WikiIslam:Policies and Guidelines
This page contains a summary of the general policies and guidelines that everyone is expected to adhere to at WikiIslam and is required reading for all editors.
- 1 Content
- 2 Sources
- 3 Interactions
- 4 Legal
- 5 Pro-Islamic Content
- 6 Assuming Good Faith
- 7 See Also
- 8 Contact Information
Content on WikiIslam should:
- be related to the critique or understanding of Islam, not its promotion or issues of a political nature.
- be based on fully referenced facts and mainstream Islamic sources, not fringe theories, personal opinions or deductions.
- be written in a professional and scholarly manner, refraining from sarcastic, offensive, sensationalist or extremist language.
- be tailored to accommodate a universal audience, not only certain countries or demographics.
- remain neutral towards other religions, world-views and political positions, neither promoting nor criticizing them.
WikiIslam is not restricted to only being an encyclopedia of Islam. It is there for editors to make use of in contributing and arranging information about Islam in many ways. For example, compiling news, translating media, making lists, collecting images and videos, counter-apologetics, hosting online books and other documents, and so on.
Generally, a counter-apologetic article should begin with a short introduction, followed by an in-depth analysis of an issue, then end with a conclusion that may repeat in short the most important points in the article. Naturally, as with most wiki projects with themes, the inclusion of counter-apologetics means that content on WikiIslam is not required to follow a neutral viewpoint.
WikiIslam is an international site with administrators, editors and contributors from all over the world. Readership is vast and not saturated by European or "Western" visitors, so the content should reflect this. Material should be tailored to accommodate, as best as possible, a universal audience. Information on Islam in Asia or Africa is as important to the site as information on Islam in Europe or the Americas.
The site does not have a left or right-wing political agenda, nor is it a counter-jihad site, thus articles concerning immigration, multiculturalism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other related issues are strictly prohibited. Articles should always remain neutral towards other religions and world views, neither promoting nor criticizing them.
Editors are expected to take a scholarly and rational approach in their conduct and criticisms. Thereby staying away from extremist, sensationalist, sarcastic or emotional commentary by letting the facts speak for themselves. Articles should also be free from vulgar, offensive, or slang language. In short, articles should include no personal opinions or deductions, only referenced facts.
Any critique of Islam should be based on Islam's own sources, meaning content on WikiIslam should never endorse (but may simply document or challenge) fringe theories unsupported by the majority of evidence found within Islamic sources.
Copying and pasting articles from other sites is not allowed. Nor is, for various reasons, copying and pasting articles from Wikipedia. However, there are some exceptions to this rule e.g. where a suitable Wikipedia article is going to be deleted or has been deleted. If something specific is being quoted from another site, it should be made clear that it is a quotation.
Articles should be formatted using text codes to create elements of the page (e.g., headings). This markup language is known as wikitext (or wiki-markup).
Bold emphasis should only be used within quotation boxes or when the name of an article's subject in an encyclopedic page is first mentioned. In all other cases, italics should be used when emphasis is needed (this should be used sparingly and only when absolutely needed). Underlining and allcaps should be avoided.
If there are two or more distinct topics being discussed, the article should be made more readable by inserting a heading for each topic. These headings do not form a part of the main text. They only indicate the general topic of that particular section, and should not contain information not found within its main text. So when choosing titles for headings and subheading, editors should avoid questions or long sentences.
When applicable, footer sections of articles should consist of a "See Also", "External Links" and "References" section (always in that particular order).
Editors should use templates wherever possible. This is an effective way of standardizing content. Their use enables formatting to remain consistent and allows easy system-wide changes. All pages should be written using the American English spelling rather than UK spelling. This is due to their relative popularity and the need to make a choice between one or the other for consistency, and is not a show of favoritism. Section headings should use title-case for capitalization. Thus "Section Headings" and not "Section headings". The same applies to the titles of articles. Minor words should be left in small caps. Standardized spelling of transliterated Arabic words and names are also to be followed, in order to avoid leaving pages with multiple spelling variations of a single word.
When discussing Muhammad, the first mention in an article and its conclusion should begin the qualifier, Prophet, i.e. "The Prophet Muhammad". The same applies to Jesus or Ganesha, i.e. "Jesus Christ" or "Lord Ganesha".
Additional honorifics such as "Muhammad (saw)" or "Allah (swt)" are not allowed in articles. The same applies to using an uppercase "H" in words such as "he", "him" or "her" in reference to a deity or Jesus. An exception to this rule would be the talk pages or pro-Islamic articles.
