Elisabeth's Trial Has Begun

Wednesday

THE FIRST hearing in Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s case took place yesterday (November 23rd, 2010) in the court of Vienna, Austria. Charges were brought against Elisabeth because of a seminar she taught.

An eight-hour recording of her seminar will be the central piece of evidence in the trial. The entire audio recording from the seminar will be played in court, permitting the prosecutor to explain in detail what cannot be permitted to be said in public, and why the "religiousness" of Islamic teachings makes it impermissible.


The defense will seek to prove the accuracy and truthfulness of what Elisabeth said in her seminar, thus focusing on the core question: Is it illegal to speak the truth about Islam?

My interest in Elisabeth's case is threefold: First, this is the front line in the war on freedom of speech waged against people who are trying to educate the public about Islam's prime directive, Sharia law, and the third jihad. Her case is similar to Geert Wilders', who is on trial in the Netherlands for similar reasons.

The second reason this case interests me is that Elisabeth used excerpts from the Citizen Warrior article, Why I Am Worried About Islam But Not Christianity, in her seminar. The content you've been reading is on trial. Read more about that here.

The third reason is that Elisabeth is a sweet, soft-spoken, kind-hearted woman, entirely devoid of hatred or bigotry, devoid of rabble-rousing rhetoric, who was simply teaching basic, established, mainstream principles of Islam, calmly, reasonably, in a classroom setting, and she is being charged with a crime for doing so!? The whole idea is an outrage.

The following is an edited version of a blow-by-blow report of the first day of Elisabeth's trial, brought to us by Henrik Clausen, as posted on the Save Free Speech website:

9:41: Austrian TV shows up with a camera crew.

The room has seats for 15, but 25 spectators are there. Austrian TV asks for comments from Elisabeth, but on advice of her lawyer, she says, ”No comments now; talk to me after the hearings.”

The judge informs Elisabeth about her rights: Anything she says can be used against her.

The public prosecutor makes a short summary of various conclusions from Elisabeth's seminar, and, taken out of the context from, they sound ominous, like speaking of a "Burqa ghost" (which you'll find out about in a moment), comparing her statements to those of Susanne Winter, mentioning that Muhammad married a child of six, as well as saying we risk eventually having a civil war.

Elisabeth's defense lawyer talks of the principles of gender equality, freedom of religion and the lack of reciprocity that exists in Islam (for example, other religions cannot be freely practiced in several Islamic countries). The lawyer mentions that Elisabeth grew up in Islamic countries and has experienced the situation of women there directly.

He continues to explain that the statements mentioned were taken seriously out of context, and that some were not public, thus not relevant to the case. And that we should play the entire eight hours of recordings to understand the context.

He proceeds to invoke three expert witnesses who will testify that Elisabeth has spoken the truth: Wafa Sultan, Hans Jansen, and Robert Spencer.

10:53: The judge asks if we are talking about "Islamic extremism" or about "Islam as such?"

Elisabeth explains that we are talking Islam as such, as defined by its scripture, and quotes Erdogan (Turkey's Prime Minister) that there is no moderate Islam anyway.

The judge accepts that we can play the tapes, then proceeds to ask about us being lied to 24 hours a day. Elisabeth explains the concept of taqiyya. The judge says: "That is your interpretation," to which Elisabeth responds: "No, this is the canonical interpretation."

Next question is: "Is Islam in a never-ending war with the West?"

Elisabeth refers to history and newspapers to document that yes, it is a never-ending war with the West and that jihad has at times been considered the sixth pillar of Islam.

11:15: The "burqa ghost" story is related. Elisabeth took a photo of a woman in a burqa in Vienna, and told about this in her seminars. It is difficult to figure out why the public prosecutor finds this offensive, not to mention illegal. The defense asks about this. Elisabeth explains a few things about freedom for women — all women — to decide for themselves.

A reference is then made to some debates Elisabeth participated in where she discussed child molestation, and says: Christian cardinals molest children in conflict with their religion, Muslims do it in line with theirs. As background, the marriage between Muhammad and Aisha is related, as documented by several Hadith authors.

Pedophilia is discussed, in light of Muhammad being the perfect example for Muslims, as stated in Quran 33:21. That means everything Muhammad ever did or said, which is in the hadith, is to be considered a model for behavior for orthodox Muslims.

Elisabeth explains what the hadith collections are, how they constitute an indispensable part of Islam, due to 33:21 and similar suras. And emphasizes that she is not making up statements, merely quoting canonical Islamic scripture.

11:34: The Judge opens a discussion by asking if we’re talking of "all Muslims" here.

Elisabeth says no because most Muslims do not know what is in the Quran, which is in a language (Arabic) they do not understand, and thus place their confidence in the imams for interpretations.

Judge: "Is every Muslim a jihadist?"

Elisabeth: "No, not at all. But jihad is an obligation for Muslims. This is about the teachings of Islam, not about Muslims."

Judge: "But you said 'Muslims' in the seminars?"

