[An edited transcript of Voices for the Voiceless video]
We need a new approach in dealing with Islam in our society. Let’s stop and take a look at where we are now.
The World Trade attack was the tragedy that woke everyone to the possibilities of the terror from Islam. There emerged a new set of scholars. Not the university scholars, but people like Robert Spencer, Serge Trifkovic, Ibn Warraq, myself, Andrew Bostom. These were intellectuals but they were not specialized in Islamic study. And this group of scholars has produced an enormous body of work on the factual doctrine and history of Islam.
Now how is this working? Well, in some ways it works extremely well. For instance an actual debate with supporters of Islam, we always prevail because we have the facts. When it comes to work like on the web debates and comments, at first on the web in the early days people would come on the comment section of websites and debate. But that doesn’t happen much anymore. The reason is we have intellectually prevailed. Our fact-based approach has worked extremely well on some things.
If we continue what we’ve been doing for the next 10 years, what we’ve done for the last 13 years, we’ll make progress, but not fast enough, and so I’m suggesting that there’s another approach that needs to be taken. Because we may have the truth of the matter but we can’t find people who want to listen to us who are in leadership capacity. The clergy ignores us, the government ignores us, the universities ignore us and the media surely ignores us. So we may be able to win a debate but here’s the deal: none of the authorities want to ever debate with us. We’re never invited to the dialogues.
So we need a new approach and I’m going to suggest this new approach be moral not fact-based. Now here’s a clue as to why I even think about using a moral approach. When I deal with the Powers That Be and the media and whatnot, they never, ever debate. They never point out anything that I’ve said factually that is wrong. What do they do? They go: you’re a bigot, you’re a hater, you’re an Islamophobe. What are they saying? That people like me who use factual arguments are immoral. That’s what a bigot is. So what our opponents tell us, and by the way we have two opponents. We have the opponents who are the apologist and the opponents who are the Muslims. I’m suggesting in this new approach that we completely ignore the Muslims and deal with the apologist. Why is that?
Look carefully at how Islam is expanding its power in our civilization. It’s doing so through the influence of leadership and then leadership is the one that drives everything.
So how do we deal with leadership? I say we use moral arguments. Because remember, that’s what they say about us, that we’re immoral. So the apologists for Islam are highly sensitive to moral arguments. I say that we need to start using the suffering that Islam causes, not the facts that cause the suffering. Because the apologists are very sensitive to suffering. Remember, the left and that’s another thing, I think we need to start adopting a leftist language which is we deal with oppressors and victims and suffering. So the new approach is to deal with pain and suffering.
Now then, what we need to do in my opinion, is start becoming advocates for the victims. The left and we need to notice something here, that most of the apologists for Islam respond well to leftist arguments. They always want to save the victim so we just need to give them new victims. Because you see right now the way it works is if I present a factual argument that refutes an imam, they go, oh, see Bill is picking on the imam. The imam, bless his poor heart, is the victim of Bill’s aggression. So what we need to do is we need to talk about new victims because the apologists for Islam are highly sensitive to victims.
This means that we stop talking about bad Islam, we stop talking about Jihad, and instead we deal with the effects of Jihad. We need to use morality and shame, not facts.
I’m going to suggest that we adopt a new approach that is so simple that a teenager can 1) understand it and 2) be able to use it. Because you see, that’s another disadvantage of the fact-based approach, you actually have to read and study. So we want to get away from that—well, we don’t want to get away from it, we want to leave it as one front that we can always win on, but I’m suggesting that we open up a new front based on victims and morality because a teenager can understand suffering immediately, doesn’t need to ramp up and have a study course, doesn’t need to learn anything. People can immediately understand suffering.
Now we need to understand something. If suffering is going to be our new weapon, we have an enormous amount of suffering that we can present to people. So we need to reestablish the moral order here. Since the apologists are so sensitive to suffering and right now they say the suffering is the lady with the hijab on that somebody made a comment about. We need to give them bigger victims.
Let me give you an example.
While this recording is being made, last week there were 62 Nigerian Christians who were murdered for one reason: they were Christian.
