Tuesday, 13 March 2012

WikiIslam < MuslimWiki < KnightsWiki

An update to this post is available here: KnightsWiki's Pro-Islam Hypocrisy

This is a reply to the webmaster of KnightsWiki, the "unofficial University of Central Florida wiki". The article in question can be found here. I would have posted the following on the article itself, but, unfortunately the software would not allow me to post more than 1 short comment.

Some of the many problems with your post:

1. “the majority of Internet content about wikiislam.net indexed by google criticises WikiIslam for their Islamophobic articles”

Is that really surprising or noteworthy in any way? Have a look at who the critics are; Muslims. Most would find it offensive if you touched the Qur'an with unwashed hands or doodled a stickman with "Muhammad" written under it, so do you really expect them to express glowing opinions about a website that focuses on criticism of their religion?

Try finding one notable Skeptic's website that focuses on criticism of Islam and is not denounced by Muslims in general. You won't be able to do it. To an unbiased individual, it is clear that the louder the complaints are against a critic's site, the more effective that site must be in its criticism of Islamic scripture, doctrines, propaganda and pseudoscience.

2. “failure to provide a NPOV”

There is nothing unusual about a wiki project rejecting the Neutral Point of View (NPOV) policy of Wikipedia. Many wikis, I dare say most wikis, do this. WikiIslam makes it very clear in the 'About', FAQ and Google description that it does not adhere to the NPOV. It's not a failure, it's simply a skeptics wiki that critiques a religion. In this case, the religion happens to be Islam.

3. “If you have been reading WikiIslam.net, and you want a balanced view of Islam, I recommend checking out MuslimWiki.com”

A balanced view? Let's see what MuslimWiki has to say about that:

“The MuslimWiki operates a Muslim point of view (MPOV) policy. The wiki is here to present Islam in a positive light from the perspective of Muslims.” - MuslimWiki:Muslim point of view  

Does that sound balanced to you? How is that any different from what you accuse WikiIslam of being guilty of, and why are you posting false information?

Additionally, WikiIslam has been accepting Pro-Islamic submissions since December 2008 and one of the most trusted editors over there was a Muslim. Do MuslimWiki host articles with a differing view-point? No, they do not. Are you now going to denounce MuslimWiki because they are demonstratively the more biased of the two sites?

4. “MuslimWiki.com (who actually has a fairly comprehensive article criticising WikiIslam).”

Did you know that article was written by NarSakSasLee, a Wikipedia user who claimed he was of Japanese origin and a Buddhist, but on MuslimWiki he goes by the name of IslamicWarrior who happens to be of Pakistani origin, not Japanese?

That article was originally on Wikipedia. Can you guess what happened to it? It was deleted within a few days, with reluctant agreement from its Muslim author, because several Wikipedia users noted that, among other issues, it was biased and misrepresented its sources. Don't take my word for it, have a read of the MuslimWiki talk page they blanked without discussion. Using a lot of words does not make it “comprehensive” or accurate.

5. “it is not the goal of the webmaster to serve as a dictator”

You may be “very passionate about wiki software!”, but who are you to dictate how others run their wiki sites? Some wikis need more moderation than other. WikiIslam is constantly vandalized and its editors have openly received (homophobic) death-threats (by IP users none-the-less). In addition to that, before the “Pending-changes protection” was added, Muslims used to complain about how “anyone” could insert false information. Well now that complaint has been remedied.

6. “besides, perhaps, moving (not deleting!) questionable (mis)information into the discussion sections whose fate shall to be decided upon by consensus of the editors).”

You're endorsing MuslimWiki, a wiki that does exactly that (the above talk page for example) and worse (they don't allow critical articles or opinions at all).

7. “Indeed, one of the best offerings of a wiki is the ability to present both sides of an argument.”

WikiIslam has allowed Pro-Islamic content for several years. MuslimWiki has never allowed anti-Islamic content. You're criticizing and endorsing the wrong wikis.

8. “I love Criticism sections, and I'm sceptical of any article that lacks one.”

