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US Muslims to reclaim 'jihad' with ad campaign

Published Dec 15, 2012 10:11am


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US flag. - File Photo
US flag. - File Photo

CHICAGO: US Muslims launched an advertising and social media campaign Friday in the hopes of reclaiming the word jihad from extremists who insist on equating the spiritual quest with terrorism.

The campaign features Muslims describing their personal struggles – the meaning of jihad – on bus ads, Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated website:

“#MyJihad is to build friendships across the aisle,” says one ad showing an African American man leaning on the shoulder of a Jewish friend.

“#MyJihad is to march on despite losing my son,” says another ad, featuring a portrait of a mother with her three remaining children.

“#MyJihad is to not judge people by their cover,” says a third, framed by two women in headscarves.

It was sparked by a series of hateful ads calling Muslims “savages” and urging people to “defeat jihad” that were plastered on buses and trains in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

But it also speaks to a larger frustration among “mainstream” Muslims with how a basic tenant of their faith has been distorted and demonised, said Ahmed Rehab who helped launch the campaign.

“Jihad is a term that has unfortunately been widely misrepresented by the actions of Muslim extremists first and foremost, and by attempts at public indoctrination coming from Islamophobes who claim that the minority extremists are right and the majority of Muslims are wrong,” said Rehab, who is the executive director of the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The MyJihad campaign is about reclaiming Jihad from the Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists who ironically, but not surprisingly, see eye to eye on Jihad.”

The ads have been placed on buses in Chicago and Rehab hopes to raise funds to expand the campaign to buses and trains in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Cleveland and Oklahoma City.

Organisers are also working to get the ads on buses in Toronto, London, Manchester, Sydney and Melbourne.


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Comments (12) Closed

gir na Dec 15, 2012 03:15pm
just dump this ideology . For centuries these ideologies are misguiding people ...
Pahalwan Dec 15, 2012 04:27pm
leave Toronto out of this Muslim and Anti Muslim campaign!
Tom Moseley Dec 16, 2012 05:19pm
The text of the advertisements does not contain the word "muslim"
RE Malik Dec 15, 2012 05:56pm
Best form of Jihad is self control.
ROHIT PANDEY Dec 19, 2012 12:29am
" God's word" an object of tussle among Muslims themselves and also a political tussle between Muslims and non Muslims. Interesting!!!
osama Dec 16, 2012 09:41am
sounds nice
AB Dec 17, 2012 08:04am
What muslim community should do instead of trying to deceive American people about their Islamic Ideology start living lie other none Christian who lives in America and other western countries with peace and harmony. America and west know very well about Islam ,BTW there re many Christians from Pakistan and other Muslims countries they Teach American about Islam and Americans are awaking up.
bob Dec 18, 2012 06:00am
AB, America does not need to learn about Islam from Arab, Pakistani and other Christians. America can learn about Islam from Americans- the black Muslims. We black Muslims have contributed in the building of USA and have gievn our lives protecting the USA. Why should we trust "foreigners" who are practsing the Christain faith but are Arabs, Pakistanis, Indians etc.
Abdul Rahman Dec 15, 2012 10:53pm
Another tactic of jihadist for the existence in western countries. There nature will not change. This is just a show.
Rah Dec 17, 2012 12:38am
As long as they are in minority, till then religion of peace. But wait until they are in majority to see the true colors. That day is soon coming, looking to the number of kids per family, being born.
Isadora Dec 16, 2012 04:07am
Good for you. I hope it works out. We have a similar struggle in Christianity. The struggle to forget self. Only when we can do that, can we leave selfishness, arrogance and other human failings behind. I'm surprised the hate ads were allowed by the CEOs of the Trains and Bus Lines. Unless they are now run by our government. Little by little, American culture seems to be disappearing under government ownership or regulation. Still, I would think ads calling people 'savages' would not be tolerated here in the U.S. - even by our government. I hope some Muslims tried to reach an executive at the bus and train companies and complained. It's really quite odd that these despicable signs would be allowed in our very PC (politically correct) society. I wish you well. If these signs have been seen, the first step might be to get them taken down. It really is quite odd there would be signs like that around in what I believe are three very secular progressive cities. The seculars are the very sensitive of something like this. Their use of the word 'racist' is used rather freely. Conservatives wouldn't allow it either. Our politics are very different, but neither party would put up with signs calling anyone 'savages.'
Ramesh NG Dec 16, 2012 11:03am
A good move to send message to people who hijack religion and misuse them.