WikiIslam:Policies and Guidelines

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This page contains a summary of the general policies and guidelines that everyone is expected to adhere to at WikiIslam and is required reading for all editors.

Content

Scope and Article Relevance

This article defines the scope of WikiIslam, to assist editors and volunteers in understanding the nature and limits of WikiIslam. The article relevance section of this article and the flowchart included therein give more detailed guidance as to how one can determine whether or not an article or a body of content have a home on WikiIslam.

Source Editing

Formatting a WikiIslam article differs from when writing on a standard word processor. Wikis use text codes to create particular elements of the page (e.g., headings). This markup language is known as wikitext (or wiki-markup) and is designed for ease of editing.

The Source Editing page will teach editors how to edit from the articles source. It also teaches how to use types of quoting, linking, and important templates for all editors. Learning the WikiIslam source language will make editing much easier and intuitive.

Editors who are wondering how to create specific parts of an article should go here.

Article Guidelines

Writing Style

WikiIslam is an international site with administrators, editors and contributors from all over the world. Readership is vast and not saturated by any demographic of visitors, so the content should reflect this. Material should be tailored to accommodate, as best as possible, a universal audience.

WikiIslam is not a political site. The site does not have a left or right-wing political agenda, nor is it a counter-jihad site. Articles concerning immigration, culture wars, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and other related issues are strictly prohibited. Articles should always remain neutral towards all religions and world views, neither promoting nor criticizing them.

Editors are expected to take a scholarly and rational approach in their conduct and criticisms. Editors should stay away from extremist, sensationalist, sarcastic or emotional commentary by letting the facts speak for themselves. Articles should also be free from vulgar, offensive, or slang language. In short, articles should include no personal opinions or deductions, only referenced facts.

Any analysis of Islam should be based on its own mainstream rules and religious sources, meaning articles should never endorse (but may simply document or challenge) fringe theories unsupported by the majority of evidence. There should be no personal opinions or abstract deductions, and every statement of fact must be supported by reliable, published sources. Use of secondary sources to present a historical-critical perspective is also encouraged. Content of this sort should derive from content published by reliable academic journal and presses (e.g. Fred Donner's Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam, published by Harvard University Press).

Copying and pasting articles from other sites is not allowed. Nor is, for various reasons, copying and pasting articles from Wikipedia. However, there are some exceptions to this rule e.g. where a suitable Wikipedia article is going to be deleted or has been deleted. If something specific is being quoted from another site, it should be made clear that it is a quotation.

Citing, Linking, Quoting, Plagiarism

All statements of facts, especially those that are likely to be challenged, must be referenced using inline citations. Naked URLs are not sufficient. What is being referenced should be easily identifiable without having to leave the page through an external link. Minimal information (if available) should include the URL, page title, author, publisher and the date of publication. Each link must also be archived to avoid link rot. When quoting from these sources, bold or italic emphasis may be added, but underlining and all-capitals should be avoided.

Although WikiIslam does not host original research, and is built upon citations of established works of scholarship and primary sources, it does consist of original content. As such, WikiIslam maintains a zero-tolerance policy towards the wholesale copying and pasting of content from other websites, whether they be Wikipedia or any other source in print or on the web. As such any editor who engages in this type of plagiarism will be subject to an immediate ban.

Article Structure

The Structure of an article concerns the organization of sections and media. Better structure allows the reader to navigate the page easier and feels more intuitive. The structure should also seek to give maintain cohesiveness throughout the wiki. This aims to give the reader a better experience by using a predictable layout. WikiIslam employs an encyclopedic format for all articles. (e.g. 72 Virgins, The Qur'an). All articles can be adjusted to keep the flow and intuitive feel of the article but must be encyclopedic in nature.

Article Deletion

Articles which meet the following criteria are subject to speedy deletion:

  • Broken redirects to non-existent pages
  • Libelous articles without any 3rd party references
  • Articles copied entirely from another source such as Wikipedia, word-for-word and without substantial reworking or rewording

In addition, any article which fails to meet the criteria of our

document is subject to deletion.

Reliable Sources

WikiIslam articles should be based on reliable, published sources. References that are cited must explicitly support any claims being made. There are three types of sources:

Primary Sources

Primary sources are original materials, an artifact, a document, a recording, or other source of information that was created at the time under study. In an article about a book it would be the book itself. In the case of a person, it would be the subject themselves. WikiIslam's analysis of Islam is based on its own sources (the Qur'an, hadith and Islamic scholars) as well as secondary scholarly sources (e.g. Shahab Ahmed's Before Orthodoxy, published by Harvard University Press).

Use of primary sources is not limited and they should be freely used in articles. However, only published and recognized translations of primary sources are to be used, and they must be quoted exactly as they appear in the cited reference.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are documents or recordings that relate or discuss information originally presented elsewhere. For example, a statement by a scholar about a certain battle in the history of Islam would be a secondary source. News articles that report on a development or an incident are also secondary sources. Statements of fact concerning Islam from polemic sources such as books, articles or commentaries by individuals such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Gellar, Mark A. Gabriel etc. are not to be used under any circumstances as references on WikiIslam. If editors come across any such statements, they must remove them immediately.

