Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

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HaChol
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by HaChol » February 5th, 2014, 12:33 am

O.k. well said, Wintermute, thank you for your fine words!
While you did not realy answer my questions, I am not sure, from what you write, if you read my post more than just a bit.
I just asked questions, delivered facts and put a connection between the fantasy world of wesnoth to the real world of today, the world of the gamers, respectively, on the page of this thread.

That said, I will ask you first and then will come back to your question about disrespect later. :)
  • Do you like my very interesting new faction called "Default + Ivrim Era"? it is about the ivrim defense forces (idf) and interesting tactic challenging features like khabbalah of units in the trenches and has .. not muslim, not xtian, yes fantasy hebrew unit names !! While it is not balanced yet, it is fun to play against the Khalifate, though. Have a look: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=39394

    Do you know who did name the faction , Khalifate, then, or may know, which wesnoth body of deciding heads did decide that the game needs islam-inspired influences? What was it's original name?

    Were the name proposed by - let's just fantasize - a happy muslim from Philippines, or by the average happy - let's just fantsize - polish catholic wesnoth player?? (I noticed lots of them proud folks on the mp servers. happy to have you nice, hard playing folks!)

    My copy of the faction Khalifate -cryptically- does not have a Credit file or a Changelog.

    This is a ghostly, mysteriously bare-bone faction, beside it's questionable stark name! And it is around for so long ... leaves one thinking!
Your words on Naphta in calipha-fantasy games in god's ear, but the avoidance of magic would on the other hand also perfectly fit in with any muslim enthusiast's religious allergy against magic. I do not speak to you or some developer/commiter in particular in wesnoth , but just mention a serious problem here. The good news is, you could avoid it altogether, just by naming it "desert tribes" Tribalists" "Southeners (opposed to the mainline northeners faction)" or "beduins" or the like.

Harry potter is an example which teaches us, that not only the islam fanatic world, but also the christian conservative religious right world, would reject H.P. fiction as a form of Yuk! for their chirldren, and burn the books, especially because of the utilisation of fictive magic in it's narrative! And 'the ones in wesnoth', recently featuring heavyly the Islamic "Khalifate" notion in a faction of a fantasy game, - especial the dislike of magic in this faction would also leave one behind to think why - in the light that you could easyly avoided all complications in the first place just by a less unilateral religious naming agreement.
  • So back to your question, which I very well understand! Let's quote it first:
    "Khalifate" or, could you articulate more clearly what is disrespectful about it please?
    If you sincerely go back and read through my post, you would not find, that I stated that a name like Khalifate for a part of a fantasy game was -as such- dismissive, unfilial, impious or - as you termed it "disrespectful". I only did rouse questions and provided facts, which I found were not placed in the discussion of this thread. In other words I connected your cryptically featured, propageted faction Khalifate with the real world, the world of a fantasy game with the here and now of our political world.

    So let's analyse, why you yourselve alleged - or understood, that I was speaking of disrespect in my post in regard to a recently featured wesnoth faction everyone questionable desires for??

    First I would say, that your questions collapses on itself, second I would say the answer to your question lies to a great portion in itself. You may ask yourselve why you have associations of disrespect in regard to this faction called Khalifate and why informing about islamist-fanatics today striving to create real world Khalifate was evoking disrespect in your thoughts? Certainly, you yourselve must be feeling that there is something just not neet and right with the Islam-inspired nameing of this faction Khalifate, is it so? Maybe you just feel the tension in regard to this faction - maybe not to hurt the feelings of one or two wesnoth developers? I dunno!

    Now, let me answer you at least: I think a heavy Islam-collateral does not fit in wesnoth, that is not to say I was against oriental influences like flying carpets camelriders, scimitar-knights or hashishis, sultans or djin units. The name of this faction is not tastefully handled, not a bit. The faction is all too Islamic-pious. I do find the name not proper, this is a fantasy game after all, we all just want to have fun, so let's us reject fundamentalist's religious connotations - collaterals- in mainline here and jus be a liberal-democratic peace seeking, homo ludens! This downloadable faction package is so bare-bone so sceletton so cleansed, stripped off of all usual graphics, infos, about, changelog, credits etc. now give yourself the last fine swing and strip it off of it's - as you said- "disrespectful" name! Happy developing & gaming and be the force with you!
Sincerely Hachol ^_^

P.S. Sorry for the long post!
The fruit of a righteous man is the tree of life, and the wise man acquires souls.
And I said, I will perish with my nest, and I will multiply days as the chol.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by iceiceice » February 5th, 2014, 1:22 am

HaChol wrote:If you sincerely go back and read through my post, you would not find, that I stated that a name like Khalifate for a part of a fantasy game was -as such- dismissive, unfilial, impious or - as you termed it "disrespectful". I only did rouse questions and provided facts, which I found were not placed in the discussion of this thread. In other words I connected your cryptically featured, propageted faction Khalifate with the real world, the world of a fantasy game with the here and now of our political world.