Elisabeth: "Yes, but I said it in a context which is needed to understand the relevance of this."

Judge: "What percentage of Muslims are jihadis?"

Elisabeth: "I don't know. Not the majority. One thousandth is enough to be a problem, though."

Then the quote about "Islam is shit" is debated. Elisabeth points out that she was debating and using visual quotes (with her fingers). And she asks if it is punishable to say "Islam is shit."

12:06: The defense lawyer goes through some point of the charges, asking Elisabeth:

Lawyer: You said: "Muslims kill due to Islamic teachings. Christians also kill, but not due to their religious teachings." Are there not verses in the Bible that encourage killing?

Elisabeth: Not in the New Testament, and not actively used today.

Her defense lawyer explains the death threats against Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the security she needs. Elisabeth tells about the killing of Theo van Gogh and the Quran quotes used to justify that.

Lawyer asks: Are there child marriages in Islamic countries?

Elisabeth: Yes, for example Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan. Also the late ayatollah Khomeini recommended pedophilia, and the current Iranian President Ahmadjinedad recommends his teachings. According to Islamic law, these marriages are legal and justifiable.

Lawyer: Are corporal punishments, like chopping off limbs, part of Islamic law?

Elisabeth: Yes, this is described, for instance, in Reliance of the Traveller.

(Elisabeth and her defense lawyer have explained about the classical Sunni Islamic book, "Reliance of the Traveller," unwrapping a fresh copy in court.)

12:40: The lawyer continues to ask Elisabeth to explain various statements:

Lawyer: What is meant by, "We are decadent?"

Elisabeth: That's the point of view of Islamic fundamentalists.

Lawyer: What is meant by, "We do not want Sharia here, full stop?"

Elisabeth: Free, secular societies is what we want.

Lawyer: What is meant by, "Islamic law is not compatible with free societies, we need to understand this."

Elisabeth: Islam is a whole, and this whole is not compatible with free societies like the Austrian.

Laywer: Did you see any veiled Muslim men?

Elisabeth (laughing): No, this is an obligation just for women.

Lawyer: You were referring to Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam. What is the meaning of that?

Elisabeth: This is a reference to the no-go zones, where Sharia is effectively the law. There immigrant youth torch cars, throw stones at the police, etc.

Prosecutor: Are each and every one of these persons Muslims?

Elisabeth: The majority are.

Lawyer: What is meant when you say: "How many times have we been told that Islam is a religion of peace?" Is this an incitement to hate or violence?

Elisabeth: I do not mean to incite hatred or violence. We need to be informed, make people aware, inform our politicians and write letters to the newspapers.

Lawyer: What is meant by, "We do not want gender apartheid or polygamy."

Elisabeth explains polygamy in Islam, and the fact that this is a reality in Europe today. Elisabeth speaks about the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the absolute right to express ones’ opinions, as a fundamental prerequisite for a sound democracy.

At this point, more people have arrived. There are 18 seats for the audience, 30-35 listeners total.

14:00: The news journalist, Dolna, was called as witness. Technicalities of her recording equipment are discussed by the judge, including the fact that of the first seminar, only a half hour was recorded.

The judge asked if some of the statements quoted were from breaks, not from the seminar proper. The reason this is important is that three or four people heard those comments, not the 32 or more, which is the criterion for a statement being considered "public." This is a crucial question for legal reasons, as only statements made to a large group can be punishable.

The judge dug further into the methods of the journalist. Why did the journalist quote statements made in the breaks that were not part of the lecture? The journalist answers: "For journalistic reasons."

Further, the judge asked if it was made clear in advance that the journalist would be recording the seminars. She responded that she had not told anyone, as her work constituted "investigative journalism."

The lawyer probed further into the issue of the quotes being part of the prepared seminar, or offhand comments in the breaks.

Next, the events concerning the opera, "Idomeneo" were discussed. The performance of this classical Mozart piece scheduled to be performed at the famous opera house, Deutsche Oper Berlin, was cancelled due to Islamic pressure. The director had added decapitation of Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad to the original play. Fear of riots or violence caused the play to be cancelled. The well-known German magazine Focus had, in that context, written that we should under no circumstances cave in to pressure like this.

This rounded off the day after roughly three hours of hearings. Since there is a need to play the complete recordings (eight hours) from Elisabeth's seminar, the next hearing is scheduled for January 18th.

Read more about Elisabeth's case, and find out what you can do to help her out: The Leading Edge of Freedom: How to Support Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

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Improve Your Persuasion Powers By Speaking Their Language

Sunday

YOUR MISSION, should you decide to accept it, is to pay attention today to the words people use to describe their experience. Find out what "representational system" they use the most. Once you learn how to do this, you can start talking to people in a way that will reach them, because you'll be using the representational system they favor. But for now, your mission is to simply identify the primary representational system of everyone you talk to today.

