[WikiEN-l] Official proposes boycotting Wikipedia for sacrilegious act

Andrew Gray shimgray at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 00:16:03 UTC 2008

On 17/02/2008, WJhonson at aol.com <WJhonson at aol.com> wrote:
> In a message dated 2/17/2008 3:08:57 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
> shimgray at gmail.com writes:
> What  "the law" says or doesn't say has very little direct relevance to
> what  people get directly offended by. This is not a game of nomic, as
> has been  explained many times over.>>>
> ----------------------
> Which is exactly the point.
> When extremists complain, the idea that we should respond, only opens the
> floodgates to the next *similar* complaint.  The prohibition that are  thinking
> they are under, affects all humans.  Muhammed is not special in  that way.
> The only thing that will happen, is they will shift their  attention from
> Muhammed, to some other religious figure, until their ultimate  goal which would be
> to suppress all human  representation.

Oh, come off it.

Some people are honestly offended by something, for religious reasons.
They say so, and ask us to alter what we're doing so as not to offend
them further.

It's valid to say, "sure, we'll stop". Alternately, it's valid to say,
"no, I'm sorry, but I think it's important to keep doing it for these
reasons, and I hope you accept that". Both of those are valid
responses, and the debate is over which one we should adopt - or
whether a middle ground can be found, if the issue has to be phrased
in a binary fashion.

But there are also unhelpful contributions to the debate. We see some
of them out there on the Internet - that this is an elaborate plot to
deliberately and with malice aforethought attack Islam. Of course it
isn't; it's inertia and a habit to illustrate things leading us into
an action some people don't like. But there are unhelpful
contributions from *both* sides of the argument, and this is a prime

It treats it as some blind unthinking conspiracy whereby "they" are
doing this to further the "ultimate goal", that we are dealing with an
elaborate conspiracy of "extremists" trying to "suppress" us, that any
protestations of honest intent are of nought compared to what we know
they're really up to. Because, of course, we would never be able to
conceive of Muslims as anything other than a shadowy, threatening,
monolithically suspicious outside bogeyman - this sort of posting is
the exact mirror image of "THEY ARE TRYING TO SLAP ISLAM IN THE FACE".

- Andrew Gray
  andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk

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