So let's analyse, why you yourselve alleged - or understood, that I was speaking of disrespect in my post in regard to a recently featured wesnoth faction everyone questionable desires for??

First I would say, that your questions collapses on itself, second I would say the answer to your question lies to a great portion in itself. You may ask yourselve why you have associations of disrespect in regard to this faction called Khalifate and why informing about islamist-fanatics today striving to create real world Khalifate was evoking disrespect in your thoughts? Certainly, you yourselve must be feeling that there is something just not neet and right with the Islam-inspired nameing of this faction Khalifate, is it so? Maybe you just feel the tension in regard to this faction - maybe not to hurt the feelings of one or two wesnoth developers? I dunno!

Now, let me answer you at least: I think a heavy Islam-collateral does not fit in wesnoth.... The name of this faction is not tastefully handled, not a bit. The faction is all too Islamic-pious. I do find the name not proper, this is a fantasy game after all, we all just want to have fun, so let's us reject fundamentalist's religious connotations - collaterals- in mainline here and jus be a liberal-democratic peace seeking, homo ludens![/list]
HaChol, although you dance around it for several paragraphs, you ultimately state that you feel the name Khalifate is not "tasteful". From your two posts, one can only conclude that this is has to do with political prejudice against Islam. Indeed you

i) (Seem to?) state that Islam is opposed to liberal democracy.
ii) Choose to interpret the name of an ancient arabic empire spanning more than a thousand years instead chiefly as a reference to the ideas and actions of modern Islamic terrorists. This is insensitive towards muslims, especially in modern context.
iii) I'm just going to quote this one:
HaChol wrote: Notice, please, that a caliphate/khalifate is exactly that, what the Arab/Muslim terrorists, murderers and suicide assassins, kidnappers and fanatics strive to achive today, in reality - and the hole world spends billions of real hard earned tax payers money and real effords and life riscs to prevent this burning arab fuse from exploding the bomb and wreck our non-fanatic world. Nearly every airport in the world became like the security checkpoints/door systems in synagogues in turkey, for example, due to this khalifa/sharia-fanatics (if you know what i mean, and please do not take this personally, exept you was a terrorist or innocent baby killer -rolleyes- ).
Bill O'Reilly couldn't have said it better -- this is highly prejudicial against Islam and Arabs, and in my opinion politically illiterate regarding the last 80 years of colonialism around the world and war(s) regarding the Israel/Palestine crisis.

A neutral stance need not endorse anyone's supporting facts or position in anyway, implicitly agree that anyone's aims might actually be good, or that that the ends would justify the means etc. But it should be possible for you to explain the positions of all sides without saying something like "X is a murderous babykiller". And in my opinion, you should be able to discuss Wesnoth from a politically neutral point of view.

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HaChol
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by HaChol » February 5th, 2014, 10:32 am

Thank you iceiceice, for your frank words. You do not like to be diplomatic, just right through the lines - hot headed towards the trenches -I like it - I am not offended, I am accustomed to this kind of reaction like yours, it is plain typical, sometimes! ^_^

I have a question for you as well! Do you like my new faction called "Default + Ivrim Era"? It features hebrew style units and kabbalah and such stuff! Have a look:
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=39394

Now - sweetheart- you will understand, that by twisting my words and blaming me for what I do not hold - you can not expect realy a response/discussion.

You may like the informations I gave or you might do not like them, but I just stated facts (besides a few oppinions & questions) - openly accessible facts - about what the term Caliphate / Khalifate means today! It means, that realy inherently there is no chance for a 100% clean sterile neutral discussion about the term "Khalifate/Caliphate". Just put it out, the new shiny featured Khalifate Era and the user base would swallow it - just will not work out seamlessly! But that is not my fault or yours or anyone's in wesnoth as far as I noticed, just ask the Arab/Muslim terrorists, murderers, salafists, al-Qaida and suicide assassins, kidnappers and fanatics, that strive to achive a real Shariah law Caliphate today, yourself, to be more civilized and peaceful! You could easyly decide to also be sensitive to victims of such Shariah-Caliphate fanatism as of today - it is up to your choice! It always comes down to the very simple foundations of every peaceful civilisation: do live and let live! Is this the case around these influential Islam-khalifa-fanatics today - I seriously doubt it.

