December 3, 2010
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Dawah Booths Guidelines

Guidelines for a Dawah Booths Coordinator

Whoever guides (another) to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it. (Sahih Muslim).

Following are suggested responsibilities of the Booth Coordinator:

  1. Be grateful to Allah and always pray for the success of the event
  2. Your title is Community Outreach Coordinator
  3. Be involved in volunteer scheduling
  4. Arrange for Literature to be used on the day. You can order literature in bulk here
  5. You can use this checklist for managing the material needed for the booth
  6. For outdoor booths, you must be present at the location by10am or risk losing the spot
  7. Communicate with the event organizers in the event of late arrival
  8. Setup the booth
  9. Overall management of the booth
  10. Maintain chaos-free booth environment
  11. It is your show and you are 100% responsible
  12. Reinforce WI booth rules and standards
  13. Be available through-out the duration of the booth
  14. Close the booth and return the materials to the storage
  15. Must communicate with WhyIslam Dawah Booth Management in the event of incidents or early closure
  16. Working together and sharing ideas to make things run smoother
  17. Be mentally prepared for volunteer no-show scenarios
  18. Treat WI property as your own. This is an Amana from the community and from Allah

Applying for a Dawah Booth

These guidelines can also be applied to swapmeets, farmer markets, etc…

  1. Find out the number of the mall’s management office. Ask to speak with the marketing manager.
  2. Inquire if the mall provides a community table.
  3. If they do, introduce yourself and explain that you are from ICNA, a nonprofit organization that would like to apply for a community table in order to distribute free literature on Islam and Muslim culture, and request an application.
  4. If they want you can tell them to visit our website at www.WhyIslam.org to learn more about our organization.
  5. When you receive the application or download it on-line, then fill the application out and send it to them. Note: If you are applying for the first time for a WhyIslam booth then please have your local WhyIslam coordinator at HQ review the application first. You can reach someone from the Dawah Booth Support team at 1-877-Why-Islam.

Categories of booth visitors:

Peace love and happiness visitors

They are mostly non-religious hippy type of visitors. They do not have anything against anyone and wish that everyone would just get along and love each other.

Sympathetic towards Muslims

Mostly non-religious and some are religious. They tend to be anti-war. They feel a great sense of injustice committed against the Muslims in their name. They tend to be very sympathetic towards Muslims. They believe that Muslims are mostly misrepresented in the media.

Visitors with superficial curiosity

They are mostly either moderately religious or non-religious.  Their curiosity is resulted out of negative publicity and media coverage of Islam/Muslims. They are curious to find out if what they are told about Islam is true.

Anti-Muslim/Islam visitors

Most of them are unenlightened Born-Again Christians, some die hard Catholics, feminist and fanatical nationalists. They are usually very upset to see Muslims. They tend to be unfriendly and stop by the booth mostly to express their anger and unhappiness towards Islam and Muslims.

Under cover police

There are under cover police officers all over NYC. Some times they stop by the booth and speak to the volunteers. Usually their questions are intended to gather information. They usually ask questions that have something to do with “who/where/how/when” etc. We have had some of them stop by our NYC booths in the past. There is no need to be afraid of them.

Searching for the truth

A small number of visitors do not believe in anything or disillusioned by their family religion and looking for something new. They are usually happy that we are giving out free literature.

Interacting with the visitors

Instead of being overly enthusiastic to tell the visitors about Islam, it is better to simply inform them that everything is free and they are welcome to take anything they like. They should also be informed that if they have any general questions about Islam, they are welcome to ask. If the questions are tricky or too technical, it is better to ask them to call our 877-WhyIslam hotline or refer them to WhyIslam member supervising the booth. Since we do not know what category the visitor belongs to, it is not intelligent to uncritically start sharing personal information and opinion.

Here is some more information you can obtain from our Dawah Booth Support Team. Simply call 1-877-Why-Islam and we will get you in touch with someone who can help:

Permits & Location

  1. How do you get permits to setup booths?
  2. Are there any companies that can get permissions for booths in bulk?
  3. What criteria do you use to select booth location?

Preparations

  1. Do you have any dawah booth checklist?
  2. What are basic steps of setting up a booth?
  3. How do you publicize at booth to community?
  4. What is a average expanse for one booth?

Volunteers

  1. How is your dawah booth team structured?
  2. How many volunteers are needed for a typical 8 hour booth?
  3. Are sisters part of volunteer team?
  4. Do you have any FAQ list for volunteers?
  5. Do you suggest special t-shirts for volunteers?
  6. Do you have guideline docs for volunteers?
  7. Should we stand inside or outside booth to get attention?

Booth Items

  1. Please share the questions of Quiz you conduct at booths.
  2. How do you order dawah brochures for booth?
  3. How much material is needed for a typical booth?
  4. How much material is needed for a mega booth like LA Times Fair?
  5. Is your artwork for tents / table cloth available online to download?
  6. What is the cost of customized tent, table cloth, brochure holders, etc.?
  7. Do you have any special signs made for booth?
  8. Do you need any accessories like stands or brochure holders?
  9. Is it good to have candy to attract booth visitors?

Post Booth

  1. Do you have a certificate or thank you note drafted for booths?
  2. Do you take pictures or interviews at the booth?
  3. Do you post these pictures anywhere?

Future

  1. What can further enhance booths in future?
  2. Should we be carrying more Multimedia in future?

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