I just had my question locked and all comments deleted after George Chalhoub insisted that I have a non-Muslim source of the claim.

Also, moderators banned many of my sources, which were very notable sources, nothing extremist or hateful, that hopefully the moderators will still let you see in the edit history.

It seems sources are being banned just for being Muslim even if they are not connected to terrorism or hate.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 4 '17 at 13:16

Claims made by religious people, even when they're having a religious agenda, made about a provable or disprovable matter, should be regarded as on-topic.


The question is actually open, so the claim not off topic. The claim, in my opinion, is clearly notable as you have shown. If a user disagrees, let them do that. They have the right to vote to close if they think the question is not notable. It is the normal functioning of the site.

The reason why other sources are "banned", to use your own words, is that they were poorly worded and the question was full of poor answers because of that -- including many that simply disagreed on the "logic" of the quotes.

It is always a good idea to post a single, clear source of the claim instead of many confused ones. Many may establish notability but they may also confuse the claim to the point that people answer incorrectly.

I closed the question (after 8 bad answers and dozens of flags and poor comments), we found a good claim and made the question about that. I removed the bad examples of the claim, and on that basis reopened the question. If they are reinstated, we are back to square one.

Also, please moderate your tone when accusing users, the community and Stack Exchange of ideological censorship. That is not acceptable behavior -- I kindly ask you to assume the best intentions from everyone, instead of accusing users of having positions you only assume they have. We are all in this for fun and passion, no one deserves to come to the site and have their integrity called into question publicly.

  • It's currently not possible to vote to close the question, because of the question being locked. Dec 31 '16 at 1:56
  • @AndrewGrimm the lock is not permanent, hopefully people will be more reasonable after a timeout.
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 31 '16 at 1:58
  • @Sklivvz I understand you have a business to run and I respect your company's right to freedom of the press in deciding what you want to publish. Stack Exchange is a step up from most media outlets as far as letting the general public have a say. I was hoping for even less bias, but I guess I should be realistic and happy for the improvement over tradition media.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 31 '16 at 2:19
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    Sorry you take it that way, as I said, stop assuming political intentions by me or the company. What you are saying is completely false.
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 31 '16 at 2:21
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    @Sklivvz Maybe you're just trying to keep the subject matter tame to a certain degree, avoid sensitive topics. And trying to do this uniformly, but no entirely succeeding. I don't think it's political in a partisan sense.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 31 '16 at 2:35
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    When does the lock end?
    – fredsbend Mod
    Dec 31 '16 at 17:00
  • @Sklivvz When does the lock end? I understand the difficulties in moderating junk comments and answers on a post, but that's the nature of the job. It kind of seems like you've shut it down so you didn't have to deal with it. A one day lock is what I was expecting. It's now been five.
    – fredsbend Mod
    Jan 4 '17 at 23:05
  • It should be on the question, are you able to see it? It's a week lock. There is nothing time sensitive in the question.
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 5 '17 at 0:15
  • @Sklivvz I can't see anything about a week. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Where does it say a week?
    – DavePhD
    Jan 5 '17 at 16:11
  • @DavePhD take.ms/ima2K
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 5 '17 at 16:35
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    @Sklivvz It doesn't say "unlocks tomorrow" for me. Not on desktop internet explorer, not on iphone safari. Maybe it only says that for moderators or employees.
    – DavePhD
    Jan 5 '17 at 16:41
  • @DavePhD it must be so. I thought it was visible to all. In any case it was a week lock.
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 5 '17 at 16:42

No, it is not the case that claims about Muslims are automatically off-topic.

This is easily proven by the flurry of posts about islamic topics over the last three months. If anything, the needle is pointing too far the other way - Skeptics.SE is could be renamed "Questions about what Donald Trump tweeted and/or did someone say this about Islam?.SE" I am sure this is a temporarily fluctuation that will settle down soon, and we will be able to get our teeth into meatier topics.