If an image adds value to an article and the loss of it would mean that people would not know something important, that image should be included. Additional images used for 'illustration' purposes should not be used unless important information is being conveyed that could otherwise not be conveyed through text. Images within articles that are tagged as Stubs should be avoided altogether.
If there are too many images related to a page, they can be moved to a gallery section or to a separate page (examples of both can be viewed here and here). Images can usually be found and safely copied from Wikipedia (first check issues with their license tags), but those that only have a tenuous link to page content should be avoided.
Articles are not judged on their shock value or humor, so images within written articles should be tasteful. For example, in an article about stoning, the least graphic image should be chosen. Or in an article about houseflies and bacteriophages, an electron micrograph of bacteriophages should be chosen over the closeup image of a fly (which some people may find sickening).
Translations should always remain faithful to the original English work, retaining their scholarly tone and information. If for localization purposes an editor thinks their should be some slight alterations made, they must first be discussed with others on the talk page.
Only when there are a front page's worth of translations (about 25-35 articles) and at least one regular and reliable editor for a language can the creation of a dedicated sub-domain be considered. Once launched, they are free to evolve separately to the English site in style and content as long as the core principles are followed i.e. no politics, no promotion or criticism of other religions/worldviews and no opinions, only referenced facts concerning Islam.
All statements of facts, especially those that are likely to be challenged, must be referenced using inline citations. Naked URLs are not sufficient. What is being referenced should be easily identifiable without having to leave the page through an external link. Minimal information (if available) should include the URL, page title, author, publisher and the date of publication. Each link must also be archived to avoid link rot. When quoting from these sources, bold or italic emphasis may be added, but underlining and all-capitals should be avoided.
WikiIslam articles should be based on reliable, published sources. More importance is placed on pro-Islamic, religious Muslim sources over neutral secular sources. However, multiple references from both types of sources are preferred. Furthermore, references that are cited must explicitly support any claims being made. There are three types of sources:
Primary sources are original materials, an artifact, a document, a recording, or other source of information that was created at the time under study. In an article about a book it would be the book itself. In the case of a person, it would be the subject itself. WikiIslam's criticism of Islam is based on its own sources, the Qur'an, hadith and Islamic scholars. So primary sources are not limited and may be freely used in articles. However, only published and recognized translations of primary sources are to be used, and they must be quoted exactly as they appear in the cited reference.
Secondary sources are documents or recordings that relate or discuss information originally presented elsewhere. For example, a statement by a scholar about a certain battle in the history of Islam would be a secondary source. News articles that report on a development or an incident are also secondary sources. Statements of fact concerning Islam from polemic sources such as books, articles or commentaries by individuals such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Gellar, Mark A. Gabriel etc. are not to be used under any circumstances as references on WikiIslam. If editors come across any such statements, they must remove them immediately.
Tertiary sources are sources that rely upon primary and secondary sources. Unlike secondary sources, they attempt to provide a broad introductory overview of a topic. The New Encyclopedia of Islam would be an example. They may be used as well. There are a variety of encyclopedias.
Usernames should be chosen appropriately and should not be promotional, misleading, disruptive or offensive towards a race, religion or social group in any way. Usernames that fall under any of these categories will be renamed by an administrator.
Userpages should not be used as placeholders or homes for articles and essays. Personal email addresses should also not be displayed. Active editors with over 50 constructive edits are permitted to post links. However, these should also be chosen appropriately and they should try to keep the number of links within 10.
The purpose of a talk page is to provide space for editors to discuss changes directly relating to its associated article or project page. Acceptable topics for discussion include concerns directly relating to the page, such as inaccuracies, formatting, renaming, merging and suggestions for further improvement. They are not there for debating the subject of the article or for general attacks on the site or its editors.
Talk pages should not be blanked, and other users' messages should not be removed or altered unless a valid reason is provided. All new discussion topics should be given a relevant heading and created at the bottom of the page, below all previous discussions, and all messages should be signed and follow the rules concerning indentation. Users should avoid excessive emphasis and be concise; capital letters are considered shouting, and long, rambling messages or SMS language may be difficult to understand and will be ignored. For continuity of discussion, comments should be kept on the same talk page where they were initiated.
Good indentation makes prolonged discussions on talk pages easier to read and understand. Replies should always be indented and placed beneath the last comment. Indents are achieved by typing one or more leading colon ":" characters at the very left margin, just before the new text about to be added. With every new comment added, the number of colons must be increased by one.
