If you've watched this meta site for, well, pretty much since the beginning, you've noticed constant discussion about how Sunni and Shia Muslims can get along. My colegue, Robert Cartaino, encouraged adopting a moderation policy that accepts Islamic diversity and rejects trolls. To summarize a whole bunch of words: Islam—Stack Exchange is a site for expert Q&A, not debate. If you are here to poke holes in someone else's belief system, you are here for the wrong reasons. Most people want build a definitive collection of knowledge about Islam.
Now I absolutely understand wanting to convince other people that your particular theology is correct. (I don't imagine y'all would appreciate my theology.) But this just isn't the place for apologetics or da‘wah. If you insist on aggressively promoting your particular theology, we ask that you find some other site on the internet; there are plenty.
For the rest of us, there's a temptation to create a bunch of rules (like these) to enforce good behavior. Unfortunately, the people the rules are designed to turn away are also the most likely to rule lawyer a site to death. Instead, we have a few simple principles:
Religion makes concrete the ineffable. It is a humbling task since few of us get it right or even come close. If you look at your own understanding of Islam honestly, you will certainly detect places where you aren't quite sure about the truth. Please don't pretend that your knowledge is greater than it is.
It's inevitable that you will disagree with others from time to time. When that happens, treat others the way you yourself would like to be treated. Are you more likely to be persuaded by an abrasive or a gentle argument? Disagree politely or keep silent.
Do not use signature, taglines, or greetings.
On the surface, this is a procedural rule: format things this way and not another. But it signals a separation of content from author. When you post something on this site, it becomes a sort of common property. Anyone seeking answers on Islam will benefit from them if the site is well curated. Take ownership of your shared resources.
Avoid overt self-promotion.
When asking questions, your primary goal should be to satisfy your curiosity. When answering, your goal should be to share knowledge you've acquired. In neither case should you simply be promoting your own theological tradition. Questions should not be designed to attack opposing points of view. Answers should answer the question asked and not try to wedge in alternate points of view.
I know that most people are equipped to answer questions from one school of Islam and not others. That's just how things are. But we ask that everyone maintains an attitude of detachment for the purposes of this site. You are invested in your point of view personally, but when making decisions on this site you should put that allegiance aside temporarily.
If these principles sound good to you, please help us become the best place on the internet for learning about Islam. Otherwise... there are plenty of other places for holding debates.