Has bestiality been noticeably prevalent among Muslim / Middle East people and for how long?

Question is put on hold with the following explanation:

"The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific idea, theory, cause, group or person. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about history as defined in the help centre."

Why is that so?

"promote or discredit" – NO. I am not promoting the notion that bestiality is prevalent there. I am asking if the notion is grounded in reality. I do not believe that asking if X is grounded in reality automatically mean promoting X.

"as defined in the help centre" – As per the help centre it is on-topic to ask about "cultures and historical practices". So I'm doing.

I got linked to the answer below Are questions on racial stereotypes in the US on-topic? . From this answer:

""What spurred racial stereotypes?", history is probably not the right forum. Humans are prejudiced; throughout time and space, humans have displayed a remarkably consistent ability to find something hateful about other humans. If you want to understand that, psychology or sociology or theology is more likely to have answers; asking a historian why humans hate is a bit like asking why they are bipedal or mammalian.

I am not asking what spurred this stereotype apart from whether this stereotype is grounded in reality. I am not asking why did people of the past / do people of the present hate Muslim / Middle East world.

Similarly, "How were they rationalized?" is not a historical question.

I am completely not asking about this.

Yes, there probably are questions about racial stereotypes that can be answered with historical sources and methods

I believe it can be answered with historical sources and methods if the practice has been prevalent there and for how long. If there is insufficient data to determine this, then this fact will constitute a valid answer.

But I ask you to be very careful to structure the question so that it is precise, answerable through historical sources and methods, and that the probability of learning is greater than the probability of offense.

I believe my question is objective and precise. I also believe that StackExchange's standards are high enough that this question will not become a haven for trolls and haters.

I do not understand how am I running afoul this site's rules.

Many people in the comments mentioned that I was insulting and offensive. I do not believe that an objective, fact-based discussion about stereotypes alleging particular embarrassing practices to a certain group is automatically insulting or offensive. I do not believe that the existence of such stereotypes necessities precluding an objective, fact-based discussion about their alleged grounds in reality. Instead, I believe that the alleged truthfulness of such stereotypes ought to be objectively discussed – If it can be found and proven that these stereotypes are groundless, then such a discussion can only be beneficial to the offended group; should however these stereotypes be found truthful, then unfortunately the notably high prevalence of bestiality among a particular group is an encyclopedic and notable fact that should be noted objectively, neutrally and in a non-hateful way – since representing reality is not offensive by itself, however sad and undesirable this reality might be. Rather, representing reality is both a purpose and a duty of science.

If however I, unintentionally, worded the question in a less-than-perfect way that can be perceived as insulting, I am open to any suggestions how to word it in a more objective and neutral way. I tried to reword it according to Semaphore's suggestions; a problem that remains is that the word "prevalence" has been perceived as insulting – I don't understand this, I thought this was a precise and neutral term frequently used in research, if I was wrong then I'm sorry and again, I'm open to any suggestions how to improve this.

But if my question is fundamentally off-topic and cannot be fixed by rewording it – then please explain why, because I really don't get why.

  • 7
    the word "prevalence" has been perceived as insulting – I don't understand this, I thought this was a precise and neutral term (1) You didn't say prevalence, you said "noticeably prevalent". That implies Muslims widely engage in bestiality, a trivially absurd claim that I immediately perceived to be offensive. (2) Further, there is nothing precise about "prevalent". (3) However, the reason I suggested asking "Is there any truth to this" instead is because that distances yourself from the claim. When dealing with offensive claims, it is best to avoid repeating it in your own words.
    – Semaphore Mod
    May 7, 2018 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


Thank you for posting, and thank you for the analysis. I sincerely appreciate the open discussion.

I wish that I had found an easier way to quote/reference only the last sentence of my answer - what I wanted to emphasize was the importance of phrasing things so that the value of learning overwhelmed the probability of offense. Everything else was contextual so that that statement didn't float in a void.

I'm not sure how to clearly articulate the following, other than to say that I think the question falls into a region where there are multiple legitimate opinions. I want to be clear that I think the opinions you express in the question are valid - I'm not arguing that you're wrong. (In my opinion, half the flamewars on the internet are driven by a failure to distinguish between "I"m right you're wrong" and "I don't see it that way...." - this falls solidly in the latter group). I guess what I'm trying to make very explicit here is that I'm trying to discuss the question, not to discuss you. I hope that makes sense.

