New website?

Obaid R. yhdanid at
Sun Jan 22 02:55:52 EST 2006

Terry Hancock wrote:
> On 18 Jan 2006 18:05:18 -0800
> "Obaid R." <yhdanid at> wrote:
> > I hope it is not counted against me that I am the first
> > one to point out that the logo is shaped like a cross.
> [...]
> Hey, looks more like a Yin-Yang symbol to me. ;-)

True. But I hope you are not arguing that since it looks to you like a
Yin-Yang that it makes it therefore not look like a cross. For even
Steve did say that there is no point arguing against what appears like
a matter of fact.

> > And why ask with any trepidation, Steve? People of
> > different backgrounds have dissimilar sensitivities. I
> > hope you agree that it would be unfair to blame people for
> > such deeply personal affairs. If trepidation on the part
> > of even the Red Cross was enough to cancel such
> > sensitivities, we would not have had a Red Crescent or a
> > cooperation between them. If not proving one's
> > subscription to some set of beliefs, such symbols at least
> > disprove the same for others.
> No, I'm sorry, intolerance is bad, no matter who practices
> it. And what may be forgiveable on a battlefield is not
> forgiveable in my workplace.  I can understand that there
> were specific circumstances leading to the Red Cross/Red
> Crescent schism, and that it had to do with long standing
> religious intolerance on both sides. It doesn't make it an
> example to follow.

It is apparent that you know only part of the story. Kindly allow me to
comment here. Contrary to what you might have heard there was never
organized religious intolerance of Christianity by the Muslim side. To
give just one easy to follow fact of history, consider this: to this
day there are Arabic and Aramaic speaking Christians of Catholic,
Orthodox, and Coptic origins living in the Middle East. Some say about
twenty million or so. The Muslims who lived in modern day Spain, on the
other hand, were either wiped out or forcibly made to convert to
Christianity. And their numbers were in the hundreds of thousands if
not millions. And this is just one example.

> But sheesh, if I objected to every picture of the moon I
> see (or pictures that vaguely resemble a moon), I would be
> in a very sad state.  Come to think of it, I have a crescent
> as a background on my company website (it's Neptune, not
> Luna, but it certainly resembles a crescent moon more than
> that Python thing resembles a cross). Nevertheless, I am not
> Muslim.

But you see Terry, the point is not that it is just a picture. And
let's not forget that as far as we know the moon has always been a
natural part of all human life on this earth before and after Islam,
and even for those who never heard of Islam. And so the moon is not a
Muslim monopoly.

If the crescent was dropped altogether as an identifying symbol no
Muslim will lose sleep over it. Do you know why? Because it is not an
object of worship, Terry.

Here is Almighty God's command to us concerning the sun and moon:

"Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon.
Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who
created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve." (Translation, Glorious
Qur'an, 41: 37)

The crescent found its way on top of domes on Mosques only to point to
the direction of the Qibla in Mecca, where all Muslims face to pray.
When a Mosque is built the crescent on the dome is made to face
parallel to the direction of Qibla. The early Muslims could have chosen
any other symbol to point to the Qibla, but they choose the crescent
only to be different, and hence to be free from the consequences that
other symbols might bring. After all some of these symbols are more or
less worshiped. And here I am thinking of the cross.

I feel I must stress again that there is no intolerance here, brother.
It is hard to deny the fact that many people do kiss the cross, kneel
before the cross, and pray beneath the crucifix, is it not? If that is
not worship then what is? A "Muslim" who does that to the crescent is
no Muslim. Period. For a Muslim kneels to no one and worships no one
but Almighty God.

And just to point to you the significance of this in case you don't
know, the greatest sin in Islam is the worshiping of others (or things)
besides Almighty God, who has no equals.

"Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He
forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with
Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed." (Translation, Glorious
Qur'an, 4: 48)

And so to summarize: even if I invent a product and place a crescent on
it, you are (as a non-Muslim) not under any obligation or threat of
confusing your support for your faith (whatever it may be), because the
moon is not a Muslim object of worship nor is it a Muslim monopoly. You
forcing the cross on a product that Muslims might use, on the other
hand, puts them in a difficult position. After all the cross seems like
an object of worship and it seems the indispensable source of identity
for Christianity.

