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indi wrote

My issue with the ToS is that it makes it hyper-easy for people to get banned for stating opinions on some religions, but not others.

I agree with that assessment, sorta... but not for the reasons you probably think.

The way I read the ToS, and the way I've read the culture of Raddle so far, vigorous criticism of anything is tolerated... provided that criticism is legitimate criticism, and not just ignorant spouting off (and, of course, provided it's expressed in an appropriate way, and in an appropriate forum, and so on). This is a very far-left forum, but I've seen vibrant debates on a number of leftist ideologies, ranging from anarchism to veganism (couldn't think of a leftist ideology that begins with "z"). This is not a forum where everyone sits around in a big circle-jerk talking only rainbows and happiness about the left and leftist ideologies. You can argue difficult topics, and you can even argue the ToS. To claim that Raddle is a dictatorship that represses dissent is frankly asinine.

But it's important to understand that while there is a certain level of intolerance for dumbassery - for "criticism" that is uninformed or poorly argued - there is a strong bias against dumbassery toward certain topics: no-one is likely to object if you make a braindead shitpost dumping on Identity Europa... but if you make a braindead shitpost dumping on Black Lives Matter, you may get some blowback. I don't see anything wrong with that. Raddle is a left-leaning forum, and it wears that fact on its sleeve. It's not like you can sensibly claim that you're surprised that there's a far-left bias here.

So what you say is correct. Sorta. You can make rational, informed criticisms of any religion on Raddle. But you can't get away with posting random opinions of some religions. It's not so much that it's "easy" to get banned as it is that it is easier to get banned when writing about certain religions.

And I would argue that's a good thing.

Because, as I pointed out, some religions are under greater threat than others. "Christianophobia" doesn't exist; "islamophobia" and "antisemitism" very much do. (And that, by the way, is an objective truth, which I can easily back up with facts such as hate crime statistics.) So it makes perfect sense for a forum that wants to be grounded in reality and empathy - ie, not a right-wing forum - to be more concerned with protecting the religions under threat than the ones that aren't. I mean... how does that not make sense?

Thus, Raddle will tolerate intelligent, informed, and cogent criticisms of Islam and Judaism and Christianity... but it will not tolerate ignorant, incoherent, or intolerant statements or beliefs about Islam or Judaism, while it won't care all that much about ignorant, incoherent, or intolerant statements or beliefs about Christianity.

So yes, if you're just going to spout off half-baked opinions, it is easier to get banned if those opinions are about Islam or Judaism, than if they're about Christianity. And considering the realities we're dealing with, I think that makes perfect sense. Islam and Judaism are actively targeted by bigots. Christianity is not.

There's another reason why it's true that some religions are safer to spout off about than others, and that's simply due to the fact that since this is an English-language forum (predominantly), statistically most people who contribute here won't be very well-informed about Islam or Judaism... but will be very well-informed about Christianity. So if someone spouts off about Christianity, their rambling is more likely to be accurate - or at least based in reality. Meanwhile, if someone spouts off about Islam or Judaism, odds are they're just plain wrong. More likely than not, everything they learned about Islam or Judaism comes from second-hand sources... which are very likely to be heavily biased, if not completely ignorant.

So I do agree that the ToS makes it easier to write about some religions than others. But I think the takeaway from that shouldn't be: "Therefore, Raddle is wrong." I think it should be: "Therefore, I should be more careful when I write about certain religions."

I think you and I can agree that I haven't broken any part of the ToS yet.

That's the second thing you assume we both agree on that we don't.

Let me repeat the definition of islamophobia I gave before. Islamophobic statements and beliefs are those that are:

  1. not informed
  2. not based on actual beliefs or practices; and
  3. not intended as constructive criticism to encourage believers to improve things (as opposed to merely intended to encourage/justify hurting/destroying).

Now, I don't know how informed your statement about Islam being the "strongest" oppressor of women is. I suspect: not very. But I've already explained how it can't be based on actual beliefs or practices (because beliefs/practices of which sect of Islam? which beliefs/practices? only the ones of fundamentalists?). And how exactly could it be considered "constructive"? If I were Joe Muslim in a Western country, what the hell am I supposed to do on being told that my religion is "the strongest oppressor"? How is that helping me? Seems to me it only helps the bigots who want an excuse to hate on Islam.

I'm not saying you deserve to be banned. Quite the opposite, I think this should be a teaching moment to point out the underlying islamophobia in a claim like "Islam is the worst whatever (oppressor of women, enemy of freedom, etc.)", which usually passes as perfectly reasonable in mainstream dialogue. This should be the moment where you stop and reflect on what you've previously let pass unexamined. I'm not calling for a banning; I'm merely pointing out that, as is so common with other socially-prevalent, systemically-supported prejudices like racism: you may be it, and not realize.

Whenever you're talking about something that you don't like, you should be really careful to check what you're about to say, in order to suss out any prejudices in it. Dumping it out onto the forum unfiltered is asking us - the community of Raddle - to do that checking for you... and that's not fair. If we're going to be forced to deal with your unfiltered prejudices - to hear them, pick them out, dissect them, explain them, and then debunk them - then I'd say we have every right to make you pay for forcing us to do that work you should have done yourself. And if the forum decides a ban is fair payment, well, then there it is.