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Muslim Groups Attempt to Censor Wikipedia 1730

Posted by Zonk
from the where-free-speech-meets-the-road dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes "The New York Times is reporting that Muslim groups are attempting to censor Wikipedia because of images of Muhammad contained in the article about him. '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 [online petitions against the page] 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."'"
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Muslim Groups Attempt to Censor Wikipedia

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:22PM (#22336890) Journal
    These pictures aren't so bad! Here [wikimedia.org] he is betting his followers that he can slide all the way down a railing without falling off. Here [wikimedia.org] is his senior picture. Here [wikimedia.org] he is preparing to be tossed into the air on a blanket. Here [wikimedia.org] he is on fire (about to be Super Saiyan 2). Here [wikimedia.org] he is full blown Super Saiyan 3 complete with human headed horse. Here [wikimedia.org] he is at an Ozzy Ozborne concert (far right). Last but not least, here's what you'd have to print to be murdered in Europe [wikimedia.org].

    All of that on Wikipedia? How does Jimmy Wales sleep at night?!

    Oh, I am so going to end up trapped in my grave being tormented by djinns until the end of time. After that, Shaitan be kickin' me old school. Hope he likes classic rock and indie bands!

    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."
    Perhaps you should instead choose simply not to use the site? If you believe that to be true, you should be condemning images of him everywhere at once, not just on Wikipedia. Why aren't you petitioning against all of these sites [google.com]? Why are you picking on Wikipedia?
  • Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tulmad (25666) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:22PM (#22336894)
    Good luck with that. People all around the world of all religions and beliefs need to learn that not everyone in the world will bend your views all of the time.
  • I am offended (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timberwolf0122 (872207) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:23PM (#22336918) Journal
    As an atheist I am offended by this Muslim group deciding what I can an can see baised on a set of beliefs and ideals that are not my own, I demand that they stop bothering wikipedia it shows a total lack of respect and understand to athiests.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:26PM (#22336958) Journal
    Oh hell, people in the West get all up in arms if someone says something perceived to be blasphemous against Jesus Christ.

    All of these people, wherever they live, need to grow up.
  • Dear Muslims (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kierthos (225954) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:26PM (#22336966) Homepage
    I'm offended by members of your religion blowing themselves up in populated areas as terrorist acts. When you stop doing that, then we can talk.
  • I would suspect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:26PM (#22336980)
    that Mohammed's objection to him being pictured is the danger of that image being worshiped. I don't think he would mind if his image is presented in a educational forum, such as Wikipedia, where the forum itself doesn't give any reverance other than historical fact to the picture.
  • getting real old (Score:2, Insightful)

    by justdrew (706141) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:27PM (#22336990)
    ya know I'm just about sick of trying to give a shit about Muslim feelings. they of all people should realize that the profit's image can only be there if Allah wills it to be so, and if He's fine with it, they might as well shut up too.
  • Honestly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pendersempai (625351) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:27PM (#22337000)
    You know, I am generally pretty politically correct, and I totally understand the need to let a thousand flowers bloom.

    But in this case, it really seems like people are trying pretty hard to be offended. It's fine if your religion prevents YOU from creating pictures of your prophet, or eating meat, or working on Sundays, or using vowels. Best of luck with that. But it's a different thing entirely to tell ME that I am not allowed to either.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:28PM (#22337018)
    "It's totally unacceptable to print the Prophet's picture?"

    Oh, really?

    Centuries of your own culture's actions suggest otherwise, sweetie. Sorry to have that little inconvenient truth drag you kicking and screaming into the 20th century. Try the veal...

    http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/ [zombietime.com]
  • I am Muslim and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HerculesMO (693085) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:29PM (#22337026)
    Honestly, Muslims around the world need to shut the fuck up.

    If you complain about something, especially on the internets -- people are going to do it MORE. What happened after the complaints on the drawings of Muhammad? MORE were made by random people all across the internet.

    You cannot expect people to respect your religion just "because". Jews, Christians, etc... are all mocked all over the internet on a daily basis. Muslims are no exception to this.

    The inherent problem is, that they are quick to complain and rarely change anything in a negative light about themselves. It's why I am non-practicing now, even though I do stick to the tenets of morality (which are largely the same as Christianity or Judiasm -- because they are frankly just stolen and modified) the religion preaches. I cannot get along with people who are so virulent in their attacks of the "West", "blasphemers" (like they think of those editing Wikipedia now), etc.

    Besides... as a friend told me -- Wikipedia is a "non prophet organization".

    So why are they worried ANYWAY? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:30PM (#22337050)
    Why did they only target the World Trade Center? Oh, wait, they didn't... They went for more than that. I would expect them to go for more than Wikipedia once they prove their strategy works.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnFluxx (413620) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:33PM (#22337112)
    The difference being with Christians is that it's only figuratively speaking when you say 'up in arms'.
  • Re:I would suspect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:33PM (#22337114)
    But arn't all these images from Islamic religious documents? They certainly are not from Western artists.
  • Re:I am offended (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:33PM (#22337120) Journal
    Quite frankly, I think the Western countries should collectively get together and declare one day as "Mock A Tradition Day". On that day, every sacred cow ever invented by any group is trotted out and made fun of. Whether it's Mohammed, Confucius, Jesus, Zeus or Joseph E. Smith, they all should be mocked, hopefully with lots of scatalogical humor, insinuations of homosexuality and beastiality, baseless accusations of every manner of immorality, and to end with a public pissing contest over images of them all.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:35PM (#22337166) Journal
    You better tell that to the Christians trying to wipe out science education in America via school and state education boards. Just because Christians have been forced to be a bit more sophisticated than killing Dutch filmmakers and trying to bully online encyclopedias doesn't mean they aren't every bit as fearful and hateful of freedom as their Muslim counterparts. They've just figured out the best way to go about it is to hire lawyers.
  • Re:Honestly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bkr1_2k (237627) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:36PM (#22337174)
    Ah, but the point of religion isn't just to control me, but also to control you. Why bother if it can't do both?
  • by fullgandoo (1188759) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:36PM (#22337184)
    On a side note, portraits of Muhammad and others are everywhere in Iran. You can even see them painted in cafes depicting various scenes from Muhammad's life. So how come it is OK for Iranians to do this but not anyone else? I would have thought this would be grounds enough to nuke Iran long ago!
  • by dave420 (699308) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:36PM (#22337190)
    I'm pretty sure he meant in the present time. Just as thousands of years ago it was OK for Christians to kill other folks, now not so much.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mike2R (721965) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:37PM (#22337198)

    Oh hell, people in the West get all up in arms if someone says something perceived to be blasphemous against Jesus Christ.

    Not so sure about that. Or at least the 'up in arms' bit is only a figure of speech.

    Say what you like about Christians (and I frequently do) but they do seem to take criticism and mockery a hell of a lot better than Muslims.

    Can you imagine if Monty Python had set 'The Life of Brian' around Mohammed?

    He's not the prophet, he's a naughty naughty boy!

    Someone would get killed.

  • by Lurker2288 (995635) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:39PM (#22337236)
    Attention Muslims: no one gives shit about the rules your fruity little cult chooses to embrace, so please stop acting as though we ought to.

    Attention all other religious folks: likewise.

    Maybe when you folks grow up a little and are no longer so arrogant as to believe yourselves to be the sole custodians of the ultimate truths of the universe, we'll have more to talk about. Until then, go screw.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:39PM (#22337238) Homepage Journal

    These pictures aren't so bad!
    Did you get all those from Mohammad's MySpace page?

    Seriously, it's important that we realize that religion makes people nuts. Of course, there are degrees of nuttiness, and certainly marching around in front of Women's Health Clinics and screaming at young women going in to get a pap smear and throwing lamb's blood at them isn't quite as bad as strapping a bomb to yourself and blowing folks up, but crazy is crazy. I think we really have to try our best to encourage people to keep their religious insanity to themselves and to their own little groups. The early Christians had the right idea, meeting in secret in caves. If only we could get the contemporary ones to follow their lead.

    Judging from the results of the recent presidential primaries, it looks like the wave of militant religious has finally crested and is now starting to recede. It can only make life better for the rest of us.

    As always, the best tool is ridicule. Whether Tom Cruise or Mormons or Ted Haggard or "evangelicals" or fanatic muslims, ridicule is the key. Somehow, it seems like all forms of political correctness have been beaten back except when it comes to religion. For religion, you are absolute required to be politically correct, especially if you're talking about a rich, white, religious person. How silly.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mike2R (721965) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:40PM (#22337264)

    Just because Christians have been forced to be a bit more sophisticated than killing Dutch filmmakers and trying to bully online encyclopedias doesn't mean they aren't every bit as fearful and hateful of freedom as their Muslim counterparts. They've just figured out the best way to go about it is to hire lawyers.

    Lawyers aren't great, sure. But they're a hell of a lot better than armed mobs.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:40PM (#22337276) Journal
    Actually, I think Christianity is every bit as morally bankrupt, worthless and vile as Islam, it's just that most Western societies long ago castrated churches, leaving them largely impotent. On occasion you'll get bands of them a bit more active and politically motivated, but look at how the Republicans are tearing themselves to shreds right now precisely because they sold their souls to a pack of moralizing lunatics to win some elections.