There may be a twisted or a honest history about these terms as well, but let's that be left for the expert historians - I doubt you are! Sweetheart, do you really think 'we' should implement in mainline some needless fundamentalistic collaterals in wesnoth? I mean, we have UMC at least! Let's us discuss with more cooled heads.

You may know what free speech means, especially, when it comes to hard facts based discussions and dissenting oppinions you may not like? So please, do not take these my words and advanced oppinions heavyly on your heart, there in reality is just no reason to get angry in any way - relax take it easy!

And if you just want to hear my oppinion about Islam or Arabs in general, you could just ask me any time, you do not have to allege s.th to me. You are forgiven for that, I am realy not offended by you - in no way! Happy gaming!

Sincerely Hachol.
The fruit of a righteous man is the tree of life, and the wise man acquires souls.
And I said, I will perish with my nest, and I will multiply days as the chol.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by fabi » February 5th, 2014, 10:46 am

From the English Wikipedia article "Caliphate":

A caliphate (from the Arabic: خلافة‎ khilāfa, meaning "succession") is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph – i.e. "successor" – to Muhammad and the other prophets of Islam. The succession of Muslim empires that have existed in the Muslim world are usually described as "caliphates". Conceptually, a caliphate represents a theocratic sovereign polity (state) of the entire Muslim faithful (the Ummah, i.e. a sovereign nation state) ruled by a single caliph under the Constitution of Medina and Islamic law (sharia).[citation needed]

I like the sound of the name and was quite happy with it before I consulted Wikipedia.
That has changed. (The happiness with the name, not that I like how it sounds.)

We maintained the "No Religion in Wesnoth" recommendation (not as a strict rule) successfully over many years.
UtBS and the goddess "Eloh" is some kind of exception in mainline, although the storyline reveals that the appearance of the entity is an imposter.

But this one is different.
Here we have a clear connection to a real life religion combined with the vesting to spread an empire forcing the conquered regions under the named religion.

For me that is a strong no go.

I am really happy to have the new faction in mainline, finally.
If the problem is just the name (and it is just the name for me) then let's change it.

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HaChol
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by HaChol » February 5th, 2014, 11:10 am

Exactly! Danke!

Btw, I just did this. I copied the Khalifate factions units values and ported them to an alternative faction, which is called

Era Scythia

so it is bias free and points only to a historical term, i mean for the name actually. It is all but a scetch!

The english wikipedia says like this:
Scythia (Ancient Greek: Σκυθική; Modern Greek: Σκυθία Skythía, in English pronounced /siθiə/ or /siðiə/) - was a multinational region of Central Eurasia in the classical era, encompassing parts of Pontic steppe, Central Asia, Eastern Europe[citation needed].
(..)
The Scythians - the Greeks' name for this nomadic people- inhabited Scythia from at least the 11th century BCE to the 2nd century CE.[1] Its location and extent varied over time but usually extended farther to the west than is indicated on the map opposite.
This UMC era is on 1.10 and 1.11 servers, if you would like to have a look how it also could make fun to play the inner values of the officially wesnoth featured Era Khalifate..
The fruit of a righteous man is the tree of life, and the wise man acquires souls.
And I said, I will perish with my nest, and I will multiply days as the chol.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by abhijit » February 5th, 2014, 11:36 am

This issue has been raised before here:[link] http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=34117[/link] and while I am not strongly opposed to changing the name if it satisfies a 'particular section' of wesnoth community, I see no reason why it should be so.
Words gain different meaning over time and it is the 'context' in which they are used, is what's important to me. I see the description of khalifate just fine and when I play with/against them I imagine fighting a race that dwells in deserts and hills rather than terrorists.

