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Monday, February 04, 2008

Muslim, Muhammed, Wikipedia Controversy

(15th century illustration in a copy of a manuscript by Al-Bīrūnī, depicting Muhammad preaching the Qur'ān in Mecca.)

Major hat tip to Little Green Footballs.

A group of Muslims have started a petition against Wikipedia because on the Muhammed entry page, there is a 15th century illustration in a copy of a manuscript by Al-Bīrūnī, depicting Muhammad preaching the Qur'ān in Mecca.
The petition can be found here and it states "In Islam pictures or Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other holly figures are not allowed, but on wikipedia they has published some pictures that are showing not only a body with white face but an image that has a complete face.. that is even not allowed by SHITAT fact of Islam.
i request all my brothers and sisters to sign this petition so we can tell wikipedia to remove them.

The petition also lists the url of the offending picture, which they list as this.

The petition was started last night and as of right now has over 83,000 signatures. The controversy seems to have just began.

The Muhammed Wikipedia page is here.

People have been going in and editing the page, removing the pictures and the Wikipedia management has had to fully protect the page, disallowing anyone to edit it.

They have also created a Talk:Muhammad, where people can discuss this controversy and where the reasons for disallowing editing of the original page is explained:

last time i heard every one was allowed to edit wikipedia, what happened to that ? this is sad. please explain the reasoning behing this.

--digitalSurgeon (talk) 17:03, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

* Roughly speaking, persistant vandalism of the page has forced us to disabling editing for anonymous editors and new accounts. Accounts older than four days can still edit normally. Although sad, it's truly necessary, feel free to peruse the history to see what's happened when protection has been lifted. WilyD 17:07, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The page is fully protected now (i.e., not even fully registered ordinary editors can edit), presumably because of a petition currently circulating against Wikipedia protesting the inclusion of images. —Steve Summit (talk) 21:19, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The page was fully protected due to the edit warring over the images. Nakon 21:20, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

It's fully protected because editors keep coming in and removing the images, changing them, or just in general creating a ruckus. Jmlk17 21:21, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Full discussions are being had on the removal of the pictures, censorship as well as some insisting that Wikipedia has to follow the Muslim law not allowing images of Muhammed to be shown.

Following that discussion, Wikipedia had to create another page just for those that are requesting the images be removed instead of have an actual discussion and that can be found at Talk:Muhammad/images#Image_solution

The warning given at the end of the original Talk:Muhammad page is "Discussion of the use of images is going on at Talk:Muhammad/images. This section has been moved there and can be found at Talk:Muhammad/images#Image_solution. Any new posts to this section will be removed. gren グレン 22:03, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

On the Muhammed FAQ page, the Wikipedia management tries to explain that their neutrality is sometimes mistaken for hostility.

Wikipedia has made it very clear that the images will not be removed and had provided a way for users to change their settings so that any pictures of Muhammed that offend them can be hidden from their view.