    Some day it will happen to Muslims. They'll wake up one morning and realize the mullah they've been listening to is no authority, that his use of political clout is completely improper and counterproductive, and will also realize that he has been in league with politicians to manipulate the populace so as not to have to modernize and liberalize society. On that day, those mullahs better bloody well hope that the revolution is a gradual and peaceful one, and not the violent, bloody kind which they so often preach.
  • by lixee (863589) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:41PM (#22337292)
    You can't apply the standards of whatever place and time you're living in, to what happened in Arabia 15 centuries ago. What is a pedophile in your opinion? Someone that screws people who aren't 18? 16? 15? 14? 13? Who decides? The age of consent in Germany or Austria is 14; in Spain, it's 13. In other places, it goes down as low as 12 years old. We don't have the same genes or cultures, and different people achieve sexual maturity at different times. There's this girl of 5 years old who gave birth in Peru. And besides sexual maturity, people mature differently in general. That's for the "pedophile" part. The claim that it was "rape" is ludicrous given that the whole marriage was as a favor to Aisha's father (the first male Muslim). If there was indeed rape, she wouldn't have been so lenient on the prophet when recounting her experiences. To quote the Wiki: A rape is a form of assault where one individual forces another to have sexual intercourse against that person's will. Nothing of the sort happened in this case. It was an arranged marriage with the blessing of the whole family, and Aisha didn't object to it. Granted, she was young, but there are plenty of young kids with more judgment, determination and wits than adults. I am not saying she falls in that category, but surely you must be able to realize that your "rape" claim is ridiculous. I should also point out that the prophet married mostly widows, which are often of a certain age. The idea being that it is the best way to fulfill their sexual and economic needs. In fact, at the age of 25, the prophet's first wife was 40 years old. It is not contested that Khadija was the "love of his life". It may also be worth mentioning that the actual age at which the marriage with Aisha was consummated is not exactly a settled issue. The number fluctuates from 9 to as much as 15 years old. Which was it does not really matter in my opinion. Does Georges Washington's marriage to a 12 years old take away any of the man's achievements? You decide. For my part, I am not ready to judge something that happens centuries ago based on some arbitrary figure modern society decided upon.

    Let me guess...the only Muslims you know are Ben Laden and his ilk.
  • by TurinPT (1226568) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:44PM (#22337354)
    Oh come on now times change, read a history book.

    The concept of 18 being the age of maturity is fairly recent.
    People used to get married at a young age since the expected life span was much shorter.
    Look back at whatever your ancestry is, I bet you'll find alot of marriages at the age of 11/12.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:45PM (#22337360) Homepage Journal
    Iran is one of the few majority Shi'a states. this [wikipedia.org] explains it nicely(It even mentions Iran directly).
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:48PM (#22337440) Homepage
    You're painting both Christians and Muslims with a very broad brush. Moderate Muslims have no particular objection to these images. It's the crazy fundamentalist Muslims that kill people over stuff like this and try to get laws passed requiring women to wear burquas all the time, just like it's the crazy fundamentalist Christians that bomb abortion clinics and try to force school boards to include religious indoctrination into the curriculum.

    Every religion has its crazy wing, and every religion inspires certain people to be violent. The only difference these days is that the crazy wing of Islam is very well funded and better organized than the crazy wing of Christianity. In times past (Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, etc) that situation was reversed.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:48PM (#22337448) Journal

    The end result is the same. Less liberty, more ignorance

    "Less liberty"? The last time I checked you can still stand up and oppose Christianity in the United States or Europe. Try flying to the Middle East and speaking out against Islam in the city square and let me know how that works out for you.....

  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:49PM (#22337456)
    the KKK was also a Christian organisation. and they didn't stop their bullying and murder because we showed respect for their beliefs, they stopped because decent people got together and demanded they stop.

    appeasement does not work. see WW2 for details.
  • Simple solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:49PM (#22337460) Journal
    Create a sharia-compliant version of the wikipedia. Along with a kosher version of it. And a Vatican 0, Vatican 1.0, Vatican 2.0 version, a King James version, a baptist version.

    The content's licence allows such a thing. After all, Wikipedia is one giant pool of knowledge but has a scientific, secular, americano-centrist bias (only my feeling, it is debatable but it has, to some people, some bias) so it is unavoidable that some other pools spawn from the main one.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:49PM (#22337462) Homepage Journal
    "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."'

    Ok, muslims...time to get with the 21st century. It is ok to have your religion, and rules, but, they do NOT apply to everyone else in the world. No religion gets "respect". People can freely show insensitivity to Christians, Catholics, Jews, Buddists, Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers....(although none of the mentioned will try to blow you up or cut your head off if you do so).

    So, get with the times. You are not special in this world. Geez...I get so tired of very group being so freakin' sensitive, and whining all the time that we're not thinking of their feelings.

    People, get a grip, quit wearing your feelings and your religion on your sleeves. Man up...get on with life.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:49PM (#22337464) Journal
    You don't see anything wrong with an online petition whose sole goal is to censor an encyclopedia? You don't see anything wrong with a petition which is in fact made by people ignorant of their own artistic heritage?

    I've tried to be a moderate atheist these last fifteen years, but I'm really beginning to believe that religion is a vile and repugnant thing, a controlling, manipulating atrocious monster, an ugly form of primitive tribalism that has increasingly less of a place in a modern world.

    Maybe if you guys could just keep your goddamned faith in your homes and temples, rather than violating every notion of liberty, justice and reason, it wouldn't be so bad.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Liquidrage (640463) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:51PM (#22337498)
    Just because Christians have been forced to be a bit more sophisticated than killing Dutch filmmakers and trying to bully online encyclopedias doesn't mean they aren't every bit as fearful and hateful of freedom as their Muslim counterparts.

    No, actually it does. While I have many issues with the Xians in this nation, they are no where close to having the issues Islam has. Christianity has had it's reformation. The Muslim world is just 500 years behind and counting.
  • by MenTaLguY (5483) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:51PM (#22337502) Homepage
    Well, almost. The first, third, fourth, and fifth images linked to by the GP are certainly examples of such Islamic art just as you say. But how comfortable Muslims were with depicting living creatures (let alone Mohammed) has varied a lot across different places and times -- it's the reason Islamic cultures tend to favor abstract/geometric decorations. You can't say that images were never forbidden before, only just that the ban was never universal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:53PM (#22337536)
    thousands of years ago it was OK for Christians to kill other folks, now not so much

    Pst! Could someone please let the US president know this? Thx.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeanPaulBob (585149) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:54PM (#22337558)
    You see the difference between murdering filmmakers and trying to change science curriculum as one of...greater sophistication? What a fascinating moral philosophy!

    Or were you implying that Christians involved with trying to affect science curriculum would murder the science teachers if they thought they could get away with it?

    Where do people get this stuff? And how are there even two people out there that think it's "insightful"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:55PM (#22337576)

    Because, Wikipedia is a form of individual expression, something that CAN NOT be tolerated by Islamofascism. After you kill off freer forms of communication, it is much easier to target the brick and mortar with Explosives.

    If the Mullahs decided that all followers of Islam must believe in Invisible Pink Unicorns then so be it, believe or get your heads cut off. There is no toleration of anything but Islam, Atheist as well as people of other religions are targeted for 3 out comes: (1) pay a tax to keep on living (2) convert (3) die.

    "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated." --Muhammad_of_the_Borg
  • Re:Good luck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fallen Seraph4 (1186821) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:58PM (#22337620)
    To be fair, the sacred cows of the US and Europe aren't *quite* religion, yet. Nor will you get killed over them. But, in Europe, try to suggest that 6 mil jews were killed in the holocaust and you'll be in a sticky situation.

    Also, some particularly amusing US citizens fail to notice the hypocrisy in telling the middle east to grow a pair over the whole mo' cartoons deal, while trying to get flag burning made illegal.

    No one may be dying over these issues, but the principle is the same.
  • by armada (553343) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:58PM (#22337630)
    1st problem: Once again there are people missinterpreting religious dogma in order to satisfy their desires to express themselves. 2nd problem: religious dogma..... um period. 3rd problem: I'm pretty sure you could find someone offended by some aspect of every single article written in wikipedia to varying levles and with varying density. Solution 1: Think for yourself Solution 2: Think for yourself Solution 3: Grow some balls and re read 1 and 2.
  • "Irony" defined. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by warrax_666 (144623) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:02PM (#22337688)

    Muslims should pray to Allah, not Muhammad. So by having no pictures of him, the danger of a cult [around him] developing is much reduced.

    Yeah, and just look how well that worked out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:03PM (#22337700)
    "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."

    Those are merely CLAIMS. What is the proof for such claims, especially for the first claim? Not to mention that Wikipedia is a Western-culture thing, in which pictures of most things are OK. It doesn't have to bow to Muslim-culture notions, any more than they have to bow to Western-culture notions.

    Perhaps a compromise is possible? The Muslims mostly don't use English or other European languages, so what if pictures were not included in the Arabic and equivalent-language versions of the article?
  • by n1ghtstr1k3 (106718) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:03PM (#22337706)
    How is a group of Muslims signing an online petition "attempting to censor" Wikipedia? The title makes it sound as if they've engaged in some malicious activity to shutdown Wikipedia.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khaed (544779) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:06PM (#22337750)
    Wake me up when Christian fundamentalists fly planes into buildings, or burn down embassies because someone made an unflattering picture of Jesus. Oh wait -- Christians didn't set anything on fire over Piss Christ.

    Christian fundie violence occurs about 0.000001% as often as Islamist fundie violence.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:08PM (#22337784) Homepage Journal
    ".(although none of the mentioned will try to blow you up or cut your head off if you do so, anymore)."

    Minor correction.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:09PM (#22337796)

    Unneccessary, since the Wikipedia database contents are already available for download for all interested parties. See this page [wikipedia.org] for details.

    That said, I don't think that this is offtopic. This being Islam we're talking about, it propably won't take too long before death threats start flying, and it's always possible some lunatic will decide to carry them out, or take less drastic action, such as a cyber-attack against the Wikipedia servers. Making sure that the database is safe from any such attacks is only common sense; and the easiest way to accomplish that is to back it up and spread the copies to as many places as possible.

    Cue a hundred replies claiming that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance; and maybe it is - I wouldn't know, since I haven't read their holy book. All I know is that it certainly seems attract lots of bloodthirsty lunatics who use their religion as an excuse to live up to their murderous nature.