As for your own work, I recommend a new thread, because if you raise an issue with potential religious bias and then advertise, that's a big red flag. No offense meant.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Velensk » February 5th, 2014, 12:24 pm

I don't actually care whether you change the name or not but I think that doing it because of that reason is a bit silly. A lot of the names things use have historical basis's and can be considered something offensive if one decided to take a particular view (It could be quite easy for the world at large to find anything european offensive because of the 'horrors of imperialism'). Demonstrateably, people who have been on this forum in the past have found the existance of the undead and female units to be offensive (the one who was bothered by undead wanted us to change them to the gameplay identical 'rockmen', the one to whom female units was an issue just modified his own copy. Rather than try to worry about not offending anyone it's best of people just understand that the Khalifate/Khalifa/whatever are their own society and that existing in Wesnoth they don't have a religion the same way the cultures they're inspired from do.

Also: HaChol, the way you approach this gives the impression that you're just stirring up trouble (ressurecting a thread that has been dead for awhile) just to give you a chance to advertise your faction.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Eagle_11 » February 5th, 2014, 2:54 pm

Ive found it silly that people can get upset over just a word used as name for a faction. This is fantasy people! you can take whatever word in reality and apply a different, hereby relevant or not totally, new meaning to it. If you lack the imagination either dont play this game at all or learn to deal with it.
Besides naming a unit crusader doesnt make it necessarily christian, it indicates its a unit participating in a crusade. Naming a unit Templar doesnt necessarily mean its a unit under service to the temple of zion, but a warrior/protector of any temple it may be serving to. And then there is the fact that almost all words can have multiple meanings, already before you can take and twist them to your ends.
Referring to the point about word caliph's reality origin: What i am trying to say is when you take the word, feel free to take only it and not the background of how it came into being, not how it evolved and came to the meaning its used today, and together with them not the offensive you see in it. I dont see any reason why there shouldnt be a different, original to wesnoth concept of a 'caliphate' consisted of southerner or 'saracen' people, or whatever way you want to structure it.
Im positive towards not naming deities and religions to keep the lore simple in contrast to many a such fantasy-universe where everyone wants to expand upon the fiction with an god invented on his own,often found only in his fiction.
Hereby but if this devolves into 'lets keep everything remotely philosophical out of Wesnoth too' then i would have to remind all to reconsider that, for would be seriously wrong. Just to think about how many postive inspirations you can take from are there in reality would enough to prove.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by iceiceice » February 5th, 2014, 6:52 pm

HaChol wrote: But that is not my fault or yours or anyone's in wesnoth as far as I noticed, just ask the Arab/Muslim terrorists, murderers, salafists, al-Qaida and suicide assassins, kidnappers and fanatics, that strive to achive a real Shariah law Caliphate today, yourself, to be more civilized and peaceful! You could easyly decide to also be sensitive to victims of such Shariah-Caliphate fanatism as of today - it is up to your choice! It always comes down to the very simple foundations of every peaceful civilisation: do live and let live! Is this the case around these influential Islam-khalifa-fanatics today - I seriously doubt it.

There may be a twisted or a honest history about these terms as well, but let's that be left for the expert historians - I doubt you are! Sweetheart, do you really think 'we' should implement in mainline some needless fundamentalistic collaterals in wesnoth? I mean, we have UMC at least! Let's us discuss with more cooled heads.
Okay... It looks like my remarks had no impact on your stance, and you remain completely silent regarding neutral point of view. There are two possibilities:

1.) You think that the neutral point of view is unnecessary, and that the wesnoth forum is the appropriate place to have pointless political arguments.
2.) You honestly feel that your remarks are neutral and fair.

Life is short so we're going to assume its (2).

There's a number of prejudicial things you write but here's the simplest and the biggest one.

It is not appropriate to say that one group of people is bent on world domination, as you do in your previous and also your first post.

This is hateful, divisive, and not correct. Even if you say, but the Quran says to make a holy Islamic state under Dar Al Islam... it really doesn't matter. The Christian bible says similar things. Many religions say similar things. It has nothing to do with political reality, except in the fantasies of the paranoid and delusional. Even if there is one nutty cleric in the desert preaching the end of times and world domination under sharia law -- it is totally inappropriate to state that Islam as a whole, or even Islamic actors and agitators, are bent on world domination.

I do not know your nationality HaChol, but you seem unlikely to agree with the previous paragraph, so lets make some comparisons. It is neither appropriate to state that "As everyone knows, the Germans are bent on world domination. What Hitler failed to do by force, Merkel now achieves with the EU and banking rules." Based on what I can tell, there are many more Germans involved in Wesnoth than Arabs... and I would bet that at least some of them would find such a statement offensive.

