I recently closed a question which raises an issue we've only just been skirting around.

Remember that the purpose behind an "Islam Stack Exchange" is to build a compilation of knowledge about the subject of "Islam" — You cannot reasonably hope to cover any possible questions of interest to Muslim *users*.

So why does this matter?

Sometimes it is easy to forget not to treat this forum like a general support group… covering anything of interest to the Muslim community. Some questions are only tangentially-related to the subject of Islam. Try not to turn this into a issues or political forum, or a place to ask "What do Muslims think about [X]?" We are not not here to discuss Islamic countries or their conflicts nor are we here to solve the world's problems from an Islamic prospective.

This is a site about the subject of Islam — and creating a great canonical Q&A resource for those who come after.

Staving off these "extra curricular topics" is an issue we've dealt with for a very long time; wow going back for at least 3-4 years. It started as the "Favorite soft drink of programmers" problem on Stack Overflow. Yes, Stack Overflow is a site for programmers, but you could not reasonably expect to form a Q&A site around any question of interest of programmers. The site would soon become about anything — all you have to do is append "…for programmers" to the end of any question and, poof, it becomes on topic.

Not so.

The whole point of these sites is to form a community around specific topics. There's nothing more toxic to a community than not being able to set boundaries around it. If you allow discussing everything, you have allowed discussing nothing. That's why we shy away from these extra-topical questions.

When the work of Q&A is done, we have a proverbial 3rd place to chat with fellow Muslims about these other topics that interest you. But a focused Q&A community cannot form around “let’s just talk about everything we're interested in." It won't work.

  • Thanks for the explanation. I didn't intended to go out of scope. I will think to see I can improve the question to make it in the scope for the site.
    – Kaveh
    Jun 26 '12 at 0:59
  • 7
    @Kaveh Not to overstate the issue, but if it isn't an issue covered in by the Qur'an or other canonical teachings, it isn't likely related to the subject of Islam. Jun 26 '12 at 1:06
  • I see what you mean.
    – Kaveh
    Jun 26 '12 at 1:07
  • What is your question? Why are people upvoting this? On stackoverflow this will be downvoted as well since there is no question here. Jul 11 '17 at 8:26

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