Pictures of Mohammad

According to a report in The New York Times, there's yet another visual-representations-of-Mohammad flap a-brewin'. This time around activists are targeting Wikipedia, whose entry on the Muslim prophet contains two images from medieval Persian manuscripts:

In addition to numerous e-mail messages sent to Wikipedia.org, an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people. The petition has more than 80,000 "signatures," though many who submitted them toThePetitionSite.com, remained anonymous.

"We have been noticing a lot more similar sounding, similar looking e-mails beginning mid-January," said Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco, which administers the various online encyclopedias in more than 250 languages. A Frequently Asked Questions page explains the site's polite but firm refusal to remove the images: "Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with the goal of representing all topics from a neutral point of view, Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group."

The notes left on the petition site come from all over the world. "It's totally unacceptable to print the Prophet's picture," Saadia Bukhari from Pakistan wrote in a message. "It shows insensitivity towards Muslim feelings and should be removed immediately."

The site considered but rejected a compromise that would allow visitors to choose whether to view the page with images.

The Wiki entry is here (it's locked to further editing) and it now contains the following warning to readers of delicate disposition: "This article includes two images of artworks created by Persian Muslim artists which depict the uncovered face of Muhammad. The images are used respectfully in a historical context to illustrate two episodes from the life of Muhammad."

Katherine Mangu-Ward's profile of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is here. My interview with Flemming Rose, publisher of those infamous Mohammad cartoons, is here.

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  • FrBunny||

    Your second link is to the NY Times, not the Wiki aritcle. FYI.

  • ||

    ...an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people.

    I've heard this before. Is it true that some interpretations prohibit all images of people?

    Ali? A little help please.

  • ||

    Here's my depiction of Muhammed, that loser:

    *

    See? He's a squashed ant. Fucking "prophet" my ass. The only thing he did that was noteworthy was take it in the ass from his fag father.
    C'mon and get me, Muslims.

  • ||

    I can't help but notice I still see Mohammad in reruns of the South Park "Super Best Friends" episode.

  • ||

    I've heard this before. Is it true that some interpretations prohibit all images of people?

    I'd explore this question but I don't give a fuck about a monkey philosophy that would even cause someone to bring up the question in the first place.

  • ||

    SO ... FUCKING .... SICK ... OF ... MUSLIM ... "SENSITIVITIES" ...

  • Nephilium||

    John-David:

    He's also in some of the old opening credits.

    Which just adds some delicious irony to the whole Cartoon Wars episodes that Cartoon Network censored.

    Nephilium

  • Joel||

    But how do you really feel? Sorta-kinda ambivalent on the whole Muslim thing?

  • Peter||

    Wikipedia also has an illustration, actually a STOP-MOTION PHOTO of a penis becoming erect on their entry for erection, if I'm not mistaken. Now if they can show that, which I'm sure is insensitive to some people who'd like not to see monster junk when researching for sex ed, and we hear very little from sensitivity blowhards, I think the Prophet is fair game.

    Besides, why does anyone, devout enough of a muslim to be offended by an image of Mohammad need to go to Wikipedia to find provisional information about the Prophet? Wouldn't such people already have like, say ... the KORAN at home!!!

  • ||

    "It's totally unacceptable to print the Prophet's picture,"

    No, it's totally inappropriate for *you* to print the Prophet's picture.

    So piss off and have a nice day.

  • Doctor Duck||

    why does anyone ... need to go to Wikipedia to find provisional information about the Prophet?

    Note to self: move up action items for new WiKoPedia site pronto!

  • ||

    that disclaimer's now been removed.

  • Jennifer||

    Somebody with Photoshop skills needs to put a Mohammed tattoo onto a sexy female model's bare ass.

  • Taktix®||

    "Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with the goal of representing all topics from a neutral point of view, Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group."

    I love it when the standard media, supposed keepers of free speech, decry Wikipedia.

    Fight on, Jimbo, fight on!

  • Taktix®||

    If reason published it, I'll get Mohammad tattooed on my white, pimply male ass. Email may be reached by clicking my name...

  • ||

    "It shows insensitivity towards Muslim feelings and should be removed immediately."

    Well ok this is annoying...but it is also a light years worth of improvement from "We will kill you"

    The comments here make me feel like a superhero with the special power of being able to telling the difference between free and legal protest and the edicts of an Iranian Maula.

  • ||

    Well ok this is annoying...but it is also a light years worth of improvement from "We will kill you"

    Don't know for sure, and after posting this I'll try to find out.
    I'll bet they got some of those too.
    I'll be back after doing some googling.

  • ||

    I do find it ironic that what was in essence an anti-idolatry stance, the Muslims want God to be worshiped not an image, to one where now the very image has become a symbol of heretic and surrounded with mythical powers of corruption.

  • ||

    I'm back and found no references to threats of violence. I bet wrong.

  • ||

    Don't know for sure, and after posting this I'll try to find out.
    I'll bet they got some of those too.
    I'll be back after doing some googling.


    Ya you do that...look for the homicidal Muslim wikipedia nerds.

    What the fuck are you people even doing here?

    You guys are worse then the lets prove blacks are dumber then white people crowd as if that matters in any way to libertarianism.

  • Taktix®||

    Aww, come on! No Takers?!?

