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What should be done about https://islam.stackexchange.com/q/10819/3487 ?

Is it off-topic? And why is it so?

What can be done to improve it?

Is it salvageable?

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The question is two part. one part is on topic and other is off topic in this site. the part asking about if Israel is enemy of Islam or not is on topic. because Islam has verses and Ahadeeth about defining its own enemies and based on that definition it can be determined that if X is enemy of Islam or not. it is like asking if X is Halal or not. Islam has definition of Halal and each case can be determined by this definition.

Definitions in Islam are like formula. and each case can be determined by checking it in the related formula.

But the part asking why Muslims have different positions about Israel is about behaviors of Muslims instead of Islam itself. so this part is off-topic and if it is removed from Question there will be no problem.

The question is about laws of Islam about its enemies. and not about Israel itself. question can be answered by having expert knowledge about Islam. Israel is only one case that can be determined if is enemy of Islam or not. by checking the behaviors of Israel based on Islamic definitions it can be determined.

Anyway the question wants to know if Israel specifically is enemy of Islam or not. it is not asking generally for how to determine if X is enemy of Islam or not.

When one asks if the sea food X is Halal or not? he wants to know about this specific food. we should not enforce him to change his question to: how to determine foods are Halal or not?

In the way of Allah a Muslim should not fear from anything.

Indeed Islam is a political religion and has political aspects and cutting parts of Islam makes it turn it to what is not Islam anymore. it is like a lion without teeth. prophet Muhammad SAWW managed near 100 wars. some of them himself was fighting and some others he himself was not in the war fighting but sent the military for war and managed them. Also prophet Muhammad SAWW had a war against Jews of Bani Qurayzah living in the Khaybar castle. so totally war, having enemy, politics are Indeed parts of Islam and we can not cut these parts from Islam. but if a political question is irrelevant of Islamic politics then it will be off-topic in this site. but politics that are included in Islam are on-topic in this site. anyway Islam has its own politics and we do not the right to cut parts of Islam. cutting parts of Islam means disbelieving in parts of Islam and this is called Kufr in Quran:

Indeed, those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and wish to discriminate between Allah and His messengers and say, "We believe in some and disbelieve in others," and wish to adopt a way in between - (150) Those are the disbelievers, truly. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment. (151) http://tanzil.net/#4:150

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    Questions on politics are off-topic as they're rarely productive or relevant to the beliefs and practices of Islam.: If you're arguing that politics should be on-topic, that's a completely different discussion which is only tangentially relevant here. – goldPseudo Jan 19 '14 at 21:27
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The question very much looks like the definition of "political": "of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country."

Fundamentally, the question isn't really about Islam at all; it's about Israel. And answering the question doesn't really require any expert knowledge about Islam. It does, however, require an in-depth knowledge of Israeli government and foreign affairs.

And even then, any answers would be very much tied to the current political climate more than to Islamic fundamentals. They are thus less likely to provide any long-term value to future users so far as Islam itself is concerned.

And that's not even getting into the fact that this is exactly the sort of sectarianism that we've been fighting against since the founding of this site: "All posts asking for the site to pass judgement on some person or group […] are off-topic and will be closed/deleted on sight." We are not, and never have been, a fatwa site, and we are not, nor ever have been, a site for passing judgement on anyone (be they Muslim or otherwise).

It's possible that by reworking it into a "How can I identify an enemy of Islam?" form it could work, but that runs the very real risk of being closed as "Too broad" instead (and given OP's comments, doesn't appear to be what he's looking for anyway). As it stands, I just don't see as salvageable.

  • I understand, but there may be a possibility of being salvaged. Allah knows best why the user put that Ayah in his question, but I believe he had in his mind when asking the question the obligation of defending the lands of the muslims when it comes under attack from non-muslims, hence the quotation of the Ayah. And the obligation does not fall even if the attacking force takes the land, and that the obligation then would be to free it from non-muslim rule. So perhaps it can be salvaged something like "What is the ruling in the instance a muslim land has been taken by non-muslims?" – مجاهد Jan 18 '14 at 22:20
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I see this as an extremely dangerous question. Either the question itself, or a possible answer, could be seen as an incitement to perform acts of war or terrorism.