  • by ZiggyStardust1984 (1099525) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:10PM (#22337826)
    Now we only need Al Jazeera to notice that and publish this "news" so all Islamic countries where images o Muhammad is prohibited will issue a fatwa to kill iranians (Or at least those with muhammad images). This will save Bush some bucks.
  • Re:I am offended (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:11PM (#22337844) Journal
    Respect is something you earn, not something given to you automatically, and respect doesn't mean having some right to censor an encyclopedia. It's one thing to say "You have the right to your faith" and quite another for members of that faith demand that they're one taboos (which are apparently of rather recent origin) be enforced on non-believers.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:13PM (#22337872) Journal

    Those are merely CLAIMS. What is the proof for such claims, especially for the first claim?

    More importantly, who gives a shit what they think is "unacceptable"? In the Western World its unacceptable for religion to impose its restrictions on free speech. Nobody is forcing them to go look at these pictures.

    What's next? Are they gonna complain about the pictures all over the net (and even Wikipedia) of exposed women? My right to say what I want, read what I want and look at what I want trumps your right not to be offended.

    Perhaps a compromise is possible?

    And why exactly SHOULD we compromise on one of the most important principles of western democracy? I can think of a lot of stuff [godhatesfags.com] on the internet that's offensive and disgusting and I'm not advocating that we take it down. My freedom of speech trumps your right not to be offended.

  • by EvilGrin5000 (951851) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:13PM (#22337882)
    Actually, they ARE in the 21st century.

    --FTFA--
    Paul M. Cobb, who teaches Islamic history at Notre Dame, said, "Islamic teaching has traditionally discouraged representation of humans, particularly Muhammad, but that doesn't mean it's nonexistent." He added, "Some of the most beautiful images in Islamic art are manuscript images of Muhammad."

    The idea of imposing a ban on all depictions of people, particularly Muhammad, dates to the 20th century, he said. With the Wikipedia entry, he added, "what you are dealing with is not medieval illustrations, you are dealing with modern media and getting a modern response."
    --End Article quote--

    So actually, this is a recent thinking to impose such strong bans on depictions.
    Although reading most of your comment, I'm not sure why you had to follow most of your points with clearly stereotypical comments such as:
    --quote--
    People can freely show insensitivity to Christians, Catholics, Jews, Buddists, Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers....(although none of the mentioned will try to blow you up or cut your head off if you do so).
    --end quote--

    You were starting to make sense until I read the end of that sentence. I believe you were trying to say "Respect all humans, their own religion and their human rights to study all areas"

    What I am tired of, is actually comments like yours that push stereotypes further into everyone's head. Their religion doesn't MAKE them blow you up, extremists and activists and violent groups do. As far as I know, I recall Christian crusades doing the very same thing. Kill in the name of God? Christ? what the fuck man, why not look into your own history and see what YOUR religion (if you have one) or a religion you're defending has already done?

    Genocides and death in the name of gods, religion or beliefs are actually common in history. Let's not make the mistake that just because we're facing a more recent act of extreme reactions, that they are and were always the -only- ones that are at fault.
  • by operagost (62405) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:16PM (#22337934) Homepage Journal
    It's always been unbiblical to do so. But you're obviously ignorant of that fact.
  • My faith... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Critical_ (25211) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:17PM (#22337950) Homepage
    I'm an American Muslim who was born and raised here. While I choose to reserve my opinion over the images of the Prophet I do find a lot of the comments on Slashdot to be disappointing. I've been a part of this community since its very inception and have done my best to contribute my expertise to relevant topics. However, its troubling to see that whenever anything Islam-related is posted, there are endless tirades painting my faith with a broad brush of extremism and ignorance.

    As I've seen in the past, this sort of post always garners responses such as: "well if you're so level-headed then why aren't you changing the Muslim world?" Unfortunately, all 1+ billion of us are treated as if we're one big happy family. I have no more power to change the world of Islam than I do my own country's domestic and foreign policy beyond the established routes (i.e. voting, debates, etc). We make small but significant gains in our own ways but none of possess earth shattering abilities to make miracles happen. If we--as westerners--are really bastions of knowledge and free thinking then I'd do far more to educated the masses about my religion instead of having it hijacked by both non-Muslim Islamophobes and international extremists.

    I will say that discussions littered with such ignorance and hate don't help people like me when we try to open up dialog with members of our religion. As much as people here may call the anti-portraitists relics of the past its very difficult to defend enlightenment and modernism when its laced with veiled Islamophobia [1]. Its even more difficult when people outside of the religion have the audacity to tell Muslims what is and isn't antiquated or kosher. Defining our religion for us wreaks of orientalism and causes even the most moderate to stop listening. I certainly hope I don't get modded or flamed into oblivion because this discussion needs to start somewhere.

    [1]: Lets not beat around the bush and call it what it is when 15 century old stereotypes are thrown back in our collective faces even though they may have been debunked already. It even offends me.
  • by NeoOokami (528323) <neowolf@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:20PM (#22337982) Homepage
    People can freely show insensitivity to Christians, Catholics, Jews, Buddists, Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers....(although none of the mentioned will try to blow you up or cut your head off if you do so).

    I hate to be so glum but try telling that to abortion clinics and gay bars that get targeted by unsavory Christian whack-jobs. It's not too common fortunately, but if you think Islamic fundamentalists are the only violent ones today you're ignoring quite a bit. (It's hardly limited to those two spin-offs either!)
  • Re:Good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jollygreengiantlikes (701640) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:21PM (#22338012) Homepage Journal

    the KKK was also a Christian organisation. and they didn't stop their bullying and murder because we showed respect for their beliefs


    An important distinction is to note the difference between a faith/religion and organizations formed by those claiming to be faithful followers.

    Quite a few years ago a grade-school teacher told me that even though 1) snoobs have bloongs and 2) bloongs are green does not in fact mean that all snoobs are green.

    JGG
  • by ePhil_One (634771) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:21PM (#22338020) Journal
    Cue a hundred replies claiming that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance; and maybe it is - I wouldn't know, since I haven't read their holy book. All I know is that it certainly seems attract lots of bloodthirsty lunatics who use their religion as an excuse to live up to their murderous nature.

    As has Christianity, where fairly wide swaths of believers have embraced those who bombed not only abortion clinic but those who would come to their aide. Web sites naming doctors who perform abortions and encourage their viewers to do "something". All in the name of a man who asked his followers to "Turn the other cheek".

    And look at yourself? You've turned an online petition into a reason to rail against an entire religion! I bet you get upset when people use a few bad priests to condemn an entire religion, but you are so eager to condemn Islam based on the actions of a few extremists who are generally agreed to ignoring the basic tenets of their own religion to bring about their own political goals.

  • Images of Jesus (Score:2, Insightful)

    by leroybrown (136516) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:22PM (#22338030) Homepage
    Well, technically, Christians aren't allowed to make images of Jesus/God either. The original text of the commandment in Exodus about graven images is:

    You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    Before I get jumped, "idol" means something to be worshiped. This means, in it's strictest sense, no paintings of Jesus/God to worship ANYWHERE. Why anyone would have paintings or sculptures of Jesus/God in a church without intending them to be worshiped is beyond me. And it seems hard to believe that no one has ever prayed in the Sistine Chapel after looking at the ceiling.

    This commandment has obviously been rewritten over the years and I'm sure some Christian will reply and make a defense about how I've taken things out of context. I'll never understand some things, such as this commandment can be open to interpretation, while "women should never wear mens clothing" means that it's a sin for women to wear pants to some far out fundamentalists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:23PM (#22338052)
    As far as I know, I recall Christian crusades doing the very same thing. Kill in the name of God? Christ? what the fuck man, why not look into your own history and see what YOUR religion (if you have one) or a religion you're defending has already done?

    The Crusades were a military response to a muslim/arab invasion of Europe. The "Crusade" was just a way European nobles whipped up support among the serfs.

    Get a history book, one that hasn't been sanitized by the PC Police, and see for yourself.
  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:23PM (#22338064) Homepage Journal
    "It's totally unacceptable to crash airplanes into buildings and commit suicide bombings," Saadia Bukhari from Pakistan wrote in a message. "It shows insensitivity towards innocent people and should be openly condemned by all Muslims immediately."'"

    Karma be damned. Most people would post this as an AC, but I am totally sick of the bullshit. They've RIOTED AND KILLED PEOPLE over posting images of their Prophet already. I'm tired of seeing people kowtow to this so called 'Religion of Peace' out of fear of 'offending' them. I applaud Wikipedia for their stand on this.
  • by Squiffy (242681) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:24PM (#22338084) Homepage
    Whoever modded the parent offtopic needs to be metamodded into oblivion. Since when does Slashdot give mod points to people who don't know UNIX?
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:25PM (#22338094) Journal

    As far as I know, I recall Christian crusades doing the very same thing. Kill in the name of God? Christ? what the fuck man, why not look into your own history and see what YOUR religion (if you have one) or a religion you're defending has already done?

    Keyword there: history.

    I'm not even Christian, but I'm growing weary of hearing people pull out the crusades to try and change the topic away from Muslim extremism. Yes, Christianity has had it's dark moments. Life for life it's even possible that Christianity has killed more people. But what's the point of bring it up in these discussions? Christianity isn't engaged in a crusade today. Christians aren't burning down buildings and issuing fatwas because of cartoons.

    Let's talk about what's going on in the modern world. And in the modern world it's indisputable that Muslim extremism is claiming more lives/doing more damage then Christian extremism. This problem isn't going away until the moderates step up and silence the extremists. We can do our part to help them out (being less one-sided with our foreign policy would be a good start) but at the end of the day it's THEIR job to clean up their house, not ours.

    The dark past of Christianity is not a free pass for other religions to do the same in modern times.

