[WikiEN-l] A call for moderation

Wily D wilydoppelganger at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 13:08:18 UTC 2008

On Feb 17, 2008 4:32 PM, Jimmy Wales <jwales at wikia.com> wrote:
> Tim Starling wrote:
> > What is relevant is what offends people here and now. This one image in
> > question obviously does. It's a pity we don't have any representatives of
> > those offended here on this list to mediate a compromise -- it seems to me
> > that both the people suggesting compromises in this thread and the people
> > refuting them have very little understanding of what is actually necessary
> > to answer the objections of the moderate petitioners.
> I agree very much with Tim.  The Wikipedia way has always been to
> attempt to find a common ground which is widely satisfactory to all but
> the most unreasonable people.
> Here are two unreasonable positions:
> 1. Anything which offends me (or offends anyone) has to be removed from
> Wikipedia completely.
> 2. Offensiveness is completely irrelevant to all editorial
> decisionmaking and in fact anyone who mentions finding something
> offensive should be mocked, and we should try to find even more
> offensive things to put in Wikipedia just to show them.
> Fortunately, both are straw-men positions not advocated by anyone.
> So here we are in the middle trying to find a way to educate and inform
> in a mature, responsible way.
> It is a shame that in this thread we do not have any representatives who
> might be able to find a compromise which would be satisfactory to the
> moderate petitioners, while at the same time fulfilling our general
> desire to not censor Wikipedia.
> --Jimbo

I invite you to come participate at Talk:Muhammad and find how common
both these positions are.  If you're interested in finding a more
moderate position among editors who're familiar with the goals of
Wikipedia, the Muhammad article, Islam in general (which isn't as
relevant as everyone thinks - Muhammad was a real guy of historical
importance, not just some Islamic myth), Muhammad in particular and
who takes a moderate stance on images on [[Muhammad]] recognising both
their historical and educational value and the concerns of their
potential offensiveness, you can try contacting User:Itaqallah on
their userpage or via email if they have it enabled (not sure about
that).  I'm not sure anyone else meets that extended description.

On a somewhat seperate point, it's disappointing to see how
underappreciated Muhammad is in these discussion, which often seem to
adopt the "Muhammad belongs to Islam" paradigm that's not too often
articulated but one of the pillars of the "remove all image of
Muhammad" position.  Even if not a single person had ever converted to
Islam, Muhammad would still be a core topic on Wikipedia - he's
immensely important to the encyclopaedia outside of his contributions
to Islam, something which is not being recognised enough.


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