Talk:Requests for comment/ace.wikipedia and Prophet Muhammad images

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Mahmud Masri[edit]

Dear users, I was sent a message on my talk page on arz.wikipedia by Si Gam Acèh. As I understood, he wants a ban on the pictures depicting Muhammad. Unfortunately, I don't agree to ban the depictions, as this is considered an assault on freedom of information & freedom of expression. I hope that Wikimedia projects stay as away as possible from political or religious prejudices to ensure its freedom. I also feel it insulting to our minds & freewill that we should take permission of (Islamic) clerics on how to act, think & express ourselves. (I am here referring to: boycott Wikipedia if there is fatwa from competent ulama) I think that the medieval ages have long gone & not coming back.

Here are my opinions on the questions written in the page, if it concerned anyone
  1. Is the language of the template and its message appropriate for the main page of this project?
    Certainly, no. I'm very sad of the growing intolerant culture of boycotting :(
  2. Does this constitute a violation of any of the global-scope rules, policies, or pillars which we expect all our projects to abide by?
    I think, yes, as these acts are politically driven.
  3. Do any of these edits make Wikipedia (or Wikimedia as a whole) a better place and assist in fulfilling its mission?
    No :( They are annihilating.
  4. What, if anything, should be done about the template?
    Deleting & preventing them from being re-created.
  5. What, if anything, should be done with those involved?
    Explaining to them why is it inappropriate.
  6. If such protests arise in the future, how should they be handled?
    If it was proven that the Wikipedia version is abusively used for campaigning, then I suggest suspending of that Wikipedia version.

--Mahmudmasri 06:10, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Are you muslim? I think you are not muslim, are you??? -- Si Gam Acèh 11:39, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Of course you don't agree because you are kaafir. -- Si Gam Acèh 13:09, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've just spoken to an active moslim living in Limburg and showed him the main page. His opinion was that it should be removed, though is free to ban the images on their own wikipedia version. --OosWesThoesBes 13:46, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Who is he? Perhaps he is "civilized" muslim. -- Si Gam Acèh 04:20, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
You aren't helping your case substantially. Dismissing an argument because someone is a "kaafir" doesn't help. How would you feel if say a Christian ignored your arguments because you are a heretic, or an atheist ignored them because you are religious? In order for this sort of conversation to be at all useful, indeed in order for their to be any success in people from disparate backgrounds to come together to build a neutral description of humanity's information, we must be willing to listen to people with different values and beliefs than us. Indeed, you should ask yourself, if anyone's status as a kaafir renders them not worth listening to, then why bother working with the Wikimedia foundation and its projects at all? There's a Prisonder's dilemma whenever people with different value systems interact, a choice about whether to try to cooperate with those one disagrees with or whether to impose your values on them. And in the long-run, between cooperation and warfare, there is no middle ground. The other Wikipedia projects, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the rest of the global Wikimedia community is repeatedly pressing "cooperate" when they let projects decide for themselves whether to have images of Muhammad or other controversial issues. Please try to cooperate with them. JoshuaZ 21:36, 19 July 2010 (UTC)


Replacing the template with just one link to this page from Main page or Current events -page. Anyone oppose? --Juhko 13:56, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that you're engaging constructively and showing a willingness to compromise. However, I wonder if it would be more constructive to invite users to join a conversation about whether to ban these images on acewiki etc. instead of simply telling them that these images are banned and we will even boycott if they aren't removed from elsewhere. I think such a conversation would be more useful since it would invite comments from a broader range of opinion, and would spur engagement and consensus-building rather than disengagement and absolutism.  – mike@meta:~$  14:11, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely, NO! -- Si Gam Acèh 16:12, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Do you oppose modifying template content less belligerent? --Juhko 16:57, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
[1] --Juhko 17:31, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I oppose your suggestion Juhko. We want the template. -- Si Gam Acèh 04:15, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I support you and Acehnese Wikipedia as long as possible, and I want to continue creating that encyclopedia, which succeeds in this case only through some kind of compromise. This was about making the template like it's ok for stewards, but keeps it's message the same. After that i made that voting: [2] to solve this case. 1 - "Keeping the template as it's latest form", 2 - "Modifying it to link to the voting about removing images", and 3 - "Removing the template". Please vote. --Juhko 09:12, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content[edit]