  • Re:Good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:27PM (#22338134) Homepage
    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:28PM (#22338164)
    Religion may make some people nuts, but to be fair, so does atheist left-wing Darwinist politics (Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Seung-Hui Cho, Hitler, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, etc). If only ridicule had been enough to overthrow such wackos.
  • by BytePusher (209961) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:31PM (#22338220) Homepage
    "The early Christians had the right idea, meeting in secret in caves. If only we could get the contemporary ones to follow their lead."

    I really don't think you know what you're saying. Early Christians met in secret caves in order to avoid being killed by people who didn't like them. If you're going to try to compel contemporary Christians to behave the same way, you'll probably have to treat us the same way. So calling religious people crazy and then endorsing killing us is no different than being crazy yourself.

    I look forward to a day when religious tolerance and freedom means respecting all human rights to and for all people, including freedom of speech and expression.

    I don't know how to get this message across, but people are people, religion or not. Religion is often times used as an excuse for bad behavior, but removing the religion will not remove the bad behavior.

    I might also add that Christianity has promoted many significant reformations of cultures that anti-religious people enjoy. Read about William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, Thomas Aquinas, etc... Almost without fail you'll find the most influential men and women who brought about significant positive cultural change were worshipers of Christ. Granted, you'll find some people who've done some really evil things in the name of Christ, but you'll find really evil people pretty evenly distributed throughout the entire world, religious or not. The truth is, you and I owe quite a lot to religious people before us, who put their lives second to the lives of the poor and oppressed. It's hard to find the motivation to do that if life is simply from dust to dust.
  • by magarity (164372) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:35PM (#22338306)
    It's worth noting that a number of those pictures were made by Muslim artists, too
     
    I don't think religion of the artist matters; only that a picture ye old prophet was displayed. After all, a group of muslim children named a teddy bear after him but their teacher was the one who was almost stoned to death.
  • by amokk (465630) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:36PM (#22338330)

    In the Western World its unacceptable for religion to impose its restrictions on free speech.


    I sincerely hope you don't believe this. If you do, your perceptions of reality are completely out of touch with how the "real" world works. This is not a defense of islam, but please, that last statement was preposterous.
  • by Animaether (411575) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:38PM (#22338370) Journal
    subject is tongue-in-cheek.

    Perhaps Wikipedia perfectly allows profanity in a subject that deals with, say, Profanity ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profanity [wikipedia.org] ) ?
    I quote:
    "For example, "fuck", a common (often considered strong) profanity in English, is a verb for the act of sexual intercourse and may be used literally in this sense ("I fucked her all night long.")or ("Fuck you bitch")."
    And that is just a tiny quote of that page. I swear I'll have to wash my eyes with soap later!

    Perhaps they have a policy on not allowing profanity in subjects that do not call for it; or at least trying to keep it to a minimum.
    E.g. what is the added value of the profanity in this:
    --
    Linux /lnks/ in motherfucking English; fucked up variants exist[1]) is a goddamn Unix-like computer operating system. Linux is one da motherfuckin' bomb when it comes to free software and open source development: typically all underlying source code can be freely modified, used, and redistributed by any motherfucker with half a clue.[2]
    --
    Over the non-profane description that is there already?

    However - let's say an article deals with Muhammad, either the very topic or reasonably tangentially - then the added value, certainly in the former, of graphical depictions of the guy is, at least to me, quite clear.
    Similarly, however, I wouldn't expect pictures of Muhammad to appear in subjects that have little to nothing to do with him - but not because I feel it would unnecessarily potentially offend islamists visiting that page not having expected to see the picture and seeing it anyway, but because the subject wouldn't call for such the picture in the first place.

    That, at least to me, is the difference between your Muhammad vs Profanity and how Wikipedia handles it example.
  • by SuperStretchy (1018064) <acatzr800@gmail. c o m> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:38PM (#22338384)
    I can assure you that "Christians" who bomb abortion clinics and picket actors'/soldiers' deaths because of whatever sexual orientation they might be- are hardly Christians at all. While mainstream Christianity disagrees with the issues behind those things, the isolated reactions by a fanatical few are totally uncalled for and vile. Jesus didn't put to death the woman who was caught in adultery- he reviled her accusers (who had committed a greater sin) and told told the woman to go and sin no more. I, however, take great offense at Christianity being likened to Islam.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:40PM (#22338414)
    It shows insensitivity towards Muslim feelings

    Objectivity is not sensitive to people's feelings. That is exactly what makes it valuable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:42PM (#22338454)
    I prefer the version with the superimposed mushroom cloud.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:43PM (#22338466) Homepage
    Moderate Muslims have no particular objection to these images. It's the crazy fundamentalist Muslims that kill people over stuff like this and try to get laws passed requiring women to wear burquas all the time

    Very agreed. See, for example, Morocco for a Muslim nation which is very compatible with Western culture. They are also one of the US's oldest allies - dating back to being one of the first nations to recognize our independence, and saving our asses from The Barbary Corsairs. Muslims aren't bad - xenophobes and authoritarians are. If you want to fight the real enemy, you don't need to look for a temple, mosque, or church - and you don't need to look outside your own borders. The real enemy is arrogant ignorance.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:43PM (#22338472) Journal

    but please, that last statement was preposterous.

    Why? In what major Western Country can religion impose restrictions on free speech? The followers of said religion can hem and haw all they want -- that's actually their right (free speech again) -- but by and large they aren't resorting to violence.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

    Get back to me when a majority of Muslims realize that freedom is just as important to us as their freedom to practice their religion is to them. We've been utter dicks to them for the last 100 years (European colonialism, the USSR/USA using them as pawns during the Cold War, current US policy, etc) but for once I don't think we have anything to apologize for.

    If we are willing to give up our freedom of speech to appease a handful of loud Muslims that offend easily then we truly are doomed.

  • by mrxak (727974) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:45PM (#22338516)
    Associating violence with any one religion, or religion as a whole is just silly. All humans, religious or not, are capable of atrocities, and have been carrying them out for nearly every reason imaginable for millennia. The capacity for hatred really is the one thing all humans have in common.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:46PM (#22338534) Homepage Journal
    "This is true of pretty much all religions. It's just that Islam has gotten the most face time on the news lately. There isn't much difference between a fanatic who is killing in the name of Sharia law vs. the devout christian who starts shooting people in front of the abortion clinic."

    Except that there isn't anything in the new testament telling Christians to go out and bomb abortion clinics or to do any kind of violence, just isn't in there. Some crazies will read anything and go violent...extremists are rare.

    However, there is violence in the Sharia law and the Koran (sp?) that seem to be an integral part of Islam. It seems in Islam, the extremists are almost the majority of the members...they can sure easily fill a street screaming, protesting and dragging bodies through the streets. I dare say you couldn't fill a block with violent Christians and any given time.

  • by Andrew Kismet (955764) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:48PM (#22338590)
    Regardless of atrocities committed (and atrocities are committed by humans, not religions), there certainly seems to be a higher atrocity/individual rate in current Islamic culture than any other current faiths.

    Retrospectively, I think you'll find it's about equal to Christianity in all regards, with a few rather nasty atheists involved throughout history, their own worst point being one shared with Christians, the holocaust. And mentioning that, I'm pretty sure the Jewish faith has caused more than a few problems, although they generally get as many atrocities committed against them as they actually commit.

    All in all, I think pretty much any large, organised group, be their grouping religious or otherwise, are prone to manipulation from nasty buggers who want other groups to cease existing.

    Regarding the actual article... Wikipedia's all about verifiable groupthink. It'll be a heavily contested page, just like the one on circumcision or any other 'delicate topic'. All in all, the pictures are pretty much required to illustrate various controversies like the Posten issue, and generally to reflect a worldwide view on the topic. At least they chose the symbolic depiction for the article header and category.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:50PM (#22338642) Journal

    Lack of belief does not equal belief.

    Sure about that? Because I've met my fair share of Atheists that are as aggressive in trying to convert people as any Christian would be. Hell, most of the hard-core atheists are more obnoxious then the hard-core Christians. Either way, they both share one common trait: Both are utterly sure beyond any reasonable doubt that THEY have the RIGHT answer.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:50PM (#22338658)
    "Enlightenment" is not about going to this teacher, that guru, or whoever seems to be popular today, but about you finding your own answers within. It is a process. No one else can do it for you -- they have their own lives to live.
  • by Khopesh (112447) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:51PM (#22338674) Homepage Journal

    I'm offended by members of your religion blowing themselves up in populated areas as terrorist acts. When you stop doing that, then we can talk.

    How is this "Score:5, Insightful" ?

    The handful of Muslims involved in terrorist activity is both extremely small and non-representative of the religion as a whole. No major Islamic organization is represented by terrorists, and most such organizations officially condemn terrorism as a whole. I doubt you responded to the Oklahoma City Bombing by saying "Dear Christians, I'm offended by members of your religion ..."

    I can't interpret your post (and its moderators) as exhibiting anything but discrimination against Islam [wikipedia.org], including a rather large helping of ignorance.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:53PM (#22338724)
    I can assure you that "Muslims" who bomb people they think are repressing them and picket actors'/soldiers' deaths because of whatever sexual orientation they might be- are hardly Muslims at all. While mainstream Islam disagrees with the issues behind those things, the isolated reactions by a fanatical few are totally uncalled for and vile. Mohammed didn't put to death the woman who was caught in adultery- he reviled her accusers (who had committed a greater sin) and told the woman to go and sin no more. I, however, take great offense at Islam being likened to Christianity.
  • by notamisfit (995619) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:54PM (#22338738)
    Sadly, any religion that claims to be a religion of peace is lying through its teeth. When people abandon their faculty of reason and start to believe in the imaginary, they lose their means to negotiate with others. The only remaining alternative is the use of force, either directly (kidnappings, murders, bombings) or indirectly (using coercive power of government to enforce one's "divinely inspired" whims).
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:57PM (#22338822)

    Regardless of atrocities committed (and atrocities are committed by humans, not religions), there certainly seems to be a higher atrocity/individual rate in current Islamic culture than any other current faiths.
    Really? Is killing because you are a uniformed soldier any better in the eyes of god than killing because you are a guerrilla soldier?

