Talk:Gog and Magog

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Section on rabbinic tradition[edit]

I keep removing this section and an editor keeps removing it - this despite the fact that the editor who added it and I have agreed to rework it together. Anyway, to head off an edit war, I'll explain here what's wrong with the section:

  1. It's badly presented. It begins: "An important part of the eschatological drama..." Any ordinary reader would have no idea what this is about - what eschatological drama? What is an eschatological drama? I happen to know the answers myself, but the average reader won't, and we're aiming at the average reader. In short, it's not pitched at the right level. The entire entry is like that.
  2. It's cut-and-paste from an edition of the Jewish Encyclopedia that's now around a century old. Not a good idea. Go for recent sources.
  3. The material in it is already in the second para of the next section, but presented far more coherently and comprehensibly. This is that paragraph:
After the failure of the anti-Roman Bar Kokhba revolt in the 2nd century CE, which looked to a human leader as the promised messiah, Jews began to conceive of the messianic age in supernatural terms: first would come a forerunner, the messiah of Joseph, who would defeat Israel's enemies, Gog and Magog, to prepare the way for the messiah of David; then the dead would rise, divine judgement would be handed out, and the righteous would be rewarded.[29] The aggadah, homiletic and non-legalistic exegetical texts in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, treat Gog and Magog as two names for the same nation who will come against Israel in the final war.[30] The rabbis associated no specific nation or territory with them beyond a location to the north of Israel,[31] but the great Jewish scholar Rashi identified the Christians as their allies and said God would thwart their plan to kill all Israel.[32] Much later, in the early 19th century, some Chasidic rabbis identified Napoleon's invasion of Russia as "The War of Gog and Magog."[33]

That's comprehensive, comprehensible, and sourced to modern sources. It's what Wikipedia articles should look like A cut and paste from the Jewish Encyclopedia is amateurish and, if I may say, lazy - there are better sources out there. PiCo (talk) 07:31, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Concerning your comments on "cut and paste" - if a work is out of copyright (is in the Public Domain) Wikipedia has no problem with it being copied and pasted fully into Wikipedia as long as it's cited as the basis for the segment or article. See Wikipedia:Public_domain and Wikipedia:Plagiarism#Public-domain_sources.
You will find that there are hundreds of articles that are word for word copies of such works as the Catholic Encyclopedia which is out of copyright, which are in compliance as the source is duly cited.
I have heard, but can not confirm that in the beginning of Wikipedia this "copy and pasting"/importing was done by bots to generate new articles. In any case your comment about cut and paste is not a violation of Wikipedia standards as long as its out of copyright and is fully cited.
My concern isn't to preserve the prose but to preserve the citations, for example: "Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxii. 4; Apoc. Abraham, xxxi." I am not even advocating that these things be quoted fully, just that we don't lose the actual places for readers to look and that these citations in the article be next to or linked as a reference to the aspect of Gog and Magog the sources are speaking about. Saying "Rabbinic sources say XYZ" and not offering a notation of the sources is not as encyclopedic as making the citations. I am only advocating "Rabbinic sources say XYZ[1]" and then in the citations it has [1] Syriac Apoc. Baruch, lxxii. 4; Apoc. Abraham, xxxi.
Rabbinic sources are according to Judaism part of an Oral Torah that is as authoritative as the Hebrew Bible, if not more authoritative as the Bible (the Pentateuch/the Written Torah) is held to be mere notes of what was delivered and passed down orally from YHWH in the Oral Torah. So Rabbinic Judaism isn't the same as the cultural synthesis that has been invented since the Holocaust "Judeo-Christian" of which we have a segment on in this article. Judaism is not the same as Christianity and the rabbinic material is as unique to Judaism and as important to it as the Qur'an is to Islam, so the section "Judeo-Christian tradition" may not adequately reflect Judaism and may only focus on things both faiths can agree on - ignoring that which makes them distinct. Also the "Judeo-Christian" section starts with comments on the 1st Century and the rabbinic sources are held to go back over a thousand years before that to Mount Sinai at 1313 BCE, later prophets like Ezekiel are held to know the Oral Torah and to get some of their inspiration from it.
My concern is solely to preserve the citations and see them placed in context with what they are talking about, any alteration of the prose is fine, or even if the citations of the rabbinic works themselves were incorporated into the "Judeo-Christian" segment that would be okay as long as it can be done respectfully, nor do I make any demands that quotations be used.
Wowaconia (talk) 15:31, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Wowaconia, my apologies for not getting back sooner. Let me say also that appreciate you for being a serious and sincere editor.
You make a lot of points and I'll try to reply to them all, but briefly.
Cut and paste isn't against Wiki policy if it doesn't involve a copyright violation, but it's still a poor way to write articles. Much better is to do research across many sources. There are many sources out there.
I'd very much like the Jewish section to be longer, but so far we don't have enough material - we just deal with the first few centuries after Bar Kochba, then a mention of Rashi, then on to Napoleon. There's too many holes in that to make a proper narrative, as we have with the Christian material.
I agree that keeping references to individual texts (Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch or whatever) would be very scholarly, but I don't think it's what our readers are after. As I see it, our readers are laypeople, mostly unaware of these writings, and pretty unlikely to go look them up - something like the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch isn't readily available in any case. This is why I want to use more readily available sources.
Rabbinic sources aren't the only sources involved in defining the Jewish tradition. The belief that Napoleon's invasion of Russia was the war of Gog and Magog isn't in the Oral Torah, but it's tradition nevertheless. (I imagine that Hitler's war must also have seen as the Gog Magog war, but oddly enough I can't find any references).
You might like to look up Ginzberg - 7 volumes plus notes. He went through absolutely everything up to his time, and if it mentions Gog and Magog, it will be there. You'd have to go through all 7 volumes, plus perhaps the notes, but although it's a lot it's more valuable than the Jewish Encyclopedia entry. This link is to volume 1).
I do encourage you to write us a good section on Jewish understanding of GogMagog. PiCo (talk) 10:48, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree that more sources is always preferable but not showing notable information because one is awaiting more sources defeats the purpose of the article. The information is notable and the source is credible and reliable. We should show this information and if more sources are found they can be added.

I am not saying we remove anything, such as the info about a Jewish view on Napoleon, I am saying the Rabbinic sources are very notable and the source providing these is reliable and credible by the very standards of wikipedia. I am not saying that Rabbinic sources are the sole worthy source about a Jewish take on this subject, merely that it is notable enough for inclusion.

Concerning your comment "I don't think it's what our readers are after" - this is an encylopedia not a magazine, we should strive to mention all notable information on the subject and not make guessses about the minds of the readers of the article.

Concerning your comment on "readers...pretty unlikely to go look them up": Wikipedia is often used as the start of a line of research, people will look at the references cited for themselves at full blown libraries (I have done so myself) so whether a text is availible online is of no issue. And again it is not our job to determine what this or that reader might want from an article, its whether information is notable and from a reliable and credible source.

