Please vote: Islam.SE temporary logo — can we vote?
Many sites replace their icon using a unicode character. Chess.SE uses a rook ♜, Poker.SE uses a club ♣, and so on. I believe it's possible to do the same here.
Question: Should the Islam.SE icon (currently "Is") be changed to something Islamic?
I think we've got a solid "yes" here". So....
Are there any more candidates?
Once I feel satisfied there's negligible chance of an alternative candidate (with a realistic chance of being implemented), I plan to ask people to vote in a separate meta post. I intend to use a similar format as in Chinese Language temporary logo — can we vote? at Chinese.SE: voting on a completely context-free icon, as it would appear once implemented.
After that, assuming there's some approximate consensus, I plan to create yet another meta post: a feature request proposing the change. (If there's no consensus... I don't know---it doesn't need solving unless it arises.)
I understand the restrictions are just "it has to be a unicode symbol". I don't think there's formalized restrictions on this (see below): my feeling is that it needs to be something which can readily convert to a blue-and-white icon, and not raise issues with copyright.
This would be a temporary change, until SE fully designs the site. However, given the sheer number of sites waiting for designs, it may be a long time.
These seem to be the current possibilities (i.e., those that I consider to have a realistic chance):
Star and crescent: ☪︎
- Upside: Many people (Muslims and non-Muslims) think this is a Muslim symbol.
- Downside: Has issues with it being Sunni-centric.
- Downside: It's not really a Muslim symbol: Why is the "crescent moon and star" being used as the symbol of Islam by some Muslims?
Allah in Arabic: ﷲ or الله
Upside: It's not denomination specific; absolutely central to Islam.
Downside: Using Allah as a logo for a private company is not reverent. It's possible it may be considered mistreatment. (At the same time, many Muslims put ﷲ stickers on their cars, etc.)
Rub el Hizb: ۞
- Downside: I had no idea this is a Muslim symbol. (Just me?)
- Downside: It might be mistaken for a gear (when displayed very small); it also looks similar to ☸ used at Buddhism.SE.
Place of sajdah: ۩
- Downside: I wouldn't naturally associate this with Islam. (Just me?)
Islam in Arabic اسلام
- Upside: It's not denomination specific.
- Downside: It simply might not fit.
Several (maybe all) of these are unlikely to be recognizable those unfamiliar with Islam: this may be an upside or a downside depending on how you look at it (excluding irrelevant audience).
Despite all of them having drawbacks, we could choose any one of these, and it would be better than "Is" or "IS". Is is a word in English; sometimes people have difficulties with "Islam" vs. "Muslim"; and IS is also an unfortunate acronym nowadays. In other words, I feel the drawbacks of "Is" outweigh the drawbacks of any of these candidates.
Just be aware that in most cases it's going to be displayed very small. It mainly shows up on the hot network questions list and your flair. E.g. here's my flair (the Islam.SE icon is after the math.SE icon):
Here are the icons for Islam.SE (there may be more):
The smallest one is 16 x 16 pixels.
Unfortunately, the Kaaba 🕋︎ and a mosque 🕌︎ are out, even though they're both good choices for a non-controversial logo. I think the Kaaba would have been a good choice: mistreating an icon of the Kaaba is far less problematic than mistreating an icon saying Allah. (This topic may arise again when the site's full design comes along.)
I asked about this on meta.SE. There, I gave a mock up of what I had in mind based on discussions here:
I received this answer:
When I say Unicode, I mean the simple characters and symbols that look like they belong to a font... and are, in fact, available in many complete fonts.
Emoji are special and not included. These characters are generally copyrighted based on platform and require licensing to use them in many cases. We don’t just use the code for the symbol so that it appears differently on each system type, we create an image with the letter/s or symbol so it’s always the same.
So, I’m sorry, but this wouldn’t be an option. If the site ever gets a custom design we might design a Kaaba from scratch if it’s a good representation for a logo but we won’t use an emoji in one of our logos.