Secondary sources referenced on WikiIslam should be published by reliable academic presses and journals.

Tertiary Sources

Tertiary sources are sources that rely upon primary and secondary sources. Unlike secondary sources, they attempt to provide a broad introductory overview of a topic. The New Encyclopedia of Islam would be an example. They may be used as well. There are a variety of encyclopedias.

Interactions

User Names/Pages

Usernames should be chosen appropriately and should not be promotional, misleading, disruptive or offensive towards a race, religion or social group in any way. Usernames that fall under any of these categories will be renamed by an administrator.

Userpages should not be used as placeholders or homes for articles and essays. Personal email addresses should also not be displayed. Active editors with over 50 constructive edits are permitted to post links. However, these should also be chosen appropriately and they should try to keep the number of links within 10.

Talk Pages

The purpose of a talk page is to provide space for editors to discuss changes directly relating to its associated article or project page. Acceptable topics for discussion include concerns directly relating to the page, such as inaccuracies, formatting, renaming, merging and suggestions for further improvement. They are not there for irrelevant debates or for general attacks on the site or its editors.

Talk pages should not be blanked, and other users' messages should not be removed or altered unless a valid reason is provided (such as violating the above rules). All new discussion topics should be given a relevant heading and created at the bottom of the page, below all previous discussions, and all messages should be signed and follow the rules concerning indentation. Users should avoid excessive emphasis and be concise; capital letters are considered shouting, and long, rambling messages or SMS language may be difficult to understand and will be ignored. For continuity of discussion, comments should be kept on the same talk page where they were initiated.

Indentation

Good indentation makes prolonged discussions on talk pages easier to read and understand. Replies should always be indented and placed beneath the last comment. Indents are achieved by typing one or more leading colon ":" characters at the very left margin, just before the new text about to be added. With every new comment added, the number of colons must be increased by one.

A long discussion will cause indentation to become too deep, which can make it difficult to read in narrower browser windows. When this occurs, editors should consider resetting the level of indentation by outdenting their next comment. Outdenting must be performed by using the "Outdent" template.

Signatures

Signing comments on talk pages, both for the article and non-article namespaces, facilitates discussion by helping identify the author of a particular comment. Occasional forgetfulness is understandable but if certain editors continually ignore requests to sign their comments, any new comments by them should be reverted and a discussion should be initiated on their user talk page.

Customized signatures, like usernames, should be chosen appropriately and not be promotional, misleading, disruptive or offensive. They must include at least one direct internal link to the editor's user page, user talk page, or contributions page, allowing other editors easy access to their talk page and contributions log. Images or templates should not be used in signatures as this may cause unnecessary server load.

Contributions

Pending Changes

Pending changes protection has been implemented to help maintain the quality of the sites content and to minimize vandalism. This means changes from new editors are reviewed by other editors (usually within 24 hours) before they appear on the website. Once a new user demonstrates that their edits are properly referenced, properly formatted and comply with guidelines, they will receive the 'Editor' user right which means their own edits will be approved automatically.

Corrections

It is the responsibility of each individual editor to make sure that their own edits are of a high standard. Edits should not be made with the expectation that someone else will fix the problems those edits may have caused (e.g. spelling, punctuation, formatting, broken links/redirects etc.).

When a user makes contributions that need corrections or cleanup by another editor, these issues should be explained to them on their talk page. If their contributions continue to suffer from the same issues after being corrected two or three times and having the matter explained to them, editors should then revert their future edits, ask them to see their talk page (in the edit summary) and consult with other editors and administrators.

Good Faith

Assuming good faith is the assumption that a user's edits and comments are made in good faith. This guideline does not prohibit discussion and criticism. Rather, editors should not attribute the actions being criticized to malice unless there is specific evidence of malice or obvious vandalism. If an editor wishes to express doubts about the conduct of another user, they should substantiate those doubts with specific diffs and other relevant evidence, so that people can understand the basis for their concerns. WikiIslam administrators and other experienced editors involved in dispute resolution will usually be glad to help, and are very capable of identifying policy-breaching conduct if their attention is drawn to clear and specific evidence.

Blocking Policy

Blocking is a tool to be used to protect the integrity of WikiIslam and the harmony of the community of its editors. Blocks are not to be used to settle score, punish lack of knowledge, or exclude certain points of view. Rather they are to be used to keep the Wiki free of bots, vandals, griefers, trolls, and other bad faith actors. The main criterion for a block is the question: can this user make a positive contribution to the site in the future? If the answer is no then a block is warranted. Different types of infractions warrant different types of blocks for different amounts of time, depending on the severity of the infraction.

Legal

The community working here is a voluntary association of individuals and groups who are developing an online open-content collaborative encyclopedia. The structure of this site, which is a wiki, allows anyone with an Internet connection and World Wide Web browser to alter the content found here. Therefore, please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by professionals with the expertise necessary to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.

That is not to say that you will not find valuable and accurate information in WikiIslam; much of the time you will. However, WikiIslam cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields.

See Also

Contact Information

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To contact WikiIslam concerning general help or inquiries, a message can be left on the relevant Discussions page. For copyright issues, click here. And for other important issues or to request an account, click here.