The on topic page currently says:

Islam Stack Exchange is for experts in Islam, students of knowledge, and those interested in Islam on an academic level.

Question: Does "...on an academic level" imply that Islam.SE is an academic site?

Misreading the scope:

It looks like I misread the scope. When it was proposed:

This would not prevent questions from non-experts... [authors of] incoming questions would know that they're asking... a community of "experts in Islam," not just any random Muslim or person interested in learning about Islam... -- goldPseudo ♦, 2013

Thus, it seems like "...on an academic level" was not meant to imply that is an academic site. (Or is that what's intended? I'm not completely sure.)

[Side note: this also conflicts with We do not check credentials at the door (mentioned here, 2012 and reiterated here, 2015) and ...answers may be posted by anybody regardless of training or expertise in the on topic page, but let's put that aside.]

Definitions of "academic":

The word "academic" has a few meanings; Cambridge Dictionary includes:

  1. relating to schools, colleges, and universities, or connected with studying and thinking, not with practical skills

    If we go by this definition, "...on an academic level" implies we set high standards, comparable to that expected of academics, i.e., not laypeople. The site excludes non-academic contributions. I.e., Islam.SE is an "academic site".

  2. based on ideas and theories and not related to practical effects in real life

    If we go by this definition, "...on an academic level" implies we seek personally detached, theoretical contributions.

But I don't think it's intended as either of these definitions...

What I (currently) think "academic" was intended to achieve:

My impression is that "academic" was simply meant to tell the community to "behave professionally" (or, more bluntly, "grow up"), in response to problematic behaviours, such as sectarianism, intolerance, personal questions, debates, and plagiarism.


I proposed we go back to the old one as part of a proposed rewrite of the on topic page. Using the word "academic" seems to arose in July-September 2013. It was proposed here and here, and it was supported at the time.


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