I am not the editor who originally added the information. I do agree it would've been better served with a better introductionary line or two. I think from your responses that you had more issues with its prose style than just that. ---Wowaconia (talk) 03:05, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I am concerned about prose style - I want something that's readable. But I also want reliable content. I'm really stymied in finding sources - can you find any?PiCo (talk) 02:21, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Reliability of source?[edit]

@PiCo &, please resolve the matter here instead of leaving messages in the constant reverts. Happy editing & Cheers! — JudeccaXIII (talk) 02:50, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

OK, I see the source issue. There is none. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 03:06, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
An additional problem with is the anonymity - it would help if he got an account. PiCo (talk) 03:14, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
The content added by the IP violates WP:FRINGE. If an appropriate link were added, the content would still be considered OR according to FRINGE policy. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 03:18, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

No, the source proposed is definitely not WP:FRINGE and is a standard reference on the subject. Examples:

  • P. Laude, "Louis Massignon, The Vow and the Oath" page 34, 2011, London, see [1]
  • X; Accart "Guénon ou Le renversement des clartés: influence d'un métaphysicien sur la vie littéraire et intellectuelle française (1920-1970) ", PhD Thesis, Edidit, 2005, see [2].
  • R. Fabbri, "Frithjof Schuon: The Shining Realm of the Pure Intellect", Univ. of Miami, 2007, page 18, link.
  • J.-P. Laurent, "René Guénon, Esoterismo e Tradizione", Mediterrannée & Dervy, 2006, see [3].
  • J.-P. Lippi, "Julius Evola, métaphysicien et penseur politique, essai d'analyse structurale", Les études H, L'Age d'Homme, 1998, see [4].

All these authors are recognized academics. Thanks. Note: I have created can account now. Xinheart (talk) 12:50, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Xinheart, thank you for getting a user account. First, the protocol is that when you make an edit, and it's reversed, you go to Talk to argue your case- you don't start an edit war. Second, Guénon is not a reliable source on questions of the Bible or Quran - his biography shows that held no formal qualifications in the area and appears never to have published in peer-reviewed journals or with recognised publishers in this area (although I think part of your problem might be that you simply don't understand what "biblical studies" means, in an academic sense). Finally, the specific idea you want to add to the article is never mentioned by any of the 30 or so reliable sources in our bibliography, neither in the texts nor in their footnotes. This means that we cannot add this to the article. PiCo (talk) 00:14, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Just to add, since I missed this in my previous post: The references you give don't establish Guénon, or his ideas on a correspondence between Hebrew Gog-Magog and the two characters from Indian mythology, because none of them are themselves works of biblical scholarship - all are works about mysticism. Whatever Guénon's reputation as a mystic, he had none as a biblical scholar. PiCo (talk) 06:00, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
PiCo, without any intent to flame on you, I think you are not in a position to accuse me of war editing, since this is exactly what you did from the beginning. About "biblical studies", I doubt you've understood the rules of WP in human studies on these matters: Guénon is not a scholar in biblical studies, but he is a recognized metaphysician, and the book I mentioned here is probably the most famous and the most referenced. This book has a full chapter on Gog and Magog. He is widely acknowledged from El Azhar studies, which suffices to quote him as learned in quoranic studies. Moreover the references I give in this TP are definitely not "mystic studies" (Guénon is definitely not a mystic), the first book in particular is perfectly RS. Now, to go to the core of the subject: "Gog and Magog" are subject of multiple interpretations in Biblical and Qoranic studies, and what Guénon did was simply to recall the Islamic version of this story. The link with Hindu's Koka and Vikoka is from him, but is quoted in Laude's reference. Xinheart (talk) 21:33, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Xinheart, it's definitely you who's edit-warring - you made an addition to the article, it was reverted, and instead of taking it to the talk page you started a pattern of reversions. Now to matters of substance: You say that Gog and Magog are connected in some way to Koka and Vikoka, two figures from a Sanskrit myth, based on something Rene Guénon wrote. You now say this is "the Islamic version of this story." Really? It's not - I doubt that any Muslim anywhere, anytime, would connect the Quranic Gog and Magog with a Hindu myth.
You also say that "The link with Hindu's Koka and Vikoka is from him, but is quoted in Laude's reference." Again, it's not - assuming that is that the Laude reference you mean is this Louis Massignon book. That talks about Khadir repairing the wall of Dhu'l-Qarnayn, built to keep Gog and Magog from civilised peopled, not a word about Koka and Vikoka.
You admit that Guénon is a metaphysician, not a biblical scholar. That's the point. He's not in a position to talk about the origins of the names Gog and Magog, nor the names Koka and Vikoka. To repeat what I said earlier, he and his ideas are never, ever, mentioned in the scholarly literature on this subject.
You mention Patrick Laude as if his name should carry weight. It doesn't, for the same reasons Guénon doesn't. Laude's area is "the relationship between mysticism, symbolism and poetry" - not philology, biblical scholarship, or Sanskrit.
Since I don't seem able to make you understand this, I think the next step is an RfC. Don't be alarmed, it's simply a step where we seek an outside opinion on Guénon's status as a reliable source for biblical studies. PiCo (talk) 23:32, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
You're wrong. The mention of Guénon's book was there first (not put by me, I just restored it), and you suppressed it; Proof. And since when a recognized philosopher can't be quoted on spiritual texts ? About Laude I just proved here that, as opposed to what you said, the passage in question is quoted in RSs. Xinheart (talk) 22:04, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
RfC would be the best way to resolve this dispute. What ever happens...happens according to RfC. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 23:34, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, probably. One more thing, PiCo: you should definitively update your little library: the connection between Koka, Vikoka, Gog and Magog is mentioned as early as 1935 in the very scholarly and academic "Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient", Volume 34 N. 2 see [5]... Xinheart (talk) 23:38, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Ok, I've added the RfC template - the bot will take care of it now. Xinheart, you can add your own comment, but keep it about the same length as mine and make sure you address the issues - notability and reliable source.PiCo (talk) 02:24, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

RfC: are Gog and Magog Hindus?[edit]


NAC close. There is no consensus to include the wording posited below, but involved editors seem to have reached consensus on alternative wording. - MrX 19:19, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This dispute is about notability and reliable sourcing. User Xinheart wants to add the following paragraph to the section explaining the origin of the names Gog and Magog:

In his 1945 book "The Reign of Quantity and The Sign of Times" metaphysician author René Guénon has a full chapter on the subject of Gog and Magog ("The fissures of the great wall"). Gog and Magog are related to their Hindu counterpart called demon brothers Koka and Vikoka "whose names are obviously similar", and refer symbolically, according to Guénon, not to groups of people on earth, but to entities belonging to the "subtle world" and having an existence presently hidden from the human realm and symbolically described as subterranean.

