Wikipedia Won’t Remove Muhammad Images

    February 18, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Wikipedia is refusing to remove images of the prophet of Islam’s Muhammad despite hundreds of thousands of requests.

In some Muslim traditions, it is considered offensive to depict the prophet for fear the image would become an object of idol worship. Wikipedia argues that it is not offensive in all traditions, and that they will not bow to pressure to remove the images.

According to the Guardian’s "The Observer" column, Wikipedia has ignored 180,000 requests to remove the images and has set the main Muhammad page so that it can no longer be edited by the public. This is not the case, however, for entries made in Arabic or languages of the Middle East.

"The Observer," which doesn’t link to a specific webpage, reports Wikipedia editors placed the following statement on the site:

"Wikipedia recognises that there are cultural traditions among some Muslim groups that prohibit depictions of Muhammad and other prophets and that some Muslims are offended when those traditions are violated. However, the prohibitions are not universal among Muslim communities, particularly with the Shia who, while prohibiting the images, are less strict about it.

"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.

"So long as they are relevant to the article and do not violate any of Wikipedia’s existing policies, nor the law of the US state of Florida where Wikipedia’s servers are hosted, no content or images will be removed because people find them objectionable or offensive."