21 October, 2006

Blogosphere Manners

This post is in response to the foul language contest going on in the Secret Dubai's blog.

Let me clarify something, I am not a big fan of Secret Dubai. I don't agree with her point of view on many things, but I still respect her as a human being & cannot even think about using bad language against her. I really admire her effort in trying to unite UAE bloggers through the UAE Community Blog. Thank You Secret Dubai for that :-)

Let us come back to the main point. Lately, I have noticed an increase in the use of foul language by fellow bloggers, irrespective of their nationality or religion, especially in the comments sections of various blogs. This post is a reminder to fellow muslim bloggers about the good manners which our religion teaches us. Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us.

I will quote two ahadith from the Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: Allah's Apostle said. "It is one of the greatest sins that a man should curse his parents." It was asked (by the people), "O Allah's Apostle! How does a man curse his parents?" The Prophet said, "'The man abuses the father of another man and the latter abuses the father of the former and abuses his mother." (Sahih Al Bukhari Book #73, Hadith#4)
Narrated Masruq: Abdullah bin 'Amr mentioned Allah's Apostle saying that he was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish (one who would abuse others or say obscene words). Abdullah bin 'Amr added, Allah's Apostle said, 'The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.' (Sahih Al Bukhari Book #73, Hadith #56)


blogrosh said...

it seems most folks kissed and made up. SD, I think you've done a fantastic job, bringing all bloggers together to the community blog.

Can't help feel concerned - if the recent blogs, including, those in 7days are anything to go by - you can slice the social tensions in Dubai with a knife.

guluk said...

Yes you can.
Thanks to statements like this:

"This post is a reminder to fellow muslim bloggers about the good manners which our religion teaches us. Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us.'

Wonder what it means. What do other religions teach? (Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism and countles others practised around the world.) Who exactly is creating a clear separation between Muslims and "everyone else" (i.e., the "kaffirs")?

sky said...

"This post is a reminder to fellow muslim bloggers about the good manners which our religion teaches us. Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us."

This in my opinion, is worse than any foul language anyone can use. Very predjudiced and uneducated thing to say.

Keefieboy said...

DG tries irony!

i, Bobo said...

I think that a person should have a right to act or speak in whatever manner they wish unless it materially impairs a society's ability to function. And while it is incredibly rude to refer to SD as a "whore," I think that what you walk away with is that the person who said it is a moron. I mean, we as educated people can draw the conclusion that in this case the profanity was used a personal attack and as such can make further conclusions about the person's motivation in making such a statement. But to ban profanity on the basis of civility? Or religious precepts?

Sorry, I can't fucking go there.

In 1944, Felix Frankfurter wrote:

"One of the prerogatives of (REDACTED) citizenship is the right to criticize public men and measures - and that means not only informed and responsible criticism but the freedom to speak foolishly and without moderation."

The context was a US Supreme Court ruling on the right to free speech. I redacted the word "American" because I personally believe these ideals should apply everywhere.

And also because most people in this region go fucking batshit whenever they hear the word "American" these days.

And I'm sorry if the words "fucking" or "batshit" offend your sense of blogosphere manners, but it's occasionally helpful to "speak foolishly and without moderation..."

shansenta said...

I feel regardless of the name, every religion teaches its followers to be cordial in their language and behaviour.

I feel many of the commentators on SD's blog enjoy the sadistic pleasure of using foul language, calling her filthy names, and trying to "write" their voice... which they wouldn't have even thought in their dreams to do in person!

It also sadly reflects the state of (I guess) many of the young local residents here - and I'm intentionally not pointing to any religion or nationality here! Arrogance, improper use of their religious perspectives and language, and overall abusive temperament, germinating from not being able to match their skills and education to that of the expats here, are together taking their toll. Unless checked we can expect total sweep-out of the UAE's local identity 10 years from now.

ArabLady said...

I like the self confidence in Arabs and Muslims nowadays!!

"Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us."

secretdubai said...

Thanks for this DG!

In retrospect, I should have just deleted the offensive post (as it was clearly trollish) and not reacted. I think what really got to me was that it wasn't intended in any way to be a negative or anti-Islamic post/poem. And what also got to me is that I truly do have a lot of admiration for the concept of Ramadan: a month when people slow down a bit and focus on family and the poor.

marwan said...

I'd rather be someone who spoke profanely but honestly, than someone who was slowly strangling themselves in a straitjacket of civility.

FYI, I never swore anything worse than 'Damn' once till the age of twenty.
*That* was being immature.

nzm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nzm said...

