Whatever You Do, Don't Panic


WE GOT A COMMENT the other day on the article, How to Stay Relaxed and Feeling Good While Talking About Islam. The commenter said:

Citizen Warrior, do you expect people to feel relaxed when talking about an unpleasant, oppressive subject (that one has to tread carefully when talking about it for fear of offending their fanatical followers) that is related to a totalitarian ideology?

This commenter is bringing up an important point, and it's worth talking about. When you first grasp what's happening on the world stage, you feel upset, and if you're not prone to demoralization, you also feel highly motivated to do something about it. And then when you try to talk to others about it and they either don't have a clue, don't care, or have already made up their minds there's nothing to worry about, it is even more upsetting. Your feeling of urgency may rise to the level of panic. But then your feeling of urgency is perceived as hysteria, and since there are no actual bombs dropping on the person you're talking to at the moment, they look at you and think, "What a kook." Your panic has made your message even less likely to get across. And this can increase your sense of panic even more.

Many people handle this unendurable emotional spiral of frustration and panic by shutting it off. They decide "everyone is a moron" and "it will take a nuclear bomb going off in Chicago to get their attention." Or they just decide it's too much strain to deal with, so they stop trying to tell people about Islam.

The commenter above said, "Do you expect people to feel relaxed" when talking about such an ugly, disturbing subject? The answer I gave him was, "Yes. I expect all of us to do whatever we need to do to feel relaxed. "Let me put it this way: If your family was being held hostage and you had to walk into a bank and calmly — without arousing any suspicion — withdraw all your money to get your family back, would you be able to do it?

"You would find a way. That's what we need to do. If we can't get through to people because they won't listen to us because we're too hysterical, and all we are doing is blaming them for not listening to us, then shame on us.

"When the stakes are high, you do whatever you have to do. So find a way to stay calm and relaxed so you can be effective."

I know this is a tall order. I know it will take effort and it won't come naturally. But we've got some resources to help you:

To help you formulate answers to the responses you get, refer frequently to the Answers to Objections page.

To help you get ideas for how to approach this subject, read How to Approach a Conversation About Islam.

For ideas on how to go beyond the give-and-take of a normal argument, read How to Think Outside the Persuasion Box.

To find out how others are succeeding with their conversations, read Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims.

To get some ideas about what to do besides talking to people, read What Non-Muslims Can Do About Islam.

And to get some ideas about how to remain relaxed and feeling good even though you're participating in conversations about Islam, read How to Resist Islamic Encroachment and Still Be Happy.

We need to do whatever we need to do. We don't need every single person to understand Islam's prime directive, but we need many more to understand, and the sooner the better. So we need your participation. But luckily, you can't be perpetually upset and miserable while you're doing that. You're going to have to find a way to be relaxed and happy while you go about stopping orthodox Islam from invading the free world. Does that seem impossible? Then we're going to have to start getting more creative, starting now.

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here.


Citizen Warrior 6:08 PM  

Someone emailed this comment:

I always like to approach the subject by telling about my hairstylist who converted and became a Muslim. I asked her how this came about and she responded that a Muslim knocked on her door one evening and thereafter he came by once per week for religious instructions. I asked her "so you are aware that Mohammed was a warrior and attacked the Mecan caravans." Her response was "why would he do that." Need I say more?

I gave her the book The Life and Religion of Mohammed by J. L. Menezes to read.

Citizen Warrior 6:12 PM  

Someone emailed this comment too:

I realized when I read this that usually when I take something one like this I am more committed to the ends than the means. This causes me great anguish and I have a tendency to get upset and panic. When I am committed to the actual process, in this case, speaking with people about Islam I am turned on, inspired and motivated to make a difference. I have nothing at stake and I am not righteous about my position. It is the process that is important and not my ideas no matter how "good" or valid they may be.

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