Talk:Mosque vandalized near Seattle, Washington

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After I took these photos, someone came out of the mosque and said I wasn't allowed to take pictures without permission. I said that I had kept to the public sidewalk and street, and that photography from public areas is legal. He disagreed, so I left. After speaking with the Redmond Police, they said they would call the mosque and make sure they understood that anyone is allowed to photograph from public rights of way. The police have a good relationship with the mosque, and I'm sure they are feeling defensive at a time like this. I didn't come there to give them a hard time; only to publicize an important crime.

Just want to make a note of it, since harassment of reporters and photographers is an ongoing problem everywhere, and there is widespread public misconception about the right to see and record events in public view. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 01:38, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

@Dennis Bratland: In the United States, Freedom of panorama is limited to the photos of architecture. And thus, you have right to take those photos. Also, you can take photos of the Mosque from outside. You must not take photos of believers while praying or performing wudu (ablution) outside the mosque. Some Muslim countries have restriction to take photos of mosque from the inside. But US is a democratic nation, and photo of the exterior is not a problem.
Agastya Chandrakant ⚽️ 🏆 🎾 🎬 🎤 📰 08:45, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
Freedom of Panorama deals with copyright, and it may limit how photos are published. It has nothing to do with taking photos. You can photograph copyrighted works in public areas, though you might only be allowed to keep them for personal use and could receive a cease and desist or takedown notice if you publish them.

What law stops anyone from taking photos of worshipers? I believe that the Redmond Police have a clear understanding of US law. Anyone is free to engage in any lawful activity, including photography or recording, on a public sidewalk. Many celebrities have wished to not be photographed in public by paparazzi, but numerous cases have determined that it is legal. I wouldn't want to harass or embarrass worshipers myself, but there isn't any law against it in the US, provided the photographer is only taking photos in a public area, and isn't interfering with others in some other unlawful way. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:39, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

@Dennis Bratland: Even though there is no restriction in the United States, some Muslim countries do not permit taking photos of the believers inside the mosque or performing wudu. This, I believe, hurts their religious sentiments. We should respect their feelings, and it is better to avoid (in Muslim countries at least). It is against mosque etiquette. Of course, taking photos of Muslims without their knowledge does not seem ethical. (I do not practice Islam, but I read a lot about Abrahamic religions. I believe, it hurts the religious sentiments of Christians if a non baptised person consumes the holy bread. Likewise, it might not be okay to photograph the believers performing wudu or offering namaz.)
though you might only be allowed to keep them for personal use and could receive a cease and desist or takedown notice if you publish them.
Since Fop in the US is limited to architecture, it is not a problem, as I said earlier.
Agastya Chandrakant ⚽️ 🏆 🎾 🎬 🎤 📰 18:19, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, no doubt in other countries there are many laws that are different.-- (talk) 18:27, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
It's a question of degree and ethics, really. Under ordinary circumstances there's little news justification for such a photo (ordinary worshippers). A photo of a violent attack on them, on the other hand, I'd allow. A photo of worshippers defiantly continuing their daily lives in the face of hardship, that would be more difficult to decide upon. In the UK we have a legal concept for balancing these problems, called the public interest. This does not mean what the public is interested in, it means making practical considerations in questions of balance. Wikinews has shied away several times from adopting a code of ethics due to the difficulty of writing one but I don't think the issue of getting one was ever satisfactorily resolved. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 18:35, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

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