I've always been told to disengage when people appear extremely ignorant in order to preserve my efforts for a different cause where I can actually make tangible differences. The assumption here is that the person I am communicating with will always remain ignorant, regardless of my efforts.
However, I have experienced people changing their minds after a certain discussion or exposure to a new viewpoint. I have known what it feels like to discover new information that leads to a better and more well-rounded mind. I am aware that education is one of the most powerful methods of ridding the world of ignorance and hateful actions that stem from these beliefs. '
At what point am I willing to sacrifice this potential transformation or discovery of knowledge in order to save my efforts for a different circumstance? Is there a time when someone is too ignorant? I am not fully convinced that there is, and even if there is, how do we ever set a threshold for "too ignorant to engage with."
This desire to engage with people and continue to exchange ideas is one of the primary reasons that I have decided to be a part of the Huffington Post Blogger Community. I hope that this can serve as an education, conversational, and analytical platform for topics, specifically ones regarding the Muslim faith.
While I know that there is much contention regarding Islam, I am confident that reading about the faith and hearing a different point of view, a Muslim's point of view, might change a reader's perspective; it does not matter whether it is one or 100. All that matters is that readers, if there are any, are reading my thoughts with an open mind and are aware that my point of view in no way reflects the whole religion or other followers.
I know that disagreements will arise about my opinions, but Islam has taught me that disagreements are okay, and in fact, even inevitable. It is not the fact that these disagreements exist, but it is how we go about handling these disagreements that is extremely important and determines a person's character. As a Muslim, I believe that restraining myself from accusing any opposing party of corruption is necessary, and I will encourage myself to believe that the opposing party has good intentions, granted this is often much easier said than done. Additionally, the objective of these discussions and their surrounding disagreements will be an attempt to reach the truth. If it ever strays away from finding the truth into pointless bickering, I will reconsider the point of the argument. These beliefs will be incorporated into my blogs which will in turn serve as a way to find my truths, solidify values, and explore completely new ideas.
On and ending note, my question for the people who tell me to disengage immediately when speaking with people who hold ignorant ideas is, if I disengage, and you disengage, and we all disengage, how we will ever rid the world of ignorant ideas that lead to hateful actions?
My answer is simple. We won't.