Now that I've given you the mission, I'm going to explain it. A "representational system" is one of three things: Visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. When you think or remember, you are representing reality in your mind. For example, you can remember what happened yesterday by seeing mental pictures. That would be using your visual representational system. Or you could remember by recalling what someone told you yesterday or the sounds you heard yesterday. That would be using your auditory representational system. Or you could remember how you felt yesterday. That's using your kinesthetic representational system.

This all sounds terribly complicated, but it's not. We have three primary ways to store and recall reality: Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Many of our memories or imaginings include all three representational systems, of course. In other words, you remember what you saw, what you heard, and what you felt.

But all of us tend to "favor" one representational system over the others, in the same way that you are right-handed. You tend to use one representational system more than others. You tend to store your most important information in that representational system. You tend to respect and respond to information presented in that representational system more than you would if it was presented using a different representational system.

In other words, if you are a visually-oriented person, and I speak to you using visual terms, what I say will have more impact, will be more persuasive, will be more memorable to you than if I spoke to you using auditory terms.

Speaking in visual terms would be saying things like, "When you read the Quran, you will see things in a whole new light. You'll get the big picture." Speaking in auditory terms would be saying things like, "When you read the Quran, you are hearing the words of Mohammad the way Muslims around the world hear them. It may sound like what I'm saying does not make sense, but once you read the Quran, it will click for you." Speaking in kinesthetic terms would be saying things like, "When you read the Quran you'll grasp the overall negative, hostile feeling of Mohammad and Allah toward non-Muslims." Click here to find more examples of the kinds of words that indicate the three different representational systems.

But before attempting to speak someone's language, you must first know what it is. How can you know? By listening to the way people describe things when they talk. That's your assignment today. And ideally, you would keep it up every day until you can easily know what representational system people favor. Once you can do that, speaking someone's language is easy.

This exercise will increase your observational powers. And it will increase your ability to connect to people and influence them.

You can practice all day long. Anytime you are speaking with someone, pay attention to which particular kinds of words they use.

This is not as hard as you would think. If I told you to determine whether someone was right or left handed, you would be able to tell just by watching, don't you think? If you observed the person's behavior for awhile, you'd easily identify which hand they favor. You may have known the person for awhile and didn't know if they were right or left handed, but once you pay attention, once you're looking for it, you can find out just by paying attention.

You can do the same to discover the representational system they favor. It is only a matter of paying attention.

We need to reach people. We need to help them understand what we understand about the third jihad. We need to get past their barriers to listening. So we need to get really good at gaining rapport with people. One excellent way to improve our rapport and help people to listen to (and respect) what we say is to speak their language — to use the representational system they favor most when we speak.

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Reading the Quran is Like Being in an Auto Accident

Saturday

SOMETIMES PEOPLE don't "get it" until they see it for themselves. For example, try telling a cocky teenage boy he needs to be a more cautious driver. He will think, "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before, but I'm such a skilled driver and I have such lightening-fast reflexes, I don't need to worry about it."

But watch what happens after he's in a horrible accident, or even sees one. Watch what happens when he makes a mistake while driving and the accident kills his best friend. It's the kind of experience that can change his attitude for the rest of his life. When he sees how dangerous driving can be, when he sees how one small mistake can lead to an unimaginable tragedy, it can change his attitude toward driving permanently and in an instant.

The same thing happens when people read the Quran.

I've told you before that you need to read the Quran because it will give you a solid feeling of authority when you talk to your fellow non-Muslims about Islam. And you should encourage others to read it for two reasons: First, the fact that you're pushing them to read the Quran will tend to give them more confidence in everything else you say about Islam. And second, because reading the Quran for themselves will have an impact on them that all your talking cannot have, in the same way witnessing an accident can change a cocky teenager into a cautious and responsible driver.

Focus on the Quran. It is the central text of Islamic doctrine. It is considered the holiest of books by Muslims around the world. And it will reveal pure Islam more directly and more palpably and with more authority than anything else. Use all the persuasion skills you can acquire to convince people to take the pledge and read the Quran.

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Training Course for Citizen Warriors

Wednesday

YOU WANT to educate your fellow non-Muslims about the terrifying brilliance of Islam and I have something to recommend that will help you: The Dale Carnegie Course: Effective Communications and Human Relations. It's the perfect training for a citizen warrior.

I can't believe I haven't thought of this before. I took the course about 23 years ago, and it made a huge difference. And it recently occurred to me that an important factor in my ability to educate people face-to-face is the training I got all those years ago — training available to you now.

Our most important task is to educate people. This requires an ability to persuade, to successfully connect with people, to organize your thoughts and get them across clearly, and ideally, to keep your stress level down. The Dale Carnegie course will help you in all of these areas.


The training takes place over a period of 12 weeks, one night per week, three and a half hours per night. And in every class each participant will give two short speeches. That's a lot of practice. And you get excellent coaching from the course leader. Of all the public speaking training I have gotten — and I've gotten quite a lot — by far the very best was the Dale Carnegie Course.