The problems with this are:

  • The idea that the names Gog and Magog are related to the names of the two Hindu demons Koka and Vikoka never appears in any of the sources listed in our bibliography - there must be thirty or so books there, and it's not mentioned once, whether in the text or the footnotes. This is not a notable idea.
  • René Guénon is not a biblical scholar - as his biography shows, he never acquired any formal training in the disciples that biblical scholars need (Hebrew language, various other languages, various forms of criticism, etc), never held any academic position connected with biblical studies, and never published in the relevant journals nor had any books reviewed in those journals (at least so far as I can tell). Nor is he ever mentioned in the books in the bibliography. He is not a reliable source.
  • The idea that Gog and Magog, or for that matter Koka and Vikoka, are "entities belonging to the subtle world," "hidden from the human realm," and "symbolically described as subterranean" is somewhere between incomprehensible and plain wacky. It has no place in a serious encyclopedia. Needless to say it never appears in reliable sources. PiCo (talk) 02:22, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Hello,
  • Since yesterday, I've seen and I am a little bit surprised of the recent discussion around the « Gog and Magog » thematic that is occurring in Wikipedia. I didn't want to intervene in the first place but since I'm the one who first mentionned René Guénon's book both in « Gog and Magog » and « Koka and Vikoka » Wikipedia articles, and since these edits are questionned and have been cancelled by a contributor caled PiCo, here is what I have to say about it.
  1. Asserting that the <Gog and Magog- Koka and Vikoka> connection is non-academic, non scholar and of « mystic delirium » nature, as PiCo says, is really not serious. In fact, although there is of course no etymologic derivation between the Sanskrit and semitic names, the comparison between the respective apocalyptic « entities » is an old story in academic references : see Jean Przyluski Revue de l'histoire des religions Vol. 100 (1929), pp. 1-12 Armand Colin Publishing house, Revue internationale de Sinologie, E. J. Brill, 1930, see also Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient, 34(2), 1935, among others.
  2. Now, for the islamic version of it, the link <Gog-Magog/Koka-Vikoka> goes backs centuries ago, may be as far as, but this should be checked, the translation of Patanjali into Arabic, and this subject is known to Islamic scholars. In Arabic "Gog and Magog" are known as "Yajooj and Majooj" and such coincidences in the naming are known to be traditionally significant in Islamic theology, due to particularities of the Arabic language in these matters. For instance : « An Islamic View of Gog and Magog in the Modern Age », I.Hossein, page 97.
  3. Despite all of this, the main dispute seems to be around the René Guénon reference on that subject, that is to say the mention of Guénon's « Reign of quantity and sign of times » chapter called «  The fissures of the Great Wall » which is probably the best exposition in english langage of the <Gog-Magog/Koka-Vikoka> link as known in islamic esoterism. It is true that René Guénon is not a scholar in biblical studies, but he is an aknowledged metaphysician (he is definitely not a « mystic » as PiCo writes it). That book has been translated in more than 20 langages, and it is clearly a source that can be used in Wikipedia. Guénon's book has the advantage of summarizing the « traditionnal » exposition on the subject, and such an exposition has its place in a Wikipedia article, side by side with biblical studies.
  4. Also, to be honest, the view on Gog and Magog presented by Guénon is probably as valuable as that of respectable scholars such as ... Reagan and Bush... mentioned in the article in its present form (laughs...)
  5. I think that Xinheart is right when he writes that PiCo has done edit-warring on the subject : the mention of Guénon's book in the « Gog and Magog » Wikipedia article has been done by me, years ago. The article has recently been completely overhauled by PiCo. So I think may be PiCo could have explained tn the TP why he deleted the passage, instead of reverting Xinheart many times. TwoHorned User_talk:TwoHorned 10:28, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Reply to User_talk:TwoHorned by Pico. Thank you for coming, I value your input and welcome your intervention. I've taken the liberty of bulletting your contribution, simply to make it easier for us to differentiate between various editors at a lter stage, when, I hope, there will be many such interventions.
  1. First, I think there's not much point discussing who began the edit warring. My own view is that the version of the article I created had been pretty long-standing before Xinheart began his intervention and he should have followed protocol and gone to Talk when he was reverted. But that's all water under the bridge.
  2. Second the issue: It's this: Xinheart wishes to add to the article the idea that Gog and Magog are connected in some way to Koka and Vikoka. His source is Rene Guenon (forgive the lack of diacritics). Rene Gueron is not a biblical scholar. Call him a mystic or a metaphysician, but he's not a biblical scholar. His biography shows that he lacks the tool-kit of biblical scholarship - familiarity with Hebrew and other relevant languages, familiarity with ANE history, familiarity with the critical tools. Nor did he ever publish articles in the relevant journals, nor did he ever publish a book reviewed in those journals. Nor, and this is most crucial, is he ever referenced by modern biblical studies - he's not in Van Der Kamm's "Dictionary", which is the base reference work, nor is he in any other work. He's unknown.
  3. Third, Guenon doesn't mention the Islamic versions of the names, only the Hebrew ones. He does this in a way that shows he isn't familiar with the methodology - "they sound the same," he says. No philologist would suggest that similarities like that are evidence of linguistic linkages. Guenon may be a mystic or a metaphysician, but he's no linguist. (Nor does he pretend to be - his CV shows that he never studied linguistics and has no qualifications in the field).
  4. A further note on the Islamic Gog/Magog, or Jooj/Majooj: you say "the link <Gog-Magog/Koka-Vikoka> goes backs centuries", but it doesn't - it begins in the early 20th century, with Orientalists such as Guenon. Joj/Majooj and their place in the Quran come from a Syriac version of the Alexander Romance, as is well known. Nothing to do with Hindu epics.
  5. So, to sum up, you seem to be giving us, in Guenon, outdated ideas that have never gained traction in mainstream academia - as I think I noted, neither Guenon nor the Koka/Vikoka idea are ever mentioned in modern biblical studies.PiCo (talk) 11:21, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
  1. There are two different things there, and the title of this RfC section ("are Gog and Magog Hindus?") seems to be intentionnally misleading: 1) the correspondence between Biblical/Koranic Gog-Magog/Yajooj-Majooj and the Kalki Purana's Koka and Vikoka and 2) the nature of Gog-Magog (what is meant behind these names ? Are they people ? If yes, then, whom are they referring to ?). On 1) The relation between Gog-Magog/Yajooj-Majooj and Koka/Vikoka is not an invention of Guénon. It goes back to presence of Islam in India, and as such, it is a data of islamic esotericism. I'm sorry User_talk:PiCo but being a "metaphysican/philosopher" is not exactly the same as being a "mystic" as you falsely wrote it in the first place. Ideas expressed by philosophers have their place in articles like this (after all, as User_talk:TwoHorned puts it, we have the version of Reagan/Bush on this matter in the article...) even if these philosphers reproduce data of eastern metaphysics. By quoting Guénon on Gog/Magog, we are not saying they are like this or that, we are just reproducing a minor but real explanation of the myth. 2) Now about the nature of Gog/Magog, the article must reproduce all versions. Some theological and religious interpretations relate Gog/Magog to some people on Earth, but there are other descriptions. In the islamic tradition, Gog and Magog are described in different texts as "giants and dwarfs", so they belong to some kind of folklore which don't describe them as human beings. To be exhaustive the wikipedia article must reproduce all authorized descriptions, be they religious/theological, political (as with Bush/Reagan) and "mythological" as it is in the Islamic folklore. Xinheart (talk) 15:20, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Thank you Xinheart. I'll just repeat here the text you want to add to the article, as we seem to be drifting off topic:

In his 1945 book "The Reign of Quantity and The Sign of Times" metaphysician and author René Guénon has a full chapter on the subject of Gog and Magog ("The fissures of the great wall"). Gog and Magog are related to their Hindu counterpart called demon brothers Koka and Vikoka "whose names are obviously similar", and refer symbolically, according to Guénon, not to groups of people on earth, but to entities belonging to the "subtle world" and having an existence presently hidden from the human realm and symbolically described as subterranean.

Breaking this down, it's saying that:

  • Gog and Magog are related to the Hindu demons Koka and Vikoka, apparently because the names are similar;
  • They "refer symbolically ... not to groups of people on earth, but to entities belonging to the "subtle world" and having an existence presently hidden from the human realm and symbolically described as subterranean."

