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New section on Judaism[edit]

I added a small section on Judaism, just to add references to the corresponding terms, Kofer and Goy/Gentile. There was a discussion as to whether "Goy" was equivalent to "Infidel" - I don't think it is, but it's probably still worth mentioning. Any comments welcome :)

With Arabic Kafir, and Jewish Kofer, makes one wonder if the three consonant letters that spell the word are in relation to the meaning of the Pharaoh KFR and his pyramid. (I still dont know if "ren" is the one letter R, or if the name has an N.) (talk) 19:45, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


"While, In the twenty-first century, religious fundamentalism, dividing the world into true believers and the rest, is associated with the growth of religious nationalism, violence, and terrorism.[4]"

My, my, my, how very bigoted. Who makes a blanket association of religious fundamentalism with terrorism? Ignorant bigots, that's who.

What is fundamentalism, other than a popularly-acceptable dirty word, a bad name to label others with? In its only decent sense, religious fundamentalism is the belief that the fundamentals of one's religion are true. In other words, religious people who are not fundamentalists are either hypocrites or idiots. Who but a hypocrite or an idiot would claim to follow a religion the fundamentals of which he did not believe to be correct?

Which people, believing the fundamentals of their religion to be true, act upon that belief by performing terrorist activities? Do Buddhists who believe the traditional understanding of the basis of their religion to be true perform terrorist acts due to that belief? What about Taoists? Do Wiccans? What about Christians who believe that traditional interpretations of their religion to be true? Do they perform terrorist acts due to that belief? How about Confucianists? Moslems? Do Moslems who believe the long-held understanding of their religion to be accurate perform terrorist acts due to their holding that belief? What of Zoroastorism?

Quoting bigots doesn't make their bigoted belief true, nor does it give value to your bigoted agreement with them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:22, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I removed the sentence, not only because it was poorly written, but because it was neither neutral or relevant to explaining "infidel".
However, if you can't argue a point without calling people idiots, maybe you need to reconsider the way you approach things. Calling people idiots just shows an inability on your part to rationalize or reason about your own position; if you could, you would have done that instead of appeal to emotion. So next time keep a level head.
Since you didn't actually present any argument aside from "You're all stupid listen to me", there isn't much more to say, except that you misunderstand what "fundamentalist" attempts to define. It doesn't mean "believes the fundamentals"...if that were the case, like you say, it would be redundant for a religious person to say so. If they didn't believe the fundamentals, they would either be deluded in their beliefs or an unbeliever of that faith. But instead of saying "aha, this seems stupid to me, so everyone but me must be stupid and this is wrong", perhaps you should instead ask "maybe I misunderstand the term".
The term just means a person takes the doctrine of their faith literally, without question. That is, a fundamentalist that believes the stories of the Book of Genesis are true would necessarily believe the universe was created in 6 days. However, a non-fundamentalist could interpret this as a story, rather than a historical account, and accept the universe is about 13.75 billion years old. They both share the same beliefs about the core of their religion, but don't necessarily share the view that their religious text is an infallible historical account.
Hope that clarifies, GManNickG (talk) 05:35, 5 November 2010 (UTC)


I have removed the two words "chiefly archaic" from the introductory sentence as the word is still in vogue. For example, English translations of the Qur'an will employ the word to refer to non-believers. Moreover, most modern dictionaries do not classify the word as "archaic," while they classify other words such as "alack" to be archaic. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 03:31, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Seems reasonable. Jayjg (talk) 01:58, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Part of a Series on Christianity[edit]

Should this really be a part of the series on Christianity? In modern times, the word is almost exclusively associated with Islam. 17:53, 5 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kwyjibear (talkcontribs)