    Because if you want to count 'atrocities' the muslim culture is way behind most other cultures. For example, Israel's been averaging 3 dead palestinians for every 1 dead israeli. And of course the US has slaughtered tens of thousands of muslims in iraq and afghanistan.
  • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:58PM (#22338836) Homepage Journal
    And look at yourself? You've turned an online petition into a reason to rail against an entire religion! I bet you get upset when people use a few bad priests to condemn an entire religion, but you are so eager to condemn Islam based on the actions of a few extremists who are generally agreed to ignoring the basic tenets of their own religion to bring about their own political goals.

    I think you read into what he said. He said he wasn't sure, as he hasn't read their holy book. However, in general it seems to attract more nutjobs than your usual contingent of religious folks.

    I mean, Baptists had a person or two blow up abortion clinics is about the closes we have, and usually no one was there except somebody with bad luck, and most good christians were 'meh' but the government those christians elected hunted him down, found him, tried and convicted him. nobody said 'eh, he was doing gods work' and let him go.

    Meanwhile, we have a 'folk hero' who took down two buildings killing a few thousand people, and the system of government that is in place from Islam went 'meh' and isn't hunting his ass down to prosecute, and arrest him for murder. You have people celebrating in the streets, you have all sorts of 'support' in general of the activities.

    It's hard to be impartial, but to me it seems that while yeah maybe a good chunk of the Islamic followers aren't bloodthirsty monsters, the people they put in front of the cameras for the rest of the world are, and scream prepare to die infidel whenever they get the chance.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:06PM (#22338988)

    However, there is violence in the Sharia law and the Koran (sp?) that seem to be an integral part of Islam. It seems in Islam, the extremists are almost the majority of the members...they can sure easily fill a street screaming, protesting and dragging bodies through the streets. I dare say you couldn't fill a block with violent Christians and any given time.
    You haven't actually read the koran have you? Only a few translated excerpts without any context, right? Lines like "Go and kill the infidels" without the line right before that said something like "and when the infidels break their peace treaty with you and attack without warning..."

    PS, I bet you've never been to a 3rd world catholic country - lots of angry violent mobs in those places too. It has more to do with being a 3rd world country - or living in 3rd world conditions - than it does with being catholic, or muslim. We've got a few million muslims in the US and you don't see them forming up violent mobs - certainly nothing like we get here after some big sporting events...
  • by Pendersempai (625351) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:07PM (#22339028)

    I can assure you that "Muslims" who bomb people they think are repressing them and picket actors'/soldiers' deaths because of whatever sexual orientation they might be- are hardly Muslims at all.

    What authority decides who is a true Muslim and who isn't? Because it is a crime to be gay in most Islamic countries, punishable by torture and/or death, and at some point you have to wonder if maybe your tolerance is the anomaly, not their barbarity.

    At what point do we start judging the tree by the fruit that it bears?

  • Re:My faith... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:10PM (#22339068)
    ---I'm an American Muslim who was born and raised here. While I choose to reserve my opinion over the images of the Prophet I do find a lot of the comments on Slashdot to be disappointing. I've been a part of this community since its very inception and have done my best to contribute my expertise to relevant topics. However, its troubling to see that whenever anything Islam-related is posted, there are endless tirades painting my faith with a broad brush of extremism and ignorance.

    Listen to the words of the president of Iran and his position on the Holocaust and his opinion of the Jews. Now, tell me those views aren't shared across most of the Muslims of the world...

    I've heard directly from other Muslims, both in real life and over the 'net. Most, if not all of them have a hatred of Jews and a disdain of other religions. I'm not exactly inclined to be around people who hate so much. What makes Islam interesting is that this hatred seems extremely widespread, even including forcing of Sharia law upon countries and general (what I would call) evilness.

    And we can also see the "religion of peace" by the way families strap bombs to their children's waist and tell them to kill those infidels. Real peaceful.. Pieceful as in gibs if you ask me.

    ---As I've seen in the past, this sort of post always garners responses such as: "well if you're so level-headed then why aren't you changing the Muslim world?" Unfortunately, all 1+ billion of us are treated as if we're one big happy family. I have no more power to change the world of Islam than I do my own country's domestic and foreign policy beyond the established routes (i.e. voting, debates, etc). We make small but significant gains in our own ways but none of possess earth shattering abilities to make miracles happen. If we--as westerners--are really bastions of knowledge and free thinking then I'd do far more to educated the masses about my religion instead of having it hijacked by both non-Muslim Islamophobes and international extremists.

    I know about your religion. I am.. no, was a Catholic, and was taught about the big 5 religions of the world (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism). I may not know exactly know every detail about your religion, but I also do not know everything about mine.

    From what I see, 500 years ago, Christianity was about equal on the violence scale to Islam, if not slightly more so. During these times, the countries representing Islam faith stayed stagnant in terms of technology and rights to the people. Christian nations grew technologically, bypassing the Muslims, and along with that, gained more rights and freedoms not "allowed" by Islam and their holy laws. Our country was founded to keep YOUR holy laws (and everybody elses', for that matter) out of our country.

    The countries that represent majority of Islam have not had the sort of epiphany the Christians did in regard to freedom, and have effectively repressed it. I find that disgusting, and suitable for disdain.

    ---I will say that discussions littered with such ignorance and hate don't help people like me when we try to open up dialog with members of our religion. As much as people here may call the anti-portraitists relics of the past its very difficult to defend enlightenment and modernism when its laced with veiled Islamophobia [1]. Its even more difficult when people outside of the religion have the audacity to tell Muslims what is and isn't antiquated or kosher. Defining our religion for us wreaks of orientalism and causes even the most moderate to stop listening. I certainly hope I don't get modded or flamed into oblivion because this discussion needs to start somewhere.

    Since you like in the US, as do I, then perhaps you can appreciate my analogy.

    I'm in Indiana, the state with the founding of the group called the KKK (spit). You ever hear of them? They were individually nice people, you know, Christians and whatnot. But, as a group, they'd hold lynchings to scare everybody else that wasn't in their gr
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:13PM (#22339122)
    If they were complaining about kiddie porn it would be taken down in a flash.
  • by ehrichweiss (706417) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:17PM (#22339220)
    Here's a simple question to ask yourself. What religion do most(I dare say close to 99.999%) of the world's suicide bombers subscribe to? Statistically speaking, it doesn't look good for Islam.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:17PM (#22339222) Homepage Journal

    I, however, take great offense at Islam being likened to Christianity.
    Lets see, one is the bastard offspring of Judaism, and the other is the bastard offspring of Judaism... no, no, you're right, they are totally unlike each other. No similarity at all.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:18PM (#22339238)

    As has Christianity, where fairly wide swaths of believers have embraced those who bombed not only abortion clinic but those who would come to their aide.

    And so it begins. "Don't talk about muslims; look at what the christians are doing !"

    And look at yourself? You've turned an online petition into a reason to rail against an entire religion!

    Yes, look at me rather than your own strawmen. I pointed out that the parent post - which said it might be wise to make a backup of the Wikipedia database just in case - was not offtopic (as it had been moderated at the time), and backed up the neccessity of this operation by pointing out that protests coming from the muslim world have a tendency to become death threats [wikipedia.org].

    As I specifically stated that I don't know Islam well enough to know whether it actually condones such behavior from its followers, your accusation about "slamming an entire religion" is false.

    I bet you get upset when people use a few bad priests to condemn an entire religion, but you are so eager to condemn Islam based on the actions of a few extremists who are generally agreed to ignoring the basic tenets of their own religion to bring about their own political goals.

    If you are referring to Catholic Church's semi-official policy of protecting practicing pedophiles and ensuring them a steady supply of new victims, you are again incorrect. I find said policy to be a very good argument against such massive religious organizations in general and Catholic Church in particular.

    And the only thing I've said about Islam is that it certainly seems to draw a lot of bloodthirsty nutcases nowadays.

  • This is horrible. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vampyre_Dark (630787) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:20PM (#22339280)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Muhammad/images#Arguments_for_Removal [wikipedia.org]

    Actually reading the talk page, it seems like people are having a lot of fun mocking the religion of Islam and antagonizing anyone who tries to make their feelings be heard. It becomes very obvious that the picture is up there in defiance, and anyone who comes forward with a calm argument simply asking it to be removed is singled out and mocked by what looks to be the elite of the site acting out like 14 year olds.

    I'm not religious, but I hate to see blatant discrimination like this. The official stance by the editors is 'we leave the image up, because we can'.
  • by Otto (17870) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:28PM (#22339408) Homepage Journal

    I can assure you that "Muslims" who bomb people they think are repressing them and picket actors'/soldiers' deaths because of whatever sexual orientation they might be- are hardly Muslims at all. While mainstream Islam disagrees with the issues behind those things, the isolated reactions by a fanatical few are totally uncalled for and vile.
    While I agree and understand your position, it's certainly the case that the "few" is actually "a great many". Furthermore, it's also there to a greater degree.

    I mean, sure, christianity has its share of nuts, but for the most part those nuts are rather lame. Only occasionally does somebody try to kill an abortion doctor or some such nastiness. And when they're caught at it (and they usually are), then they're arrested and put in a small room and looked at for the rest of their lives.

    Whereas the nuts in Islam seem to be the ones in charge. When you have women getting arrested and charged for sitting with another man in a Starbucks, then you have some serious issues that need to be resolved. When you have women being stoned to death for... well, does it really fucking matter what it's for? It's barbaric and ridiculous. Even the nutty suicide bombers seem to have really poor aim, in that they are blowing up random people. At least the anti-abortion-nutjob can aim a rifle at the abortion doctor in specific instead of blowing up cafes in the same town.

