[Foundation-l] Wikimania and the Muhammad pix

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 14:32:24 UTC 2008

But is it a piece of cloth to those who burn it?

I personally don't exactly disagree with burning the American flag. I
am not the most patriotic American in the world. But I do think that
the intention of someone who is desecrating something "sacred" is very

For example, the teacher in the Sudan who named a teddy bear Mohammed.
Do you really think she meant to insult the Prophet (PBUH)? I don't. I
think that is totally ridiculous.

However, the people who drew (some of the) Jyllands-Posten cartoons
meant to insult Islam in some way, although as I understand it, they
were intended more as an exercise in free speech than as an insult in
and of itself.


On 21/02/2008, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
> David Gerard wrote:
>  > On 20/02/2008, teun spaans <teun.spaans at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >
>  >>  "increase its educational value, null."
>  >> May i disagree on this point? They at least show, i suppose, as some of the
>  >>  illustrations on the Muhammed articles are some centuries old, that the
>  >>  opinion on this subject has varied over the centuries.
>  >>
>  > Indeed. I was unaware, until the present discussion, just how widely
>  > this viewpoint - that images of Muhammad are verboten in all
>  > circumstances - is in fact highly disputed.
> While it may not be educationally necessary in a literate society, in a
>  pre-literate society representational images can be very powerful.  In
>  illustrating some activity of Muhammed some representation of that
>  activity can be a powerful educational tool for those who cannot read.
>  Unfortunately, the power of abstraction comes from reading.  The Qur'an
>  certainly speaks of Muhammed, and thus creates pictures of him in
>  words.  Logical consistency would suggest the absurdity that these word
>  pictures should also be forbidden.  Abstract reasoning allows readers to
>  understand that any representations of Muhammed or Jesus are not based
>  on original photographs.
>  We cannot underestimate the power of images, symbols and myths as
>  entities in their own right.  These powers make no scientific sense at
>  all, but that does not diminish their influence.  Many Americans can be
>  very upset when they see their flag being abused, yet to the strictly
>  logical mind it is just a piece of cloth.
>  Ec
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