Metro seems to be the place to wage the ideological battle over what Islam is and is not, it seems.
A new ad campaign that seeks to redefine the word “jihad” launched at four D.C. Metro stations this week. Sponsored by the by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the ads feature photos of Muslims discussing their religious struggles; “#MyJihad is to not take the simple things in life for granted,” says one. The organization hopes that the ads will help change the understanding of jihad in concept and practice:
MyJihad is a public education campaign that seeks to share the proper meaning of Jihad as believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims.Jihad is a central tenet of the Islamic creed which means “struggling in the way of God“. The way of God, being goodness, justice, passion, compassion, etc (not forcible conversion as wrongly claimed by some).
As Muslims, we are taught to put forth a concerted and noble effort against injustice, hate, misunderstanding, war, violence, poverty, hunger, abuse or whatever challenge big or small we face in daily life, with the purpose of getting to a better place.
Last October notorious anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller bought ads in Metro stations featuring the image of the World Trade Center towers being brought down alongside passages from the Quran. She also purchased ads supporting Israel and pledging to “defeat jihad.” A number of organizations teamed up to buy ads protesting Geller’s statements.The ads will be on display for the next four weeks at the Shaw, Waterfront, Rockville, and Dunn Loring Metro stations. They have also run in San Francisco and Chicago.
UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: We reached out to Geller, and here’s what she emailed back: “This is a deceptive and cynical campaign designed to mislead Americans into complacency about the jihad threat. The fact that some Muslims understand jihad is a benign way does nothing to negate, challenge, or cancel the fact that other Muslims think of it as involving killing infidels. This is not Islamic reform, it is deception. I’ve developed a counter-campaign featuring the actual words of actual jihadists, and am working to get it accepted despite official fear and complicity with the Islamic supremacist groups sponsoring the MyJihad campaign. I submitted to WMATA and am still awaiting approval.”