  • ||

    I like Jennifer's idea better than yours....

  • ||

    careful, my offer to have the late, great tim's name tattooed on my ass got me banned.

    does anyone actually know what muhammed looked like? or is it like the jesus thing where artists just made it up as they went along?

  • M||

    1) When will the perfidious Joos lobby against Wiki's printing the o in G-d?

    2) Could Islam, or at least its louder sections, be the creation of Christian/Jewish/rationalist-skeptic moles?

    3) J sub D, please don't disappear again on a mission like that - we weren't sure you'd come back in one piece.

  • ||

    Somebody with Photoshop skills needs to put a Mohammed tattoo onto a sexy female model's bare ass.
    Better yet, actually tattoo it, then rub it with bacon.

  • ||

    does anyone actually know what muhammed looked like? or is it like the jesus thing where artists just made it up as they went along?

    7th Century - no cameras - portraiture probably wasn't very good in Arabia back then. So I'm guessing that everyone is guessing.

  • Jennifer||

    Better yet, actually tattoo it, then rub it with bacon.

    I'd considered that, but can't think of anybody I dislike enough to wish that upon them. But if a porn star were willing to make some stylistic sacrifices in order to Make A Point, I'm thinking that the combination of the proper tattoo plus some skillful razor work could result in an image of Mohammed with a beard that actually grows, plus he gets sick and vomits blood once a month.

    If you're going to deliberately offend people, don't be all half-ass about it, says I.

  • ||

    ...an image of Mohammed with a beard that actually grows, plus he gets sick and vomits blood once a month.

    Damn Jrennifer, that's kinda tasteless. Funny as hell, though.

  • ||

    or is it like the jesus thing where artists just made it up as they went along?

    If Muhammad were white, tow-headed, and blue-eyed like Jesus, maybe they wouldn't mind looking at him so much.

  • Jennifer||

    Damn Jrennifer, that's kinda tasteless. Funny as hell, though.

    I do my best work blue.

  • cgee||

    How about a Sharia rule that all Muslims have to browse the web with Show Images turned off? That should take care of their bullshit.

  • Bingo||

    Maybe he was really vain and didn't want people to put unapproved pics of him at parties on their myspace page in case he looked fat in the picture.

  • ||

    Jennifer | February 6, 2008, 7:26pm | #
    Better yet, actually tattoo it, then rub it with bacon.

    I'd considered that, but can't think of anybody I dislike enough to wish that upon them. But if a porn star were willing to make some stylistic sacrifices in order to Make A Point, I'm thinking that the combination of the proper tattoo plus some skillful razor work could result in an image of Mohammed with a beard that actually grows, plus he gets sick and vomits blood once a month.

    If you're going to deliberately offend people, don't be all half-ass about it, says I.

    J sub D | February 6, 2008, 7:52pm | #
    ...an image of Mohammed with a beard that actually grows, plus he gets sick and vomits blood once a month.

    Damn Jrennifer, that's kinda tasteless. Funny as hell, though.


    YAY Jennifer! Yay J sub D!

  • ||

    I hope we don't see massive vandalism of random wikipedia articles by angry muslims. Then I would actually have to spend significant amounts of time and effort when I want to research something. This could be a serious threat to my way of life :)

  • Elemenope||

    SO ... FUCKING .... SICK ... OF ... MUSLIM ... "SENSITIVITIES" ...

    So, tell us, Jamie...what are you sensitive about? What's your button?

  • ||

    "Could Islam, or at least its louder sections, be the creation of Christian/Jewish/rationalist-skeptic moles?"

    Only if they've been around since the seventh century...

    -jcr

  • ||

    "I hope we don't see massive vandalism of random wikipedia articles by angry muslims."

    That tends to be pointless. Vandalism on wikipedia happens all the time, and it's typically corrected by the next visitor to the page in question.

    -jcr

  • Ali||

    ...an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people.

    I've heard this before. Is it true that some interpretations prohibit all images of people?

    Ali? A little help please.


    J sub D,

    Yes.

  • ChrisO||

    I tend to believe that both Islamic and Christian iconoclasm are products of the Jewish ban on the worship of "graven images."

    Neither Islamic nor Christian texts (apart from the Jewish core of the Old Testament) provide much support for the practice, and were probably interpreted thusly by people for whom that tradition already existed.

  • ||

    ...an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people.

    I've heard this before. Is it true that some interpretations prohibit all images of people?


    It really depends on the school of thought. It's basically the graven images commandment taken to the logical extreme (some extreme Christian sects, like the Amish, do the same). I've even heard of a fantastically talented rug maker in Egypt that won't weave images of animals for this reason, so he sticks to geometric shapes and patterns. However, this isn't a mainstream belief anymore.

  • ||

    I can understand why a muslim would not want to publish, draw, create, whatever, an image of Mohomed, but why do they care if non-muslims do it. I mean, they don't seem to mind when I eat bacon, even in public. I even charge interest!

    So, what gives?

  • ||

    Oh, and how is this worse than freaking out about a split second nipple shield during the Super Bowl and then causing record fines for b.s. supposed obscenity. At least they're writing letters to the proprietors and complaining rather than the government.

