The website with the title ‘Religion Facts’ is structured in such a way that it provides factual and unbiased information and profiles of virtually all religions of the world. Though the link to this website reads ‘depictions of Muhammad in Islamic art’, depicting that only Islamic content is covered; opening this site will reveals facts about all religions. This website is neutral on religion, which is its subject, and provides free, objective information on religion, world religions, comparative religion and religious topics. The website also exists to help people access free informative religious materials such as books, of all the religions and has links to buying religious materials as well. Additionally, in the comparative section is the views held about world religions and any key figures, in the history or at present.
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Choosing anonymity and claiming the website does not promote or support any religion, the designer and webmaster only reveals his academic background in the study of religion. Besides claims of attaining a master degree in religion, there is information to help in ascertaining his reputation. As far as the reliability and accuracy of the information in this website is concerned, the designer and webmaster argues that ‘the website is not subjected to peer reviews, and therefore should always be treated with greater caution and be verified using other sources’. The information in the website is intended for anyone seeking to know the basic facts about the religion and religious issues of the world.
The website gives information but does not persuade or seek to influence people to convert or associate with any of the religions it gives information about. The webmaster claims that the website does not promote or support any religion. The website has no intentions of raising money, except donations from well wishers and people who would like to purchase books and other materials from the advertising sponsors of this website. The anonymous webmaster claims that the money raised in this way will support in meeting the expenses of operating the website. Some of the articles in the website refer to authorities. For example, Islamic figurative art and depictions of Muhammad refers to scholarly materials such as ‘Bonfire Pieties’ from The Wall Street Journal of February 8, 2008, and ‘Islamic Arts’ in Encyclopedia Britannica (2007). In addition, the website gives sponsored links to authoritative books with teachings on the respective religion under discussion.
It is noteworthy that this website does not give opinions about religion or religions of the world but merely dwells on giving the factual information about these religions. The website is user-friendly since it dwells on giving factual information about religions and does not in any way persuade or influence those who visit it to side with any of the religions described. The website was useful to me since it gives information about all the religion that we are studying. Therefore, if I was to only use the website for my research, this website would have been my choice. The website is also critically useful to those who are interested in learning about other religions. In addition the structuring of the website allows for easy access to information.
While describing Islamic Figurative Art and depictions of Mohammad the website warned against joining partners with God. The website cited hadith –contain information about what Mohammad said and did –have elaborate description about figurative art. From the Hadith it is possible to understand that Mohammed is totally against painting of pictures and images that symbolizes his image. The website highlighted some specific phrases in the Hadith which say, ‘those who painted pictures would be punished on the day of resurrection’. Mohammed is depicted in this website as a prophet sent by God to the earth. He is portrayed as unforgiving and ruthless to those who disobeyed him. The website cautions human beings from making images or pictures which are intended to portray Mohammed. More to this point the website portrayed Mohammed as very jealous and want Allah to be adored and worshipped alone. The website further described that Mohammad knew about Christians and respected them. It also argued that the prophet later conquered Christians in order to secure more freedom. The website states that since then, the relationship between Mohammad and Christians has deteriorated.
The website has used so many sources of materials to argue its point. Examples of these sources of materials are Encyclopedia Britannica (2007). In line with this, it has used journals: wall street journal and specifically the journal written by Sahih Muslim. It also used newspapers such as Washington post and BBC News. However, in some instances it did not use any material to support the argument. These sources of information were appropriate and reliable in presenting the argument effectively. Although the website supported most of the arguments with appropriate materials, it did support all of its arguments effectively and therefore left many doubts on the credibility of the information that has been given. For example the website stated that Mohammad conquered Christianity to attain more freedom. This statement seems to be biased; in fact the website did not cite any material to support this statement.
In conclusion, though this website is anonymously designed and maintained, it presents factual information about religion and religions of the world. It is useful to any person seeking to find information of all religions in a single site. Additionally the website is recommended since it is not persuasive or leaning towards any of the religions it gives information about.
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