Similar issues has been discussed before, but from my limited look around the site (I haven't been very active recently) it seems to me that the site has moved in the opposite direction. So let me remind a few things.

You should not down-vote answers simply because you disagree with the opinion expressed in them. This is not an Islamic site, this is a site for learning about Islam.

Muslims follow different schools of thought and there are many disagreements between them. You should not down-vote an answer because the opinion expressed in it is different from the opinion of your school. Any answer that expresses a view held by Muslim scholars (particularly the large schools of thought) are valid answers unless the person asking the question has restricted the answers he or she is looking for to answers from a particular group of scholars or Muslims. We are not trying to decide which opinion is the opinion of the true Islam, the site is about information about Islam.

Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional advice (particularly fatwas). Treat information you find here as if it came from a crowd of your friends.

Looking a bit around it seems there is serious intolerance on the site between people belonging to different schools of thought. This does not create a friendly environment for learning, it creates an environment for fighting.

Let me remind what System Down wrote:

What is a real Muslim? All Muslims think of themselves as real Muslims. [...] Filtering answers according to the person's beliefs (or lack of them) is highly discriminatory and bordering on ad hominem attacks. Answers should be judged on their own individual merits, rather than on who the answerer is. The SE format should take care of that.

Also as Flimzy what wrote:

Islam Stack Exchange is not a game show. We aren't here to vote people off the island. For the purpose of this site, please assume that the answer to "is X Muslim?" is always the same as "does X self-identify as Muslim?" It's the only way a group with such diverse cultures and beliefs can get along and do something productive.

As such all opinions held by all groups who self-identifies as Muslim are acceptable answers here and should not be down-voted for the sole reason of disagreement with the opinion. You can ask them to clarify that the opinion belongs to a particular group and not shared by all Muslims if it is not clear from the post, but you should not down-voted just because you disagree with their opinion.


2 Answers 2


This, of course, goes the other way too: Don't upvote a post just because you happen to agree with it. All voting should be based on how useful the post is, especially to the person asking the question, not whether (you fully believe) it's fundamentally right.

While it may be a given that in order for a post to be useful, it must also be correct, the opposite is not true: A post that is correct is not necessarily useful.


@goldPseudo: it was not possible for me to add a comment yet. Can we say:

useful + correct => up vote useful + not correct => no vote not useful + not correct => down vote ?

IMO correctness of an answer is difficult to judge, beacuse of the different perspectives of the users (shia, sunnah, wahhabi, etc.). In some discussions I've noticed that somebody who belongs to the sunnah (or shia) confession down-votes the answer although it is correct and useful, only because the answer is from shia (or sunnah) perspective.

  • 1
    That's basically the reason that "Truth questions" work so poorly in the Stack Exchange model; if there's no real criteria to determine which of two equally valid but mutually incompatible answers (e.g. "Shi'ites say this, but Sunnis say that") is actually objectively better, then the whole voting process just becomes an opinion-based popularity contest rather than anything actually useful.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Dec 22, 2014 at 21:53
  • 1
    As an example, if a question is only seeking Shi'ite answers, then even if Sunnis go and downvote all of them because of disagreement (p.s. please don't do this Sunnis), the answers would still end up ranked with the most useful answer on top and the least useful on the bottom based on the (Shi'ite) people who do know enough to upvote it based on useful+correct.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Dec 22, 2014 at 21:56
  • @goldPseudo: that is a really big problem and I think the best way to avoid this is accepting only questions and answers that are koran based and not from sunnith or shi'ite sources. Is that realizable?
    – kadesh
    Dec 23, 2014 at 4:38

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