Isn't this the kind of thing the 2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content is meant to be dealing with?Geni 20:24, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Sure, but that is a months-long process, and I don't see the consultant here making productive suggestions. We have sysops potentially abusing their position now, and serious questions about founding principles now.  – mike@meta:~$  22:05, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the consultant would be willing to weigh in on the situation and offer suggestions? I'd rather not be the one to contact him, primarily because this is the first I've heard of it. :) Kylu 23:32, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I've sent them an e-mail pointing to this page. guillom 07:26, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Appreciated! Kylu 12:43, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

My personal view[edit]

Hello all,

writing the following in the role of a normal community member and expressing my personal view.

First of all. I think that everyone of us has some bias in opinion, there is no neutral human on this planet, so it is ok to have on your own user page certain opinions expressed. So, the template on individual personal user page is ok for me.

But it is not ok to put it on the home page of a project. There are a few reasons:

  1. The home page of a project is the page, where the project presents ITSELF. As a neutral encyclopedia, it is the wrong place for call for action, as long as the action has nothing to do with the content of that project itself. It is not a place to make any political or sociatal statement, nor a plattform for aggitations against sister projects.
  2. As already pointed out. Every of our projects has its own authonomy. The project community handles out the governing rule inside of that project. We do have projects, even mature and big projects that have editing rules issued in compliance of its own cultural and judical background of the countries, where most of the speakers of that project language live. This is ok for me. So if the Acehnese Wikipedia had adopted for itself editing rules that is compliant with the local tradition, culture, law, it is just fine for me. But it is not fine for me try to impose those rules on other projects.
  3. Place a protest on the home page of one project is a very inefficient way to try to change something in another project. The Wikimedia projects don't work that way. If you want to change something in a project, the best way is to engage the community of that project. If it is a global issue, foundation-l, wikipedia-l or meta are the better choices. Try to impose change in content or editing rules in a project without engagement and convincing the community is rude and would most probably fail. There were enough tries before this.

On the other side, I think we should take this event seriously and should reflect about it more deeply. One of the things it shows to me, is that not everyone, not even every community share with us what we take to be neutral, or openness. What we take as openness bases mainly on the tradition of the western open culture, which had evolved in a long history. A lot of our projects are based in cultures that does not have this tradition and possibly don't share of our understanding of openness and neutrality. Myself born and grew up in one of such cultures, but also have lived meanwhile even longer in one of the most free countries of the world, I would be cautious simply to say that our understanding of openness and neutrality is better then their understanding. Imposing an idea to other people without recognition of what THEY think is best for them is often the worst thing people can do to each other. I should know that. When I was born, a few people thought they know what is the best for the humanity and imposed their idea with to a whole country and exported that idea to other countries, that at the end millions lost their life.

When our smaller projects are growing, attracting more and more users as well as editors, such conflicts would also increase. I don't think that simply keep our ideal value is the best way for our projects, our community, and our commitment.

"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment." But maybe not every single human being want to share the sum of all knowledge. Maybe some of the knowledge is taboo in some culture. Maybe someone is ok with 99% of the human knowledge but that 1% upsets him. Sharing the 100% with those who want to share the 100%, but also to respect those who don't want to share that 1%, that is the tricky solution we should search for. Thinking about this problem for a few months now, discussing with other people, reading a lot of mails to this topic. I don't think there would be a simple solution for this. But I am very convinced that radically keep the idealism we thought at the beginning is not an answer at all.

