Muhammad are more common than depictions, and are more widespread geographically, and when she has a different user name on Wikipedia I don't wish to know it. There have been quoted Annemarie Schimmel, who considers calligraphy as typical expression of "the Islamic spirit", with which she seems to be familiar, Jericho Paul C. Santos who finds Islamic art characterized "by designs of flowers, plant forms and geometric designs", and Malcolm Clark who states that "in calligraphy, elaborate designs are made using Muhammad's name". But neither of these three proves background note #5, afaics.

About Schimmel one should know that in 1989 in the preface of a book she defended the death threatening The Satanic Verses controversy#Fatwā by Ayatollah Khomeini. In the same year she said in a public talk that Rushdie should be killed, which she later explained with her habit of uttering death threats even to her best friends, while in fact she even could not kill a spider or a fly. In an 1995 interview she said that a murder threat is always something cruel, but that Rushdie had hurt the feelings of believing Muslims in a very evil manner, and that she saw adult men cry about it. Thus perhaps Schimmel is not the most neutral person to explain what the "Islamic spirit" is, though probably this Islamic spirit should not be relevant for a neutral encyclopaedia anyway, --Rosenkohl (talk) 23:14, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposal that all arguments based solely on WP:NOTCENSORED should be ignored

Can that section please be closed? Editors are starting to "vote" on something that is by all accounts a rather blatant case of bad faith. Barring a case of the obscene or blatant trolling, no one can dictate that an opinion in a Request for Comment be disregarded become someone else thinks it isn't a good one. Tarc (talk) 03:08, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I would not have called it that... but I do think the issue needs to brought to the forefront... as people do use NOT CENSOR in an effort to CENSOR other positions. NOT CENSOR is not a valid argument to discount the editorial process, which is how it is being used. It should be a discussion on the merits of such !votes, not a proposal to "ignore" all such !votes.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 03:14, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
The problem with the "NOT CENSORED" !vote is that it doesn't address the valid rationales to do anything, it is merely citing a platatude... it does not represent the fundamental process of a wiki---collaborative process---it says "this is the way it is, and you can't force me to change." Without giving any credence to rationale discussion of the merits or lack of merits for making anychanges. There are valid reasons to use images other than a figurative one, but the NOT CENSOR !vote is a cop out that is intended to squelch any such discussion. What is wrong with discussing the MERITS of using calligraphy in the image box? (NOTE: I am opposed to removing all images from the article because wikipedia isn't censored, but I do believe that calligraphy is the better option for the infobox for editorially justifiable reasons. Removing all images from the article would not be justifiable editorially.)---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 17:53, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
This is not the place to make arguments and counter arguments for or against NOTCENSORED arguments. Please try respect that and to not let the discussion bleed over to other places. That said, the issue: how should NOTCENSORED be interpreted in the light of this each addressed question is a point that should be address when the RFC is closed. If there is a new RFC created from this one, it should either define how NOTCENSORED should be interpreted, or leave it as a specific question. Belorn (talk) 12:15, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Removal of comments

A thread of comments has been removed recently from the project page on 17:05, 29 March 2012. If sourced comments can't stay, I will stop to contribute in this Rfc and remove my other comments from the last days on the project page, project page, and on Mediation cabal, --Rosenkohl (talk) 19:22, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Oh calm down. I have replied and restored them to the general discussion section where they belong, as "History of images". Johnbod (talk) 19:49, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Someone (not a native speaker of English) removed a section of comments, then they were moved somewhere else, supposedly to some talk page, but the relevant talk page is empty. Not sure why, since they were plainly labeled as comments to the section above (background of images). I would try to reverse the damage, but I can see in the history now there is some further comment on them that would probably be lost if I did, not that anyone who was following the conversation can find it anymore anyhow. Does anyone know how to repair this? Neotarf (talk) 20:09, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
They are at Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Muhammad_images#History_of_images, and should stay there. The RFC was set up with several sections for comment, but not on the preamble, which this user added himself. General discussion is the place. Johnbod (talk) 21:28, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
The announcement page Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Muhammad images/intros (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) clearly says: This is not intended to be edited by participants in the RfC. Is that "native English" enough for you? --Dmitry (talkcontibs) 07:01, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Sarcasm does not add to the discussion and it is rude. On a separate note, how do I participate in the RFC? Has it been closed? I didnt see any edit links. Thanks. Thepoodlechef (talk) 02:08, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

This is the talk page. Click on the "Project page" tab at the top. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:17, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

What was this was all about? It seems Rosenkohl added his comment to 'Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Muhammad images/intros' instead of to 'Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Muhammad images'. I sympathise. Wikipedia structure is complex and it's easy to go astray. Wait until you try to make sense of the Wikipedia pages on abortion - Google lists about 65,700. Apuldram (talk) 14:53, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

There was an entire thread of comments about "background on images of Muhammad" under the section for it, where users could see and refer to what was already written about it, but in a new section where it could not be mistaken for anything but user comment on that section. Then user Dmitry deleted the whole thread without placing any notices anywhere, for instance on user talk pages or on the RfC talk page. Judging by Dmitry's later response, the removal of comments was intentional and not inadvertent. The deleted comment thread was then restored and moved somewhere, and eventually a link was supplied to the new location (away from their original context) in "general comments", under a section about "undue weight", whatever that is, and some more under "Types of representation". The "Requests for comment/Muhammad images" section is not really appropriate for these comments since that area is divided into sections for a series of specific questions relative to the article.
The discussion has fallen apart, partly because of the uncivil comments, partly because it has been fragmented into different locations, and partly because the whole thing has been turned into a meta-discussion of what is supposed to be located where. I am disinclined to continue with it, to say the least. Neotarf (talk) 19:38, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The comments belong into the introduction, since the so called "background" notes are factual wrong, misleading, preoccupied and biased.

Many readers will read section "Background on images of Muhammad" and take them as factually true and then vote in the RFC section. Many users have voted refering to the backgound notes like "No images of Muhammad are known to exist from his lifetime (570–632) or for centuries after it", "Calligraphic renderings of the name of Muhammad are more common than depictions" or "calligraphic renderings are also the only type of representation of Muhammad to appear in mosques, and in editions of the Quran". Other participants put there vote only under the condition that these claims are correct. Almost no participant of the RfC will be able to read the whole project page from top to bottom before commenting and voting.

What Actually is necessary is to change the background notes to a neutral and factual correct version. Even to delete the background notes would be better than the current version, --Rosenkohl (talk) 10:09, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I notice the sarcastic guy who removed the comments didn't stick around for any discussion of the topic. I didn't catch what was the objection to comments, either. Neotarf (talk) 21:39, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with rosenkohl here.

"Background on images of Muhammad" is indeed factually wrong and biased. This discussion (especially Mitch ames's comments), this and this completely renders that aforementioned section irrelevant.  Brendon ishere 07:58, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Table of contents

Is there a reason the TOC is currently limited to 2nd-level headings? This page is an extremely difficult-to-parse wall of text, and it would be helpful to be able to directly jump to the subsections that editors have created to navigate the page. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 16:35, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Agree. The page has got too long for the heading limit. I've gone ahead and been bold. FormerIP (talk) 17:05, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Remove 'Sense of consensus' section

Although I'm sure that the editor who started 'Sense of consensus' has al the best intentions - to have an overview of the debate - I don't think that a non-closer review of the consensus at this stage will be beneficial in this specific RfC. It will most likely lead to a reiteration of arguments and possibly unduely influence the closers. There is enough debate and !voting left. Therefore, would it be a good idea to remove the section? JHSnl (talk) 10:02, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

It would still be in the history. I'd suggest hatting it, though. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 10:38, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry - few new readers will get that far down surely. Johnbod (talk) 12:45, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Sequence of options

The structuring of this RfC seems to be overwhelmingly loaded towards the presumption that there will be images of Muhammad in the article, and the key issues are where they should appear and whether people should be able to opt out of them.

That seems to me to unacceptably beg the most fundamental question that the RfC is supposed to be considering, which is whether there should be images of Muhammad at all.

As the most fundamental question to be considered, this is the issue that should be first in each section, rather than buried down at the end as if some bonkers fringe option.

In its current shape, the RfC appears to have hopelessly and unacceptably pre-judged the most important issue. Jheald (talk) 23:16, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

It is the status quo, and the normal situation for any article. It also reflects the previous lengthy discussions on the special images talk page and in the arbcom case, where those arguing for no images were considerably outnumbered by those arguing for fewer images, or ones differently placed. Also the pretty clear majority of views expressed here. Johnbod (talk) 00:48, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
"No images at all" was never a viable option on the table; IMO it was included just for the sake of covering all the bases. The heart of the matter has always been whether the number and/or placement should be tempered by religious offense. Tarc (talk) 01:10, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
If your attitude is that the question has already been decided, then this whole RfC is a worthless charade.
Showing how Muhammad has been pictured is entirely marginal to the meat and bones substance of this article -- especially when we have an article separately on that very subject. The images are here either to be solely decorative (in which case why not use other decorative images of a more culturally sensitive nature) or to be intentionally offensive. The latter should be repugnant.
The failure to present "no images at all" as a viable option -- when that is the heart of the issue here -- means in effect you don't consider objections to these images as something to be seriously considered. Which makes this entire discussion basically pointless. As well as being an attitude to the sensitivities of the very people who do have heartfelt objections to these images as being irrelevant, that I hope you will reflect on, and then hang your head in shame at.
It cannot be right to have an RfC that institutionally marginalises those objections, when those objections are the very reason for having any discussion on this matter at all. Jheald (talk) 02:30, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Do not do this again, please. The RfC itself was mandated by ArbCom and hashed out by many editors over many weeks. You have no right and no standing at all to rearrange it based on your personal preferences this late in the game. Tarc (talk) 03:04, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I think most people understand that Wikipedia abhors a vacuum, even if only subconsciously. It's simply realistic to discuss ways that could work. I admit I haven't been able to face reading it all, but it does look badly set out. This is Wikipedia and an Islamic topic - surely people could foresee a long page full of repetitious bias and cant, minus the amount of sane involvement you need for these things to be productive. It's always more sensible to pose a solution (or two) after plain debate, and then vote on something realistic and viable. Polling this broadly and this much usually leads nowhere in my experience. IMO almost nobody would find all of the wildly varied images on Wikipedia inoffensive, as it's loaded with crazy and difficult stuff, even aside from the truly moronic NOTCENSORED. We have to admit that Wikipedia is hopelessly and inherently inclusive, so all the classic 'taboo' areas (religion, sexuality, even health) should have over-image toggling guidelines in their respective Manual of Styles. Just an optional but well-written paragraph in the right place - it's all it needs. Natural 'consensus' (or better still - human intelligence) should do the rest where it matters - ie where there's a fighting chance that people with genuine understanding are present. The key after debate like this is to realise what is needed, rather than make heavy conclusions over silly polls. Matt Lewis (talk) 01:08, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Question for Jheald

While Tarc and I often end up on different sides of the discourse, in this regard I hafta agree with Tarc. An article without images was extremely unlikely to pass. Jheald, you may feel that it is insensitive, and perhaps you are right, but the reality is that Western civilization prizes freedom of speach/expression---so just as you may feel it is intollerant, the majority of Western world finds blantant censorship to be intollerant. Now, that being said, I am of the opinion that people who simply cite "NOT CENSORED" are missing the bigger picture---we have to be conscious of our readership and make appropriate editorial decisions---I do think we should be cognizant of the views of people such as yourself who might be offended. This is why I think we need the option to block potentially offensive images from Wikipedia---it would not be Wikipedia censoring the article, but Wikipedia attempting to reach a compromise with a constentuant group of our readers. Which leads me to a sincere question. In the West, and Wikipedia is Western encyclopedia, it would be abhorrent to our morales to censor an article based upon the readership the Muslim community. At the same time, many in the Muslim community find our failure to censor the images out of the article on Mohamed to be abhorrent. This creates a troublesome diachotomy as we cannot appease both parties. Which leads me to my question, if we had the technology/capabilities to allow Muslim readers to voluntarily opt out of images of the prophet, would that be a working compromise in your opinion? Would you (and others who share your view) be ok with reading an article which contains pictures of Mohammed if you had the ability to block the images? Or would such an effort be a waste of effort on our part? What do you think the Muslim reaction would be to this type of compromise?---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 14:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. This has been going on since about October, and the Rfc was from memory well over a month in the drafting. This is just too late. Johnbod (talk) 15:20, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, what is too late? Does something specific happen if debate goes beyond a set time? Matt Lewis (talk) 15:32, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Too late is when the Rfc has been open for 3 weeks & the great majority of comments have been made. Johnbod (talk) 15:44, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Huh? What's too late John? Asking a question? Getting more insight into the community in question? How could it EVER be too late? Even if the RfC were over, how could it ever be too late to learn? It is only too late, if you refuse to grow/learn. It's only too late, if you have no room for tolerance of others. It's only too late, if you simply do not care. Sorry, it is never too late to ask honest questions. Now, will the answer affect the outcome? Does it matter? SMH---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 16:50, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
It's too late to re-arrange the rfc, which was the question asked (by him not you). Of course rambling reflection on points that have been covered multiple times in the debates so far can go on forever. Johnbod (talk) 16:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Which is why I explicitly broke this into a separate section. The above section deals with rearranging the format, and yes it is too late. But this is a question for Jheald (or others who share his views.) The question boils down to, would it matter to the Muslim community if they had an option to block out images on the article? Is the hatnote suggestion a viable compromise? The question has NOTHING to do with the formatting of the RfC. Thus, your comment is grossly out of place.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 17:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I think it has to be said that the UK doesn't have a "Western" identity in quite the same way as the USA. In fact the 'over-simplistic' (for Europe) dichotomy of East/West does get questioned at lot in Europe, and we have a sizable population of Muslim people who are simply British as well as being Muslim.