  • In my opinion, the original title was objectively hurtful - reading that title without the question would legitimately propagate the ethnic slur in question. I proposed an edit, and you thanked me for it - I think this moved the question closer to the center. (I mention this because I think it supports that we both approached this as mature, reasonable people).

  • I see your point about objective discussion, but I can't agree with it. In my opinion, ethnic slurs don't occur in an objective realm; they are primarily and fundamentally an emotional issue. I suspect, although I can't prove, that they are chosen to be more effective at manipulating emotions than in persuading the mind. Discussion of ethnic slurs can reasonably be expected to be harmful unless they meet an extraordinarily high standard. The history of the stereotype renders it into a symbol in and of itself. That's why we recognize certain words as hate speech; their emotional value dominates their objective value. I think it is prudent to err on the side of caution This is not clearly stated in the "be nice" policy, but I believe it is implied. (I really don't like using implied policy, but in this case I choose to let the implied policy guide my behavior.) There is an element of "When did you stop beating your wife?". The Ethnicity is forced into the position of defending against an accusation that has no validity.

  • The question perpetrates the stereotype without any serious evidence of the actual behavior, nor does it answer whether the behavior is more prevalent among the ethnic group in question than in other ethnic groups or the general populace. (not your intent, but these are some of the high standards that I would apply to this type of questions.)

  • the behavior in question is not value neutral. If we were discussing whether they ate the large end of the egg or the small end of the egg first, I would be inclined to agree that objective discussion would be useful. The behavior in question is one that most cultures condemn; consequently discussing it associates that behavior with that ethnic group. I believe when the association between the ethnic group and the behavior is proven to be false, the association remains (I'm actually pretty sure of this, but I don't have the evidence/citations to hand, so I'm just going to assert it as an opinion). I wish that you were right and that objective discussion would change opinions. On issues of prejudice I don't see any evidence that objective discussion of stereotyped behavior changes opinions/values/attitudes.

  • I think it is important to apply an empathy standard as well as an objectivity standard. You've phrased your question as responsibly as you can, but I have to ask myself whether

    • If my Muslim friends read this, would they be hurt? Would they think less of me for participating in a discussion of this topic?

    • if this were about my personal ethnic group, would I be hurt? Would I recognize the objectivity, or would history dominate objectivity?

    At least for me, I cannot answer those two questions in a way that makes me comfortable.

When I get some time, I'll go back to the question and suggests edits that I think might help.

  • 4
    Pretty much endorse all of this. In the US we also have the concept of fighting words. Personal accusations of bestiality certainly fall under that, and extending the insult by including the religious beliefs of a quarter of humanity only makes the offense worse.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    May 7, 2018 at 15:38
  • 2
    @T.E.D. - In the US, the fighting words doctrine grows less used with each passing year (and rulings have reflected this). I expect that it may eventually be ruled unconstitutional (I view it as likely to be so, in any case). It’s worth noting that the origin of this doctrine in the US was in charging a (possibly anti-war) Jehovah’s Witness protester for insulting a police officer during the height of WWII. A modern analogue might be a protester against police brutality saying that “Police are fascists.” I think you can see some of the issues with this doctrine from that....
    – Obie 2.0
    May 9, 2018 at 5:55
  • @Obie2.0 - I'd characterize it more as narrowing the scope down. The doctrine was originally IMHO unreasonably broad (and thus easy to abuse with selective prosecution).
    – T.E.D. Mod
    May 15, 2018 at 19:44
  • 2
    @T.E.D.: See the heckler's veto for further discussion of this issue, but note also that the American concept of free speech is a limitation on the powers of the government. The goal is to provide a baseline of free and open communication upon which more restrictive forums may be built, which then compete with each other in the marketplace of ideas. Free speech certainly does not excuse violations of the Be Nice policy (or any other policy).
    – Kevin
    May 19, 2018 at 17:13

My question about bestiality stereotypes was closed but escaped deletion. Maybe it helped that it mentioned majority-white countries: New Zealand and Wales.

  • 2
    Appears to have been closed in 2015, before we had a surge in trolls. In my opinion, the trolls forced us to be a bit more aggressive in closing questions. Your question was also less provocative, and the question didn't support the stereotype. I think your question was less likely to be offensive.
    – MCW Mod
    May 14, 2018 at 11:23
  • 1
    Perhaps you should post this as a comment and not an answer? May 25, 2018 at 1:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .