[Foundation-l] Wikimania and the Muhammad pix

Chad innocentkiller at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 22:28:15 UTC 2008

I agree. While we shouldn't be outright saying "We MUST cancel
Wikimania and relocate," we definitely as a community (and with
outside professional help, this is beyond all of us), need to decide
if Alexandria is a location that is still feasible given the recent
tension in the area. This needs to look at all aspects, including
race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Wikimedians are diverse,
and diversity tends to attract attention. We just want to make
sure that attention is positive and supportive, not negative and
potentially threatening.

I probably won't be attending anyway (I would love to, but I can't
swing the money for a trip to Egypt this year), but I still actively
care for the safety of my fellow Wikipedians. I think discussion
on the issue should remain open until things become more clear
and we begin to learn more about the situation. Basically, let's
wait and watch.


On Sat, Feb 23, 2008 at 5:16 PM, Dan Rosenthal <swatjester at gmail.com> wrote:
> You're right. It should not matter where we come from, what religion
>  we are, or our sexual orientation. But it does. Ignoring that does
>  nothing, and mistaking concern for nation-bashing is troubling.
>  As for staying factual, this entire discussion has been remarkably
>  factual, complete with citations and links provided. But making
>  efforts not to offend other wikipedians? I fail to see how historical,
>  factual events should offend other Wikipedians.
>  I'll drop the issue on one final note: There's a significant
>  difference between being edgy and being reckless. There's a
>  significant difference between assuming a margin of risk that
>  naturally exists, and refusing to confront concerns. There's a
>  significant difference between "shit happens"  and failure to plan.
>  -Dan
>  On Feb 23, 2008, at 4:59 PM, Florence Devouard wrote:
>  > Okay.
>  >
>  > I think that Egypt bashing has been going on for a sufficient time
>  > now,
>  > and I would like to strongly suggest to give it a break NOW.
>  >
>  > I feel deep embarassment for all of our Egyptians wikipedians.
>  >
>  > I also feel offended for comments such as "Egypt shares very little of
>  > the same values than we do". There is no such thing as an opposition
>  > between WE and Egypt. Wikipedia is not organized along national
>  > governmental lines. We are organized by linguistic lines, and all of
>  > our
>  > participants share a common vision of "access to knowledge for all",
>  > common values of freedom, transparency, collaboration, neutrality,
>  > openness. That is what matters.
>  > It should not matter what the political advocacy of our governments
>  > are.
>  > It should not matter where we come from. It should not matter
>  > whether we
>  > are gays, or muslims, or newyorkers.
>  >
>  > If you really want to go on discussing such matters, please make the
>  > efforts to stay factual, and mostly, *practical*, and to make any
>  > efforts to avoid offending other wikipedians.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  > Second point. Dan, the Foundation will host Wikimania in Egypt next
>  > summer. Period. Please stop pushing the idea that we could cancel,
>  > delay, move somewhere else. We will not.
>  > Yes, there may be some risks, just as there are risks in every place
>  > we
>  > could have gone to. There are also fabulous opportunities, which will
>  > greatly outweight the risks.
>  >
>  > Let's face it. We are in a risky business. We are pushing the edges of
>  > collaboration. We are currently breaking the business models of famous
>  > and rich private companies. We are sometimes hosting diffaming
>  > comments
>  > on world top leaders. We are provoking establishment. We are fighting
>  > huge lobbies. We are attracting weirdoes, losers, and various
>  > cyberstalkers. We are confronting censorship. We might even be victims
>  > of a fatwa in the future. There are risks in what we are doing, but we
>  > stay here because we think it is important and worth taking the risks.
>  >
>  > If you are afraid, just do not act. If you fear terrorism in Egypt,
>  > just
>  > do not come. We'll meet in other places, at other times. There is
>  > nothing wrong in being afraid, but respect the fact others may have
>  > other fears and other priorities than you. There will be other
>  > wikimanias as well. There is a long future in front of you.
>  >
>  >
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