After calmed down. I hope that our acehnese community members remain in our project, keep engaged in this issue, tell us their side of considerations. Tell your thoughts, but also have a ear for other thoughts, this is important for all parties in the discussion. Also for the idealists in our community.--Wing 13:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

You can do so and interact with the discussion on the other page if you'd like. We're in desperate need of ideas that can bring this to a conclusion that satisfies all parties, so no reasonable ideas will be turned away. Kylu 16:20, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

New template/message[edit]

Given that the new message on the main page (now here) says «Acehnese Wikipedians are invited to [...]», why should you show it to all readers? Maybe it would be better to move such a community-announcement to w:ace:MediaWiki:Sitenotice, if you add a   to w:ace:MediaWiki:Anonnotice so that non-registered readers don't see it and maybe you reduce it a bit in size. --Nemo 00:23, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

You want hide what happen with wikipedia for world? --Fadli Idris 02:46, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Currently nobody can't say it's not neutral and the local community receives this as very important case. It was modified just to serve npov and other wikimedians. That where the template should be kept is for ace.wikipedia to decide. I don't see any reason that invite readers from quite small Wikipedia to participate the comment request about Prophet Muhammad images. --Juhko 14:08, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Juhko, this is precisely my point: you're currently inviting readers with the message on main page... --Nemo 11:29, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
So? --Juhko 12:40, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I think Nemo means that the local community of the Wikipedia in Aceh is composed by it's contributors, not by it's readers.
--Hercule 13:24, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Whydo it must be? What prohibits? --Juhko 13:32, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
You're annoying readers with internal matters. I suggest to move the message so that only contributors read it; if you put it in the sitenotice and blank the anonnotice, you give more visibility to the message for the registered users and you don't annoy (unregistered) readers. --Nemo 00:02, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok but first other users opinion. Halo --Juhko 00:46, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
1. I agree. Make it for contributors, not mere readers.
In general, I have to say that you guys have ridden yourselves into some deep shit -- there are ways of simply coming to a silent agreement about this, and forming your wiki along those lines, rather than shouting it from the rooftops and launching some sort of campaign. If you had all just emailed each other and said "Look, we don't do pictures of Muhammed on Aceh wikipedia" and then simply refused to include them, no-one would've even noticed. Now you have it public and all sorts of other people involved. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot (or feet). Seb az86556 02:24, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Someone else may do the changes; I don't want to have any edit war (more). Do it through your consensus. Due to Acehnese Wikipedians have left I'm not interested what happens with the template (and less what happens with the images). Go and fight there yourselves. --Juhko 03:56, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

What a lost opportunity![edit]

I just heard of this issue, and don't know much about it, but something seems wrong to me here. I don't think Wikimedia should be telling a project what template they can carry on their main page. I think it could be productive to have a conversation between the vastly different points of view of our countries. By choosing frank conversation over fiat, bringing together the populations of nations, we might even have had the chance to make measurable progress toward ending war and terrorism throughout the world.

I think that instead of forcing the deletion of the template, the WMF could have demanded only that a link to a response and/or discussion of the issue be added. Instead of banning the admin, he might have been asked to make his case and translate for others. I'm not saying that en. or Commons are going to think about deleting the images - we're not, and I'd be the first to oppose it if we even thought about it. But we had the chance to explain why not - because by and large we're not Muslims, and when we look at an old painting we're not turning to idolatry but simply looking at a drawing that we know full well has no possibility of accurately reflecting what Muhammad looked like. We had the chance to talk about the importance of freedom of speech, and its crucial role in fighting governmental corruption and thereby protecting scientific, economic and philosophical progress and peace. We had the chance to talk about how bans on heresy, blasphemy and apostasy crippled Christian religion and made it subject to the basest warmongering of national authorities, even to the crucifixion of Jesus for saying that he could destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days; and how the freedom of religion following the Protestant Reformation helped Catholics and Protestants alike form respectable churches free of simony and concubines. We could have asked our Muslim counterparts about an earlier age of Islam, when Avicenna was free to prescribe opium and wine, and many sects flourished and debated and were a beacon of knowledge rather than the "sick man of Europe". Somewhere the elusive answer is still blowing in the wind, and all we need is one ordinary person from the deserts of California or the plains of Mongolia to pick it up and show it to us.