I would hate to see Islam.SE turn into a site for encouraging attacks against nations whose politics we dislike. This should not be a political vehicle.

The possible consequences of leaving this question on this site frighten me greatly.

  • Those answer which don't answer objectively and tend to become subjective should be downvoted. If it's objective then it's not incitement and should be allowed. (This shouldn't be taken as an agreement to the on-topicness of the question). And secondly this too is a subjective answer rather then objective nor does it answer the question at hand. – Bleeding Fingers Jan 19 '14 at 11:04
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    The meta question was "what should be done about question 10819". My answer is clear - delete it. Purge it from this site. It is an evil question. How can you say I haven't answered the meta question here? – user202 Jan 19 '14 at 11:06
  • Is it off-topic? And why is it so? What can be done to improve it? Is it salvageable? Saying it's an extremely dangerous question doesn't answer the question IMO. – Bleeding Fingers Jan 19 '14 at 12:37
  • @BleedingFingers - Read the title. "What should be done about question 10819". How is "question 10819 should be deleted" not an answer to "what should be done about question 10819"? If you had intended the question to be something else, you should have WRITTEN something else in the title. – user202 Jan 19 '14 at 16:36
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    @BattleofKarbala only qualified Islamic leaders and scholars can issue the Fatwa of Jihad and attack: Exactly. We are not a fatwa site, but the question is effectively asking us to issue a fatwa on Israel. The site is designed for learning, not judging. – goldPseudo Jan 19 '14 at 18:51
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    @DavidWallace That was only the title! There were other related question there in. Did you miss them? Not using Islam is your personal decision and nothing can be done about. Plus I DO NOT find anything "evil" about the question. It's just a question and this a discussion to decide whether it's on topic or not. Where's the evil in that? – Bleeding Fingers Jan 19 '14 at 20:11
  • @goldPseudo I don't see it that way. It's just a question asking whether or not X is the enemy of Islam or not. What if a some scholar, Y, had issued a fatwa on X, deeming it to be the enemy of Islam. In that case closing that question would be baring us from getting to know about the fatwa of that scholar Y on X. – Bleeding Fingers Jan 19 '14 at 20:23
  • @BleedingFingers - Are you seriously suggesting that there's a possibility that some sufficiently qualified leader is going to issue a Fatwa on Israel - and then Q10819 on Islam.SE is the ONLY medium that they're going to use to publish that Fatwa? That without this question, the execution of such a huge and significant Fatwa would be prevented? Your argument is ridiculous. – user202 Jan 19 '14 at 20:44
  • @BleedingFingers What if a some scholar, Y, had issued a fatwa on X brings up a very related issue that I've been mulling over for a while now. God-willing, I'll have a new meta post written up on that soon. – goldPseudo Jan 19 '14 at 20:51
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    @goldPseudo There are many so called "Fatwas" in regards to Isreal as there are books and proofs enough to answer the question in regards to Israel. As far as I see in regards to the Fatwa argument, that it is no different then other questions which may seem to be asking for a fatwa and then the answer quotes a fatwa from another site. – مجاهد Jan 19 '14 at 21:10
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    @DavidWallace What if some person X simply wants to know whether or not any Islamic scholar has deemed Y as an enemy of Islam? Realize not all books and scholars are available online, and Islam is for bringing together of experts on Islam to answer "Islam-related" questions. That question in no way suggests aggression it's a simple question. Deeming Q to be an enemy of R doesn't mean imply aggression. Antibiotics are enemies of bacteria, that doesn't make them off-topic on Biology nor does it imply aggression and on-slaught against them. – Bleeding Fingers Jan 19 '14 at 21:12
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    @goldPseudo if question is asking fatwa we still can not issue it. we can only quote from scholars. this is like all other questions on this site. I do not understand why Islamic politics or some subjects related to some specific countries should be looked with a different standard. this can lead to "double standard" in this site. – Battle of Karbala Jan 20 '14 at 7:23
  • @DavidWallace lets assume Islam and qualified Islamic scholars really say Israel is enemy of Islam. then is there any problem to republish that Fatwa in this site? this site is exactly made for this purpose. but if you personally hate such Fatwa or there is a law in SE against anti-Israel content it is different matter. anyway what Islam says about one subject can be found from website of scholars and it is not something new that this site publish it. this site only re-publish what is available on internet. – Battle of Karbala Jan 20 '14 at 7:27
  • @BattleofKarbala Who will check the credentials of such a scholar or leader if they are cited here? This question is saying nothing less than "tell me that it's Islamically mandated to go and kill Israelis". And who is responsible if some idiot comes along and gives the OP exactly what they are asking for? No good can ever come of this question. – user202 Jan 20 '14 at 9:26
  • @DavidWallace I said lets assume. also in Islam any enemy should not be killed. prophet SAWW made peace treaties with enemies like Meccan pagans and Jews and also many Jews were living in Medina with Muslims in peace. any enemy should not be killed. enemy and killing are different matters. the good comes from this Question is knowing enemies of Islam. checking scholars is different matter. Indeed any scholars is not really qualified. but lets assume prophet SAWW himself or Imam Mahdi a.s. issue such Fatwa. – Battle of Karbala Jan 20 '14 at 11:08
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I do not believe it to be off-topic, and I disagree on it being closed as such, I would have instead closed it as unclear. As it would seem that the questioner is asking one thing, but giving a feel of asking another thing by quoting the Ayah.