  • Ali||

    Mo, J sub D,

    What Mo says is my intended answer when I simply said "yes". Because J sub D asked whether some interpretations... So yes, some do, but I believe most do.

  • Ali||

    To add to Mo's last comment, quite frankly, I find:

    1. violent Muslim mobs getting angry at stupid and silly cartoons or pictures, or whatever, as well as

    2. comments made by Jammie, Jennifer (unless I miss any sublime point above, and I do like most her other posts on others topics and she knows that), and others,

    quite sickening and plain stupid. Both.

    yes, y'all have a right to say what you want. Yes, you have the right to say pretty tasteless and dumb things, too.

  • Jennifer||

    ow is this worse than freaking out about a split second nipple shield during the Super Bowl and then causing record fines for b.s. supposed obscenity

    The freakout over Janet Jackson was indeed asinine and indefensible. But I suspect the ones who freaked out would have been viewed with far more disdain if they shared, in the public perception, any association with people who had recently (like, within the past couple of years) started violent riots over another nipple sighting, or made death threats against people who published nipple cartoons.

  • ||

    Not to stick it to believers or anyone else, but I bet it's harder to get a new religion to stick these days because of all the photography. You know how well the imagination fills in blanks? If we had photographs of Jesus, Zoroaster, Mani, Moses, et. al., I wonder if people would be less likely to believe in them. Maybe that's part of the reason it's so hard for me to believe in the possibility of an L. Ron.

    Show me a photo of the real Xenu and I might buy in, but I've seen pictures of L. Ron! That dude doesn't have any secret knowledge. Now Asimov, he looks like he might have known an intergalactic secret or two. ...but then he had like crazy facial hair, which seems to help.

  • the line is a dot||

    Mohamed ---> .

  • Jennifer||

    omments made by Jammie, Jennifer (unless I miss any sublime point above, and I do like most her other posts on others topics and she knows that), and others, quite sickening and plain stupid.

    I can produce some after-the-fact sublimity for you. To whit:

    Any person who is capable of looking at a beautiful piece of historic art, which was clearly created with the utmost reverence for the subject, and thinking "That is offensive," is an abysmally ignorant jackass who desperately needs to be shown what real offense is. Behold a depiction of the mythic tattoo, and then look at those lovely images on Wikipedia and explain why they're not merely offensive, but offensive to the point where nobody should be allowed to look at them ever again.

  • Jennifer||

    And behold the difference between the mind which invented the tattoo versus the minds behind the attempted Wikipedia changes: if both our visions came to life, only one would not detract from the sum total of human freedom.

  • Ali||

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The beholder has no right to oppress the art that he sees tasteless.

    And behold the difference between the mind which invented the tattoo versus the minds behind the attempted Wikipedia changes: if both our visions came to life, only one would not detract from the sum total of human freedom.

    Yes, but...

    And behold the difference between the mind which speaks freely but with civility versus the minds that don't: if both our visions came to life, only one would contribute to the sum total of human understanding.

  • Ali||

    ... but who cares about human understanding. Who cares.

  • Jennifer||

    And behold the difference between the mind which speaks freely but with civility versus the minds that don't: if both our visions came to life, only one would contribute to the sum total of human understanding.

    And by "civility" do you mean "inoffensiveness?" The idea that being inoffensive is the only way to contribute to human understanding is not one with which I agree. I'm not even convinced it's always even the best way.

  • Ali||

    And by "civility" do you mean "inoffensiveness?"

    No, I mean "intelligent". But may be H&R is not the forum for intelligence.

  • Carl||

    I am not a Muslim, but I don't see how it's "censorship" to put the picture of Mohammed behind a link that says, "Click here to see a picture of Mohammed." A lot of the people who go to the Muslim page are probably Muslim. True, you don't need to hide the image for their sakes, but on the other hand, why be a jerk about it? I thought the same thing when I saw the page on Bahai (I'm not Bahai either), and it had a picture of the main Bahai-dude. Apparently, for Bahai to see the photo disrespectfully is bad for their souls or whatever. So why not hide it behind a link instead of plastering it on the page that Bahai are most likely to look up? Seems like a decent compromise to me, but apparently for the Wiki heads, common courtesy is censorship.

  • mole for the new interfaith co||

    image/bearded nipple wearing a turban/image

  • Jennifer||

    No, I mean "intelligent". But may be H&R is not the forum for intelligence.

    Ah! Behold a teachable moment: obviously, you do not literally think that "civility" is a synonym for "intelligence." Therefore, your comment was clearly meant to imply that I am unintelligent; i.e., a personal insult. That is behavior considered "uncivil." By contrast, posting a tasteless joke, directed at someone who can't possibly read it because he's been dead for 1,400 years, in a thread where jokes about the subject matter are already being made, is a comment which would indeed be considered offensive by some, but is not a breach of civility.

    However, it would be uncivil and offensive if I went and posted it on a message board for Muslims discussing the matter. But I would not.

  • mole for self-referential orth||

    sacrilege, even

  • we moles don\'t see very well||

    stet

  • Ali||

    obviously, you do not literally think that "civility" is a synonym for "intelligence."

    No.

    Therefore, your comment was clearly meant to imply that I am unintelligent; i.e., a personal insult. That is behavior considered "uncivil."

