A few months ago, I wrote a review of Ubuntu Muslim Edition. --I gave it positive remarks as it is truly deserving to be praised. However, some readers have an issue with the Muslim Edition of Ubuntu and Linux in general that fueled a heated discussion. And since religion is involved, it started a never ending debate.

I'll highlight some of the interesting comments that I have received from that said review, and since I wasn't able to find some time to respond, I'll take this opportunity to answer some of those comments here.

First, here’s a comment from Shaheed, a Muslim:

"I agree with anonymous about devoting some effort to make sure a broader range of religious software (Muslim, Christian... Zen koans of the day on the command line perhaps) should be available for newbie-friendly installation.

I do, however, lament the fact that it takes yet another new spin of the ubuntuverse, creating yet another Linxu distro, in order for my Muslim brothers and sisters to have a religious distro (I don't call it Islamic as I'm not sure there has been ulama verdict on open source software...). Couldn't we just create a distro-specific repository and an installer program that in one click would install all these packages and wallpapers onto the already existing Ubuntu? Perhaps a Muslim webpage with distro-specific ways of Islamicizing Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora, PCLinuxOS?


While Shaheed has a good point, I still think that it's important to have a customized distro like Ubuntu ME for the benefit of those who have no Internet connection and want a distro that contains applications that fit their needs. For example, an Edubuntu CD certainly is handy if used for teaching in a poor public school where Internet is still out of reach.

Next is a comment from Brett, a Christian:

"I really don't get why people get so offended by different versions of Ubuntu that cater to different groups. Why do you think it is horrible if don't just all get along, hold hands, and use the same version? The purpose of Ubuntu Christian Edition was to include specific programs in the installation targeted to a specific population that might have a desire to use it. It makes it much easier to use if it comes packaged and ready to use rather than the user (who may not know much about using Ubuntu) installing it after the fact.

Ubuntu Muslim Edition, I would assume, provides the same convenience to Muslims who happen to use Ubuntu. I am a Christian who has used Ubuntu CE and thinks it is a good thing to have available. I also have no problem whatsoever with the existence of a Muslim Edition and think it is great that someone spent the time to cater it to that specific user base.

People need to grow up and get over their anti-religious bias. If someone wanted to create a white angle saxon protestant version of Ubuntu, how does that affect you? If they wanted to create a gay, transsexual, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual version, who cares. It does not affect your life one bit.

If someone held a gun to your head and said this is the version you must use, then you would have a problem. Until that happens, get over it and use any version you want."

Finally, here’s a comment made by an anonymous atheist. Note: the comment has been condensed and foul languages are removed.

"Linux (is) an invention by the white demons in the western world.

So why would a Muslim want to use such a thing?

Simple, it is to carry out suicide hacking. They are going to hack into America then detonate a bomb strapped to their chest.
And for the record, atheists are smarter. We don't believe a bunch of completely bogus claims written in a 2,000+ year-old book just because somebody said so. I mean come on, a magical beings flying around, a big head magical being named god, his son coming to earth and being born to a virgin [...]

...I really like the part about how God created himself. That part makes me laugh every time. I also like how it took him a week or so to create everything else. Why did it take him so long? According to the bible, he is SOOO powerful that he could plan, create it all in an instant.

I also like the part about how he created Adam and Eve. He preplanned everything and can foresee the future, right? So he preplanned two people to do wrong and cause every single person after them to suffer?

GOD IS SO GREAT!!! hahaha!
And that is just the Christian god. Don't get me started with those other crazy ones."

I usually don't entertain comment like this one, but this time, I’ll make an exception.

The first few sentences alone tell us that the anonymous commenter has a brain the size of an ant. You know, I have high respect for atheists, but only those who have moral values and those who don't look down on people who believe in something that’s beyond understanding.

I don't mean to generalize or intend to show that all Muslims and Christians are on the side of the "Good" and atheists are on the "Evil" side. I believe that any person with or without religion is capable of doing the most evil of evil or the most good of good.

I'm quite intrigued that even though the review on Ubuntu Muslim Edition is already several months old, the discussion is still pretty much alive. I’ve already deleted some of the very offensive comments and only allowed those that are appropriate.

If you have something to add, please share it with us.

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