Balloonman's question is a good one though, and I know what the answer would be from the majority of Muslims in the UK (toggle). Muslims here are about 5% of the total population (about 3 million of 6o million), and are set to double in numbers in the next 20 years. There are broadly as many Muslims in the UK as there are Welsh people, or people in Wales to perhaps be more exact. Matt Lewis (talk) 15:29, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

We have a large growing population of Muslims here in the US too. But "Western culture" broadly construed, tends to advocate less censorship and more openness. Now it does vary from country to country, but on a whole... most European Countries tend to frown upon censorship to some degree or another.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 16:50, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, apart from the fact that there is debate about whether Islamic culture is Western (which in many ways it is). This kerfluffle over the "no image" option is a tad absurd; the no image option is not hidden, it's there for anyone to choose, and to state over an over if they would like. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:50, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Again, I separated this out to find out from a muslim perspective, would the hatrack option be a viable option. Not to debate semantics or placement of a question.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 17:57, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I almost wholly agree with alan here.
  • Balloonman wrote, "if we had the technology/capabilities to allow Muslim readers to voluntarily opt out of images of the prophet" I am glad to say that this "option" already exists (and thus, it obviates any need of an image toggle or other potentially disruptive and gratuitous modification of Wikipedia interface).

    Click here.

    Onus of avoiding images based on religious tenets or people's hyper-sensitivity, doesn't fall on wikipedia editors, rather it falls on the individual who is reading the article. Please don't obfuscate this line of distinction in between.

  • No human, or cohesive group has the right to dictate rules and regulations that curtail legitimate freedom while unnecessarily affecting others, just to appease their fragile sentiments or to make others bow down to the laws of their religion. That's not what is helpful for wikipedia community and flow of information. Brendon is here 19:31, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
"I almost wholly agree with alan here." - are you sure? My reading of Alan's comment is that he's saying that it is absurd to say that providing people with a choice to see an image is the equivallent of "hiding" the image. I couldn't agree with that more, but I prefer the idea of over-image click-text over the specific image box, rather than top-page hatnotes, which I find a bit heavy going. People who wish to see the controversial image should click to see it - not the other way around.
I've been taking some stick from you Brendon, but the observation I made on your own rhetoric has always remained valid - you cannot seem to comment on other people's "sensitivities" without using some form of perjorative language like "fragile sentiments" above. And by the way, you have no need to quote my general user talk comments in an RfC like this, esp when you have no idea what I was actually talking about. When it comes to editors persistently going beyond the debate to undermine someone, Wikipedia is nowhere near as naive as it used to be, despite your unsubtle prompting. And before I hear it again, almost every comment can be subject to 'AGF' when discussion becomes more of an argument. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:45, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Here here... I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one...---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 00:03, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
"I've been taking some stick from you Brendon" - I mean only good for you.
"you cannot seem to comment on other people's "sensitivities" without using some form of perjorative language like "fragile sentiments" above." - It's your presumption that being a man of "fragile sentiment" is a bad thing. Still I'm going to clarify my position, I used the phrase "fragile sentiments" (like "delicate sentiments") to refer to the habit of getting relatively easily offended and react inconsiderately while offended. Those who demand all images about their religious leader should be hidden or taken down depriving all other readers of the opportunity to view the page with those images, in order to keep them from getting offended, are, to me at-least, people of extremely delicate sentiments (not to be mistaken for anything else).

I'm offended by a lot of things (e.g. a stupid, hate-inciting religious book that says infidels are inferior/evil people who deserve death, hell for their infidelity and are also unworthy of friendship or anything good in this lifetime) but that's not the point, is it?

"My reading of Alan's comment is that he's saying that it is absurd to say that providing people with a choice to see an image is the equivallent of "hiding" the image." - You're interpreting or misinterpreting his words and I'm not going to do that since it's not about alan, is it?
But Matt, why are you so eager to assail me with your unbecoming crudity? Why don't you just focus on why we are here rather than my personality and rhetoric. Don't forget that it's not me who assumes that Wikipedia has a "dark heart" and is "the purest form of madness" whose "various creeping conveniences will end up destroying us all". Like I've told you before, no disrespect to you sir, but you lack good faith. Brendon is here 20:38, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
That's bunk and you know it. Your view point is intollerant and judgmental. I've rarely encountered somebody on Wikipedia whose views and arrogance I've found more offensive; but your viewpoint is simply islamaphobic/islam-intollerant. You use phrases to demean and degrade an entire culture. Sorry, but that's intollerant. If you made blanket statements about other cultures, there would be hell to pay. But you make degrading comments about Muslims because they have a different world view than you... I find your attitude repugnant. Making ad hominem attacks and casting dispersions on those who hold different values is not mature debating, it is elitist garbage.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 21:22, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Yes, the above comment shows your true colors, Balloonman. FYI, I never said anything about Islam. You again presupposed that by "a religious book" i was referring to Qur'an. Why would you think that? Does that mean you believe Qur'an is indeed "a stupid, hate-inciting religious book that says infidels are inferior/evil people who deserve death, hell for their infidelity and are also unworthy of friendship or anything good in this lifetime"?

"your viewpoint is simply islamaphobic/islam-intollerant" - I am not the one demanding censorship in wikipedia just to appease my sentiments. I am offensive? Oh! you mean you're "offended" again? I just told you what I feel. I wasn't looking to offend you. I didn't use any slang or explicitly derogatory language.
"If you made blanket statements about other cultures, there would be hell to pay." - "an entire culture", "Blanket statements"? Where did I malign entire Islamic culture? I never said anything about Islam or Muslim culture specifically. But why is it so offensive to you when I forthrightly express my view or rather call a spade a spade?

"Hell to pay"?? Where does that come from?
"casting dispersion"? "elitist garbage"?

Do you think that disdainful and irate response was justified when I did nothing more than exercising my freedom of expression and just told you my true opinion? BTW, a highly sensitive man could have also been easily offended by your inane threat of hell along with numerous other lofty accusations. Always remember, you are not the only one who has the right to be offended.

And you accused me of committing "argumentum ad hominem" fallacy? :D Calm down! Brendon is here 23:23, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Brendon111, I have chosen to include the following comment here as other editors have already brought this into the discussion.
Taken from Wikipedia:
Fanaticism is a belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme.
Taken from your comments in the RfC:
“Muslim-sympathizers”
“Islamic mumbo-jumbo”
“Over-sensitive lunatics”
“Islamic hyper-sensitivity”
“Its penchant for gratuitous communal violence”
A perfunctory glance at a sampling of the comments you have left throughout the RfC in all their dizzying array of shades and sizes paints a striking picture without the superfluous need of an image. Namely, fanaticism comes in many shapes and colours.
With that said, you had better familarise yourself with Wikipedias rules concerning fonts/colours which you can find here Wikipedia:Font if you don't wish to continue your numerous violations. I also urge you to contemplate Neutral Point of View and see how you can better accommodate it into your edits. Your arguments would be infinitely superior were you able to refrain from the disparaging remarks which currently litter your comments without furthering your cause.
Lastly, “In an encyclopaedia, sensitivity of the reader doesn't actually matter”.
I reject this. Offending those who come to Wikipedia is not the best path, nor is it in the interest of Wikipedia; no matter what the article is about, nor who the visitor or editor might be. How do we foster enlightenment if we disrespect and affront those who come here seeking or offering it? Veritycheck (talk) 23:51, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The offense is not done with intent, though. The offense is a byproduct of our desire to create and present a free and open encyclopedia. One ideal is conflicting with the other , that is the problem. The purpose of this RfC is to determine if some openness should be tempered due to the offense the images cause, or if doing do would be too great a price to pay and be detrimental to the project's ideals. Tarc (talk) 23:56, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Don't egg him on Tarc. Who is "our"? Unless you are somehow connected to not-one-month-old editor Brendon? Look at what you are supporting here - ie his hostile rhetoric, not just his '=censorship' position. It reminds me of a conversation I had online when someone suddenly said "we athiests..." when he didn't suspect that I'm an athiest myself. It's so silly to support each other based on something as unrealistic as equating simple consideration (basically, life) with a (supposedly) biased postion that amounts to censorship. As if anyone disagreeing with your viewpoint is 'pro censorship'! It's just so stupid. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:39, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
"Unless you are somehow connected to not-one-month-old editor Brendon?" - what does that supposed to mean? What are you trying to imply, matt? What exactly is your problem with me? Is it that I express my strident views forthrightly? I would like to learn the issue as perceived by you personally. Time and time again you, veritycheck and balloonman digress away from the topic and shift your focus from the topic to my perspective and phraseology. The topic here is not my rhetoric, is it? Why don't you just really try to stay in the topic? I am amenable to any sober discussion, but you, veritycheck and balloonman must start assuming good faith first, it's my request. Stop instigating others against me please. I implore you to just focus on content instead of focusing on editors (like me). This is a step to avoid disputes. I want to avoid disputes with anybody. Brendon is here 02:12, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • @veriticheck,

    Although I think excessive focus on how (i.e. style and niceties of my rhetoric) rather than What (i.e. content) I express is a tad too much, which in my opinion, is also unneeded at this point and exists with a high degree of negative presumptions, I thank you for giving a chance to clarify my stance as well as those seemingly aggressive assertions (which were anyway quoted out of context).

    “Muslim-sympathizers” — What's wrong with that phrase? And didn't I annex a "no offense please" tag behind that also (which you forgot to quote)? I'm assuming that you didn't leave it out intentionally. But still, if it hurt anybody I offer them my most sincere condolences.

    “Islamic mumbo-jumbo” - Yes, this might seem a bit aggressive. But again, You didn't write the whole line and to give others a sense of the context I'm going to quote the line, I wrote, "Frankly speaking, if it were not for Islamic mumbo-jumbo, there wouldn't have been any discussion regarding sober depictions of dead people." So I assume you might understand my disgust behind that line too. And also, the stringent practices of Islam don't make any sense logically, that's what I was indicating by "mumbo-jumbo". But is it a crime to express genuine views frankly? I dare say, no. Moving on!

    “Over-sensitive lunatics” - This phrase in and out of itself refers to only those who are over-sensitive lunatics. If a person is not one of those “over-sensitive lunatics” it should not hurt him. I referred specially to those who are over-sensitive and also lunatic (I didn't say that pointing towards any other group or person). But you again presumed I did.

    “Islamic hyper-sensitivity” - I don't want to sound like a statesman, but every religion has hyper-sensitive people. Islam is no different (has adherents who are more sensitive than what's normally accepted). You must have heard of the Danish cartoon controversy aka Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and that Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered on the streets of Amsterdam just because he made a film which "hurt the sensitivities" of some Muslims. These provide frightened non-Muslims like us with a certain amount of leeway for using phrases like “Islamic hyper-sensitivity”, or even “Over-sensitive lunatics” while pointing towards those who generally fit the description.

    If it were a RfC about censorship of the Image of Jesus, I would have probably used phrases like “Christian hyper-sensitivity” (because the demand itself is extremely detrimental to the reliability of an encyclopaedia) but sadly It's not about Image of Jesus but Muhammad.

    “Its penchant for gratuitous communal violence” - Wow! You almost made it sound as if I was referring to Islam. I wonder why do you forget to mention the whole line. I wrote, "Wikipedia must not mollycoddle pander to the ever-increasing, unreasonable and incessant demands of any religion (no matter how much is its penchant for gratuitous communal violence). Thank you! :)" I wasn't referring to Islam. Hence, what's so important about these phrases that I used in my comments?

    And, Why did you neglect the line where I clearly wrote, "most Muslims are moderate and, with good reason, don't expect everybody else to cater to their views"?

    "Offending those who come to Wikipedia is not the best path" - Is "censoring information just for the sake of not offending people" the best path for an "encyclopaedia"? I stick to my view. I tell you again, in an encyclopaedia, not sensitivity but verifiability, fidelity to the true nature of information while representation and the quality of information are what count.

    If anything, anything at all, clashes with these policies (not to mention, which have been majorly responsible for the free-flow of information without killing the whole enterprise) then I think its better to reject that thing than to reject the policies altogether. Brendon is here 21:01, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

    SMH... Please read my post again... if you made comperable statements about any other group, then there would be hell to pay... but because you are making them of Islam/Muslims, that's ok. But your intollerance is disgusting. You don't even seem to realize how insulting you are. As for Tarc, please review his edits in specific. You and I may disagree about points of this RfC, but Brendon's posts are almost entirely laced with vicitude and are not conductive towards conversations/dialog.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 22:48, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
    I have no comment on Brendon's posts, I tuned him out as a bit of an extremist awhile ago, I was just refuting a specific point made by Veritycheck. And to Matt Lewis I say "our" in the general sense of "the Wikipedia", as this is the general sentiment of the project (anti-censorship). Tarc (talk) 00:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
    You know it's funny, but I made that honest mistake because I genuinely do not see Wikipedia as a collective of people that stands behind NOTCENSORED the way you and many others clearly do. Sure - for some people it is pretty-much the core policy, but for most people it's just more in the labyrinth, and for many of us it's frankly just an unhelpful hindrance to a balanced encyclopedia (and paradoxically actually ends up censoring the encyclopedia from being a truly broad, balanced and human experience). For some it's even slightly creepy that the powers that be seem determined to keep this place so anarchic and inclusive (no fundamental changes to adminship or policy after all these years? I thought Wikipedia was supposed to be progressing?). I personally think that most people come to edit the site to correct mistakes or omissions that they cannot on-balance personally accept being here - for me those people are not 'Wikipedians'. But then we have the argument of what constitutes a 'Wikipedian' I suppose. Matt Lewis (talk) 11:22, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Matt

"truly broad, balanced and human experience" - (Focusing on content) Firstly, Wikipedia is not about Human experience. It's not the mission of Wikipedia to try and make the readers feel good. Secondly, balanced based on what? If you're referring to WP:NPOV then I'm with you. But I should say, WP:NPOV doesn't call for needless censorship or negation of any other policy. Thank you!

And also, this idea of editors trying to speak for "most" of any group is, in itself, a fallacy.

@Balloonman

"but Brendon's posts are almost entirely laced with vicitude and are not conductive towards conversations/dialog." - I'm sorry if any of my comments hurt you, balloonman. You rather rudely personally attacked me with the accusation that I'm an "intolerant" and "elitist" person; yet i'm the one who is judgmental. My question is this, why are you, veritycheck and matt constantly picking on my rhetoric and phraseology as opposed to the proposals?

I implore you to just focus on content instead of focusing on editors (like me). This is a step to avoid disputes. I want to avoid disputes with anybody.

  • And also, why are you assuming the authority to judge what is conducive and what is not? I think you're no more tolerant than me. <-- I take that back.

