I'VE WRITTEN in several places (here, here, and here) about how to get around the resistance to information about Islam by first giving the same information about Scientology. Because Scientology is a new religion and doesn't have a lot of followers, most people have no aversion to learning anything interesting about it.
If you tell a friend something about Scientology and they have no problem with it, and then you say the same thing about Islam and they want you to stop talking about it, you're in a good position to open their minds about Islam. The double standard will be obvious. This can help you sweep aside their unjustifiable antagonism toward learning about Islam.
Along those lines, a very long article in the New Yorker is an investigative report on the current state of Scientology, and below I'll quote a few things from the article. The title of the article is The Apostate. It's about a famous man who left Scientology (and the stir that caused among Scientologists). The quotes below are things about Scientology that are similar to Islam but unlike any other religion I know about.
The Koran is very clear about the strictness of Islamic teachings, for example. The teachings are perfect as they are. They are not to be altered. There is no "picking and choosing" passages you like or agree with. Islam is Islam, and it is strictly forbidden to ignore or change any part of the teachings. Along those lines, here is a quote from Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International:
"Mr. Hubbard's material must be and is applied precisely as written. It's never altered. It's never changed. And there probably is no more heretical or more horrific transgression that you could have in the Scientology religion than to alter the technology." (Scientologists consider the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder, to largely consist of "spiritual technology" — specific methods and "drills" to achieve specific spiritual results.)
Many Islamic organizations use the courts to harass people, and they use organized political and legal actions to intimidate people into doing what they want (apologizing, retracting public statements, keeping silent, firing an employee, etc.). Here's a quote from the article about Scientology. Notice any similarities?
"The Church of Scientology had recently gained tax-exempt status as a religious institution, making donations, as well as the cost of auditing (a form of 'spiritual counseling'), tax-deductible. (Church members had lodged more than two thousand lawsuits against the Internal Revenue Service, ensnaring the agency in litigation. As part of the settlement, the church agreed to drop its legal campaign.)"
Another thing that becomes very clear in the article is that the spokesperson, Tommy Davis, is lying to protect Scientology, and Scientology's teachings explicitly make clear that lying for the cause of Scientology is completely acceptable. Islam does something similar. Known as the practice of taqiyya, Muslims are given explicit permission in Islamic teachings to lie to non-Muslims if it serves the goals of Islam.
Another similarity is that becoming an apostate is very bad in both Islam and Scientology. Very very bad. They consider it a kind of treason. Leaving the religion is considered a very serious offense. In Islamic law, the punishment is death.
"Whitehill and Valerie Venegas, the lead agent on the case, also interviewed former Sea Org members in California. (The Sea Org is the headquarters of Scientology worldwide.) One of them was Gary Morehead, who had been the head of security at the Gold Base; he left the church in 1996. (Gold Base is a central Scientology outpost in the desert near Hemet, a town eighty miles southeast of Los Angeles.) In February, 2010, he spoke to Whitehill and told her that he had developed a 'blow drill' to track down Sea Org members who left Gold Base. 'We got wickedly good at it,' he says. In thirteen years, he estimates, he and his security team brought more than a hundred Sea Org members back to the base. When emotional, spiritual, or psychological pressure failed to work, Morehead says, physical force was sometimes used to bring escapees back."
Talk about some of these aspects of Scientology with people you know who are reluctant to listen to information about Islam, and then talk about how similar these aspects are to Islamic doctrine. Don't push to hard; just open up their minds a little. Think small bits and long campaigns.