I'm an American. I would not be happy if someone said "Everyone knows the Americans are bent on World domination. They spread military bases around the world, prop up illegal dictatorships in South America with their covert agents, prop up the illegal puppet state of Israel, conquered Japan and much of Korea, and constantly seek to intimidate the few states like Russia, China and Iran not directly under their sway." Now, there are a lot of things wrong with US foreign policy, that much I think anyone should admit. But this statement goes way too far.

So, bottom line -- it bothers me when you don't show Arabs / Islam similar respect. Even if no particular Arab or Muslim person is present in this thread (I don't know if this is or is not the case), Wesnoth should be a diverse and politically neutral community, and these people should feel welcome too. Particularly given the high fantasy theme, and Tolkien's known biases, we should go out of our way to be sensitive, otherwise why even bother translating Wesnoth to Arabic at all. Especially in modern context -- there's a reason Bush went out of his way to say "we are not at war with Islam", and that reason is that many people basically think that "we" in the western world are. Sometimes with tragic consequences. Don't promote hate. Even if you don't believe it, everything you say in a neutral forum like this one should be consistent with the idea that "Islam is a religion of peace".

Edit: Regarding
HaChol wrote: You may know what free speech means, especially, when it comes to hard facts based discussions and dissenting oppinions you may not like? So please, do not take these my words and advanced oppinions heavyly on your heart,
Yes of course you are welcome to free speech, but if you must have pointless inflammatory political discussions you should do it in the appropriate forum, that's all that I am suggesting.

As for your factions / era, I think it looks nice, and I did boot up a droid game to see how it feels to play them a few months ago. That's all I can say, I have no insight into the strategic aspects of it.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by taptap » February 5th, 2014, 7:32 pm

I still don't get the criticism, hell, it even says explicitly in the few files available on the Khalifate faction they are city dwellers not desert tribes. The proposal of "beduins", "desert tribes", "southerners" (if they are the southern equivalent to orcs, they are allowed to keep their arabic names, i guess?), tells more about hachoi's perception of arabs and about the fact, that he didn't read those files, than anything else. Nothing would stop a campaign creator to spell out in a quite unislamic way what it is the khalifate "follows", so the faction has still the chance to insult all religious "sensitivities" and prejudices equally.

What is really disingenious, though, is the insinuation people would oppose a hebrew inspired faction because of its theme, in fact, it could be argued dwarves (in so far they are true to Tolkien) are already partially hebrew inspired. Make it, balance it and then bring in the golems! (You can even put them in an era together with the Khalifate and distribute it as Battle for Estinepal. You can mix in the crusade-themed UMC as well, and most people wouldn't be offended at all. Imo turn based-fantasy-battles between little sprite-hebrews,muslims and christians are a contribution to world peace not the opposite.)
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Noy » February 6th, 2014, 5:01 am

So this is interesting. I started the Khalifate about nine years ago, in part due to my experiences living among muslims, my work at the time and studies. Since then many people have played key roles in helping put together the art, stats, balance and background. Several people who assisted were muslims who were enthusiastic about what I was attempting to do.
HaChol wrote:Some simple notes for the perplexed :
  • The name thing I [today]: "Khalifate" as a name for a proposed and featured mainline in spe faction is more to religion than anything else. Notice, please, that a caliphate/khalifate is exactly that, what the Arab/Muslim terrorists, murderers and suicide assassins, kidnappers and fanatics strive to achive today, in reality - and the hole world spends billions of real hard earned tax payers money and real effords and life riscs to prevent this burning arab fuse from exploding the bomb and wreck our non-fanatic world. Nearly every airport in the world became like the security checkpoints/door systems in synagogues in turkey, for example, due to this khalifa/sharia-fanatics (if you know what i mean, and please do not take this personally, exept you was a terrorist or innocent baby killer -rolleyes- ).
Thank you for this. Your little outburst illustrates PRECISELY the narrow minded mindset that I wanted to pierce when I created the Khalifate. The reality is muslims have a rich fantasy tradition, which is so quickly overshadowed and ignored. In many cases the problem is that people bring this completely insensitive and ignorant views like yours to the table.

I wanted something that had the tradition of the Hamzanama, and other great works in Islamic mythology/storytelling. I wondered what it would be like to have a faithful people, with a highly developed culture, be placed in completely unfamiliar surroundings. In many ways I thought it would parallel the early history of the Islamic people, facing the very same challenges. I want to make this tasteful and faithful to the tradition that it comes from.

