National Educational initiative to “reclaim Jihad from Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists alike”
(CHICAGO, IL, 1/3/2012) — The Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) announced today that the “MyJihad Educational Campaign” has officially launched in San Francisco as 35 king-size bus ads started circulating via the Muni bus system.
The official website includes detailed information about the campaign.
View Myjihad website here: myjihad.org
On Monday, December 11th, the first bus ad campaign appeared on 25 Chicago buses.
View the Chicago ads here: MyJihad Ads on Chicago Buses Live Shots
The San Francisco bus ads started circulating on the city’s Muni bus system last week with full roll out of the 25 buses completed before New Year’s eve. The campaign was timed for maximum holiday exposure.
View the San Francisco ads here: MyJihad Ads on San Francisco Buses Live Shots
MyJihad is an independent national public education campaign, started by Chicago activist and CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 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 uphill in order to get to a better place. MyJihad is currently pending 501(c)3 status. Private donations are managed by CAIR-Chicago as the sponsoring organization.
Volunteers working on the campaign include activists and students, but the crux of the volunteers have been a group of working moms 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.
The campaign 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 media buzz from the US networks to a dedicated full hour coverage on the BBC to Lithuania, China, and the island of Aruba.
“We are excited that the #MyJihad campaign has come to San Francisco. It presents a much needed opportunity to engage in dialogue around the true meaning of jihad, and the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric in recent years,” said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director, Zahra Billoo.
“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 not to curse the media, but to become a medium for myself. That is my Jihad.”
View Sadaf Syed in action with the ad models in the “making of” video.
Both the Chicago and San Francisco bus ads are paid for by CAIR-Chicago.
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
CAIR-SFBA Executive Director, Zahra Billoo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 626.252.0885
MyJihad.org, Angie Emara, email@example.com, 312.231.2021
MyJihad Photographer, Sadaf Syed, firstname.lastname@example.org