In order to have these ideas stand, you need to demonstrate that modern biblical scholars accept them. So far you haven't come close to doing so. I'm waiting for your evidence.PiCo (talk) 23:00, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

(Summoned by bot). Alright guys, before I even get into the convoluted arguments put forth above and their questionable consistency with policy (with regard to the assertions of both sides), there's a few procedural points that need to be addressed first. To start with, PiCo, you may want to read the RfC guidelines before you file your next one, because this one if woefully deficient with regard to the two most important criteria: 1) That it be phrased in a neutral fashion that presents the arguments of the differing sides in an equal and non-prejudicial fashion, and 2) that it ask an unambiguous question to which other editors may respond, preferably one which proposes a course (or courses) of action that might resolve the present conflict. Next, all parties need to read the talk page guidelines and learn how to appropriately format their postings in a talk page discussion (especially with regard to indenting) before this thread becomes even more of an unreadable mess of a wall of text for further respondents (and on a side note, PiCo, you really shouldn't be formatting another editor's postings without their permission, no matter how much you think it improves the reading -- that's considered highly inappropriate, though in this case, it's clear it was a good-faith effort and as there's been no objection from TwoHorned, I'd say it's not worth discussing -- except I would be remiss if I didn't tell you it could get you into a spot of trouble and you should avoid it in the future for anything other than trivial edits, such as indenting/outdenting).
Now, getting to issue at hand, and how policy defines the appropriate action here, I'm afraid PiCo was also in error with regard to which particular policies govern this issue; this is not in the slightest a matter of WP:Notability, and only incidentally an issue of WP:Verifiability. Rather the governing principle that is being addressed here is one of WP:WEIGHT/WP:NEUTRALITY. The root issue is not whether Guénon has the credentials and degrees that PiCo (or any other particular editor) would accept as qualifying him to speak meaningfully on this topic -- that's just not how things work on Wikipedia for establishing reliable sources. Guénon's work need only pass our WP:RS standards in order that it qualify for citation here.
However, all of that said, there are issues here which may very well disqualify the contested piece of text for inclusion. As I mentioned, the main barrier is one of weight; Guénon may well be a perfectly reliable source, but that still leaves the question of whether the link he proposes between Gog/Magog (or Yajooj/Majooj) and Koka/Vikoka is one which has received any significant degree of discussion in other sources. As with near any biblical topic, there's a great deal of scholarship (and other valuable sourcing) on this subject -- and indeed, a fair number of references in this article alone. Therefore I'd say there is a need for additional sourcing in order to establish a trend of thinking (however minor) for this historical/etymological link, or else I'd say inclusion of the notion does tend to be suggestive of WP:UNDUE weight. And to 'some extent, it doesn't really matter if the sourcing relies on biblical scholarship, metaphysics, or outright mysticism, because these are all aspects of this topic which we may be able to discuss in an encyclopedic fashion, provided that the claims are appropriately contextualized and attributed. But the sourcing has to be clarified (and probably augmented) considerably before we can make any firm determinations as to whether the suggested link with Koka and Vikoka ought to be mentioned here.
I do agree with PiCo a little more thoroughly on one point, though: the statements in the second half of the proposed text, regarding the symbolism of these entities is so abstract and non-contextualized as to be virtually nonsensical and certainly is not appropriate for a general-purpose encyclopedic review of the topic. Frankly I think this aspect of the contested text ought to be avoided entirely, but in any event requires some significant reworking before it comes close to encyclopedic tone and clarity. But I'd start first with finding additional sourcing (which meets RS standards) to corroborate the more central point of contention of Koka and Vikoka. Snow let's rap 07:08, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
OK Snow I agree with your request. I will collect references on that subject. To begin with, here is the full sentence (in french + english translation) in the reference brought by TwoHorned Jean Przyluski Revue de l'histoire des religions Vol. 100 (1929), pp. 1-12 Armand Colin Publishing house: "Koka et Vikoka ne sont pas des noms aryens et il est tentant de les rapprocher de Gog et Magog. Ces deux noms ont pu pénétrer dans l'Inde." ("Koka and Vikoka are not aryan names and it is tempting to relate them to Gog and Magog. These two names may have been brought in India". I will put other references soon. Thank you. Xinheart (talk) 15:07, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
A book on Islamic eschatology that refers to the description of Gog/Magog given by Guénon and the relation with apocalyptic Koka and Vikoka: Andrés Guijarro Araque, Andrés Guijarro, Los signos del fin de los tiempos según el Islam, EDAF, 2007, Spain, page 123, ISBN 978-84-414-1882-0. Xinheart (talk) 16:45, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Xinheart, are you really interested in improving the article, or just in getting a reference to Rene Guénon into it? A book or article from 1929 is hardly what we want - we need to show what current thinking is. Can't you find anything in English, and current? More important, have you read the article's existing section on Gog and Magog in the Islamic tradition, and the para at the end of the modern apocalypticism section dealing with modern Muslim thinking? Read them, and then ask yourself if there's really anything to add. PiCo (talk) 02:17, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes I've read them and the first part lacks whole classical interpretations, for instance the one of Ibn' Arabi (among others), while the second is just pathetic and proves that this articles does indeed need "improvement". Guénon's excerpt summarizes more classical islamic interpretations, while the references provided (more to come) justify the proposed inclusion. Academic references can be in any language and the Revue de l'histoire des religions is really a scholar one. Xinheart (talk) 08:39, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Reference "Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient", Vol. 34 (2), 1935, p. 501: "les quatre rois contemporains de Kalki ressemblent à la tétrade musulmane : Élie, AI-Khadir, Jésus et Idris ; les adversaires de Kalki : Koka et Vikoka rappellent Gog et Magog de l'Apocalypse, etc." : "the four contemporary kings of Kalki resemble islamic tetrad: Elie, Al-Khadir, Jesus and Idris; Kalki's opponents: Koka and Vikoka resemble apocalyptic Gog and Magog, etc.". I'm sorry PiCo but you were asking academic references and they are here. Xinheart (talk) 08:53, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Xinheart, you'll have to explain yourself. The section on Classical Islamic interpretations is thorough and is based on contemporary reliable sources (they're all noted in the bibliography). What exactly do you find lacking? (Your translation of that passage is not quite accurate, by the way - "Koka et Vikoka rappellent Gog et Magog de l'Apocalypse" should be "... recall (not "resemble" - rapeller is to recall) Gog and Mogog of the Acopalypse" - he's referring to the NT book). PiCo (talk) 09:09, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
For instance there is an important apopcalyptic litterature starting from Ibn' Arabi and developed by many (such as Sadr al-Dīn al-Qūnaw') that develop on the meaning of Gog and Magog, the signification of the great wall that separates the "human realm" from the land of Gog and Magog, and the timing between al Mahdi, the Antichrist, the onset of Gog and Magog and the end of times. In your article your completely bypass the fact that, as it is well known in traditionnal islamic litterature, events and objects can be represented by counterparts in our ordinary world, while it is always meant that this is purely symbolical. In particular, it is clear that the great wall described in theses texts cannot be an existing wall in our world, so it refers to something different. The same for Gog and Magog who are explicitely described in a way that suggest they are not human beings in this islamic folklore. I quoted Guénon's book because it reproduces htese ideas very clearly. I'm surprised you refuse to quote a passage that reflects a whole set of traditionnal islamic litterature (the question is not if I believe or not in these things, but to reproduce as closely as possible). Xinheart (talk) 10:16, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
The article is extensively backed by reliable sources. If you can find extra sources (secondary, not primary) fine. That all relates to a metaphorical rather than literal interpretation of the Islamic figures (but as our sources illustrate, contemporary Islamic apocalypticism is literal, not metaphorical, just like the American version). None of this relates to Gueron: all you've produced is an outdated source almost a century old!PiCo (talk) 10:22, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Countless sources are used across numerous articles on this project daily which are "almost a century old" (and indeed, some that are vastly older than that) and yet are regarded as valuable citations -- it's all a manner of context as to when these references are appropriate under our policies, but the age does not in itself discount a given source from providing viable verification on a given claim. Likewise, you need to stop trying to disqualify sources based on the language they are written in, as this is not a factor which has any policy relevance. I really think you need to read WP:RS before you make any more of your mounting absolutist assertions as to why this or that source is not acceptable which are simply not consistent with community consensus and policy on these matters. I've reviewed the recent edit history on the article, and though 3RR has been barely skirted in most cases, I'm still inclined to agree with the comments from others above that you've basically been engaged in prolonged edit-warring to preserve your preferred version of the article, frequently reverting the bulk of contributions by virtually every other editor the last few months -- often while invoking policy principles which this discussion and (your edit summaries) suggest you don't have a thorough understanding of.
