Comments policy on Khaldoun

As some of you may have noticed, the comments were flying fast and furious over a couple of recent postings. When they started turning racist, we had to stop comments for a few days and think carefully about the blog’s comments policy. I met with Noah, Maryam, and Jumana and we struggled over the question: how do we balance our desire to see ideas shared freely without letting this become a forum for people to vent offensive points of view?

Most of the blog contributors are also on the staff at Macquarie University, and our backgrounds as academics shapes our ideas about how dialog should take place and gives us responsibilities as public intellectuals. Anyone who has sat in on any of our classes knows that we love a fierce debate, but we have little tolerance for those who express themselves in offensive and simplistic ways. When we moderate discussions in our classes or when we give written assignments, we continually press our students to think through their arguments thoughtfully, express them courteously, and provide references to back up their assertions. We hope that we can ask for the same high standard from participants on this blog.

With that in mind, the following is our comments policy at Khaldoun, drafted by Noah and endorsed by all of us:

Khaldoun is a site that places scholarly and informed perspectives into the public realm to promote understanding, tolerance and ultimate peace in the Middle East. Racist and discriminatory remarks are not acceptable. Comments that are deemed racist, discriminatory and vilify on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality or sexual orientation will be removed and the responsible party barred from commenting on this blog. Free speech comes with obligations of human decency and comments must meet the basic expectations of a rational, tolerant and inclusive society. We value your comments and will only censor material that is overtly racist and offends on the basis of religion, race, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, and we will not cease to post political views that differ from those held by the individual contributors. Thank you for being a part of Khaldoun and contributing to the wider understanding of the Middle East.

– Lisa, Noah, Jumana, and Maryam

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8 Responses to Comments policy on Khaldoun

  1. Emanuel Appel says:

    Your comment “policy” is nothing more than liberal fascism. You care ntohing except posting your views which is fine.

    It is an insult to the intelllect to solicit comments and then restrict those you disagree with on the grounds that they’re “offensive”. Your treason to the intellect and the University is offensive. You are not intellectuals but propagandists. It would be more honest to have no comments.

  2. llwynn says:

    Yes, yes, we’re all liberal fascists here at Khaldoun, Emanuel. And treasonous propagandists. Thanks for pointing that out. Moving on.

  3. Raffe says:

    Emanuel,
    Seriously…there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things.
    Whilst I disagree with many of the Khaldoun postings you’re not going to get anywhere by insulting the moderators. If you disagree post your views and back them up with evidence. If we all went around accusing the other side of stifling debate then we’ll never get anywhere.
    We don’t pick our battles, we engage on whatever turf we have to and play by fair rules.

  4. Noor Hammad says:

    “Yes, yes, we’re all liberal fascists here at Khaldoun, Emanuel. And treasonous propagandists. Thanks for pointing that out. Moving on.” – llwynn

    You forgot to add ‘anti-Semites’ and ‘terrorist lovers’ llwynn. Might as well get those two golden nuggets out of the way.

    Emmanuel, you seem to have no problem throwing around tired old labels to demean and discredit the authors of this blog. But how about backing up your accusations with some evidence? Frankly my ‘intellect’ is far more insulted reading the drivel you just posted than the debate stimulating articles that appear on this page. Get a grip mate.

    Noor Hammad

  5. llwynn says:

    That’s right, Noor, I didn’t really take it far enough. We hate all freedom-loving people all over the world as well.

    (thanks for the props)

  6. […] virtue of one’s ethnic, religious, national or sexual identity.  For example, remember when a few weeks ago Khaldoun experienced some racist comments posted to the blog that provoked a rethinking of our […]

  7. […] neither Mr Bolt nor the majority of commentators to Mr Bolt’s blog posting have bothered to read Khaldoun’s policy statement. Note that it states quite emphatically that we do not support bigotry of any kind, against race, […]

  8. Shaun says:

    llwynn, since your in the mood for responding, here is a thought for ya;
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, if they air that opinion then they had better back it up with facts/evidence. Sadly, the opinion that the palis are proud and noble being oppressed by the evil joooos is NOT supported by any facts/evidence.
    Question: What role do the surrounding arab/muslim states play huh? Sowdys give BILLIONS to build mosques around the world – how much to the palis, fellow muslims? Why did the fatah thugs run crying to the Israelis when hamas was oppressing them?
    Admit it, your wrong !!!

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