    So did my (planned) insult cause progress?

    but is not a breach of civility

    Is "civility" a subjective or objective value?


    However, it would be uncivil and offensive if I went and posted it on a message board for Muslims discussing the matter. But I would not.


    Can't help it, but that is because you are not that uncivil.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Goddamn those fuckers really go out of their way to get offended.

  • Jennifer||

    So did my (planned) insult cause progress?

    Without knowing how you define progress in this instance, I can't possibly answer.

    Is "civility" a subjective or objective value?

    I just read it defined as "politeness" and "courtesy," and determining what those are regarding a joke which had already caused laughs long before anyone came around to deem it uncivil is admittedly difficult. How polite and courteous, for example, do you think walking into a roomful of laughing people and insisting "THAT'S NOT FUNNY!" would be?

  • ||

    I can understand why a muslim would not want to publish, draw, create, whatever, an image of Mohomed, but why do they care if non-muslims do it.

    Because some Muslims believe it is their duty to make all of us conform to Muslim beliefs.

  • Jennifer||

    I am not a Muslim, but I don't see how it's "censorship" to put the picture of Mohammed behind a link that says, "Click here to see a picture of Mohammed." A lot of the people who go to the Muslim page are probably Muslim. True, you don't need to hide the image for their sakes, but on the other hand, why be a jerk about it?

    First of all, not everyone shares your assumption that it makes you a "jerk" to have an encyclopedia entry about a historic subject feature some historic illustrations. Secondly, it is a big deal to decide anything deemed offensive by a minority subset of the population must always be made more difficult for all to see, lest people get their feelings hurt.

    Or shall we go with your alternative? Put David behind a link so people can read about Michelangelo without having to see a penis. Put Birth of Venus behind a link for those who are offended by nudity but still want to learn about Botticelli. Hide the Virginia commonwealth flag, because there's a lady's naked breast on it and people who want to read about the Old Dominion shouldn't have to look at that if they don't want to. I mean, why be a jerk about it?

  • Ali||

    Without knowing how you define progress in this instance, I can't possibly answer.

    Progress as I had implied earlier as in "understanding".

    How polite and courteous, for example, do you think walking into a roomful of laughing people and insisting "THAT'S NOT FUNNY!" would be?

    OK, may be insulting, but my intention was to point out that I no longer find some of the comments above funny. This ain't the first time we had these discussions and I was simply expressing that it is becoming boring. May be I should not have said it because it was tasteless of me to do so. So, now, I take it back. I respectfully withdraw from this "roomful of people".

  • Ali||

    FWIW, I personally do not find the artistic pictures appearing on non-Muslim forums insulting. It would be if the intention was merely to insult.

  • ||

    My favorite has to be the farmer who named his boar "Muhammad".

  • ||

    FWIW, I personally do not find the artistic pictures appearing on non-Muslim forums insulting. It would be if the intention was merely to insult.



    Then expect people to create images specifically meant to insult you.

    If you're the one kid in class who can always be counted on to have a huge reaction when the bully pesters you, expect the bullies to do stuff to get a rise out of you ALL THE TIME.

  • Ali||

    If you're the one kid in class who can always be counted on to have a huge reaction when the bully pesters you, expect the bullies to do stuff to get a rise out of you ALL THE TIME.

    How is being insulted necessarily imply that I have a "huge reaction"? I remember as a kid I would always respond not with a "huge" and loud reaction, but a reasoned and, yes, civil one. That seemed to offend the bullies around me.

  • ||

    I just signed the anti-anti-images petition, linked to on the Talk:Muhammad/images page.

  • ||

    Ali,

    Putting the images behind a "brown wrapper" of sorts would be no different from putting the "blasphemous" statements about Jesus on the "Jesus Christ" and "Historicity of Jesus" articles behind a "click here to read offensive assertions" barrier. It's not a slippery slope, it's a cliff.

    Regarding intent to offend, many entries on the Wikipedia were put there with intent to offend. Many of those were removed as unsupportable bias, but many others were backed up with solid references and kept. Intent is irrelevant in a reference work.

    There are many historically notable and historically illustrative depictions of Mohammed. They belong in an encyclopedia article about him.

  • ||

    Ali-

    Then it's all good.

  • Ali||

    Rimfax- I know that. I have seen these pictures more back in the middle east than here. I have seen them on Wiki many times and had never had problem with them. So I am not offended about that (and if you revisit my comments above you'll find that I was not offended by anything else. I found some of the comments as, yes, uncivil, though less so that, the attitudes of over sensitive Muslims).

    In this very specific case here is my position:

    1. Wikipedia is the only entity in this (yet again) "debate" that has the ultimate right to make the decision. It is a matter of property rights regardless of the opinions of the anti- or pro-images. Period.

    2. Both sides of the (silly) "argument" can make the case for or against, but only wiki will have to decide what to do.

    3. Muslims have to grow up.

    4. So are some people in the West. No I do not mean Jamie Kelly here, but I mean this very silly tit for tat apprehension by, well, Moynihan (who represents more as a writer than just his person). If it is silly for Muslims to file a petition objecting to the pictures, I find it equally silly that others file a counter petition objecting to the objection to the pictures.

    May be I should have just shut up earlier and let it go as silly.