Since you're so passionate about wikis and Wikipedia's NPOV policy, then you should also be aware that Wikipedia actually discourages Criticism sections. They advise editors to integrate negative material into sections that cover all viewpoints.

9. “As a member of the Internet and WikiIslam community, I want to make sure that the content is fair.”

And as a voluntary member of any community, you should adhere to the rules and guidelines which you accept by default when joining.

10. “I feel the best way to do this is to add a Criticism sections to WikiIslam articles (or, at least, to the FAQ) which include links to other resources so that the readers can get all perspectives on Islam (yes, including the Islamophobia...but also with links to MuslimWiki”

In your rush to condemn the site, you missed the fact that WikiIslam already links to MuslimWiki on the FAQ. In fact, your entire post is starting to sound like one big blatant and biased plug for MuslimWiki.

11. “This way, there is +1 article on the Internet elucidating the Islamophobic nature of WikiIslam so that the clever sceptic can educate themselves with both sides of Islam-related Wiki sites.”

WikiIslam encourages “the clever sceptic” to “educate themselves with both sides of Islam”. Hence offering a link to a pro-Islamic wiki on the FAQ, hosting pro-Islamic content on the site itself, and not creating articles attacking the alternative wikis with fallacies (poisoning the well & ad-hominem) by misrepresenting sources and blatantly lying.

12. “My intention was to add the following to WikiIslam's About Us > Reception article.”

Note that you attempted to add text that claims as a fact (not as an opinion of their critics) that WikiIslam “perpetuate Islamophobia”, so you are basically admitting to attempting vandalism of WikiIslam's About page. Does that make you feel proud?

Should someone attempt to add...

“MuslimWiki has received numerous criticisms for articles that are one-sided, perpetuate Islamophilia, and fail to provide a Neutral Point of View (NPOV). For a balanced view of Islam, please also visit the WikiIslam site.”

...to the MuslimWiki About page? Is that vandalism or not, and how long do you think that edit would last on the “balanced” MuslimWiki?

Plus, WikiIslam already mentions that Muslims are very critical of the site, and they even link to the Larson paper, so what reason, other than to endorse a biased pro-Islamic site which WikiIslam already recommends on its FAQ, do you have for attempting to add that redundant rubbish?

The criticism of WikiIslam by Qãhırıï, used by you as a reference, is completely ridiculous. He spends the entire article discussing how a certain page contradicts other things on the site. Apparently he did not notice how the article is written in the first-person, meaning it's an essay. Essays, as it now clearly states, “do not necessarily reflect the views of WikiIslam.” Naturally, essays only reflect the views of the author.

13. “I am not Muslim and I know very little about Islam.”

So you admittedly know very little about Islam, yet feel bold enough to educate other skeptics on the “Islamophobic nature of WikiIslam”, and the belief that it is “mostly a repository of misinformation that perpetuates a fear-driven propaganda against a peaceful religion”? If you know VERY little about Islam, then how do you KNOW whether it is "misinformation" or not?

That's right, you have a bias in favor of Islam;

you want Islam to be peaceful, so educating yourself first before formulating an opinion probably never crossed your mind as the thing a true “clever sceptic” would do. Just shout your (in this instance) uneducated opinions as loud as you can and to hell with articles that provide fully referenced criticism.

14. “I'm very passionate about ensuring that wiki sites remain neutral & freely editable”

Do you not see your own hypocrisy in calling others biased or agenda-driven, when your post is unashamedly biased, slamming a wiki simply because it is critical of a particular religion, unashamedly endorsing an alternative openly biased pro-Islamic wiki simply because it agrees with what you already believe without reason, and your post is itself filled with more 'misinformation' than WikiIslam could ever hope to pack into one of its pages?

With articles like yours on the net, is it surprising that “the majority of Internet content about wikiislam.net indexed by google criticises WikiIslam"? Just like you, they use ad-hominem against the site (call it "Islamophobic" or a "hate site") or lies simply to have it appear in Google searches and dissuade other Internet users from reading some great articles you wouldn't find anywhere else, especially not on those "balanced" sites you love so much.

Being passionate about something does not give you the right to force your passions onto others, or to freely write biased and inaccurate rubbish without being called on it.