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Update:

Taking all the comments into account, I have posted a new answer with supporting links and a considerably more considerate wording. I believe that it addresses all the points made in this discussion, if it can be improved even more, feel free to edit it.


Moderator Philipp deleted my answer and responded with a comment that clearly shows a gross misunderstanding of my statement.

First, I explicitly stated that my answer is expanding upon other answers, not a complete explanation.

Secondly, nowhere do I claim that only Muslims get angry when hungry, that's a general statement that happens to be true also for Muslims (and teachers, and husbands, and any other group you want to pick). In the context of the question, Muslims are just the group that's the subject, and Ramadan, i.e. fasting, causes hunger and mood changes. That's a pretty obvious point and shouldn't be controversial.

Philipp could've written a comment or edited the answer for clarity. Why did he move immediately to deletion? The answer was on-topic, the point made is factually true and the wording not insulting.

As moderator Philipp advises on his profile, I ask about this here on meta.

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    Without wading into the general debate - I would note a poor choice of words: hangry. Even if you were otherwise right, knowing this is going to be a touchy subject, why use informal/humorous slang in such a situation? "Boss: Your behavior was inappropriate when..." "You: Sorry, boss, I was hangry". That word should never be used to describe others, unless you are friends or deliberately want to escalate things. Commented Mar 12 at 16:54
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica - I honestly wasn't aware that using the word to describe other people is offensive. If that's the point I'll be happy to edit it, or would've approved of an edit that changes the wording.
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 13 at 6:53
  • It is not exactly that, it is more that using any slang, esp. one meant to be funny to describe this condition, was out of place in this instance. No worries. Commented Mar 13 at 15:06
  • If I remember correctly the general procedure is to edit the old answer, not to post a new one. Commented Mar 13 at 17:27

2 Answers 2

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I don't think you understand how offensive this answer was to Muslims.

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a time of fasting, prayer and reflection. Claiming that fasting makes Muslims more aggressive and stating this as the explanation for political activism during Ramadan is not only contrary to the whole idea of Ramadan, it also glosses over all the other reasons why there are conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims all around the world.

And we should also keep in mind that we have Ramadan right now.

Due to this cultural insensitivity and its lack of any other explanation to the phenomenon asked about in the question (check the other answers for how much more can be said on the subject) I decided to delete it immediately instead of engaging first.

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  • No, I really don't understand how this is offensive. When I haven't eaten and someone points out to me that I'm angry, probably because I'm hungry, I wouldn't feel offended. I would go and eat something. And I don't gloss over all the other reasons. I explicitly stated that my answer is in addition to other answers already given.
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 12 at 13:24
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    There is a difference between "you are angry because you haven't had time to eat" and "you are angry as a side-effect of observing one of the most sacred rites of your religion". Especially when one purpose of that rite is to become less aggressive and more mindful. It basically implies "Your religion doesn't work".
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Mar 12 at 13:27
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    That is something YOU read into it, but it's not something I have said. What I actually said is scientific fact, the medical term is Hypoglycemia, with irritability one of the listed symptoms. Pointing out a fact that possibly contributes to other factors shouldn't be controversial at all, and definitely not a reason for deletion. Again, if it is wording or clarification you seek, I'll be happy to make an edit.
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 12 at 14:26
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    @Philipp: but what if it's actually true, that a religious practice doesn't work as intended? E.g. some aboriginals were eating human (brain) remains as mourning rituals, but that gave them prion diseases. I will grant you that the data on low blood sugar and wars (or killings in general) is a lot more correlational, to draw firm cause-effect conclusions. Commented Mar 13 at 5:50
  • @Philipp A quick Google search turns up that the point I made is valid enough to have been scientifically studied, with mixed results. One study - researchgate.net/publication/… - says that anxiety dropped during Ramadan. Another study - pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10772409 - determined that irritability and anxiety increased. Both are small-scale studies. But if PubMed publishes a study supporting my point, it should not have been deleted.
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 13 at 6:51
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    @Tom your answer appears to me to be claiming that Ramadan is a major cause, which isn’t supported. More importantly, nothing in your answer is supported, as these studies aren’t cited in your answer (and your answer is controversial enough that it needs to be supported) Commented Mar 13 at 15:39
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    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica thanks for the feedback. I was under the impression that the link between lack of food and irritability is common knowledge and doesn't need to be supported. But if this is what it takes, I can add the studies.
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 13 at 16:07
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I thought the answer was poor (as is the question, really) and would have down-voted it. However, I don't think it deserved to be deleted by a moderator, and I find the reasoning behind that deletion problematic, for a few reasons.

Offensiveness per se is a poor metric by which to judge whether or not a question or answer should be deleted. A statement may conflict with someone's deeply held beliefs, and so be offensive to them, while still being factual, accurate and pertinent. The Abusive behavior policy does give special treatment to religious beliefs, but only to the extent that people are protected from.

irrational suspicion, hatred, targeting, and/or intolerance

This, I suggest, is a significantly higher bar than the possibility that a statement causes offense to people who hold a certain religious belief. In contrast to a statement that may cause offense, I doubt it is possible for "irrational suspicion, hatred" etc. to make a useful contribution.

There also seems to be some suggestion that religious rites are almost above criticism, because they are a sacred, spiritual act. But a rite, by its very nature, is also a material act and its material aspects are fair game for political critique. "Children shouldn't receive the Eucharist because the wine is bad for their health" is a valid point for political discussion, whereas "the substance of the wine doesn't become the blood of Christ" isn't (at least, not on this site, some totalitarians might disagree).

Finally, the moderator makes the point that the answer didn't consider other possible explanations. This is true, but if a question is asking about a multifaceted issue, it seems quite acceptable to focus on one aspect of that issue in your answer, particularly if no other answer has addressed it. So I feel this point is irrelevant.

As I say, I don't think the deletion of the original answer was a great loss in itself, but I still wanted to address some of the reasons given for that deletion, as I feel they are quite questionable and it is worth contesting them before they are applied to other answers or questions.

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