@Tarc
"bit of an extremist" - I'd like to ask you what exactly do you mean, Tarc? I am looking to change myself. But, for that you have to tell me what is so extreme in my views here. Tell me what to change and why! I am sincerely requesting you to clarify and it will help me become more acceptable. Brendon is here 02:12, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Comment I do think that Brendon111's views are quite reasonable, but I do think that it would be more constructive for Brendon11 to also focus more on the relevant issues than the commentators. I also understand that rhetoric may not be the best way to argue things, even if they do not amount to commenting on commentators―much of the time, it is better to use "boring language" rather than "strong language," but at the same time, use "strong arguments." Perhaps commenting in a more "boring style" sounding as if one is detached from the issue would be a better way to address things. It is quite a paradox that accusing others of personal attacks is also in itself a personal attack (but it is), so sometimes there are things that are better "left silent." It may sometimes be better to let on-lookers decide for themselves; no need to point out the bad behavior of others all the time, and focusing on behavioral issues also invariably distracts the conversation away from the main topic. In other words, some things may be true (like others' behavioral issues), but are better left silent. Even if others have been rude, it is also rude to point that out. This is something I would highly recommend to Brendon111 to take note of if others have been complaining about your comments, even if they are your opponents in certain discussion points.--New questions? 07:40, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Many, Many thanks to you, User:New questions. I now understand my fault. Yes, indeed I was using relatively strong language. I would change my rhetoric. I promise. Thank you again for helping me be a better communicator. Brendon is here 20:19, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
If I may, I would also recommend against usage of bold for the purpose of emphasizing anything, other than for basic stuff like bolding "support," "oppose," "comment," etc. Bold is like all caps; it is almost never needed in discussions. Italics for emphasis is better.--New questions? 20:36, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
This might be too late to address the OP question of: if we had the technology/capabilities to allow Muslim readers to voluntarily opt out of images of the prophet, would that be a working compromise in your opinion.
There exist one effective technology method that would allow Muslim readers to voluntarily opt out of images of the prophet that I doubt anyone on Wikipedia would try to prevent. You could create a Sunni Muslims version of the English Wikipedia. If there is a substantial readership for it, Wikipedia fundation might even sponsor it. You could alternative do a Sunni Muslims gateway/mirror, which filter out the images. All you need for that is a server, domain name, bandwidth and minor amount of code. Again, if there is a substantial readership, then getting donations to run one should not be complicated. Simply put, technology methods to allow Muslim readers to voluntarily opt out of images is fairly easy, and most could be made outside the Wikipedia community if needed. Remember, Wikipedia is free content. Free content can always be copied to an new website where modifications can be made, and this is actively encouraged so long the license is respected. For more information, see Terms of use. *Disclaimer*: Please take the suggestion as it is, and accept that it is in no way trying to suggest that Sunni Muslims is not be welcome here. It is simply a technology method where different cultural or religious values can co-exist. Belorn (talk) 21:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
An example of this can be found at schools-wikipedia.org Belorn (talk) 08:56, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Is there room for another Question on creating a 'Sensitive Religious Imagery' guideline for per-image SHOW/HIDE toggling within MOS/Images?

Does anyone think there is room for another question? I'm thinking of one that suggests a new guideline within MOS/Images. The question could be called something like,


Question 10(?): Should Manual of Style/Images have a 'Sensitive Religious Imagery' guideline that offers advice on per-image SHOW/HIDE toggling?


The suggested addition to MOS/Images could read something like,


Sensitive Religious Imagery
When there is sufficient evidence of significant and widespread offence cause by a specific image, a recommended option is to use the Show Image and Hide Image graphics. There should be an unambiguous description of the image's name or content directly beneath both of them. The initial state should be for the image to be hidden, leaving the onus on those wishing to see the image to reveal it. For instructions go here.."


The Question should then point out that using calligraphy or not at the top of the article is a separate argument, and could also point out that hatnotes can be seen as invasive and overly negative by some people. The per-image solution also keeps the other images on the page of course, preventing real inconvenience to the person who wishes to hide just the one. The principal is that the onus is on those wishing to see the image to click on a graphic to make it appear (or hide again), and the MOS inclusion makes it incident-specific - ie to be decided by those contributing to each specific topic, who ideally would know more about the subject than general Wikipedians.


A graphics hand could make a simple stretchable graphic saying "Show image". When the actual image is displayed, a graphic directly underneath it (and of the same width) could read, "Hide the above image". I'm sure toggling like this is technically possible, even if it takes a programmer to create code for an image box perhaps (I forget all that kind of stuff). I assume it hasn't actually been tried before - I don't know.


(This SHOW/HIDE approach, if it works here, could also be tried in other areas (the grossly explicit sex act articles perhaps?), but not as a matter of course - as the MOS entry part is simply too focused for misuse. A similar principal could work for child protection if a child-protected version of Wikipedia is ever created. There are numerous ways of doing that of course, and certain images that are already unshown could be tagged to always remain unshown if a particular image-type choice was taken as a child-protect preference). Matt Lewis (talk) 23:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Any change to guidelines or policies, has to be done in a different venue than an article specific RfC. Alanscottwalker (talk) 08:49, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
To some degree one depends on the other, so how about posing it here in the capacity of the Request for Comment, and moving on to the other if it seems realistic? Guidelines are at heart of everything surely? I don't mind doing it being done somewhere else - but I think it needs at least some backing here to move ahead given the discussion here. At some point I'm going to run out of time btw, (as usual).
On the other hand, without counting anything, it looks to me that the responses to these questions are pointing to calligraphy and no real consensus beyond that. Does anyone else agree with that? If that is the case, and it's also the case that new participants are drying up, then maybe I have a decent mandate to take the above in the procedurally apposite area? I wouldn't mind some feedback on it here because it seems realistic to me, but clearly I don't know for sure. I'm a bit out of touch with Wikipedia of late, but it seems to me that productive changes are occurring at least on a more regular basis than they used to be - ie Wikipedia is a little more open to the concept of improvement. Even a small change in that makes a big difference to me. Matt Lewis (talk) 10:52, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
You know, Wikipedia could defend itself better against the various tidal waves of spurious arguments that make these things so difficult. It could state that NOTCENSORED is not a bludgeon, and that recognising undisputed injurious offense and looking for approaches to avoid expanding it is actually fully encyclopedic, as it recognises a fact and looks for neutrality. Recognising and legislating for undisputed injury is NOT something out of Wikipedia's remit, and is NOT giving a Point of View by automatically taking a side. No one can properly communicate while habouring the extreme NOTCENSORED attitude, in real life or on Wikipedia - hence all the dogma in place of argument when people constantly recite it. Matt Lewis (talk) 11:47, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree with your reading of consensus. As for the rest, I reiterate the "no forum" instruction at the top of this talk page: it is not the place to discuss changes to policy or guideline. There are two different issues, 1) the proper construction of current guidelines/policy in relation to this RfC, which editors are invited to opine on/discuss on the Project Page (tab at top), and 2) changes to policy/guideline, which they are welcome to discuss in the proper forum but not here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:24, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I take it you are telling me to discuss this on the project page not the talk page? I'm initially asking whether a new question is allowed/worthwhile (it can easily be posed a little differently if needed) - surely this talk page is the fist place to ask that?
I would ask what your own take on the consensus was, but clearly you won't answer it here(!) Surely you have noticed that the project page is now really long (the unfortunate side-effect from so many questions), and most of the remaining comments are from a single chap called Brendon. You can't always cross at the lights you know.
Does anyone actually object if I make a new Question on creating over-image toggle graphics and adding a "Sensitive Religious imagery" paragraph to the MOS:Image guideline? They both come together. I've only been contributing to this for a few days so obviously need some advice on whether it is worthwhile or not. This RfC is still actually in the watchlist remember (unless it's been hidden of course). I'll make sure it doesn't break any rules, ie I'll make sure it points towards there being a new discussion in the proper forum (ie that it is not passable here - just something being posed). Matt Lewis (talk) 15:53, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
"most of the remaining comments are from a single chap called Brendon." Matt, seriously what is your problem with me? Why can't you leave my name out of arbitrary discussions? I want to avoid dispute and the first step would be to focus on content instead of editors (as far as possible). Don't get personal here, please.
@Alan,

"it is not the place to discuss changes to policy or guideline" - I wholly agree. Brendon is here 03:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Changes to Policy and WS is best discussed first at the Village pump. The use of SHOW/HIDE toggling can of course be discussed at the Muhammad talk page, but I don't see it being approved without lengthy discussion. Belorn (talk) 20:18, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Page too long

At 830,609 bytes, it is starting to slow my browser when I open the page. It may just have something to do with the fact that I have many tabs open, but I do not think I am alone in this. How does one usually deal with this?--New questions? 06:42, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

True. It is perhaps one of the longest pages in Wikipedia. --SupernovaExplosion Talk 10:36, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:Database reports/Long pages, this only ranks 455th. Tarc (talk) 15:31, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
That means that there are 454 pages that are more problematic than this one.--New questions? 19:37, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
OMG! Especially List of American Civil War Generals (Confederate) needs immediate split. --SupernovaExplosion Talk 23:12, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Somebody is already fiddling with the images and content of the article Muhammad

Click here. I don't know if the editor who is performing the changes is for or against WP:CENSOR, but I think I've seen this user (User:Amandajm) in this very RfC.

I think, this user has already heavily rearranged the images and the contents of the article. This RfC has not concluded yet and where what image would be placed is still under consideration. So, is he/she allowed to do that?

Does this RfC even matter? Or is this just a farce? (Just asking out of curiosity) Brendon is here 20:59, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

The article is not under any injunction, so I don't think it is disallowed to make changes while an RfC is going on, although I am not familiar myself with the process, so I might be incorrect here. Whether this RfC matters or not is something that should be judged after it is concluded―too early to judge now, I say.--New questions? 21:09, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
This is just a Request for comment - as far as I know they don't ever have to officially end (but I could be wrong on that). It was pre thought-out though, so it's worth being polite about it. RFC's on their own are never directly linked to an article's edit status. This is not an arbcom matter as far as I know, it seems to be just trying to find out how people feel by posing various questions and inviting discussion. Sorry to disappoint you Brendon, but this could only really matter when people who have new things to say enter the debate.
Unless anyone knows anything else? There were a lot of questions I suppose. Matt Lewis (talk) 22:03, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The changes to the images are just minor ones of placement. The Rfc is likely to end on the 19th, after 4 weeks, or is it a month. Johnbod (talk) 19:45, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Please refrain from deleting comments made by others at RfC

moved here from [3] Please do not "comment out" the email information that Jayen posted at the RfC. He says she's aware of it. That's plenty enough. If you think she doesn't want it posted then email her yourself to ask. Do not presume what you do not know, especially when the presumption includes a lot of bad faith on Jayen's part if it is correct. Anyway until you know he's done something wrong it's against policy for you to mess with his comments. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 01:13, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

No, it is not enough. It is not my obligation at all to email or ask anyone. It is the obligation of those who publish confidential mails to prove that they have a permission. I don't presume anything I don't know. I don't presume any bad faith on Jayen's part. I know that he has posted an confidential e-mail without proving that he has a permission to do so. I don't think he has bad intentions, but am afraid it could be harmfull for Gruber, --Rosenkohl (talk) 09:59, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
No proof is required except his word, which he already gave. Once he's given his word it is absolutely your obligation to prove otherwise. That you don't think his word is enough implies, whether you intend it or not, that he's not being honest. As I stated already, you may contact Gruber if you think this is harmful to her or if you think she does not want this. Otherwise stop messing with a good faith editors comments when they have already stated that the other party is fine with it.Griswaldo (talk) 13:22, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't think that he is dishonest. But for publishing from confidential mails, a third party giving "their word" is never enough. Who, by the way, here is even an anonymous Wikipedia account.
The protection of privacy and data security must be fundamental for Wikipedia. Furthermore, here even the reputation of a real person and scientist could be on stake. Jayen gave his word that he notified Gruber of the posting. Even if Wikipedia believes that he notified her, and personally I don't have any doubt that he actually did, Wikipedia doesn't know if Gruber has read this notification yet, or if she found time to care for it, or if she is actually aware what it means that her E-mail is published on this content page. Wikipedia could know this only, if she herself would declare, that she agrees into the publication of the E-Mail, on any channel like editing under an account attributed to Gruber, or per OTRS-ticket, etc., --Rosenkohl (talk) 22:59, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Jayen has said that not only is she aware of the posting, but that she wishes to contribute to the conversation in this fashion. Once again I will repeat myself. If you are concerned about her or think that she may not be giving her permission you can email her directly. The fact is that by your own logic above you can't even know if she wrote the email, or that she even exists. So you either trust Jayen or you find out for yourself. I wont repeat myself again. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 03:06, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, you can't contribute content by third party user accounts, only by posting the content yourself. No, it is the other way around. If you think that she wants to give a permission, you can email her, and then try to get an OTRS-ticket for the e-mail. The e-mail has been published under Gruber's real name, and in fact there is no serious doubt that Gruber wrote it, --Rosenkohl (talk) 18:57, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not third party content. It's information given to Jayen in a direct communication to him with permission also given to him in direct communication. Where on Wikipedia does it say that he needs her to file with OTRS in order to repeat what she told him? If you think this is a Wiki policy then link to it.Griswaldo (talk) 19:16, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
(after e/c) "No serious doubt"? So you think Jayen is honest about the author and content of the email(s), but lying about the permission? That seems a rather bizarre position to take. Franamax (talk) 19:18, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Just want to point out that Gruber was fundamental to the drafting of this RfC, and has been informative to both sides of this dispute. Xavexgoem (talk) 19:41, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

What is a shame is that they were not all published, in the same place as requested (people who are really interested can find what was published elsewhere on the wiki). But, oh well, and what Gruber meant or said, or assumed, at least, thankfully, did not become a matter of extended debate. I thank her very much for her input, even if some of what she was asked (and replied) had varying levels of applicability. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:08, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Global perspectives on this issue

We’re all products of our backgrounds to some extent I expect. I was curious about what parts of the world some of the more outspoken editors on this talk page come from. It seems that English is not the first language of everyone here. Do you think it colours our opinions? I’m a Canadian living in Italy. Feel free to weigh in or not; I respect the right to anonymity. Veritycheck (talk) 20:20, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

What's your intent behind bringing this nonsensical drivel into the current discussion? You claim to be a Canadian who is living in Italy.