  • Ali||

    mediageek- sure.

  • ||

    Ali -- a little late to the party here, but here's my take on this thread:

    You have the right to be offended by the tastelessness and lack of sensitivity displayed by some here. However, this is not an obligation. You can choose to say, well, that's H&R. People here revel in being politically incorrect and fiercely defending freedom of speech. If that bothers you, perhaps you need to do what I've done about joe and Dondero -- skip certain people's comments unread.

    Telling Jennifer to be more civil and sensitive to your tender feelings is like waving a red flag in front of a bull, and sending in the picadores to poke the bull with spears. Of course she's gonna go out of her way to be extra offensive just to prove she has the right. What did you expect? That's Jennifer. That's who she is. We need a few people like that around, to keep the rest of us from becoming insufferable and self-righteous.

    I understand how all this may be totally cringeworthy to you. Deal with it. The price for your freedom of speech to hold minority views on religion and not be persecuted is your granting others freedom of speech to be dicks. If you don't like the speech, and they can't or won't be courteous out of respect for your feelings, quit listening to the offending parties, or at least quit listening when they're talking about stuff where you can reasonably expect them to be dickish.

    Hope this didn't cause offense. I got picked on bigtime in grade school. I developed a thick skin, and it's REAL hard to offend me now.

  • offended atheist||

    Wow! Gratuitously obscene jokes about peoples' religious beliefs and their religious leaders? How does y'all feel regarding jokes about queers, niggers, and butt-fucking, child-molesting civil rights leaders? How about remarks describing rioting looters as "animals"? Are those welcome here, too - especially if one can make up some "after-the-fact sublimity" to justify such quips? I just love the smell of hypocrisy one gets when one scratches the liberaltards here at H&R.

  • wag||

    the liberaltards here at H&R.

    I think they're calling themselves "cosmotarians" now. ;-)

  • ||

    Pictures of Mohammad >>> Online lists with photographs of child molesters.

    I can see why Muslims oppose publishing pictures of the "prophet".

    CB

  • Tony Iovino||

    I guess the petition demanding that Muslims stop using mentally retarded girls as walking land mines got lost in the mail.

  • Taktix®||

    I just love the smell of hypocrisy one gets when one scratches the liberaltards here at H&R.

    DRINK!

    No, I mean "intelligent". But may be H&R is not the forum for intelligence.

    Eh, close enough.

    DRINK AGAIN!

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that the restriction on showing images of Muhammed or any person is limited to Sunni Islam. This would explain why such images would exist in Shia Iran.

  • ||

    I guess the petition demanding that Muslims stop using mentally retarded girls as walking land mines got lost in the mail.

    Completely irrelevant.

  • wag||

    I guess the petition demanding that Muslims stop using mentally retarded girls as walking land mines got lost in the mail.

    No, but the girls did. Ha! Ha! Oh wait, I thought you said mall.

  • ||

    And Duncan provided a perfect lead-in... speaking of the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam. In the early 80s photography of people was forbidden in Sunni Saudi Arabia. People thought that a photograph would entrap your soul.

    When I was 5 years old, my family joined several others on a trip to visit the camel market. We all got to ride some camels while the dads of the group snapped photos of us.

    Someone decided to be offended and set the police on us - one of them chased my father around our car four times. We had to follow the police to the station, where they lectured our dads on how taking photographs of 4 sheep being stuffed into the trunk of a Toyota is Haram. They ripped out the film and exposed it before returning the camera.

    Good times in the Magic Kingdom, and little has changed in 25 years.

  • ||

    Actually, the Jennifer aand Ali exchange was fairly civil. The point made by prolefeed and others that if you get offended too easily, your asking for more is something that should have been learned in childhood.

    This may be hard to believe, but I have made (IMHO) innocent, satirical, ironic or just plain silly remarks that have offended other people. If you just say, Hey, J sub, that was pretty tasteless, I'll likely apologize. If you jump on my ass over it, I too will adopt the "If you think that's offensive get a load of THIS!"

    And after 52 years of unpampered life, I can get very offensive if I mean too.

  • Episiarch||

    People need to be offended constantly. Then they get used to it and shut the fuck up.

  • Ali||

    prolefeed- Sure, thanks. I have been developing my thick skin, but one's natural inclinations (not the ones defending the petitions --I haven't even heard of such a petition until I came across it here-- but human courtesy and civility in discourse) sometimes overtakes oneself.

    offended atheist- you make some very good points. It seems that positive messages like these do not hold across the board. Offend libertarians and they get all restless (I mean come on, how many times have we had these also very silly cosmo/paleo debates), libertarians being offensive...

    Bronwyn- Yeah, the KSA laws are pretty stupid.

  • Ali||

    People need to be offended constantly. Then they get used to it and shut the fuck up.

    [start joke] Aaah, the legitimate way to suppression of expression! [end joke]

    So the question is: How do you offend people who constantly often others to make them shut up, too?

  • Ali||

    correction: "often" ---> "offend"

  • Ali||

    Actually, the Jennifer aand Ali exchange was fairly civil.

    This ain't the first one that Jennifer and I have and, hopefully, won't be the last :-)

  • Episiarch||

    How do you offend people who constantly often others to make them shut up, too?