I tried to make my initial comments on this topic as neutral as the circumstances allowed, because I believed (and still do) that the merits of the text being contested in this discussion are as yet unestablished, one way or another. But even if we ultimately decide that the relationship to Koka and Vikoka do not pass muster for established weight, the fact remains that your arguments seem to be far more predicated on WP:IDONTLIKEIT sentiments than in accurate interpretation of policy, and you definitely seem to have developed a bit of an WP:OWN attitude with regard to this article that's probably going to run you afoul of administrative action if you can't scale it back a bit; I note the page has just been locked down as a result of the edit warring, though you are hardly the only one to blame with regard to this most recent bout, I will say.
Personally, I think everyone here could be better spending their time by looking for a reasonable compromise solution rather than staking out non-negotiable territory on this issue. Though I'm not completely won over yet, it seems that the notion that Koka and Vikoka may share a historical current with Gog and Magog is not unique to Gueron, so there's a chance some manner of reference to that effect will eventually go in, so perhaps you should adapt your goals to examining the wording of the content we will add and see if there isn't middle ground that both sides can meet upon. There is not only room for non-biblical scholarship on this topic, it's breadth actually demands a broader look.
On a last note, while it is true we have to be wary of original research here, there are plenty of circumstances under which primary sources are acceptable for supporting claims. In any event, I'd be careful about throwing those stones, because many of the current sources which you are so quick to reference as supporting an article that is presently excellently sourced are no less primary than the Gueron citation. Snow let's rap 09:00, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Snow, you seem to misunderstand your role here: the C in RfC stands for "comment", not arbitration. If we get to a request for mediation, things will be different, but not yet. In the meanwhile you've still to actually offer a comment, though you've been very free with unsought advice. Most of that advice, unfortunately, is off-track. The issue here is not due weight but admissability (i.e., should we admit into the article the two points contained in the Guenon quote, with or without Guenon as source). The article subject is to entities (sometimes individuals, sometimes nations) which occur only in two places, the Bible and the Quran, plus the folkloric traditions deriving from those: therefore the relevant scholarly areas are Biblical or Quranic studies and folkoric studies. All of this you fail to grasp. As should be obvious, I have no confidence in your ability to offer a valuable comment, and I think it would be for the best if you were to refrain from further input for now. The request is still open and I hope others will contribute. PiCo (talk) 09:52, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
PiCo, I think you need to take a deep breath, center yourself and then consider whether this line of discussion is really going to help your case here, because you battleground attitude and antagonistic approach (including now towards uninvolved third voices summoned her by your own RfC) is tracking increasingly towards blatant violation of WP:C. Now, let's take a look at your comments in detail:
"you seem to misunderstand your role here: the C in RfC stands for "comment", not arbitration. If we get to a request for mediation, things will be different, but not yet."
A suggestion that you consider a middle-ground solution is hardly the same thing as putting on airs as to my role here. It's not only a reasonable thing to suggest under these circumstances, it may very well be the only thing which keeps some element of the content you dislike out, since you're arguments have virtually no policy backing to them at all. You may not see it just yet, but this kind of collegial approach would benefit you more than anyone here, since your current approach (edit warring, hostility towards alternative positions, inability to search for compromise) is one of an editor on a collusion course with administrative involvement. We don't have to be in the midst of formal mediation in order that I suggest you try a less absolutist and inflammatory approach.
"In the meanwhile you've still to actually offer a comment, though you've been very free with unsought advice."
Putting aside for a moment that the second clause of that sentence suggests that you think the only worthwhile and appropriate advice is that which you sought and expected to see, somehow I find that it's actually the first comment that is the ballsiest one under the circumstances. My opinions have been thoroughly predicated on community consensus as regards these issues. I have cited numerous policies and specifically detailed how they relate to the contested content and the sources being discussed, and I've only previously posted twice here. By comparison, in the entire run of your conflict with the other active editors here, you've yet to cite a single firm principle from an actual policy. And when you do reference the notion of policy, it is always with vague assertions which are not consistent with any actual community consensus, using Wikipedia terminology like buzzwords without any apparent understanding of the actual reading of the related guidelines.
For example, amongst the reasons you have cited for why Guenon is not an RS are A) that the author is not a biblical scholar, and only biblical and quranic sources are relevant here (apparently by your personal decree?) B) The source is not written in the right language, and C) It is too old. None of these are principles found in WP:RS, a policy you've several times been politely asked to review before making these kinds of assertions. It is a fundamental principle of sourcing known to most every experienced editor that a source's language is no bar to it's inclusion and the age of a reference does not preclude it's usability either, though it may be a contextual factor, as has been explained to you. And while it seems to be only the tip of the iceberg in your misconceptions about how content is determined on Wikipedia, I nonetheless feel compelled to explain to you that the scope of an article is determined not by our personal feelings on the matter or by fiat of the most strong-willed editor, but rather by what the sources say on the matter, as determined by a consensus of all involved editors.
"The issue here is not due weight but admissability (i.e., should we admit into the article the two points contained in the Guenon quote, with or without Guenon as source)."
Ah well in that case you can direct me to where I can find the community consensus on this vague principle of "admissibility", because somehow I've never heard of it, and it seems to be missing from its namespaces. I'm sorry but you are utterly and completely wrong on this point (just as you were when you launched this RfC under the assertion that this was a matter of WP:Notability(!?) and WP:Verification). That is, this is absolutely a question of WP:WEIGHT before all other major policies and guidelines. Much as you want to WP:IDONTLIKEIT it out of existence, Guenon is a reliable source ([using actual community standards rather than the idiosyncratic ones you have invented above), so the content is actually completely permissible under WP:V. The only question is whether the claim has significant weight in the overall coverage of the topic to warrant inclusion, or whether it represents a fringe perspective that would be more misleading than useful to our readers on the balance. And frankly you are now attacking the one editor who actually was supporting your efforts to keep some or all of the contested content out, by directing the discussion towards a policy that actually might argue for opposing it....
"All of this you fail to grasp. As should be obvious, I have no confidence in your ability to offer a valuable comment, and I think it would be for the best if you were to refrain from further input for now. The request is still open and I hope others will contribute."
Well, see the thing is PiCo, you don't have the authority to decide (or even to suggest) limits on how much another editor can contribute to this or any discussion on this project, nor to unilaterally determine what is useful advice and what isn't. That is a completely arrogant, uncivil, non-constructive and utterly inappropriate way to address anyone on a talk page, let alone someone who is here because of your request for additional opinions. You don't own this article or this talk page, and you don't get to act as moderator to this discussion simply because you filed the RfC -- that's not how these processes work, and this is not the first evidence to suggest that you launched this RfC without properly investigating how such a discussion is meant to be laid out and approached. You don't have authority here (you are one amongst a great number of equals) and while you are completely free to decide not to attribute value to my positions and to convince yourself that your preferred intuitive approach is policy just because you think it should be, you are not entitled to essentially tell other contributors "It's time for you to shut up now," no matter how indirectly you phrase it.
And while I am in a position to decide to let these comments slide of my back so long as they are directed towards me, if I see you continue to try to silence other differing opinions and to generally comment in a combative and hostile manner, it'll be clear at that point that administrative involvement is necessary here, and I'll be forced to bring the increasingly inappropriate tone of this thread to the relevant noticeboard. And I encouraged anyone else here to do the same, if it comes to that. In the meantime, I continue to hope that a compromise solution may be reached on this particular issue. Snow let's rap 11:32, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Snow, with respect, you need to step back and take a look at where this headed. I asked for comment on the inclusion of a paragraph; you gave no comment. There was, at that point, no personal conflict between me and Xinheart. There still isn't; I have no complaint about his behaviour, apart from the edit-warring, an he seems to have none about mine, except again the edit-warring, which is what the RfC was supposed to end, by focusing attention on content. And now we have personal conflict, and it's between you and me, not Xinheart and me. Ask youself, honestly, if your intervention here has been of benefit. PiCo (talk) 12:58, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
