Embedding a Fact Within a Story About Something Else


Today I wanted to try to say something to the two people I was working with about a recent story of Muslims poisoning dogs in Sweden. But it is not really pleasant news, and to that degree it is unwelcome conversation in polite company. So I tried something different. I came to the fact indirectly. When one of them mentioned something about a sweet dessert that was too sweet, when they were done talking about it, I said, "Did you know antifreeze is sweet?"

One of them said, "Oh sure, everyone knows that."

The other one said, "Well, I didn't know that!"

The first one said, "I was just kidding. I didn't know that either, and I'm wondering how you would know that," as he looked at me.

"Well," I said, "today I was telling my wife about a news story about Muslims killing dogs in Sweden, and I'd read a comment on the article by someone from Sweden saying Muslims are using antifreeze. I told my wife I didn't know what that meant, and she said, 'Yeah, antifreeze is sweet. You have to keep it away from dogs and kids because they want to drink it.'"

One of my co-workers responded, "I wonder what makes it sweet?" And we went off on that tangent. It was just the normal kind of chitchat people do when they work together, but I was able to tell them about the Muslim news without anybody getting their hackles up. I was ready for someone to ask why Muslims would do such a thing, but the conversation went off on another track, so I didn't get a chance. I was going to say, "According to Islamic doctrine, dogs and pigs are considered unclean. So are non-Muslims, by the way."

This is a simple idea. What I was telling them was, "I found out today antifreeze is sweet." As the accompanying backstory to saying that, I told them what I really wanted them to know: Muslims in Sweden are poisoning dogs. I thought this might be a principle all of us could use.

One of the best ways to change the way someone thinks about Islam is to slip small facts into their minds here and there and give them time to come to the conclusion on their own that Islam is a problem. Embedding a fact within a story about something else is one way to do this.


Elsa 5:15 AM  

We each have techniques that work best for us.

I think one of mine is the "nice friendly tone with clear strong knowledge." So i will give info, let's say if someone says there are extremists in every religion. I will note that, YES, but an extreme Jainists will be extremely non-destructive, and extreme follower of Islam will be extremely harsh against non-followers of Islam, or against people who have left it. Jainists would never murder someone for leaving Jainism. Followers of Islam would murder ex-followers of Islam. So you need to know what the beliefs are - very different for different religions and non-religious ideologies - and then you'll know what extreme is for that ideology.

I am very nice, very friendly - and authoritative.

A common answer is, "Hmm, I hadn't thought of that."

Zackery Martel 12:29 PM  

Someone emailed this comment:

Similar to what I do, I ask if they read so and so current article, explain the article and ask what they know about Mo/Islam, etc. which is usually nothing at all or very little. That is my opening to explain who Mo was and about his seizures.


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