So?
What does that have to do with this discussion? Could you please shift your curiosity from editors' background to any pertinent topic which could be discussed in this talk-page? Brendon is here 00:26, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Brendon, could you please be civil? Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 03:09, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Veritycheck has already proved his knack of getting under my skin with his irrelevant chicaneries which are anything but logical. See how he is trying to bring in discrimination based on "background" (what he referred to is nationality) in the garb of "curiosity". But why? What is he trying to prove? Because he is from Canada, he is more credible? What, a guy from France or Australia or China or Russia or whatnot, can't be trusted? (I don't know if I'm being unduly uncivil)

Nevertheless, I will really try my best to not be uncivil. You should also take into consider the fact that I am just a human, okay. Cheers! Brendon is here 05:01, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I think this idea would make for an interesting research project to summarize the diversity of in the editor community in a RFC like this. Of course it should be done anonymous, and after the RFC is finished so to not effect the RFC itself, else it would cause a distraction to the discussion. Belorn (talk) 22:05, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Am I the only one

To the closing admins

I hope you three take the time to really unpack the discussion in the RfC because there are some nuanced proposals within it yet unfortunately many of the arguments present the issue as if it were entirely black and white. Most of the arguments for figurative depictions, for instance, don't go any further than the notion that Wikipedia is not censored and then therefore we should not be removing images simply because they might offend. Consider that in other entries were we determine that offensive images may be displayed we do not open the floodgates to large photo galleries of such images, or an image in every section of the entry. In other words it does not follow from that principle of NOTCENSORED that as many figurative depictions of Muhammad as possible should be in the entry, or that figurative depictions should be in every subsection of the entry, or necessarily in the lead, etc. My point is that there are other concerns to consider like the one that few seem to have tackled at the RfC - what is the most accurate and informative way to depict Muhammad in the entry? Other policies are clearly linked to this question, like WP:UNDUE, because one would want to know how academic and religious portrayals of Muhammad generally handle the issue. Anyway I hope you really take your time with this.Griswaldo (talk) 03:15, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

The reading alone will take quite a bit of time! Seriously though, don't worry - we definitely plan to take our time and make sure we really do this right. To everyone who participated, thank you for participating and raising your voices, and thank you in advance for your patience with the closing. Keilana|Parlez ici 04:55, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Take as long as you like. Think about it, talk to your friends about it. Don't be afraid to come back to the community with another RfC question or two if need be. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:56, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Just close it up as "Tarc was right" and we'll be all good. :) Tarc (talk) 12:36, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that would clarify much; has Tarc ever been wrong? ;) Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:56, 20 April 2012 (UTC)


  • "one would want to know how academic and religious portrayals of Muhammad generally handle the issue." - Although I'm feeling a bit frightened (i.e. evidently, people have singled me out) I could not help opining on this one. I mean no offense to anyone though. Now back to the point, it was an interesting comment. But,
  1. I think one line would be sufficient to clearly deliver the message ("In Islam Muslims usually don't depict Muhammad" or "Depiction of Muhammad can be controversial in Islamic culture although there are conflicting views"). The point is we don't have behave like NAZIS in order to write an article about the Holocaust.
  2. Regarding what everybody would or would not want to see, I'd say, it's at best uncertain. And also there will be people who would want to know how some parts of the Islamic culture (who did not see depictions of muhammad as an unpardonable offense) or even non-Muslims treat depictions of Muhammad. Hence, that information would also be as relevant.
  3. Wikipedia editors may choose not to endorse Islamic injunctions. Wikipedia articles may offend. If Wikipedia editors had to tip-toe around religious or potentially offensive content, there wouldn't have been a Wikipedia.
  4. The claim that "depiction of muhammad is against Islam" is not even fully substantiated by Islamic Law or Qur'an. (Click here)
  5. Manifestation of aniconism on Muhammad page would itself be a reflection of POV and will perhaps be seen as censorship based on religious expectations.

    I say this because there are literally thousands of depictions of Muhammad floating on the internet. Now, a strong case can be made that they are not accurate depictions but it's also undeniable that they are representations of none other than Muhammad. Moreover, these images vividly tell us how past cultures viewed Muhammad (when aniconism wasn't so prevalent) and illustrate important events pertaining to Muhammad. Those medieval muslims who drew images of Muhammad found them educational. Hence, these images are not exactly negligible they do have a roll in perpetuating the name of Muhammad throughout history.

  • Question like "what is the most accurate and informative way to depict Muhammad" is pretty much similar to "what is the most accurate and informative way to depict Jesus?" They don't have definite answers. But, the answer is absolutely not calligraphy.
  1. It's not informative (what does it inform the non-Arab reader anyway? How the word Muhammad is written in "Arabic". How is that information relevant in the infobox of this English Wikipedia?).
  2. It's certainly not "the most accurate" depiction of Muhammad unless he looked just like Arabic writing.
So, I guess, we will have to make do with whatever amount of accuracy we have (like images illustrating events or cultural depictions of Muhammad). That's the status quo and no exception is needed or justified.
I sincerely hope this helps. Brendon is here 23:04, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

You’ve got quite a job in front of you to get to the heart of the matter wading through all the straw-man arguments thrown up here. Thankfully, you don’t need to decide on whether Muslims do find or have the right to find these images offensive as that is outside of the scope of this arbitration. You have enough on your hands just determining the consensus on whether such images are useful and expected in an article of this unique nature notwithstanding the effect they have on those who visit it. All the power to you for resolving this arduous task! Veritycheck (talk) 10:30, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

"an article of this unique nature" - this seems to me that User:Veritycheck is pointing towards discrimination based on religious affiliation (I don't know). I couldn't disagree more. Just for the record, I believe an article about Mr. Muhammad is no more unique than an article about Mr. Jesus or Mr. Buddha. But I agree with User:Veritycheck that the 3 admins do have quite an arduous task to get to the heart of the matter wading through all the straw-man arguments thrown up here. Brendon is here 13:39, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

A few bullet points from the discussion area

This may not represent consensus as such, or the various comments from the questions themselves (which must be trawled-though obviously), but I don't want these below to be lost from within the 'discussions'.

  • People have questioned how NOTCENSORED has been interpreted in relation to this matter, and whether it is even valid at all in some instances (like hiding a specific image until clicked-on). It has also been questioned whether NOTCENSORED as a suitable policy for Wikipedia in general.
  • It has been argued that the English language Wikipedia is for everyone who speaks English, and not any particular 'culture'.
  • It has been argued that it could be construed as 'censorship' to repel people who would otherwise have the most natural interest in the article, from the article. In other words, 'forbidding' them to look.
  • It's been established that according to WP:GFFENSE, reader's sensitivities are indeed a factor with Wikipedia.
  • It's been argued that using calligraphy at the top of the page best represents the subject (and is thus most encyclopedic), in that it takes into account its forbidden nature. This can be argued for the image toggle options too.
  • It has been suggested that it is wrong to force people into seeing what nobody argues is, to a significant amount of people, a 'forbidden image'.
  • The idea has been raised that it could also appear rude and intrusive to force people into click somewhere to avoid seeing a forbidden image, in an article which deals with that image and why it is sensitive.
  • The idea has been raised that it should be incumbent upon the person who wants to see the image to click to see it, and that this would be the least offensive option, if it is possible. It is argued that this does not represent censorship, or any real hassle either.
  • It has been argued that having just the option to remove every page image can be seen as insulting, and is hardly beneficial to the reader.
  • It has been argued that Wikipedia has an obligation to take the best approach for all, and is exhibiting a POV (or bias) in deliberately not doing so. According to WP:GFFENSE, NOTCENSORED should not be used to "prove a point".
  • The idea has been raised that each image type (eg forbidden religious images) could have their own guideline if needed, eg a section within. They would be guidelines that are also subject to article consensus, but their presence as a literal 'guideline' is the key.
  • The idea has been raised that 'consensus' is theoretically best found amongst those who understand and contribute to the article.

I might have missed a few - these have strongly stuck in my mind, and a few were raised by me (and possibly others elsewhere). There will be many other points across the RfA of course, and the named RfC-closers will be looking through for them.

No matter how broad Wikipedia is, a couple of people can always end up dominating these things (I saw this at CDA - it actually made me change my stance on it ironically), and people can see this I think. We have no idea how many readers agree with what. An issue has been recognised here, and the breadth of the arguments is surely more important that the repetition of any single one. Also, this could be just a step - I'll read what people conclude and decide whether to progress with my per-image toggle/guideline suggestion.

Matt Lewis (talk) 15:15, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it's appropriate to copy comments from the main page here wholesale; albeit I do believe that the points you bulleted are important ones. By doing so, you are opening the floodgates for all those editors who feel passionate about this RfC to come here and repeat their arguments. Let's have faith in Black Kite, Someguy1221, and Keilana's ability to sort through the RfC themselves. Veritycheck (talk) 15:50, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I really don't like when people start saying things like, "couple of people can always end up dominating these things". Anyways, I am sure administrators are capable enough to form their opinions solely based on the RfC votes.
  • The word "forbidden" is quite heavily and emphatically being used here. Firstly, the rules of Islam doesn't apply to wikipedia. And secondly, there is a heavy debate going on regarding this issue even in the Islamic community. Why is this matter getting repeatedly overlooked? Many muslims claim that depictions of image is not forbidden by Qur'an. (Click here)
  • "People have questioned how NOTCENSORED has been interpreted in relation to this matter" - there is an implicit presupposition that people are constantly making ad nauseam which is "this matter" must be treated differently and with extra care. Thus contravening the idea of "equal treatment regardless of class, creed or color".
  • For the record, WP:GFFENSE doesn't call for censorship based solely on sensitivities of a particular group or person. It clearly says, "Wikipedia articles may contain offensive words and images". All our editors have to make sure that the content is treated in an encyclopaedic format.
  • NOTCENSORED should not be used to "prove a point". - Who has disagreed with that here??

    Lastly I would just like to clarify that, constant reminders and explicit attempts to sway the final opinions of those 3 administrators does not exactly reek of good faith. like User:Veritycheck nicely said, "Let's have faith in Black Kite, Someguy1221, and Keilana's ability to sort through the RfC themselves." Thank you Brendon is here 17:35, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes ok, I'm happy for them to do it. I just didn't want a couple of those points lost, and didn't get round to making that type of post before it was rolled up - ie I intended to bullet-highlight a couple of the points I was worried might get lost. You did create the 'To the closing admins' section Brendon! ie do something similar yourself, and of course I just made this a subsection. It probably won't be such a deal if there's another one again, but I didn't envisage any. I doubt there will be a flood from the 'censorship' side, as point-after-point there's little more to say. Matt Lewis (talk) 17:46, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

While I gladly appreciate everybody commenting here is no less passionate than the other, I would like to correct a few things about me presumably.
User:Matt Lewis wrote to me (has my name in it), "You did create the 'To the closing admins' section Brendon"
Correction - No. I did not create the 'To the closing admins' section. Isn't that clear already? I was merely replying there. And in fact, I don't hold a rosy view about those who try to influence any of the 3 chosen arbiters (in this case Black Kite, Someguy1221, and Keilana). As far as I understand, RfC is sort of a referendum. People have made their choice and admins have been chosen. Hence, our job as editors has concluded.

So, what are we still discussing here and why? Brendon is here 19:56, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Gosh, Griswaldo did start the section. All I can see sometimes is your green and red signature! Consequently I couldn't face reading it through properly. Either way, you've had you say again and again and again, including in list-form under Griswaldo's comment, which makes you a complete hypocrite criticising me or anyone else. The only reason no one has taken action with you imo, is because the whole topic is potentially thorny, and it could rub off on other people who've had more to say in a lot less space. If this was a less controversial topic (say on a core science subject perhaps) you'd be told in the no uncertains by now. This is an important topic for sure, but even then RfC's aren't as rigid as you suggest. As this one was planned I would guesss it has pre-planned factors surrounding it. I haven't had time to read the back history, but no doubt you feature highly in some shape or form. Matt Lewis (talk) 20:41, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
"All I can see sometimes is your green and red signature! Consequently I couldn't face reading it through properly." - So are you insinuating that this is all my fault now that you cannot read anything more than my green and red signature? Wow! Anyways, I may change my signature in near future!

"The only reason no one has taken action with you imo, is because the whole topic is potentially thorny" — No threats please. Threatening people with punitive action (e.g. having them banned) for disagreeing with you, is not something I appreciate very much. You're entitled to your view as long as you don't force others to submit to your view. Don't speak for "others", please. This is an important topic for sure but the question is "how much?". I don't think it's more imoprtant than pertinent Wikipedia policies or pillars. thank you!  Brendon ishere 08:51, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

I think its time for everyone to return to theirs watchlist and let the 3 admins do the report without further distractions from this talk page. If I was a admin, I would even close this thread and any others that tries to reiterate the arguments made inside the RFC. Lets all try to forget who started what, who replied, who continued, and so on. I for one want to get those changes I have planed to do to articles like open source and free software, and posting here is stealing time away from that. GL Admins, and remember, find enjoyment in everything you do :). Belorn (talk) 22:17, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

"Merely decorative" Argument

We all agree (I think) that it's better to choose those images who add significantly to "readers' understanding of the topic" of the page. But, a fallacious interpretation of this idea is that images must not merely be "decorative".

In fact, the sheer imprecision of this word gets in the way of making a persuasive argument in favor of deletion of content. How?

  1. There is no mathematical formula for drawing the line between being merely decorative, and being something that adds significantly to understanding.
  2. This distinction is a subjective one that can only be made through editorial discussion.


So I guess, Instead of stating baldly that the image is "merely decorative", one must explain how it fails to help our readers understand the subject of the page better.

