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Proposal: Islam

Let's face it, any religious site is going to have some kind of prejudice acts going on. But will it be tolerated? I understand "trolling" is not allowed, but what about somebody that truly believes a question that is offensive to a Muslim?

How will this be handled?

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    Can you give an example? Would someone asking whether or not Islam is a moon worship religion be an example of this? (It was asked on Skeptics Stack Exchange: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6458/… ) – Andrew Grimm May 19 '12 at 22:33
  • @AndrewGrimm "Is Islam a fake religion?" "Is Islam a religion of terrorists?" would be examples. The link you gave I do not take offensively (as a muslim) since it was out of curiosity. – Dynamic May 19 '12 at 22:57
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    I haven't seen this happening on other similar SE sites like Mi Yodeya and Christianity, do you have any evidence for support your presumption? – Kaveh May 24 '12 at 22:53
  • ...someone that truly believes a question that is offensive to a Muslim? -- I don't understand this statement. How do you believe a question? Are there questions that are off-topic for Muslims to ask and answer? – Flimzy Jun 8 '12 at 19:49
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For questions like "Is Islam a fake religion?" "Is Islam a religion of terrorists?", as suggested by the OP, they could probably be closed under the category Not A Real Question

not a real question

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

because the claims are too vague to be answered meaningfully. And if a question is off-topic, it's ok to delete it as offensive, as there's not much harm in deleting an off-topic question.

However, I'd regard questions that were more specific and answerable as different. For example, someone once asked on Skeptics Stack Exchange whether Islam was a moon worshipping cult, and got a detailed answer. If such a question were closed on an Islam Stack Exchange, I'd like to see in the comments section a specific explanation of why it's off topic or offensive.

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The short answer is "no".

The scope and purpose of this site is to create a canon of knowledge ABOUT the subject of "Islam." Obviously, we are not checking credentials at the door, but within the scope of this site, users generally do not expect to be challenged on their belief system and, frankly, asking Islamic users to justify their own existence or beliefs is not the purpose of this site.

This stance is more about community building than one of religion or prejudice. For example, we have an Apple site for experts and enthusiast interested in Apple products. It would be "not constructive" if somebody went in there and asked "Why do y'all think Apple is the best when so many more Windows and other users think otherwise?" It's largely irrelevant in the context of the site.

It's the same thing here. That's how you build Q&A sites. That's how you form and preserve community.

So, to answer your question specifically… "How will prejudice (trolling) questions be handled?"

Simply by rigorous community self moderation; by closing these questions as "off topic" or "not constructive."

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    I disagree, though. Questions that challenge the validity of a certain portion of Islam can be legitimate questions, especially when their purpose is learning more about islamic community and how they handle difficult matters and dilemmas. – Kenji Kina Jun 8 '12 at 15:44
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A small counterpoint to other answers, which seem to assume that offensive questions would also be poor quality. I think it would not be difficult to write legitimate (or seemingly-legitimate) questions that would probably be seen as offensive, or at least extremely uncomfortable, on any forum united around faith or ideology.

On Islam.SE, "Is Islam a religion of terrorists?" would certainly be closed as NARQ, but "What passages in the Quran justify terrorism?" wouldn't be. "Does Islam permit honor killings?" would be another prejudiced question, and it'd be easy to phrase that in an even more inflammatory manner with built-in assumptions, along the lines of the classic "Have you stopped beating your wife?". Aspersions, criticisms and attacks can be phrased in the form of a question. Any debate-team veteran knows that backwards and forwards.

One could construct similarly offensive questions for any major belief, simply by taking for granted that a certain prejudice is widespread, or keying in to unsavory aspects of the rules. Some pretty awful examples include, "A clergyman's been molesting children; how can we move him somewhere else without causing trouble for him?", or "Do the "beautiful captive" laws mean it is permissible for a Jewish soldier to rape Palestinian women?". Etcetera, etcetera.

Stupid questions, spam questions, diatribe questions are easy to deal with. They're off-topic; they get flagged, closed, deleted, burninated. But the format does seem to allow an antagonist to begin some very offensive interrogations, under the auspices of a factual Q&A.

Of course, there's not one-size-fits-all solution to such an attack. It's mostly more intensive mod and community response. A legitimate question can be rephrased more neutrally (and hopefully given some good answers!). A poster who's being deliberately provocative can be dealt with. But figuring out what the precise line is - what questions are challenging but OK, and what's intolerable and deliberately inflammatory - is something that'll be done by the community, on a case-by-case basis. And the bottom line is, yes, this could be a potential problem, and it's something to keep an eye out for.

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    I'm not goint to participate in this site, but I have a suggestion to question that might be offensive but are not low quality. They should be answered, and if the way the question is asqued is offensive, the question can be edited to be worded in a not offensive way. Then the next time that somebody asks the same question, close it as duplicate. That way you'll have the questions answered the appropiate way, wich is good because this could help to clear misconceptions when people search in google for them. – Pablo May 21 '12 at 19:20
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Stack site is community driven. All members in the Islamic (stack) community will decide what is good or bad. If any question is offensive or off the topic that will be down voted and closed by active community members. Usually the community makes a good justice here. And if a question is very offensive it will be definitely down voted heavily and will be closed. This will indicate the questioner and the readers that this perticular question is very much unwelcomed.

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If you truly believe that a question is offensive than do not ask it, you should try to find it else where like in a book or just Google it, who knows someone online might have already asked the question. But if asked than we should tolerate it with peace of mind and not get all angry and stuff, and just remember that the Quran says that the majority of people will never understand. If asked than it should be answered, just in case someone will benefit, no matter how offensive.

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    What about those people that don't think the question is offensive. – Dynamic May 7 '12 at 22:42
  • Than they should make the choice of asking it or not, but if they ask it and it is offensive than He/She should be nicely advised. – مجاهد May 7 '12 at 22:45
  • I don't think you answered the question. So would questions that many people would be considered offensive be closed? Or would they only be subject to downvoting by those who find them offensive? – David Schwartz May 8 '12 at 9:56
  • Well it depends on who you ask not all people think something is offensive, it would be down voted, but it should be answered , closing of questions is only when the question is of topic and or is argumentative spam etc. – مجاهد May 8 '12 at 11:38
  • OK, now I understand, I thought you meant offensive in another way. – مجاهد May 8 '12 at 18:07

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