All we could have done, and have not. Wnt 20:56, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

You may wish to read the entire discussion, including the "See also" section and various links in the page. The discussion was far and wide, and multiple attempts have been made to reason, explain and mediate, but none were really successful. That however, does not mean that no attempts were made, and i honestly have to say that i find the insinuation that we haven't even been attempting to start a discussion somewhat insulting. Granted, The initial response may have been less then perfect, but the continuation has been at least a good attempt.
Equally you may wish to note that during the process (And before his eventual ban) the administrator in question was blocked from 4 different projects for vandalism and edit warring, edit and wheel warring with stewards on the agi main page, attempting to nominate the AGI wiki for closure and attempting to have images he uploaded on Commons deleted by retagging them and stating they were copyright violations. Even since this ban there have been two more nominations to close AGI, of which the second was made by a set of sockpuppets from tis former admin (See this checkuser request), with the third nomination coming back as unrelated, but with suspicions of meat puppetry (see second request). Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 21:25, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Sorry if I stepped on any toes - as I said, I hadn't followed the issue. It sounds like you had a fair (and non-ideological) case to ban the admin. Even so, if the decision was his alone, then why was it necessary to explicitly ban the template (Result 1).
As for discussions that took place here, I assume that you never actually modified the template to link from the project's Main page to a discussion of the image issue. It is one thing to argue about whether the template is allowed, another to bring people from two vast populations of Wikipedia users together to discuss a broad issue.
In a way, I think the contention must be less than it seemed. If the Main Page of the Acehnese Wikipedia could offer wikilinks directly to collections of Muhammad images, without offending the sensibilities of the readers, then how different is that really from the English Wikipedia, which uses a very slightly different text to tell the user's browser to produce not just a link but a thumbnail in a frame? Wnt 17:52, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
The template was actually updated during this discussion, to include a link that pointed to this exact discussion so that everyone on the agi wiki would be aware and welcome to discuss the issue at hand. The issue was also pointed out on the foundation-l mailing list, which (i presume) is the reason why we also had some responses from users who mainly involve themselves with the Arabic Wikipedia. The situation is really a shame though - i cannot remember that anyone denied the AGI wiki's right to blacklist certain images (Hence, the arabic Wikipedia forbids these kind of images). The entire issue at hand was that people demanded a removal altogether, for both commons and all projects that used these images. Hence, had the discussion been about the agi wiki, we would have soon agreed that they may form their own concensus. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 18:46, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to note that not only did we try to get Si Gam Aceh to enjoin discussion, but I designed usable templates for their protest and hosted them on my ace.wp userpage for their benefit, as well as offered to (if the local admins were unfamiliar with the process) set up an image blacklist for them and copy the Muhammad images to it. The protester decided that he wouldn't have the Muhammad images anywhere on any Wikimedia site, removed such images from articles on other projects specifically against consensus and were banned locally for it, promised to stop his protest, then continued to invite friends to join his protest and tried to have images on Commons of his removed.
The other person, who left voluntarily rather than being banned, had his continued participation hinging on our removal of the Muhammad images entirely. I closed the project and informed him of the result, and he left. Frankly, it's absurd to think that the Foundation will set up some "No Mohammad Pictures" policy or that all the disparate communities of Wikimedia will immediately remove those pictures just to keep one person from quitting.
Now, while it's certainly fair to assume that someone could have done better, I might suggest that as this issue is past, a better use of your negotiating skills would be to assist in solving other disputes here, which are both current and in need of level-headed minds able to develop creative problem solving solutions which are agreeable to all involved parties. Consider this an invitation. Kylu 20:10, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