Furthermore, offensiveness is not a mentionable criterion for censorship or deletion of relevant content as per WP:UNCENSORED. FYI, many here (myself included) argue that Images of Muhammad are quite educational and informative as opposed to being "merely decorative".
[Note:Not trying to influence anyone. Just opining. Thought it might be relevant to this discussion.] Brendon is here 20:46, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit Warring

I'm posting this on my talk page, on AN, and on the RfC talk page. I'm going to disregard any comments made after Xavexgoem closed. I'm also going to disregard any comments - especially inflammatory comments - made on the talk page after the RfC's conclusion. I don't know what Black Kite and Someguy are doing, and will of course take those comments into consideration should the three of us decide that it's necessary to determine the consensus. I would also like to point out to everyone involved that edit-warring over comments on the RfC is kind of annoying, and request that they stop. Thanks again to all who participated. Keilana|Parlez ici 04:07, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
"I'm also going to disregard any comments - especially inflammatory comments - made on the talk page after the RfC's conclusion." —— I don't mean to take much of your time but I could not but wonder what do you mean by "inflammatory comments" here? I expect you would understand "inflammatory" is, by and large, a subjective word. I also hope you'll understand the basis for my trepidation here. Anyways, the ultimate analysis will be 3 of you admins'. I'm sure you'll do your job reasonably well. So, good luck.  Brendon is here 17:26, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually Wiki-Taka's argument in particular conveyed my post-closure oppose vote well, but if it comes to the lead image selection, I would opt for something like this or this. Brandmeistertalk 19:04, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Nice. The first is more viewable, especially if small, but the subject matter of both is spot on. Neotarf (talk) 18:16, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Firstly, though I don't know if this really will help this Rfc, administrators courageously seem to prevent any attempts to take me the last words away in sections a) unveiled and c) calligraphy of question 2. Secondly, perhaps one should keep in mind that a scene from events like the first revelation by Gabriel, Isra and Mi'raj etc. probably did not really happen during Muhammad's life, outside his own mind. This is why I think that depcitions from real, or realistic scenes like The Farewell Sermon could be more appropriate in the lead section of the article, --Rosenkohl (talk) 20:48, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes, good point, these "farewell sermon" images are more NPOV, especially for a lead image (if that's what you call it). But while the overall tone of the article should be historical, at some point you're going to have to depict something about beliefs, just as you're going to have to depict something of the negative interaction with the West. Neotarf (talk) 11:15, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
While I agree with most of the things you said in the past, I think you may want to read this, this and this again. They might collectively help you understand the relevance and importance of "accuracy of depictions" more from a whole new angle. Or, you could read my replies just above this section. This is not about "how much accurate depictions are those" but "who were trying to depict whom" (this line may seem incoherent). Just read my responses above. You may get the idea.  Brendon ishere 07:35, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps I lack the ability to get an idea from reading lengthy discussions between Wikipedia accounts. However, in this case I fail to see the actual difference between "how much accurate depictions are those" and "who were trying to depict whom". Clearly, the two pictures linked above and proposed for the lead by Brandmeister at 19:04, 22 April 2012 (UTC) show two versions of the same scene of Muhammad's first encounter with Gabriel. Clearly, those depicitions are either fictional narrative, or inspired by an religious believe on side of the artists, and insofar they are historically inaccurate, even if the artists took care to draw Muhammads outer appearance accurately and according to the knowledge of their time. E.g., you wouldn't start the lead of an article Charlie Chaplin with a fictional narrative picture like File:Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times (mechanics scene).jpg either. On the other hand, scenes like the farewell sermon etc. are more realistic, because of the absence of legendary beings, --Rosenkohl (talk) 21:22, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
"Perhaps I lack the ability to get an idea from reading lengthy discussions between Wikipedia accounts." — Sorry? I don't know if that is mere sarcasm devoid of sincerity (pardon me, if it is not). Nevertheless, I agree with most of whatever else you wrote, Rosenkohl. And I see your point. It's valid, I admit. I want to make it clear that I am not against scenes like the farewell sermon. And, it maybe so that these scenes provide more accurate description of Muhammad's exterior (including Muhammad's face) [Anyway, could you cite one sample? That way, I can be more sure of what you're referring to]. For the umpteenth time, I hope you're not advocating for an image of a flower (simply named "Muhammad" or symbolizing "Muhammad" as opposed to actually depicting him in any way) or calligraphy (it has no real information about Muhammad which is relevant in English language).

However, I would like to clarify something,
"you wouldn't start the lead of an article Charlie Chaplin with a fictional narrative picture like File:Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times (mechanics scene).jpg"
— I would,

  • if there were no "historically accurate image" of Charlie Chaplin ever made on the face of the earth and
  • if these "fictional narrative pictures" had been drawn by staunch supporters of Charlie Chaplin.
If that's the case, we will have to make do with whatever amount of accuracy we have (like images illustrating significant events or cultural depictions of Muhammad). That's the status quo and clearly no exception is needed or justified.
I hope this helps.  Brendon ishere 11:03, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Why call it "calligraphy"?

The issued text of this request for comment constantly speaks of "calligraphy". E.g., the section "Background on images of Muhammad" claims that "the infobox uses a calligraphic treatment of his name", etc. What I don't understand is: how did this term actually find its way into this Rfc? And how do we actually know when a script is "calligraphic" and when it is not?

The image which is recently used in the infobox of the article Muhammad had been added to another part of the article on 22:12, 5 November 2011‎, with the caption: "Common calligraphic representation of Muhammad's name". According to article Calligraphy, the expression comes from Greek κάλλος kallos "beauty" + γραφή graphẽ "writing", and it means a type of visual art. Now it may be understandable, or a strategy, when you call something "beautifull" that you personally like, or want to have in an article. But a different question is if there is an actual source for callling a certain script a "beauty writing", --Rosenkohl (talk) 23:07, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

  • What I'm curious about is what you will suggest, if not "calligraphy". So, what do you suggest we call them? Would "Arabic hand-writings" suffice?  Brendon ishere 01:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I hardly think that's necessary, accurate, or encyclopedic, any more than changing "portrait" to "paint-based depiction". Unless you were being sarcastic, in which case, don't be sarcastic: it's hard to tell! Peter Deer (talk) 02:14, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I concur with you. I was really interested in knowing what rosenkohl might want to call them alternatively (not being facetious/sarcastic). Anyway, I agree this is unnecessary (since renaming anything don't relegate or lessen its inherent bogusness, pointlessness and SHEER impertinence). Kudos for your proficient use of "Poe's law".  Brendon ishere 03:01, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Wait, I'm lost...are you referring to the "bogusness" of using a calligraphic representation? Because, frankly, neither of them are an accurate representation of what Muhammad would have looked like, and the calligraphic representation is without a doubt the most widespread and well-known, much as (rather the inverse example) a symbolic representation of a muscular, elderly man is the dominant image of God rather than a burning bush, or a winged person for angels rather than fiery wheels covered in eyes or chimaera-like creatures as described in source material. I'm not saying (in accordance with policy) that no depictions of Muhammad should be included, just that the calligraphic rendering is probably the most significant and well-known. Peter Deer (talk) 03:38, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
"Wait, I'm lost...are you referring to the "bogusness" of using a calligraphic representation?" — Yes. What else could it be? To repeat myself again, calligraphy does not contain any information (let alone the outer appearance) about Muhammad and has no real significance in English Wikipedia anyway. Still, I am not totally against the use of one calligraphy with proper caption (e.g. calligraphic representation is a typical way of depicting Muhammad in Islamic world). This is precisely because of the idea you have posited above.

What I'm against is excessive dilation of or emphasis on the "informativeness" of calligraphic representation of Muhammad since, in reality, they provide us with no information about "Muhammad" but "Islamic cultural norm". My point is, if we are going to take into account Islamic culture (which we must), why not go for something which is more vivid and descriptive in nature (like the authentic images cited by Brandmeister or the images provided in depictions of Muhammad article)?

When we don't have 100% accurate information about something (which is generically the case with articles hosted by English Wikipedia), even then we don't go for the content which is

A. Impertinent,
B. Incomprehensible to English readers.
C. Does not describe the subject at all (infinitely inaccurate).
D. Reflects the point of view of a specific group of people only.
That's how we improve Wikipedia by making do with whatever amount of accuracy we have. I hope this helps.  Brendon ishere 04:33, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Um...I think you're confusing the importance of the article being English language with some sort of emphasis on its significance to English-speaking viewers. Wikipedia is done in a neutral tone, its English-language guidelines don't mean that the content itself should be conformed to English-speaking-cultural preference, and the wide-spread use of that calligraphic rendering is, in and of itself, a point of encyclopedic interest. It's one thing to say there should be depictions of Muhammad, but another thing to belittle the association. The depictions are cultural in nature as well.
Also that's not what impertinent means. Impertinent is more like "rude" or "uncouth", not "conveys information inaccurately" (which it wouldn't anyway?) it's not as though the calligraphy says "this is what Muhammad looked like" under it or something absurd like that, exactly what incorrect information do you propose it would convey? Peter Deer (talk) 04:54, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
"I think you're confusing the importance of the article being English language with some sort of emphasis on its significance to English-speaking viewers"
— Nope. I think you're confusing my point. Read it again. I've tried to be pretty clear there. No matter what you write about, it is prerequisite that the articles are written in English on English Wikipedia (calligraphic representations of Muhammad are not in English and they have no real meaning in English Wikipedia apart from the fact that they are widely used). A calligraphy-based content may not be comprehensible to the community at large. (I'm not talk talking about culture but language, don't obfuscate this)

"the wide-spread use of that calligraphic rendering is, in and of itself, a point of encyclopedic interest." — That's why I am okay with one calligraphic representation. Didn't I tell you that already?

"Also that's not what impertinent means. Impertinent is more like "rude" or "uncouth", not "conveys information inaccurately" — I didn't use it to mean "rude" or anything like that. Refer to oxford dictionary if you have one with you. I used it in the formal sense.  Brendon ishere 13:57, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

No matter what you write about, it is prerequisite that the articles are written in English on English Wikipedia
Braille has several depictions in Braille, not English; Ulan Bator opens with Mongolian script before an image of the city. If it's relevant and informative to the subject, which Islamic calligraphy is to a subject which is very frequently depicted in such a manner, then we use it. GRAPPLE X 14:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
"Braille has several depictions in Braille, not English; Ulan Bator opens with Mongolian script before an image of the city."
  1. That, I think, is a Non sequitur logical fallacy.
  2. I don't know much about any of that, but I think Braille does not have any depiction which fails to be relevant or adequately accurate or comprehensible to english language readers, or fails to reflect a neutral POV. Hence, I'm implying that it's a weak analogy also.
  3. I think you already know that two wrongs don't make it right. Exceptions are not rules.
With all that said, have I not clarified that I'm okay with one calligraphy (even that, according to some, is redundant) in the article just for the sake of conveying its popularity to any reader.  Brendon ishere 14:43, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
"(even that, according to some[who?], is redundant)" sorry fella, couldn't resist.
But you should know quite well that the English guidelines do not mean images and symbols must be in English. Examples would include Flag of Iran, Rosetta Stone, Heraldry of the Holy Roman Empire, Veni, Vidi, Vici, The Odyssey, the Torah, and Hinduism (which has 'Om' in Devanāgari primarily despite no objection whatsoever to displaying numerous images of person and deity alike). I see no basis whatsoever for the notion that the "English significance" holds any weight over the actual significance, where the calligraphic depiction holds much more than painted depictions which are unfamiliar in both West and East. That English speakers don't read it is why it has a caption, so there's no realistic barrier this presents to anyone. Peter Deer (talk) 19:00, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
"who?" — I, too, am opposed to using vague weasel words. But I am not writing an article here and thus I thought, it may be the right thing to leave anybody's name out, because anyone I drag into this may be upset. But if you even semi-meticulously go through this and this segment of RfC <—and I urge you to Click on them, you may find some who really have opposed the calligraphy. Some user even said that there is "no evidence" for the claim "that "calligraphic representations" of Muhammad (assuming that concept makes sense in the first place) are more common than pictures of him."
"sorry fella, couldn't resist." — Oh no. Don't be sorry, please. It's nothing personal. We may have difference of opinion, but that dissonance shouldn't paint a divider between us. I believe in talking things out politely and amicably.

"But you should know quite well that the English guidelines do not mean images and symbols must be in English." — I know, that the act of attributing language to "Images" or "Symbol" is quite patently absurd. But an Islamic calligraphy is almost always specifically written in Arabic language (can be understood by Arabic-speaking readers only), is it not?

Moreover, it hasn't got any pictorial content. It's neither a symbol nor is it treated as a central core of Islamic theology. So, I think comparing the name of "Muhammad" written in a non-english language (which ends up looking like random curves on a white background), to an Image would be a blatant fallacy.

  • Non-english Calligraphic contents (unauthentic, customized arabic hand-writing created with Inkscape) are forcefully and gratuitously inserted into Muhammad article and they have no relevance or requirement in English Wikipedia.
  • I, as a reader, think all the calligraphic representations used in Muhammad article are absolutely redundant.
  • Don't add to the understanding of English-speaking readers whom this Wikipedia is dedicated to. These customized
"I see no basis whatsoever for the notion that the "English significance" holds any weight over the actual significance" — I think you may have misconstrued my point there. I referred to English as in English Language. I also hope (that's all I can do right now) you won't deny that comprehensibility and relevance are two inextricable criteria in Wikipedia. English Wikipedia specifies a way to achieve just that by identifying "language English" as its medium. I'm not against the use of one calligraphy, I already told you.  Brendon ishere 04:54, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that it's taking it a little bit to an extreme to debate whether it can be called an image because there's writing in it. Yes, it's Arabic writing, in an extremely commonly used calligraphic form the kind which, within Islam, is most typically used to represent Muhammad where such a representation is needed: as such, in the Muslim world where Muhammad is referenced constantly it is well-known and widespread, whereas images are not for reasons of Islamic doctrine, and are not well-known and widespread outside the Muslim world because it has little reason to be referenced as such. More westerners have probably seen the inflammatory Dutch cartoons than those few medieval renderings. And yes while you may see it as "just writing" that is because our perception in the west of calligraphy is much different.
Look, I know you don't get how it is fit to be a primary representation, but understand that in the world that rendering is the de facto representation, and the others are, frankly, archaic by comparison, and really the only reason why there is any significant debate on this matter at all is because of the conflict between Islamic doctrine regarding depictions of Muhammad and Wikipedian policy of noncensorship. Otherwise, this would be a non-issue, as it has been in many other instances such as the ones I cited. Peter Deer (talk) 05:39, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
You wrote, that calligraphic representation "is most typically used to represent Muhammad where such a representation is needed" but "within Islam".
  • Wikipedia is not within Islam. That's why Wikipedia has its own 5 pillars not the Islamic ones.
  • Wikipedia is not dedicated to please anybody. That's why it hosts offensive articles too.
  • Wikipedia serves a broader range of audience than just the Muslim world.
  • Wikipedia is not a place to vie for language dominance.
"I think that it's taking it a little bit to an extreme to debate" — All that which could have been said, have been said. I don't have anything new to say regarding this issue. Like I said, dissonance should not act as a barrier to friendliness.