HaChol wrote:Presumptions : Why is the Era_Khalifate so bare bone, void of descriptions and graphics? Just because they were not made yet?? Realy? But why does it prominently cling to speaking unit names & era name? These names direct your attention eventually to the Islam religion and it's (falsly) glorified (un-)peaceful golden times! Why is the decision by someone, to name them in the way you can see it now, so adamantly defended here by some? Why not leave this behind and just name them e.g. southeners or some fantasy name from Tolkien??? I believe to know why, but that is highly highly off topic.
They are not complete at this time because, I'm busy and I have quite a bit of creative view behind it. Its ridiculous to claim that there is some sort of secret agenda.
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HaChol
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by HaChol » February 6th, 2014, 11:52 am

Dear Noy!
Thank you for your post!
I have a honest request: Can you please come up with an alternative name for the faction, please, I would beg you keenly.

--------------------
Noy wrote: They are not complete at this time because, I'm busy and I have quite a bit of creative view behind it.
Why is it void of the Credits, Changelog and basic faction descriptions, though? Seems to have been stripped off of legacy issues - or not?
Noy wrote: Its ridiculous to claim that there is some sort of secret agenda.
Yes, off cause it was rediculous to think there was an agenda, absolutely agree! And any hidden part was now revealed anyhow (should get in to changelog/about):
Noy wrote:I started the Khalifate about nine years ago, in part due to my experiences living among muslims, my work at the time and studies. Since then many people have played key roles in helping put together the art, stats, balance and background. Several people who assisted were muslims who were enthusiastic about what I was attempting to do (..) PRECISELY the narrow minded mindset that I wanted to pierce when I created the Khalifate (..) I wanted something that had the tradition of the Hamzanama, and other great works in Islamic mythology/storytelling. I wondered what it would be like to have a faithful people, with a highly developed culture, be placed in completely unfamiliar surroundings. In many ways I thought it would parallel the early history of the Islamic people, facing the very same challenges. I want to make this tasteful and faithful to the tradition that it comes from. (..) The reality is muslims have a rich fantasy tradition, which is so quickly overshadowed and ignored.
In other words, you state, that it was a design objective to get Islam religion in to Wesnoth. One can also grasp, that you had a desire that the faith tradition of Islam and it's mythology be represented in Wesnoth.
Noy wrote:In many cases the problem is that people bring this completely insensitive and ignorant views like yours to the table.
Can you please answer, why your faction was named Khalifate? Since Hamzanama tells about the secular army leader/ruler Emir Hamza, it would be logical to name it Emirate, in the first place! That would have been a big difference and I would have not started this repost at all (iceiceice just needs some ice for his head I believe ;) ), concerning a faction named Emirate!
Noy wrote: I wondered what it would be like to have a faithful people, with a highly developed culture, (..) early history of the Islamic people (..) faithful to the tradition (..)
Did you read the Hamzama in Arabic or in a translation? Did you became/are you fluent in the Arabic language and/or the faith scriptures? While I understand that this was a rather personal question, I would not regard you to answer it, but as a rhetorical question something like it came up, among some of my (liberal muslim) friends, which I consulted these days. No offense intended!
Noy wrote:I wanted something that had the tradition of the Hamzanama, and other great works in Islamic mythology/storytelling.
Why did you leave out fantasy elements like Arabic magic & myth, then - e.g. flying carpet mounted fighters (see, still no magic) ..?
Noy wrote: Thank you for this. Your little outburst illustrates PRECISELY the narrow minded mindset that I wanted to pierce when I created the Khalifate. The reality is muslims have a rich fantasy tradition, which is so quickly overshadowed and ignored. In many cases the problem is that people bring this completely insensitive and ignorant views like yours to the table.
I see: 'the poor Muslim world!' You mean there was nothing whatsoever critical, fanatic or dangerous to use the name "Khalifate" today - really?

