An Aversion to Cruelty


RICHARD RORTY said liberals feel an "aversion to cruelty" and that is one of the primary reasons they are a liberal. Somehow this struck me as worth remembering. I don't like to divide this issue into a "conservative versus liberal" issue because it should be important to all of us. But it struck a chord that the thing we're up against — the resistance you run into when you begin talking to a non-Muslim about Islam — is an "aversion to cruelty." I think we will find an improved ability to reach people who have such an aversion if we understand this fundamental truth about them. For example, you can make it perfectly clear right up front that you abhor cruelty, that you are against racism and treating anyone badly, that you're not a "Muslim-basher" or a "hatemonger." Make it clear you are not a mean person. These are the most likely ways they will interpret your criticism of Islam. These are the most likely ways they'll try to make sense of your motivations for saying what you're saying. I'm assuming anyone who reads Citizen Warrior is against cruelty, racism, and hate. So we should make sure we vehemently express our dislike and distrust of these things. In other words, show a little more aversion to cruelty than they do, and talk about Islam in a way that shows them that the reason you want to educate the world about Islam is to prevent cruelty and inequality and bigotry. Go out of your way to point out that you are against hating Muslims themselves, and that what you want to speak about is an ideology of intolerance and supremacism, and that thank goodness most Muslims are good enough to ignore these core Islamic teachings. You can then go on to say that unfortunately, just because many Muslims ignore these teachings, that's not the end of the issue because their children are vulnerable to recruiting. And enough Muslims do definitely believe in Islam, so an uneducated population of non-Muslims is vulnerable to infiltration, deceit, the removal of freedoms, and ultimately of subjugation. You might not want to go that far (subjugation) because most people at this beginning level of innocence about Islam don't think it's possible. We should only tell as much truth as can be believed. Give people a chance to come to grips with the horrible implications of what you're saying. Don't overwhelm them or make them recoil from the information. If you can "come from" the aversion you have to cruelty, you may gain their ear. You will at least help prevent them from putting you in a box of "racist," and perhaps they'll become confused enough about you to listen. I'm not recommending you deliberately confuse people, but help them realize they can't characterize you the way they thought, and if they don't have a way to characterize you, they may simply listen to you out of curiosity. When you can see you've aroused their curiosity, help them see that concessions to Sharia ultimately lead to cruelty, even though at first it may seem tolerant and kind and fair-minded to give them the special accomodations they demand. If you can do this, your listener will walk away from the conversation with a whole new perspective. It will make them more open to information about the disturbing nature of Islam. And hopefully it will lead them to investigate the issue for themselves. If they ask you more about it later, do your best to encourage them to take the pledge and read the Quran. That should be the first step for all of us.
Learn more about influencing your friends: How to approach a conversation about Islam
Answers to objections when you talk about Islam
How to think outside the persuasion box


Citizen Warrior 6:52 PM  

Someone just emailed me a comment about this article:

"You're on target. You are thinking, thinking, thinking. YES we must sell ourselves as NOT being like the country rube stereotype the liberal world has boxed us in. And then sell ourselves as widely read and intelligent! We have a heart of gold and a head of wisdom — but they don't know that yet."

Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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