People graduate from the course with the ability to really communicate, not just the ability to make good gestures or use vocal variety or any of the other things a lot of public speaking programs focus on. The Dale Carnegie Course goes right to the core of communication and connection and will really teach you how to get your message across in a way that penetrates.

Dale Carnegie originally created a class to help people conquer their fear of speaking in public. But he noticed that most of the problems people talked about in their speeches were human relations problems. He thought he might teach some basic principles of human relations along with public speaking in the same course. So he looked around for a book on human relations but couldn't find one he thought was good enough, so he wrote one: How to Win Friends and Influence People, which became one of the bestselling books of all time. You will use that book and learn to apply those time-tested principles during the course.

One of the great things about the Dale Carnegie Course is learning to express yourself more freely. You'll gain that elusive quality known as charisma. Even if you are already charismatic, you'll become more so.

The course is especially good for people who have a fear of public speaking. You'll start out sitting in front of the class with three other people and all you have to do is answer the course leader's questions. It's very easy. Even if you're afraid to speak in public, this isn't stressful. And the course slowly progresses from there, step-by-step, allowing you to remain comfortable all along the way until you're standing up there by yourself giving a prepared speech and having no trouble whatsoever doing it. Many famous people have taken the course and swear by it (including Warren Buffet, which you can see here and here).

I would recommend this course to anyone, but it is especially valuable for those of us who wish to awaken our fellow non-Muslims about Islam's prime directive. You'll get the tools you need to be effective.

And I have something else to say. Although my focus here is making you a better citizen warrior, the Dale Carnegie Course will be personally good for you — you'll be happier and more expressive, you'll have more personal freedom of expression, and it will be great for your ability to bring people to our side.

Think about it. It's a substantial investment of time and money. But you will not regret it. I think you will, like me, come to think of it as the best money you've ever spent and the best investment of time you've ever made.

The Dale Carnegie Course is available almost anywhere. Check out their website to find a course in your area. I should get a commission on this; I'm giving a pretty good "sales presentation." The first evening of the course is free for everyone. If you like it, you can sign up. If not, you got a free class. And they actually teach you something useful the first night. And no, you are not put on the spot or asked to give a speech in the first class.

One of the most prominent features of the military is constant training. The military never stops training its soldiers. And we citizen warriors should also constantly focus on training, on getting better, on improving our skills, and the Dale Carnegie Course is one excellent way to do that.

More information:

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Assumptions About Islam are Rampant

THE FOLLOWING is an excerpt from the excellent book, The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, by Robert Spencer:

When reading the Koran, it is vitally important to keep in mind that Westerners, whether religious or not, and Muslims often have vastly differing frames of reference, even when considering the same individuals or concepts. Several years ago, former President George W. Bush and Karen Hughes, his former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, issued greetings to the world's Muslims on the occasion of the Islamic Feast of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, and Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son.

In December 2006, Bush issued a statement that read in part, "For Muslims in America and around the world, Eid al-Adha is an important occasion to give thanks for their blessings and to remember Abraham's trust in a loving God. During the four days of this special observance, Muslims honor Abraham's example of sacrifice and devotion to God by celebrating with friends and family, exchanging gifts and greetings, and engaging in worship through sacrifice and charity."

And the previous January, Hughes had declared:

Eid is a celebration of commitment and obedience to God and also of God's mercy and provision for all of us. It is a time of family and community, a time of charity....I want to read to you a message from President Bush: "I send greetings to Muslims around the world as you celebrate Eid al-Adha. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham placed his faith in God above all else. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims celebrate Abraham's devotion and give thanks for God's mercy and many blessings."

In speaking of Abraham, even when doing so in the context of Eid al-Adha, Bush and Hughes were probably thinking of Genesis 22:15-18, in which Abraham is rewarded for his faith and told he will become a blessing to the nations: "By your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice."

But the Muslim audiences that Bush and Hughes were addressing probably did not read Genesis. They read the Koran, in which Allah says that Abraham is an "excellent example" for the believers when he tells his family and other pagans that "there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever, unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone" (60:4). The same verse relates that Abraham is not an excellent example when he tells his father, "I will pray for forgiveness for you."

Thus the Koran, in the passages cited by Bush and Hughes, holds up hatred as exemplary, while belittling the virtue of forgiveness. Bush and Hughes were therefore inadvertently reinforcing a worldview that takes for granted the legitimacy of everlasting enmity between Muslims and non-Muslims — and doing so, naively, while attempting to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims. This demonstrates once again how crucial it is for American policymakers to have a detailed understanding of Islam's theological and cultural frame of reference, and of the actual teachings of the Koran. For lack of this understanding, careless statements continue to be made, and policy errors keep multiplying.

Send the Pledge to every policymaker you know about. Everyone making decisions about Islam needs to follow the example of Thomas Jefferson and read the Koran.