You see, that’s a little worse than your hijab being pointed at and so our opponents, and they’re our opponents because they support Islam even though they may not know much about it, but they want to do well, so we will give them bigger victims.
I’ve talked with you about the need to take a new approach in our fight against political Islam. Now let’s take it to some specifics. In particular let’s use an example which I just called the Voice for the Voiceless brochure. Let me tell you some unique things about this brochure. First off it never mentions Islam, never mentions jihad, it mentions nothing about Muslims. What it does talk about are two things: suffering by religious minorities and our leadership.
I talk about the fact that the greatest human rights violation in the world today is the persecution of religious minorities, in particular, Christians. Half the Christians have left Iraq. The cops, the Christians of Egypt, are in the middle of a 1300 year assault on their culture. Syrian towns that have been Christian for 2000 years are being annihilated. And it’s not just the Christians, it’s also the Buddhists, the Jews and the Hindus.
Our problem is that this suffering is met with silence by our leaders. And that’s what this brochure is addressed to, our leaders, not the Muslims. It points out that their silence is a moral crime and that this is a moral issue. This brochure is about suffering and morality. It’s about standing up for victims and opposing the oppressor. We say to them quoting from Bonhofer, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless, not to speak is to speak, not to act is to act.” Basically this brochure is about acting upon this moral imperative.
This is a new approach, new in the sense of we’re not dealing with Islam, new in the sense of the language is all lefty-progressive language. We refer to victims. We refer to human rights crimes. We talk about leadership. We talk about the need for justice. So this is written in a language that’s very important because you see, the apologists for Islam speak in the language of progressivism or as I call it, lefty speak. This kind of language is easily understood and absorbed. What we ask for is a moral decision from our leaders.
Notice that a 14 year old can understand this brochure on the first reading. It’s about feelings, not facts. And also we do not call names. All right, so it’s a brochure and it’s a good brochure. But how are we going to use this? First we need to understand something. We will not win our war against Islam on the web with emails, with books and web pages. That won’t happen. We are going to have to get in the same room as our opponents.
Here’s a suggested use of this. I have three levels. The first level is personal. If you’re a Christian, take these brochures, and by the way they can be found at a website that’s at the end of this lecture. Take them to your Sunday school class. Hand them out and start asking some questions. Can we pray for these people?
Another idea would be to take the brochures and point out to people who are in charge of your church and say look, why don’t we invite some of the persecuted church to our church. Or why doesn’t our leadership go out and meet with them? Because in America today we have Syrian Christians, Coptic Christians, Iraqi Christians, Nigerian Christians, and they’re all here. Why? Because they’re persecuted back home. Why not invite them into your church?
Let’s say you live in a small town and you go I don’t know any Cops or Syrian Christians. Then you can do this. You need topics to study in your Bible class, why not study the history of the persecuted church. For instance, one good place to start would be the Armenian Holocaust. Over a million Armenians were murdered in Turkey. Study what happened. You’ll learn a lot for what’s happening today.
Now let’s talk about another level of using the Voice for the Voiceless brochure. This is much more active and much more political and consequently will be even more effective. In our town there’s always a meeting of some sort between Christian apologists for Islam, Muslims and some Jewish leaders. They call them Family of Abraham, but in other towns they’re just called religious dialogues. Here’s how we can use this brochure to command the information battle space. Because let me tell you something. In these dialogues we are losing big time. Big time. Because these are pity parties for the Muslims. And what we want to do is to inject into the pity party such as a Muslim, somebody pointing at hijab in the checkout line, and we want to give them much bigger victims.
Here’s the way I see this working. This is one variation. We need to have what I call the Brochure Brigade. That is roughly 20 people who will show up at one of these meetings which is going to have a couple of hundred people. In their pockets they have the brochures. About five minutes before the event starts, someone stands up and says, this is a protest demonstration. Everyone in the Brochure Brigade stands up and you can either put on this, what I call the Voiceless gag tie it on.
