- Genital mutilation — just their culture
- Killing — just different values
"There is no hope if they are willing to be dhimmies instead to stand up and say: 'This is our country! Respect our rules and if you don't like them, return to your homeland!'"
How I answered:
This is how a free culture evolves. Every worthy, assumption-busting, tradition-breaking cause has to go through the same stages. First people think it's a bad idea and they fight it tooth and nail. Then they're skeptical but listening. Eventually they think it was their idea all along.
Our challenge is how to reach someone whose mind is already made up. The person you're talking to has already gotten a great deal of "education" about Islam from mainstream media. Mainstream news organizations not only present themselves as unbiased, but they all agree with each other on Islam. I don't know if that's because the Islamic PR machine is so effective, or just because somehow the "anti-Islam" position has been associated with conservatives and most people in the mainstream media are liberals, or because they are afraid of Islamic retaliation, but the upshot is that the person you're talking to has heard everyone in authority that he listens to — NPR and PBS and NBC and CBS and ABC and even the last two presidents — all presenting an identical point of view. Namely, that "Islam teaches peace and terrorists are just wackos who have mistakenly attributed their violence and political actions with Islam, but really it has nothing to do with Islam, and besides, most Muslims are peace-loving people, and they are a persecuted minority so not only should we not criticize them, we should bend over backwards to make them feel welcome in this country because that's the kind of people we are."
When someone gets the same message from so many different "authoritative" sources, and only hears people with your point of view in little clips on mainstream news — clips long enough to make the person look like a madman but short enough to give the commentator something to belittle — then they feel completely certain their point of view is right.
That's why they will argue with what you're saying about Islam even though they actually know nothing about Islam.
Can you get better at reaching these people? Yes. But not by doing the same thing in the same way. We need to innovate, study, practice, and share with each other what works. We have several resources to help you with this: Tools To Help You Educate Your Fellow Non-Muslims About Islam.
The most important resource, however, is in your heart. Keep your love of freedom, your love of your fellow citizens, and your fighting spirit. And never never never give up.