See the fanatic martyr hate-speaches like this, using Khalifate/Khillafa/Chalipha:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqdS4wvWYXw


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taptap wrote:I still don't get the criticism, hell, it even says explicitly in the few files available on the Khalifate faction they are city dwellers not desert tribes (..) tells more about hachoi's perception of arabs and about the fact, that he didn't read those files
Check the packages in 1.10 and 1.11, it has no such lines! The Khalifate packages have 26 unit.configs, 11 with short unit descriptions, 15 have this: "There is currently no description available for this unit." They have old sprites, no animations at all, nothing just barebone...
There is no about.txt file, now background info no credits, no changelog ... why?? Just because the faction was not ready yet and all featuring it are busy .. since 8-9 years? To click & copy some older sprites together and add some fantasy oriental unit descriptions & add a few lines in changelog, would cost me less than 4 hours on the weekend not years. Maybe it was downgraded because of religion-legacy issues?
taptap wrote:(..) Nothing would stop a campaign creator to spell out in a quite unislamic way what it is the khalifate "follows", so the faction has still the chance to insult all religious "sensitivities" and prejudices equally.
O.k. it happens to be that I asked my old (from University times) Syrian friend's stance about this Khalifate faction, it's recent announcements and featuring in the wesnoth forums, the impenitend unpermissive defending of it by some developers and about the names etc. As he told me to be an indirect victim of Khalifate-fanatism sharia-aspirations in his homeland Syria, I understood his oppionion about this faction very good. A faction officially called Khalifate, featuring outspoken explicit no magic in this faction: he said this would be no game for his kids, whatsoever. He said there was many magic in Arab/Muslim rarrative tradition, only the islmists-fanatics of today would say it was not good. He asked rhethorically if all in wesnoth was blind against the fatal religious faith term Khalifate today, which killed his friends, part of his family in Syria, just months ago. The name Caliphate is very very loaded , even in the Muslim world!
taptap wrote:(..) You can mix in the crusade-themed UMC as well, and most people wouldn't be offended at all.
Exactly what I said, it is about mainline vs UMC! Think it over. Simulation games of religious dominion of Khalifate should remain in UMC.

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Eagle_11 wrote:Ive found it silly that people can get upset over just a word used as name for a faction.
You maybe right, but did you actually asked some (liberal, down to earth) muslims about Khalifate, recently. All I asked are quite thankful, that at least they and their children live in a democracy and far away of any Shariah Khalifate.
Eagle_11 wrote:This is fantasy people! (..) Just to think about how many postive inspirations you can take from are there in reality would enough to prove.
Full ACK - acknoledge,! And you can get inspiration, even come up with better fitting fantasy names and fantasy islam-inspried myth like you did with your mental Khalifate era in UMC!
Eagle_11 wrote:(..) southerner or 'saracen' people, or whatever (..)
I like your suggested alternative name "Saracenes". Wikipedia reads like this:
Saracen was a term for Muslims widely used in Europe during the later medieval era. (..) The Saracens are described as forming the "equites" (heavy cavalry)..
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Velensk wrote:I don't actually care whether you change the name (..) A lot of the names things use have historical basis's and can be considered something offensive (..) (It could be quite easy for the world at large to find anything european offensive because of the 'horrors of imperialism').
You are right and may be right also, but Imperialism is long ago, Crusades are longer ago, but in the name of Khalifate there are murdered thousands in Syria today, think it over! President Bush used the term crusade and got loads of criticisms, rightfully! Some terms are silent bombs, powerloads, interestingly the term Europe is not one of them, maybe Crusade was, but - as I put it out- we wisely did not name a mainline faction "Crusaders".
Velensk wrote: Also: HaChol, the way you approach this gives the impression that you're just stirring up trouble (ressurecting a thread that has been dead for awhile) just to give you a chance to advertise your faction.
If it was so, I am honestly sorry and would beg your pordon and of anybody who might got upset about this. It was meant as a testing balloon, actually.

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abhijit wrote:This issue has been raised before here:[link] http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=34117[/link] and while I am not strongly opposed to changing the name (..) Words gain different meaning over time and it is the 'context' in which they are used, is what's important to me. I see the description of khalifate just fine and when I play with/against them I imagine fighting a race that dwells in deserts and hills rather than terrorists.
I understand you, you are not in it, so you take the liberal stand. But in this particular case it was liberalism out of a broad democratic tradition against fundamentalism out of a narrow religious tradition, which will not work out. And, while I agree, that words change over time, some words also schlepp/carry a fatefull bag of connotation with them , even over long times...
abhijit wrote:As for your own work, I recommend a new thread, because if you raise an issue with potential religious bias and then advertise, that's a big red flag. No offense meant.
Thank you sincerely for your eyeopener! I am sorry for that, will abstain from it from now on.