A long discussion will cause indentation to become too deep, which can make it difficult to read in narrower browser windows. When this occurs, editors should consider resetting the level of indentation by outdenting their next comment. Outdenting must be performed by using the "Outdent" template.
Signing comments on talk pages, both for the article and non-article namespaces, facilitates discussion by helping identify the author of a particular comment. Occasional forgetfulness is understandable but if certain editors continually ignore requests to sign their comments, any new comments by them should be reverted and a discussion should be initiated on their user talk page.
Customized signatures, like usernames, should be chosen appropriately and not be promotional, misleading, disruptive or offensive. They must include at least one direct internal link to the editor's user page, user talk page, or contributions page, allowing other editors easy access to their talk page and contributions log. Images or templates should not be used in signatures as this may cause unnecessary server load.
Pending changes protection has been implemented to help maintain the quality of the sites content and to minimize vandalism. This means changes from new and anonymous IP editors are reviewed by other editors (usually within 24 hours) before they appear on the website. Once a new user demonstrates that their edits are factually correct, properly formatted and comply with guidelines, they will receive the 'Editor' user right which means their own edits will be approved automatically.
It is the responsibility of each individual editor to make sure that their own edits are of a high standard. Edits should not be made with the expectation that someone else will fix the problems those edits may have caused (e.g. spelling, punctuation, formatting, broken links/redirects etc.).
When a user makes contributions that need corrections or cleanup by another editor, these issues should be explained to them on their talk page. If their contributions continue to suffer from the same issues after being corrected two or three times and having the matter explained to them, editors should then revert their future edits, ask them to see their talk page (in the edit summary) and consult with other editors and administrators.
Assuming good faith is the assumption that a user's edits and comments are made in good faith. This guideline does not prohibit discussion and criticism. Rather, editors should not attribute the actions being criticized to malice unless there is specific evidence of malice or obvious vandalism. If an editor wishes to express doubts about the conduct of another user, they should substantiate those doubts with specific diffs and other relevant evidence, so that people can understand the basis for their concerns. WikiIslam administrators and other experienced editors involved in dispute resolution will usually be glad to help, and are very capable of identifying policy-breaching conduct if their attention is drawn to clear and specific evidence.
When using text or images from another website, editors should make sure that the material is not copyrighted. If it is, they must ask permission from the original content owner(s) before using it. Copyright holders may contact WikiIslam to have their concerns addressed.
The goal of WikiIslam is to create an encyclopedic information source with all information being referenced through the citation of reliable published sources, so as to maintain a standard of verifiability.
For this reason, all contributors should recognize that it is their responsibility to ensure that material posted on WikiIslam is not defamatory. Libel or defamation is defined as the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation.
It is WikiIslam policy to delete libelous material when it has been identified. This policy applies to living people.
Individuals who believe they are the subject of a libelous statement on WikiIslam should contact the site with details of the article and error.
Due to constant vandalism, disruptive editing, non-compliance with guidelines and a lack of time, pro-Islamic submissions are currently not being accepted. This change is only temporary, and the present list of pro-Islamic articles can still be viewed here. For debates and general discussions about Islam, users can visit a forum (e.g. the FFI forum).
Assuming Good Faith
Assuming good faith is a fundamental principle on WikiIslam. It is the assumption that a user's edits and comments are made in good faith. Most people try to help the project, not hurt it. This guideline does not require that editors continue to assume good faith in the presence of obvious evidence to the contrary (vandalism). Assuming good faith does not prohibit discussion and criticism. Rather, editors should not attribute the actions being criticized to malice unless there is specific evidence of malice.
When disagreement occurs, try to the best of your ability to explain and resolve the problem, not cause more conflict, and so give others the opportunity to reply in kind. Consider whether a dispute stems from different perspectives, and look for ways to reach consensus.
When doubt is cast on good faith, continue to assume good faith yourself where you can. Be civil rather than attacking editors or edit-warring with them. If you wish to express doubts about the conduct of fellow editors, please substantiate those doubts with specific diffs and other relevant evidence, so that people can understand the basis for your concerns. Although bad conduct may seem to be due to bad faith, it is usually best to address the conduct without mentioning motives, which might exacerbate resentments all around.
Dealing with Bad Faith
Even if bad faith is evident, do not act uncivilly yourself in return, attack others, or lose your temper over it. It is ultimately much easier for others to resolve a dispute and see who is breaching policies, if one side is clearly acting appropriately throughout.
WikiIslam administrators and other experienced editors involved in dispute resolution will usually be glad to help, and are very capable of identifying policy-breaching conduct if their attention is drawn to clear and specific evidence.