[WikiEN-l] "I want to at least kill the responsible person."

Ben Yates ben.louis.yates at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 19:06:22 UTC 2008

I grew up jewish, so I was exposed early to the concept of a *totally
forbidden depiction* -- in judaism's case, it's the name of god, not
the figure.  I'm not religious, but seeing the concept at age seven
lets you understand it sort of intuitively.  I remember reading a
study showing that insulting language activates the same neural paths
as when someone is physically harmed; for a religious muslim, seeing
an image of muhammad probably feels something like that.

I think we have to take at face value a lot of the plaintive comments
in the petition -- "we are people too", etc.  Whoever *started* the
petition was probably trying to rouse a crowd, but the *signatories*
seem mostly to think that the depiction of mohammad is a deliberate
insult aimed at them.  The least we can do, really, is to make sure
that nobody sees a muhammad picture who doesn't want to; if we do that
properly, the interface will make it self-evident that we actually
care what religious muslims think (at least in terms of not trying to
offend them any more than we'd try to offend anyone else), which is
partly what this seems to be about.

On Feb 4, 2008 5:05 AM, Mathias Schindler <mathias.schindler at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 4, 2008 10:53 AM, Ben Yates <ben.louis.yates at gmail.com> wrote:
> > We should provide an alternate "Mohammad" page without any images on
> > it.  Telling people to edit their javascript is silly; most people
> > aren't nearly tech savvy enough to understand what that even means
> > (for example, they have to first understand that a web page can be
> > displayed differently for different users).
> There is a rather fundamental flaw in this proposal (actually, in
> both): They don't want a page where they can look at without having to
> see an image that is said to be that of its founder, they want the
> picture removed completely. The javascript/css-option is only meant as
> an alibi, without any chance to actually appease those who prefer
> censorship over content they don't agree with. The more complicated
> the option is, the longer it might serve as a diversion. A better
> choice would be a patch the firefox sources that disables rendering of
> images that contain "muhammad" (in different spellings) that needs
> recompilation of firefox.
> Mathias
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Ben Yates
Wikipedia blog - http://wikip.blogspot.com

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