> > I do realize that I have no say in the decisions affecting
> > Python's current and future plans. But it makes sense to
> > think that like any other marketed product, Python must
> > take into consideration the nature of its target audience.
> > And if it is to appeal to international users, then points
> > of deep contention are better avoided. Don't you agree? I
> > am glad the shape has no significance and I thank you for
> > patience.
> In America, we call this attitude "politcal correctness",
> and it's a dead end street, my friend.
> You do realize that the visual "namespace" for highly
> symmetric symbols that have no religious significance to
> anyone anywhere is EXTREMELY crowded, right?
> Especially if you are willing to stretch a picture of two
> intertwined snakes into a "Christian" cross (Just to savor
> the full irony here, let's remember that snakes are
> traditionally a symbol of either Paganism or Voodoo).

> The "Red Cross/Red Crescent" thing is a sad reality, IMHO. A
> relief organization originally based in Europe uses a flag
> which is the inverse of the Swiss flag, because the Swiss
> have been (for many, many years) neutral, and that flag
> happens to sport a cross, because, (guess what?) Switzerland
> was traditionally a Christian country.  Then someone who is
> apparently incredibly intolerant of other people's religious
> symbols actually goes and *TAKES OFFENSE* at this symbol of
> neutrality, so that they have to go and create an alternate
> one just to pander to that intolerance.
> There is no "Red Yin Yang", "Red Eightfold Path", "Red Star
> of David" or "Red Serpent and Rainbow" to my knowledge, and
> it would be incredibly stupid for there to be any such.
> Apparently, the state of religious tolerance is better in
> the countries where those symbols hold sway.
> At worst, the cross might be a reference to "The Spanish
> Inquisition", which anyone who knows anything about Python
> should know is topical.  The language is European in
> origin, so the use of symbol which has become broadly a
> European symbol (secularly -- look at the flags of Europe,
> as well as religiously).
> And besides, we all know it's impossible to avoid "religious
> wars" when it comes to computer languages.
> In reality, though, it is accidental, and very slight
> resemblance.  If you can somehow manage to take offense at
> that, then please go get some counseling.
> Cheers,
> Terry
> --
> Terry Hancock (hancock at
> Anansi Spaceworks

Please do no let my professed background lead you to false assumptions.
I do realize what "political correctness" in America is. I am not sure
I agree though that it is a dead end street. It may be for those who
think that marketing or even political "spin" contribute nothing to the
branding, and selling, and hence adoption of products and ideas. Try
telling that to those who were "convinced" of the need to go to war.
Nevertheless, the dead end theory is not in keeping with what the
literature and experts in Business, political science, and Marketing

The point they make is more or less this: it does not matter what you
(the marketer) thinks of people's sensitivities. Your views (as a
marketer) on that matter do not count; it is the views of the target
audience and their sensitivities that do. That, of course, assumes one
wishes to push for the highest adoption rates of a given product by a
target audience given a specified budget and time frame.

And not all logos are offensive to all people or most people. There is
a dead end only if we make one. There are many great logos out there:
Sony's, IBM's, Microsoft's, Linux's, Apple's, Google's, etc. And almost
all come for a Christian background all the same. The crowded
name-space your speak of notwithstanding.

To conclude, decision makers can call others names, suggest therapy for
them all they wish, and even claim that a cross is a circle and all
shapes should mean the same thing to all people all they please. But
although easy to do, that, I put it to you, is a sure recipe for
failure for the selling of any product or idea.

And while I agree that choosing a good logo is difficult, it should not
be impossible. Others have done a fine job even when they come from
similar backgrounds as the one you claim Python came from. Now refusing
to identify people's feelings to try to avoid hurting them, even when
brought forward to one's attention in good faith, and even going to the
point of ridiculing such concerns will do nothing to hurt these people,
Terry. Customers are always right. And they will look elsewhere.


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