[WikiEN-l] Muhammad images Part II

Wily D wilydoppelganger at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 21:02:10 UTC 2008

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 3:41 PM, Ian Woollard <ian.woollard at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 21/02/2008, Wily D <wilydoppelganger at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >  Muhammad is not fictional, he's not a fairy tale Muslims parents tell
>  >  their kids.  He doesn't belong to Islam the way that Loki belongs to
>  >  Norse Traditional Religion.
>  Trolling are we?
>  Concorde's not fictional, it doesn't belong to Britain/France.
>  The Taj Mahal is not fictional, it doesn't belong to India.
>  Muhammad is not fictional, he doesn't belong to Islam.
>  Yeah right.
>  >  Cheers
>  >  WilyD
>  --
> -Ian Woollard
>  We live in an imperfectly imperfect world. If we lived in a perfectly
>  imperfect world things would be a lot better.
>  _______________________________________________
Err, please familiarise yourself with the situation before commenting
- it's very common to claim that we need to present Muhammad in an
essentially Islamic context, because he's somehow a solely Islamic
thing.  While the phrase "belongs to" doesn't turn up much on
Talk:Muhammad, say, the phrase captures the attitude very well.  This
attitude is critical to the "display no images" argument, which relies
on the "Islam doesn't depict him, and we should present things the way
Muslims would present them."   Beyond that, I'm not sure whether
you're trying to argue that Muhammad is fictional, or that he belongs
to Islam.  But either is wrong - he was a real guy, and his words and
deeds form part of our common cultural heritage, whether we're
Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists or Discordians -
whether we're religious or irreligious.  He's not a person of simply
Islamic importance.

We do present things in a cultural context - Japanese pop star
articles have their blood types, because that's a normal thing to
wonder about in Japanese culture, but American pop star articles don't
have their blood types, because that's not a normal thing to wonder
about in American culture.

The principle of no undue weight demands this of us - we can't give
equal weighting to the representation of Haile Selassie Iby Rasta and
Druze in the article on Selassie because that's not balancing his life
and importance, and we can't represent Muhammad solely as Muslims
represent him because that's not correctly representing his influence
- it vastly underestimates him (actually we do this now, and it
remains one of the image problems).

So - uh - to answer your question in short: "no".


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