    Sure, you can claim that these nuts are not "true muslims" or what have you, but that doesn't change the fact that they claim they are and so me, being an outsider, will judge them as such and judge the religion as a whole based on their actions. I'm no christian either, but even I can see that its crazy people are far less crazy (and far less dangerous) than those of the islamic faith(s).
  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:28PM (#22339416)

    Associating violence with any one religion, or religion as a whole is just silly.
    Indeed, and using one's religion as an excuse for violence is just as silly. Violence in the form of censorship, or violence in terms of rioting, killing, death threats, or out right murder. None of this should be tolerated.
  • Re:Good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jonadab (583620) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:32PM (#22339482) Homepage Journal
    Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a discussion forum, and so it generally attempts to maintain an encyclopedic tone. (It's not perfect, of course, and things that don't belong occasionally slip in, but the goal is clear.) As a rule, encyclopedias normally contain illustrations, but not many colloquialisms. I don't think all of the Wikipedia editors believe that profanity is something to be religiously proscribed; they simply don't deem it to be conducive to a formal, encyclopedic tone. Wikipedia articles also usually (though I've run into a couple of exceptions) don't have, like, slang and stuff, even though it's, like, you know, totally non-obscene, dude.

    I *do* see a fair number of contractions in WP articles, though, and some fairly lax grammar sometimes, albeit usually not quite as bad as in journalistic writing.
  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:34PM (#22339516)
    I agree very weird. I have a lot of Muslim friends and they haven't ever said anything about not having images of him. Now obviously your not supposed to have idols of all sorts, so making him an idol would be an no no. This appears to be one particular sect or perhaps people that lean to a more zealous bent that are coming up with this. Even if your not supposed to have images of him (you should be referring to muslims not everyone), what is another sin among us infidles? Heck if we listened and obeyed to what every religion told us not to do we'd not eat beef (in respect to Hindus), not eat pork (in respect to jews and muslims), not drink (in repect to muslims, baptists et al), not work on Friday (muslims), Saturday (jews), Sunday (orthdox christians), etc etc. In short if I'm an infidel let me go to hell in peace :)
  • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:36PM (#22339552) Homepage Journal

    3rd problem: I'm pretty sure you could find someone offended by some aspect of every single article written in wikipedia to varying levles and with varying density.

    Not just are you correct, but as it applies to this particular discussion, I'd say that any article that discusses religion in any form, has the (mathematically impossible) 1000% chance of offending people - just as how some religious zealots will see, experience and co-exist with a known (aspect of) reality and dismiss it in favor of religious rhetoric.

    I'm impressed that they will not allow such changes though... reality and religious beliefs/desires dont always go hand in hand... no offense to anyone who is religious intended...

  • by rhakka (224319) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:38PM (#22339580)
    Significant contributions to our culture has also been brought about by entire cultures that sanctioned old men having sex with little boys, murderers, people chopping off their own body parts as gifts, and people who thought that women were property, blacks were animals, and that the nazis were right.

    Just because you do some stuff for the world doesn't mean everything about you is blameless, and it doesn't make belief in "a creator" any less silly.... it certainly doesn't allow you to lay the wreath of human achievement at christianity's feet, not even in part, not by insinuation and not by association either. Not unless you also want to credit pedophilia, homicide, oppression, racism, and insanity with also furthering humanity's cause. Maybe you can, but it certainly doesn't make much of an arguement for the continuation of those beliefs or behaviours.

    I owe nothing to overly religious people. Philosophers, yes. Some of them were religious too! but the religious part of themselves has absolutely nothing to do with the things I thank them for. Even if THEY thought it did.

    While I respect your right to believe whatever you like, I have no respect FOR your belief. I may respect you for other reasons, even in your willingness to live your convictions if you do. I may respect some aspects of the philosophy taught by your god (no religion is ALL wrong in its teaching). But "worshipping" a fairy tale doesn't win you any points in my book. I'll defend your freedom of speech, and I'll still wish you crazy nuts would meet in caves and leave the rest of us alone. I respect your human rights while dreaming of the day you all wake up and realize you're acting like little children.

    Sadly, I know that will not happen in my lifetime. Hope springs eternal though...
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:39PM (#22339606)

    Its not about the number of dead.
    Where does any holy book say that one life is more important than another?

    Its about intent.

    Israel targets only militants, but due to them hiding in condensed civilian populace, civilians get killed.
    Really? Obviously israel knows they will be killing civilians, after all they've been doing it for a long, long time. So clearly they intend that innocent civilians will get killed too. They just don't care.

    The Palestinians are targeting innocent civilians, even though they could target just the military without getting any civilians killed at all.
    They could target those whom they can't kill. But that wouldn't have much of an effect would it? If you are going to kill the enemy, one dead is as bad as another - see my first sentence in this post. Perhaps it is the israel military's fault for hiding in fortified bases, while they leave the general population out in the open...
  • by Fweeky (41046) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:40PM (#22339614) Homepage
    Um, what's all about making pictures of "animate life", not just Mohammed. So why is it making a picture of Mohammed gets you killed and a picture of a stoat goes uncommented?
  • by jafiwam (310805) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:42PM (#22339654) Homepage Journal

    Read about William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, Thomas Aquinas, etc... Almost without fail you'll find the most influential men and women who brought about significant positive cultural change were forced to say they worshipers of Christ to gain any social traction amongst christofacists in power at the time.
    Fixed it for you.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:47PM (#22339754) Homepage Journal

    Almost without fail you'll find the most influential men and women who brought about significant positive cultural change were worshipers of Christ.
    Zarathustra, Ghandi, Hypocrates, etc.

    So, to correct your insufferably biased thought: If you only look at social change in Christendom, you'll find that they were mostly Christian. Whodathunk, huh?
  • by fudgefactor7 (581449) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:52PM (#22339828)
    What is the deal with these Muslims, anyway? They're offended; that's fine. But why is it that they think they have the right to dictate to others what to do or not do? Muslims represent roughtly 30% of the world population, that's not a majority; yet they think they can boss everyone else around. 70% of the world is not Muslim, what about their sensitivites or feelings? Immaterial? Seems to me that the Muslims of the world are just a bumch of whiney cry-babies. Why is it only their opinion matters? As one boss I had once put it: everything is a matter of perspective, but your perspective doesn't matter.
  • by Translation Error (1176675) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:03PM (#22339992)
    You raise some interesting points... unfortunately, they're all simply rhetoric. You imply that someone who has a religious belief automatically abandons their faculty of reason--a ridiculous claim, especially considering the huge range of religions and beliefs; they're don't all say 'we must do what this holy book says without question', nor do they all say that people shouldn't think for themselves and question things. If religious people don't automatically lose reason, I think it's safe to say they don't lose their ability to negotiate, either; but putting that aside for the moment, let's look at your claim that they would need to use force if they can't rely on negotiation (and reason). You're assuming that every single religion in the world has nonnegotiable goals that requires them to kill and coerce when negotiation fails, and that just isn't the case. Some don't even seek new followers.

    Now, you may not like religion--and that's fine--but failing to use reason when criticizing people for being unreasonable doesn't seem exactly productive.
  • by mattt79 (1005999) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:05PM (#22340028)
    If it's not modded up to a 5, the the moderators are truly on crack!

    While it's interesting to see the scriptural basis for the prohibition on depicting living beings (I had no idea it encompassed animals as well). I'm sure you recognize the difficulty of getting an international (but western oriented) community like Wikipedia to observe Sharia law on this subject.

    Wouldn't a reasonable compromise be to ask the Wikipedia moderators, that since the images are offensive to Muslims, that they should be moved to a linked page, so that believers would not come across them by mistake?

    To demand the rest of the world to agree with one religion on the subject of blasphemy is impossible but not really necessary, when asking for a degree of politeness and sensitivity would suffice.
  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:06PM (#22340044)
    Most dictators have their own quasi-religious beliefs and practices, such as personality cults [wikipedia.org] (seen in Stalinism and with the fucktard running North Korea), as well as with Hitler and Nazism. It could be said that the more religious a person is, the more mentally unstable they are. Most people who are criminally insane, for example, do not commit murder because they never received a message from god to do so.

    Yes Atheists kill, but I would hypothesize that this psychotic tendency comes from that emotional and unpredictable part of the brain that also causes people to see images of the Virgin Mary in inanimate objects like rainbows or cookies.
  • Re:My faith... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deadplant (212273) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:08PM (#22340082)

    I'm an American Muslim ... I do find a lot of the comments on Slashdot to be disappointing.
    ya, it is not exactly hard to become disappointed by slashdot posts for oh so many reasons.
    (your post was very nice btw)

    ...whenever anything Islam-related is posted, there are endless tirades painting my faith with a broad brush of extremism and ignorance.
    Let me explain... it is not because we think you picked the wrong religion or simply because you are different.
    You and your religion will be mocked because you proclaim a serious belief in invisible sky-wizards.

    Every one of the major religions requires that you believe things that the available evidence indicates are false.
    By having faith in a religion one is displaying an unwillingness or inability to make rational decisions.
    It is logical and reasonable to fear irrational people because their irrational behaviour can harm us.
    It is also usually pointless to argue with a person of faith because they have by definition already eschewed logic.
    Thus we are left with trying to shame you into giving up on the sky-wizards and unhelpfully venting our frustration by saying mean things.

    ...when people outside of the religion have the audacity to tell Muslims what is and isn't antiquated or kosher.
    I don't want to tell you how your religion's rules should be written. I want to tell you that the entire concept of faith and religion is antiquated and should be abandoned for your own good and the good of humanity.
    I do not have to be a member of any particular sect or ethnic group to make this statement.