"yes while you may see it as "just writing" that is because our perception in the west of calligraphy is much different." — Or is it because that the way of seeing it as "just writing" is wee bit more coherent maybe? I try to eschew stereotyping words (e.g. "the west" or "the middle east" but I concede it's sometimes necessary and not a bad thing).

Update: Pal, I think you should check this out minutely. Brendon ishere 06:05, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Please don't misinterpret me: I never said in any way shape or form that it was giving undue weight to please a particular group (quite the contrary, I'm saying the opposite about its "English" significance) I was saying that it's a more notable representation because of its more prolific usage. You will note, if you please, that I mentioned both the representation within and without the Islamic community for this reason, and elaborated as to why.
If I felt this provided any barrier to comprehension of the subject matter, if I felt that its inclusion was at the expense of censoring the other depictions, if I felt that it in any way violated image policy, I might be inclined to concede that point...but I'm not seeing any reason of an encyclopedic or even a policy-related nature. It seems like the main objection is that it's "not comprehensive" (which doesn't matter, it's an image that would have a caption anyway, so there isn't any real practical barrier to comprehension) and that its notability and recognizable nature are a negative or non-point because its recognizability is in the Muslim community as opposed to the English-speaking community...one is "comprehensive", the other is "bias" or "undue weight"...I don't think it's a particularly fair assessment. Peter Deer (talk) 06:59, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
"Please don't misinterpret me" — Whenever I attributed any idea or claim to you, I quoted you directly. So, pardon me if I think that you're attacking straw man.

“It seems like the main objection is that it's "not comprehensive"..” — "comprehensive"? When have I used this word? Why did you put it in quotes? You're misrepresenting my position. I never indicated anything about comprehensiveness but "comprehensibility" (as in intelligibility). Two meanings are at variance with each other.

"which doesn't matter, it's an image that would have a caption anyway, so there isn't any real practical barrier to comprehension" — I assume you're referring to "comprehensibility". But, I don't understand what is it that you're trying to convey. Please be a bit more lucid. I don't know what you're trying to make me understand. I insist you read my previous replies again, you might fathom something new. You might have fundamentally misunderstood my points. There are 4, not 1, but 4 criteria for exclusion of any literary/figurative content from an article (which I've mentioned above, that now [11:05, 27 April 2012 (UTC)] appears in red).

Hence, It's not all about comprehensibility. It's about reflecting an universal point of view towards Muhammad in an article about Muhammad. No group has any monopoly or prerogative over any article or content (that, I am saying). One other problem is Calligraphy only reflects a very specific POV.  Brendon ishere 10:47, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I am quite familiar with what a straw man is. I clarified what my position was as opposed to what you had argued, and no in this instance you did not directly quote my whole statement and, as I said, the omission was the source of my objection.
When you said "you won't deny that comprehensibility and relevance are two inextricable criteria in Wikipedia.", when you objected to it being "incomprehensible to readers", and "A calligraphy-based content may not be comprehensible to the community at large." If you're splitting hairs between "comprehensive" and "comprehendable"...well, then frankly that's not a very sincere response to my argument, is it? It should be quite clear which of your statements I was referring to, please don't unnecessarily obfuscate the discussion by nit-picking my grammar. What I am discussing is whether or not it readers comprehend the content. If we're both clear on this subject, then please address my position with that in consideration. Peter Deer (talk) 20:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
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“when you objected to it being "incomprehensible to readers"” — I didn't object to it being incomprehensible. I myself raised that point. Dude, you should really work on your English (I'm going to set aside Poe's law and assume that you're not doing it on purpose).
“If you're splitting hairs between "comprehensive" and "comprehendable"...well, then frankly that's not a very sincere response to my argument, is it?” — That changes the meaning. Use of comprehensive will mean that my point is calligraphy should not be used because it doesn't include or deal with all or nearly all elements of the subject (which is not my contention), but on the other hand if you had used "comprehensible" it would have meant my point is calligraphy should not be used because it's not easily understandable or intelligible in English language. Don't you think I should be concerned about that sort of a gross misrepresentation of my opinion (presumably unwitting), Peter?

"It should be quite clear which of your statements I was referring to" — But, why should I take a chance? I had to undergo pretty bad experience just because I didn't clarify my position in the past quickly enough.  Brendon ishere 05:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

This is idiotic. At this point you're just pedantically hanging up on my mistaken use of "comprehensive", which is an easy mistake which I already clarified. It seems I was under the mistaken impression that I was having an amicable discussion on a subject of some debate and confusion but such disingenuousness, pedantry, and lecturing me on my English of all things for one easy mistake...clearly, I have been wasting my time. Peter Deer (talk) 21:50, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
It's my fault now? I don't do telepathy okay. Please keep that in mind. How would I know if you were using it by mistake or with a purpose of delivering a different meaning? It was not a spelling-error. Please put yourself in my shoes for once. I still want to be an amicable person. smile  Brendon ishere 12:54, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Islamic calligraphy is generally the common term for the art form, which isn't quite the same as Latin calligraphy. The use of the word "calligraphy" is not a judgement call on whether the writing is "beautiful" or not. GRAPPLE X 23:17, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
If you look at the Islamic calligraphy article, it actually covers this and the historical significance thereof, i.e. the Muslim practice of not showing depictions of Muhammad, God, other Prophets (and, in some instances, any living thing at all) the art of calligraphy and of calligraphic renderings of the names of God and the Prophets gained prominence. Much like painting, music, poetry or cuisine it is something that, while it can be approached informally, has a long formal history with rules and established styles. The particular depiction in question falls into the formal category, and thus there is no ambiguity over whether it is calligraphic or not: it's not just a matter of someone thinking it's "pretty".
EDIT: Curse you, Grapple X, you have outpaced me with your more concise expression of the same point! Peter Deer (talk) 23:26, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I did not call into question that there is an art form "islamic calligraphy". But not all arabic script, even when used in religious context is automatically a calligraphy.

In islamic calligraphy, script is used for the praise of good. So, you can't seriously claim that examples of islamic calligraphy are not intended to look beautiful for those who see or read it.

Of course when historians, or academic scholars of islam use the term "islamic calligraphy", they want to just denote the art form, without expressing that they like it personally. But islamic art is an affirmative, religious form of art, and usually not part of the tradition of modern western art, which often has a critical impetus, or does not try to look beautifull at all, or even can try to look ugly. Thus, when historians call an islamic script a piece of calligraphic art, they do so, because at least followers of islam would find it beautifull. In this respect, even calling an islamic script "calligraphy" instead of just "notation" is a judgement already.

However, I still don't see, how, from which source exactly, the Rfc knows which scripts are "calligraphic", or e.g. how we know that the depiction File:Mohammad SAV.svg is really an Islamic calligraphy, --Rosenkohl (talk) 21:49, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

The same way we know that File:David lynch grayscale.jpg is a photograph and that File:Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, from C2RMF retouched.jpg is a painting; it is a product of a particular medium, and that medium is called calligraphy. Beauty has nothing to do with this nomenclature. GRAPPLE X 22:02, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Technically, File:David lynch grayscale.jpg is a photograph because it has been produced with a camera, File:Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, from C2RMF retouched.jpg is a painting because is has been produced by painting oil on wood. But I think you are wrong to call calligraphy a medium, since calligraphy as an art form must not be confused with the mere technique of writing. For example, File:No climbing warning sign in Petra.JPG shows arabic script, but it is not more or less calligraphic then the latin script below.
I think, thirteen minutes befored you answered, I had tried to explain what the concept of beauty has to do with calligraphy. Or, if you want, see how Schimmel, who however is not neutral on Islam, likes to put it: "For among all arts calligraphy can be considered the most typical expression of the Islamic spirit. [...] It is, therefore, perfectly natural that the Muslims very early started writing the Qur'an in a way worth of its eternal beauty", Annemarie Schimmel: Islamic Calligraphy, 1970, p. 1-2
--Rosenkohl (talk) 22:54, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • "But I think you are wrong to call calligraphy a medium, since calligraphy as an art form must not be confused with the mere technique of writing."Right you are. I could not agree more with you there. Yup. I concur with your comment. I'm sorry, I didn't get you the first time. Are you trying to suggest that calligraphy is something else than just writing?? In that case, I disagree with you. Renaming something doesn't increase its usefulness.  Brendon ishere 08:05, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I still feel that you're attacking the merits of calligraphy based solely on the etymology of the word, as the notion of "beauty" being a requisite for an item to be deemed calligraphy is utterly nonsense. Calligraphy is simply an extension of writing much in the same way that singing is an evolution of speech or gourmet an evolution of sustenance eating; there's no objective "this is beautiful" aspect to it, but the artistic intent places it within an artistic medium, rather than simple communication. To say that Islamic calligraphy is not beautiful is simply a subjective opinion and we're all entitled to one; to say that it is no more of an artistic medium than everyday handwriting is simply trying to equate the Mona Lisa to that one time I had to give this guy a map of South Belfast drawn on a napkin—one is simple communication, one is intended as art. Simply because we in the West do not usually consider this a common art-form does not mean that it isn't one; nor is the practice solely Islamic—I see no motion to deny the use of tegata such as File:Teraotegata.jpg or calligraphy such as File:Muso Soseki 3.jpg or File:Honami Kōetsu 100 Poets Anthology section.jpg from their relevant articles. Calligraphy is an art form, simple as. GRAPPLE X 23:25, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
“I still feel that you're attacking the merits of calligraphy based solely on the etymology of the word, as the notion of "beauty" being a requisite for an item to be deemed calligraphy is utterly nonsense.” — I disagree with you, strongly. I don't think a user-made Inkscape vector image (basically hand-writing in arabic language which portrays nothing more than random curves on a white background to a Non-arab reader) is actually analogous to a photograph or a drawing in authenticity and descriptiveness.  Brendon ishere 05:21, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Because you don't speak Arabic, it's entirely meaningless? That is a terrible way to argue. I don't speak German but I don't consider ß to be gibberish, and although I know no Mongolian, I still know that ᠤᠯᠠᠭᠠᠨᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ is a word with meaning. Is Japanese calligraphy meaningless to you? Should it be restricted in its use in biographies of makuuchi? Of course not, because it's a recognised manner of depicting them as personalities. Arabic is not "random curves", it is a language with an alphabet; it's as valid a manner of communication as the latin alphabet is, and its use in art is no exception to that. GRAPPLE X 05:29, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
"Because you don't speak Arabic, it's entirely meaningless?" — to Non-Arab readers (including myself), yes. I don't if it's entirely or mostly meaningless. In English Wikipedia at least (which is neither MuslimWiki.com nor Wikiislam.net), apart from being pointless, it's incomprehensible, infinitely inaccurate and mildly redundant too. What else, if not meaningless, could it plausibly be?

To reiterate, I'm still half-okay with one calligraphic representation of Muhammad in the article Muhammad (preferably anywhere but infobox as it doesn't describe the subject at all) just for the sake of conveying its alleged popularity.

But calligraphy should in no way be presented as a substitute or superior alternative for portraits of Muhammad or real Images of Muhammad drawn by primordial or premodern muslims.  Brendon ishere 05:40, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it meaningless. I don't understand topology but it still means something; neither you nor the average reader needs to actually speak Arabic to understand that a calligraphical depiction, especially one that's captioned, means something in the language it's written in. GRAPPLE X 05:47, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
There are 4, not 1, but 4 criteria for exclusion of any literary/figurative content from an article (which I've mentioned above, that, from 11:05, 27 April 2012 (UTC), appear in red). I don't feel like repeating them till the end of times.

FYI, I'm not talking about comprehensibility of "concepts" but their comprehensibility and relevance in certain "languages". This is English language Wikipedia. Here, anything non-English should be treated with caution and with a higher threshold for inclusion. Non-english (in other languages) content/source should be considered as information of secondary Importance.

But literal translations of words (e.g. "Muhammad" written in Arabic or different script) swerves away from the path of credibility and pertinence even further. Let's not digress too much.  Brendon ishere 05:53, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

That is simply and utterly ridiculous. Other languages are not of secondary importance; Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of all cultures, the only reason this version is in English is so that it can be read by English-speakers, not so it can document only the English-speaking world. No culture, language or nation is to be considered of "secondary importance", and it's simply offensive to think that the English-speaking world should enjoy a higher station than the rest of the planet. GRAPPLE X 06:12, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Again you're attacking straw man. I'm not against the inclusion of concept disseminated by non-english sources. I'm against their use in their original scripts/language. Why are you obfuscating this? Do i need to explain this? We may use a German newspaper as a reliable source but we should not publish that content in German language in English wikipedia. Because it will then not serve the community which this English wikipedia is dedicated to and thus that act will be absolutely redundant. It won't serve the right purpose. That's why we have different Wikipedia's in different languages.  Brendon ishere 06:20, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

No I'm not attacking a straw man, I am clearly responding to a point you raised. Do not mistake me quoting your words for me going off topic. Your exact words were "This is English language Wikipedia. Here, anything non-English should be treated with caution and with a higher threshold for inclusion. Non-english (in other languages) content/source should be considered as information of secondary Importance". That is categorically wrong. If a German-language newspaper contains information useful to an article on the English-language Wikipedia, then we use it on the English-language Wikipedia. There is no valid reason to act in such a segregationist manner. This is intended to be a comprehensive encyclopaedia, not one dedicated solely to English-language ideas. We only have different Wikipedias so that people can read content in their native language, it is not to segregate content by culture. GRAPPLE X 06:25, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Didn't I clarify my position the line before the part you quoted?

