[WikiEN-l] Saladin1970 (new thread)

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Wed May 24 14:48:29 UTC 2006

On 5/24/06, BJörn Lindqvist <bjourne at gmail.com> wrote:

> So what you are claiming is that Adolfo Constanzo's poor immigrant
> family is relevant TO HIS CRIMES? That is nothing short of racism.
> No one has, so far, claimed that Harold Shipman's possible Jewish
> refugee background is in any way relevant to his crimes. Anyone doing
> so would be rightly called an anti-Semite. What people have claimed is
> that Harold Shipmans family background is an interesting tidbit of
> knowledge, which I agree with. What I have showed is that it is not
> taboo for articles about (non-Jewish) serial killers to include
> information about their family background.

It seems fairly clear to me that there is some inconsistency applied to
issues such as these on Wikipedia.
1) For "bad" people, Jewishness must be proven beyond all doubt, and must
not go in the lead. I couldn't actually find any examples of Jewish
criminals - there doesn't seem to be a "Category:Jewish criminals" for
2) For "good" people, Jewishness must merely be asserted, and should be
applied as a category. Occasionally it goes in the lead ([[John von
Neumann]]), other times as "born into a Jewish family" ([[Alan Greenspan]]),
other times it's not even mentioned except for the category. There are
around 15 "Jewish Xs" categories, some with subcategories like
Jewish-American scientists.

I don't want to speculate on why this is the case, and I certainly don't
want to imply that it only applies to Judaism. At a quick glance, Christian
and Muslim scientist categories exist, but with somewhat poorer organisation
(Egyptian scientists is a subcat of Muslim scientists, for example).

However, I do think there is something inherently dodgy about allowing the
categorisation of "good" people by religion with no sources, but not "bad"
people. If a serial killer's religion is "irrelevant", I don't see why the
same should not be said for a nobel prize winning scientist.


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