    Well, first, when I say "shut up" I mean "stop complaining and not worry about it".

    But if you want to offend somebody, just figure out their hot buttons. Sometimes that takes a little work.

  • Jennifer||

    How does y'all feel regarding jokes about queers, niggers, and butt-fucking, child-molesting civil rights leaders?

    Are you seriously attempting to equate my tattoo description with, for example, false claims that the likes of Martin Luther King was a child molester? (Actually, if you wanted to make child-molester jokes on this thread I seem to recall a certain historical figure who allegedly married a nine-year-old. Or was she six? No matter; I chose instead to do the prose equivalent of blacking out the front teeth on a photograph.)

    How about remarks describing rioting looters as "animals"?

    Hell, yes! I see no reason to waste precious respect on anyone who would take advantage of civil disorder to steal from their neighbors. Personally, I'd probably use a term stronger than "animal," myself.

    I just love the smell of hypocrisy one gets when one scratches the liberaltards here at H&R.

    What hypocrisy? Who here has gone on the record to say people have the right to go through life without ever being offended? It would, however, be hypocritical if the free-speech defenders her insisted that any and all jokes must be made in such a way that no person could possibly be offended by them.

  • ||

    We need a few people like that around, to keep the rest of us from becoming insufferable and self-righteous.

    Hey! I resent your implication that I'm insufferable and self-righteous!

  • Jennifer||

    Would anyone here be offended if I said of rioting looters: "What worthless wastes of human genetic material. For all the flesh and blood and bone it took to make that guy, the world could've had two syphilitic crack whores instead, and I daresay we'd be better off?"

    Whoops! Too late; I already did.

  • ||

    I sent an e-mail to a friend who then forwarded it to a Christian who was offended by the all-natural subject of the picture. I then told my Christian friend why I thought he should not be offended. (The subject of the picture was in it's natural state, so in my mind was either produced by God so he can't be offended or there is no God in which case he should not take offense at God being portrayed in any manner.) He went on to tell me why I should apologize for him being offended, nevermind the fact that I didn't send the picture to him, but because I was arguing he should not be offended.

    Needless to say, I didn't apologize. My contention remains that since the image was a completely naturally occurring phenomenon no one could possibly be offended by it, having been created by God/nature. He didn't get it.

    Take this a few steps further. If one is a believer, then Mohammed was created by God. Art, pictures, eyes, and the ability to discern an image were all created by God at least vicariously. So how can anyone be offended by God's creation?

    Guess what else God created? Child molesters, evil, rape, the devil, donkey shows, the Dallas Cowboys...in other words if God created everything, then God is a fucking asshole. People need to come to terms.

  • ||

    Some say Mohammad married Aisha at nine, then consummated the marriage at puberty. If so, that was standard practice at the time. At least one of the Hadith (alleged sayings or doings of the prophet) states that the marriage took place earlier, at 6. But even many Muslims state that many of the Hadith are unreliable and that common Middle Eastern cultural standards at the time are a more reliable reference.

    Also, Aisha apparently later fought in battle alongside Mohammad. Held her own.

    Reza Aslan's "No god but God" is generally a good reference for a lot of this stuff. Disentangles the confusion over the Wahhabist cult, which is so prevalant and powerful in many regions of the Middle East and Africa, and True Islam which actually was quite advanced for the time. Also, comments on how the fundamentalist interpration of the Koran is just that. An interpretation. Early Islam and the Koran was more tolerant and much more progressive than the modern Wahhabist variety.

    But on the main topic, yeah, I agree, people who are offended by such pictures shouldn't have the right to impose their will on the rest of us.

  • ||

    I think these particular Muslims are suffering from a belief that their standards of morality and taste can be applied to non muslims because the particular non muslims do have a mild belief in tolerance and peaceableness.

    I think Muslims everywhere should rid themselves of this belief. If I go to Saudi Arabia, I learn to deal with their set of beliefs, quixoticies, and culture. If they come here, they deal with mine. Sorry, but if we're all going to get along, we're going to learn to pick our battles and realize we can't win them all. If certain muslims think it is their divine right to win every battle they come up against, they'll find themselves sadly mistaken. I will not change my culture in my own land to suit someone else.

  • Ali||

    LIT- In this case, and only this case, I am not sure what you say really applies here. Some Muslims thought that the pictures were tasteless. They, civilly enough, decided to write a petition and sign it, probably to be forwarded to Wiki. Wiki then chooses to keep the pictures or not. So far so good. Feel free to write your own petition asking wiki to keep the pictures. Ultimately it is Wiki's property, not mine, not yours, not the Muslim petitioners or counter-petitioners. I do not see any problem with any of that.

    If people bitch about this one too, we would be leaving very little room for further civil discourse.

  • ed||

    Who's afraid of the big bad Mo? Not me.

  • ed||

    How does y'all feel regarding jokes about queers, niggers, and butt-fucking, child-molesting civil rights leaders?

    I'm good with all of that.