There's no personal conflict between you and I either, PiCo -- not by any measure. I was summoned here by a bot to comment on the content issue. I did that. You can continue to insist that my comments were not based on addressing the relevant content through a strict application of policy and community consensus until your fingers turn bruised, but the record is right there, immediately above this, for any experienced editor to see that that is exactly how I approached this situation, discussing the contested content at length -- as most any editor would with a random RfC. The fact that I have additionally had to comment about the edit warring going on here and some obvious ownership tendencies with regard to both the article and this process is not on me; that too is something that any reasonably experienced editor would comment on here, if the approach of another contributor struck them as entrenched and disruptive, as your seems to me. So, you can try to paint me as some manner of aggressor because I came here as a summoned third opinion and found errors with your approach to both content and your fellow editors, but I'm confident any further additional editors arriving here will see who is personalizing things here with inflammatory language about what the other editors fail to grasp and instructions for them to desist in commenting further.
I'm sorry, but you just should never have started this RfC if A) you weren't capable of formatting it according to policy and approaching it in a neutral manner and B) you were only willing to entertain additional opinions which mirror your own. So, you can pursue this silly notion that we're involved in some sort of personal dispute simply by merit of the fact that I've questioned your behaviour and understanding of the policy relevant to the content dispute, but it won't be the first time anyone here has seen that reaction and provided I don't shovel fuel into that fire (and I certainly won't) that line of discussion will be exhausted immediately and you'll be left with your same content arguments, which (as far as you've demonstrated them so far) are untenable under current policy. So how about we skip that step altogether, forget this little distraction and consider whether there are approaches you, Xinheart, and all other involved editors can get behind? Snow let's rap 22:03, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Hello, sorry to be poorly available these days. I'll resume later all the references I am presently collecting in one paragraph; here is another one: Gibb and Bosworth (1960-2003, XI 231-3) exposed by Andrew Rippin in the Encyclopaedia of Islam: "Many traditions have developed in Islam about these people [Gog and Magog] whose origin, numbers and physical size are uncertain.". Also, the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes Yajooj and Majooj in the following terms: "two hostile, corrupt forces" [6]. Xinheart (talk) 07:07, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
(Just party crashing since you guys won't stay off my lawn):
Guenon is noteworthy, and his claim does concern the topic. However, Guenon isn't a mainstream academic of comparative religious history -- he was a philosopher, which is concerned with more subjective truths that we can only neutrally document if presented by a non-primary source. With just Guenon's own work as a source, we could only present the idea that Gog and Magog are Koka and Vikoka as just his belief (not as a solid fact). Saying they're definitely related would go against WP:UNDUE with just Guenon cited, and against WP:NOR if we cite sources that do not explicitly say "Gog and Magog are definitely Koka and Vikoka."
With the other sources Xinheart has suggested (at least, the ones that explicitly mention Koka and Vikoka), I would accept something along the lines of "some scholars of the early 20th century suggested that the Hindu figures Koka and Vikoka resemble the Abrahamic Gog and Magog, a view Rene Guenon took for granted and elaborated on." If we had an "other claims" section, it'd probably be more appropriate there.
The material about the subtle world, symbolic subterraneanism, etc, is WP:UNDUE without a non-primary source. Ian.thomson (talk) 07:40, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
This basically reflects all of my thoughts on the matter in a nutshell. Referencing that Guenon (and others) have believed there is some sort of link here seems likes a reasonable middle-ground solution that is acceptably supported by the sources. Honestly, I was waiting to see what all Xinheart turned up in terms of additional sourcing before we discussed adding even as much as that, because there's not a super strong case for adding this info at all, just a barely acceptable one. But now that you've voiced those sentiments, I'm inclined to agree that this is probably going to be the best way forward, in any event. We should note the association suggested by Guenon and the contemporaneous sources very briefly, but take significant care to make sure the claim is very explicitly attributed, and we avoid any suggestion that this is a notion that is widely influential in historical or etymological work on the topic -- that is, unless additional sourcing later suggests it is, but I see no evidence of that so far. Snow let's rap 08:52, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, thank to all of you for making this discussion progress. I admit that the present formulation on this Guénon's passage, although it summarizes very well islamic esotericism's data on Gog and Magog, is not easy to understand to a first reader. What is meant in this passage by "subtle" etc. is the point that these entities Gog and Magog are not understood as human beings. There are hadiths and commentaries that describe them as "giants" or "dwarfs", with "big ears" etc. In that respect, in the islamic folklore, they are the likes of creatures in Western legends such as "trolls" etc. and, like Koka and Vikoka, they are associated with magical arts. The "subterranean" mention is that they are some kind of "hellish" also. How can we render that in a sentence ? Xinheart (talk) 13:31, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
By finding a ref that explicitly links all that with Hadith and Vikoka, otherwise it's wp:SYNTH - hitherto unpublished original synthesis that you are premiering here. (talk) 14:34, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, the comments of the IP found immediately above, though vaguely worded, are essentially correct. We have to be very careful about synthesis here. We can't really "connect the dots", so to speak between similar traits observed in the Gog and Magog and Koka and Vikoka folklore. Rather we'd need a source explicitly positing the link in these terms. No matter how obvious (or for that matter dubious) these connections may seem to us as individuals, as Wikipedia editors we can only add such speculation if it is found in a valid reliable source that makes exactly the same claim unambiguously (and even then we have to be careful not to misrepresent exactly where they drew parallels and where they did not). With the current state of sourcing, I'd say we should steer well clear of language that tries to present shared characteristics of these two sets of figures, because that does not seem largely supported by the sourcing at present. Sure, one might be tempted to discuss notions of these entities existing in an immaterial world, but that's so vague as to not really add much to the encyclopedic understanding of the topic; we'd need more sourcing (ideally non-primary in nature) to contextualize this notion into the broader historical context here.
I'd start with something very close to the text Ian has proposed above for now, just speaking to the idea that some have proposed a link between these figures; if you'd rather not do so yourself because you're making a strong effort to defer to consensus on this previously contentious matter (which I recognize and thank you for) then I will draft something to put forward for consideration here today or tomorrow, after further reviewing your newest sources. Once that simple baseline claim has been added, we can reexamine further discussion of the metaphysical elements. Though I would not hope for too much in that vein until additional secondary sourcing is supplied, as per the WP:WEIGHT discussions above. Snow let's rap 00:49, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Would something like this, which starts from Ian's text, be acceptable ? While few scholars of the early 20th century suggested that the Hindu figures Koka and Vikoka resemble the Abrahamic Gog and Magog [references above], the idea was elaborated by french metaphysician René Guénon in his book "The reign of the quantity and the signs of times" (chapter ("the fissures of the great wall"), which summarizes islamic esotericism's data and description of both entities and their legendary supernatural nature. Xinheart (talk) 07:49, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Guenon only summarizes his interpretation of Islamic esotericism, so you would need a non-primary source to claim that his views represent a significant selection of Islamic esoteric teaching. That is, you would need a source that discusses Guenon's views on Koka and Vikoka and says that his views represent a common esoteric Islamic belief regarding Koka and Vikoka as Gog and Magog.
Also, "data" sounds scientific, which esotericism is not.
Ian.thomson (talk) 07:58, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
"Esotericism" is a recognized topic in the study of religious and philosophical thought. Therefore it is based on its proper set of "data", i.e. texts. For instance the subject of esotericism has official departments at the french Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, with recognized scholars such as Antoine Faivre (among others; incidentally, Faivre quotes Guénon). Xinheart (talk) 08:44, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Anthropological study of esoteric beliefs as religious beliefs can be academic, but esoteric beliefs are inherently subjective, ideal, and experiential; while science is objective, empirical, and all about documentation. The original statement and its use of "data" still suggests to native speakers that Koka and Vikoka have been studied scientifically, instead of as characters examined from the perspective of literary criticism. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:37, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Where does this idea originate, that the encyclopedic notability of idea x is measured by the number who subscribe personally to idea x? By that criterion the article Heaven's Gate (religious group) needs to go asap, because with only 39 or so adherents, they could never be notable, regardless of whether anyone else mistakenly finds them noteworthy or interesting. To stop others from finding this view noteworthy or interesting, the data must be suppressed! (talk) 11:02, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