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fabi wrote:(..) We maintained the "No Religion in Wesnoth" recommendation (not as a strict rule) successfully over many years (..) But this one is different.
Here we have a clear connection to a real life religion combined with the vesting to spread an empire forcing the conquered regions under the named religion.

For me that is a strong no go.

I am really happy to have the new faction in mainline, finally.
If the problem is just the name (and it is just the name for me) then let's change it.
Full ACK !

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Thank you all so far for the discussion, it got -predominatly- a positive constructive vibe!
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Wintermute » February 6th, 2014, 3:26 pm

With respect HaChol, there are constructive ways to go about asking for change, and there are ways to virtually ensure strong resistance against any proposed change. Since you have unabashedly chosen the latter path I have no interest in posting any more here, but there is one last thing I wanted to clear up.
HaChol wrote:Why is it void of the Credits, Changelog and basic faction descriptions, though? Seems to have been stripped off of legacy issues - or not?
You can still find a record of changes as they happened by digging through Khalifate thread, but the actual changelog disappeared when they were introduced into mainline several years ago (because changes from that point would and did then go in the Wesnoth changlog). Then after they were removed and placed in umc-dev there was not a lot of work that happened on them for a while. They were repackaged in an addon for testing but we never added a changelog to that (though changes during that time can still be found in umc-dev and in the thread). Now that they are back in mainline, changes have been documented and you will see them come out as new releases are available. I assume you are using some version of that addon as the basis for your critique.

In summary: could changes have been documented more clearly? Yes, absolutely! I am as much to blame for that failure as anyone - however, part of the trouble was due to these guys getting bounced around over the years. Now that they are back in mainline I expect you will be pleased to see the full changelog progress nicely.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by iceiceice » February 6th, 2014, 8:58 pm

HaChol, I'm only going to try one more time.

Wesnoth is not just for liberal Muslims. Wesnoth is also for conservative Muslims. In fact, Wesnoth is for everyone, provided they can follow the rules and keep their political differences to themselves. It is quite important for open source, international projects to maintain this stance, for obvious reasons.

Now, I am going to suspend judgment, as you may very well have a legitimate argument to make regarding whether the name Khalifate is appropriate. But we will never know, unless you can find a way to make your case without overt political bias. Moreover, I feel that your mentioning of your "liberal muslim friends" who are sympathetic to your case and don't like some of the conservative Muslims, does not strengthen your case, rather I feel it undermines it. (In fact this somewhat reminds me of those old Dave Chappelle skits where white people say racist things and then point out how many black friends they have. The anecdote just doesn't actually help your case.) Besides that, we just don't have to choose sides here -- everyone can be welcome.

Let me be clear, I don't care what your private views are, nor do I think anything written here necessarily gives any evidence of them, despite what I may have written in my first post, I think most likely there is just some kind of misunderstanding. But I do think you should be able to discuss Wesnoth without overt political bias, which your writing does absolutely contain.

You might look at the way that fabi structured his post:
fabi wrote: From the English Wikipedia article "Caliphate":

A caliphate (from the Arabic: خلافة‎ khilāfa, meaning "succession") is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph – i.e. "successor" – to Muhammad and the other prophets of Islam. The succession of Muslim empires that have existed in the Muslim world are usually described as "caliphates". Conceptually, a caliphate represents a theocratic sovereign polity (state) of the entire Muslim faithful (the Ummah, i.e. a sovereign nation state) ruled by a single caliph under the Constitution of Medina and Islamic law (sharia).[citation needed]

I like the sound of the name and was quite happy with it before I consulted Wikipedia.
That has changed. (The happiness with the name, not that I like how it sounds.)

We maintained the "No Religion in Wesnoth" recommendation (not as a strict rule) successfully over many years.
UtBS and the goddess "Eloh" is some kind of exception in mainline, although the storyline reveals that the appearance of the entity is an imposter.

But this one is different.
Here we have a clear connection to a real life religion combined with the vesting to spread an empire forcing the conquered regions under the named religion.

For me that is a strong no go.

I am really happy to have the new faction in mainline, finally.
If the problem is just the name (and it is just the name for me) then let's change it.
It should be possible to discuss Wesnoth from a politically neutral point of view.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Pentarctagon » February 6th, 2014, 10:58 pm

iceiceice wrote:It should be possible to discuss Wesnoth from a politically neutral point of view.
Perhaps it would be more productive to discuss fabi's points then?
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