Although this question may seem to be political and irrelevant to Islam teachings, it is in fact quite the opposite. That is why I believe it is salvageable, it can be salvaged. It could be reworked into "How can I identify an enemy of Islam?" as goldPseudo said in his answer, but I also see a potential question.

Because of the fiqh and ruling behind a land which belongs to the Muslimeen (which goes back to the Ghaneema/ الغنيمة), and the ruling of what is to be done when such land is attacked and taken under control by non-Muslims (like the crusaders in the past or the Jews currently). Along with the quotation of Ayah 190, and the possibility of the user thinking of the Ayah in Suratul Anfaal:

وأعدوا لهم ما استطعتم من قوة ومن رباط الخيل ترهبون به عدو الله وعدوكم

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy

I can see such a potential in the question. So you ask if it is salvageable, then I will repeat that yes definitely. It could be reworked and improved (Made clearer) as "What is the ruling of the Jews occupation of Palestine?" or if this still seems to political to some, then it could be "What does Islam say about non-Muslim occupation of Muslim lands?" or something on this line.

I also believe if the Ayah quoted be taken out of the question, then that alone would be fine. My point of this answer is mainly it can be salvaged.

  • the question is not unclear. the verse says Muslims should fight those who kill Muslims. and Israel is killing Muslim Palestinians. so according to this verse Muslims should fight Israel. so the title is related to what is asking. – Battle of Karbala Jan 30 '14 at 4:36
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It is a critical question. Many people agree with that and many disagree. In fact, if Israel regime is an enemy why some Muslim countries cooperate with, and if it is not an enemy why some countries do not accept it as a diplomatic country!!

I think It is better some people in here who are familiar with this case come and answer this. For example We in our country, Israel regime is known as an enemy of Islam by most.

