A number of transformative steps have been undertaken as part of an ongoing effort to improve the content, professionalism, and reliability of WikiIslam. Raising the wiki’s standards and expectations will serve both to attract higher quality contributors and contributions and to spark a positive-feedback loop conducive to WikiIslam’s continued enhancement.
Key changes include:
A new mission statement
“To provide accurate and accessible information from traditional and critical perspectives on the beliefs, practices, and development of Islam”
A stricter, more academic scope
The scope of the wiki has been changed in a number of important ways. Whereas the wiki once stretched to comprise anything having to do with Muslims, Muslim-majority nations, and Islam throughout history, the scope is now more narrowly confined to topics related particularly to the “beliefs, practices, and development of Islam”. On the other hand, whereas the wiki once limited itself to referencing primary Islamic sources, the wiki now aims to complement these primary sources with the growing body of modern, historical-critical scholarship on the origins of Islam. Finally, implicit in this second major transition is a broadening of the wiki’s focus from merely the criticism of Islam to Islam in general – that is, whereas WikiIslam may once have been concerned only with Aisha’s age, it is now interested in Aisha herself.
A zero-tolerance policy on hateful, misleading, unencyclopedic, and polemical content
WikiIslam no longer tolerates any amount of hateful, misleading, unencyclopedic, or polemical content. Whereas there were once a great deal of such unhelpful and even hurtful articles and language on the wiki, these are no longer. And whereas the wiki once actively participated in and contributed to everlasting online religious polemics, the wiki now limits itself to documentary role in simply observing and addressing those polemical and apologetic currents which have risen to comprise mainstream Islamic discourse. Likewise, in encyclopedic spirit, articles are no longer permitted to maintain any point of view, be it political or religious – facts, straightforwardly described, are for the reader alone to judge.
The cleansing, re-conception, renaming, merging, archival, and deletion of several hundred articles
In a major stride towards realizing the wiki’s renewed standards and objectives, several hundred articles on the wiki have been reviewed, renovated, or removed. Salvageable articles have seen their very worst infractions expunged, sometimes being transformed in the process, while those articles deemed irrelevant or irredeemable have been exiled to the WikiIslam archive. And while a number of these purely polemical, testimonial, and statistical articles may in the future be hosted elsewhere, they do not belong on WikiIslam.
An open invitation to sober and serious contributors, Muslim, non-Muslim, or otherwise
WikiIslam is once again accepting editors and translators. While IP edits have been indefinitely disabled due to the persistent and futile efforts of pitiful vandals, sober and serious contributors who request an account will be readily provided one. Due to the new, adamantly neutral demeanor of the wiki, contributors’ background and religious persuasion are utterly irrelevant. Indeed, the devout Muslim moved to write about the intelligent piety of Abu Bakr, scholar hoping to outline potential Aramaic readings of the Qur’an, atheist roused to documenting the seemingly-absurd injunctions of Islamic law, and curious by-passer simply hoping to correct grammar as they browse are all equally welcome and encouraged to join the WikiIslam team.
As always, the wiki is a work in progress. Serious feedback and infraction-reports are welcome.