This edit of yours, along with others such as this one or that one or even better that fantastic one will surely contribute to raise the level of the encyclopedy. Xinheart (talk) 11:24, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

I didn't make those, never saw them before, and never even heard of those topics, but this "smart phone" is constantly reassigning my ip to someone else's editing history! The previous addresses I had can be seen recently on this article and talkpage. (talk) 11:53, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

The argument about "who subscribe personally to idea x" is a red herring -- the number of persons who hold particular subjective beliefs was not brought up here (just whether academics have supported the literary critical position that the characters Koka and Vikoka were drawn from Gog and Magog or vice versa), nor does personal belief appear at WP:Verifiability, WP:Identifying reliable sources, or WP:DUE.
Wikipedia is not censored -- if it is demonstrated that an idea has been discussed by academia, even if the overwhelming majority of that discussion is dismissal, it gets included.
The article on Heaven's Gate receives coverage in multiple professionally published, mainstream academic and journalistic non-primary sources, which is the standard for subjects to have their own articles and has been for years. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:37, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@Ian.thomson. I see what you mean and i agree. Would this be better : While few scholars of the early 20th century suggested that the Hindu figures Koka and Vikoka resemble the Abrahamic Gog and Magog [references above], the idea was expressely proposed by french metaphysician René Guénon in his book "The reign of the quantity and the signs of times" (chapter "the fissures of the great wall"), which moreover introduces an interpretation of islamic esotericism's data and description of both entities, as long as their legendary supernatural nature. In the same vein, he identifies the "great wall" which protects humanity against Gog and Magog with the Hindu notion of "circular wall" (Lokâloka) which separates the "world" (loka) from "outer darkness" (aloka). ? Xinheart (talk) 21:09, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Getting closer. This is what I propose:
"A handful of early 20th century scholars noted similarities between Gog and Magog and the Hindu figures Koka and Vikoka and French metaphysician René Guénon went further, comparing the concept of the "great wall" (which in the Abrahamic tradition protects humanity against Gog and Magog) with the Hindu notion of a "circular wall" (Lokâloka) which separates the "world" (loka) from "outer darkness" (aloka)."
This, I feel, presents all of the relevant information we can add with the current sourcing, in encyclopedic tone with plain language that is accessible to our average reader, without reducing the underlying concepts. I agree that "data" is wholly inappropriate here; its not a matter of what level of regard we have for metaphysics as a formal field, this is just simply not a semantic context in which that word is used in English. We don't need the full details of the citation in the prose, as that info can be found in the ref itself and is not centrally important enough to the claim to warrant inclusion. I've changed "Islamic esotericism" to Abrahmic tradition, since A) the concept of the "great wall" is broader than just the subfield of a school of philosophical inquiry and is apparently found in most of the ancient sources for Gog and Magog and B) that is the broader context in which the general discussion of these figures takes place in the rest of this article. I think this balances the issues with regard to verifiability and weight and presents the concepts in fairly straight-forward fashion without simplifying them. What do you think guys, does this seem like text we can all get behind? Snow let's rap 00:01, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
@Snow, @Ian.thomson: Neutral while faithful, encyclopedic and well written. Perfect for me, by all means. Thank you very much for your help. Xinheart (talk) 20:31, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Xinheart, since there is a general consensus (minus one voice) on the validity of the source within certain constraints, it has been a few days without further commentary, and several editors contributed to balancing the current wording of the proposed text, I'd say you've met the burden of discussion and should feel relatively comfortable proceeding with adding the above text wherever it is you think it would be best suited. Do remember the ref as well, though. Snow let's rap 22:16, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Xinheart (talk) 15:16, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Protected edit request on 13 July 2015[edit]

please change

|editor1-last = Schreiber |editor1-first = Mordecai |editor2-last = Schiff |editor2-first = Alvin I. |editor2-last = Klenicki |editor2-first = Leon


|editor1-last = Schreiber |editor1-first = Mordecai |editor2-last = Schiff |editor2-first = Alvin I. |editor3-last = Klenicki |editor3-first = Leon

this work has three editors, not two. (talk) 22:44, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for the fix! — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 04:45, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Guenon, again[edit]

Here is the Guenon source. It discusses the Great Wall as a Hindu concept, and only indirectly suggests application of that concept to Islam -- unless one checks with previous chapters, in which case we see that he is discussing the concept of fissures in the closed system of mechanical world views.

