That means, “Enough!”
The Comments Section of Rudy Whittshirk’s penultimate blog (“Anonymous Online Commenters Reveal More About Themselves than They Realize”, 09/13/12) quickly degenerated into a disgusting riot of back-and-forth insults. I repent of having participated. Someone recently reminded me, “If you wrestle a pig, you just get dirty and the pig likes it.”
I didn’t accept invitation to participate in “Alaska Voices” for that. I did so to offer the alternative of a Muslim viewpoint in a prevailing climate of demonization of everything having to do with Muslims and their beliefs. My behavior on Rudy’s blog did nothing to further that goal, and was at best counter-productive to it. I am ashamed of my past behavior and henceforth intend to take a different path.
My desire is and has always been to promote honest idea exchange between myself and those who see things differently, regardless of religious affiliation or lack of same, for the sake of enhancing mutual understanding. As we are literally dealing not only with matters of life and death, but with spiritual matters I believe supersede life and death, I never expected this to be easy.
But I do feel I have a right to expect honesty, and the problem is that not everyone who participates in the Blog Comments Sections has honest intentions. Invariably these individuals do their level-best to hijack the comments section to where meaningful exchange becomes impossible. I will follow the blessed Sunna (example) of my beloved Prophet (Saala Allahu alayhi wa Ah’liihi wa Salaam) by not naming names—you know who you are.
But there will be no more hijacking of my blog by those wishing to obscure rather than illuminate the issues presented for discussion. Henceforth my blog Comments Section will be operated under a new set of rules.
Beginning with the posting of this essay I have disabled my “comments” function. However, in this and in each subsequent blog essay I will include my personal e-mail address: HajjFHM@aol.com. Anyone who feels strongly enough to reply to something I write is welcome to answer me via e-mail.
I will review each comment I receive. If I find the reply to be an honest attempt to address any statement or argument made in the essay, I will reproduce that reply in its entirety and without editing, and will include the screen-name of whoever sent it. I will in most cases also write an answer.
I will then temporarily enable the “comments” function and post the reply and my answer, and then reset the blog to “read only.” From now on anyone wishing to comment on my blog must submit their comments directly to me for screening.
Please note that AGREEING with my views will never be a requirement for posting a reply—in fact disagreement is preferred over agreement, unless the person submitting a supporting post has additional relevant information to offer. Really funny wise-cracks will be given preference in any event.
The above applies to all wishing to comment, including those who have traditionally been most vociferously hostile to me—play fair and you’ll see your comment posted.
Of course this also means that anyone who sends me personal insults (in any language), openly bigoted statements, reviles my faith (as opposed to merely disagreeing with its tenets), or utilizes dishonest debate tactics such as straw-man arguments, ad hominem attacks, false accusations or libelous statements—i.e. the usual CRAP that has been submitted in response to my blog essays for the last 17 months by those Geoff Kennedy rightfully refers to as “the usual suspects”—will simply be deleted while I do my best to imagine the sound of a toilet flushing.
I learned today via appearance of an "unauthorized" post from PHX, and from subsequent discussion with Steve Kruschwitz who provides IT assistance at ADN that the "read only" setting doesn't work--it's a nonfunctioning remnant of earlier software. If I enable it there's no way to keep out the riffraff. Mr. Kruschwitz has offered to help me selectively block uncooperative individuals from the blog, but at this time that's not foolproof.
However I'm unwilling to give up on the idea of excluding dishonest or abusive commentary without stifling honest exchange of ideas. So, per Mr. Kruschwitz's suggestion here's what we're gonna do:
(1) "Comments" function will remain disabled--period
(2) Acceptable comments received via HajjFHM@aol.com will be copied and appended to the actual blog post in order of appearance, along with any reply I deem appropriate (or none)
(3) I will indicate date and time of submission, and will credit it to whatever "screen name" the sender wishes to appear with his/her comment
(4) If one poster wishes to respond to another poster's previous submission, this must be indicated in the e-mailed comment--I'm not a mind-reader
(5) The end of the actual blog essay and beginning of the comments section will be indicated by the word COMMENTS followed by a series of asterisks *****************
It's a pain, but I'm sticking to my guns. I will NOT yield control of my blog comments back to those unwilling or incapable of engaging in honest, logical discussion, and whose only aim is to derail productive exchange in order to drown out expression of views with which they disagree--inshaa Allah.
I couldn't agree with you more in regards to your blog. Of course, I will never agree with you on your God or any other, but keeping things "civil" is the only way an honest dialect can be obtained. Unfortunately, Brian the "Blood Letter" Sweeny had my profile blocked, because I hate poisoners like himself (no biggie, I never could stand Christian based poisoners like he is). What can I say, some people blow people up, some people poison. Anyways, I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your courage to at least put it out there so that I can respectfully disagree with you...