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Aim for a Target in Your Conversations

Saturday

YOU ARE more persuasive when you have a goal. Aiming at a particular target increases your ability to persuade. The question is, what's a good thing to aim for? My suggestion is to aim at something small that will help educate the person. Ideally something that doesn't cost anything.

If you live in America I think your best bet is to aim for getting the person to subscribe to ACT! for America's e-mail updates. The updates don't overwhelm subscribers with too much information and they choose good things to cover. And it's free. It's a small commitment and over time a subscriber will learn more about Islam's relentless encroachment.

I also suggest you set a target for how many people you will get to subscribe. Sales organizations often have contests, which turns the persuasion process into a game. Why do they do this? It helps keep the task interesting and fun. And people tend to accomplish more when they have a target they're trying to reach.

Set a target for next month: Say you will get 10 people or 20 people, or whatever seems possible for you, to sign up for ACT! for America's e-mail updates, and
keep track. Have a chart on your wall. And when you get another person to sign up, make another hash mark. Reward yourself at the end of the month if you hit your target.

When you have a target, when there's something you're aiming at, it affects what you say and how you say it — affects it in a
positive way. You'll automatically and quite naturally focus more on persuading and connecting than on arguing or "winning" or defeating the other person. Your orientation will be different. Different in a good way. You'll be more effective.

So choose a target. Choose something to aim at. If you're in a country where ACT! for America is not active, choose something else. The reason I chose ACT! for America is that their updates are good, but they tend to focus on events in the United States and Canada. So if you're not in one of those countries, that's probably not your best option for a target. But pick something like that. Get the person to subscribe to Jihad Watch, for example, or Europe News. Or get them to subscribe to Inquiry into Islam. Or get them to "like" your favorite counterjihad Facebook page. Or whatever. Pick something that will not be overwhelming, but will be informative.

If you have created your own counterjihad page on Facebook (and I sincerely hope you have), it would make your successes easy to keep track of. Facebook automatically emails you a weekly report telling you exactly how many fans you gained that week.

However you do it, get people to
subscribe to something. It can help the person become more committed to the cause over time. Aim for only a small commitment at first. Let a greater commitment blossom from there.

The principal here is to have a target, and keep your target in mind. Keep aiming for your target. Remember your target while you're talking to someone, and always aim for that target in your conversations. This will improve your ability to persuade, it will help you keep a good attitude, and will ultimately lead to more awakened people.

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How to Resist Islamic Encroachment and Still Be Happy

Friday

IN A SCENE from the movie, Armageddon, a young couple is on a picnic, just being with each other and feeling in love, but with a tinge of sadness. He has to leave the next day, and there's a chance he won't survive the mission. It's getting dark. This may be their last moments alone together. And if the mission doesn't succeed, the entire human species will be extinguished.

She said, "Do you think there are others in the world doing just what we're doing right now?"

He said, "I hope so; otherwise, what are we trying to save?"

In the counterjihad movement, we know what we're trying to save, don't we? We're trying to save the Western world, freedom and democracy. Why? Because Western-style democracy is the best system ever invented to allow people to pursue happiness. It is worth protecting. It's worth defending. But do we have to be miserable to do it?

Each of us discovered Islam's prime directive, and each of us felt motivated to help others learn about the basic elements of Islam, and most of us ran face-first into a wall of anger and resistance and argument and judgment and self-righteousness, and our desire to simply help educate our fellow non-Muslims has become a stressful, eternally-upsetting, arduous chore.

Many drop out of the counterjihad movement because of the stress. They've lost friends. They've alienated relatives. Their life has become no fun. They've lost their happiness.

So they drop out. They burn out. They stop talking about it. The whole exercise seems futile, upsetting, and unbearably frustrating. They think to themselves, "It is going to take a nuclear weapon going off in downtown Chicago before these idiots will wake up." And they give up the fight and leave it to fate.

We can't afford to lose these people. We need to not only educate our fellow non-Muslims, but we need to keep the educated ones in the fight with us. We need to prevent the burnout. That means we need to make sure fighting the good fight doesn't make us so miserable.

Another good reason to focus some attention on this issue is that (as every sales organization has discovered) people who are unhappy are lousy at influencing others. Most people are repelled and repulsed by unhappy, angry, frustrated, depressed people. Nobody wants to listen to someone like that. People don't want to be influenced by someone like that. People don't want to become like that.

So how can we remain in the counterjihad and still be happy? As silly as it may sound, this is an important question.

We have one thing working in our favor already: Having a meaningful purpose contributes greatly to a feeling of happiness and fulfillment. And if there is one thing we all share in the counterjihad movement, it is a meaningful feeling of purpose. This is usually ruined, however, by living in a permanent state of upset, anger, and frustration.

How can we keep the positive feeling of a fulfilling purposefulness while reducing the negative, stressful emotions? If we can solve that problem, fewer of us would drop out of the fight, and our effectiveness would increase.