  • Jackson Kuhl||

    J sub D,

    The Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 was part of a spree across Afghanistan. While they destroyed a great deal of Greek, Buddhist, and Christian art, what went underreported at the time was the destruction of Muslim and Persian art as well. Museums such as the one in Kabul were sacked. Anything that looked like anything in nature -- humans, fish, birds, you name it -- was destroyed. Statues, figurines, friezes, paintings on ceramic, and so on. The only acceptable art form to Wahhabi/fundamentalists is the symmetrical repeating symbolism we often see (and which I'm sure has a name, and perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can tell us what it is).

    And as Duncan said, it's a Sunni/Shia thing: the Taliban are Sunni, the Persians (and their art) Shia.

  • wag||

    How does y'all feel regarding jokes about queers, niggers, and butt-fucking, child-molesting civil rights leaders?

    I'm good with all of that.




    Oh, goody! goody!

    See, there was this ancient ol' darky woman sitting on a porch in a rocking chair with her skirt hiked up and not wearing any underwear. And there was these two adorable little pickaninnys out in the yard playing. One of them says to the other, "Looky there, that ol' woman ain't got no drawyers on." He calls out, "hey, granny, we can see your privates; how come you ain't wearing no drawyers - is it cooler that way?" And the old woman says, "well, chile, I dasn't know 'bout dat, but it sho' do keep the flies off 'n my watermellon."


    Or how about this one about the little boy, King:

    One day when he was little MLK was out in the backyard playing, and his mother comes to the door and yells, "Martin, get outa dat dirt an get yo' ass in dis house dis minute, you little motha fucker!" And the little boy, King says, "please don' call me a motherfucker, Mama - I ain't no nasty motherfucker." And she says, "well you ain't in dis house yet, neither!"

    Upshot? I'm so glad to know that totally gratuitous and offensive jokes are welcome here among all you sophisticated, liberal intellectuals.

  • wag||

    er,..."cosmotarians".

  • ||

    DRINK!

    CB

  • wag||

    @ Cracker's Boy,

    Well it is after twelve noon, so I guess it's okay if you go ahead and get sloshed. Got to maintain the ol' blood- alcohol level and all. Might bring on the DTs if you don't.

  • ||

    Is the title a pun on "Pictures of Lily" ? Oooh ... Moynihan is being a very naughty boy.

  • ||

    Shorter wag:

    "I'm telling some offensive, racist jokes. Ergo, you are all racists!"

    (Or am I misreading you, wag?)

  • ||

    See, there was Hillary Clinton sitting on a porch in a rocking chair with her pant suit off and not wearing any underwear. And there was these two adorable little democrats out in the yard playing. One of them says to the other, "Looky there, that ol' woman ain't got no drawyers on." He calls out, "hey, your highness, we can see your privates; how come you ain't wearing no drawyers - is it cooler that way?" And the old woman says, "well, chile, I dasn't know 'bout dat, but it sho' do keep the flies off 'n my lunch."

    Fixed it. Happy now, Wag?

    CB

  • wag||

    @ Jake Boone,



    Shorter wag:

    "I'm telling some offensive, racist jokes. Ergo, you are all racists!"

    (Or am I misreading you, wag?)



    Yes, as a matter of fact, you are. Shorter wag: I'm telling some offensive, racist jokes (but funny ones.) If you find that bigotry offensive, but do not find the religious bigotry of Jennifer's joke offensive, then you are hypocrites or at least, seriously inconsistent.

    But also, I just wanted to be clever, cute, and funny like Jennifer. But in case anyone is offended, I wanted to justify my offensiveness with some "after-the-fact sublimity." I'm just being more honest about it. Besides - my jokes were funnier than hers.

  • ||

    One day when he was little EMK was out in the backyard playing, and his mother comes to the door and yells, "Teddy, get outa dat dirt an get yo' ass in dis house dis minute, you little motha fucker!" And the little boy, Kennedy says, "please don' call me a motherfucker, Mama - I ain't no nasty motherfucker." And she says, "well you ain't in dis house yet, neither!"

    CB

  • wag||

    @ Cracker's Boy,

    Fixed it. Happy now, Wag?

    Get your own joke, ya jive turkey. :-)

  • the innominate one||

    Jennifer | February 6, 2008, 7:58pm | #

    "Damn Jrennifer, that's kinda tasteless. Funny as hell, though."

    I do my best work blue.


    like a certain libertarian candidate for elected office?

  • Jennifer||

    If you find that bigotry offensive, but do not find the religious bigotry of Jennifer's joke offensive, then you are hypocrites or at least, seriously inconsistent.

    False dichotomy. The third choice, which you overlooked, is "You understand the difference between a person's race, which is a simple physical fact over which they have no control, versus a person's belief that nobody in the world should be allowed to look at an image which said person finds offensive."

    You can't change your race (Michael jackson notwithstanding) but you can, with help, change your solipsistic belief that nobody should be allowed to look at what you don't like.

    But also, I just wanted to be clever, cute, and funny like Jennifer. But in case anyone is offended, I wanted to justify my offensiveness with some "after-the-fact sublimity." I'm just being more honest about it. Besides - my jokes were funnier than hers.

    Sincere advice from someone whose job requires her to write a certain number of jokes each month: if you have to say "my joke was funnier than hers," it wasn't.

  • ||

    I'm just curious, there clarifying... does "common Middle Eastern cultural standards at the time" make child molesting okay? I mean, keeping slaves was "common SouthEastern United States cultural standards at the time" of the mid-1800's. Does that mean THAT was okay? And hanging blacks in the mid-1900's was sort of a common Southern "thang".

