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The way I understand it, per Should ‘Hi’, ‘thanks’ and taglines and salutations be removed from posts?, we do prefer salutations to be edited out of questions.

But what about religious salutations?

This is obviously a sensitive subject, and I don't want to act in a discriminatory way by making certain religious groups (well, only one probably) feel unwelcomed. Even worse, I may be sending them to their hell by removing what is perhaps mandatory God-ordered salutations out of their communications.

So what's the best action to do if we see religious salutations? Do our worldly rules trump their heavenly ones?


This was sought, so here it is.

The first line of the question was "salam 3lekom". I'm familiar enough with Islam to know that this is likely to be a shorthand of As-Salamu Alaykum.

share|improve this question
Have you got an example? – Simon P Stevens Apr 23 '10 at 9:59
@Simon: example added. – polygenelubricants Apr 23 '10 at 10:13
Strictly speaking, your example is not of a religious greeting. It is an Arabic language greeting. It does have religious references, of course, but anyone who learns Arabic and later speaks it shall use it, independently of their beliefs. That said, since it is a greeting, of course the policy is the same as with any other greeting. – Daniel Daranas Apr 23 '10 at 10:20
A current example: contains 'بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم' and 'هذا و الله أعلى و أعلم' which I have removed. – user177964 Oct 22 '12 at 11:47
up vote 28 down vote accepted

I think the policy of salutation removal should remain exactly the same. That is by far the least discriminatory, just treat everyone the same; all salutations are removed regardless of religious or non religious content.

(If anything it would be discriminatory to non-religious members if they had their salutations removed while religious people were allowed to use theirs)

All that aside. StackOverflow is a programming website - Religious content has no place in a question or answer. The profile page is the one place where non-programming content is acceptable.

With regards to your concern of breaking their religious rules, the FAQ states:

Like Wikipedia, this site is collaboratively edited, and all edits are tracked. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your posts being edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

If their religion were to deem this unacceptable, then unfortunately they will have to refrain from posting.

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"Religious content has no place in a question or answer" unless it is vi vs Emacs, of course. – JohnFx Apr 23 '10 at 14:42

I'd say the rules apply to all salutations, religious or not, and they are to be respectfully removed. There is nothing discriminatory about it.

If somebody is new and obviously really serious about religious salutations in their questions (i.e. likely to make a fuss about its removal and/or feel discriminated against), leave a comment explaining that any and all salutations are removed on SO, possibly with a link pointing to the related meta question.

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