Global educational initiative to ‘reclaim Jihad from Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists alike’
(CHICAGO, IL, 1/28/2013) — Ads for the #MyJihad Public Educational Campaign, sponsored by the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), launched today in Washington D.C. and are currently appearing at the Shaw, Waterfront, Rockville, and Dunn Loring train stations.
In the past month, the #MyJihad campaign launched in two other major U.S. cities, Chicago and San Francisco. The campaign has also made its way to Cairo, Egypt, where it displayed messages of Muslim and Christian unity during the Christmas season.
The #MyJihad Public Education Campaign is an independent national public education campaign, which 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 uphill in order to get to a better place. MyJihad is currently pending 501(c)3 status.
The official website includes detailed information about the campaign. For more information about the campaign, photos and video, visit the official #MyJihad Public Education website: myjihad.org
Volunteers working on the campaign include activists and students, but the majority of volunteers come from a group of working mothers who are disturbed by the prospects of their children growing up in an environment of gross misinformation about Islam that sometimes spills into outright hatred, such as with the recent anti-Islam ads sponsored by Pamela Geller and her group the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). AFDI has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The campaign also includes putting up public ads on buses and trains, as well as a social media component on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where users are asked to tweet what their Jihad (struggle) is using the #MyJihad hashtag. Thousands of users have already tweeted and thousands more have liked the Facebook page.
MyJihad has generated a national and global buzz, including a full hour of coverage on the BBC. The campaign has also been covered by media in Lithuania, China, Canada, and Aruba.
“The campaign has been met with tremendous support from across the board and, as expected, with resistance from the two extremes whose message of hate and divisiveness we are challenging,” said Sadaf Syed, award-winning photojournalist who took the campaign’s photos and San Francisco native based in Chicago. “MyJihad represents the average Muslim voice; as an American Muslim photojournalist, I am raised to become a medium for myself. That is my Jihad.”
View Sadaf Syed in action with the ad models in the “making of” video.
Also, see the latest #MyJihad video from Egypt in which a Muslim imam speaks at a Church. The video has gone viral and has been viewed nearly 140,000 times since it was released less than three weeks ago.
CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312.212.1520 or 202.870.0166 (cell)
CAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinator, Aymen Abdel Halim, email@example.com, 312.212.1520
Angie Emara, MyJihad.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312.231.2021
Sadaf Syed, #MyJihad Photographer, email@example.com