[WikiEN-l] Saladin1970 (new thread)

Philip Welch wikipedia at philwelch.net
Tue May 23 12:05:24 UTC 2006

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  

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  

For the purposes of this message, my religious and political views  
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.

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.

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.

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.

Speaking of that word, I think my usage of it was insufficiently  
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.

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.

That is all. Thank you for your attention.

Philip L. Welch

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