Reading more into this, the formulation about the great wall being just extrabiblical is starting to look more like WP:PRIMARY interpretation of Guenon's beliefs. I will attempt to adjust it to the most direct summary. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:14, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

I also pulled up the second source that was cited (here, but not in the article) to support the Koka-Vikoka connection, and that's a review of the first source cited. I'm adding that citation to support its inclusion, but noting that it's only Jean Przyluski. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:26, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Abegg's and Przyluski's work may be appropriate on the issue of themes, but additional verification is needed to demonstrate that the connection is etymologically sound, and in what direction the influence goes. The sources also connect Maitreya to Mithra, which our article labels speculation. For these reasons, and because its presence in the name section could imply that Gog and Magog derive from Koka and Vikoka (instead of the other way around given that they are mentioned in a work written in the 16th century CE), I have moved the material to an "other views" section on "comparison with Hindu figures." Ian.thomson (talk) 17:44, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Reverting to earlier better version[edit]

I allowed the discussion/editing process to go ahead, but the result has been a severely degraded article, the added material being unbalanced and based on primary or inadequate sources. Nor have I seen anything to convince me that Guernon is a reliable source or his ideas notable. I've therefore reverted to the last good version. PiCo (talk) 04:48, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

A few things here, PiCo....
A) You didn't "allow" the discussion process to go forward; consensus building is the basic methodology of Wikipedia and you have no special authority to dictate when and how it is applied on this article, or anywhere else on this project. You seriously need to read WP:OWN.
B) You do not get to unilaterally force your preferred version of the article against consensus. You are a minority of one here, against numerous other editors who collaboratively discussed the issues with regard to sourcing and content and came to middle-ground conclusions on what was best for the article. You are not in some rarefied, elite position that allows you to chuck these decisions because you personally do not agree with them.
C) Quite beyond trying to force your preference in defiance of consensus and the most basic rules of Wikipedia editing with regard to a single change, which would be ballsy and anti-collaborative enough in it's own right, you've actually gone miles further and reverted dozens of changes, literally any change made by any of the other active editor here over the last couple of months, rolling back a huge amount of work (constituting 12.5 kb of content!) en masse in order to suit your idiosyncratic notions of the "best version" of the article--which apparently to you means a version that allows only changes which match your personal preferences.
I can't fathom how you think this remotely an appropriate way to behave on Wikipedia, but I assure you, it is not and if you attempt this kind of effort to lay dictatorial claim to the article again, in defiance of the consensus of an RfC you yourself opened to seek third opinion, someone will most assuredly take this matter to an admin. And this is not exactly a vague case that can result in anything but a block for you, you should take my word.
@Ian.thomson, Xinheart, Mr. Stradivarius, TwoHorned, JudeccaXIII, Yajuj, and Mikalra:, @MiladTheEditor, Wowaconia, TropicAces, Jeraphine Gryphon, and Chadchumley:, @Redrose64 and Karvansara: I will be busy in the coming weeks and highly recommend that this article be watched closely. If PiCo attempts unilateral control of this article again, I wouldn't waste a second in securing administrative oversight. Frankly I shouldn't hesitate to do it myself now, but I'm hoping he will take this message to heart before it becomes necessary. Nevertheless, as the admin who recently added full protection to this page to spare it from edit warring, KrakatoaKatie may be interested in this activity. Snow let's rap 09:59, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
But I don't really have a problem with the majority of PiCo's changes. It cuts out a rather unacceptable ton of WP:PRIMARY WP:OR from the Islam section, and makes some of the phrasing more concise elsewhere. For the sake of inclusionism, I could potentially see going back to what PiCo did and reworking in the Guernon material in the "modern speculation" section. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:35, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
If PiCo wants to make good-faith changes to the article, that's one thing. He can propose those changes (or even WP:BRD some of those which have not been previously discussed), just like any other editor. To the extent the material he wants to remove is original research, he should have little problem getting a consensus (with regard to some of the most recent changes, he would have my support). But what he is definitely, clearly, not entitled to do is unilaterally toss out every contribution made by every single other editor of the article other than himself, back to the point where he was happy with it. That is unambiguously WP:OWN mentality and WP:Disruptive editing, and cannot be tolerated or enabled. It's one thing to say that you agree with many of the content changes, but procedurally, this is not how we get things done on Wikipedia. Note that the Guenon material was clearly, from his own comments, a central driving focus in his revert. Half a dozen editors discussed those changes at great length and came to what they felt was the best treatment of the sources in the article, and all of them disagreed with his opinion (which, let's not forget, has suggested a very weak understanding of some very basic policy, see the thread above on Guenon). But he has decided that he is entitled to toss that consensus out the window in order to suit his own WP:IDONTLIKEIT perspectives. That's just not gonna fly here.
If he wants to try to form a new WP:LOCALCONSENSUS on Guenon, fine; I don't think his chances are good, but he's entitled to try. If he wants to (in a methodical, non-sledgehammer manner) revert some of the other content that has more recently been added because he thinks it is undersourced (and then discuss those changes if those who made them decide to engage here) that's also fine. What he is not entitled to do is say "I gave consensus and free involvement on these issues a chance, but I don't like the outcome, so I'm now resetting things to where I like them", as if he rules over this article by fiat. And that's not exaggeration; that's basically exactly what he says above. He ignores the fact that there was clear and overwhelming consensus on Guenon but says he is reverting it because he hasn't seen anything which convinces him that it is a reliable source, as if his is the only opinion that ultimately matters. That's childish and obviously not the way Wikipedia works. Snow let's rap 19:50, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
So at the moment we have two in favour of reverting to an earlier version as a basis for further editing and one against. Are there any further views? PiCo (talk) 10:52, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
That is not how consensus works on this project, PiCo. We have half a dozen editors who have, within the last RfC and related discussions held just weeks ago, expressed the opinion that Guenon and is an acceptable source and who between them came to a consensus of what the content based on that source should look like. That is the standing WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. You are the one and only editor who disagrees with that consensus (which originated from an RfC you yourself requested). Furthermore, Ian.thomson clearly expressed that he wanted that source to stay in and did not in any sense endorse your methodology of completely wiping the page to your preferred version. And even if he had done so, two editors cannot make the decision to remove two months worth of work by 15 different contributors. They can at best make a working consensus for individual reversions on content which has not been previously discussed, provided they are the only two active editors, but what you are proposing is clearly unacceptable under any vaguely reasonable reading of our most basic procedural policies. How you can have been on Wikipedia for nearly ten years and still think this is acceptable behaviour is beyond me, but in any event, I am seriously a heartbeat away from bringing this to the attention of an admin, or ANI. And I very much suspect that once the community begins to take a broad look at your behaviour here, a number of people are going to become curious about how you comport yourself on Wikipedia in general. And I think you might find that level of oversight will have deep implications for how you are allowed to behave on articles of a religious nature in particular. You seriously need to stop trying to force your idiosyncratic view against consensus. Snow let's rap 12:21, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Strongly against. Per WP:OWN this is not PiCo's private project, as with theology articles in general (talk) 11:11, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

We now have two for revising to an earlier version as a basis for further edits, and two against (although one of those is an anon ISP). We'll leave it a little longer before doing anything, to give more people time to comment.PiCo (talk) 10:14, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Gog and Magog are two groups of Turks[edit]

"Gog and Magog are two groups of Turks, descended from Yaafith (Japheth), the father of the Turks, one of the sons of Noah." (The Appearance of Gog and Magog. Imam Ibn Kathir. From "The Signs Before the Day of Judgement". Muslim Students Association of IUPUI - Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yajuj (talkcontribs) 14:39, 12 August 2015 (UTC)