Guide to Missionary Tactics
This guide is intended to improve awareness about the tactics used by some groups and cults. The tactics of missionaries and missionary groups may vary, but there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind that will be helpful in dealing with them.
Some missionaries attempt to develop a rapport with their subject without divulging their own religious affiliation or intention. As an example to make making them seem less "Christian" missionaries are coached by their superiors to avoid using words such as "Christ" or "savior" or "baptize".
If you are not sure about the religious identity of the stranger who begins talking to you about religion, ask him directly about his beliefs and agenda. Be suspicious of an indirect answer. Remember these people aren't interested in dialogue or trying to improve Anglo-Muslim links but are often in SECURE PAID EMPLOYMENT to Sell Christianity.
When talking to a Muslim about religion, a missionary may attempt to elicit as many "I don't know" responses as possible, in order to establish his superiority in matters of religion. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated!
Remember, the missionary has studied Islamic beliefs for the sole purpose to sell Christianity to Muslims. There heart are sealed and they are no longer interested in truth. Keep in mind that he is not speaking to you in order to exchange ideas, but rather to create as much doubt in your mind and lead you away from your faith. If you want to learn more about the Quran, do so from someone who doesn't have hidden motives. Therefore, feel free to simply end the conversation and walk away.
Remember that many of these questions and associations they are trying to sell have been debunked many times by more learned Muslims. If they were interested in dialogue the would be speaking to respected elders and community leaders exploring common ground improving understanding and faith in the community, but all one sees are the often the same question again to unsuspecting victims. Ask yourself what do they hope to gain ?
However, some of you may want to listen to their arguments and then learn the Muslim response, in order to be better prepared for future encounters. One must also remember that many missionaries intentionally go into Muslim areas in Britain so they train themselves and create the most seductive "Sales Pitch" they can manage. Once they have finished there training in salesmanship they will target unsuspecting Muslims (the lonely, vulnerable and weak) lacking in knowledge.
The following pointers should give you a basic idea of what to look for.
The missionary may tell you that he (or a Christian friend or acquaintance) was once an Muslim, or that he had a solid Muslim education, a traditional Muslim family life, etc. This is almost always a lie, so don't let him fool you. The hidden message that he is attempting to convey is that he came to accept Christianity after knowing and overcoming all of the Muslim objections (Jesus being son of god, Bible being corrupted by man etc.), and therefore, why should you bother to check it out?
He may drop certain Islamic phrases or talk about the details of his "traditional" Muslim upbringing, in order to lend more credence to his story. In fact, his "memory" is often the result of careful coaching.
The missionary might tell you that he knows the Islamic objections to his arguments, and will then proceed to show how such objectives are ill-founded. Don't expect to hear the real Islamic response from such a source.
GOOD, BAD OR UGLY
Don't be taken in by the "good cop - bad cop" routine. This routine involves a "bad cop" who threatens the subject, and a "good cop" who protects him from the "bad cop". The subject is so grateful to the "good cop", and so worried about losing the good-will of his protector, that he invariably shows his appreciation by telling the "good cop" what he wants to hear. In similar fashion, the "good" Christian talks about how much he loves and respects Muslims, while denouncing the "bad" Christians who hate and have persecuted Muslims. The naive and ones lacking in knowledge of Christian history and bigotry will feel grateful to the "good cop", and may automatically judge him to be a friend and reliable ally. Watch out for hidden motives behind such "friendship".
WHO BELIEVES IN THE SON OF GOD?
At the outset, the missionary will talk about his belief that Jesus is the messiah. Many Muslims don't find out until later, often after they have joined a Christian friendship group, that their fundamental belief is that Jesus is god. Any talk about "the messiah" or "son of god" is merely a cover for that belief, basic to Christianity . However, since such a concept is repugnant in Islam, this most basic belief of Christianity is glossed over as much as possible when missionaries talk to Muslims.
PROOF or SPOOF?
Don't be impressed by the claim that Christians have 50, or 100, or 300 "proofs" that they are correct in their claims about Jesus. As proof after proof is shown to be meaningless, the missionary will hide behind his numbers, as if to say: "Well, we have so many more proofs, what's the difference if you can disprove some of them". He will attempt to "split the difference" with you: "Well, even if half our proofs prove nothing, we still have another 25 or 50, or 150". Remember, all of their proofs can be shown to be untenable. Keep in mind that a faulty point is not worth 50% of a good point, or 25%, or 10%. It is worthless. The simple mathematics are: 50 x 0 = 0, 100 x 0 = 0, 300 x 0 = 0.
