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This question which asks about the origins of the Al-Quds International Day and how it is related to Islam was closed for being off-topic on the pretext of being related to muslim culture or behavior and unrelated to the study of Islam.

However Al-Qud Day is an annual international event held by muslims, first announced by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, a high ranking scholar of religion, based on the Islamic principle of supporting the oppressed against oppressors.

So it can arguably be regarded as an Islamic event rooted in the sociopolitical teachings of Islam, and therefore very well part of Islam. That negates the mentioned off-topic close reason.

Discussing it in chat, some users questioned the question in other ways, mainly that this is a political question that may cause unease for Jewish viewers of the site. But this is not a good reason to close down an Islamic question simply because some other group doesn’t like it! Imagine an atheist posting a question in philosophy.SE asking for arguments against God’s existence. Since the very nature of the question makes it a completely valid on-topic philosophical question, it is not reasonable to say it should be closed down for it causes unease for Theist viewers of the site!

That is, personal preferences or sentiments should not get in the way of a question with a sound intellectual basis. Plus a community with distinct beliefs and concerns should not be expected to entirely appeal to every other community of the people in other circumstances. Therefore, it is the interests and concerns of the host community that should count and be respected, primarily.

Plus as for the particular question, facts of Israeli occupation of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians are so widely known and documented that can be hardly disputed objectively. In short, Israel is a state bestowed by British Colonialism on Jewish Diaspora recognized by UN majority vote but against the consent of the indigenous Arab nations and governments of the region. Israel is therefore an occupational government forced through unjust legalities and brute military force upon an unwilling indigenous people. This is indisputable fact of history.

So in the light of the sociopolitical teachings of Islam, Islamic scholars are essentially qualified by Islam to issue fatwas calling for actions in respect to Israeli occupation. Therefore before shying away from such Islamic political issues, every non-muslim must realize that Islam is a religion that explicitly addresses the sociopolitical aspects of muslims' life, and consequently scholars of Islam issue rulings on real problems that muslim face in their daily lives including the sociopolitical spheres of life. And these rulings can be addressed as part of the study of Islam. And in fact there's been no shortage of Islamic rulings and theories on questions of politics in history of Islam.

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    Personally, I find that this site can sometimes be a bit too strict about the whole "that's a question about Muslims, not about Islam" thing. I suspect the distinction is not really that clear-cut. – TRiG Jul 9 '14 at 19:00
  • @TRiG, it is really hard to draw a line because many cultural practices have been influenced by Islamic beliefs. – infatuated Jul 9 '14 at 19:05
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    "However Al-Qud Day is an annual international event held by Muslims", I think you already figured the answer. it is an event invented by muslims. Hence, questions on Muslim culture or behaviour unrelated to the teachings of Islam are off-topic... – Sohaeb Jul 10 '14 at 0:10
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    @sohaeb Much of a muslim's culture is Islamic or related to Islam, such as marriage, get togethers, daily conversations and etc. So it is not possible to say that one of them is not relate to Islam, while much of them are in the light of Islamic teachings. Even, that "invention", might be discussed from the viewpoint of Islam, a religion which insists on opposing the oppressors. – Mohammad Hossein Jul 10 '14 at 4:30
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    @Sohaeb, And you turn a blind eye on all the rest, huh?! "... first announced by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, a high ranking scholar of religion, based on the Islamic principle of supporting the oppressed against oppressors." And that " Islamic scholars are essentially qualified by Islam to issue fatwas calling for actions in respect to Israeli occupation" and that "these rulings can be addressed as part of the study of Islam." – infatuated Jul 10 '14 at 5:52
  • i think that this law,Questions on Muslim culture or behaviour unrelated to the teachings of Islam are off-topic ., is wrong and must be change. each guestion about islam or related to islam ask, must be acadamic answer not guestion – Ali.R.banisafar Jul 13 '14 at 18:04
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On this site:

Sociopolitical questions about current events are off-topic.

Please pay attention:

No one is saying these questions are not important or cannot be answered based on Islamic teachings.

This is a pragmatic rule the site's community has established to avoid certain kind of problems that these questions cause (e.g. they typically lead to extended discussions). Arguing whether these can be answered according to Islam or that they are important is irrelevant to this rule. The rule is there not because of them. It is there because these question typically lead to problems for the site. So please avoid asking questions about sociopolitical events in recent history, for the time being they are off-topic. It is possible that once the site graduates and we see a healthy community this rule will change. But we are far from graduating, if the community doesn't improve it is likely that the SE will close the whole site, so if you care about the site

Please avoid sociopolitical questions about recent events. They are often controversial and opinion based, lead to extended discussions, and increase the likelihood of the site being completely shut down.

Also independent of how you feel about particular issues keep in mind that this site has a particular goal. It is not a general Muslim community discussion site. It is not an Islamic site. It is a Q&A about Islam. If you are asking a question while you know the answer (or think you know) then it is not a genuine question. Ask questions to learn what you don't know, don't abuse questions for making statements or preaching views. Political advocacy is an abuse of this Q&A site independent of how just the cause is. There are many other places on the Internet for such things.