    Does that make it right? Or are we just looking the other way because, you know, it's a Muslim "thang" and you don't want to offend?

    CB

  • ||

    And hanging blacks in the mid-1900's was sort of a common Southern "thang".

    It wasn't just a "Southern thang". There were lynchings at least as far north as Indiana and there were race riots in Chicago early in the last century - just before or after World War One, I believe. I think there were also lynchings out west during that time, but don't hold me to that.

  • ||

    Well, here's the "thang" my wigga, Cracker's boy. You're mixing categories inappropriately. Decisions over sexual readiness do not equate to the slavery question.

    At a distant point in history, all over the Middle East, including Israel of course (perhaps all over the world) people married at a much younger age. Puberty, before our age of enlightenment, was one of the general markers.
    So, therefore, I don't think it would be accurate to refer to Muhammad as a pervert using the standards that are used today. By definition he was not a pervert, if he consummated his marriage at Aisha's puberty and if this was the standard age for consummation of marriage at the time. How old was Mary - perhaps 13?

    This age of greatly extended childhood (even the idea of childhood) is a fairly recent development in the great span of history. So, in this particular area, I think it would be inaccurate to accuse Muhammad of perversion or immoral behavior of another sort.

    I'm not saying that makes it okay today to have sex with 12 year olds. Not at all. Just that context is important at least on some issues. Other than puberty, there is really no objective markers for us to judge whether a woman is ready. So naturally, different countries and even states within the U.S. have picked an arbitrary number for when a woman is ready. Would you say that Idahoan's are immoral but New Yorkers are not because of these differences?

  • ||

    wigga? You haven't spent much time listening to white southerners speak have you?

    A 50 year old man having sex with a 9 year old girl. If that's okay with you (now or ever) then we can put this thread to bed. You're obviously just another apologist. Keep the Muslims happy and they won't kill you. Don't forget to make your wife wear her burqa.

    Have a nice day. I hope you don't have any girl children.

    CB

  • ||

    Cracker's boy,
    Wigga please.....
    Careful, that house of straw you've built could easily ignite from the gaseous ignorance and poor reasoning skills you're emitting. Learn to read. Then get back to me. But in short,

    1. As I wrote before, the evidence that Muhammad had sex with Aisha at that age is not strong. It is just as likely, or more so, that he simply followed the customs at that time, which would have meant she would most likely have reached puberty closer to 12 or 13, maybe even 14 considering that girls today are reaching puberty earlier much earlier than they were in ancient times.

    Additionally, Muhammad also married women older than himself, so it is unlikely he had some sort of youth fetish.

    But just out of curiosity, at what age do you think it is "okay"? 15, 16, 18, 21? 35? How did you come up with that number? Is it divinely inspired natural law or did you just pull it out of your...crack?

    2. You seem to be conflating all of Islam with Wahabbist fundamentalism in calling me an apologist and suggesting I have my wife wear a burqa. Are you capable of understanding this distinction? I'll give it a shot. Wahabbism is the fundamentalist branch of Islam that unfortunately allied itself early on with Saudi oil money and became influential in much of the region and parts of Africa. It is a very large and dangerous cult. Make no mistake, I find the violence and intolerant actions of these cultists offensive to the core of my being. I don't give a flying cracker's boy if or how they are offended by the free speech of others - or rather I would not concede one inch to their demands that any material they find offensive need be removed from any sort of media (of course, if the media itself wants to cave to their demands that's their right as well, though I would hope they wouldn't). I categorically denounce hate speech laws as odious offenses against our civil liberties. And anyone, reacting in violence against the peaceable actions of others, no matter how offensive they might find those actions, needs to be prosecuted to the full defense of the law. In other words, I find what you say, CB, to be smugly ignorant and poor in reasoning skills, but I would defend at all times your right to say it.

    All I was saying in my original argument is that it's important when criticizing something to understand the subject at hand. Otherwise we end up doing and saying ignorant things, like mixing up Wahabbism with all of Islam. All that does is spread unnecessary hate. Go ahead and condemn the devil. But at least know who the devil is.

  • ||

    Sorry, "extent of the law." not "defense of the law."

  • Muslims are bigots||

    Sorry but the "don't mix me up with Wahabbist argument" just doesn't cut it. The Koran is quite possibly the most racist, intolerant piece of garbage ever foisted upon the human race. Unless you reject its "teachings" you are no better than any other muslim.

  • ||

    MAB,
    You know this because...?

    A: You have read the Koran in its original Arabic and have come to the fundamentalist conclusion that there is only one possible interpretation to the words written

    B: You are some strange breed of linguist (a minority of one) who believes that for every word there is one and only one possible definition. And anti-Abelard you have some iconoclastic belief that words actually don't stand for anything at all. They are glued indelibly to divinely revealed meanings.

    C: You have only read the anti-Islamic rantings of pseudo-intellectual hate mongerers like Robert Spencer who are completely incapable of understanding that for any text there are multiple possible interpretations.

    D: You are related to Cracker's boy above and come from a clan that is genetically incapable of understanding the conflationist fallacy

    ?

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