  • by qkslvrwolf (821489) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:11PM (#22340140)
    And why, I ask you, are the christian nuts locked up? Because our countries and laws were set up by secularists, deists, and atheists. Freethinking people who knew that the end result of letting your book o' myths dictate your laws was a sure way to end up with people getting burned, stoned, beheaded, drowned, tortured, generally abused for no good reason. It is ONLY the secular, rational influence of the scientific enlightenment that prevents our society from acting exactly as muslim societies do now.

    The real difference is that there aren't as many true believers among christians as there are among muslims (thank goodness). If christians believed as strongly as muslims do, then we would've had a crusade that would've killed hundreds of millions of people by now.
  • Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Z34107 (925136) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:15PM (#22340212)

    Sadly, any religion that claims to be a religion of peace is lying through its teeth. When people abandon their faculty of reason and start to believe in the imaginary, they lose their means to negotiate with others

    Sadly, you're assuming that all religion is irrational and imaginary. If you assume that most people are irrational and live in fantasy land, you've lost your means to communicate with others.

  • by TheSkyIsPurple (901118) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:19PM (#22340290)
    >>Last I checked, my Bible didn't say to wage jihad against the infidels.
    >Neither does the Quran.

    I'm no biblical scholar, but a quick Google shows me (which is probably about as deep as many Christians read their Bibles)...

    Deuteronomy 13:6-9 "If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, or gods of other religions), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people."

    Deuteronomy 17:3-5 "And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, .....and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die."

    2 Chronicles 15:13 "All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman."

    And for the "It's only the old Testament" folks:

    "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)"

    Of course it can all be taken out of context, like anything else, and I don't personally care to put the effort in to find the appropriate context, but the Bible, on its face, seems to preach the "death to infidels" thing as well as the Koran, on the face of it.
  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer&alum,mit,edu> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:19PM (#22340310) Homepage

    It is certainly true that Islam is not the only source of terrorism, but some religions are much more likely to lead to terrorism than others. Ever hear of a Quaker terrorist? A Mennonite terrorist? A Buddhist terrorist? A Baha'i terrorist?

  • by Cederic (9623) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:42PM (#22340708) Journal

    I, however, take great offense at Christianity being likened to Islam.
    Why?
    They're both monotheistic religions.
    They both refer continually to books written a long time ago.
    They're both used as an excuse for subjugating, killing or stealing from others.
    They're both full of shit.

    Even in the subset of things in this world called 'religion', these two are pretty fucking similar.

    Don't go pretending Christianity is in any way better than Islam. They're as bad as each other.
  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:51PM (#22340872)
    If you truly believe that religious belief necessarily implies a willingness or tendency to do violence, then you, sir, are the one who has abandoned your faculty of reason. Not the religious people.
  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde&gmail,com> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:54PM (#22340918) Journal
    The problem is that religion is inherently *irrational*. There are crazy, stupid, irrational atheists, no one would dispute that.

    But if you follow and believe in (almost) any religion, it means you believe things that are by definition unprovable, irrational, and supernatural. A person who is ready to believe such things might be more ready to believe other irrational things than someone who bases his thoughts on rational explanations.

    The other problem is that in logic, if you allow a contradiction or paradox, you can prove about anything you want. Positing the existence of an omnipotent, sentient, all-powerful being as an axiom of any system of logic and thought will necessarily result in a system that can be used to prove anything whatsoever. So even though most believers might be considered "moderate", religion can always be used as an excuse for about any crazy thought you have.

    Skeptics and atheists, on the other hand, will usually require more rational logic, facts and proof before believing you.

    Unless they're lunatics/crazy, in which case your religious beliefs (or absence thereof) will not change the results much.
  • by be-fan (61476) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:56PM (#22340956)
    The real difference is that there aren't as many true believers among christians as there are among muslims (thank goodness). If christians believed as strongly as muslims do, then we would've had a crusade that would've killed hundreds of millions of people by now.

    Yes! This is a key issue that I often overlooked. The warm, enveloping arms of the scientific enlightenment have gradually weened Christians in the West off their religious dogma. The church attendance rate here in the US, this most Christian of countries, is well below fifty percent. Many "Christians" have never read the Bible, in its entirety, because frankly, they don't need to. The "mainstream Christianity" espoused their priests and ministers bears little more resemblance to the religion described in the Bible than it does to the religion described in the Quran. It is, instead, an amalgam of some of the more palatable ideas cherry-picked from the Bible and some traditional American cultural norms. It is, basically, a 2000 year old religion molded and sanitized to fit within the intellectual constraints created by this country's Enlightenment-inspired foundation, along with the further progress afforded by a couple of hundred years of social liberalization.
  • Easy Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thomas.galvin (551471) <slashdot@[ ]mas- ... m ['tho' in gap]> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:08PM (#22341158) Homepage
    Easy solution: distribute lynx to all Middle Eastern nations.
  • by bakuun (976228) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:29PM (#22341446)
    Ever heard of the crusades?
  • by severoon (536737) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:33PM (#22341512) Journal

    This is logically flawed. Just because there are some people who believe it's ok to use force doesn't mean that every pro-liberty individual is guaranteed to lose everything. Liberty-infringing security measures are not the only way to combat such people. And there aren't enough such people willing to take others' things by force to "guarantee" everyone will eventually lose everything.

    I myself am often given to hyperbole, but jeez.

  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:43PM (#22341698) Homepage

    It is certainly true that Islam is not the only source of terrorism, but some religions are much more likely to lead to terrorism than others.
    While I do agree that is true, I also believe that some religions are more likely to mock and deliberatly offend others on the basis that they thenselves would not be offened by such "silliness". Would all those who have mocked the Muslims (or others, for that matter) please state your faith || lack of here?

    (I'll start. I'm Jewish -even worse- Israeli. Grep my username to see why I've been modded troll in this thread.)
  • by BgJonson79 (129962) <srsmith@alum.wp[ ]du ['i.e' in gap]> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:02PM (#22341946)
    Bah, they were all Catholic :-)

    They weren't exactly following the teachings of Christ, either, were they?
  • Few words : (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aepervius (535155) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:05PM (#22341996)
    Inquisition. Witch Burning. Saint Bartholemy massacre. Many persecution on minority. justification of taking slave by attributing them "no soul". I could probably dig more with a few minutes.

    As for the crusade being used as an excuse, that still does not absolve all Christian having participated to them dosn't it ? Or will you use the usual excuse of "those were not true Christian" ?
  • by beav007 (746004) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:31PM (#22342324) Journal
    Christianity also has positive things to say about martyrdom - however, it has nothing to do with you killing other people. What it says is that if someone else kills you because of your faith, and you hold true to the end, then you will be greatly blessed in heaven.
  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer&alum,mit,edu> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:38PM (#22342410) Homepage

    Murder, however regrettable, is not the same as terrorism, nor is it necessarily motivated by the religion. One can be reasonably confident that members of all religions (other than perhaps the tiniest ones) have committed murder, but that doesn't tell us much about the religion. Without justifying Nixon's secret bombings, I don't think that they qualify as terrorism - their goal was not terror but to disable enemy forces. There are lots of evils other than terrorism.

  • by Some_Llama (763766) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:49PM (#22342552) Homepage Journal
    "Tons of dhimmi-wannabes running around misquoting and taking quotes out of context. Those are really easy to find in google. Good for you."

    wouldn't it be more productive to take the verse quoted and put it INTO context, to teach others and show that your original point remains true?

    Name calling and sarcasm would seem opposed to this goal (esp since you should'nt be contentious)?
  • by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:51PM (#22342576) Homepage Journal
    I have to take issue with this one sentence:

    >>I look forward to a day when religious tolerance and freedom means respecting all human rights to and for all people, including freedom of speech and expression.

    That's either a tautology or it's wrong. 'Tolerance' does not mean 'respect.'

    Tolerance: The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behaviors that one does not necessarily agree with.

    Respect: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

    I tolerate christianity. I also tolerate islam, crying babies, cats, jazz, Grain Belt beer, etc. I respect my mother, Napoleon, Tom Waits, Carl Sagan, etc.

    Tolerance does not mean, and will never mean, respect. You cannot force or even ask someone to respect something. Respect is unenforceable, subjective, and irrational. Tolerance is enforceable, objective, and rational (In the framework of law).

    I would like to point out that thoughts are not crimes, actions are. My thoughts and my actions are often 180 degrees out of phase with each other, thank goodness. And my actions make me a very nice- if reserved- and gentle person.

    -b
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:56PM (#22342636) Homepage Journal

    the continuation and fufillment of judaism
    Odd, the jews don't seem to think so.
  • by huckamania (533052) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:56PM (#22342640) Journal
    "That is essentially what it came to: censoring of Muslim users"

    Who were trying to censor everyone else, by removing the pictures.

    "tell us what is Islam and what is not"

    However Muslims comment on other religions, make judgements on other cultures, etc. Wasn't it Muslims that destroyed the figures of Buddha in Afghanistan? Also, Muslims use images of non-Muslims in derogatory ways with impunity, including figures of other religions. Where's your sharia law then? Conveniently forgotten.

    Go ahead and feel offended, but don't expect it to stop anytime soon.
  • by teadrop (1151099) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @08:52PM (#22343214)
    The reason that most mosdern Christians are moderates is not because their religion is more moderate. It is a result of the Age of Enlightenment. Because of that, the influence of Christians religion has been tuned down. If it had not been the AOE (i.e. Age of Enlightenment, not Age of Empire), the Christians would be burning down buildings and issuing fatwas because of some stupid cartoons. Remember Pope Gregory XVI? He opposed democratic movement, banned gas light, and thought railway was a bad idea because it brought people together and make them smarter... He was as nutty, if not more, than any Muslim leader nowadays. And not to mention the Witch Hunt, and the jailing and execution of anti-religious thinkers in the 17th and 18th century. If the AOE had taken place in the land of Muslims instead of Christians, they would be the more rational and enlightened one we see in the modern days. So what the Muslims need nowadays is an AOE. But the AOE requires the OS of DOS (Democratic Operating System) and the hardware of DELL (Developed Economic, improved Literacy, and better Living standard).
  • by Original Replica (908688) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @08:55PM (#22343248) Journal
    Oddly enough it is my liberties and rights that are being taken by force. Yet I am no more "secure" than I was before they were gone. I was in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11th and I felt far less threat to my freedom on that day than I do since the creation of DHS.
  • Re:My faith... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by evilviper (135110) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @08:59PM (#22343284) Journal

    Every one of the major religions requires that you believe things that the available evidence indicates are false.

