[WikiEN-l] Saladin1970 (new thread)

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue May 23 18:30:37 UTC 2006

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 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.
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 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.
The linguistic problem here is that there is not always a one-to-one 
correspondance between the "-ism" and the "-ist".  The association seems 
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.


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