I wrote, “I'm not talking about comprehensibility of "concepts" but their comprehensibility and relevance in certain "languages". This is English language Wikipedia.”. I also wrote, I'm not against the inclusion of concept disseminated by non-english sources. I'm against their use in their original scripts/language. Why are you obfuscating this? Even if we use a German Newspaper as a reliable source it doesn't necessitate we publish that information in German Language in English wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a translator.

But the main point is, literal translations of words (e.g. "Muhammad" written in Arabic or different script) or user-made Inkscape vector image (basically hand-writing in arabic language which portrays nothing more than random curves on a white background to a Non-arab reader), in english wikipedia, swerves away from the path of credibility and pertinence even further.  Brendon ishere 06:33, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

It is not "random curves". It is a language that people speak and understand. Non-speakers of Arabic will still recognise that it is Arabic, and a caption offering a translation allows everyone to understand the meaning of the artform in question. Simple. No need to shoehorn it off onto another language's wiki just because you don't speak Arabic. We won't be purging all the Chinese text illustrating Journey to the West or the Mongolian script in Ghengis Khan (which actually serves pretty much the same purpose as it does here). And I am not "obfuscating" anything, if you say one thing then I can't bloody well assume you mean another; try to stand by your own words some time. GRAPPLE X 06:45, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
“It is not "random curves". It is a language that people speak and understand.” — Again you're cherry-picking my words and quoting me out of context. It is not "random curves" to a reader who knows Arabic. And, there is an Arabic Wikipedia, this ain't it. We here in english wikipedia need not feel obliged to understand Arabic. It's plausible to assume that majority of the readers who visit English Wikipedia as opposed to Arabic Wikipedia do not know or care about Arabic (scripts/Language).
"We won't be purging all the Chinese text illustrating Journey to the West or the Mongolian script in Ghengis Khan (which actually serves pretty much the same purpose as it does here)" — Firstly, I think it's a non sequitur and a weak analogy as well, to bring in any other article in this discussion as I've never commented on those articles and two wrongs don't make a right. But still, I think one ought to distinguish between a classical novel which is directly related to a foreign-language (e.g. Journey to west) and a Character famous for non-literary reasons (e.g. Muhammad, the illiterate).

Ghengis Khan article has not presented Mongolian script as a superior alternative to The depiction of Genghis khan.  Brendon ishere 06:51, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Again, I'm not cherry picking anything, I am responding to exactly what you say. Don't attempt to side step things by throwing false accusations of logical fallacy at someone. It categorically does not matter what language you speak and whether or not you speak Arabic. It is not meaningless random curves; it is clearly identifiable as a language. Just because it is not the native language of the majority of our readers does not make it something we should shun. Accepting something as useful does not make you obliged to understand it completely. I don't particularly care about Arabic. But I understand that it is significant and relevant to Islamic culture to use the predominant manner of depicting concepts within that culture. If I visit an article about ancient Egypt I expect to see the use of hieroglyphs and wall paintings, even though neither I nor the majority of readers actually understand these things. So what? They're culturally relevant and they add to an article, they do not take anything away from it and they most certainly do not create an obligation to understand them fully. Would an Arabic-language wikipedia have this debate over whether to include Abe Lincoln's signature in their article on him, even though they don't speak English or read the latin alphabet? Of course not. It's relevant and adds to that article, so why rule it out? We do not have to speak Arabic to accept the fact that the majority of Muslims do, and therefore the majority of depictions of Islamic culture will be made in Arabic; just at the majority of depictions of, say, King George III, will be made in English. Nor is it non sequitur to compare the use of Arabic in an Arabic-influenced article to the use of Chinese in a Chinese-influenced article. Both instances show the use of a foreign language to accentuate and add to the article and give context to its source and subject; that's as logical a step as B following A. GRAPPLE X 07:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with your comment, "We do not have to speak Arabic to accept the fact that the majority of Muslims do". But is it a point in favor of calligraphy (that's written in Arabic)? I think no. We need not behave like muslims in order to write an article about Muhammad.

There are 4, not 1, but 4 criteria for exclusion of any literary/figurative content from an article (which I've mentioned above, that, from 11:05, 27 April 2012 (UTC), appear in red). I don't feel like repeating them till the end of times. (Click here).

"It is not meaningless random curves; it is clearly identifiable as a language." — Wrong again. What do you think a "Language" is? Arabic is understandable only to those who know Arabic. For everybody else it's random curves because it doesn't convey any real message to those who don't know Arabic.

Just like, to blind people any "picture" is meaningless because they don't have the capacity to decode the visual/pictorial information.

Your obstinacy and affront-ridden chicaneries amaze me.

"I'm not cherry picking anything" — Try a little bit more to understand the exact meanings of the words I use.

Calligraphy is redundant it doesn't describe the subject at all. Muhammad didn't look like Arabic writing. So, I guess, we will have to make do with whatever amount of accuracy we have. I hope this helps. I suggest you read my previous replies again, you might fathom something new which you may have overlooked previously.

Update:To reiterate, I'm still half-okay with one calligraphic representation of Muhammad in the article Muhammad (preferably anywhere but infobox as it doesn't describe the subject at all) just for the sake of conveying its alleged popularity.

But calligraphy should in no way be presented as a substitute or superior alternative for portraits of Muhammad or real Images of Muhammad drawn by primordial or premodern muslims. Brendon ishere 07:27, 28 April 2012 (UTC)


I'm responding here to Grapple X, 23:25, 27 April 2012 (UTC), though not sure if you were answering to Brendon111 or to me, so please excues me in case I misunderstood this.

"I still feel that you're attacking the merits of calligraphy [...]"

No, I did not attack the merits of calligraphy anywhere.

"[...] based solely on the etymology of the word, as the notion of "beauty" being a requisite for an item to be deemed calligraphy is utterly nonsense."

No, neither do I attack the merits of calligraphy on the etymology of the word, nor do I base the importance of the concept of beauty for islamic calligraphy solely on the etymology of the word "calligraphy".

I just explained to you that "In islamic calligraphy, script is used for the praise of good. So, you can't seriously claim that examples of islamic calligraphy are not intended to look beautiful for those who see or read it. Of course when historians, or academic scholars of islam use the term "islamic calligraphy", they want to just denote the art form, without expressing that they like it personally. But islamic art is an affirmative, religious form of art, and usually not part of the tradition of modern western art, which often has a critical impetus, or does not try to look beautifull at all, or even can try to look ugly. Thus, when historians call an islamic script a piece of calligraphic art, they do so, because at least followers of islam would find it beautifull." (21:49, 27 April 2012 (UTC)) So either the artist or viewer will call a script "islamic calligaphy" because they think that it is beautiful, or a scholar will call it "islamic calligraphy" because he knows that other people think that it was beautiful. In any case, the concept of beauty plays a significant role for the concept of islamic calligraphy, and I gave a source for my assertion by quoting from the book of the scholar on islamic calligraphy Schimmel, who calls islamic calligraphy the "expression of the Islamic spirit" and thinks that islamic calligraphy was a way of writing worth the "eternal beauty" of the Quran. (22:54, 27 April 2012 (UTC))

"Calligraphy is simply an extension of writing much in the same way that singing is an evolution of speech or gourmet an evolution of sustenance eating; there's no objective "this is beautiful" aspect to it, but the artistic intent places it within an artistic medium, rather than simple communication."

By the way, I'm quite convinced that singing is not an evolution of speech, singing in humans and animals is much older than using spoken speech. However, nowhere did I claim that beauty was an objectiv aspect of calligraphy. That it is the islamic artists intent to place beauty within his medium, it is something what above I just had said myself.

In your remainder, ending in "[...] Calligraphy is an art form, simple as", you don't seem to address at all what I wrote. Nowhere did I write that calligraphy was not an art form. On the contrary I just told you that "I did not call into question that there is an art form 'islamic calligraphy'" (21:49, 27 April 2012 (UTC)).

But the fact that there is an art form called "islamic calligraphy" is no substitute for giving a source for the claim that a particular script (e.g. File:Mohammad SAV.svg, or other examples in this Rfc) would in fact be a sample of islamic calligraphy, --Rosenkohl (talk) 17:26, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Is there "non-Islamic calligraphy"? It's easy to forget the many speakers of Arabic who are of other religions. Neotarf (talk) 21:14, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
There most certainly is. Peter Deer (talk) 21:34, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Chinese calligraphy, Japanese calligraphy, Korean calligraphy, tegata, Nepalese calligraphy, Georgian calligraphy, Indian calligraphy, Western calligraphy... Yeah, there's quite a bit of non-Islamic calligraphy. GRAPPLE X 21:58, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Probably Neotarf had non-islamic arabic calligraphy in mind, which was produced by people like Mishkín-Qalam, of which in fact I was not very aware so far. However interesting this side-aspect may be, I don't see that the existence of forms of non-Islamic calligraphys, in arabic or other scripts, it pertaining to my topic in this section of the talk page, --Rosenikohl (talk) 09:46, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Arabic calligraphy, yes, of course; I thought it would be understood by the reference to Arabic speakers, but thanks for the side tour just the same. My concern is about how accurate it is to refer to Kufic, Dawani, etc. scripts as "Islamic" calligraphy if they're just Arabic scripts that got an extra boost because of religious taboos. Neotarf (talk) 14:12, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Does a non-english calligraphy enhance readers' understanding about Muhammad?

Let me be succinct, No.

Previously I was focusing on the comprehensibility of calligraphy, now I realise there is a bigger hole in that concept. It doesn't matter if you're an Arab (i.e. who knows Arabic language) or a Non-Arab (i.e. who doesn't know Arabic language) since

  1. just reading the name of "Muhammad" (in Arabic or any other language) doesn't actually tell us anything about the historical & enigmatic character Muhammad.
  2. And even the purported prominence and magnitude of the popularity of the so called "calligraphic" representation of Muhammad as compared to any other form of depictions of Muhammad, is yet to be vindicated with a reliable source.
  3. Even when we don't have 100% accurate information about something (which is generically the case with articles hosted by English Wikipedia), we don't go for the content which is
    A. Impertinent or Unauthentic
    If the content can be categorized as misplaced, unreliable or inappropriate (as in incompatible with Wikipedia pillars and policies).
    B. Incomprehensible to English readers
    There is a question of comprehensibility too because currently there are articles (i.e. Muhammad) which contain non-English user-made vector images which are purported to be "calligraphy" but it's incomprehensible to anybody who doesn't know Arabic language (presumably, majority of English-Wikipedia readers fall in this category).
    C. Does not describe the subject at all
    When it doesn't add to the understanding of readers about the subject. Or, in other words, infinitely inaccurate.
    D. Reflects the point of view of only a specific group of people only
    There is massive amount of dissonance regarding the issue of permissibility of depictions of Muhammad.
    That's how we improve Wikipedia by making do with whatever amount of accuracy we have.

Hence, the calligraphy should in no way be presented as a substitute or superior alternative for portraits of Muhammad drawn by primordial or premodern muslims.  Brendon ishere 04:34, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


New addition: For the above-mentioned reasons, I request anybody and everybody to not use calligraphy in the infobox.  Brendon ishere 14:02, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia's article on taboo and how it relates here

Wikipedia’s essay on Taboo nicely summed up some of my thoughts on this issue. Here is a snippet.

"Certain subjects (most noticeably pederasty, bestiality, necrophilia and other paraphilias) are distasteful to most people, and there is little incentive for the average Wikipedia editor to invest time and effort into articles about them, to bring them into line with WP policies that require a balanced tone and a neutral point of view. By contrast, minority groups who seek to normalise or justify such practice have a strong incentive to invest time and effort into making the article reflect their point of view, given that a Wikipedia article on that subject is likely to be the first result returned by a search engine like Google. Their objective is to make the practice seem more normal or acceptable than it actually is, while avoiding any gross or obvious breach of neutrality policies such as WP:OR that are prescribed by Wikipedia. This can be done by romanticising the subject, by selectively citing scientific research that appears to normalise the practice, by fallacy of definition or equivocation, the use of various historical and naturalistic fallacies (the Greeks thought it was morally acceptable, ergo it is morally acceptable &c)."

I believe the insertion of taboo images in an article on Muhammad is a further illustration, no pun intended, of editors desiring, “to make the practice seem more normal or acceptable than it actually is.” Veritycheck (talk) 16:10, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes - well put. Matt Lewis (talk) 19:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
So in this Islamic worldview, Moslems are baseline normal and non-Moslems are equated with those who have sex with dogs and corpses. Neotarf (talk) 21:41, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
It's the net effect. Wikipedia intends to represent the world based on its policy. In this case that can only be achieved via discussion and deciding upon the best approach. To offer a solution to choose to see the image both acknowledges and explains that many people do actually find it offensive. It's an enlightened approach you might say - as appose to a deliberately undiscerning one. I don't think it's fair to compare this to other difficult areas on Wikipedia - they all need their own solutions. Matt Lewis (talk) 12:57 am, Today (UTC+1)
Replying to User:Veritycheck again, after he moved my comments without my permission,

how does any of this relate to our present discussion?

I'm yet to find a connection between depictions of Muhammad and pederasty, bestiality, necrophilia, etc. Or, are you implying that depicting Muhammad is as distasteful as committing pederasty or bestiality? Paedophilia/Pederasty, zoophilia/bestiality, necrophilia these are mainly sicknesses (as in mental illness/disease) and have already been proven — under the auspices of science and scientific thinking — to be verily detrimental or counterproductive to any society. Is the act of depicting Muhammad intrinsically that bad? I don't think so. Still, do you know there is a logical fallacy called "false analogy"?  Brendon ishere 15:49, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Your response was moved as it was incorrectly positioned above earlier responses leading to confusion and distortion. I addressed this on your Talk Page in Good Faith. Veritycheck (talk) 18:28, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, no it was not creating confusion or distortion. People could easily check which comment came later. My comment was posted on "15:49, 1 May 2012 (UTC)" and Matt's comment, “Yes - well put.” was posted on "19:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)". Wouldn't people notice the difference in time? Why are you assuming that editors are careless here?
And secondly, There was difference in indent too.

You say you addressed this on my talk page in good-faith? Yeah but, the act of imperiously relocating my comments without my consent isn't redolent of good-faith.