I actually disagree with the notion that "infidel" is associated with Islam, neither past nor present, or that it is an accurate translation of an Islamic term like "kafir." I am not a linguist, but I know of no Islamic or Arabic word which could readily be translated as infidel, a word which is specifically Christian in origin and usage. You might use it to translate a phrase like "Ghair Mu'min," that is a none-believing person. But that is also weak. A Mu’min in Islamic thought is one of true belief. A Muslim is one who accepts Islam as a religion, but he or she is not necessarily a Mu’min, as the Qur’an asserts. Thus, a “Ghair Mu’min” can also be a Muslim and thus you cannot say that it applies to non-Muslims. Also, a Mu’min can be a non-Muslim from Ahl el-Kitab (People of the Book, i.e. Christians and Jews). Kafir is more akin to a "denier," as one who knows the truth but denies it, covers it, or refuses to accept it. The people of Mecca at the time of Muhammad were considered Kuffar because they knew God existed but refused to acknowledge it in public because it did not serve their interests. "Mushrik" is translated as "associator," as one who knows that God exists but associate other deities with Him. Some fringe Muslims would consider Christians as Mushriks because of their Trinitarian beliefs, but that is contrary to strict Islamic teachings which consider Christians and Jews as fellow believers who might have erred in their interpretations. “Mulhid” is an atheist. Islam also has no exact word for idolaters but it must be coined as in “people who worship idols.” In sum, do not apply Christian concepts arbitrarily to another religion which manifestly differs in its conception of reality. Islam takes it for granted that humans instinctively know of the existence of God. If you acknowledge that and form a personal relationship with God (Iman) then you are a Mu’min, if you think other deities exist then you are a Mushrik, if you deny God for self-interest then you are a Kafir, if you deny God because of thinking He is not necessary then you are Mulhid. Iman, thus, is that aspect of belief which in the West is erroneously associated with religion when for example we say religion is something between you a God. In Islam, Iman is between you and God, while religion is the personal and social contract for action and a manifestation of that belief. In Islam there is no true belief in the Christian sense of a true creed, but true belief is when God becomes the object of your action. On the other hand, there is a true religion in the sense of being the pure and uncorrupted message from God regarding the way humans should conduct their life. But even in that Muslims allow for variation within limits without being considered heretic. And above all, Islam considers it possible for humans to instinctively formulate a true religion, just like the Hunafaa, and chief among them the patriarch Abraham.Biraqleet (talk) 20:57, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Infidel is very clearly a term associated with Islam. My friend, you say that it is not associated with Islam because Moslems don't use the term. That is not the point. The language of Islam is Arabic. Infidel is an English word. But it is a word that was derived from the Islamic/Arabic term for a non believer. I would have thought that there was far more doubt that Infidel was ever used as a term for a non Christian. (talk) 21:31, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Biraqleet. The term infidel in christianty has nothing from near or far to do with the word "Kafer" in Islam nor the concept of "Kufr" in Islam is analogus to "Infidelity" in christianity. A muslim can commit "Kufr" unknowingly. A "kafer" is NOT an active opponet of islam. A "Kafer" is any one who intensionally "conceals" or "covers" what muslims belive to be "the truth". Violence is never ever incited in quran aganist "Kufar" unless they start the violence.Ironally, I see a very small section - just two lines - about Judaism and NONE about Athism/Secularism. I wounder where is it said "an eye for and eye".--علي سمسم (talk) 14:49, 22 June 2014 (UTC)


A while ago User:Bmbaker88 undid my addition of the word pejorative. From the comment I get the impression he means the word infidel isn't always meant in a pejorative sense. I'm doubtful about that, but open to persuasion it is true. But even then, it is still offensive and we can't use a loaded term as if it were neutral. Any suggestions for a better formulation? Martijn Meijering (talk) 20:39, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I just added it back, into the lead. It is clearly not a term used as a mere neutral classifier. As the article says later, it is generally a "term of contempt", not something that would ordinarily be used in polite conversation with someone considered an infidel. As also said in the article, "infidels" are considered "enemies". "Nonbeliever" seems relatively neutral, but not "infidel". —BarrelProof (talk) 22:02, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

section on Islam[edit]

I suggest this whole section to be re-written by someone who has a clear understanding of the concept of "Kufur" in Islam,and has a little knowledge of Islam or what he is writing about. Clearly this is written by some anti-islamic zealot with no backgroud ever of the subject he is writting about. A warmongering zionist? A hateful evangalist? A zealot athiest? A concept of "Kufur" is NOT an analogus nor measures to the concept of "Infidelity" in Christianity or Judaism. A "kafer" is NOT only an active opponent of Islam, a muslim can comit an act of "Kufr" unknowingly!.