DG: I agree with this post, however I do also find askance in why you had to include this:
This post is a reminder to fellow muslim bloggers about the good manners which our religion teaches us. Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us.

Blogging etiquette is not governed by religion - it's about respect and tolerance, and the ability to debate in a reasonable and intelligent manner without having to resort to profanity or personal insults.

Good manners are taught and also learned, and from some bloggers' responses it appears that they are just as quickly forgotten.

If most parents saw what their kids were writing on blogs, they'd smack their children around the ears with comments like, "We didn't raise you to use such language and to be so disrespectful." :-)

Your reminder would have been less diluted had you aimed it at the blogging community as a whole, instead of segregating the UAE blogging community into muslim and non-muslim. In the Secret Dubai post that you refer to, I also doubt that all the profanities and insults were from bloggers who are muslim.

We can all learn from hadiths - in the Bible they are known as lessons or epistles. Whatever they're called and from whichever brand of religion they hail, their pure message is the same.

Hopless said...

LOL DG, it doesn't matter what you do or say, they will always find something to criticize.
The only person who seemed to get your poit here was SD.

nzm said...

hopless: or was that supposed to be hopeless?

Criticise, no - constructively critique, yes.

There are so many comments being made that (often innocently) create further divide when the aim has been to unite.

As always, it needs people to re-read their posts and comments, then think, and then think again about what they've written before they hit the publish button.

Anonymous said...

bla bla bla NZM,
this blog should be called expat venting blog.

nzm said...

Anon @ 07:44 Come back when you can debate constructively and contribute to the conversation.

DG said...

Friends, most of you raised objection to my sentence:

"Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us."

To be honest, most bloggers when sharing their thoughts about Islam or muslims imply that they are superior & more cultured than us (the muslims). Thats why I used the word "cultured" & I just wrote what I have observed. Sorry if anyone felt offended.

Blogrosh: Thanks for your comment :-)

Guluk: I think I need to improve my english writing skills. I firmly believe that all the religions of the world teach peace. I also believe all human beings are equal & are the children of same father Adam. Sorry if you felt offended.

Sky: Maybe I am uneducated but definitely not a prejudiced person. Sorry if you felt offended.

Keefieboy: You got the point :-)

i, bobo: No comments. By the way, I don't hate American people, I only hate biased policies of American government :-)

Shansenta: I fully agree with you my brother. No religion teaches hate or violence :-)

Arab Lady: Was that a compliment or what? ;-)

Secret Dubai: Thanks for your positive comment. And I really admire your effort in running the UAE community Blog, it really has given voice to anonymous people like me. God bless you :-)

Marwan: Don't you want to be one of those described by the prophet Mohammed as "The best among you are those who have the best manners and character" :-)

NZM: Thanks for your comment. I fully agree with you. Sorry again if you felt offended.

Hopless & Anon @ 07:44: No comments :-)

secretdubai said...

Thanks for your kind words, DG.

"Non-muslim bloggers don't need a reminder because they are supposedly more "cultured" than us."

It depends what you mean by being "cultured". Take for example a local muslim man in a spotless white robe, who enjoys reading and writing Arabic poetry, holding the door open for you at a restaurant. Compare him with a non-muslim tourist from the UK who walks around the lobby of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in a cheap-looking bikini, tattoos and gut hanging out, swearing into a blingy mobile phone as she pushes her way to the front of the lift-queue.

But then compare a muslim man on Jumeirah Beach in a dirty robe, who comes and stares at women, and makes lewd suggestions to them, with an elderly non-muslim lady who has come to Dubai to visit the museum and heritage areas, and has learnt some simple Arabic phrases to try and communicate politely with those she meets.

A lot of it is about education, and parental upbringing. But I think basic human decency and humankindness transcend even that. I have been shown kindness and respect by the lowliest kind of worker here, and I have been offended by far richer, more powerful people who have been rude or dismissive. Regardless of religion, regardless of race.

marwan said...

DG: Don't take this wrong way, but I have no interest in being judged according to the beliefs of a man who died over a thousand years ago.

nzm said...

DG: please let me state: in no way was I offended by what you said. I can only be offended if I allow myself to feel that way, and I didn't!

My intention was to say that I thought that your message was relevant to all bloggers, regardless of their religious beliefs.

And if you see bloggers commenting that they are more superior, then name and shame them! :-)

Thanks for your thoughtful response and clarification, and Eid Mubarak to you.

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