I don't think there is a single answer to this question. But we have many things we can do to reduce the stressfulness of our purpose and allow us to feel happier while still being a dedicated citizen warrior. For example:

1. Collect and associate with allies. Stay in communication with others in the counterjihad movement. This lowers the stressful feeling of being an isolated outcast. Find like-minded people on Facebook. Join ACT! for America and attend their meetings. Join Infidels United and check in every day. Knowing you have people on your side, knowing you're not alone, reduces stress.

2. Improve your effectiveness. Add new skills to your persuasion repertoire. Add new approaches. Success is uplifting. Failure is frustrating and demoralizing. So the better you get at reaching people — the better you get at making your message penetrate and have an impact — the less stressful the process is.

3. Use a stress-reduction technique. An example of a stress-reduction technique is Progressive Relaxation (read more about that here). There are many different ways to directly reduce stress (see a good list of them here). Find one that works for you and do it when you feel too stressed out. It can make a huge difference in your feeling of well-being and happiness. It's healthy too.

4. Connect with people you love. Connecting produces oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone researchers believe is the antidote or counterbalance to stress hormones. One hormone (adrenaline) is for revving up your system to deal with threats; the other hormone (oxytocin) is for calming you down and rejuvenating and healing. Make sure these stay in balance.

5. Avoid talking about or reading about Islam an hour before bedtime. This habit has helped me a lot. It makes my sleep more restful. Try it and see if it works the same for you.

6. Use the undemoralizing process occasionally to clear your mind (click here to read more about the process). It can greatly reduce your feelings of stress and reveal ways to think differently that can prevent stress in the future.

7. Don't try to do everything. Focus on the one aspect of the purpose that interests you most and that you are most motivated to do. Relax by reminding yourself that there are many of us with you in this fight, and we each have our own specialities and inclinations, and trust that all of it will be done. You can focus on the one thing you're most compelled to do and let the rest go. Let others do what they do, and you do what you do.

8. Don't watch much mainstream news. Don't overdo it on the news, period. Especially watching news; it is stressful and can be demoralizing (read more about that here). When mainstream news talks about Islam, the amount of distortion can be downright maddening. Take it in small doses.

9. Do less of the actual persuasion yourself and let DVDs, books, and articles do some of the work for you. Many people will automatically discount what you say about Islam, no matter how much you know, because they don't consider you an authority. This can be frustrating and stressful. But when they watch DVDs showing interviewed experts, they might be more inclined to accept the information. Not only that, but a 90-minute DVD can deliver a lot of information, saving you time and trouble. Focus on persuading people to watch a DVD rather than focusing on persuading them to listen to you about Islam. It's a more efficient use of your time. Learn more about sharing DVDs and articles.

10. Do your best to see things from the other side's point of view. We often get into a right-wrong, us-versus-them, all-or-nothing position, and part of the reason this is stressful is that the world is not as black-and-white as this oppositional stance tries to make it. The other side of this worldwide debate has some legitimate points, and it eases a lot of stress (and makes your arguments more persuasive) to understand those legitimate points and to graciously concede them.

11. Be committed to perpetual learning. Every time something stresses you out, take the time to improve yourself. What can you do differently next time that will make it less stressful? The process of learning and growing itself can give you a lift and reduce stress.

That's our list so far. Please add your own ideas in the comments, or email them to me and I'll post them here for you. Let's help each other fight the good fight and be happy too.

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America At Risk: The War With No Name

Thursday

ONE OF the easiest ways to educate our fellow non-Muslims is to loan them a DVD to watch. A new DVD by Newt and Callista Gingrich (Newt's wife) is one of the best I've seen. It is tastefully and professionally done.

Because Gingrich is a well-known conservative, some of your liberal friends may not be interested, but perhaps you can convince them to watch this 82-minute movie for the sake of openmindedness. Make sure you have good rapport when you ask.

This movie is less fear-mongering and more professionally produced than I've ever seen in a film about Islam. It includes brief clips of interviews with quite a few people you are probably familiar with, all of them quite articulate: Frank Gaffney, Walid Phares, Andrew McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, Michael Ledeen, Debra Burlingame, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Tony Blankley, Steven Emerson, Michael Scheuer, Reihan Salam, and others.

There are no slow parts to this film. It keeps the viewer engaged through the whole thing. Near the end are several well-deserved criticisms of Obama, so Obama fans may turn it off at that point, but by then most of the important information has already been presented.

The film is up-to-date; it discusses the Obama administration's recent policy to expunge language from U.S. security agencies that suggest any Islamic connection, and many of the experts discuss how that policy impairs security.

Get yourself a copy or two (or more) and begin loaning them out to your friends. Convince your library to buy a copy too. Learn more about the film here: America At Risk.

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Use Your Body to Help You Reach People

Tuesday

SO YOU want to educate your fellow non-Muslims about Islam. Excellent. Bravo. And sometimes you have a difficult time getting the message across. They seem to turn against you. They want to reject your message. You lose rapport. It can sometimes be upsetting.

