In Replacing the off-topic close reasons? (draft), I proposed this as a draft off-topic close reason:
This question is unrelated to the teachings of Islam. This includes questions about politics, personal advice (including counselling and peer support), the Arabic language, and requests for dream interpretation. When it's not obvious, questions should include what the author aims to learn about Islam. See: What are the established off-topic reasons?
It got some feedback (see below), which means it needs either ditching or reworking:
Question: Can we make a general "not Islam-related" off-topic close reason work?
The feedback I got from goldPseudo ♦ was this:
For example, the This question is unrelated to the teachings of Islam proposal covers four topics:
- Politics: Rarely constructive and deemed off-topic mostly as a matter of precaution: Allowing them is just going to make a mess.
- Personal Advice: Generally welcome as long as it's generalized rather than specific.
- Arabic Language: Definitely on-topic in a lot of Islamically-relevant contexts. Definitely off-topic otherwise.
- Dream Interpretation: Pretty much always off-topic; ask a professional, not random strangers on the Internet.
Each of these are off-topic for different reasons, and not universally so. By lumping them together, you lose the ability to explain any of these distinctions in the close reason itself, which doesn't really help the questioner improve their own questions. Arguably more problematically, it also implies that if one of the topics can be made on-topic relatively easily (e.g. Arabic Language or Personal Advice) then all of them can.
In addition, it's pretty much going to end up being used as a catch-all in much the same way that the current "culture and behaviour" one is when voters just want a question closed but can't bother to give it a specific reason.
This seems astute. I was initially surprised by this reply, as it seems "not about Islam" should be the most obvious off-topic reason. So let's think more carefully about this.
My original motivation for phrasing it as above:
It seemed worthwhile enumerating these individual close reasons, so people knew to use it for certain topics in particular.
I created the linked meta post (What are the established off-topic reasons?) to overcome the character limit problem, but it doesn't seem to have worked that way.
What do other sites do?
When flagging, one can use this off-topic close reason:
Blatantly off-topic (this question has nothing to do with [foo])
This is a generic off-topic close reason:
off-topic: This question does not appear to be about [foo], within the scope defined in the [help].
General philosophical or sociological questions are off-topic unless clearly asking for a doctrinal answer. See: On-topic and constructive examples.
Questions about the Hebrew language or about history or news of the Jewish people, Jewish individuals, or the State of Israel, except as related to Judaism, are off-topic. If this question does relate to Judaism, please edit it to indicate how.
1. Don't include it and use:
Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)
when we encounter "not Islam-related" questions.
2. Don't enumerate, e.g.:
This question is unrelated to the teachings of Islam. When it's not obvious, questions should include what the author aims to learn about Islam. See: What are the established off-topic reasons?
3. Enumerate, but link to individual meta posts, e.g.:
This question is unrelated to the teachings of Islam possibly because it's about politics, personal advice, the Arabic language, or dream interpretation. When it's not obvious, questions should include what the author aims to learn about Islam.
4. Request additional close reasons from StackExchange
Maybe individual ones for (a) personal advice, and (b) dream interpretation. These come up a lot.
(Probably not the best option.)