The Voiceless Gag
Or if you think that looks too bandito, take an Avery label and write Voiceless on it and put that over your face. We’re doing this because we want this to be a dramatic moment and it’s a video moment as well.
The Brochure Brigade stands up, puts on their Voiceless gags, and quickly hand out, by handing out packets of these brochures at the end of the row. This will take no more than two minutes time. Then the Brochure Brigade leaves.
Now what’s going to happen in that room? First off this is a social shock. No one’s ever seen this before. So what will happen is everyone will read the brochure. Therefore we have gotten our information into the hands of the people who matter, the apologists for Islam.
So that’s the second level. The strategic part of this is, is to develop it to the point where every time that Muslims show up in the public marketplace of ideas, say a university lecture, the Brochure Brigade shows up and hands out the literature about persecuted Christians. This can be effective. Because what we want to do here is not to convert the apologists, but to simply put them in such a moral bind that the next time they have a Family of Abraham meeting or a religious dialogue, they just don’t go. Therefore we have neutralized them.
Now that’s good but there’s something that we can do that’s better because the Brochure Brigade has to wait until the Muslims and the apologists call a meeting together. We need a form of political protest that is offensive where we get to choose the target and the time.
The third level is what I call The Committee. Here’s the way The Committee works. Three people go to the target which in this case I’m going to say is a major newspaper which never ever writes any articles about the torture of Christians in Islamic lands. Go and just state the purpose. We’re here because you never seem to report on the pain and suffering caused to Christians and we would like for you to start writing about the facts of the matter.
Come back in four weeks. In all probability why would they change their corporate policy just because three people showed up. But now then we have something we can do. We can now make a demand. Because what we do is we demand that if they do not change their policy in another four weeks, we’re going to show up with a protest, a political protest outside of the newspaper. They don’t want this. It would be simple enough just to run a newspaper article or two on the persecuted Christians. So here we have a whole new method of creating a moral pressure on those who support Islam with their silence.
Now we could choose other targets. For instance, we could choose a bookstore, a large Christian bookstore that does not sell any books on the persecuted church, gives no history of the persecuted church, offers no explanation as to what’s happening in the Middle East and in Muslim lands today. The Committee goes to visit them and says the same thing they told the newspaper except what they say now is we want you to put some books on your shelves that deal with the persecuted church. And by the way, we have a suggested book list. Please do this. Come back in four weeks. If they don’t have the books on the shelves or the plan in place you say look, we’re going to be back in four more weeks and we’re going to hold a protest outside on the sidewalk, we will be calling the media and we’re going to be holding up signs that say that you are morally culpable, that your silence plays a part in this. Your silence supports evil. They don’t want that. So we can exert a moral pressure.
What are the advantages of this method? Well, first off, anybody can do it. A 14 year old can show up on a sidewalk to hold a sign to support the persecuted Christians. Basically this is a method where if we show up and we win, look, if it’s a Family of Abraham event or another religious dialogue, you’ve got the time of going to the event, you show up 15 minutes early, you hand out the brochures, you leave. Basically all you have to do is to show up. This is a low impact proposition. They can’t call you a bigot. How are they going to call you a bigot when all you’re doing is say we want you leaders to support the persecuted religious minorities.
It has another advantage which is this. An advantage of this is that it is novel. It’s new. It is a surprise. Why is this important? If you study the apologist language, it’s all the same. I wrote a book called Factual Persuasion and in it I list all of the known arguments that apologists make. They’re finite. It’s a small number. So when we hit them with a new thing which is we ask for your moral leadership against the persecution of Christians, they’re not going to know what to do. They haven’t been told what to do yet. So being novel is important.
The other importance of this is, is it’s a long-range plan. If you can get a Brochure Brigade working, you can work for here on out until they finally stop having those dialogue meetings because they don’t want people pointing out bigger victims. It’s offensive. We’re not setting around waiting. We choose the time, we choose the place.
If you’re interested in doing this it’s quite easy. Go to http://www.voices4voiceless.org/ and download the brochure. Modify it as you need to, but you can join this fight. It’s low cost. All you need to do is to get some friends, show up and we win.