I want to teach people about Islam so that the misconceptions that people have can be cleared. How can I do this without sounding preachy or scaring people off? People often get wary when you bring up the topic of religion.

This question is relevant to all of us Muslims because we have very quickly and alarmingly become the target of hatred and fear-mongering political agendas.  

Having said that, what can you do in your day-to-day life to educate people of who we are? We always influence people by our mannerisms. When we say or do things, we must do them as Muslims: with honesty, kindness, and consciousness of God. If we simply excel in our behaviour and our dealings with others, they are bound to see that this is what real Muslims look like.  

Additionally, while we must never lose a moment to correct or teach about Muslims and Islam, we should never come from a place of superiority, looking to preach and seeing everyone else as ignorant. Let others know that you are trying to clear misconceptions about Muslims because you are hurt by the stereotypes in the media and are afraid that the average person will not be bold enough to ask a Muslim.  

However, make sure you yourself have a correct understanding and knowledge from reputable sources as to why you do what you do as a Muslim. People will come up with questions and will quote things that you might never have heard of. Be honest enough to say you don’t know the answer and you will get back to them with the correct one after you have researched it.