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  • If there is such a rule against sociopolitical questions, as for now, I as a member of this community along with many others disagree with it. This site is moderated by the community, so if the community decides that sociopolitical questions that fall within the realm of Islam should be allowed to discuss, then there must nothing stopping them from doing of course so as long as they are professionally handled according to general SE policies. – infatuated Jul 14 '14 at 10:50
  • It is also noteworthy, that not all sociopolitical questions are controversial. But if they turn out to become controversial, then they can be halted by community moderation. I often see mods close down questions that can be objectively answered without any evidence of controversy. That is they go by gut feeling whether a question would be controversial or not. Actually there can be no clear cut criteria to determine which questions are definitely controversial or not. – infatuated Jul 14 '14 at 10:58
  • Therefore, the best approach is to just stop fruitless controversies once they are noticed, because advance judgments based on guessing can suppress many potentially productive questions and answers that can add value to the site by allowing users to learn about different aspects of Islam. – infatuated Jul 14 '14 at 10:59
  • As for your last paragraph, I should clarify that I have so far never written a question in this site whose answer I know! However, because SE allows self-answering questions, that means writing questions with the purpose of sharing one’s knowledge of Islam with other users is a valid practice that is even encouraged by SE model, far from being condemned as abuse! – infatuated Jul 14 '14 at 10:59
  • Finally, I feel obliged to thank you for sharing your opinion despite our subtle differences on the issue. I hope we can arrive at a consensus on both the permissibility of the topic in question and also a best possible approach of proper handling of questions on this important field of Islamic study. Please also have a look at my comments on the other answer. – infatuated Jul 14 '14 at 11:00
  • @infatuated, normally on a healthy graduated site we can do that by starting a policy change question and gathering enough support and SE would be OK. On a beta site with several problems and warned a few times that if the situation does not improve it will be shut down it does not work that way. In other words as long as the site is not run in a way that SE is satisfied with its health and needs parenting like a child those policies will not change even if a strong majority of users want it and I think many understand the need for the policy for now. – Kaveh Jul 14 '14 at 19:58
  • I was not referring to your question. However O have seen quite a number of times that a question is posted for making statements. Self-answering is there for when you had a question and found the answer by yourself, not for broadcasting your views and opinions. ps: here I am using "you" generally, not that I say you have done so. – Kaveh Jul 14 '14 at 20:04
  • In the normal situation, moderator interventions should be rare. When a particular topic frequently causes problems it is normal to make that completely off-topic so it doesn't ruin the usability of the site for others. It is a normal practice on SE sites. To change the policy you have to show that the topic is not going to cause frequent moderation problems anymore. – Kaveh Jul 14 '14 at 20:10
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    Right now we are at a place that we should be cocerned about improving the health of the site and its survival, insisting on including a problematic topic in the scope is a bad idea imo. It is like the guy who insists on having a particular piece of the cake on a sinking ship. – Kaveh Jul 14 '14 at 20:20
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That question was explicitly closed as off-topic because "Questions on Muslim culture or behaviour unrelated to the teachings of Islam are off-topic here"; it's asking about a particular holiday established by a particular leader for the particular people in that particular country to follow. In other words, it's a cultural practice; the fact that it's practiced by a Muslim country just makes it "Muslim culture."

For the sake of argument, let's say that close reason was incorrect.

It could just as easily have been closed as off-topic because "Questions on politics are off-topic as they're rarely productive or relevant to the teachings of Islam." Again, this is a particular holiday established by a particular leader for the particular people in that particular country to follow. The reasoning behind this establishment is clearly political in nature ("of or relating to the strategies of a particular party or group in politics."), which would well allow this off-topic reason to apply.

For the sake of argument, let's say that close reason was incorrect as well.

It could just have easily been closed as "Unclear what you're asking." The question title is asking "What is Al-Quds day?", but this is effectively answered in the first sentence of the question body. What exactly doesn't the questioner understand about it? What exactly does he expect in an answer? It definitely isn't asking for pretty much any of the information actually presented in the self-answer; almost the entire answer could be trimmed down to one paragraph and it would answer the actually asked question perfectly.

If that flaw were to be corrected, and playing off the assumptions made earlier, then yes, the question could possibly be salvaged. Unfortunately, a closed question can only have one close reason, and getting it to this point is already a fair stretch.

However, the arguments you present for its reopening don't touch on that at all. You're claiming that it's "not a good reason to close down an Islamic question simply because some other group doesn’t like it" which, while merited, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the scope of this site.

In short, we are not an Islamic site. We are a site for the academic study of Islam. The difference is subtle, but vitally important.

In other words, just because someone posts an "Islamic question" does not mean that it deserves to be on here.

Islam, as I'm sure you're well-aware, is an all-encompassing religion that touches on pretty much every aspect of life. If we were to make on-topic everything that's important to Muslims, everything that's Islamic, then pretty much nothing would be off-topic for any reason. Which would pretty much make the site useless; without the hard edges to delineate exactly what makes our experts special, we plain won't attract any experts.

That is why we are not an Islamic site. We are not a site for Muslims, we are a site for those interested in Islam on an academic level. And the things that are important for the academic study of Islam are not the same things that are important to Muslims in general.

Politics are off-topic, not because they're unimportant to Muslims or irrelevant to Islam, but because they're rarely productive or relevant to the academic study of Islam. Similarly, questions on Muslim culture are off-topic here because they rarely actually have anything to do with the study of Islam. If you want them to be on-topic, go ahead and build a solid case for it and present it on meta. But you need to build that case not around the fact that it's important and relevant to Muslims, rather it needs to be important to people studying Islam academically.

So, to take your last paragraph ("Islamic scholars are essentially qualified by Islam to issue fatwas calling for actions in respect to Israeli occupation.") as an example, would including this question actually be useful to those Islamic scholars? Can you argue that they want this sort of question on their site? Because whether they know it or not, we're building this site for them, not just for you, not just for me, but for all the future scholars of Islam who are studying and need a resource to get actual answers to practical questions they face.

If yes, then sure, such questions should probably be on-topic. But as presented, your arguments fall flat as it doesn't appear that you're arguing for them at all.

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