People have been sending me stories about this for the last few days, and I have held off posting them, mainly because I have no respect for Wikipedia, and don't think it's a serious resource. My own entry there, at least the last time I saw it, was full of half-truths, distortions, misrepresentations, and unsubstantiated criticism of my work -- and this is true of the entries of many anti-jihadists. It almost seems as if jihad apologists are standing by, ready to make sure their spin goes into and remains within any article pertaining to jihad and Islamic supremacism. This renders Wikipedia utterly worthless, and its influence annoying. Once several years ago, when I addressed a conference in the Netherlands, I was dismayed to hear myself being introduced with outright falsehoods taken from my Wikipedia bio.
That said, however, Wikipedia is somewhat useful on non-controversial issues, although users should always approach it with extreme reserve, and never assume anything written in it is true or accurate.
Nonetheless, if Wikipedia brass are refusing to kowtow to Islamic attempts to censor the Muhammad article and deny their freedom of expression in posting pictures of Muhammad, I've got to stand with Wikipedia on that.
Here is the report from FoxNews (thanks to Mark) on the controversy:
Online encyclopedia Wikipedia has again stirred up controversy — this time over a biographical entry on the prophet Muhammad.
Nearly 100,000 people worldwide have signed a Web-based petition asking Wikipedia to remove all depictions of the Prophet from its English-language entry, viewable here.
"I request all brothers and sisters to sign this petitions so we can tell Wikipedia to respect the religion and remove the illustrations," the creator of the petition at The Petition Site asks. [...]
"Islamic teaching has traditionally discouraged representation of humans, particularly Muhammad, but that doesn't mean it's nonexistent," Notre Dame history professor Paul M. Cobb told the New York Times. "Some of the most beautiful images in Islamic art are manuscript images of Muhammad."
All four images on the English-language Wikipedia page are rather lovely Persian and Ottoman miniatures from the 14th through 16th centuries. The two later ones depict Muhammad's face as covered by a white veil, but the earlier pair show his full face.
"Please take off those pictures or leave only the digitally blanked out faces please," writes one anonymous petitioner from Belgium several times on the petition site. "Thanks for respecting Muslims beliefs. Peace and Light."...
How about respecting Western mores, and having a healthy awareness of one's own cultural history?