People who also need to gain rapport so that they can influence others (therapists) have discovered many clever ways to gain rapport and prevent losing it. One of those ways is by using your body.

I want you to try an experiment today and tomorrow. You'll be talking with many people in the next two days. Here's what I want you to do: Every time you are talking to someone, notice how they are positioning their body, and make your body's position similar to theirs.

You don't have to match it perfectly, although they probably wouldn't notice if you did. But if the person's head is tilted slightly, tilt yours slightly. If the person has all his weight on one leg and the other one slightly bent, do the same.

Notice how he has positioned his arms and hands. Make yours somewhat similar. Notice his posture. Make yours similar.

This is one of many ways to gain and keep rapport with someone. We'll be covering other ways in the next few weeks. But for now, just concentrate on your body, and see what happens.

What will happen is that people will respond to you better. They will feel closer to you without knowing why. And oddly enough, you will feel closer to them. Over the next couple of days, concentrate on this. If you keep it up, it will begin to come naturally. At that point, you will have increased your ability to influence people.

If we want to reach people, if we want them to listen to us, if we want our message to penetrate, gaining rapport is a skill worth learning. And using your body is a good place to start.

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What Happens When a Warrior Culture Meets a Cooperative, Tolerant, Peaceloving Culture?

Sunday

IN THE FASCINATING book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (which has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam) the author, Jared Diamond writes:

On the Chatham Islands, 500 miles east of New Zealand, centuries of independence came to a brutal end for the Moriori people in December 1835. On November 19 of that year, a ship carrying 500 Maori armed with guns, clubs, and axes arrived, followed on December 5 by a shipload of 400 more Maori. Groups of Maori began to walk through Moriori settlements, announcing that the Moriori were now their slaves, and killing those who objected. An organized resistance by the Moriori could still then have defeated the Maori, who were outnumbered two to one. However, the Moriori had a tradition of resolving disputes peacefully. They decided in a council meeting not to fight back but to offer peace, friendship, and a division of resources.

Before the Moriori could deliver that offer, the Maori attacked en masse. Over the course of the next few days, they killed hundreds of Moriori, cooked and ate many of the bodies, and enslaved all the others, killing most of them too over the next few years as it suited their whim. A Moriori survivor recalled, "[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep...[We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed — men, women, and children indiscriminately." A Maori conqueror explained, "We took possession...in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped. Some ran away from us, these we killed, and others we killed — but what of that? It was in accordance with our custom."

The moral to this story? It doesn't matter how tolerant you are when you're the target of someone with different values. You and your culture's tolerance and cooperativeness will not win over someone who sees those as merely weakness.

What is the best response to an aggressive culture with intolerant, uncooperative values? Find out here: Does Niceness Work With Everybody?

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The Enemy of Us All

Saturday

A GROWING movement in Europe is explicitly anti-Muslim (click here to read more about it). This is both good news and bad news. The good news is the problems inherent in Islamic encroachment into Western democracies is being spoken about publicly. The bad news is that some of the most outspoken are white supremacists.

For those of us who are not racists but who see the growing threat of Islamic encroachment, the white supremacists are a problem. People on the other side, the multiculturalists and the Muslims and many of the most ardent anti-conservatives see anyone who speaks out against Islam or tries to educate people about Islamic doctrine as racists and white supremacists and fascists. And, in fact, there are some fascists who speak out against Islam. But we're not all fascists, of course. We're not all white supremacists. We're not all racists. Not by a long shot.

What is racism? It is an overgeneralization. It says because some members of the racial group have a particular characteristic, all members of the race have that characteristic.

The blind multiculturalists also overgeneralize when they say all people in the counterjihad movement are racists. They are making exactly the same mistake they are accusing us of making (that most of us are not making). That is, since a few of us who are working to curb Islam's prime directive are racists, then anyone who says they don't like Islamic doctrine is a racist. It's the same mistake. It's an overgeneralization.

And even those of us in the counterjihad who are not racists often make the same mistake against both Muslims and multiculturalists by thinking that all Muslims believe X, or all multiculturalists are Y.

Another example of the same mistake is "white guilt" (as it is known in America) or "post-colonial guilt" (as it is known in Europe). This guilt is being exploited by many orthodox Muslims. It makes us less able to defend ourselves, and the source of the guilt is the same mistake: Overgeneralization.

America had slaves. That was wrong. But should I feel guilty about that? I've never owned a slave or endorsed the idea. I have no idea if any of my ancestors did, either, and even if they did, it wouldn't matter. Any crime committed by an ancestor does not make me guilty. And any bad action taken by someone with the same skin color as me does not make me guilty either. This guilt — that allows orthodox Muslims to get away with things they wouldn't be able to get away with otherwise — is caused by the overgeneralization (all white people are guilty and have ammends to make).

One of the things non-Muslims dislike the most about the content of Islamic teachings is "kafir hatred," which is, of course, the same mistake again. The doctrine says Muslims are the best of people and non-Muslims are the worst of people. These are overgeneralizations.

