WE RECEIVED the following email and thought the idea could be effectively used by many of you. In the sidebar of Citizen Warrior, we have several PDF files you can print out as leaflets, and we'll add the one below to the sidebar. We think this innovative and enterprising citizen warrior came up with a great idea, and the content of his leaflet is excellent as well (links to the leaflet are at the end of this article). Here's his email:
Thanks for the great work you’re doing. Please have a look at the attached leaflet. I print copies of this leaflet regularly and leave them on the train when I commute to work. I have tried to give people an idea of Islam’s essential character and how this is the inevitable product of Muhammad’s character. I’ve tried to illustrate his character with examples and also show how Islamic teachings and practices are based on them.
The actual details of the leaflet are not really my main concern in this message. I’m perfectly happy for someone to produce a better leaflet. The PDFs that you have on your site are very good. I do think though that they are pitched a bit high for many of the people that I come across and they would be more expensive to print in the numbers that I use. My leaflet has the advantage of being two-sided. I print 10 copies, flip the paper over and put it back in the printer and print 10 times again. I then cut the sheets in half and I have 20 copies of a 2 sided leaflet. This all helps to keep down the cost. Being half-size sheets, they are easier to put down on seats inconspicuously and carry around in my rucksack.
You give some excellent advice about talking to people on these matters. However, there many times when we simply don’t get the opportunity to talk to people but we still need to do something. I think there are probably many people who would feel able to distribute some leaflets in the way that I do.
There are plenty of other places where they could be left (eg. Waiting rooms, airports, stations, buses). They are a good way of getting the information into the public domain and presenting it to people who would not go looking for the information on the Internet. The leaflets can prompt people to look up the sites on the Internet and learn more.
The Internet is fantastic for disseminating information when people request it but if people don’t think to request it you can’t be heard in cyberspace. So leafleting and the Internet can work in partnership.
By putting the leaflets on a site like yours and enabling people to download, print and distribute a ready-made leaflet we’re removing an obstacle to progress. By putting the source of the leaflet on the leaflet itself we can complete the circle and enable new people to download, print and distribute. We thus establish a virtuous circle that is self-reinforcing.
It is interesting to think of a few numbers here. If I distribute 50 leaflets and 2 people respond by printing another 50 each, 150 leaflets have been distributed. If 4 people respond to their 100 leaflets and distribute 50 copies each, that’s 200 more. If each time the cycle is repeated 2 out of each 50 respond by distributing 50 each, we soon get some very large numbers. We are increasing the number of leaflets by powers of 2. Thus by the time the cycle has been repeated 20 times, that’s 2 the power of 20 which is 1048576. After 25 cycles, it’s 33,554,432. The assumptions about response rates may be optimistic but you can see the potential.
Read the content of the leaflet here:
Some Things You Probably Do Not Know About Islam
Here is a printable PDF versions of the leaflet: