In a comment on Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims, someone going by the name of "Western Feminista" left the following description of what she does to educate her fellow non-Muslims. This is an intelligent and creative approach:
I have generally had the most success with using articles in the news, and mentioning things casually...one great example was when a Muslim lady was sentenced to six months jail for falsely accusing a policeman of forcibly removing her veil. I agreed that it was terrible that she had been sentenced and explained that "man-made laws" are not recognised by Muslims, so really, she had done nothing wrong in perjuring herself and making a false complaint...the people I was speaking to couldn't believe what I was saying, and it gave me the ideal opportunity to explain Sharia law to them — something that they had no knowledge of before.
The right to wear a burqua has been another situation — citing the above case again, the woman claimed that it was impossible for the policeman to prove it was her as she had only her eyes showing, and so she should not have been in court. Again, I agreed that in fact, we should all be able to wear a balaclava to enter a bank, shopping center, or government office — the government has no right to make me recognizable in any instance. The people I was speaking to suddenly began arguing against my rights to do that, and I was able to speak about other concessions to Islam that have been recently made — again, things that they had not thought "important" were suddenly placed in a context where they became very important.
Hopefully other instances will come up, and I can keep getting the message out there, slowly and gracefully.
I asked Western Feminista if I could publish her comment here, and she said yes. Then she emailed me more intelligent ways to educate our fellow non-Muslims:
Another example I have used is regarding the illegal asylum seekers arriving here, and rioting in our detention centres (yes, I am from Australia). So many people are of the opinion that we should accept them immediately (to stop the rioting) as we have much to spare, and have prided ourselves on accepting immigrants over the years.
I agree, citing the wonderful way that the Italians, Greeks, Vietnamese, etc. have assimilated into Australia, and how they enriched our country...and isn’t it unfortunate about the Global financial crisis at the moment that is making it so difficult for governments to be able to afford to give as much as in the past? Especially as there are so many Muslims that really seem to want to make Australia their new home, and how they may actually become a majority in the future...it’s not an unreasonable assumption, really. I haven’t had anyone dispute it yet.
Then I ask them how much they would be willing to pay per month so all the Muslim asylum seekers could be released immediately into the community. $50? $100? $200? Of course this brings looks of disbelief, or a small token amount is mentioned...I then casually mention that it would be like paying jizya — and am always asked to explain in more detail...no one has ever heard of it, and it scares people to think that it will hit them where it hurts — the wallet.
I suppose you could call it Islamic Education by Stealth (lol).
This is excellent. She has obviously thought about what she was going to say and how she was going to say it ahead of time, and presented her information for maximum impact and surprise. With enough of us doing this kind of thing, we would see a massive change in public opinion about Islam in short order.
If you have an approach you have used successfully, please make it known to others trying to accomplish the same thing by posting it on the Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims page.