A FRIEND of mine and I were waiting for an event to end, and we had about 20 minutes with nothing to do. With a smile on my face, I said, "I have an idea! Let's talk about Islamic jihad! She gave me a look that said, "Please let's talk about anything but that." I've talked to her about it before.
So I said, "I've been meaning to ask you, for research purposes, why don't you like talking about jihad?"
She said, "It creeps me out."
"You mean it's scary?" I asked.
"Yes," she reluctantly admitted, as if she was embarrassed to say so.
I said, "Well there is some good news. The majority of Muslims ignore the Qur'an's instructions to subjugate infidels. People are people, and in many places in the world, Muslims did not choose to be Muslims. Somewhere along the line, they lived in a place that was converted to Islam by whatever means, and now they are Muslims, but may have never read the Qur'an in their own language, don't really know what's in it, and don't follow most of the things prescribed in it.
"They are casual Muslims. They're just living their lives, going about their business, raising their families, and are not interested in taking over the world."
But at this point, I couldn't help myself. I said something scary: "Of course, the children of these Muslims are vulnerable to the fundamentalist Muslims who come into town (as they have done in many places) and start saying to the young men, 'Your parents are hypocrites. They say they are Muslims but they don't know what's in the Qur'an and they don't practice real Islam.' Young teenagers being what they are, are very open to this message, and already prone to seeing something wrong about their parents, and they are easily recruited to the jihad."
I then started talking about something a less scary, and we kept talking. But I'd gotten some good information in there, and she might see the news a little differently now, and maybe eventually she'll get a chance to vote on immigration laws or sedition laws, and she'll be more informed about what's at stake.
It's hard to talk about jihad without being scary, but it's something we should all work on. Our fellow infidels need to know about this stuff. It is ugly and unnerving, but there are many ways to make it more interesting and less upsetting.
Even though I didn't really mean it as a technique, when I asked my friend why she didn't like talking about jihad, she became more open to talking about it. I was at least acknowledging her feelings, and after we talked about it, we both knew each other a little better, and that makes it more comfortable to talk about anything, including jihad.
So that question could be used as a technique when you see someone's hesitancy about talking about jihad-related things. Ask the person why they don't like talking about it. This will give them a chance to relax and open up, and it'll give you some insight into what is going on in the minds of your fellow citizens.
If you have tried to talk to someone about jihad recently, we would love to hear about your experiences, good or bad (leave a comment on this post). One of the best things we can share with each other is what kinds of approaches we have tried that worked well, and what didn't work very well.
And if you haven't been talking to anybody about it, try the approach above, and then come back here and tell us about it. We can help each other get better at this. One of the great things about the internet is you can share your personal experience and it can help thousands.
Read more: How to Change Someone's Opinion
Read more: Know the Koran