# What is our policy towards posts that contain religious or spiritual references?

Lately, I have begun to stumble upon answers where the person would thank Allah for having their problem solved and assert that Allah is great and merciful. Sometimes they even talk to each other, where one person would post an answer thanking Allah, and then another person would post a comment to support that praise.

I've also seen at least three answers that only contained praises to Allah and were not related to the question in any way. I've marked them as spam, but might as well have marked them as "not welcome in this community."

What is our policy regarding these?

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do you have a link? –  Doug T. May 4 '11 at 21:30
@Doug Search for Allah on the parent. The are not many at the moment. I do have a feeling they tend to get deleted though, as I can't seem to find some of them I've seen before. –  GSerg May 4 '11 at 21:32
You mean the recent spam flood? They are all already deleted. So 10K only: stackoverflow.com/questions/5889365/…, stackoverflow.com/questions/5889709/…, etc –  BalusC May 4 '11 at 21:34
Are you talking about this kind? This search only lists ten, none of which is particularly new. –  mmyers May 4 '11 at 21:36
15? What does 15 have to do with it. –  Rosinante May 4 '11 at 23:30
@Rosinante I presume he's referring to the minimum 15 character limit for titles -- which nearly always makes sense, including in this case, as his title isn't very informative as to the question he's asking. –  Uticensis May 4 '11 at 23:50

I'd remove them like any other greetings, signatures, etc. if they are part of a reasonable question or answer. Everyone can suggest edits, so there is no reason to use flags for such things anymore. Such edits might be considered minor edits and not appropriate, but there is usually something else in the post that you can improve at the same time.

For posts that have no useful content whatsoever, the spam flag is most useful because it leads to auto-deletion of the post. This carries a -100 reputation penalty for the owner of the flagged and auto-deleted post, so exercise some judgment when using it. Or flag as "not an answer" if it is something like a "thank you" post.

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A few scenarios:

• If they are simply 'thank-you' posts they should be flagged as 'Not and answer.' (Or posts commenting on the thank-yous)
• If it is from one user doing it a lot, they should be flagged as 'Spam.'
• If it is someone condemning Allah, they should be flagged as 'Offensive.'
• If it is only a comment, ignore it...unless they are distracting from the content of the post as a whole.

That should cover it.

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If the answers were by the same person then they're clearly spam, and you should mark them that way. There was one user with a bunch of posts like that, but they've all been killed by spam flags fairly recently

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Like all greetings and signatures, they should be removed via editing, or if they are the only content in the post closed/deleted/flagged.

I wouldn't worry about them being in comments as long as they weren't offensive, but I don't disagree with flagging them as noise or pointless either.

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Why is this spam. These people (the few examples I saw) were just speaking the way they would speak normally.

This is much more normal for people from certain areas.

Look I don't want a religious debate but Its an expression meaningful to them and harmless to everyone else.

If all the post says is "Thank you allah" then it's just noise. Otherwise I think we should be tollerant of this type of behaviour.

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You aren't seeing three deleted spam posts from a destroyed user, which the question is primarily about. –  SLaks May 4 '11 at 21:55
True. I won't see deleted posts. I looked through a few real answers that had the phrase in it. It shouldn't be more offensive than an answer containing "Thanks". Although it is about as useful. –  Wes May 4 '11 at 21:56
"These people were just speaking the way they would speak normally." Right, and normally people would include pleasantries in their question like "Hello", and "thank you in advance for any answers that you might be able to provide". But that is generally considered noise here, and should be removed by editors. Same policy applies to religious-based salutations, regardless of one's individual views or the content of those expressions. –  Cody Gray May 5 '11 at 4:19
If it's not related to the topic, it's noise. If you want to be social and "human", as some opponents of this concept like to say, then get off the computer and go to the pub and have a pint with your friends. Don't try to turn a Q&A site into your social arena. :) –  jmort253 May 5 '11 at 5:02