You've both made some good points, and I'm glad that there was more discussion than I knew, and I understand that when one wikipedia tries to give another orders, someone will be unhappy in the end. But I do hope that future problem solving will avoid things like point 1 here, which I still don't like the look of. And thanks for the link... interesting conundrum. Wnt 19:31, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
There are, in my opinion, issues which are not policy as such, but yet transcend the consensus of the local community, even in cases where the local community is united in its opinion. An example: Let's say en.wiktionary decides to stop being a wiki-dictionary and start hosting pornography (I didn't say it was a realistic example) instead. Regardless of any amount of on-wiki decision-making, that site has lost its vision of being a freely editable online dictionary and it would certainly be against such things as local policies, local consensus, and local sovereignty to force them to change this rededication of Wiktionary. Despite this, recreating the site as a wiki-dictionary again would be the right thing to do. When you start hosting protests against the Foundation and your sister-projects on your main page, you've stepped over that line. You stop being a Wikipedia and start to be a political action site of sorts. Users are certainly entitled to their opinions, and there are plenty of places that they can express them, but pages which are primarily meant to be read by the passing reader is not one of them. An oft-forgotten nuance of problem solving on Wikimedia projects, and one which a passing editor will likely bristle against, is that our ultimate duty isn't to make the volunteers happy, nor to seek justice, and not even to minimize disputes: It's to give the passing reader the best work we can give them. We, the editors and copywriters, stewards and administrators, wiki-gnomes and folks who toss out FA's in one edit, are all here to make the best possible output for our readership. If a handful of folks decide that their personal mission is more important than our readers, they can (and should) go edit elsewhere. Kylu 19:54, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I would see a Wikiproject's obligations as more positive than negative. It worries me when you start talking about "recreating" wiktionary over a pornography issue, because there are those who might quite seriously suggest doing such a thing to Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons, in direct contradiction to core policies against censorship. If there's no policy against Wikimedia projects holding protests, I'd take that as an indication that there really isn't any - and doesn't need to be. I think that internal dissent strengthens the spine of an organization. Wnt 05:19, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Keep in mind that there is an ocean between protest, suggestions, and discussion on the one hand, and outright rebellion, coupled with vandalism on the other. In this case, no-one ever had any issue with the fact that some people objected to images of a certain nature. The whole drama started when some of the dissenters started launching a "holy mission" (my word-choice) by first urging other projects to adhere to their wishes ("delete these images, everywhere!"), and when said project (quite foreseeably) didn't comply, vandalism kicked in, coupled with a huge banner to justify to rebels' righteousness. As I said elsewhere, had the members of said group silently agreed among each other to not include the objectionable content, no-one would have been able to do much about it.
Maybe Kylu's example wasn't quite fitting here. Let me try a different one: English wikipedia puts up a huge banner that urges all wikipedia's to suppress any criticism or mention of the United States and British Armed Forces on all sites, because, y'know, we're at war, our enemies are reading this and people who speak ill of our proud warriors and their sacred mission are, simply put, traitors who deserve to be be gagged and shipped off to Guantanamo. Naturally, other wikipedias will consider this somewhat of a joke and will not comply; in turn, Anglophone editors will start vandalizing across all non-English projects by looking for and deleting the disliked phrases via google translate.
This example is closer to what happened here, and it's far beyond "protest". Seb az86556 05:48, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Typicall the ulema protests whereas can they clearify that how come are agreed about the curtains on house of Lord Almighty. Is not that cloth has sketches. What and where is authority? Question 2 what the minaret meant who how and why islamised these fabrication? Where is the bases are Shia Sunni Whabi Ahamdi ? Are not the ulema of either faction agreed about limitation of entry into the Holly Place for human.? How com they introduce Islam as religiou? Why they don't trust the story of elephant riders? Ulemae karam and rest Muslim be silent on the subjected matter. Muslim believe is that if is inviting the punishment, why the don't trust Allah to measures and to see the strength of God and their faith.and suppose Manzoor khan 1 (talk) 23:41, 19 June 2016 (UTC)