Philip Welch wrote:
I've decided to post one last message to clarify my
views on this
matter. If I'm asked additional questions about it, I'm gladly
willing to clarify beyond this, but I'm done arguing.
I support the indefinite block of Saladin1970. He has made no useful
edits, and has committed copyvios, violated NOR, violated the 3RR,
and has shown a significantly biased editing pattern. This much is,
as far as I can tell, undisputed by anyone except the blocked user
Thank you for your informative and conciliatory outline. In the light
of this an indefinite block is a premature proposal. Saladin1970's
response to this will be important. If he shows any significant
tendencies toward understanding what is going on they should be
profusely rewarded. The breach of specific Wikipedia rules can be
forgiven if the broad underlying are grasped.
Saladin1970's biased editing patterns, particularly
in the case of
the Harold Shipman article, are problematic. This disturbed me a
great deal. He denounces much of Wikipedia's content as "pro-
Zionist", as well as the admin Jayjg as a "pro-Zionist editor". This,
along with the Shipman obsession, provided significant evidence of
I agree that even if Shipman is Jewish it is not relevant to his
infamy. The first lesson for Abu Hamza should be not to intrude Jewish
related issues in places where they don't belong.
For the purposes of this message, my religious and
are completely irrelevant; however, to show that I'm not acting out
of bias, I'm going to clarify a few things. I'm not Jewish, although
I have known my fair share of Jewish people and report that they are
excellent people. For that matter, I'm not Christian either, although
many of them are excellent people too. I am not a conservative, and I
do not support the Bush administration. I think the war on terror and
the war in Iraq are scams--although I'm not a big fan of terrorism
either. I don't have a settled opinion about Israel yet, but I don't
think it was fully moral for the Jews to claim Palestine as their own
and take the place over. I understand the argument that "Zionism is
racism" and give it some credence.
I'm willing to thank the British for this mess, as well as the continued
division of Kashmir which is also a product of the same time period.
The State of Israel is now a fait accompli, and those of us who believe
that putting it there was wrong in the first place must now face the
reality of making the best of a bad colonial decision.
So why do I find this editor's obsession with
Zionism evidence of
anti-Semitism? Sensible people don't go around accusing random people
(i.e. Jayjg) of being Zionists. Sensible people don't accuse
administrators in general of favoring a pro-Zionist bias unless they
see a Zionist conspiracy around every corner, which I have to say is
a pretty clear indicator of anti-Semitic conspiracy nutjobbery.
_Both_ sides tend to muddle and obscure the distinction between
anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. While anti-Semitism suggests a
pathological hatred for everything Jewish, anti-Zionism is properly
applied to people who oppose Judaism as the basis for establishing a
modern political state. Anti-Zionists are thus a subset of those who
oppose any religion as the raison d'être for such a state. They are
secularists with a firm belief in the separation of church and state.
in contrast to my earlier opinions, I don't think
that being an anti-
Semite in and of itself justifies a ban. Anti-Semitism is...well,
it's not "fine", but it's tolerable if you keep it to yourself. This
editor's mistake was not keeping it to himself. Even if he doesn't
cop to it now, his editing pattern is not only biased, it's nakedly
biased in favor of a highly offensive viewpoint, in a way that
communism or anarcho-capitalism or furry fandom are not highly
offensive. The distinction in this case is that while communism and
anarcho-capitalism may offend some people's sensibilities, they do so
merely out of disagreement. Anti-Semitism, and any other form of
racism, offends people by attacking an important aspect of their
identities. Whether or not you agree with me that editing towards a
heavily offensive and racist bias is worse than editing towards a
political or ideological bias, I think we can all agree that editing
towards any bias is unhelpful.
This is a key analysis.
A couple more points of clarification. Regarding his
use of the name
"Abu Hamza", I can't reliably argue that it's a deliberate reference
to [[Abu Hamza al-Masri]], the British Islamic claric convicted for
racial hatred and incitement to murder. It's been argued that "Abu
Hamza" isn't an uncommon name among those Muslims who choose to use
an Arabic name, and it very well may be. I also have no evidence that
this editor in any way supports terrorism or any of the other
violence advocated by Islamists, so I apologize for earlier
suggesting that he did.
An excellent clarification.
Speaking of that word, I think my usage of it was
explained. If you look up "Islamism" on Wikipedia, you'll see that
"Islamism describes a set of political ideologies derived from
Islamic fundamentalism. Islamist ideologies hold that Islam is not
only a religion, but also a political system that governs the legal,
economic and social imperatives of the state according to its
interpretation of Islamic Law." My denouncing of Islamism was only
meant to apply to these ideologies, and not to the Islamic religion
as a whole. In fact, Wikipedia also reports that "Some Muslims find
it troublesome that a word derived from "Islam" is applied to
organizations they consider radical and extreme." I will agree with
this--"Islamist" is indeed an unfortunate term to apply to the
ideologies of Abu Hamza al-Masri, Osama bin Laden, and their
followers. But it is perhaps necessary for the lack of any better
term, as "Islamofascist" and such are ridiculous terms invented by
right wing nutjobs with little understanding of Islam or fascism.
The linguistic problem here is that there is not always a one-to-one
correspondance between the "-ism" and the "-ist". The association
to work relatively well between "fascism" and "fascist". It does not
work between "Islamism" and "Islamist", and is downright misleading
between "scientism" and "scientist". For me "Islamist" can
also apply to
an academic student of Islam, its history and its institutions.
In either case, I'm fully able to distinguish
between the ideology of
Hamas and the Islamic religion. The ideology of Hamas is something I
object to rather strongly--the Islamic religion, in contrast, is no
better or worse than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or any other
sensible religion. For those of us who understand analogies well, let
me put it this way: Islamism is to Islam what Christian Identity (the
ideology of the Aryan Nations and other white supremacist groups) is
to Christianity. Stated more plainly: Islamism is an attempt to twist
an otherwise sensible religious faith into a justification for murder
and mayhem. Islam is a sensible religious faith practiced by
countless sensible individuals, some of whom I have been fortunate to
have known. If there are any Muslims reading this exchange, allow me
to apologize to them for any misunderstandings I have created.
Since you mentioned Hamas, I think that Western and Israeli reactions to
its democratic election as government of Palestine have been excessive.
The responsibilities of power often change the views of political
movements. I don't dispute that the destruction of Israel was a part of
their philosophy, but insisting that they remove these policies from
their programme as a precondition of being recognized as a legitimate
government seems unwise. It inspires a siege mentality. Better to let
them govern, and to suggest diplomatically that the world would prefer
that they eliminate thesse provisions before the time comes for their
re-election. The whole region is in serious need of trust-building efforts.
Once again, I thank you for your more moderate tone. Wikipedia thrives
more from seeking common ground between disputants than from the
application of punitive measures. I sincerely hope that Abu
Hamza/Saladin will approach the situation in a similar manner.