Getting the Kuffar to accept Muslims should not be our goal. We want them to accept Islam. Emphasizing our similarities is how to get them to accept us; emphasizing the differences is how to get them to accept Islam.I am familiar with the argument that one must mix with the Kuffar and befriend them in order to make da’awah to them; but this argument is not sound, neither religiously nor practically. Anecdotally,I would like to know when it has worked.If they mix with us, perhaps. But when we mix with them, it affirms them. When we try to convince them that Islam does not fundamentally contradict with their way of life, what on earth would motivate them to change? Why should they accept Islam if the Islam we teach them is so similar to the kufr they are already upon?
Those among them who are searching for the Truth, who are dissatisfied with the corrupt belief system they follow, will certainly not be motivated to embrace a religion that appears no different from the one that has left them dissatisfied and searching.
No. The da’awah of Rasulullah ﷺ was not like this, even in the period during which the Muslims were at their weakest, being persecuted in Makkah. The lines were drawn with absolute rigidity. Rasulullah ﷺ told them essentially ‘you are foolish and corrupt, and your fathers were foolish and corrupt, and unless you submit to Islam, you will spend eternity in the Hellfire’. Not particularly ingratiating.
Rasulullah ﷺ was Nadeer and Basheer…a warner to the Kuffar and a bringer of good news to the Believers; and that is the model of the Daa’i. The Kuffar must be warned, must be told directly that they are wrong; they must be made to feel that their way of life is astray and corrupt. Believe me, they will actually respond much more positively to this than to the approach of displaying approval or affirmation for their lifestyle and beliefs. Aside from the fact it is the approach of the Prophets, we can see the examples of people like Ahmed Deedat and Zakir Naik whose straightforward style of refutation has led to thousands of people embracing the Truth.
I am not a Daa’i, but al-Hamdulillah, more than 50 people have embraced Islam through me. Making da’awah by letting the Kuffar see a positive example of a Muslim only works when that positive example includes practical actualization of al-Walaa wal-Baraa’, because it crystalizes for them the fundamental contrast between what they are upon and what is actually righteous.Making the Truth, yes, clear from falsehood, And that is the quintessential purpose of the callers to Islam