Very often, the reasoning used by Christian missionaries is circular. That is, the "proof" only points to something is if you believe it in the first place, and therefore is no proof at all.
Be aware of the problem of mistranslating. A person who is not familiar with Arabic can be lead to accept a mistranslating which puts a Christian "twist" on a verse that never had such a meaning in the original. If you can't check it out yourself, talk to a reliable person who can. Remember, it is no coincidence that the Muslims of past generations, who were much better versed in the Arabic, never had any serious problems refuting Christian missionary arguments.
In addition beware of Christian Translations of the Quran, many date from sixteenth to the eighteenth century with the sole intention of to discredit Islam.
Please keep in mind ANY translation (interpretation) of the Quran will most definitely contain errors In its natural language (Arabic), the Quran is the direct Word of Allah (God) to mankind through the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). Any translation of the Quran no longer retains that 'official' and perfect status, however it can be tremendously helpful to beginning students wanting to learn more about Islam.
We would strongly encourage those want to learn about Islam to purchase a copy of the Quran but with the following conditions:
+ get one with commentary (tafseer)
+ make sure the tafseer is scholarly (e.g. references to reasons behind a verse, references to hadith and sunnah etc.)
QUOTING OUT OF CONTEXT
Often a verse will be quoted to you that has been taken entirely out of context. When the entire chapter that contains that verse is read, it becomes clear that it does not corroborate the Missionary.
Conclusion : Selling Timeshare or Christshare?
You may recognize many of the tactics used by some Missionaries in selling there faith as they have similarities to disreputable Timeshare and Double glazing salesman, and this raises some interesting points:
Why would one propagate faith in such a deceitful and underhanded way, is it because:
God will not aid ones seeking the true path?
A bad product is difficult to sell unless you dupe someone?
If you are genuinely interested in faith
Why don't you go ask someone with a sound knowledge and understanding of Islam, instead of targeting the naive, vulnerable and the weak.
Why do you seek out the naive and week and then intentionally ask Mischievous questions, when they have been answered many times by learned scholars and by people that you have approached over the years? Surely this does not add to knowledge or understanding.
Why do you target Muslims
Considering the moral depravity often in your own family and neighbourhood and within so called Christians.
Is it because Muslims are wealthy in faith?
Is it because you have so much hatred for us and you are unable, incapable or tired of other methods:
There is a very large number of publications by Muslims explaining Islam in plain and simple English. Look in any public library for books on Islam, a large proportion of them will be by orientalists and Christian missionaries, what do you think motivates someone to write a book on a subject one does not believe in and an area that has been already covered by numerous other books? Remember Christian "Translations" of the Quran whose sole intention was to discredit Islam.
Butchered everyone including defenseless women and children or any one else that got in there way. Although it has taken many hundreds of years Crusaders have improved they now only kill some women and RAPE THE REST. The twentieth centuary has seen "Ethnic Cleansing" replace the word Crusade, in 1996 one of the youngest recorded victim of rape in Bosnia was a baby of 4 Months old. Many women and children had two of there fingers severed by the Serbs so that the three remaining fingers would remind them of the Trinity.
A WAY FORWARD
While we as Muslims believe that the entire Quran is the word of God and we would like every one to accept it as such, God Himself has given the freedom of religion which we respect. With that in mind, all we hope is that non-Muslims will at least enlighten themselves with an open heart and mind by knowing what Islam is. We hope that Muslims, Christians and Jews will find ways to work together to bring peace on earth by eradicating immorality, fear, hate, disease, poverty and injustice.
Muslims welcome the chance improve dialogue and understanding with all faiths. In addition we do not object to other groups explaining there ideas and faith to whomever expresses an interest, but we do think it is unacceptable that missionaries demean other faiths, use deceitful methods and harass communities with what can be described highly trained and focused door to door salesman.
USE THE PROPER RESOURCES!
Most Muslims spend their time studying Islam trying to find a path to true enligtenment, and therefore may not be familiar with the "curve-ball" approach of missionaries. If you need advice concerning a problem of this sort, get in touch with people who are familiar with the tactics being used and who know how to deal with them.