People Wikipedia is not the proper place to throw your bigotry ,rubbish, hatred and prejudice towards other races or relegions. Please don't write about islam unless you are a muslim and a one with good knowledege too. I won't write a single word about christianty or any other faith unless I belonged to that faith or at least I know what I am talking about.--علي سمسم (talk) 14:36, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea what you are talking about. The Islam section is well-sourced and I see absolutely zero evidence of bigotry or prejudice. Where does it even say an infidel is an active opponent of Islam? Note that religion of the author is absolutely unacceptable as a precondition for editing. Martijn Meijering (talk) 14:47, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
All the section is written in weasel words. "well sourced" does not make an article true or valid my firend. This article ethier reflect complete ignorance or complete prejudice. Many "quotes" are poorly translanted , truncated from the whole text and/or taken out of context. The concept and defination of "Kufr" itself, its types and condtions - which is clearly absent in the text - is a big section of a science called "Feqh" my friend, which has lots of volumes I doubt any of the uneducated editors know about. No one should call or label another "Kafer" unless they study and understand that science. I am not sure there in a concept of "Infidelity" nor types and conditions of "Infidility" in Christianity or Jusiasm. Writting about Islam when you are not a muslims is like a blind man tring to describe an elephant just by holding his nose...the result is an article like this which discribes a "hose" !. --علي سمسم (talk) 15:09, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy is not about WP:TRUTH, but about WP:Verifiability. Wikipedia only states what scholars say, not what it believes to be the truth and certainly not what one individual editor believes to be the truth. Where scholars are unanimous, their consensus is represented as fact, where they disagree we state who believes what, do so impartially and with due weight being given to the various viewpoints. If you disagree with the translations made by an encyclopedia of Islam, you are free to add counterbalancing reliable sources that translate it differently. We are not allowed to offer our own opinions on reliable sources as some of your weasel tags do. Text written in Wikipedia voice is subject to the weasel words policy, direct quotes from reliable sources are not. If you have other objections to sources, you are free to raise them. I will delete some inappropriate uses of the weasel tag. Martijn Meijering (talk) 15:27, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
User:علي سمسم actually has a good point (though I do not think it is wise for him to make battleground-like speculations about the author who rewrote the section). User:Prof.akbar, who has made the additions, seems to have cherry picked certain quotes to portray Islam in a very negative light, without elucidating the mainstream Islamic opinion, which honours the Ahl-e-Kitab. The former version of the section on Islam, before User:Prof.akbar's edits, held a much more balanced view. If User:علي سمسم can produce reliable sources to rewrite the section, I would encourage him to do so. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 20:46, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like an excellent idea. I've only skimmed the section, but it does look as if too much attention is given to views of wahhabist scholars, or perhaps just too little to other views. Martijn Meijering (talk) 21:11, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
On a related note, I wonder if it wouldn't be better if this article restricted itself to Christian interpretations of the word infidel, which after all is of Christian etymological origin. It turns out we already have an article Kafir. We could briefly mention that related Islamic concept and link to that page. Any worthwhile material in our Islam section that isn't already there could be moved to the Kafir page. Martijn Meijering (talk) 21:14, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, User:Mmeijeri - you have some good ideas! The section before User:Prof.akbar's added quotes was much shorter (link). Like you and User:علي سمسم, I would support a truncating/rewriting of that section. However, since readers might not know the Arabic and Hebrew words of kafir and kofer, it might be a good idea to retain sections on the respective religions of Islam and Judaism. What do you think? I look forward to hearing from you! With regards, AnupamTalk 21:25, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I disagree that the section should be truncated or moved, because (a) there are thousands of articles written in last 20 years where the term infidel has been used in articles on Islam, many use the term infidel but not Kafir, or words based on K-F-R root; (b) neither the peer reviewed secondary sources nor the most referred to encyclopedias on Islam cited in this section are written by wahhabist scholars, or any specific Fiqh of Sunni or Shia or another sect; (c) the section presents and should present all sides including Ahl-e-Kitab; (d) it includes quotes from the most respected and most referred to English translation secondary sources of Quran and Hadiths, which by the way use the word "infidel" in the translation.

Martijn Meijering is right about etymology, but an encyclopedic article is more than an etymology reference or dictionary, rather it covers a topic over its history, and includes all important sides of its current context. In last 10 years, there are more peer reviewed journal articles and news articles on infidel in Islam's context than any other context.

User:Anupam alleges cherrypicking. He or she should identify what is there in the cited sources that was left out, during the alleged cherrypicking. The user is welcome to address such omissions if any, or add counterbalancing reliable sources that are relevant, WP:DUE and WP:COMPREHENSIVE. Prof.akbar (talk) 21:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm new to this, but... I agree with Prof.akbar that the section should be kept. English speakers are generally going to look for concepts under their English labels, and I suspect many people are completely unfamiliar with the term "Kufur". I'm confused by the debate about etymology. ALL English words will derive from Latin via French, Saxon, etc; but we wouldn't consider this to mean that another language has no equivalent of the word, with it's own etymology. There isn’t a different concept of "black" in French because they say "noir", or because the ttwo words ultimately have different sources? Also, infidel is equivalent to un-faithful, lacking in faith. That has been applied by Christians to Christians at least since Mark 9:24 "I believe, forgive my unbelief" and the meaning of faith has certainly been subject to a lot of scholarly debate. I think these discussions generate more rancor than they need to. But the very fact that they do supports the idea that judging the adequacy of faith, whether one's own, one's co-religionists or people of other religions is pretty universal... and so is the word, in the etymology of its respective languages, of course.alacarte (talk) 06:13, 11 January 2015 (UTC)