On all sides, it's the same mistake, and it makes any productive conversation almost impossible. If you believe you do not make this mistake, I suggest to you that you're probably wrong. It is a natural mental error
our brains are prone to make.

How can we get out of this mess? How can we have productive conversations about Islam with our fellow non-Muslims? How can we help school those who are against our cause? The answer is to be specific, and insist on others being specific too.

We in the counterjihad are talking about Islamic doctrine. We must make it absolutely clear that we're talking about doctrine, not people. We're talking about Islamic ideology, not Muslims. When we're talking about a Muslim, we need to speak about a particular Muslim. Our overgeneralizations usually come from talking about a group of people rather than a specific person or an ideology. Any group of people contains individuals. Any group of individuals will be different from each other, will have different levels of belief, will have different levels of commitment to the ideology, will have different understandings and familiarity with the ideology, and will have different characteristics from each other.

And we can speak specifically about Sharia law. This is a very effective way to avoid overgeneralizing.

We can also make a clear distinction between
the different kinds of Muslims: Orthodox and heterodox, Jihad-embracing Muslims and Jihad-rejecting Muslims, Practicing Muslims and MINOs.

Do whatever you can to be as specific as possible and avoid overgeneralizations. We must be eternally vigilant with our own thoughts, with our own speaking and writing, and we must carefully and deliberately expose the error when others make it. And when we're pointing it out in others, we should avoid ridiculing them for making the error. The tendency to overgeneralize is a natural by-product of the brain's functional design (read more about that here) and requires constant vigilance from all of us to prevent our brains from making this error.

Overgeneralization gets in the way of good communication. It gets in the way of accurate thinking. It impairs our ability to solve problems.

Overgeneralization is the enemy of us all.

Read more...

Thinking Outside the Argument Box

Friday

I AM CONSTANTLY imploring you to stop using an "either-or" approach to educating your fellow non-Muslims about Islam. If what you're doing isn't working, try something else. But what? I thought we could start collecting some ideas. We'll keep them all collected on a single post: How to Think Outside the Persuasion Box so when you feel like you're getting nowhere with someone, you can go to one place to get ideas.

There are many books on the topic of persuasion, and many books on arguing. But these are dealing with two different things. Argumentation is about logic and facts and evidence, and only works on the audience listening to the argument. Persuasion includes facts and logic but includes something more: The human element. Emotions, culturally-specific triggers, rapport, memories, allegiances, feelings, psychological factors, associations, subliminal influences, etc. These elements of persuasion work directly on the person you're talking to, and work best one-on-one, which is usually what most of us are doing when we talk about Islam — we're talking personally to one person at a time.

I recommend studying persuasion rather than argumentation (unless you're a public speaker).

If you're arguing with someone and feel stuck, it's time to add something else to your side. You're arguing on a level field — argument against argument, fact against opposing fact, logic against logic. The effort often feels futile. The argument goes round and round and doesn't seem to get anywhere. When this happens, add something extra to your side. Add something outside the argument box.

You can find good ideas in books on persuasion. One such book is Get Anyone to Do Anything and Never Feel Powerless Again by David J. Lieberman (also available on audio). Here are a few ideas quoted from the book:

1. Studies show that when our self-awareness is heightened we are more easily influenced. This suggests that when we can see ourselves — literally — in a reflection, we are more persuadable. Having a conversation by a mirrored wall or reflective panel will increase your chances of influencing the person.

2. Reciprocal persuasion: Researchers found that if someone had previously persuaded you to change your mind, he would be more inclined to reciprocate by changing his attitudes about something when you ask. Similarly, if you had resisted his appeal and not changed your mind, he would often "reciprocate" by refusing to change his own mind. You can use this very easily to your advantage by saying, "I thought about what you said regarding [any previous conversation where he was explaining his point of view] and I've come to agree with your thinking. You're right."

3. Studies conclude that when a person holds an opposing view, you should adopt a two-sided argument. When you're dealing with a stubborn person, we can likely assume that he's based his opinion, at least in part, on fact. Therefore, a one-sided argument will appear to him as if you are not taking his thinking into consideration. Consequently, in this instance, present both sides (following the rule of primacy, be sure to present your side first) and you will find him more malleable in his thinking.

I quoted all three of the ideas above from a single page of Lieberman's 180-page book. As you can see, these kinds of ideas might help you get outside of a deadlock. They can help you continue the fight, but in a new way. They can make your conversations more interesting and challenging for you. They can make your efforts feel less futile. And they will increase your success rate.

I'm challenging all of us to do what the teacher in Freedom Writers did, and when you can't seem to reach someone — when you seem unable to make your message penetrate — that you find a way rather than simply blaming your listener. Find a way around the impasse. Use ideas from books on salesmanship, persuasion, and influence to help you get around the obstacles interfering with your goal.

And when you find something that works well, please share your story with us on Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims.

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Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on CitizenWarrior.com 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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