I just read your article on Citizen Warrior, "the struggle to reach people", along with many others. I'm from England in the UK and have to say I've had all the same reactions as Cheryl did in your article when discussing Islam. I've spent at least 6 months now spending my Sundays when I'm not busy researching thoroughly into jihad, Islamic teachings...etc. Everything I say about the issue to people is based on unbiased information and from Islamic teachings and quotes. Yet still, people have this political correctness and "you're a racist!!!" barrier around themselves.
It scares me to think that within maybe 40 - 50 years my children may be living under Shari'a law...all because of the ignorance of everybody even when faced with facts and the truth is just too great.
I began researching into Islam after a conversation with an atheist or "infidel" and a Muslim. The atheist guy I knew was talking to me actually at work about how they were attempting to dominate the world and their view of Jews and infidels...etc., are inferior to believers of Islam...etc. I at that time thought the guy who was saying this to me was just being a typical racist...then this Muslim guy who's a coworker butted in denying everything, and after an intense 2 minute argument...became a fight started by the Muslim.
That situation then actually really made me want to research into it...and by the way, I've even been deemed a "narrow-minded racist" for saying "Muslims" and categorising them as Muslims...now you see how ignorant people are...
Anyhow, I just thought I'd write to express how I got into the whole studying of Islam....and to actually have a conversation with someone who is educated on the topic and doesn't spit on me and march off.
This brought up such an important point, I decided to ask him if I could publish his letter, to which he graciously agreed. Here is what I replied to him:
We have exactly the same problem here in the U.S. Anybody who has learned about Islam and tried to share what they know with friends runs into the same brick wall.
But we will get through to most people eventually. We just need to be smart about it, keep improving our persuasion methods, and never give up.
And this is really the main point I have tried to get across, and the point of awakening for me: That it's not enough to be right. It's not enough to know what you're talking about. We will fail if we can't get through, regardless of how correct we are. We have to be not only informed but good at getting through to people, and that cannot be done with forcefulness. You can't make people get it when they don't want to get it. You have to use "skillful means."
After I wrote back to him, I realized this needs more explanation. What do I mean by "skillful means?" We need to develop the skill to influence what people believe. Simply delivering information doesn't work most of the time, as I'm sure you've discovered.
And those of us who like to learn are in luck: There are so many books (on the subject of influencing others) it is almost overwhelming. As we study about Islam, we should also study how to influence people. It is at least as important. You should spend equal time on the two subjects.
The work we need to do is change minds, change beliefs. Do you know a lot about how to do that? Do you know how to gain and maintain rapport with people? Do you know how beliefs are changed? (Hint: It is not by arguing.)
What kind of books am I talking about? The classic on the subject is How to Win Friends & Influence People. It is about basic things like acknowledging people, listening well, finding common ground, becoming likeable, etc. If someone doesn't like you, they find it much easier to reject what you're saying. And because of the nature of your message, your listener may be looking for an excuse to reject it.
Even though How to Win Friends is basic, my observation is that most of us don't actually practice those principles very often. If you're having difficulty getting through to people, get that book and study it. And then practice those principles. It will increase your success rate.
The best way to take in this information is listening to CDs or a digital audio file, so you can listen repeatedly. Use your drive time to master this material. Take in a little every day and practice it every chance you get.
You are a citizen warrior and this is a key factor in your training. Sometimes a warrior needs to be trained in things she or he may not enjoy learning. Too bad. Trust me, you need to learn this material well if you want to be effective.
Once you've got that well in hand, the next level of skill is using principles of influence like social proof and commitment and consistency. These are from the excellent book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
For advanced influencing techniques, I recommend these two books:
These deal with more sophisticated methods like matching and mirroring representational systems, posture and gestures, voice tone, tempo and volume, breathing rate, and specific words and phrases.
Those are NLP principles (Neurolinguistic Programming). NLP was created by studying outstanding therapists — psychotherapists who had exceptional success in treating patients. One of the most important people they studied was Milton Erickson, arguably the most successful therapist of all time. They noticed his point of view on "client resistance" was completely the opposite from that of less successful therapists.
The standard way of thinking about resistance in therapy is that it is the client's problem and the client needs to get over it before therapy can proceed. Erickson's point of view was that resistance was an indication that he, Milton Erickson, was being inept.
That's the way we need to think about it. If we did, we could reach a whole new level of skill at influencing people.
You may not want to learn this. It may bother you that people don't just "get it" when you say it straight. But this is how the world is. I know it's not "right." I know people should decide simply based on the facts, but that's not how the world works, and it never will be. Emotions have a strong influence on decisions, on the forming of beliefs, and on behavior.
You already know this. You know that someone with a less-than-cogent argument can have more influence on people (if he gains rapport) than someone with a perfect argument that irritates people with his pompous or arrogant attitude, for example. Emotions trump facts. Rapport is the key.
We need to win. That means you, who already understand the terrifying brilliance of Islam, need to be effective. You need to use all the skillful means at your disposal to change the way others think and feel about Islam. You can do it! You must do it, for all our sakes.
If you don't have time to become good at influencing, you should switch your focus to getting people involved in the Girl Effect. It will be much less difficult, but you will still be doing necessary work toward our ultimate goal of reversing Islam's relentless encroachment on the free world.