(NOTE: my initial reply to hocfish has been slightly edited for style and/or typos, but not content):
And thank you—you have the honor of being the first “encouraging word” to my blog under the “new system”. I must, however, add the following comments and requests:
(1) While Dr. Sweeny may have been brought up in the Christian (I believe Catholic) faith, he no longer identifies himself as a Christian—I suppose this is why you refer to him as “Christian-based”. Without specific statements from him, it’s hard to tell whether he favors Christianity or Judaism the most. I don’t really care enough to ask him and seldom visit his blog, because what is clear is that he adamantly and in my view unreasonably disfavors Islam.
Of course that in and of itself does not discourage me from engaging him in debate, discussion or dialogue, but rather what I regard as his inherently dishonest approach to debate, discussion and dialogue. Unless and until that changes, about the only time I engage him at all is when he attacks Geoff Kennedy in the latter’s blog. Other than that I pretty much ignore him.
The important point here is that if Dr. Sweeny in fact holds to a religious belief, that does not constitute basis for reviling or making bigoted remarks concerning same. You can CHALLENGE his beliefs—or mine, or any poster's—with historical or scriptural-based arguments as long as said arguments are not deliberately misrepresented or falsified. I regard referring to anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish or anti-Christian “hate” sites as falsification at best and hate-mongering at worst.
(2) While I can sympathize with your negative feelings towards Dr. Sweeney, I must hold myself—and you—to the same standards that I will expect of him in the unlikely event he should ever choose to send me a post. Please do not henceforth engage in calling Dr. Sweeny names like “poisoner”, “blood-letter”, etc (although I suspect he might not take much offense at that last one because it exudes “machismo”).
If you take issue with something he’s written, feel free to demolish his arguments to the best of your ability and with all the fervor you can muster, send the results to me and I will post it—AS LONG AS you remain within the bounds of civil idea exchange as described in my current blog essay, i.e. no name-calling, character assassinations, false accusations, libelous or bigoted statements, straw-man arguments or other dishonest evasive tactics. Be as sarcastic as you feel, but direct it at the weaknesses of Dr. Sweeney’s arguments, not at him.
(3) Note that I’m not defending Dr. Sweeny—I regard him as guilty of most of the dishonest tactics listed above. I’ve been no less guilty of a lot of them as well (except for bigoted statements and evasive tactics). What I hope to do by going through these extra steps is to preserve the integrity of idea exchange in this forum by focusing discussion on the TOPICS written by Alaska Voices bloggers rather than on expressions of hostility towards their persons. So henceforth please keep invectives towards persons and other unacceptable material out of what you send me, or I’ll be unable to post it.
"I applaud your action. Comments should be limited to those that are on-topic and be free of invective, personal attacks and self-aggrandizement. Bravo."
09/24/12--exact time unavailable, unsolicited comment from PHX submitted directly to the Comments Section:
"Two opinions that both support your perspective.
This is why people oppose censorship."
09/24/12 (reply unedited):
Hmmm...guess the "read-only" function didn't work as advertised, because you're here. And, typically, you got it wrong.
There are two opinions because prior to yours I have received only two opinions--period.
So there has been no censorship. Fishoc may agree with me concerning Dr. Sweeny, but he vehemently disagrees with me concerning religion and said as much.
Had you sent the above post to my e-mail address as I requested, I would have posted it. And I would have answered it as I have.
Wrong again. Thanks for playing.
09/24/12--2nd unsolicited post from PHX
"My post addresses the issue of censorship not religion.
Both Allan and Hocfish supported that decision. I did not.
The only reason that I believe my post appears is because you can't figure out how to delete it and not the others.
I have no assurance that had I sent it to your e-mail you would have posted it and I have no desire to vet my replies through you anyway."
09/24/12--my reply edited ~21:15-21:30
As I said, you were wrong concerning the issue of censorship. No censorship took place. Every post I have received so far has been printed, and none were edited. By definition that means NO CENSORSHIP HAS OCCURRED.
Your support and/or agreement with my decision is irrelevant. My blog. I live here, you're just visiting. As long as you remain civil and HONEST you will continue to be accorded that privilege.
You complain you "have no assurance" that what you send to me will be printed. As you can see you have that now, and will continue to have it as long as you act like a grownup.
Your unwillingness to have your comments "vetted" before appearing here is likewise irrelevent. If you want them to appear in this blog AT ALL, you will submit them to HajjFHM@aol.com for review. You may rest assured that if you decide not to do so, you will definitely NOT be missed.