    You proved there is no God? Good job. I look forward to reading your findings in a few peer-reviewed journals...

    It is also usually pointless to argue with a person of faith because they have by definition already eschewed logic.

    It's great how atheists are convinced everyone who believes something different from them must be wrong and irrational to disagree. Gee, that sounds somehow familiar...

    If you'd care to prove that every religion is wrong... get started. Facts only, try to avoid the all too common mischaracterizations. Otherwise, quite trying to pretend that what you are right, and what you believe is the only rational thing to believe. There'd be a huge outcry if people of any particular religion did it, but when atheists do it, nothing.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:14PM (#22343412)

    Associating violence with any one religion, or religion as a whole is just silly. All humans, religious or not, are capable of atrocities
    You see the problem isn't that religion causes atrocities, the problem is that religion (most of the major ones*) forgive atrocity in entirety. The fact that the terrorist or paedophile are forgiven by divinity means they does not have to face their actions and say "I caused this harm" and "why do I cause suffering to others" because it is alright with God. A religious person does not need judge their own actions nor have their actions judged by others because they believe that they will be judged by God and by god alone, this takes away worldly accountability when a religious authority figure gives pardon for crimes committed and suffering caused. This tends to take the burden of guilt off the shoulders of the guilty which allows them to commit the same atrocity again without thinking of the consequences as they are acting on behalf of God (as they are told by the religious authority figures).

    Whilst religion is not a necessary precursor to crime and atrocity it is significant factor in the committing of the more heinous and repeated crimes. A person who does not receive divine forgiveness is far more likely to turn around and ask "what have I done". Many of the worst criminals (premeditated and serial offenders) in western jails ether had extremely strict religious upbringings (and I mean extreme fundamentalism, this tends to stunt normal life lessons in the teenage years which in turn prevent them from having normal interactions with others) or turn to god as a means to escape the guilt that they feel (Sometimes religious conversion is a means to circumvent the guilt given by the court but I am talking about the type of criminal that we would never let back into society).

    * I know not all religions have a divine forgiveness clause, some such as Buddhism promote self evaluation.
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:23PM (#22343490) Journal

    Israel targets only militants
    Why are they "militant" in the first place?
  • by ruggerboy (553525) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:38PM (#22343614)
    calling atheism a religion is a lot like calling NOT collecting stamps a hobby.
  • by Danny Rathjens (8471) <`slashdot2' `at' `rathjens.org'> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:44PM (#22343672)

    If you truly believe that religious belief necessarily implies a willingness or tendency to do violence, then you, sir, are the one who has abandoned your faculty of reason. Not the religious people.
    "With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
    -- Dr. Steven Weinberg
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:55PM (#22343758)

    Knowing that my faith in God is irrational, and that I'm aware of that fact; how does that make me any less intelligent compared to an atheist?

    He didn't say you were less intelligent. He said you're more likely to make an irrational choice in the future. I think that might be a bit of an oversimplification as it does not address how accurate a predictor your past behavior will be for your future behavior and he does not address that it requires an irrational decision to act violently against others. Despite this, he does make a valid point to some degree and you have not yet addressed it.

  • Re:Shame on you. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @10:08PM (#22343842) Homepage
    You are saying that the Muslim religion is a murderer? Understand that I'm a Jew living in Israel. Understand that just yesterday a suicide bomber blew up in my country. Understand that every single day between 5 and 25 rockets fall on my country from Gaza. Understand that I spend a month in Lebanon last year. You would think that if anyone would be convinced that Islam is a murderous religion, then I would be convinced, no? I'm not convinced because it's not true. The Muslims who murder are not unlike the Christians, the Jews, and the atheists that murder. They do it because it's what their parents, teachers, politicians, and heros taught them to do. Not because their religion requires it. When the blame gets put where the blame is due, then the problem can begin to be solved. Blaming the religion is merely excusing the real root of the problem.
  • Re:Anyone have.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sfled (231432) <sfled@yahooIII.com minus threevowels> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:37PM (#22344602) Journal
    Here ya go*:




    *Please note that the above ASCII art is sanctioned by Islam.
  • by Lost Engineer (459920) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:44PM (#22344652)
    One thing I learned from this video (and a few similar which are linked): Muslims are still pissed off about stuff that happened hundereds of years ago: the crusades, the expulsion of Muslims from Spain, the Spanish civil war. It is unfortunate that these scholars who keep Muslims so conscious of history do not also inform them of the lessons learned by it.
  • by Thangodin (177516) <[elentar] [at] [sympatico.ca]> on Friday February 08, 2008 @12:32AM (#22344944) Homepage
    True, except that few religious believers, especially not those of the Abrahamic religions, hold their beliefs in this way. What you are proposing is apophatic theology, in which you cannot say anything about God--even that God exists in any meaningful sense. The proper response is silence. Virtually all of the faithful adhere to kataphatic theology; they want to talk about God, talk to God, and expect divine intervention on a regular basis. The core of their faith is superstition, a desire for magical control through force of will, and the response you quoted is perfectly suited to this kind of belief. They make objective claims, claims not considered "true for me" but true for everyone. So do you: with that word "miraculous" you give the whole game away. Objective claims have rational and evidentiary consequences, and must answer on those grounds. An intervening God falls within the rightful domain of science, and religion must therefore answer to science when making such claims.

    All too often, as it is in your post, the kind of argument you make is accompanied, within a few sentences, by a return to this magical thinking. I call this bait-and-switch deism, where the merest wisp of a deist possibility is taken as carte blanche for the existence of a being intimately involved in the physical world. It's the magical thinking we object to. But without that magical thinking, the entire proposition loses its appeal. If reason and evidence do not apply to such an entity, neither do concepts of personality, good or evil, causation, action, intent, or any other category that is applied to God by any religion. What is left is a meaningless question mark in the dark, something so completely orthogonal to any human hope, expectation, or understanding, so utterly alien, that it is colder than the void of space.

    This is not the God that any religion believes in.
  • by tigerhawkvok (1010669) on Friday February 08, 2008 @01:14AM (#22345208) Homepage
    Atheist and proud. You can mock it all you'd like -- I'll smile and nod at you.

    There's no offense to be had when you have a lack of faith. Its instead your own personal comedy show when you see logical fallacy after logical fallacy, threats, and all other kinds of oddities from those that want to "save" you.
  • by codeButcher (223668) on Friday February 08, 2008 @04:20AM (#22346030)
    1. If it is forbidden to draw pictures of prophets, why does nobody complain about the ubiquitous pictures of Christ, which is recognized by Islam as a prophet?
    2. If pictures of Mohamed are forbidden, how do muslims actually know what he looked like so that they know a given picture actually depicts him and not somebody else?
    3. If it is forbidden to depict anything with a soul, is it OK to depict some imagined person (which to the best of my knowledge does not have a soul or life)?
  • Re:buddhists (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ubergrendle (531719) on Friday February 08, 2008 @10:33AM (#22348100) Journal
    The all time winners of body count would be secular atheists or agnostics of course. Hitler and Stalin easily surpass any religiously oriented genocidal campaign. Stalin alone is good for 40-50 million deaths through deliberate starvation, gulags, mass executions, etc. Even if the crusades were as brutal, I doubt the Christian forces had the logistics or numbers capable of reaching such a bodycount.

    I consider myself a secular atheist, but I call a spade a spade...I think this concept of 'religious wars' is overdone and loses historical, sociological, and ethnic context. The Crusades were religious wars, only insomuch as the dominant government of the day was feudalism which was based on some religious principles (divine right of kings). And there were alot of Muslim armies, but half of the Koran is about various tribes/countries in the middle east fighting with each other.
  • Re:buddhists (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:15AM (#22348640) Journal
    The all time winners of body count would be secular atheists or agnostics of course. Hitler and Stalin easily surpass any religiously oriented genocidal campaign.

    I'm surprised it took so long to bring up this old myth. Hitler was not an atheist.

    His religious views [wikipedia.org] are unclear, but he certainly wasn't an atheist or agnostic.

    Stalin was an atheist, but that is beside the point. The point is he didn't murder in the name of atheism. You might as well mark him by the colour of his hair, it's just as relevant as a lack of belief in one particular supernatural entity.
  • by SpecTheIntro (951219) <spectheintroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 08, 2008 @03:23PM (#22352496)

    The Crusades were not a proactive attack but rather they were a defense and recapture of previously held territory.

    That is utter nonsense. You think the Byzantine Empire rightfully owned those lands before the Muslims seized them? Are you even marginally familiar with the Middle East? It has been under the control of one empire or another until the fall of the Ottomans. The Holy Land was conquered by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Persians again, and then proceeded to oscillate between the late Roman/early Byzantines and the Persians. That is, until the Islamic caliphate conquered a war-exhausted Sassanid empire and then promptly began kicking Byzantine ass.

    The world is borne of conflict. The Greeks/Romans never had any claim to the Holy Land--they took it by force, just like everyone else. And its population has been relocated and slaughtered so many times that attempting to claim ancestral ownership is pointless--the Hebrews have lived there for less time than practically ANY other ethnic group native to the area, be it Arab, Iranian, or Turk. The only determining factor in ownership of those lands is the strength to hold it, which is why Israel holds it now, and will continue to hold it until someone gets strong enough to kick them out.

    Nice try?

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