Actions speak louder than mere words. I suggest you read Help:Using_talk_pages before recommending it to me.  Brendon ishere 05:39, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Additionally, the connection between depictions of Muhammad and pederasty, bestiality, necrophilia is quite simply this: These practices all represent taboos. I am not making value judgements on them, nor trying to ascertain as to why they fall in the same group. What I am bringing attention to is that the practice of editing Wikipedia articles concerning taboos so that they incorrectly make them seem normal or more common place than they actually are must be avoided. I see Depictions of Muhammad falling into this category for this reason and no other. Those who draw other comparisons are reflecting on their own ideas and not mine. Let that be clear.Veritycheck (talk) 20:01, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
“taboos” — A taboo on a subject or activity, is a social custom to avoid doing that activity or talking about that subject, because people find them embarrassing or offensive. All I'm saying is there are different taboos. This sort of hasty generalizations don't help your case, mind you. There are some benevolent taboos and malevolent ones. The difference lies in the logical foundation of that taboo. The word “taboo” itself doesn't imply or necessitate anything.

You're merely calling a pig as “swine”.

Don't you get it? Muhammad is not that much of a taboo for anybody. Calling a spade a spade is not taboo. Drawing Muhammad is child's play far from really being a taboo. It's another thing to ask, who would be happy to forcefully make it seem like a “taboo”. Wikipedia is not a place to establish or pander to or glorify different taboos.

“What I am bringing attention to is that the practice of editing Wikipedia articles concerning taboos..” — It's completely impertinent here and also beside the topic of discussion here.
Two wrongs don't make a right (I think, you committed a tu quoque fallacy also).

The question “If pederasty or bestiality is a taboo or not?” is totally unconnected to the discussion “if drawing Muhammad is permissible or not?”. So, I think you've committed a dreadful logical fallacy here (perhaps a Non-sequitur).

Now, all these fallacious arguments may constitute a red herring in the end. Don't argue like this, you're not going to get anywhere with line of reasoning.  Brendon ishere 05:39, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Again and again and again in these discussions, you continue to assert bad faith on the part of those who wish to retain the images. They are in the article for no other reason than to enhance the reader's understanding of the subject matter, using images that satisfy WP:NFCC and are directly relevant to the text they accompany. Nothing more. That they are offensive to practitioners of a particular religion is acknowledged, but IMO that cannot be allowed as a reason to remove them from the article. Tarc (talk) 19:32, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes this is quite ridiculous and sounds like something even Ludwigs2 wouldn't have said (at least his wrongful accusations had some logic behind them). I don't know why it's so hard to believe that people simply don't think we should be taking religious beliefs into account. For me it's all a matter of justification; if you say you're offended by something I want a reason why, and if that reason why is religion then I will immediately dismiss you. Not because I think your religion is worse than any other, but because by virtue of it being a religious justification it's necessarily predicated upon the existence of a deity, and since I have seen no evidence of a deity I can not accept claims that are dependent on said existence (in other words, if you're irrationally offended that's your problem). Without the religious offense aspect of this it's a non-issue. Rather than attempt to ascribe nefarious motives to people, perhaps you should simply accept that people have different views than you and may not agree with your value system. I think you'll find more straws at your local watering hole than you will with this line of reasoning.
As an aside, didn't the closing admins say that they weren't taking into account comments left after the RFC closure? If that's the case, why are conversations still ongoing here if not for the sake of argument? SÆdontalk 20:26, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
"I don't know why it's so hard to believe that people simply don't think we should be taking religious beliefs into account. For me it's all a matter of justification; if you say you're offended by something I want a reason why, and if that reason why is religion then I will immediately dismiss you. Not because I think your religion is worse than any other," — but because "religion" itself is mostly propagated by unverifiable and highly unlikely claims as well as extra-complexity. Good to know that there are bold and forthright people like you. Be bold (with civility, of course!).

Like Dan Dennett once said, “mainstream religion gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking.” And we honor that purposeful suspension of the inherent urge to find a reason that has led us in the field of technology, medicine et al so far.  Brendon ishere 12:36, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

An article of this nature certainly attracts various editors including those with personal agendas; notably seeking other than to educate. This is certainly one factor that led to the RfC. One editor called it ridiculous whereas I see it as nothing less than naïve to believe otherwise.
With that said, Good Faith is an important policy, which I subscribe to in general. I show this in the numerous other articles and talk pages I contribute to. However, in this particular case, I do not take it for granted. I have absolutely no problem in stating that. The essay on Taboo quoted here supports this very real phenomena documenting the pitfalls, which can result. Don’t mistake a policy of Good Faith as a guarantee that Wikipedia articles remain innately free from propagandist endeavours. If only that were the case! A look at this RfC alone makes that abundantly clear.
In deed, making sure that such tactics don’t go under the radar is one of the main reasons that I vigilantly participate here. If you support images in this article for motives other than the ones I have stated, then my edits don’t address you. I appreciate your viewpoints whether I agree with them or not. Nevertheless, I will comment on those arguments I do see as stating something other than fact and continue to call attention to them. Of course, you’re free to respond whenever I do. Veritycheck (talk) 22:25, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that a review of WP:GOODFAITH, WP:CIVILITY, and WP:BATTLE are in order, Verity. Such comparisons are deeply inappropriate association fallacies clearly chosen for their deeply contentious and inflammatory nature. Peter Deer (talk) 23:06, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

I suppose that discussion carries on because it does. None of the closing admin said that it couldn't, but one of them did say that she'd not take into account comments made beyond the end date. A number of valid comments here have stretched the broader interpretation of AGF - but that happens when you broaden AGF like that: people are forced to break it from time to time. Battleground and Civility too - they work better as WP:WP when you can pinpoint specific individuals. I don't think Veritycheck is generalising too much, or singling individuals out - at least I can't see that. Whether you say this area is "potentially" a magnet for people making a Point, or a magnet for people making a Point - you are essentially saying the same thing: some people here will be making Points. Yes, it does stretch those policies a little - but this a difficult discussion and you have to pose this type of thing in these areas. Matt Lewis (talk) 23:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

"but this a difficult discussion and you have to pose this type of thing in these areas" — who is really the one forcibly making an otherwise simple topic like this seem difficult? Who is gratuitously demanding that we break the status quo? Who is constantly citing offensiveness of information as the incentive to Violate WP:Policies?

Who is saying Wikipedia has to cater to the unjustified demands based on personal faith, communal sensitivities and wild expectations of some intolerant group? Come on, man. You know what's it about.

Which group is doing all this for quite sometime now? What do you want to achieve here?
Just tell it. Just tell it.  Brendon ishere 16:47, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

(Note:User:Veritycheck put my elsewhere-stated comments below without my consent, I don't know what to do -- Brendon ishere 15:49, 1 May 2012 (UTC))

But, how does any of this relate to our present discussion?

I'm yet to find a connection between depictions of Muhammad and pederasty, bestiality, necrophilia, etc. Or, are you implying that depicting Muhammad is as distasteful as committing pederasty or bestiality? Paedophilia/Pederasty, zoophilia/bestiality, necrophilia these are mainly sicknesses (as in mental illness/disease) and have already been proven — under the auspices of science and scientific thinking — to be verily detrimental or counterproductive to any society. Is the act of depicting Muhammad intrinsically that bad? I don't think so. Still, do you know there is a logical fallacy called "false analogy"?  Brendon ishere 12:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

"I don't know why it's so hard to believe that people simply don't think we should be taking religious beliefs into account. For me it's all a matter of justification; if you say you're offended by something I want a reason why, and if that reason why is religion then I will immediately dismiss you. Not because I think your religion is worse than any other," — but because "religion" itself is mostly propagated by unverifiable and highly unlikely claims as well as extra-complexity. Good to know that there are bold and forthright people like you. Be bold (with civility, of course!).

Like Dan Dennett once said, “mainstream religion gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking.” And we honor that purposeful suspension of the inherent urge to find a reason that has led us in the field of technology, medicine et al so far.  Brendon ishere 12:36, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Taboo and censorship in different countries, communities and groups

When ever I find myself in a discussion about censorship or Taboo subjects, I give examples of late 1990 TV censorship. Sweden, a west'ish looking country, with a culture dominating with American movies and American/UK TV shows, had a very opposite view when it came to decide what to censor on national tax supported TV. To take a few examples, the movie Showgirls was shown not once but twice and both times the uncensored version. Nudity was never viewed as something bad, and even segments from pornographic films was shown on a teen-age educational show (during family prime time) called Bullen. Nudity was not discussed in censorship discussions as it was just not an issue, and American/UK view on the subject was seen as odd and strange.

Violence on other hand, now that was viewed as bad for society. TV violence was often a hot topic, discussed on all political levels in society and a strong censorship was enforced onto cinemas and TV. A cartoon show, my guess is it that most of you have heard of it, called Darkwing Duck, was banned mid season as it was viewed as "Video nasty". The movie The Texas Chain Saw Massacre became a symbol for a Swedish movement against video violence. For more info on the Swedish version of "Video nasty" can be found at Videovåld.

It wasn't until 2011 (yes, last year!), that the Swedish national cinema censure system was abolished. The censoring of media violence has mostly ended now in regard to movies and TV, but not in regards to video games. Both Norway and Sweden had a temporary censoring of games after the Norway attacks of 2011, and my personal guess is that censoring of games will last a while longer. Last, we have the subject of alcoholic beverage, where any ads about alcoholic beverage is currently (2012) strictly forbidden in Sweden. Any form of promotion, be that TV, movies, cinema, radio, road signs... are all forbidden.

So, when someone say this or that is "normal and acceptable", remember that its only true for their country. Their community. Their group. Belorn (talk) 07:25, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Islamist disagreement over images

Just this week, a famous Egyptian actor, Adel Imam, was sentenced to three months hard labor and a fine, for "defaming Islam” in his films. Five writers and directors were on trial with him. Here is a link to the Arab weekly magazine that ran the story on the Salafist war against arts and culture in Egypt. The case has since been dropped, after a public outcry, but says the article:

The arts and culture scene will not be silent regarding Imam’s sentence—just as it will not remain passive when challenged by many other limitations posed on culture. The fight against such religious-based censorship is expected to be a long and painful one for all of Egypt’s creative minds.

Recently, Islamists have also called for a ban on works by Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz, physically assaulted the head of Tunisian station that aired a film with a scene depicting God, called for banning all love scenes in past and present Egyptian movies, opposed ballet, and called for covering statues of the Pharaohs in wax to put an end to the “idolatry.” So far, no one has called for the pyramids to be torn down, as the Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed.

Clearly the subject of images is in dispute within the Arab world itself. Wikipedia needs to take care how it injects itself into this issue.

Neotarf (talk) 17:13, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

There is a strong disagreement about the permissibility of depictions of Muhammad even within the bounds of Islamic world. Some willingly try to obfuscate the Issue. What is normal? What is Wikipedia? Who decides what would be better?

Why the rationality of any demand isn't the ultimate criterion for laying credence to it?

I thought verifiability, pertinence and informativeness, instead of sensitivity, sensibility and potential offensiveness, were the prerequisite for inclusion of a content.

The chicaneries driven by nothing but unverifiable personal beliefs which are being tossed around with complacent gusto really don't reek of good intentions.

Qur'an says (in chapter 8 verse 55 and again in chapter 98 verse 6) that essentially "nonbelievers are worst of all animals/creatures". I don't give credence to unscientific and unprovable assertions. I don't believe in an anthropomorphic God mainly due to scarcity of conclusive evidence. However, I don't think I deserve such an extremely derogatory label just by virtue of my disbelief or incredulity towards religion as a whole. Frankly, as an ardent nonbeliever (i.e. who gives importance to palpable empirical evidence before putting his belief onto something) I'm deeply offended by the very existence of such hate-inciting and utterly nonsensical scriptures like Qur'an et al and also by the amount of veneration they get.

The paramount question is "so what"?

To what degree do innocent people need to compensate purely because of others' sensitivity? To what degree do free-flow of Information/knowledge need to be curtailed just to placate the intolerant and obstinate rage predicated upon nothing but the unjustified sensitivity of some group of people? Does nobody see this?

Now, I won't be surprised if, after this, I'm assailed by ruthless comments with the core message that I'm a "hater" or "uncivil" or an "islamophobe" (an insulting allegation which I could never get a handle on) or "anything but a good-hearted editor" (from past experience). So, I need to make it crystal clear that I don't hate muslims in general. I love moderate, tolerant muslims. I just resent intolerant and deleterious demands/reservations in the guise of appeals to sensibility and sensitivity. I'm intolerant of intolerance. I resent irrationality.  Brendon ishere 07:35, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Results?

Question: Where can I see the out-come of this RfC?  Brendon ishere 07:40, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

I second the question. Am I just thick and can't see the conclusion? -RunningOnBrains(talk) 06:24, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
They're usually posted on the RfC page at the time the RfC is closed. I expect their conclusions, requests or recommendations will be posted at the top of Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Muhammad_images once the triumvirate has reached agreement. It could - should - take some time. These are very big issues, and the smarter the triumvir, the more taxing they'll find the task. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:06, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
"It could - should - take some time." - ω Awaiting their analysis.

Not sure if it's a very big issue in reality though.  Brendon ishere 07:29, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I want to assure you that we're actively working on it, but there's a LOT to untangle and we want to get this right. I'm sorry it's taking awhile, but I believe that a correct interpretation of community consensus is far more important than a speedy interpretation of community consensus. Keilana|Parlez ici 14:07, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Is it possible to have a notice (hatnote) on the RFC page that explicit state that the consensus is under processing, not yet completed, and where the consensus summery will be posted when all is done (with link)? The current text is a bit too vague. Belorn (talk) 14:24, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it is kind of a given that when you find an RfC closed with no summation that said summation is pending. I'd rather not see specific time & date given as those sorts of deadlines are invariably broken or stretched which leads to more frustration. It'll come when it comes. Tarc (talk) 14:30, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I must have been unclear. I do not suggest to pick a deadline. I just suggested that we write explicitly what is already implied, added with a guide that points where the information will be posted. Belorn (talk) 19:19, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Page locked

As per a request, this talkpage has been locked from editing. Since the RFC ended, there has been significant discussion here that belongs on the talkpage of articles, not on the page to discuss the improvement of the RFC itself. As per the RFC, a decision/summary of findings will come shortly (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 00:05, 3 May 2012 (UTC)