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    That would be a political answer rather than a Islamic one. One which strictly takes into account what Islam dictates rather then what a countries foreign policy does. – Bleeding Fingers Jan 25 '14 at 10:01
  • Maybe you're right. But it is more Islamic one rather than politic. Because there is an Islamic land which is occupied and there are Muslims who are refugees. We have many Ayas in Holy Quran which lead us to be sensitive to Muslims pains. As We are all brothers and sisters in one Ummah, So it makes sense. – Fatemeh Jan 25 '14 at 12:53
  • Your comment is more agreeable than the answer. Why?. Because if the question why some Muslim countries cooperate with [...] is answered then it's primarily political. "We in our country" is not what Islam is seeking, it's rather seeking "in the light of Islam" along with facts/references (Quran, hadees, fatwah). And certainly this is not fatwa site. – Bleeding Fingers Jan 25 '14 at 19:21
  • When I wrote "in our country", Made it clear to everybody that in my country, We believe in Islamic policy. We believe in policy plus Islam. We know them as two non separate parts. And I didn't prescribe it for everyone. I'm just trying to say, maybe in the secular countries some Muslims wanted to know what is their duty about Israel regime and its products and Etc. But now when i read the question better I found out it is not a very good question in this case. – Fatemeh Jan 26 '14 at 8:17
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I think the question is clearly off-topic and as long as the intention is to get an answer about whether Muslims should fight Israel it will remain so.

It is political by definition and the policy as far as I remember is that political issues are off-topic here (not because they are not part of Islam and one cannot say something based on Islam about them but because political questions are controversial and will lead to extended discussion based on opinions in place of factual answers).

In addition hate speech is illegal in US (where SE servers are located and the site has to follow the laws in US) and the original questions and even the current edited version look like hate speech against particular groups based on their opinions. (There is a small exception in some countries like Canada for discussion of religious doctrines but we should be very careful about this). I don't think there is any place for hate speech on this site.

On the other hand, I think it is important to clarify what is part of Islamic teachings and what is some Muslims' interpretation of those teachings at the present time specially about jihad which is one of the major teachings of Islam and is intrinsically political. By forbidding the topic on the site we will close our doors to users who seek answers to questions about jihad.

We have to think about this carefully. Jihad is a very sensitive issue and we need a clear policy about what type of questions and with what tone and form can be asked about it. If we allow questions about jihad then I think they must satisfy at least the following two conditions:

  1. it is not and does not lead to hate speech or any other illegal activity (based on US law), and

  2. it asks a question that can be factually answered based on Islamic sources and will not lead to extended and nonconstructive discussion of opinions.

  • what is the reference for "as far as I remember is that political issues are off-topic here"? do you mean completely any political question even Islamic political questions for example about Caliphate are off-topic? – Battle of Karbala Mar 28 '14 at 19:17
  • banning some topics because possibility of extended and nonconstructive discussion is irrelevant. it is another issue and applies to many topics and usually moderators deal with it. if we remove questions about Jihad and other political topics of Islam then this site will not be about original Islam. it will be then AmericanIslam.SE it is not the Islam Mhuhammad SAWW has brought it to humans. secular Islam is a paradox and a joke for who knows Islam well. – Battle of Karbala Apr 7 '14 at 9:35
  • @BattleofKarbala, sure, but a secular site about Islam is not the same as secular Islam. The answers still need to be based on accepted Islamic sources, what a secular site means is that this site is not intended to be a religious site, it is a site similar to Wikipedia in its nature. (The site is hosted on SE servers in the U.S. and as such it has to follow the laws in the U.S. The U.S. constitution has very strong support regarding the freedom of expression in comparison to other countries, still we should be careful not to overstep them.) – Kaveh Apr 7 '14 at 10:10
  • even a secular site can still have political questions. like wikipedia has many political contents. allowing political questions does not mean having a religious site. we can allow political (but Islamic) questions with different answers containing fatwa and and views of scholars about it in answers. there are many political fatwa from scholars. – Battle of Karbala Apr 7 '14 at 10:23
  • @BattleofKarbala, yes, it can. I am not saying in this answer political questions have no place on the site, I am saying there needs to be extra care towards them and when we can do that then they can be on-topic. – Kaveh Apr 7 '14 at 10:30
  • extra care is OK. but we see this question is closed still. "extra care" should be implemented in site and politics not be completely off-topic. action is needed. – Battle of Karbala Apr 7 '14 at 10:43
  • Just as an FYI, hate speech is very much legal in the United States. Freedom of speech is one of the rights granted by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that freedom includes hate speech as long as the speech does not incite violence. – Daniel Apr 28 '14 at 13:10

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