I came late to this particular question, which had a lot of attention before I woke up. In its wake, I am left with a question of my own.

It is blatantly clear that the author of this book is religiously motivated, is making a ridiculous and unsubstantiated claim, is - at best - confusing correlation and causation, and the entire interview is based on a fictional Christian interlocutor acting as a strawman. (Socrates has a lot to answer for!)

But it is also clear, this question is going to be impossible to answer on Skeptics.SE, because we don't tolerate answers that simply dismiss the claim as freely as I have here, and there are no enormous, randomised, placebo-controlled studies empirically demonstrating the effect (or lack of it) of pork-consumption on wife-swapping.

So, my question is: What were you hoping that asking this question would achieve?

I am sure the question was asked in good faith. I have a lot of respect for your intelligence and rational thinking, as demonstrated in your answers. I am just confused by what your motivations were here.

  • Thank you. Wow, exactly my thoughts.
    – My Name
    Dec 31 '16 at 8:44
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    Oddthinking, I had already stated on comments below my question why I was asking it, but moderators deleted the comment. I said that I was concerned that Dr. Zakir Naik (who studied at a medical school) was telling his 200,000,000 television viewers that as a scientific truth Americans swap wives because they eat pork. Many people in Turkey also believe a more generalized version of this. I wanted someone to dispel this information if it wasn't true, possibly by discussing societies with wife-swapping without pork and visa versa. I thought this is what SkepticsSE was for.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 31 '16 at 9:13
  • @DavePhD Good point. +1 Dec 31 '16 at 10:19
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    The current (locked) version of the question seems to me to be totally on topic and answerable. Though ridiculous, the claims about the frequency of wife swapping (or other "perversions") and pork eating are accessible with simple statistics. A simple, neutral, analysis of those statistics would address the claim.
    – matt_black
    Dec 31 '16 at 14:54
  • Are you alluding to Hitchen's razor in this answer? en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitchens's_razor Dec 31 '16 at 22:04
  • @AndrewGrimm: This claim is certainly a candidate for Hitchen's Razor, but Skeptics.SE, with its weird reversal of the burden of proof, can't handle such arguments - the claimant isn't present to respond - so instead questions remain unanswered (or attract answers from newbies that sadly get deleted.)
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Jan 1 '17 at 10:19
  • @matt_black: The claim is not correlation, but causation. A great big confounding factor is that secular countries have more pork eaters and don't have severe legal sanctions against many sexual activities, which both discourages the activities and openness about the activities. Of course, that might not be a coincidence - eating pork might encourage more liberal legal frameworks, and the rest follows. Either way, analysis of existing statistics isn't enough. Experimental intervention is required.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Jan 1 '17 at 10:37
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    @Oddthinking But it is pretty hard to assert causation if there is no correlation. The statistics of port eating and sexual behaviour might show no correlation whatsoever (I suspect this is true). If so, we can avoid the causation issue. Hence why I think a simple answer is possible.
    – matt_black
    Jan 1 '17 at 12:33

Moderators have personally added links to hate websites such as:





Yet moderators have deleted totally reasonable sources from my question such as Bahrain tourism information.

  • 1
    The two things are not related. The quotes were poor examples of the claim, their origin is irrelevant. Plus, the one left in is also Muslim, so I'm not sure on what basis you are complaining of that being the reason...
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 31 '16 at 2:19
  • @Sklivvz I only added the additional references back in for notability, because George, specifically asked me to. I even drew a line to mark the end of the main question and only added the extra references below a clear statement that they were for notability because George asked for them. Trying to please both you and George, resulted in the question being locked.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 31 '16 at 2:44
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    I would prefer this answer made it clearer that the links added to those sites were for notability - to show many people were making the claim, not as support to show a claim was true. (They were also labelled with a warning that they were disturbing; it was far from an endorsement of the ideas found there.)
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Dec 31 '16 at 5:40

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